Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:15 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins defense started off the season on a positive note, limiting the New England Patriots to 2- points in the season opener. However, two weeks of misery soon followed with losses to the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. Since then though, they've been one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL and Koa Misi believes it has to do with the coaching staff and players getting on the same page.
“I think it’s been great. I heard something about the past, but since I’ve been here, the coaches have been great with players, with each other, especially Coach Coyle and the defense. Guys have a lot of respect for him. Just having a coach like him, and all of our position coaches, they all work great together. They make it a lot easier for us.”
Misi, who transitioned to middle linebacker, admits that the transition can always be better but thinks that he's done an OK job so far and has graded out well in all of the games. Misi wants to keep building off what he's learned so far and just keep moving forward.
Another player who's been a key to the defense's recent success is Cameron Wake and he spoke about what the key was to the Dolphins pass defense this season.
“I think it’s playing together. When I say that, I mean, when you think about the guys and the coverage and guys in the rush, you have to play as a unit. We have guys who are amazing coverage guys in the back end who give us that extra half second to get to our destination. We’ve got quarterbacks pumping the ball maybe one time more or a half second more than they planned on holding it and it gives that extra time and vice versa. When you’ve got guys up front like O.V. (Olivier Vernon), like Dion (Jordan), like (Derrick) Shelby, (Randy) Starks, (Jared) Odrick, who are getting after the quarterback, that quarterback, maybe he has to throw the ball a little bit sooner or maybe couldn’t step all the way into it or whatever the situation may be and those guys in the back end capitalize on that. So playing together, having that confidence in one another where I know, hey, (Brent) Grimes and Reshad (Jones) and (Cortland) Finnegan back there, they’re going to give me an extra second and vice versa. They know, hey, we’re going to get to that quarterback and he’s going to throw you guys some balls.”
Wake, who is 32 years old, doesn't seem to be declining and hasn't lost a step. He credits that to his great work ethic, good diet habits and so much more.
“Well, as I’m knocking on wood, I mean hopefully it’s partially a blessing. But as far as the things that I control, staying out of football a while, I probably don’t have as much mileage on these wheels as some other guys and doing whatever you can. I tell people all the time, the hardest thing in football is recovering. We go out and we play a game where you literally beat your body down and beat it to a pulp and you’ve got seven days, six days really to completely recover, rest and fix all the bumps and bruises and get back to tip-top shape by Sunday morning. So I do whatever I can between games to recover, rest, nutrition, eating right, putting the right things in my body and just taking care of my machine. It’s my vessel. This is how I make my living so I have to treat it like gold and that’s what it is. So aside from the blessing that’s probably what it is for the most part.”
Misi and Wake will be two key players to watch today as the Dolphins take on the Lions and they'll be an essential part of the game-plan in an effort to stop the dangerous Lions offense.