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Ronin's 2015 Defensive Preview

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by RoninFin4, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. DearbornDolfan

    DearbornDolfan Active Member

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    In nickel situations, I honestly think we should go the TCU route. Sub Misi out, sub a DB in to play the slot side from the OLB spot, and shift Jenkins to MLB. Hell, even go so far as to call split coverages. Dime, same thing but keep only Jenkins in with DBs flanking him. At that point they don't know if you're playing base with a speed package or nickel/dime.
     
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  2. RoninFin4

    RoninFin4 Moderator Staff Member Club Member

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    I don't think you can call it a "weakness", but I think if you were to have questions marks it's going to be with the number of unproven players Miami's penciling in for starting roles and new players and rookies comprising the majority of the depth at linebacker in the secondary.

    The D-line is veteran laden with Mitchell, Suh, Vernon, and Wake as starters. Derrick Shelby's in his 4th year. C.J. Mosley is a long-time vet. Terrence Fede is in his second year. Anthony Johnson is in his second year. Really, the only guy you're probably going to carry on the roster that doesn't have experience is Jordan Phillips. I think the D-line could very well be the best strength on either side of the ball for Miami.

    You go to LB though and you've got Chris McCain and his 40-something snaps from his rookie year - we really don't know how he'll do. You've got Spencer Paysinger coming over and, at least as I understand it, is playing a position he hasn't played in the NFL before. Jordan Tripp didn't see many snaps other than special teams. So, that leaves you with Kelvin Sheppard as your most experienced depth player...I'm not sure that's good or bad. The rest of the bunch are UDFAs.

    Secondary, I think you're settled with Reshad Jones and Brent Grimes for sure. Jamar Taylor's yet to prove he can stay healthy, Delmas is coming off a torn ACL. Brice McCain is a good option as a slot CB, but I think you're going to get in trouble if you have to play him outside for any length. Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett are both rookies, so there's a natural learning curve there. Will Davis is what he is and he's coming off a torn ACL. If something happens to Delmas, you've got Michael Thomas who really hasn't played S in this defense and Walt Aikens, who doesn't have many snaps either.

    Those are the concerns I have. While all looks good on paper, there's still a good element of having to "go out and prove it" as it relates to a lot of the guys in the LB corps and in the secondary. Again, not to say that's a weakness, there's just more unknown elements going into this year than there were last year. You have to see how those play out. I think it's fortunate Miami landed two offenses in Washington and Jacksonville that wouldn't appear to be much of a match the first two weeks so they can get things clicking. I'd say Buffalo and New York - provided Miami stops the run well - give the defense a four game stretch where they can really see what works and what doesn't to open the year and help the team get off to a fast start. I think 3-1, minimum, is imperative to get this team where it wants to be, but I'm hopeful for a 4-0 start.

    You also have the factor of Kevin Coyle. Is he REALLY going to sit back and keep things simplified all year? Or is he going to start tinkering with packages and personnel groupings if Miami drops a game or two and go back to what he was doing last year down the stretch? That's a no-no to me, especially with a lot of new faces in key roles. I think it's important to remember that for as brilliant as his gameplan was in week one of last year against New England he followed that performance up with back-to-back clunkers against the Bills and Chiefs; those were pretty dreadful. Coyle's lack of being consistent week-to-week is what I'd consider the biggest weakness at this point. This defense *should* be a LOT better than it was in 2014, and even in 2013. But it's not hard for me to see the improvement being underwhelming and Kevin Coyle would be the prime reason why.
     
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  3. Fin4Ever

    Fin4Ever Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Ro, why do you think Coyle went away from what worked so well in Game 1 last year? I know different offenses cause different problems..I think allot of our problems last year were the DL, Odrick,playing on a contract year stunk it up most of the year and all to often caught complaining..Starks,although getting older has always played much better when he is getting most of the snaps..last game against Jets was a good example...but neither played the run very well and Mitchell just disappeared. I believe in the UDFA linebackers we brought in and if they learn the playbook quick enough..our linebacker depth will be OK.
     
