First impressions of Miami Dolphins defense straight from rookie mouths

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by DKphin, May 17, 2017.

  1. DKphin

    DKphin A True Fan Donator

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  2. Beach Bum 91

    Beach Bum 91 Water Boy

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    This article has me thinking about our team building strategy. It's no secret that we want an aggressive attacking defense. We have Wake and we drafted Harris. We also fortified our LB'r corps to strengthen our front 7. Conversely, the Jets drafted safeties in round 1 and 2. They also took a couple of CB's in round 6. Obviously they are trying to strengthen the backend of their defense. I understand that our run defense needed shoring up and the Jets pass defense needed the same. What I wonder about is what is the best way to stop the Patriots? Isn't Brady's strategy to get the ball out quick and let his quick WR's get YAC? Is it possible with the Jets stout defensive line they are going to play a 4-2-5 this year? I am curious that with our pass happy league if that is the way to go. Are we a step behind with our defensive strategy? Not making this about the wide 9, but I wonder if we should be playing the 4-2-5 also and if so, do we have the personnel to play that on a regular basis.
     
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  3. nick1

    nick1 I am Groot Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    I for one like our defense. Quality starters and depth. Nickel is still the weakspot though
     
  4. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    Unless Howard/Maxwell can slide inside...
     
  5. Sons Of Shula

    Sons Of Shula not a dull boy Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Yet very much the same. Still smells like stank gym shorts.
     
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  6. FSU Truth

    FSU Truth inside my DNA Finheaven VIP

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    Yes, and it is an area that needs to be addressed, but I doubt we do much more before camp cuts...

    Don't be surprised if you see McCain, Jones, Pitts and others competing for that spot early in camp. This draft had some really solid nickel defenders in rounds 3-5 that we could have grabbed...While Tankersly has the size we like in a boundary player, not sure any of the 4 (Howard, Tankersley, Maxwell, or Lippitt) have the quickness to move inside.
     
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  7. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    Maxwell played some slot last year and Howard use to shadow in college. They both have the ability to play slot, probably better than any of our other options at the moment. I expect Howard to slide inside on sub packages and Tank to play on the outside, even as a rookie. We had an incredible draft.
     
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  8. DKphin

    DKphin A True Fan Donator

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    The problem with the defense is not the players, but the scheme. Unless we can have the offense get out to a big lead and force the other team to basically scrap their running game, it is going to be an on going problem.
     
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  9. nick1

    nick1 I am Groot Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    I don't see Howard at nickel.
     
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  10. JakeemThe Dream

    JakeemThe Dream Well-Known Member

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    Howard's too valuable as a boundary corner IMO.

    I think he has serious star potential.
     
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  11. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    They will give him a look if no one else steps up, Grier even mentioned it in his post draft press conference. Perhaps not every week, but there's some bigger slot WR's in this league like JMatt who Howard would match up with quite nicely. It's a match-up business imo, and at least we have some quality options.
     
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  12. MDFINFAN

    MDFINFAN Reach for the Stars Super Donator Donator

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    See whole story here, includes other draft picks:

    http://dailydolphin.blog.palmbeachp...dolphins-defense-straight-from-rookie-mouths/
     
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  13. Austin Tatious

    Austin Tatious Starter

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    Yeah, well I thought LT and Alonso were bad signings? That's what Barnwell swears by, and he's a self proclaimed know it all.
     
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  14. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    I think this time is more important than many people think. If McMillan is going to become the QB of our defense, he has a lot to learn, and the best learning time is always before the season starts. After the season starts, gameplanning for a specific opponent takes over and there simply isn't enough time to do a lot of teaching and it really limits a young player's ability to absorb this information. Just being there signed and focused is important. Engaging the veterans early helps a lot, because many players say they learn more from their teammates than they learn from their coaches (all across the NFL we hear this).

    Having a mentor really helps. I'm hoping that Timmons can be that mentor for McMillan ... but in reality their competition for the same job may hinder that. IMHO, this is where collecting alphas benefits us. Because guys that are alphas are not likely to keep knowledge to themselves. They are much more likely to call out poor performers, tell rookies what to do and how to do it, and do so without their primary motivation being fear of losing their own job.

    Which leads me to how important this time is for Tankersley. Maxwell has taken over leadership of this CB room. He is the mentor to Howard and Lippett. His Clemson connection and the fact that Maxwell is Tankersley's hero probably means that Maxwell continues to teach our room full of young, talented CB's. While they all still have a great deal to learn, none of the others has nearly as much to learn as Tank does. He has not yet learned how to defend space, and needs a lot of time with the concepts and a lot of reps to build the muscle memory. He has a long ways to go before it becomes instinctual for him, so let's get that process started.

    Harris, well it seems well documented that he is going to learn as much as he can from Cam Wake, and none of our young ones has a better teacher. Cam is our vocal leader and our leader by example. He does everything right and he is a bastion of good decisions. His athletics are still phenomenal, his technique is unbelievably good, his work ethic is exemplary, his citizenship is absolute. To no one's surprise, Cam has stepped up and actively started mentoring Harris ... because Cam is all class. This looks to be starting very well.

