Written by Matthew Cannata at 2:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Some quarterbacks thrive when being blitzed and some go into a shell and melt down. If they’re good at it or if they’re just average, you then face the danger of exposing your coverage and possibly allowing a big play to happen. That’s why it’s important each week to figure out how you’re going to attack each specific quarterback. On Sunday, the Dolphins have a plan for Phillip Rivers and explained it a bit without giving away too much.
“That’s the dilemma, we’ve been sitting around South Florida trying to figure out, the best way to handle it. I think when you play a quarterback as good as Philip Rivers, it really gets down to playing good, fundamental defense. You know he’s going to complete some passes. You’re going to have to tackle really, really well. You’re going to have to be disciplined in your rush lanes, not that he’s the world’s greatest scrambler, but he’s so aware in the pocket, any weakness you present to him, he’ll take advantage. I don’t know if there is one sure way. I think it just goes back to playing fundamentally good, solid defense. We’re going to have to have tight coverage. We’re going to have to have good pass rush lanes. Some guys are going to have to win some one-on-ones.”
The Dolphins have faced a wide variety of quarterbacks this year – mobile, pocket passers, running quarterbacks and more. How does Rivers fit in to these categories? Philbin said he fits into all of them.
“He’s really playing well. He’s got a ton of experience, a ton of production over a long period of time. He’s very accurate. One of the things I think that makes him really unique is he kind of has that extra sense of where something bad might be happening and kind of slip-and-slide away from it. I know he’s not a huge scrambler, but if you are not disciplined in your pass rush lanes, he’ll take advantage of everything. So I think he’s a guy if you make mistakes and you are not sound, he’ll make you pay for it. He’s really having a heck of a year.”
Philbin did hint though that the defensive line will be responsible for the vast majority of the pass rush on Sunday, which would allow the rest of the team to focus on their coverage and limit the big plays.
“We have some good players ourselves. Like you said, defensively, we’ve been able to apply pressure for the most part in most of the games that we’ve played. Sometimes we have a pretty extensive pressure package in our own right. Sometimes we use it and sometimes we don’t. We’ve got some good individual rushers who can put pressure on the quarterback. I think that part of the game shapes up to be a real interesting matchup.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 2:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
We’ve heard from quite a few players this week in regards to the San Diego Chargers and how they plan to approach the game and now, it’s Jared Odrick’s turn to weigh in and give his opinion on the team.
“The Chargers definitely have quite a formidable offense. They have a lot of weapons with the wide receivers. They’ve got a tall wide receiver. They’ve got quick wide receivers, a plethora of running backs. They’ve got four running backs that could start for any team in the NFL. They’ve got a solid offensive line as well. It’s definitely one of the more talent stacked teams, especially at a position like running back and wide receiver.”
Last season, the Dolphins beat the Chargers in Miami, 20-16 and in that game, Odrick had two tackles and one sack. Does he plan to watch last year’s tape to try to emulate the success he and the rest of the team had against them?
“You look at some of the things that you did well against a team and try to expand on those. You look at what other teams did and some of the mistakes that they’ve made. That’s week in and week out, it’s what you do every week. You take things that you did well against them last year and you expand on that and then you take things that other teams would do and try to expand on that. The thing is that week in and week out it’s the same and from year to year it’s the same.”
The Dolphins will have a tough stretch of games coming up but Odrick, like everyone else on the team has said, is focused on the Chargers and isn’t concerned about anything after that.
“Our focus really doesn’t change week to week. The thing is, if there is a way to get more focus, I’m sure we’re finding ways to do that. Our focus doesn’t really change each week. The principles of football and the principles of defense stay each week. It really doesn’t change. You want to simplify the offense that you’re playing and make them one dimensional and attack.”
“I think we approach it that way, in terms of knowing how important these next couple of games are and how good these opponents are. It’s definitely in our vision. It’s something that we think about. But obviously we still take the games one at a time and you focus on one opponent. As soon as you start stretching yourself out and looking at too many things at one time or looking forward or counting things as wins ahead of time, whether it’s for us or anybody in the league that counts win or looks past games that’s when you put yourself in a tough position.”
Odrick, who is in a contract year, will look to pressure Phillip Rivers throughout the entire game, which will allow the rest of the team behind him to do their job and focus on that only. If he and the rest of the defensive line can make that happen, the Dolphins have a good chance of winning this game.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 1:45 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Lamar Miller is in his third year in the NFL and there were many questions about him coming into this year and rightfully so. In his second year and first as a full-time starter, Miller failed to get much of anything going. However, we weren’t sure what the reason was, mainly because of the poor play of the offensive line. Fast forward to now and Lamar Miller has broken out and has elevated the Dolphins’ rushing attack to the next level.
“It’s been good for us. Like I say every week, you just play with what shows up and I’ve had a few opportunities to run and get big plays for us,” Ryan Tannehill said. “But you never know when those opportunities are going to show up. You just have to take advantage of them when they do.”
In the offseason, Miller took yoga classes and he believes it helped him a bit as it helps him stay flexible and healthy throughout the season. In addition, Miller said he did Pilates, which helped his core.
“I feel a little different. I feel like that just comes with taking care of your body and just getting massages and getting in the cold and hot tubs. On the field, I feel like the offensive line has been doing a great job. I feel like once we get the run game going, everything else will fall into place. It will open up the passing game. We’ve just got to do our assignments.”
Some have said that if Miller gets more touches per game, he can be even more explosive but offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said that he doesn’t go in with a plan each week of how many exact touches a player is going to get.
“I don’t know if you know the answer to that until you get to it. We are probably going to have a game with more than 59 or 60 plays to figure that out. Obviously, the last couple of games, we haven’t had as many plays. The number of plays we’ve had isn’t as nearly as a concern to me as the number of touchdown plays we have.”
Through seven games, Miller has rushed for 469 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He’ll look to continue his breakout year against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 1:45 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins offense is truly an enigma because of their struggles the entire season so far during the first half. The thing that makes it so puzzling is the fact that they are one of the best teams in the NFL in the second half – offense included. That’s why the questions still linger as to how the team can start off faster in the first half. Count Ryan Tannehill as one of the guys who is just as puzzled as everyone else.
“No, I don’t have a theory. It just has to be taken care of. We have to come out and play with urgency, play with that fire that we play with in the second half and just not make mistakes. You look at it, it’s not the same guy, it’s not the same group. It might be a bad throw, it might be a missed block, a sack, might be a drop. It’s a collective thing. We’re all in this thing together and it’s going to take all of us playing well to execute.”
“It’s tough when you play good and then you come out and have a first half like we did in Jacksonville. I see the good things this offense can do and the good things that we can do as a team. I’m not letting a bad half of football or a bad game deter us from our goal.”
Against the Chicago Bears, the Dolphins came out firing on all cylinders and put up 14 points on the board in the first half. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars though, the offense couldn’t put together more than 50 yards in the first half.
“It’s frustrating, yeah,” Tannehill said. “The offense as a whole, we played well in Chicago and then didn’t play well. But I don’t think it matter who we played or how we played the week before. You expect to come out and play well every game, every first half. So we didn’t do that and it has to be better.”
Joe Philbin is still trying to figure things out and some have suggested it’s the pre-game routine that needs to be changed. However, Philbin says he doesn’t believe that’s an issue and has no plans to change the way they prepare for a game.
“I would like to start faster, sure. We look at it every week, and we’ve done some things on the practice field. But in terms of how we are preparing for games, I like the way we do it. I watch the film, look at the execution and some of the schemes that we have utilized. I think it is a joint-thing. We have to do a better job. I have to do a better job. We have to do a better job putting the players in a position to be successful. They have to do a better job executing. I don’t think it’s one thing. I’m being serious. If I thought it was a lousy pep-talk, I would give a better pep-talk. If I thought it was a bad pregame warmup, I would do something different. Again, every week is different, and I’ve been in this a long time. I’m not saying I absolutely know because sometimes teams respond differently. I like the way we prepare for a game. I concur we have to do better, but I’m confident we will.”
Let’s hope the Dolphins offense somehow clicks on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers and comes out firing in the first half. If they don’t, the Chargers might put up too many points on the board early, thus putting the game out of reach.
Miami Dolphins Press Release | Posted at 5:30 PM EST
Miami Dolphins rookie kick returner Jarvis Landry has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October, it was announced today by the National Football League.
In the month of October, Landry, the Dolphins second-round pick (63rd overall) in the 2014 NFL draft, returned five kickoffs for 178 yards (35.6), with a long of 54 yards. The 35.6 average kickoff return is second-highest in the NFL in October and is the highest October average in franchise history. On the season, Landry has returned 16 kicks for 500 yards, including a long of 74 yards, for an average of 31.3 yards per kickoff return. The 31.3 yards per kick return currently leads the NFL and his long return of 74 yards is sixth-longest in the NFL.
The honor marks the first Player of the Month for Landry. He is the first Miami special teams player to be honored with the monthly award since kicker Dan Carpenter was recognized for his accomplishments during the month of October in 2010. Landry also becomes the first conference rookie to win the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month since Oakland Raiders kick returner Jacoby Ford received the award following the month of November 2010. He is the second Dolphins rookie to win the honor, joining Carpenter, who received the Special Teams Player of the Month award for his performance during November in 2008.
Since the monthly awards were established in 1986 for Offense and Defensive Player of the Month, this is the 19th time a Dolphins player has earned a AFC monthly honor and just the fifth time since 1993 when Special Teams Player of the Month was added, a Miami special teams player has been recognized. Previous Dolphins AFC Special Teams Player of the Month winners include: kicker Olindo Mare (1999, October), Carpenter (2008, November and 2010, October) and returner Ted Ginn Jr. (2009, November).
Written by Matthew Cannata at 4:30 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Dion Jordan returned from his six game suspension and took the field on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars and played 30 snaps. Jordan wasn’t very effective but that was to be expected as he worked to shake off the rust he has acquired since the last pre-season game. Moving forward though, the coaching staff expects him to get better each week.
“I think he played well for his first opportunity back,” Kevin Coyle said. “He’s only had a week of real work under his belt in terms of his football preparation, actual practicing. There are some areas that he can certainly improve upon. I thought he gave really good effort, I thought he made an impact on special teams as well as on defense, which was real positive. We’re looking forward to having him back and the contributions he can make.”
One pattern that showed up throughout the game was the fact that Jordan played on just about every first down that the Jaguars had. Coyle noted that this was done on purpose because of the intangibles he brought to the table.
“One, he’s gotten bigger and stronger in the offseason since his shoulder has healed up. Secondly, it was the type of game where we had planned on having a pretty good rotation with our front people and the weather also had something to do with it. It was a hot day. I think we were out on the field a lot in the first half and consequently we tried to keep people fresh, roll people through. Everybody’s numbers were a little bit, for some of the guys that were getting really high numbers, their numbers were down. But it was fairly even across the board, so we got a lot guys some good work.”
Last season, Jordan proved to be effective at times covering the tight end and the Dolphins plan to use him in that role moving forward again. Joe Philbin doesn’t think that he has lost a step since last year and is ready to put him in those situations if needed.
“Time will tell a bit more. He’s only had the one game out there. Just watching him in space on some of the special teams stuff that he did and watching him move around, he looks good moving around to me. We’ll see as the season develops.”
