Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dolphins sign cornerback Bryan McCann

The Miami Dolphins have signed five-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger award-winner Brian McCann, formerly of the Atlanta Braves.

Actually, they've signed free agent cornerback and return specialist Bryan McCann (note the Y in Bryan), formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders.

To make room room for McCann, the Dolphins waived fellow cornerback De'Andre Presley. An undrafted rookie and converted college quarterback, Presley was signed off the practice squad on Oct. 3 and appeared in four games on special teams.

The Dolphins are now 4-4 on the season after a loss to the Colts in Week 9 halted a three-game winning streak. They'll return home to face the Tennessee Titans in Week 10.


Background

An Oklahoma City native, McCann played college football at Southern Methodist, where he was a Freshman All-Conference USA pick in 2006. Over the following three seasons, McCann played cornerback, safety and returned punts, finishing his collegiate career with 10 interceptions.

After going undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, McCann (5-11, 185) spent training camp with the Dallas Cowboys only to be waived during final cuts. He was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Ravens and spent the season opener inactive before being waived again.

McCann was re-signed to the Cowboys' practice squad on Sept. 16 and was promoted to the active roster in early November. In just his second NFL game, McCann intercepted an Eli Manning pass and returned it a Cowboys-record 101 yards for a touchdown. The following game, McCann returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown. He finished the season with 15 tackles, a pass deflection and an interception in nine games.

After making the Cowboys' 2011 roster, McCann appeared in two games before being waived to make room for wide receiver Laurent Robinson. He was later re-signed to the Ravens' active roster, appearing in three games and recording one tackle before being waived again.

Later in the 2011 season, McCann was signed by the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 17. He appeared in seven games and recorded three tackles while returning 13 kickoffs for an average of 27.8 yards. The Raiders waived McCann during final cuts in 2012.

Ineligible for the practice squad due to the nine games he played in as a rookie, McCann worked out for the Kansas City Chiefs in September and the Cowboys in October, but he was not signed on either occasion.


Analysis

While fans are looking for answers after the Dolphins allowed an NFL rookie record 433 passing yards to Andrew Luck on Sunday, including numerous third-and-longs, McCann's signing is unlikely to be the remedy.

Presley was not one of Sunday's culprits as he did not register a defensive snap against the Colts, while McCann is hardly an established cornerback himself with just 36 defensive snaps played in 2011 between the Cowboys and Raiders.

McCann is a worthwhile prospect with great speed and athleticism, and the fact that he was on the streets up until today is a bit misleading because he has the misfortune of being permanently ineligible for the practice squad due to game experience.

That being said, he's more likely to compete with Marcus Thigpen for return duties than he is to compete for a significant role in the secondary, even if Richard Marshall (back) remains out of the lineup.

Like it or not, we're probably looking at a continued secondary of starters Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll, accompanied by backups Jimmy Wilson and R. J. Stanford.