Round 1 in the battle at cornerback went to Jamar Taylor.
The Dolphins went with Taylor over Brice McCain in Thursday night’s preseason tilt with the Bears. McCain technically started; the Dolphins began the game with five defensive backs.
But when Miami went to its base defense, Taylor was on the field, and McCain was on the sideline.
Taylor played well into the first half yet received relatively little attention from the Chicago offense. Taylor was only really tested once, when Eddie Royal tried him with a double move. But Jay Cutler’s overthrown pass nearly reached Lake Michigan.
Taylor’s night capped an interesting week for the ascending third-year player; two days earlier, he got into a spirited brawl in practice with teammate Rishard Matthews.
McCain’s night was over relatively early. Bobby McCain was the first corner off the bench Thursday; Will Davis and Zach Bowman rounded out the second-team nickel package.
MOSLEY MOVES UP
C.J. Mosley’s days with the third team are seemingly over.
The veteran defensive tackle lined up where most expected Thursday night: next to Jordan Phillips on the second-team line. He got snaps instead of Anthony Johnson, who had worked ahead of Mosley the first week of training camp.
As expected, Terrence Fede and Derrick Shelby were the primary backup defensive ends.
Evan Mathis’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, appeared on WQAM 560 on Thursday morning and suggested that Mathis, the free agent guard tied to the Dolphins, will sign with a team sooner than later.
“I have fluid conversations with teams every single day,” Rosenhaus said. “I think it’s something that can change by the minute. All it takes is one team … to decide it’s seen enough and doesn’t want to see their quarterback killed.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ LaMichael James’ best chance to make the team might be as a returner. He was bound and determined to make the most of it against Chicago.
James fielded the opening kick 9 yards deep but brought it out anyway, returning it 24 yards. James was also the team’s first-half punt returner; he had an 8-yard return on his first opportunity.
▪ Eight Dolphins players were not in uniform because of injury: Koa Misi (calf); Louis Delmas (knee); Don Jones (shoulder); DeVante Parker (foot); Kenny Stills (calf); Christion Jones (hamstring); Jay Ajayi (hamstring); and Branden Albert (knee).
▪ With four starters out, the Dolphins made the following changes to their lineup: Kelvin Sheppard for Misi, Walt Aikens for Delmas, Matthews for Stills and Jason Fox for Albert.
▪ Caleb Sturgis followed the good with the bad Thursday. After booting through a 31-yard field goal late in the second quarter, he sent the ensuing kickoff out of bounds.
▪ Jordan Tripp injured his ankle in the first half. Tripp was limping noticeably as he was helped to the locker room. Tommy Streeter left the game with a groin issue.
▪ The Dolphins opened the preseason with a touchdown drive for the second time in as many seasons. It was the first time Miami had opening drive touchdowns in back-to-back seasons since 1983-84.
▪ Dolphins captains Thursday: Ryan Tannehill, Earl Mitchell and John Denney.