When the New Orleans Saints take on the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football this week, Drew Brees and Co. will face one of their stiffest tests yet against an outstanding Dolphins defense led by a name that should be familiar to Saints fans everywhere.
Grimes spent most of his career with the Atlanta Falcons and was one of the best corners in the NFL before going down with a serious injury last year. Before succumbing to injury, Grimes repeatedly had his way with the Saints, as ESPN’s Mike Triplett elaborates:
Grimes had two interceptions against Saints quarterback Drew Brees during his prime years with the Falcons from 2008-2011, among several other pass-breakups. But then his career hit a hurdle when he tore his Achilles in the 2012 season opener.
Grimes has made an impressive recovery since signing a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Dolphins in free agency. He has an interception and five pass-breakups this season.
The Dolphins have five interceptions — something Brees mentioned immediately when asked what stands out about Miami’s defense.
Saints head coach Sean Payton had plenty of praise for Grimes earlier this week leading up to the encounter:
“He is a tremendous athlete, and the two things that stand out (are) his ability to elevate and jump,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Grimes, who did just that when he intercepted a pass in front of Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne in the end zone in Week 2 to help preserve a victory in the fourth quarter.
“He is explosive and has outstanding hands on the ball,” Payton continued. “He is a player that I know studies a lot of film. And when you watch him now this season, you see all the things you saw on a yearly basis twice during the year versus Atlanta. He is a great talented corner and very explosive.”
Against a player like Grimes, who appears to be back to 100 percent, Brees and his receivers will have to avoid him at all costs. That’s especially a tough task now that it sounds like receiver Lance Moore will miss the game.
Brees still has plenty of weapons to throw to, but he better know where Grimes is at on the field at all times. Grimes has gotten the best of Brees in the past and vice versa, but it wouldn’t be a good idea for Brees to push the issue on national television. In fact, Brees versus Grimes may be the matchup to watch come Monday.
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