Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It’s hard to blame Joe Philbin about being upset in regards to missed and sloppy tackling. After all, it’s one of the first things you learn in youth football and when professionals making millions and millions of dollars fail to do it the right way, it becomes increasingly frustrating. While the tackling was improved from last week, there were still several missed tackles in big spots.
“I don’t think our tackling was very good in the first half, especially in the secondary,” Philbin said. “We had some opportunities there to tackle guys and get them to the ground and we didn’t. I thought we’d tackle better.”
“I thought we came out in the second half and played good defensive football,” continued Philbin. “They got in the end zone twice, once with 15 seconds left and then offensively we set them up at, what, the 30-yard line? We gave them the football in great field position and they took advantage of it to their credit. But they also almost got in there another time in the second quarter.”
When he said secondary, he was probably referring to Jimmy Wilson, who dove at Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans only to find himself bouncing off. Evans raced further downfield until Brent Grimes stripped him of the ball at the one-yard line. Since the ball went into the endzone, it was ruled a touchback and Dolphins ball.
However, Koa Misi disagrees with the overall assessment that Philbin gave.
“Guys are making plays, guys are making tackles that they had to. We had a couple of missed tackles, but overall I think it was a lot better,” he said.
Tackling will probably be the focus of practice again this coming week. It’s good that Philbin isn’t settling for just an improved performance and it’s good that he’s demanding the best out of his defense. If he wasn’t, the team would be in danger of slipping back to what they were last year in terms of missing tackles all over the field.