Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor: 'I'm looking to take it up a notch'

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has noticed something different about cornerback Jamar Taylor this summer.

Taylor, a former second-round pick, is entering a huge third season and has a heightened sense of urgency.

"I see a real spark in Jamar the way he’s practicing, but just in his overall mental attitude," Coyle explained after Monday’s organized team activities. "He’s confident, he’s determined, he wants to go out and win a job, realizes there is a lot of competition out there within that group. But each and every day he’s performed at a high level. That’s been very encouraging."

Taylor must prove in 2015 that he is capable of being a full-time starter at cornerback. The potential was always there. He was a first-round talent coming out of Boise State three years ago, but health concerns dropped his draft stock. Miami selected Taylor in the second round with the No. 54 overall pick.

Multiple injuries followed, including a shoulder injury at the end of 2014, which forced Taylor to miss 11 games in two seasons. But this year is Taylor’s best opportunity to make a significant impact in Miami.

The Dolphins have one starting job open at cornerback opposite Pro Bowler Brent Grimes, and Taylor is the early favorite working with the first team in organized team activities. Taylor held his own in three starts last season, which helped him earn the first opportunity this year.

"I was definitely blessed to play, and play way more than my rookie year," Taylor said of the 2014 season. "I was excited. But this year I’m looking to take it up a notch. I’m just trying to come out here every day and get better."

It’s early, but Taylor is playing faster and more aggressive in practice. Taylor said there’s not much he hasn’t seen at this point in terms of offenses, schemes and routes.

He must hold off veterans and rookies alike to win the starting cornerback job. Players such as Zack Bowman, Brice McCain, Will Davis and rookie Bobby McCain are all competing for roles and playing time.

"It’s anybody’s job," Coyle said. "Because, at a number of positions, [cornerback] being one of them. ... you can put yourself in position to go into training camp working with a first group or what have you. But a lot of that’s going to be determined when you start playing preseason games and you’re playing out here with pads -- you really get a chance to completely evaluate these guys."