Jordan can be a special talent if he puts it all together and we’ll see as the season goes on if he is able to do so. If he does, then the defensive line will become even more dangerous than it already is.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 3:55 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Approaching his 40th start in the NFL on Sunday, Ryan Tannehill has been making steady progress and has at times, looked like a franchise quarterback. However, there have been other times where he looks like he doesn’t truly belong. That inconsistency can be helped by watching film and by learning from others, which is why Dan Marino has gotten personally involved on a one-on-one basis with Tannehill.
“Yeah, Dan’s been great. He’s been around a lot as of recent. I’ve watched tape with him, he’s been in the QB (quarterback) room. He’s a great resource to have around, just his knowledge of the game and obviously the success that he had during his career.”
Watching tape with Marino can only help and Tannehill is appreciative of the time that Marino has spent with him.
“It’s cool. I appreciate, like I said, the knowledge he has of the game. Just little insights that he can point out and just him being around, showing that he cares, it’s nice. He’s always just pointing out little things on tape, whether it’s receivers’ routes or something I’m doing. He’s good at picking up little things and passing them along.”
With a tough stretch of games coming up, the Dolphins will need to take it one game at a time and focus on each individual opponent. That’s exactly what Tannehill is doing and he isn’t looking past the Chargers on Sunday.
“Just one game at a time, focused on San Diego at this point. It’s a big game for us in our season, as they all are. Just because it’s an AFC opponent, you don’t think about all the implications it might have. You go out to play and win every game. I realize that we’re getting into a big stretch in our season. I couldn’t have told you when our Thursday night game was or anything like that.”
This stretch will start on Sunday against the Chargers and will continue against the Lions, Bills and Broncos. Of course, the team – along with the fans – should continue to take it one game at a time before looking ahead down the road.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 3:50 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Brian Hartline has been having an off-year and no one really knows why. So far, he has caught 20 receptions for 215 yards and 1 touchdown. In comparison, he had 74 catches in 2012 for 1,083 yards and 76 receptions for 1,016 yards in 2013.
Of course, simple math shows that he is projected to be nowhere near close to those numbers in 2014. With that in mind, the coaching staff is trying to figure out how to get him involved in the flow of the game but hinted that there might be more to it than lack of opportunities.
“I communicate with guys all of the time. I was communicating with him out there today on the practice field,” Joe Philbin said. “He’s a pro and he continues to come out here and works hard every day. I’m sure his contributions, his opportunities, they’re going to come his way and he’ll maximize them.”
Some have said that Bill Lazor’s offensive system has hurt Hartline because in the past, Ryan Tannehill has always locked in on him and has forced him the ball throughout the game. However, as we saw in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he had two drops in key situations. The opportunities are there but Hartline isn’t capitalizing on them.
“I think Brian is a guy that is used to having a lot of production and he wants to contribute. He has confidence in himself and his ability to contribute and I have confidence in him,” Lazor said. “It’s a long season, so sometimes you go through little waves, up and down. If he’s frustrated with certain things right now, I have pretty good confidence that he’ll be able to channel that into being more productive. I think people around here have known Brian long enough. I don’t know if we have a harder worker on the field, at least in my history of football that’s the most important thing that will translate into production. I think it will show up.”
There have been rumblings about getting Rishard Matthews and Brandon Gibson more playing time in the offense in place of Hartline so it will be interesting to see if that comes into play on Sunday. With an ineffective number two receiver becoming an effective one, it could help improve the offense and get them out of their stagnant state.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 3:30 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Kelvin Sheppard, who was signed to the team during preseason, hasn’t made much of an impact on the defensive side of the ball but instead, is making his home on special teams, where he is one of the leaders. However, on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he saw over a dozen plays on defense and Joe Philbin is pleased with his development.
“He did a nice job. He really did. I thought it was good to get him out there. We like what he’s done on special teams, certainly. But you’re never sure until you give them some opportunities. I think he had, I’m going to say 17 (plays), give or take a couple, but I like what he did. I thought it was good. We’re always looking to expand our depth and give players opportunities that we feel are deserving of it. Those are guys (LBs Kelvin Sheppard and Jonathan Freeny) we felt deserved some snaps in the ball game and so that’s what we did.”
As Philbin mentioned, Freeny is another guy who the Dolphins are looking to get more involved on the defensive side of the ball and Philbin was pleased with the way he handled his role on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“He contributed nicely. Kevin (Coyle) called the pressure, and he was involved and got the quarterback down on the ground. He’s a guy that has quietly been making a lot of progress. He’s a hard, hard worker. He’s obviously had an impact on our special teams for a while here. He’s just a guy that goes to work every single day and he’s gotten better.”
Coyle echoed Philbin's words and said that they are figuring out various ways to get Freeny on the field so he can continue to contribute.
“Jonathan just continues to impress us with the way he prepares. He’s very, very diligent. He’s been productive in practice. I think Coach Duff (Mark Duffner) has done a great job of getting all of those guys involved and preparing all of them as if they’re going to be the starters, so (they’re ready) when their opportunity comes. They get reps in practice, it’s not like he’s only getting a couple of reps. They’re getting reps on scout team as well as with our defense. He’s doing some good things. He got some chances yesterday and came up with a big sack for us.”
Sheppard and Freeny are one of the reasons why the special teams has been slowly improving over the past several weeks and on Sunday, the unit had one of its best games of the season.
“They did a good job. I thought our coverage units seem to be taking a step forward. We had some young guys step up and Will Davis had a couple of tackles, which was great to see. Rishard Matthews (made a tackle and) we had some different guys contribute. I thought overall the performance was encouraging.”
