STATUS REPORT: Patrick Surtain

As the Dolphins prepare for the 2004 NFL draft, we continue to take a look back at the past season and examine every player's performance. Today we look at cornerback Patrick Surtain.

Coming into the 2003 season:

Coming off his first Pro Bowl selection, Surtain was looking to continue establishing himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.

His performance in 2003:

Surtain again was one of the Dolphins' top players as he led the team with seven interceptions and earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl invitation. A knee problem slowed him down somewhat at the start of the season and he seemed to get beat more often than usual in the first few games. But Surtain quickly regained his form and his performance in October was good enough to earn him AFC Defensive Player of the Month honors. He continued that strong work through the rest of the season.

His future with the team:

Surtain is one of the cornerstones of the Dolphins defense and the team was looking him to sign him to a contract extension. While he might not have the flash of a Charles Woodson or Champ Bailey, Surtain is as good any corner in the league. Rest assured the Dolphins will hang on to him for quite a while. The plan for Surtain next season calls for him to slide inside in nickel situations to cover the slot the way he did before last season. He will line up on the left side in the base defense, although the Dolphins should continue to think about just sticking him on the opponent's best receiver every game.

Grade for 2003: A-.

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