It’s always good when you can end the season on a high note and that’s exactly what the Miami Dolphins defense is trying to do on Sunday against the New York Jets. More specifically, they are looking to clean up their run defense and inability to stop teams from scoring after failing in these areas over the past several weeks. Cameron Wake said there isn’t one specific place to point to but knows that they will do everything they can to work together.
“The majority of the time that’s not been something that has happened, but we’ve had more self-inflicted wounds probably. Offenses are coming in here and throwing us around. I’ve said before I’ve never seen a running back run through three defensive linemen, over the linebacker and break a 40-yard run. It’s usually a miscommunication or missed tackle something like that in that the defense has done to themselves. We’ve had some instances where that’s happened as well. Obviously, in this league, the best quarterbacks, they are going to take advantage of those misfits and those mistakes. That’s not characteristic of us. It happened in the past few games, and it is something that we are definitely working to reconcile.”
Joe Philbin said that the issue of allowing so many points can be traced back to turnovers. Earlier this season, the Dolphins were producing a lot of them but lately, haven’t been able to get them in key situations.
“One of the things we were doing better earlier in the season was points off of turnovers. We were the best in football originally. That’s fallen off a little bit. We have to do better in the red-zone. We haven’t played as good. Our first two years we were playing outstanding red zone defense. We haven’t played as good in the red zone. Third down, our situational football, I was in the defensive meeting yesterday with Kevin (Coyle) and the defense. Our situational football has to improve starting Sunday, and this is the last (game) we have.”
Like Wake, Jelani Jenkins said that you can’t put it into any one category because there are so many things behind their collapses each week. Jenkins noted that more consistency with everyone playing together will go a long way to solving a lot of problems.
“Sometimes, it’s guys not in the right gaps, sometimes it’s just a missed communication. Some people are playing this and some people are playing that. It’s something that falls a lot on the linebackers. We’ve got to make sure everybody is on the same page. One thing I did notice, is when we’re all lined up and we all know exactly what we’re doing, it’s been hard to run against us. That’s something that we want to focus on, first and foremost.”
With everything just about set for 2015, it will be nice for the Dolphins to put a stamp on the end of Rex Ryan’s career with New York Jets and have his final game as head coach be a loss.
This article was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs