We, along with many others, have beaten the Miami Dolphins run defense to death over the past two weeks but it's a necessary evil as it has become a glaring concern. With the Dolphins set to face strong running attacks over the next few weeks, including on Sunday against Justin Forsett and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens offense.
“I think it’s everybody," Joe Philbin said. "I wouldn’t even put on the D-Line (defensive line), I think it’s everybody. If you look at Chris Johnson, that’s a 47-yard run. You could have had D-linemen miss the tackle, linebackers missed it, DB’s (defensive backs) missed it. I wouldn’t put it to one player or one position. We certainly missed some tackles, but I don’t want to say that our fundamentals have gone to you know what. But obviously we want to be a team that executes the fundamental on a consistent basis. There are fundamental things offensively that we have to do better as well. It’s something we work on all of the time. Even though we’re coaching scheme and coaching the game plan, when the guys get into the room with their coaches, they’re coaching technique every single play"
Jared Odrick said that they have numerous concerns each week and the run defense is just one of them. However, he expressed confidence in the fact that they had the people, players coaches and plays to stop the run.
Leading up to the game against the Ravens this week, Philbin said they didn't alter the practice schedule to specifically address the run defense. He said they practiced as they normally would in a week but also said it had to be that way due to the short week and the fact they played on Monday night.
When asked if the rules on the amount of full contact practice had an impact on tackling, Philbin said that he didn't think that was the case.
“I don’t think so really. I don’t know. I just think we’ve got to do a better job. There are some pictures of sometimes we dropped our head in the tackling, sometimes we didn’t wrap up, sometimes we dove when we didn’t have to. I don’t think that it’s really associated with the practice.”
Jelani Jenkins said that the defense prides itself on stopping the run first and foremost, noting that it starts with the linebackers so they need to do a better job. Cameron Wake said that it falls on everyone on the defensive side of the ball.
“I think it’s more self-inflicted things that we did to ourselves than anything. We watch the film and there was a lot of missed tackles, things that obviously are uncharacteristic of us and we’ve shown that we can do that. Moving forward, that’s what we, as professionals, have to do. We have to fix that, whether it’s the linebacker, D-line (defensive line), whoever it is, whatever your thing is, you fix that and you move forward. Obviously, this week will be another week to show up and prove that, hey, this is something that we definitely have to take care of in order to win and we’re looking forward to doing that.”
The Dolphins will need to get better quickly and Philbin said he's not opposed to changing the snap allocation on defense to make it happen. We'll see on Sunday what changes the Dolphins made and whether or not it has a positive impact.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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