Written by Matthew Cannata
When the Dolphins moved Koa Misi to middle linebacker earlier this offseason, it was met with skepticism from media and fans. It was justified because Misi has never played middle linebacker in his life. He came out of Utah as a defensive end and then was moved to outside linebacker when he came to the Dolphins. However, the unfamiliarity of the position hasn’t stopped him from sliding in and transitioning well to all the changes.
“All I saw when I put on the film was a guy who freaking hunts the ball and who’s all over the football field,” new Dolphins linebackers coach Mark Duffner said. “He’s active, he gives a great effort, he’s tough and the physicality that he brings — those are the attributes you like to have in a Mike (middle) linebacker.
Koa Misi explains why the middle linebacker position is so much different than the others.
There’s so much more I have to read playing Mike than I did Sam (strong side),” he said. “It just takes time. I have all the run reads, all the motions, all the receivers. … It’s been difficult. But the more reps I get at it, the better it is every day.”
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle says that Misi is one of the hardest working players he has ever been around in his entire NFL career.
“Koa has a real tremendous competitive nature about him,” Coyle said. “He wants to succeed. He’ll do anything he can to help the team. There’s always been the question of how vocal he can be. But I think if you listen and you watch our entire group right now, we have better communication than we’ve had ever since we’ve been here together, and he’s a big part of that.”