Home Miami dolphins Explore Dolphins roster decisions and use of defending players

Explore Dolphins roster decisions and use of defending players


Explored various issues with using Dolphins Defenders:

â–ª The Dolphins are doing something this organization hasn’t done in recent years: give significant slaps to four safeties in the same game. Jason McCourty, Jevon Holland, Eric Rowe, and Brandon Jones have all played over 20 snaps against Buffalo, with McCourty playing the most and Rowe the least.

It’s a fit for Rowe, who played most of the snaps last season.

“Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses,” Rowe said. “Together we are a pretty talented group. Everyone, even the coach, is trying to figure out what role each is going to play. With the four of us coming in and out, we try to find strengths that we all have.

As McCourty said, “Collaborating on what we see has been a lot of fun. Some guys have strengths in some things and weaknesses in others. It’s fun to see how we are deployed.

McCourty is playing the safest of his career: “I’m new to learning the ins and outs of our position. It’s fun to take on a new challenge.

â–ª Other than defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (nine sacks), no one in the Dolphins had more sacks last season than linebacker Jerome Baker, who had seven.

So it’s worth noting that Baker, at least initially, was used as a passer just under a year ago. The Dolphins might need him for more blitzing, given their defense has produced just two sacks in two games; no other NFL team has it less, with the exception of Green Bay.

Baker has rushed 16 of his opponents’ 80 passing games this season, 20% of the time; he fell within cover of the other 64 passing games.

Last season, he rushed 24% of the opponent’s passes and managed all seven sacks and 17 pressures.

So why are the Dolphins rushing to Baker less often so far this season?

“Bake gives us a lot of versatility,” defensive coordinator Josh Boyer responded. “It’s a week-to-week decision of what we think is best, if he covers, if he rushes. He is more than capable of doing all of these things.

“It comes down to what we think put the guys in the best position that week. It’s also the variable of what other teams do, whether you need an extra guy for cover or an extra guy in a rush. You are trying to find a balance.

Baker said he won’t ask for more passing opportunities and is happy to do whatever is asked of him.

But here’s the problem: Baker hasn’t been very good at passing coverage so far, allowing seven of eight targets to be caught on 82 yards, which equates to a 109.4 passer rating in its coverage area.

â–ª With giant nose tackle Raekwon Davis (who is 6-foot-7, 330 pounds) indefinitely with a knee injury, the Dolphins last week chose to play Adam Butler 47 snaps and 335 pounds John Jenkins 18 snaps.

The Bills ran 143 yards (4.8 per carry), although that is not an indictment against Butler.

Why did Butler get the green light on Jenkins?

“It’s the game plan, personal; it will be different every week, ”said defensive line coach Austin Clark. “They both have their strengths. Maybe one doesn’t have something the other does well. The way the guy trains is also a big part of this each week.

Although Butler’s strong point is rushing the passer, Clark said, “Adam is a good running player.”

â–ª Christian Wilkins has rushed the quarterback 44 times and has no sacks and only one quarterback pressure to show for it. He has 3.5 career sacks.

Is there a lot of hope that he can become a better passing hunter in the third year of his career?

“Absolutely,” Clark said. “Rushing for the passer is a team affair. Head-to-head matches, we have to win them for sure. As a team we need to generate more pressure.

â–ª Do the Dolphins have enough pressure with four-man rushes? Probably not.

“Sunday we definitely could have done a better job with that,” Clark said. “I have to do a better job preparing these guys. There are times when we have opportunities. We have to finish it. There was one where we jumped and missed the bag. When we get these opportunities, we have to capitalize and put more pressure on a unit. “

â–ª Slot cornerback Nik Needham played a lot in Game 1 while Justin Coleman barely played; in week 2 it was exactly the opposite.

“We’re going to be looking at it week after week,” said defensive back coach Gerald Alexander. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that someone did something wrong.”


â–ª Rookie Liam Eichenberg said he trained this week on both guard and tackle. “They’ve been turning me around all week,” he said.

According to a source, the Dolphins started the week with the intention of starting Eichenberg at one position and moving Solomon Kindley to the bench, provided Jesse Davis – with a knee injury – was able to play. But Eichenberg needs to train well for the Dolphins to stick to this plan.

Eichenberg – who is capable of playing a left tackle, a right tackle and a left guard – said he put notes on each position on flash cards, which he often carried in his backpack.

Center Michael Deiter said the offensive line room was “down early” after the Buffalo loss “but you are using it to help you improve.”

Davis was again limited to training on Thursday with a knee problem. As is wide receiver Jakeem Grant, who has a sprained ankle.

â–ª In the wake of the Dolphins giving up two sacks to the unblocked Bills blitzers on Sunday morning, Deiter explained the process.

“It starts with the center and the quarterback,” Deiter said. “How do we identify it, how do we communicate [before the snap]. It is up to all six to ensure that communication is clean. Make sure there is no gray area and make sure they echo it with the rest of the guys. There are cases where we might see the front a little different. “

In this case, the quarterback can override the defense reading through the center if he sees it differently.

▪ Albert Wilson, who had two drops against Buffalo, said, “I have to be able to bring them back. I just have to catch the ball. This is our job. I was excited, trying to shake things up.

Wilson said, “We were definitely humbled by Buffalo. We know we are a good team. We know we can compete with anyone in the league.

â–ª Receiver Preston Williams said he got past the foot and knee problems that had hampered him this season.

“I feel good physically,” he says. “On game day, nothing hurts.”

This story was originally published September 23, 2021 at 3:12 pm.

Barry Jackson has been writing for the Miami Herald since 1986 and columnist for Florida Sports Buzz since 2002.