"He’s working at his things that he’s struggling with." — Brian Flores on defensive back Eric Rowe
DAVIE — Brian Flores sees what you see, and he’s not afraid to say so.
Veteran cornerback Eric Rowe has allowed too many completions. He needs to be better.
And defensive end Charles Harris has not made enough plays. He needs to be better.
There aren’t too many ways Flores and his coaching staff can turn. Who would replace Rowe at cornerback? Ken Webster? Johnson Bademosi?
Perhaps. But Rowe, who is the 103rd-ranked cornerback in the NFL by Pro Football Focus through four games, has the pedigree to be a much better player.
“His communication is good,” Flores said of Rowe on Wednesday. “His tackling for the most part has been good. He’s got to do a better job just consistently, more consistent from a coverage standpoint. And that’s technique at the line of scrimmage. At the top of the route. There’s a few different areas there. And I think he knows that. And I think he’ll improve and get better.”
Harris is 14th on the Dolphins with eight tackles. Harris has one tackle for loss, two quarterback hits and as many sacks, zero, as Miami has wins.
“He can always be better,” Flores said. “And at the end of the day there have been a couple of plays here or there and it’s not just Charles but it’s across the board that we could make that we didn’t. That I feel like we can make. And the goal is to make those plays. And I think he understands that. And we all understand that. Every play counts.”
Harris, a first-round pick, has three sacks in 31 career games. Harris has lost some reps to Taco Charlton, the former first-rounder signed from the Cowboys.
Because the team is so desperate for a pass-rusher, Harris seems likely to get a few more chances. Flores did say Harris, PFF’s 72nd-ranked edge rusher, is doing some things right.
“I think when you talk about production, I think people think sacks and interceptions and tackles,” Flores said. “I think Charles has been in the right spots. Like everybody else he’s had some tough plays as well. Are you in the right place? Are you setting the edge where we want you to set the edge? Are you penetrating where we want you to penetrate? In those ways he’s done a lot of good things.”
Quarterbacks facing the Dolphins have a passer rating of 137.6, best in the NFL. By contrast, the league-league Patriots are 44.0.
Flores said all of Rowe’s woes aren’t on Rowe.
“There are some other things going on there, too,” Flores said. “We have to rush the passer a little bit better. We have to have a little bit better disguise. A little bit better communication. There are 11 guys out there. But Eric is a professional. He’s working at his things that he’s struggling with.”To sign up for a free Dolphins newsletter, click here.