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Thread: Changes on defense enough to return Dolphins to the playoffs?

  1. Changes on defense enough to return Dolphins to the playoffs?

    Where should we begin with the Dolphins defense. Gone is defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, OSLBers Joey Porter and Jason Taylor, and safety Gibril Wilson. In comes former Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby. The Dolphins with two rookies starting at corner, Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, allowed more than 30 passes of more than 30 yards and nearly 8.2 yards per pass ranking in the bottom 4 of NFL defenses. Safety Gibril Wilson didn't help the cause and was released.

    The run defense wasn't much better. The loss of Jason Ferguson at NT forced the Dolphins to make big moves. Randy Starks, a Pro Bowl alternate at DE, will be moved to NT. Starks has a quick first step and likes to get up the field which helps as a pass rusher, but may create running lanes. At his best, Starks could be like the Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff, which may be what Bill Parcells is thinking. First round pick Jarod Odrick from Penn St. will try to replace Starks at DE. Karlos Dansby's athleticism at LBer should help against the run, but his speed should make the biggest difference against opposing TEs who gave the Dolphins a tough time last year. The questions remain at safety where career back-up Tyrone Carter and rookie 5th rounder Reshad Jones appear to be the front-runners.

    Watching Mike Nolan run practices in Denver was impressive. For those of you who have never seen an NFL practice, there are really two head coaches. If the Head Coach is an offensive guy like Josh McDaniels, the defensive coordinator runs the show on the other practice field. Nolan's troops are very disciplined and efficient. His lack of proven DL in Denver is going to be his challenge in Miami as well. Cameron Wake and Koa Misi, a second round pick out of Utah, have to make plays at OSLBer, or this 3-4 defense cannot survive.

    After opening in Buffalo, the Dolphins schedule is extremely tough, @ Minnesota, NY Jets, @ Green Bay, Pittsburgh (with Roethlisberger), @ Cincinnati, @ Baltimore. There is no time for the Dolphins to grow into this new defense. Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne better live up to expectations on the offensive side, or it could be a tough year in Miami.
    Last edited by Cris Collinsworth; 06-10-2010 at 12:25 PM.

  2. As a Phins fan, I am very excited about this season. I truly believe they will be a playoff team. On offense the Phins have one of the best OL in the NFL. Jake Long and Vernon Carey form a great tackle tandem. R. Incognito brings a toughness to the line. Brandon Marshall will help all the receivers. The other receivers like Brian Hartline and Devone Bess will get single coverage. The field will open up. Chad Henne in his third season will make a giant step. Don't forget the great RB duo of Ricky and Ronnie (War Eagle by the way!).

    The D should be better just with the hire of Mike Nolan. The guy can coach D. I believe Cameron Wake will get double digit sack numbers. The two young corners will definitely play better and Will Allen is back. The coaches have been raving about Chris Clemons and his leadership skills at free safety at mini camp. I think he will do a solid job and there will be less mental mistakes back there. It's Tyrone Culver who is competing with him, not Tyrone Carter. Koa Misi will be a standout rookie for them. He may even get more playing time on this D than the first round pick Jared Odrick.

    I honestly think the Phins will win the AFC East. They will surprise the world. The Pats will take a step back. The Jets will be a wild card.

  3. #3
       
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    Weeks 10-16 they should go 5-2 or 6-1 though, and they close the regular season on the road in Foxborough, which could decide a lot of things...I like the Dolphins chances to finish second in the division this year, but I don't see anyone beating the Jets this year, at least in the regular season...I think the Jets could have one of those dominating defenses that leads them to a 12-4 or even a 13-3 record.

    I'm not a huge Dolphins fan, I actually have always hated them for literally no reason. I like what they did last year though, sure as heck surprised me. I agree that Dansby will make a difference, I think he's a stud. And I agree, that secondary HAS to be better next year...Hopefully the front 4 can get pressure on the opposing QBs, because if they don't, Brady and Sanchez will have field days 4 times this season and the '10 Phins will look and feel a whole lot like my '09 Bears haha.

  4. Speedy I would love to agree with you... but I think you're had too much coffee. Cam Wake double digit sack #s? Koa Misi a standout rookie? Coaches raving about... Chris Clemons?? It's just that time of year, man - coaches try to build up the confidence of their first-time starters. All of those things are possible... but it's just as possible Wake can't defend the run/cover, Misi struggles with position change, and Chris Clemons reminds everyone why he was a fifth-rounder. I like Nolan, but it was just a couple years ago everyone was excited about Paul P as well.

    I do agree Henne could take a big step forward with another year in the system and B Marshall coming over, which could cover some (not all) of the inevitable defensive mistakes that will come with such an inexperienced D; I'd just rather have moderate expectations for this team and have them earn their way to the top then crown them offseason champs and have the temptation to feel entitled and/or prepare with less intensity/focus. Bottom line is, this team hasn't won a playoff game in a long time... I think we're going in the right direction; I just think we'll have to wait one more year to get it done - we have hardly any declining veterans (Ferguson might be the only one of significance?) while Brady, Moss, Jason Taylor, and probably Kris Jenkins have all seen their best days already. Patience my friend!

  5. Wake had 5 1/2 sacks last year, so double digit sacks isn't that unreasonable. He should be more accustomed to the NFL and go back to the attacking LB that terrorized the CFL. I just think the 3 corners we have will be pretty good. Davis and Smith with one year under their belt will be more prepared. Will Allen was the best Phins corner before he went down. I like having 3 capable corners. I may be too generous with thinking Misi will just step in and be a good starter. I am not worried about Porter being replaced. He wasn't all that good last season even with the sacks. I wish they did re-sign Taylor. It would have been nice to have some veteran leadership on the D. Dansby will be the playmaker this D needs. I don't think Miami needs a great D, but a good D would do. Top 10-15 should be the goal.

    The offense will be a lot better with Marshall, Ronnie coming back and Henne more comfortable. The Phins OL is top 5 in my book. Hartline should have a very good season opposite Marshall. The TEs do need to step up. The Phins beat the Jets both times last year. Why should they be scared of them? Miami was a team that was 11-5 in 2008. I expect a similar season. I don't think I am overreaching.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by speedy1383 View Post
    The Phins beat the Jets both times last year. Why should they be scared of them?
    i'll give you the first game. they handled the jets with the wildcat and that one huge PA pass with ginn (of all people) over revis (of all people). the second game was quite a fluke though. two kick returns for TD's? i can't see that happening again. and it looks like ginn was the single dolphin that poisons the jets... for whatever reason. and he's gone.

    so the jets: a second year in the defense that has already climbed to the tops of the ranks. a defense that has even better pieces and healthy pieces now. then there's the offense that has a qb who's no longer a rookie and really came into his own in the postseason. a qb that has a better built chemistry with his wr's and te. and shonn greene, if healthy, is an upgrade at rb. all of that of course is just my opinion

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