METAIRIE, La. -- Cornerback Brent Grimes is new to the Miami Dolphins -- a key offseason addition who has helped the Dolphins to their 3-0 start. But he’s a familiar foe to the New Orleans Saints. Grimes was an annual nemesis for them when he played for the division rival Atlanta Falcons from 2007-2012, including a Pro Bowl season in 2010.
“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.”
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.
“I think that they are very opportunistic,” Brees said. “They’ve done a great job all year long of getting pressure on the quarterback and taking the ball away. When you think about what’s going to be the most important stat in this game, as it is in most games, is that turnover ratio.”