Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:20 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Chargers. Lions. Bills. Broncos. Those are the next four opponents for the Miami Dolphins and none of them will be easy. That’s why it’s so important that the team starts hitting on all strides and they got past the first step on Sunday by winning their second consecutive game.
“In the locker room in Chicago, I said, ‘It’s time for us to get on a roll,” Joe Philbin said. “We have to start stringing some things together and start playing the way we are capable of as a team for 60 minutes week-in and week-out.’ That’s really the measure of excellent football teams in this league are the ones that can do it on a consistent basis. It’s important, and it’s important that we continue that trend this Sunday against this San Diego team.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Kevin Coyle said the team has already formed its identity. Mainly, that’s pressuring the quarterback every play during every game. Coyle is proud of the fact that the defensive line is so good, that they rarely have to use others to blitz the quarterback to get pressure.
“I think we’ve got a confident group. We know that up front we can be very, very good. We can continue to pressure quarterbacks. We have I think developed more depth than what we’ve had in the past at a number of spots. I think we’ve got a secondary that is priding themselves on not giving up big plays and coming up with big plays. In the last few weeks, we’re starting to see more of that. It’s an aggressive, confident group that I think can continue to get better and better as the season goes on. We know that when we play well we’re tough to move the ball against. When we have errors, whether it be mental or physical errors, we slip and allow people to get first downs or hold onto the football. If we can become a more consistent defense, we’ll be right where we want to be.”
On offense, Bill Lazor is looking to establish consistency on a weekly basis and understands that they need to get on the same page as soon as possible if they want to keep up with the teams they are facing over the next four weeks and then afterwards as they head into the home stretch of the season.
“I think our mindset is about where we want it to be. We just have to follow through with how we act. What I mean is, when we talk as an offense about what we want our mindset to be, about being aggressive, about guys cutting it loose and making plays, I don’t think there is a guy that isn’t on board. I thought we had really good walkthroughs last week. Guys were into it mentally. They were on top of the game plan. All of us, coaches, players, have got to find a way to carry that through. It sounds easy, but then you remember they are professionals trying to do the same to us. Sometimes they get into the way, but I feel confident that guys are all onboard and everyone is excited to go forward. Let’s face it, it’s a long season, and you have to be willing to put in the work. The mindset is easy on game day morning. But it’s Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, that’s where all of us have to grind it out, that’s where you earn your victories.”
It’s no secret that the defense is the heart and soul of this team and Coyle is confident that his guys can neutralize the teams they are playing over the next several weeks.
“I think we’ve got a corps of players that can step up and make plays and it starts with the guys up front, followed by the linebackers and the guys in the back end and proving that they can make plays and impact games. I feel real good about that. The challenges, they get bigger each and every week and the games become more important as we get here in the middle of the season and beyond. I’m confident that there is nobody that we face that we face that we don’t feel we can go out and if we execute, we’ll have an opportunity to win.”