When the Miami Dolphins faced off against the New England Patriots in the first week of the season, they did so without having to face Brandon Browner due to the fact that he was suspended for the first four games. Now, he’s back and not only will the Dolphins have to go up against Darelle Revis, but they’ll have to deal with him on the other side as well.
“I think this is obviously a well-coached defense. They play a lot of man-to-man coverage and he’s a great fit in that scheme,” Joe Philbin said. “He’s got outstanding length, he can re-route players at the line of scrimmage. You better have a plan when you’re going up against this guy. He’s one of the better cover guys that we’ve faced. He’s been a nice addition to their ball club.”
One of the unique things about the Patriots is that they primarily play man-to-man defense throughout the vast majority of the game, leaving their cornerbacks isolated. However, they do so because their corners are just that good and can handle all of the pressure.
“Everybody is different. There have been other teams we’ve played where they’ve played a considerable amount of man-to-man. I think it is just week-to-week and sometimes game plans change. Teams that maybe their computer going into the game they are heavy, heavy one way, be it zone or man. Teams sometimes change it up in the middle of the game. Certainly, they play it. They are good at it. They have a lot of variations within it. It’s not just simply one man on one man. They have the double-coverage variations, and they have the extra hole players. They do a real nice job with it, as do other teams in the league.”
Cameron Wake recalled the time that he and Brandon Browner worked out for the Dolphins on the same day. He said that they don’t know each other on a personal level but said he has a lot of respect for him based on their time in the CFL and now, here in the NFL. Wake talked about the workout with the Dolphins and how he had no idea what was going to happen to either of them.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been around an NFL workout, but I guess there’s more poker-faced guys, even if they love you, they don’t really give you any inclination either way that they might be leaning, maybe for future deals. But anyway, honestly, I had no idea what direction they were going to go, with him or myself. You’ve just got to be confident that you went out there and you did your best. Obviously, for both of us, it turned out pretty well. Probably all started back then during those days and I think it speaks for both of us – if you look back on those days, those are some of the days that actually made us who we are today. For me, I’m definitely proud of the path that I took and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Besides Browner, they will also have to deal with Darrelle Revis. However, Ryan Tannehill said that he won’t look to avoid him during the game.
“We obviously honor and respect him for the player that he is, but you can’t eliminate a side of the field or anything like that. You have to still see what is happening, make sure (the receiver) is winning. You are not just going to throw one to just throw at him. Obviously, we have to be winning and trust our receiver. Whoever they match him up on is going to have a tough game, but they are going to have to find a way to fight and find a way to get open.”
The fact that the Patriots’ secondary is so strong isn’t a good thing for the Dolphins, especially because Philbin is expecting a shootout on Sunday.
“I think any time you are playing the New England Patriots, I think they are third in the league in scoring maybe, I think you have to prepare yourself to score points as an offense. I think we’ve had different types of games. Most of the games, I think they’ve scored 23, 27, 27, 20 and 20 against us if I’m not mistaken, but that doesn’t mean they are capable of scoring more and we are capable of holding them to less. So it’s hard to predict. It’s fair to say, when a team is third in the league in scoring, you have to be ready to score some points.”
We’ll see which side of the football is better on Sunday and whoever wins those match-ups will likely be the one to come out on top at the end of the game.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs