Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
After struggling majorly to play middle linebacker last season, Dannell Ellerbe is finally back where he's most comfortable. On the outside.
“It’s different,” Ellerbe said. “When you’re playing mike (middle) you’re playing inside out and when you’re playing will (outside) you’re more likely outside in, so I was still, in my mind, not trying to let them beat me to the outside because I was used to keeping things inside of me. It was just a transition that I had to get used to.”
It was apparent to most fans that Ellerbe was struggling to play the position he hadn't actually played since college, despite being brought in before the Ravens could sign him to be the heir apparent to future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis. While Ellerbe managed to accumulate 101 combined tackles, he struggled in coverage and at times he seemed to make mistakes that left a lot of fans wishing the Dolphins hadn't jettisoned veterans Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. But now with Koa Misi taking over the MLB spot, Ellerbe is free to go back to where he can thrive.
“Its going great,” Ellerbe said. “I'm back home, doing what I’ve been doing the whole time I’ve been in the league before I got here. I’m comfortable at that position… I feel like I did good at the middle, and I was going to be better this year, but now I’m back at home and I feel more comfortable.”
Now that he's back where he belongs, Ellerbe stands to majorly improve and hopefully that will help the LB unit as a whole be much better and will allow the safeties like Reshad Jones to play more to their strengths, and ultimately bolster the defense and turn them into an elite unit.