Dan Campbell: Dolphins rookies Jordan Phillips, Bobby McCain remain starters

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell said defensive rookies Bobby McCain and Jordan Phillips did enough in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens to likely warrant keeping their starting jobs going forward. Both first-year players made an impact in Miami's 15-13 victory over Baltimore.

Phillips, who replaced injured defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, had four tackles and a tipped pass that led to a key interception by safety Reshad Jones in his first career start. Phillips also had a fourth-down stop at the goal line in the first half that prevented Baltimore from scoring a touchdown.

It remains to be seen if Mitchell is healthy enough to return from his calf injury this upcoming week. But Campbell confirmed Phillips has the inside track.

“I would say yeah, I don’t see why not,” Campbell of Phillips keeping the starting job. “Now, there again, he’s gotta continue to produce in that role. Earl will come back, and we all know what Earl is when he’s healthy. Nobody gives more effort than Earl does, and he can be disruptive as well. I would say it’s a good problem to have, and certainly having Earl back will give us a nice rotation.”

Campbell also confirmed McCain will remain the starting cornerback opposite Pro Bowler Brent Grimes.

The Dolphins have struggled at that position with veterans Jamar Taylor and Brice McCain. Bobby McCain is the third starting cornerback Miami has had this season. He finished with seven tackles and one pass defense against Baltimore in his second career start.

"The kid, all he's getting is game experience and he will be better for it," Campbell said of Bobby McCain. "He competed. He never got frustrated. ... He kept hanging in there."

Here are some additional notes from Monday:

  • The Dolphins gave game balls to the offensive line and run-blocking tight end Dion Sims for their performance against Baltimore. Miami ran the ball 26 times for 137 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry against a Ravens defense that was ranked eighth in the NFL entering the weekend.

  • Backup defensive tackle Robert Thomas dislocated his elbow and is expected to be out for the remainder of the season, according to Campbell. Thomas had one tackle in limited time against Baltimore.