Prior to the Jaguars game, Philbin had called out the special teams unit in a team meeting and it appears they have responded in a strong manner. This part of the game is often overlooked but can have a tremendous impact in terms of field position, field goals, punts and more, which can easily sway the direction of the game towards either a win or a loss.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 3:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
With the San Diego Chargers coming to town on Sunday, the Miami Dolphins will have their hands full with Phillip Rivers and the rest of the offense as it is one of the top ranked offenses throughout the league. With that said, Philbin is confident that the team has put together a great game-plan to limit the Chargers’ explosive offense but understands that Rivers and the offense will have their moments of big plays and understands that they will put points on the board.
“He’s got great experience. He’s got a ton of productivity over a long period of time. He’s an excellent quarterback and he’s very, very good. It’s a good offensive football team around him, so it’s going to be a challenge for the defense. Then you have Gates.”
“I think he has what nine touchdowns or something, I believe. They have great production there. He’s good on third down as well. I think he’s converting a bunch of third downs for them, so he’s not just a red zone receiver. You kind of marvel at his productivity. He just catches the ball well. He’s a guy that understands coverages and uses his body well to get himself open, even in kind of tight spaces. He’s really having a heck of a year.”
A big key to helping the defense sustain their energy and get the Chargers off the field is Koa Misi. However, Misi has been battling an ankle injury and Philbin wasn’t sure what his status would be for Sunday’s game.
“We have a great medical staff and we listen to them. Certainly, I’m not a doctor. I can look with my eyes and see how guys run and move. We’re certainly working together, everybody, to get him right and get him better.”
If Misi isn’t ready to go, the Dolphins will once again turn to Jason Trusnik, who filled in last week. The rest of the defense will need to step up to help fill the void left by Misi if he isn’t ready to go as he is a big part of the defense and a reason why they have been so dominant this season.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 3:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It seems that the Miami Dolphins have solicited the advice from almost everyone in the building on how to improve the offense. Each week, there’s a different suggestion from a different person and this week, it was Jarvis Landry’s turn to suggest what the team can do to get more consistent.
“I don’t know. I think it just starts with everybody. It starts from pre-snap all the way to the final whistle. It’s just one of those things, everybody doing their job and counting on each other to be in the spots that they are supposed to be in and making plays I think that is what it’s about.”
When talking about chunk plays, Landry said that they need to all get together on the same page and work together to make things happen. Whether it’s the offensive line, the receiver corps, running back or even quarterback, Landry suggested that it’s always something different so it’s hard to key in on one thing.
“You can never point out a key one thing, one person or one… it’s just one of the things that we just kind of have to get together as we continue to grow we just have to complement each other. Whether it’s the o-line or the quarterback or the running back or the receivers we just got to complement each other and make plays for each other.”
“We just try to take advantage of that opportunity that we get. Sometimes the teams going to do a great job on their side of the ball, but I think for us, we just have to continue to play fast, continue to make plays, the little plays that are there, continue to move the chains and then I think that we will be a successful offense.”
There have been reports that some players are disgruntled with the offense and their role in it but Landry dismissed that idea and instead, said that it’s because the offense is struggling as a whole.
“I wouldn’t say that anybody is frustrated, but last game that was a little struggle for us, but I think the beauty about it is we have another opportunity this week. We have to look at it, be optimistic about it and just go out there and continue to make plays for the team. I think that’s the best thing and best attitude to take from this point on.”
Let’s hope the Dolphins offense can get on track on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers because they will need to be firing on all cylinders if they want a chance to win the game.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 3:00 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It’s no secret that the defensive line for the Miami Dolphins is the heart and soul of the defense. However, the secondary is trying their best to establish themselves as the dominant force on that side of the ball and they’ve been working hard to do so since the season began.
“I think (Defensive Backs Coach) Lou (Anarumo) and Jeff (Burris) and those guys have done a really good job with the secondary,” Joe Philbin said. “We’ve got a good mix of some veterans and some younger guys who are stepping up and seem to be improving on a weekly basis. I think we do a good job of mixing up scheme coverage wise, be it zone or man and so forth. I think they’ve gotten some help, let’s face it, we have a good pass rush and that’s helped them I think. I was just looking at it today, San Diego’s got an explosive pass offense, so this is going to be I’m sure our stiffest challenge to date. We’re going to have to get ready for it.”
In the offseason, the Dolphins added Louis Delmas and Cortland Finnegan to the secondary and Philbin says that they have fit in well not only on the field, but in the locker room as well. Finnegan said that the chemistry of the secondary has been good and that they are a tight knit group of players.
“Yeah, that’s the DBs (defensive backs). We’re a family, a brotherhood. We have each other’s back. It’s one of those things, you compete, like I said, in practice every week about interceptions and just making plays on the ball. And we’ll continue to do that on Sunday.”
When talking about what the defensive backs have done so far and what they need to do in the future, Finnegan downplayed their progress and said that they still have a lot to work on.
“It’s special in the sense of togetherness, but I’m not saying special in the sense that we haven’t done anything yet. I think at the end of the year, if we find ourselves doing some good things, then we’ll talk. But right now, we’re just gelling right now.”
“I expect just to win. That’s what we play the game for. All of the extra, that’s just like whip cream on the top. You’d like to have your cake and eat it too, and get a little whip cream (joking). We go out there and compete. I think all of us compete in practice, so we’ll compete on Sunday.
Some could argue that Finnegan has been the reason why the defensive backs are so close as he was the one who took Jamar Taylor and Will Davis under his wing during training camp and really worked with them so they could get better. Although Finnegan has had a bad game or two this season, he’s been a solid addition to the team.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 1:10 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
With the San Diego Chargers coming to town on Sunday, Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes will have another tough test throughout the game. More specifically, the combination of quarterback Phillip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates is something everyone should be worried about because of their chemistry together and also because of their ability to always seem to make something out of nothing.
