Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:15 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins secondary in 2013 was one of the best in the league on paper, although they would give up big plays at various times throughout the game. This year, the team brought in a few new players – primarily Cortland Finnegan and Louis Delmas – and the results have paid off so far seven games into the season.
Earlier this week, Delmas was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his interception and touchdown return against the Jacksonville Jaguars along with his 8 tackles and 1 sack.
“Louis has done a phenomenal job. We are just so pleased to have him. He brings a lot of energy, toughness,” Kevin Coyle said. “He’s a playmaker, which has been evident here. He is (AFC Defensive) Player of the Week. We just found out a day ago. Louis, I think has a bright future and we are very fortunate to have him. We just love his attitude and his energy and what he brings to the team. His dancing is excellent as well, as you saw in the touchdown dance that he had the other day.”
Joe Philbin said that Delmas is playing good football, tackling well, is a good communicator and has a good command of the defense. Philbin is looking forward to more production from Delmas as the season goes on and is confident in his abilities.
Another player who has made an impact for the second consecutive year is Brent Grimes, who had a pick-six against the Jaguars.
“Any time you can do something like that, that doesn’t happen often when a defense scores two touchdowns. It helped our team win, so that was great. I noticed we do get a lot of yards after we get the ball, so that’s good. If you get a pick in the right situation, a lot of times, a lot of the faster guys on our team is down the field and you can just make a couple of miss and you’ll get a lot of yards.”
Grimes isn’t placing any more importance on this game compared to the others, saying that they’re a good team, have won a lot of games, have a lot of weapons and have a great quarterback. That’s why they’re focused solely on the Chargers and not everything else that’s going on in the standings and the rest of the NFL.
Reshad Jones, who came back in the Packers game after serving a four-game suspension, said that the secondary is very athletic and they feed off each other by being competitive not only in games, but in practice as well.
“I think we’ve got the ball rolling in the right direction. We just want to keep it going. Any time we’re creating turnovers and giving our offense another chance to go out and put points on the board is always huge. We’ve got some veteran guys on the outside. I think we have some of the best corners in the league. Me and Lou (Louis Delmas), I think we’re doing a good job. We’ve got the ball rolling in the right direction. We’ve just got to keep it going. I think all of us want go out and makes plays, do whatever it takes to help this team win.”
Kevin Coyle added that Jones is playing well and has been doing that for the three years they’ve been together. Coyle singled out his great tackling and his presence on the field and his command of the defense. Coyle, who mixes Jones and Delmas throughout the game by switching their positions, says that the reason for that is because they’re so athletic and can handle both easily.
“It helps a lot because you are not trying to say, ‘OK, we only have one guy that can match up on a tight end, or this one guy is a good blitzer.’ Louis (Delmas) and Reshad (Jones) are both excellent bltizers. They have good coverage skills. They can run with the tight ends. They can run with wide receivers if they have to. They are very versatile. You can utilize them. You can still role play to a degree, but then the next week you can completely change it, and a team that is trying to get a beat on you doing one thing with one guy, now all the sudden it’s the other guy doing it. So what they’ve been trying to prepare and look at for the last few weeks changes. It’s a good situation for us.”
“I think it’s to our advantage that we can begin games with certain personnel groups. Often times how we begin games is predicated on how they are beginning the game. Although with some of the groupings that we have do have, it doesn’t really matter and that is a comforting thing to me in that I know I can put a group out there regardless of who they are going to bring out on the field and then make a call that I know we are going to be OK in to start a ballgame. That’s a positive for us and we’ve done that a few times this year.”
The secondary has done a solid job overall this season and will look to continue their performance on Sunday against the dangerous Chargers offense.