  4. RoninFin4

    RoninFin4 Moderator Staff Member Club Member

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    Honestly, I'm not sure he went away from it all that much. I think, given that it was the first game, everyone has extra time to prepare and he was able to dial up certain packages and plays within those packages he knew might work - the 3-4 look, the looks when they played Vernon next to Cameron Wake, etc - plus New England was still shuffling their interior O-line at that point and kind of made a mess of themselves because of it in that game. They didn't really correct it either until after they got blown out by Kansas City. When they did, they shat all over the Bengals and proceeded to march to the Super Bowl.

    As far as the D-line goes, Jared Odrick had a down year, which was surprising given how well he played in 2013. Starks seemed fine, they just limited his snaps. Earl Mitchell lit the world on fire for 3.5 games to start the season and then I think he had trouble as the year went on dealing with constant double-teams and having to play other techniques along the line. Coyle also called for far to many stunts and games (re-watch the KC game from week 3 - it'll burn your eyes) with the D-line that created seams for backs to run into. Miami's LB play was also pretty shoddy for a good stretch late in the year, Jelani Jenkins included. Injuries certainly played a factor, but I think the larger factor is having too much going on in the playbook for reserves to come in and be aware of what they're supposed to do, which calls to make and when, etc. From player interviews it sounds like they have a lot of defensive checks they make, which change keys and reads, as the offense goes through their shifts/motions and deeper into the cadence before the snap. It sounds like it'll a little more of lining up and "let's play" rather than making multiple checks before the snap.

    As far as LB depth goes, I thought Kelvin Sheppard played well in the New England blowout loss, but other than that he was pretty average. I suppose you could say he's this year's Trusnik as he can play both MLB and SLB and has multiple roles on STs as Trusnik did. Paysinger is more of a special teams player (think Jonathan Freeny) than someone you want playing defense for long stretches. Tripp is a bit of a mystery.

    As for the UDFAs, I think one of the trio of Hull, Luc and Vigil makes the team. I think whoever it is is going to have to play special teams and play them well to be active on game days. If I ranked them, I'd probably go Vigil, Luc and Hull in that order. I think Vigil gives you more athleticism (factor on special teams) and was the most productive throughout his career. Luc I think they'd look at strictly as a MLB, but as I've commented on before, I think he's slow at processing his keys and reads and matching that up with his body and where he needs to go; if he can improve that, he's got a shot.
     
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  5. Fin4Ever

    Fin4Ever Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thank you Ronin for the well said response.
     
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  6. Bpk

    Bpk Premium Member Luxury Box

    So, Ronin, after watching pre-season how do you feel about the defense? Is it what you expected?
     
  7. Bpk

    Bpk Premium Member Luxury Box

    Wonder how the new DC's defense will differ from Coyle's?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 Rosen's Roughnecks Club Member

    Not much, in-so-far as results, at this point. The defense was scaled down for simplicity this off-season, at Philbin's request, and it may well be that it was scaled down TOO much, lending itself to easy predictability and ability for other teams to abuse it. That was my concern when I first heard they were going to make it more simple, then Anarumo said they're basically keeping it simple to let guys make athletic plays. Well, they're not making 'em with discipline. That's my number 1 problem with this defense currently...the talent is what it is...can't do much about that, but you can play cohesively as a disciplined unit to mask some of those weaknesses in talent.

    I have to say, Grimes has been a disappointment so far. He's pretty toasty at this point. And the #2 CB spot, well, just ugh.
     
  9. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

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    Have to chose a route. This team can run a Wade Phillips 3-4. If it wants to run the 4-3 over then a massive overhaul is necessary, potentially at MLB, SLB, LE, and potentially both CB spots.

    At least in the 5-2/3-4 the Dolphins will get plenty of great personnel on the field and not have to do much at LB with Misi basically protecting Jenkins. That duo would get the job done effectively.
     

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