“He’s playing at a high level, at an MVP level. He’s got 20 touchdowns. He’s got receivers. He’s got a tight end. He’s got a running game,” said Finnegan when talking about Rivers. “You’ve got to be on point. You can’t give him anything easy, make them earn everything. You’re hopeful at the end of the day that’s enough, but we’ll see. It’s a tough task.”
Finnegan said that Gates is a dynamic tight end but notes that they aren’t going to do anything different than what they would normally do each week. He noted that he has full confidence in the players the team has and believes that they could get the job done.
Brent Grimes echoed what Finnegan said and is looking forward to the challenge of going up against both him and Gates on Sunday.
“Everybody knows Philip Rivers has been a great quarterback in this league for a long time. He gets rid of the ball quick. He stands and looks pressure in the face and still makes accurate throws. He has a great arm. You can go on and on about him. You’ve just go to make it tough, just like anybody else in this league. There are a lot of great quarterbacks and, if you give them easy things, you’re going to make them look even better. We’ve just got to try and challenge him all game and make things not easy for him.”
The Dolphins’ secondary has been very good this year and will look to continue their dominant performance against one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league in Rivers. We’ll see if they are able to limit his big plays and hold their offense enough to win the game.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:30 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
We’ve all seen teams come back from huge point differentials throughout the course of an NFL game. In fact, it’s even happened a few times this season and to hit the point further at home, we saw it years ago when the New York Jets came back to beat the Miami Dolphins in a game that is now called the Miracle at the Meadowlands.
That’s why Joe Philbin and his coaching staff isn’t looking to be passive when holding a big lead.
“It just seems like the production overall league wide is up. Nothing is safe. Even the last couple of weeks with us, it seems like we’ve had some comfortable positions, but sometimes those things can change relatively quickly. Onside kicks, I thought the kid the other day (Josh) Scobee, that was a heck of a kick that he had. I thought it was a great kick. It’s never over.”
With that said, Philbin did admit it depends on the flow of the game and how the opponent is holding up and how much of a threat they are to score.
“It depends game-to-game, who you’re playing, what the flow of the game is, and all of those things. You have to consider a lot of things. You might call it differently if it’s 35-24 than you would if it was 14-3. You know what I mean? You have to take into consideration a lot of factors.”
In all of the Dolphins wins this season, it has been by double digits. That’s evidence of the coaching staff not letting their foot off the pedal if they feel they don’t need to. Let’s hope they get to do that on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:25 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins secondary will have another tough test when the San Diego Chargers come to town on Sunday but Reshad Jones, the quarterback of the secondary, is ready for the challenge. When talking about Phillip Rivers, Jones had nothing but praise for him and the way he plays the game.
“He stays in the pocket. When the pocket collapses, he stands in the pocket and delivers strikes. He’s got some great guys on the outside that he can get the ball to, Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd, those guys running around. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us this week, so we’re going to have to come with our A game.”
Antonio Gates is another guy the Dolphins will have to worry about. While Gates isn’t the most popular tight end in the league, he quietly wreaks havoc each and every week. Jones called him a Hall of Famer and a guy who is shifty, fast, one that can run and one that has great hands.
While many say that this game is extremely important for the Dolphins and the Chargers, Jones doesn’t necessarily look at it as a game that will make or break their season.
“Not really. We have a 1-0 mentality. We take one game at a time. Right now, we’re focusing on the San Diego Chargers. Like I said, I think it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. It’s going to be a big game, at home, in front of our home crowd, we want to go out and do all we can to get a victory.”
Jones has been a huge factor in the defense ever since returning and will look to continue his solid play on Sunday.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:15 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Jarvis Landry is one of the most explosive kickoff returners in the NFL, averaging 31.25 yards per attempt with a long of 74 yards. Although he has yet to break one for a touchdown, he has come close numerous times before being tackled by the last man on the opposing team. For Joe Philbin, he likes seeing that every Sunday and has complete confidence in Landry.
“He’s a football player. He’s instinctive. I think our blocking unit has done a good job for him giving him opportunities. He’s decisive with the ball in his hands. He doesn’t hesitate a whole lot. He catches the ball and he makes a move. He’s tough. He’s done a good job.”
Landry says that he feels at home returning kicks and knows that with a little more work and a little more practice, he’ll break one and score numerous touchdowns this season.
“I think now it’s, it’s that time. When we meet with the guys and we all talk we always talk about that he is one block or one cut or just one thing that we didn’t do. So I think everybody, including me, is pretty anxious to get one in, so we are going to go for it,” Landry said. “For me it has been all confidence and trusting the other ten guys. Trusting that they are going to do their job, trusting that Coach Rizz (Special Team Coordinator Darren Rizzi) put me in the best position to make a play and being back there, I don’t want to say feeling myself, just embracing the moment, just living in the moment, that has been the one thing that has helped me.”
Landry has proven to be well worth the second round pick that general manager Dennis Hickey spent on him. He’ll only get better and continue to help the Dolphins for the foreseeable future.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 9:10 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
With Daryn Colledge most likely set to miss Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers with a migraine and a sinus infection, what do the Miami Dolphins plan to do in his absence? According to Joe Philbin, all options are on the table.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out. We’re going to play the five best guys that are ready to go, so I wouldn’t rule anything out. We want a guy who is productive, who can execute his technique, his fundamentals, his assignment, whatever we’re asking him to do, whether we’re asking him to run block or pass block, within the scheme, whatever the scheme may be. We’re looking for a smart guy, tough, physical. “Whoever is going to line up on Sunday at one o’clock, I’m definitely going to be comfortable with, absolutely.”
One possibility is Dallas Thomas, who has been on a rollercoaster ride ever since being drafted. Thomas was penciled in as a starter coming into this season but failed to lock onto the starting job. Now, with more practice and development under his belt, he might be ready to crack the starting lineup once again.
