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Finsiders Mailbag, 5/19/11

Posted By Jesse Agler On May 19, 2011 @ 1:31 pm In Football | No Comments

[1]Defensive Questions for Sam Madison & Kim Bokamper…

George Taffur (Facebook): Sam, with so much attention going to the offensive side of the ball in the draft, what kind of NEW things can we expect from the defense?

Sam Madison: That’s a good question, George. With all of the firepower that the Dolphins brought in on offense, you have to figure and hope that it will give the defense an opportunity to rest up a little bit more between possessions. I think that late in the season, this defense wasn’t as fresh as some other teams and so hopefully with a more powerful offense, they’ll be able to rest up more during games and be even more ready to go when they get out on the field. Plus, remember that last year you had a brand new defensive coordinator [Mike Nolan], so this season he’ll be able to implement more of his ideas into the defense. Plus, you’re getting Jared Odrick and AJ Edds back, which will only help the unit. The sky is the limit on defense.

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Justin Ball, Facebook: Kim, how do you think Jared Odrick will do this season?

Kim Bokamper: Love that question, Justin, because I’m anxious to see what he does. I think he’s a good player, I think he fits for this team in a couple different ways: he can play defensive end on the three-man line and can probably slip inside when they use a four-man front. He’s got the quickness to get by some of the guards and really get some penetration in the pass rush. I’m very excited about him; it’s almost like getting another first round selection coming in. The main question, of course, is if he can hold up to the punishment of the National Football League because so far he hasn’t  been able to do that  so far.

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Wendell Christensen, Facebook: Sam, do you think our young corners [Sean Smith and Vontae Davis] are ready to take the next step and become an elite corner duo similar to you and Pat [Surtain]?

Sam: First of all, they definitely have the talent to do the same things that Pat and I did. The one ingredient that we had, though, was that we caught the ball. These guys got their hands on a lot of balls last year and if they can catch 80% of the ones that come their way, they’ve got the opportunity to become a couple of elite press cover corners.

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TJ Back, Facebook: What would you say is Miami’s greatest defensive need going into 2011?

Kim: I feel pretty good about this defense. I think that they’re solid across the board. Maybe at free safety there’s a little bit of a question mark. I’d expect Koa Misi to step up his game and provide a pass rushing presence opposite of Cameron Wake. I have to say, TJ, I feel pretty good about where this unit is at right now.

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@MoDolFan, Twitter: Sam, what do you think about the safety situation?

Sam: I can tell you one thing: Reshad Jones looked great late in the season and there will be a competition battle at free safety. You have to figure coach Sparano knows this and likes this, because that’s the kind of competition that pushes guys and can make your football team better. As for strong safety, the play from Yeremiah Bell wasn’t necessarily as good as it was his Pro Bowl year, but you have to remember that this was a totally different defense. 2011 will be his second year in this scheme and he’ll understand his role a little bit more and won’t have to take as many risks.

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George Quesada, Facebook: Is Channing Crowder still an effective player in this defense?

Kim: I think Channing is effective in this defense to a degree. When you look at shortcomings for him, you’re talking about coverage situations. He‘s very good against the run and brings a lot of passion to the huddle. There are certain guys that have a nose for the football, they seem to be there when the ball is there, and Channing doesn’t seem to have that. You’d like to see more game-changing types of plays out of him.

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@Ali_Dolfan, Twitter: Bo, what do you think the rotation on the defensive line will look like?

Kim: Ali, there are a lot of guys there that you can rotate in and out. I think Paul Soliai proved he can be that guy in the middle and play consistently. That gives you the freedom to play Randy Starks more at defensive end. You obviously have Odrick coming back. I think the biggest problem, if you can call it that, is that when it comes time for roster cut downs, who do you keep? I really believe there’s going to be a good player or two  off the defensive front that will end up on someone else’s team because they don’t make this roster right out of the box.

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Kenny Bixler, Facebook: Is it worth it to be penalized and/or fined for celebrating on a big play?

Sam: [Laughs] No, it isn’t worth it, not at all. First of all, you’re putting yourself and the team in a bad situation. Things happen with the emotions of the game, but sometimes you have to understand the situation and think about more than just that moment. One little penalty can put you and your team in a bad situation as far as field position is concerned and it could cost you a football team.

Be sure to check the official Dolphins Facebook [2] and Twitter [3] pages for the next opportunity to submit mailbag questions!

[Laughs] No, it isn’t worth it, not at all. First of all, you’re putting yourself and the team in a bad situation. Things happen with the emotions of the game, but sometimes you have to understand the situation and think about more than just that moment. One little penalty can put you and your team in a bad situation as far as field position is concerned and it could cost you a football team.


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