    Gase is collecting young players who want to learn and veterans who are willing and able to teach. This looks like a recipe for future success.
     
  15. JakeemThe Dream

    JakeemThe Dream Well-Known Member

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    Oh ya I totally agree that man is capable of matching up in the slot.

    Like you said, they won't be doing it every week but for bigger slot guys it would make much sense.

    Yes, think about where we were last year lol

    Now we have 4 legit boundary corners, our Superstar safety back, and options at FS.

    It was a mess to watch the Steelers take us out in that fashion.

    People (Steelers fans) forget Maxwell (who shut down AB first time), basically all of our starting lbers, both safeties, Pouncey, and of yea Matt Moore was our starting QB lol

    Have you guys lost all faith in McCain? I thought he progressed and can be a pretty good slot corner.

    He needs to settle in and I think he'll be more relaxed with actual help behind him.
     
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  16. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    I hope so, but his instincts seem to be lacking a little bit, he's no honeybadger for example but who is. This is a big year for McCain, if he can win the slot job that would be huge for our defense. But I have a feeling Howard, Max, and Tank will be getting a majority of the reps at CB this year. They are our 3 best options imo so we should try and find ways (more zone D perhaps?) to put them all on the field at the same time.
     
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  17. nick1

    nick1 I am Groot Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    Not sure what I think about Tank. Hopefully he works out
     
  18. JakeemThe Dream

    JakeemThe Dream Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that fair and honest assessment. Yes, this year we need to change things up like Burke said the other day when it comes to personnel groupings. What we've been doing hasn't been working, FO...lol
    You're totally right about McCain. Its make or break for him this year. He has no excuses with the talent we've assembled around him. IDK about you guys but I think we have an extremely talented young roster with a nice mixture of veteran presence. Im super excited!!
     
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  19. dolfanattic5

    dolfanattic5 you got chambered

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    I know you've been around here a while, but recently, it's been a pleasure to see your opinion on things. Looking forward to seeing more man. Fins up!!!
     
  20. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    It's a great question. I've been wondering the same thing for quite some time. Lots of good safeties coming through the pike at the college level and it seems fielding three with two linebackers might be the way to go.

    While I like what Miami has done to improve the defense, I still think the Dolphins have problems in the slot which concerns me because this is where New England is so good. I do think Miami will match up better in stopping the run.

    I guess the team is still a work in progress and I'm anxious to see what changes Burke makes, even if they are subtle, and how that helps the defense overall.
     
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  21. dolfanattic5

    dolfanattic5 you got chambered

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    You're exactly right. They don't. I could see Howard being effective, but it's a waste of a boundary corner.
     
  22. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    To your point, Digital, a lot of teams make the mistake of building with young players and forget the importance of having veterans to learn from.

    Miami sure appears to be doing it right under the leadership of Adam Gase. Speaks volumes for him as a coach that he's not afraid of alpha players. Some coaches have a problem with that.
     
  23. Birdmond

    Birdmond FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    We are still one DT short IMHO. I'm not counting on either rookie. I'd feel much better picking up a cap casualty late that's an upgrade over Phillips.
     
  24. spiketex

    spiketex Kiko Alonso - El Bravo 47 the yappy chihuahua Super Donator Donator

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    Actually Raekwon McMillan's likely mentor is a player now in his 8th year as a Miami Dolphin, who loves this team and is a proven excellent teammate in the locker room. I bet it's Koa Misi.
     
  25. MDFINFAN

    MDFINFAN Reach for the Stars Super Donator Donator

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    Mods, please combine this threat to earlier one
     
  26. nick1

    nick1 I am Groot Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    Done
     
  27. Eesti

    Eesti Rookie

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    Considering the slot receivers and TE's we will face this year, I don't see anyone manning that spot (slot corner) as a waste. Obviously, it's going to vary with each match-up but just to start the year....

    Gronk, Edelman, Cooks x 2
    OJ Howard, DeSean Jackson
    Travis Benjamin, Antonio Gates
    Eric Decker x 2
     
  28. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    Thanks man! Glad to have a robust and informative conversation about our beloved Dolphins.
     
  29. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Some interesting players still out there. Dan Williams comes to mind, along with Jared Odrick. I think the team will sign a veteran there.
     
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  30. datruth55

    datruth55 Starter

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    Not really sure I'd call what we have on defense depth...more like bodies. I don't really like our slot CB options, I certainly don't like the safety depth behind Jones. I don't count much on rookies to make an impact year one...there's a lot to learn not just the playbook. It took Soliai 3 years to learn the DT position and he was a 4th round pick...can't see us counting on a 6th and 7th round pick to pick it up year one. Don't expect much from Tank and I'm not really sure how much Harris will play with Wake, Branch, and Hayes already in the mix...Warmsley, Fede and others may also be in the mix if we keep 5 DEs like last year. Bodies we have...depth is TBD.