“He’s miles ahead of where he was a year ago. He’s making good progress,” Joe Philbin said. “He hasn’t gotten a lot of reps at left guard, jumped in there last week and did a nice job. He’s gotten reps at tackle, he’s been flexible. He knows the scheme well from a variety of positions. I like the contribution. He’s made a nice contribution so far this year.”
Besides Thomas, the Dolphins can also start Nate Garner or move a bunch of pieces around on the line, which seems unlikely. Therefore, at this point, it’s most likely Garner or Thomas with a wildcard being Billy Turner, who we haven’t seen much of this year.
Written by Steven Wilson at 11:45 AM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Despite finishing 11th in the League last season in red-zone efficiency (56.52%), the Miami Dolphins offense has sputtered through the first seven games when it comes to scoring touchdowns near the goal line.
Against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, the aqua and orange converted just 25-percent of their red-zone trips leaving Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor wanting more.
“We are not productive enough,” he said. “I have confidence we know what we are doing and we know the plan. We just have to be a little more productive. It doesn’t take a lot to change it.”
The Dolphins have left their fair share of plays on the table when it comes to red-zone trips.
The most notable opportunity left untapped came in the fourth quarter when Tannehill was intercepted on a pass over the middle. The Jaguars took over on their own 20-yard line after the touchback and left Lazor and Co. looking for an answer.
“You never want to give the ball away on the 5-yard line like we did, especially in that situation late in the game,” said Head Coach Joe Philbin. “I think we are 23rd in the league maybe right now, something like that. I had mentioned last week, the thing that needs to be addressed and communicated to the team was we talked about third down on both sides of the ball and red zone on both sides of the ball. Offensively, I think we were five-for-12 or something on third down, so it doesn’t look terrible, but I think four of those conversions were runs if I’m not mistaken. The third down red zone areas has got to be better on both sides.”
Even though it doesn’t add up to a red-zone miss on the stat sheet, near the end of the second quarter last week, a 10-play Dolphins drive stalled on the Jaguars 25-yard line. The result was a successful field goal from Caleb Sturgis, but still left the team wanting more from long possessions.
“We certainly have to get it in,” Lazor continued. “I think we probably emphasized it as much as we could this past week and still didn’t change it. We have to find a different way. We will.”
Written by Steven Wilson at 11:45 AM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Despite ranking 20th in the NFL with a 5.4 yards per play average through seven games this year, the Miami Dolphins coaching staff was pleased to see a few explosive plays from their offense this past Sunday in Jacksonville.
Mike Wallace had a 50-yard reception, second-year tight end Dion Sims caught a pass for 38 yards, Jarvis Landry returned a kick 32 yards and Lamar Miller and Ryan Tannehill both had runs of 30 yards.
“I think I said to you guys last week, 12 yards is an explosive run in the way we do things,” said Head Coach Joe Philbin. “To have a couple of 30-yard runs is great. We really liked that and obviously we haven’t had a lot of 50-yard passes, so we’ll take those any time we can get them.”
The offense was productive in spurts, but against a Jags defense that ranks 25th in the League in yards allowed per game (382.4), it should have been better.
“I’m happy with those (plays), yes,” said Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor. “We would like more, absolutely. If you look not just at one game, but right now, where we are going into this next game, you look over maybe the last chunk of games that’s where you would like to take the next step offensively is making some of the more explosive plays. Ryan (Tannehill) has added a few with his legs, which helps. I thought it was nice to see Lamar (Miller) make a safety miss yesterday and he’s had some explosive runs.”
Miami’s quarterback carried the ball five times against the Jags defense finishing second on the team with 48 total yards behind featured back, Lamar Miller, who carried the rock 14 times for 78 yards.
“We have to continue to get more of those, and we have to continue to emphasize explosive passes because it’s hard to go the whole distance to make them,” continued Lazor. “To me, our third-down conversions now are not great. Our numbers yesterday were middle-of-the-pack and, when you look at the details of it, a lot of those are runs. How do you get the third downs better? You don’t get in it. You make some explosive plays one first and second (down). That will help.”
The Phins had a total of 17 first downs in the game – 7 on which were from the rushing attack – but converted just five-of-their-12 third-down attempts – which was almost as bad as Jacksonville’s 40-percent conversion rate.
“The production overall offensively really wasn’t good enough,” stated Coach Philbin. “We have to go back to work. We have to put together a good plan for the players. We have to coach it up and we have to do a better job there. We have to execute better. It’s a joint thing, everybody.”
Written by Luis Sung at 8:15 PM EST | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
The Miami Dolphins expected to go into Jacksonville and obliterate the now 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars as on paper they were the obviously superior team. They may have won, but it wasn't the dominant performance the team was expecting.
The Jaguars defensive tackles broke down Tannehill's pocket and got him rattled early on, left guard Daryn Colledge was routinely beat due to migraines and overall the offense struggled mightily to get anywhere until the second half.
Nevertheless, thanks to a couple of explosive plays by safety Louis Delmas and Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, the Dolphins managed to score fourteen points solely thanks to the defense, and that was huge part of why the team emerged victorious on Sunday. The offense however, once again came out flat.
“We have to play better. After watching it again, that’s kind of what I thought when I was there, and I feel the same way today. I think we had some negative plays that impacted and got us in some long-yardage situations." said head coach Joe Philbin. "I didn’t think our third down passing attack was very good. That has to get better as the year goes on specifically starting on Sunday against San Diego. There’s certainly a lot of things to work on."
Even though the team is averaging 24.9 points per game, they've come rather sporadically and inconsistently, and the number itself isn't what offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is looking for.
“I didn’t come in with a certain goal of what it would be. It’s about winning. There are going to be some games where you will need more than that to win and then there will be some games where we needed more and haven’t gotten it yet." said Lazor. "I just think coaches look more at the details of how’s our protection coming along? How’s our run game coming along? How are we doing with run-after-catch? How are we doing with explosive plays? More of the details than the overall number because, I think if you search for an overall number that might not be enough this week, I think we are an improving team."
