Dolphins Generations: Sean Smith And Sam Madison

Posted Feb 9, 2012

In Dolphins Generations, we ask the same questions to both a current Dolphins player and an alumnus who played the same position to see how their answers differ based on the era they played in. This week's Dolphins Generations features current Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith and former cornerback Sam Madison (1997–2005).

Who is/was the toughest wide receiver you have faced?

Sean Smith: “Steve Smith because he’s so explosive. He runs in short bursts and it’s just hard to get my hands on him. I’m a real big guy and he’s real fast and explosive coming out of his breaks, so I would say Steve.”

Sam Madison: “I would say Randy Moss and the reason is because you never know when and where the ball is in the air. He’s running 100 miles an hour down the field and then all of a sudden you just turn around and his hands go up and the ball is right there. He just used his length and his size to his advantage and people say he may take some plays off but the ones he’s going full speed you definitely have to be prepared and ready.”

Which player did you look up to growing up?

Smith: “It was Randy Moss by far because I was a wide receiver, so it definitely wasn’t on the defensive side of the ball. But now that I am playing corner I’d have to say Nnamdi Asomougha. We’ve got the same body frame so I definitely have to check him out.”

Madison: “Coming up through the game, being that I’m from North Florida right outside of Florida State, Deion was there but he was gone. So the person that I really was following was Terrell Buckley. He came over to my high school, which is Florida A&M High School, and talked to us when he was a senior, so it always stuck in my mind. Then I saw him get drafted and then lo and behold I’m here playing next to him.”

What is/was your favorite coverage to be in?

Smith: “Man coverage because I’m a tall guy and I’m a press corner.”

Madison: “The one coverage that I used to like to play we used to call it Cover 3 trap. The majority of the time we would be playing man-to-man and I always had to turn my back to cover the wide receiver, but then Coach (Jim) Bates would switch it up and call a Cover 3 trap. I’d be able to roll off ad undercut the number two guy breaking on the out and it earned me three interceptions in the Tennessee Titans game, so I must say that was one of my favorite calls torun. But I pretty much loved press man.”

What is the most important asset for a cornerback?

Smith: “I think it depends on what kind of cornerback you are. You can say ball skills, you can say route recognition, your football I.Q. I would say understanding concepts would help you out a lot, regardless of how big, fast or quick you are. If you can understand concepts and what teams are trying to do and what you’re trying to do as a defense and get that down pat you’ll be fine.”

Madison: “You definitely need speed and agility but you need to be able to have ball skills because in this league the quarterbacks are getting better and the receivers continue to change the dynamic of the game. So when the ball comes your way you need to be very aware of how you’re going to attack it, because they come back shoulder, they come right in the back of the your head, they come in tall and they come in low. It’s just being able to locate the ball because it’s rough nowadays with these top quarterbacks and almost every team has one now, so it’s always going to be a challenge for a defensive back.”

What is/was your best asset as a cornerback?

Smith: “I’d say my body type because there’s not too many 6-3 cornerbacks out there who are as athletic as me. I’m a press corner so having these tools, my long arms, in my belt definitely helps me out.”

Madison: “My best asset as a cornerback was footwork and being able to play man-to-man, allowing our defense to take away some other things and not have to worry about the right side of the field where I could play man-to-man very well.”

What is/was your most memorable play?

Smith: “It’s not even anything as significant as my first interception. I’d say it was my first play because you’re on the field looking around and taking in the fact that you’re really in the NFL.”

Madison: “The most memorable play was my first interception and the reason why is I got beat early by Tim Brown for a touchdown in Oakland. Then I was able to come back and help the team preserve a win on the road late in the year in Oakland and come up with my first interception.”
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