Another low point for Hightower

Another low point for Hightower
December 15, 2013, 11:30 pm
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MIAMI GARDENS – For two months, Donta Hightower’s play has been under the microscope.
A second-year player who’s simply too big to do what he’s being asked to do, Hightower has tried (with mixed results) to take over defensive signal-calling while filling the shoes of Pro Bowler Jerod Mayo and playing behind a defensive line decimated by injury. Sometimes he’s looked passive. Sometimes he’s looked disinterested. For the last two months, he never really looked GOOD.
On Sunday, though, Hightower was actually in the process of playing a little better. For the second game in a row, the former first-round pick was playing with some agitation.
And then came the worst possible play to highlight his shortcomings. On second-and-10 from the Patriots 14 with 1:21 remaining and the Patriots up 20-17, Marcus Thigpen worked out of the Miami backfield toward the left flat.
The 5-9, 195-pound Thigpen  simply beat the lumbering Hightower to the spot then ran past him. The Dolphins expected Hightower to be there but had to adjust when they saw the Patriot wasn’t going to make it.
“It was a play that we designed this week in practice,” said Thigpen. “And the way it was supposed to work, I was supposed to actually go against the linebacker one-on-one, which I did. But it didn’t play out the way we wanted it to.”
Tannehill expected Hightower to be nearer the sideline than Thigpen and to have to work inside with his throw. But Hightower couldn’t get out there.
“It wasn’t how we expected it to play out,” said Tannehill. “(Thigpen) had outside leverage and we expected inside, but he found a way to win. I couldn’t really see (Thigpen) at all behind big (Bryant McKinnie). I trusted him, threw it out there and he made the adjustment and got into the endzone.”
Hightower dressed quickly after the game and left without speaking to media.