If the Dolphins are going to defeat San Diego, they are going to have to find a way to start scoring consistently. Is that going to come from the running back position? Maybe Ryan Tannehill steps up and beats Philip Rivers in a shootout? In any case, it is going to be a big challenge, and the team needs to find a way to meet it head on.
Written by Luis Sung at 8:15 PM EST | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
When the Miami Dolphins allowed defensive tackle Paul Soliai to leave the team in favor of former Texans nose tackle Earl Mitchell, many fans were incredibly skeptical about the move. Soliai was a fan favorite and the team let Soliai go without even putting up a fight for him. Now, the move seems to have become one of the more brilliant moves made by new General Manager Dennis Hickey.
“I love Earl Mitchell, I’m going to tell you that right now." said defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. "Earl is a consummate pro. He comes every day. When you look at Earl in the meetings, you know he’s listening to everything that you’re saying. He takes great pride in his performance. His effort is off the charts. If you watch him play snap after snap after snap, he’s running people down on the sideline. He’s affecting plays, some you notice during the game and some you don’t notice until you watch the tape and say, ‘Hey, he threw that ball out of bounds because Earl was coming back on him.’"
Earl has been excellent so far this season, being seen stuffing several running backs and stopping them cold at the line of scrimmage. Paired with fellow tackles Randy Starks and Jared Odrick, Mitchell's effectiveness becomes even more potent.
“Absolutely. That group of three tackles, I think you’d be hard pressed to find groups much better throughout the league when you go three deep there." said Kevin Coyle. "You’ve got guys, they all have a little different skill set. Randy is tough to move, he’s to move, he’s very smart inside and he’s productive. JO (Jared Odrick) is probably the most gifted athlete out of the three. He can outmaneuver guys, he can still play strong at the point of attack, he’s a very good inside pass rusher. Earl is one of those lunch pail guys that just keeps on coming, he never stops. We’re real happy to have all of them."
Mitchell is a strong, athletic tackle who has clearly benefited from being in this defense and being under the tutelage of defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, and after a lot of time of not being able to find a home, Mitchell has carved a little niche for himself right here in Miami.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 2:45 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The San Diego Chargers are coming to Miami with a 5-3 record, good enough for second place in a tough AFC West Division that features the likes of the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.The Miami Dolphins are 4-3 and are no slouches either though and Sunday's game is gearing up to be an AFC showdown. Joe Philbin talked about how the Dolphins would work to prepare for the game.
“We just have to improve. We have to keep the focus on ourselves. There’s things we did well in the game, believe it or not, yesterday. We’ll look at those. There are things we will have to correct from yesterday. The real theme is improving. Sunday will be the halfway point in terms of games played. We should be able to have worked through some of these kinks that all teams work through. The production really has to start increasing. We are playing an excellent football team.”
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle went into a little more detail and talked about Phillip Rivers and how the defense would work to contain him and limit the amount of damage he has the potential to do.
"He’s throwing for touchdowns and he’s not turning the ball over. He’s a veteran guy, he’s seen everything. He’s tough to confuse. He’s got good weapons across the board both at the receiver position, running backs, and the tight end we know is the all-time leading receiver for the Chargers. He poses a great challenge. The good news is that we’ve played him last year. I think our guys have matched up against a lot of their guys. We know that game came down to the final play of the game and this game is probably going to be similar in a lot of ways. You’ve got two very evenly matched teams that need to win and I think it’s going to be a great competitive game. We have to keep pressure on him. We’re going to have to keep pressure on him and do a great job in the back end not giving up any deep throws.”
Another player the Dolphins will need to worry about is Antonio Gates, who after many had deemed him near the end of his career, has turned the tables and has proven to still be one of the better tight ends in the league.
“Like a lot of the great tight ends, they’re going to find ways to get him the football. He’s such a good athlete. He can beat you running vertically down the field, but he’s best when he’s maneuvering on more of those shallow option routes, rub routes they try to get him the ball underneath where he can mismatch on a linebacker or a safety. We’re going to have to try to keep changing things up against him because you can’t just sit in one thing and allow (Philip) Rivers to see it and or their receivers to see it," Coyle said.
"The other thing you’ve got to know about these guys is their running backs, although their numbers rushing aren’t as good as they were a year ago, they catch a lot of balls. Scary thing is when you watch this number 43 (Branden Oliver), he reminds you a lot of the old 43 (Darren Sproles) that they had for many years. He’s a dynamic player, he’s boosted their running game here in the last few weeks. If you total up all of the catches of their running backs, they are as high as any receiver they have. They only play with one back most of the time, my point is, that corps of running backs, I think (Keenan) Allen may have 43 catches, add up all of the running backs, they are probably right there at 43 or 45. They are a big time option for them as well.”
The Dolphins definitely will have their hands full but the fact that their defensive line can pressure the quarterback on their own should help as everyone else will be able to sit back in coverage and worry about their own particular assignment.
Written by Matthew Cannata at 2:40 PM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins offense gained less than 50 yards in the first half, which was bad enough for one of the worst 30-minute performances in franchise history. Although the defense dominated and scored once which kept the offense off the field for a while, they failed to find any rhythm until they got out of the locker room in the second half.
“As I said to the team at halftime and this has happened too frequently, but as I said to the team at halftime, sometimes in football one side of the ball may be struggling that particular day,” Joe Philbin said. “The other two phases have to pitch in, contribute and kind of carry the load. I think the one positive and I don’t have the stats right in front of me, but I think our last four or so drives offensively were relatively productive. I’m with you, it’s part of my job. I’m going to do a better job. I’m going to look every way possible to help us get off to a better start. I also give some credit to Jacksonville yesterday for the way they played earlier in the game. That was on tape. They played well early in the game recently.”
Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor said that it was a strange game because the offense was running its eighth play with only about six minutes left in the second quarter. However, he stopped short of using that as an excuse as to why they struggled early on.
“I’ve never described myself as bonkers before (laughs). I would think that was unique in being that it was about six-and-a-half minutes left in the second quarter and we were about to have our eighth play. I can’t remember another time when we’ve played less football and I’m not complaining about the defense getting a touchdown. We’ll take that every time. But there’s nobody to blame, but ourselves. We had two opportunities before that to make first downs and we didn’t do it. We went over the whole list of reasons why we didn’t, but those are just the facts that we didn’t. It’s our responsibility when we get onto the field to score, and we would love to do it in three plays. If we were coming up on our eighth play and we had scored two touchdowns already, I would have no complaints. The amount of times we were on the field doesn’t matter. Getting our job done is what matters, and our job is to score. Usually you have to make a couple of first downs to get that done (and) we didn’t early.”
With all that said, Lazor echoed Philbin by saying that they knew the Jaguars were a tough first half team and knew they would be playing tight defense early on in the game because that’s what they’ve done all year.
“I would have to give a lot of credit to Jacksonville. I thought they played really hard, especially up front, to start the game. So let’s give them their credit. What I’m disappointed in with me was I knew they did that. I don’t know what their statistics are, but when you watch them, as I did Saturday night, I just watched the beginning of every one of their games. You see three-and-outs. You see tackles-for-loss. This is a team that comes out of the gates on fire almost every game, and so knowing that, talking about it, trying to devise a plan to start the game, that’s where I failed.”
“It’s easy today to look back at some of the plays that worked in the second half with, ‘Hey Bill, you should have started the game with those.’ That’s what I have to do. When you look at our players, you just have to deal with the details of why did we have some problems up front early in the game? Why did we have some really, I thought, simple assignment errors? Same plays later in the game we handled correctly and planned all week. There’s no answer. I trust our guys, and I know they prepared well, but you string a couple of those together and an illegal formation. You would think at this point of the season those things are behind you, but they weren’t. We have to deal with the reality, so again I’ll take the burden for me knowing how fast the Jacksonville defense has been starting its games, we knew they would do that. Did I do a good job of getting us started? Obviously not, after the fact I can say that. For each position, why didn’t we come out the gates? I thought we were pretty loose. I thought we were ready to go. I actually felt pretty confident in pregame. That shows you how much I know (joking).”
The Dolphins cannot afford to get off to a slow start against the San Diego Chargers and they’ll need to come out firing on all cylinders. If they don’t, Phillip Rivers and the rest of the offense may put up enough points in the first half to render the second half useless.
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.”
Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:05 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Middle linebacker Koa Misi was battling an ankle injury on Sunday and was unable to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Joe Philbin hopes he can play this coming weekend against the San Diego Chargers, he admits that he doesn’t know what will happen and said the team will take it day by day.
Being without Misi will leave a big hole in the defense, as we saw when the Jaguars racked up 176 yards on the ground, with Denard Robinson leading the way with 108 of them. Philbin said they are going to work to correct the mistakes this week and get back on the right track.
"I think it’s a little bit of everything. We have the saying in coaching that everything counts, so you can’t sit there and say, ‘Well, if they didn’t hit the 40-yard fake reverse, they would have had X-amount.’ Last week you could say, ‘Well, Joe, the tailbacks only averaged 3.5 yards a carry.’ Well, it doesn’t’ matter. We ran the ball with the quarterback and they averaged X-amount. Everything matters. Everything you do counts. Everything matters, so we look at all aspects of it. We had a couple misfits yesterday that we have to get corrected. I think the tackling was good. I don’t know if it was great. There’s some tackling that can be better, so obviously (there are) some things to work on.”
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle admitted that Misi’s absence definitely affects the run defense but has confidence in the guys that are stepping up to replace him.
“Certainly, Koa’s activity inside, his physicality we miss. But I thought our guys did a really good job, I thought Trus (Jason Trusnik) did a good job in there and I think we had Kelvin (Sheppard) in there for a period of time and he stepped up. I think we probably played more linebackers in this game than any game that we’ve played and consequently our depth is improving and they’re being comfortable out there in those game situations, increasing.”
With all that said, Coyle broke down the runs by the Jaguars and said that although it looks bad on paper, it isn’t really as bad as it looks due to a couple of big runs that the Dolphins’ defense allowed.
“Yesterday, I was disappointed at the end of the day when you look at the statistics and see the high number. When you go back and you look at a couple of runs that added to it, I think you’ll see that one was a 41-yarder on the second play of the game. I’ll take that one on myself, in that they hurried up to the ball and we were trying to get some things communicated and they quick snapped us, everybody was not on the same page and the run broke out. Should it have been as long as it was? No, perhaps, but yet it wasn’t like we were set, ready to go and play.”
“They had a gadget play where they faked a reverse and they caught some people off guard, that’s the long run. Then they had a quarterback scramble for 32 yards. That accounts for 73 yards of 177 I believe or 176, and then when you average the rest of the carries out, I don’t think we were particularly stout throughout the game, but there was a number of good plays. At the end of the day, they would have been at about 3.7 yards a carry, which is a solid overall day. When you add those other ones in, it changes it. I don’t think we played poorly against the run, I think we can play better against the run.”
The Dolphins will need to improve their run defense quick with Chargers’ running back Branden Oliver ready to run wild. Following the Chargers, the Dolphins will need to take on the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills. Getting Koa Misi back in the lineup will instantly improve the unit and the Dolphins can only hope that he heals enough to get in the game on Sunday.
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