In preparation for the 2015 season, the Miami Dolphins coaching staff has worked to make changes after reviewing everything that happened throughout the course of last season. Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle is confident that they have done everything they can thus far to fix their issues.
"We didn't execute. There's not one single thing. I'd like to be able to tell you, ‘Hey, it was one thing and we got that fixed, whether it be schematically or personnel wise or what have you.' If you really study each and every game - and I can't tell you how many times we have right from the very last game of the season - there was a break down here. There were situations where we didn't do well obviously on defense. There were game situations that got created as the game went on that might have led to some of the failures as the game progressed as a team - total team stuff as well as us on defense. So there's a number of things.”
If one wants to survive in the NFL, you must have a short memory. With someone experienced as Coyle, who has coached for over a decade in the league, you would think that he would get that message, especially at the end of 2014 when so much fell on the defense. However, he admitted that it really took a toll on him and it was hard for him to shake off the negative feelings.
"I have to be honest with you, at the end of the season this year I dwelled on it for a long time. I was very disappointed in the way that we finished. I really wanted us as a staff to take a step back, be as objective as we could be looking at what we've done over a three-year period, but particularly analyze the end of the season with a fine-tooth comb, each and every game went through it play by play, exactly what happened, how we could have called the game better myself, how we could have made adjustments better - personnel wise, whatever it was. We've documented everything that went on along the way, and that's why when I mentioned earlier it is not one thing.”
After reviewing the film, players and everything they ran during the 2014 season, Coyle realized that he needs to shake things up in practice this season. That means making players feel uncomfortable during the week so it becomes second nature for them during the game.
“One axiom I learned a long time ago in coaching is coaching is eliminating mistakes before they happen. That is what we have to do a better job this year. We don't have to come in on Monday and say ‘OK, we made this mistake, we aligned wrong, we didn't stunt correctly, we didn't make the right adjustment.' We have to be able to put them in situations where they are maybe uncomfortable in practice. Things that we may not have talked about in terms of showing them on the board, but gave them rules to cover the adjustment to be made. Fortunately for us, the way our offense is, we are not preparing to play these guys and yet each day we have to come out and line up against formations that are varying each and every snap. That helps us. Really when we got into preseason last year it was really like a breath of fresh air to get to play another team because they lined up and our guys could line up and it was like the teach periods we do out here where no one is moving around and you are just trying to get set. So I think that is something important that we have to get our guys to that point where they can make the adjustments and come off the field and say why they did it, how they did it and we can go live another down and get through the game."
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs