Grimes Never Satisfied With Past Success

Posted Aug 5, 2014

Dolphins cornerback approaches each season with the goal of it being better than the previous one.

Brent Grimes has had a pep in his step from the time he joined the Dolphins last offseason, and he’s got even more reasons to be happy in his second training camp at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University.

Grimes is coming off his second Pro Bowl season, an accomplishment made even more remarkable by the fact he was coming off a torn Achilles tendon sustained in the Atlanta Falcons’ 2012 opener. He’s got a new contract, a four-year deal signed in March that showed the Dolphins’ commitment to their star cornerback.

And, to top things off, Grimes earned a place on the NFL Network’s Top 100, a list put together through a vote of his peers.

So, yes, Grimes is a happy man these days. But satisfied? Not a chance.

“Never be satisfied,” Grimes said Tuesday after practice, one during which he came up with an interception. “Come out here and work every day, try to get better at something every day, don’t take any days off and just go out there and play the game and have fun with it. That’s how I approach every season.”

No doubt, Grimes is going to have a difficult time duplicating his exploits of 2013 when he finished tied for the team lead with four interceptions, including a key pick in the end zone in the Week 2 victory at Indianapolis and a pick-six in the Halloween night overtime victory against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sun Life Stadium.

Grimes’ efforts landed him at number 95 on the NFL Network Top 100, as he joined tight end Charles Clay and defensive end Cameron Wake as Dolphins players making the list.

“I never get real into things like that, but it’s cool to be recognized,” Grimes said. “Wish I was higher, but it what it is. But it’s cool to just even be recognized at all. So I take it as a positive.

“Everybody wants to get recognized in what they do and do it well, but the people that matter know how well I play. The people on this team, organization, my family, they know I can play this game very well. It’ll come. All I can do is just play the game and do what I do and just play well and see what happens.”

Make no mistake, Grimes’ teammates appreciate his gifts. They recognize his tremendous athletic ability, one that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White called the best in the league.

“His athletic ability, his body control, his balance is just something like I’ve never seen,” Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline said while laughing in astonishment. “He’s a purist. He’s kind of a hands-off corner, but he’s always on the ball, he’s always making plays. Lot of respect for him.”

Cornerback Jamar Taylor, for his part, called Grimes “a freak athlete.”

But there’s more to Grimes that just pure athleticism. There’s also the knowledge that comes with having played seven NFL seasons.

“Brent Grimes is just one of those gifted athletes, the way he moves, his instincts and just his fast-twitch muscles,” said second-year cornerback Will Davis. “It’s just something that not a lot of people are blessed with. At the same time, he’s been in the game years and years, been a Pro Bowler, so he’s seen a lot of the routes, seen a lot of the athletes, seen a lot of the guys coming out as wide receivers.

“It’s just one of those things, I even hope as far as when it gets down to that time, I’ve seen about everything so I can be right there with Brent Grimes. Definitely when I’m done playing the game and one of those stories, just to say I started my career playing across from Brent Grimes would be an amazing story to tell. He’s that man.”

Beyond the obvious athletic ability, the other thing that has stood out about Grimes during his time with the Dolphins is the ever-present smile.

It’s pretty much always there and it’s also genuine.

“I think what you really like about Brent from my seat is the way he comes out here and practices hard every single day,” Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “He likes football. He likes the game. He likes to compete.”

On Friday night, Grimes will get the chance to compete at the stadium he called home for six seasons, the Georgia Dome.

Grimes admits it will be a strange feeling facing his former team, a team that very well might still employ him if not for that torn Achilles tendon — not that the Dolphins ever would complain.

“It’s going to be different being in the visiting locker room,” Grimes said. “I played a lot of games in the Georgia Dome; it’s a great place. It should be interesting. It’ll be a little funny going out there not playing for the Falcons, but once the ball is kicked off it just turns into a regular football game.”

Based on the way things always have been done, Grimes isn’t likely to be in the game very long Friday night. It’s during the regular season when the Dolphins will need Grimes to do his thing.

Said Hartline: “He’s just a playmaker. He’s just a playmaker.”

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