- Jul 26, 2004
- Reaction score
Today’s interview subject is Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, a high-energy, upbeat technician who seems to get the most from his players. Below are some highlights from our exclusive chat with a coach in his third year on the Dolphins staff.
On the move of Randy Starks to nose tackle: “So far with Randy he’s making progress. It is a big move for him. But the best thing about it is Randy is very eager to do it and the coaching staff has a lot of confidence in him and what he is doing defensively. We just think he’s a good fit for that position for what we need him to do.”
On having Jason Ferguson around to guide Starks through the transition: “Having Ferguson around is invaluable. Not only is the guy still playing on a high level before he got injured. Some of the blocks you see at nose, he can eat and sleep and wake up and understand what goes on at the nose position. He’s been doing it so long and so long at a high level. It’s good to have an extra set of eyes. If I miss a step or a hand placement, Ferg will get it. Also he offers a player’s insight. I see it from a coach’s perspective, he sees it from a player’s insight. It’s just a double teaching for Randy.”
On what Starks’ willingness to move says about him: “The guy is unselfish. He’s bought into the program that Tony, Bill and Jeff have brought in about ‘team first.’ Whatever he can do to help the team, that’s what he wants to do. Right now we had the chance to get Jared [Odrick]. That was a big piece of the puzzle, and the fact Randy was able to do it that just goes to show you what kind of makeup this guy has.”
On Jared Odrick, the rookie first-rounder from Penn State: “With the position and the number and the slot he was picked in, he comes in with high expectations and we expect a lot out of him. He’s coming into the NFL, which is no box of chocolates for him by any stretch, but we’ve got high expectations for him and we’ve got certain roles we expect him to fill. He’s doing everything we ask of him.
On Odrick’s high level of college production: “We hope to translate that into a situation where he can be productive for us as well. One strength is his learning. Everybody in the NFL has size and strength, but the thing is the guy’s motor runs good and right now the biggest thing for him is to transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4. That’s his biggest challenge. Everything else at the end of the day is still football, blocking and tackling.”
On how long that 3-4 transition can take: “We’re destined to get him ready to play as soon as possible. We’re not in the developing business. We got to go in a hurry. He works at it. If he’s willing we got to get it to him.”
On backup NT Paul Soliai: “Soliai is doing really good. Right now we’re playing him right behind Randy. We’re very pleased with where Paul is. We just need for Paul to keep coming and keep growing as he heads into year three [as a nose]. Where does he fit in this program? He has to make his place. He has all the ability in the world. … I don’t think he missed [his window of opportunity] but you would feel the pressure and the competition definitely heated up making that kind of move [with Starks]. It’s crystal clear, I would say.”
On starting defensive end Kendall Langford: “It’s good to have a guy you just leave alone, you don’t hear a lot about him. This guy is just like steady Eddie. I’m on him a lot but the thing about him is he’s right there and you don’t really talk about that slot a lot. We kind of know what we’re going to get. We stay on him to get better but we’re pleased with Kendall and the guy can get a lot better. Te thing is, we’ve almost pigeon-holed him to being a first- and second-down run stopper but the guy has got some pass rush ability as well. We’ve got so many guys we’re rotating in and out, he’s got to find his niche too. We’ve got to do a great job of evaluating because this guy can be a productive football player for us.”