Physical freak of nature Brent Grimes picks up two 50-pound kettle bells, raises one leg perpendicular to his torso and does a series of one-legged squats, dropping his backside practically to the floor while amazed Dolphins teammates look on shaking their heads in disbelief.
I go all the way down to the ground and the guys are just, What the hell? Grimes said, recalling the mental image. I do little stuff like that. Even on the field I do stuff and dont realize it, like some flip or something crazy.
Last week after breaking up a pass against Indianapolis, Grimes found himself on his stomach, so that seemed like the perfect time to get up by doing a handstand that led to a push up that finally landed him on his feet.
Some Miami players call him Mighty Mouse. At 5-10 (maybe) and 190 pounds, Grimes can squat-lift 405 pounds. He can do five repetitions and not break a sweat.
Im strong on squats, Grimes said.
Its an achievement considering Grimes couldnt walk last fall after he ruptured an Achilles tendon and detoured his career.
Before Grimes tore the tendon, he was atop his craft. He was a Pro Bowl player in 2011 and the Atlanta Falcons designated him their franchise player before the 2012 season because, well, Grimes was unsigned and good cornerbacks are valuable in a passing league.
But then came the injury and the surgery and the fallout.
Suddenly, Grimes value dropped like the 2008 stock market. Suddenly, the Falcons werent too eager to pay him. Suddenly, everything hed done in the past to prove himself was overshadowed by the doubt about his future.
And thats when Brent Grimes, looking for a job, decided to gamble on himself.
Although several teams, including the Dolphins, Browns and, yes, the Falcons, showed interest in signing him last spring, none had interest in paying for what hed accomplished. Everyone wanted to pay based on what he might no longer be able to accomplish.
What happens when you come off an injury, just the nature of business, youre going to get, for lack of a better term, lowballed, Grimes said.
So Grimes, his agent and the Dolphins decided the best course was a one-year deal that allowed Grimes to prove himself while insulating the team from a long commitment on a potentially lessened player.
Youre coming off an injury, so you get a one-year deal so that after that year, people say he can still play and is still a good player, Grimes said. Then they cant really lowball you anymore. Off of an injury, even if all the studies show youre fine and you come in and show you can move and do everything, its still like, We dont know. They play the we-dont-know game. So you have to overcome that. Thats how it is.
Grimes is playing on a prove-it contract this year.
And so far, hes proving it.
He had a drive-killing interception in the end zone against Indianapolis last week. He leads the team with four passes defensed. He fits the system. He fits the culture coach Joe Philbin is trying to establish that means hes not controversial or a problem child.
Grimes is in short order becoming a best friend to Dolphins pass rushers.
Hes a guy that makes plays all over the field, Dolphins defensive leader Cameron Wake said. You look at his stature and hes smaller than you, but he has that pit bull mentality that no matter how big the receiver is, hes going to go out and cover him and make plays.