    We thought we had depth on the offensive line last year and that included Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas...again, not what I call depth...just bodies.
     
  31. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI Kilgo is NE's backup nose and has 7 career tackles and has never recorded a sack, 3 years in the league. Their starter Valentine only had 19 tackles and 1 sack last year so he's not exactly elite either, but definitely a solid NT (like our Phillips). Their backup DT's are Josh Augusta, Adam Butler, and Woodrow Hamilton, ever heard of those guys? Their ends are Flowers, Branch (more of a DT), Guy, Wise, Vereen, and now Kony Ealy. They have some nice players up front, but so do we. NE has some solid LB's but that group is not exactly elite anymore especially with Nink getting up there in age, our LB's are just as good as a group if not better. Their backups would be considered "bodies" as well, but nobody cares because they're the almighty Cheatriots. We have a more talented and deeper front 7 than NE, I think this is the year we can finally take control of the East, we shall see...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  32. mnphinfan

    mnphinfan Lifelong Fin Fan

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    There is way more depth on D. Sure I'd like another S, slot and DT but we have to let the roster turning process run its course. I'm guessing as was mentioned earlier a veteran DT will be brought in if the youngsters falter. If we learned anything from Gase he has no qualms about getting rid of players who can't produce.

    I don't remember anyone being happy with the G/C depth last year. Hell, most of us are still suspect.
     
  33. jazz015

    jazz015 Well-Known Member

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    Our depth is suspect at best and still thin. Not as bad as last year, but still thin. D-lone is probably the safest position. If a LB goes down our only true back up is Hewitt. Which is not bad but another serious injury could spell trouble. On the back end our safety depth is trash is Allen goes down early. If him and McDonald are able to come in healthy it should be ok. As for slot cb, it is one of those positions I will be watching tightly in camp. Our best best is to hope the injury bug isn't as contagious this year
     
  34. datruth55

    datruth55 Starter

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    The last team I would look at to see what kind of depth they have is NE. Belichick takes nobodies who've done nothing and gets them to play within the system and play well together. No one had heard of most of their O-line last year and yet they were one of the best O-lines in the league. No Tom Brady...Jimmy Garopolo goes 3-1, trade away Jamie Collins...no drop off on the defense, pretty sure they cut or traded some offensive lineman before the season and their offensive line, though unproven, performed better than the year before.

    I could care less what NE's roster looks like. They've got the best coach in the league. Miami needs to worry about Miami because they don't have the best coach in the league but they have to face the best twice a year.
     
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  35. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    Fair points, but there are certain things you can't really teach such as rushing the passer. NE's Oline may have played way above their heads last year, but they supposedly have a legendary Oline coach, plus with their balanced O and quick release QB's, Oline deficiencies are much easier to mask. The Pats are going to rely heavily on Ealy providing them with a pass rush, Long and Sheard may not have been great pass rushers, but they are solid all around football players NE will miss. Their Primary players up front are probably going to be Branch, Flowers, Brown, Ealy, and Valentine. Those are some solid players, especially against the run which they prioritize, but they don't offer the pass rushing ability that our front has, especially after drafting Harris. NE obviously gets the most out of their players and I think their secondary is better than ours, but I like our front 7 over theirs and think that will make a big difference this season. I truly believe we can win the division and make a deep playoff run this year, mostly due to the strength of our front 7, we will find out.
     
  36. Eesti

    Eesti Rookie

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    You can't teach "rushing the passer"? Huh? I guess we just wasted money hiring Andre Carter then...and Terrell Williams.
     
  37. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    I said you can't really teach it, obviously you can work on it some and improve, but the natural ability to rush the passer that Wake, Harris, and Branch (yes I went there) posses, is rare and hard to find. Or in other words, they have unteachable traits and ability to get to the QB. Go Nats :finger
     
  38. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    And btw Harris didn't even start playing football until late in his H.S career. If that doesn't prove my point well than I just don't know what does. Maybe he just had really good coaching that nobody else on Mizzou received lmao.
     
  39. FSU Truth

    FSU Truth inside my DNA Finheaven VIP

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    Well, Mizzou is sort of a DE factory, so I would assume they have good coaching there...Ealy, Aldon Smith, Shane Ray...

    His reaction and natural quick first step, cannot be taught...it is elite level and will allow him to contribute day one even if it is in sub packages. Solid coaching will allow him to develop his all around game as well as add to that pass rush arsenal.
     
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  40. TannDaMan17

    TannDaMan17 Well-Known Member

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    No S, but his ability to get to the QB is natural and can not be taught. Improved slightly yes, but you can't turn a p***y cat into a dog (Michael Sam). If Mizzou has such great coaching (not saying they don't) why was Harris their only draft pick? The answer...Talent, pure and simple. Some people are just better at sports than others.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

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