Clemons Looks to Climb

Even with a couple of recent hiccups, Dolphins free safety Chris Clemons has still been a marked upgrade on the man he replaced, overpriced veteran Gibril Wilson, now on injured reserve with the Bengals, Sunday's opponent.

Clemons also has made the Dolphins feel better about losing out on free-agent bids for established safeties Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark, who signed with the Giants and Steelers, respectively.

Through the first four games, the Dolphins had allowed just two passes of 25 or more yards: Braylon Edwards' 67-yard touchdown catch-and-run past Jason Allen and Roscoe Parrish's 31-yard touchdown grab behind Tyrone Culver and Benny Sapp in the opener at Buffalo.

The last two weeks, however, the Dolphins have allowed six such pass plays, and Clemons puts some of the blame on himself.

"I would be hesitant a couple times," he says. "You can't make that play being hesitant. I know that."

Rather than going into a shell, Clemons plans to become even more aggressive, per coach Tony Sparano's advice.

"When I see the play, when I see an opportunity, I've got to start shooting," Clemons says. "Whenever I see something that I've seen so much on film, I've got to take it. Just got to trust in the tape and take more chances."

Clemons, eight starts into his NFL career, is still looking for the first pass defensed or interception.


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