It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins defense has been on a sharp decline over the past several weeks. On Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, they gave up 35 points and 357 yards. Kevin Coyle, whose job status is uncertain after Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, was not happy with the effort that his defense gave throughout the game.
“Disappointed. I hate to keep saying each week, but I know we’re a lot better than what we showed. I think it was very inconsistent. I think we made some plays that impacted the game in a positive way on the bright-side in some of the sacks that we had, especially there at the end of the game getting the ball back. (Derrick) Shelby’s interception was a big play as they were moving the ball to get the ball back again, but there were way too many explosive plays against us, too many errors both in technique and assignment. That comes back to us. As coaches we have to do a better job. I have to do a better job getting them ready to play, and we can’t make mistakes that we made. We’re too good a defensive team to make some of the errors that we make right now.”
The run defense, which is a big reason why the overall defensive play has declined, showed up in spots against the Vikings but also fell apart in other key moments. However, they were able to do a good enough job to force the Vikings to abandon the run midway through the first half.
“At the end of the day I think they had one run there early on that they gained about nine yards. The biggest run of the day was a 27-yard reverse late in the game. If you look at the other 28 carries they had, they averaged 3.4 (yards) for the game. The big run that hurt us to be quite honest with you was the run right before the end of the half where they were basically running the ball with the idea that they were going to punt. We were in an overloaded defense where we kind of lost the ball there and he kind of squirted out and gained 16 yards. It never should have happened, but it did. That’s the one run of all that really upsets me the most in the game.”
They will look to finish off the season with a win against the New York Jets. Questions about Coyle and the future of this defense should then be answered within a few days of the season ending. It will be interesting to see what happens but I expect Coyle to be retained for another season.