Written by Matthew Cannata at 6:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
We all know the Miami Dolphins teams that have found success, only to fail to grab onto it and ride it throughout the season. We’ve seen the collapses and we’ve felt the heartache. Is this year’s team different though? Joe Philbin isn’t quite sure yet which way the team will go.
“It’s a good question. It’s one we’ve got to answer. I like the way the guys go out and compete. I really have said that since the preseason. I like the way they went out and played the Atlanta game even though we lost that game. I still feel that way. I think we’re playing better. As I told the staff, we’re a better team today than we were October 1st, than we were in September. The challenge every week is to find ways to improve and get better. I said to the staff, we can’t anticipate we’re going to shut out our next eight opponents. That’s not real life in the National Football League. It’s hard to average 37 points a game in the NFL over an eight-game stretch. We’re going to have to find new ways to win and just keep improving and keep getting better. It’s a good group.”
One of the reasons for the success of the team has been the defensive line. The line, which has accumulated over 20 sacks so far this season, is able to get pressure on the quarterback by themselves, which allows the other players on defense to worry about coverages and doing their own job. Kevin Coyle says that this is the best defensive line he’s had since he’s been here in Miami.
“I think we’ve got quality players. I think Kacey (Rodgers) does a phenomenal job, with Charlie Bullen assisting Kacey Rodgers. I think they are as well coached as anybody in the league. I can say that for our entire defense. Every level of our defense is playing well. I think the linebackers, play has improved. I think you see that in that multitude in the guys that have been able to step in games and us to function very effectively at the linebacker spot, with a lot of new faces at times and guys coming back off of injury. Then the guys in the back end, the veteran presence we have of guys that have been there before, they’re playing together as a unit right now, probably as good as we’ve played since we’ve been here in three years.”
The Dolphins have been gaining quite a bit of national media attention over the past few days and the more they win, the more attention will come their way. Can they handle it? Only time will tell.