Both Richard Marshall and Chris Clemons picked off Mark Sanchez in the Dolphins’ 23-20 overtime loss to AFC East rival New York Jets.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and head coach Joe Philbin have put a premium on creating takeaways, and the Dolphins’ secondary has taken the lead. Part of the unit’s continuing maturation process will be remaining physical without becoming overaggressive.
On Sunday, the Dolphins were penalized 11 times for 65 yards; five of those penalties were committed in the defensive secondary (two defensive pass interference calls, two illegal contact calls and a defensive holding call).
In his weekly press conference, Coyle said he would like to see that tightened up as the season unfolds. For the time being, though, that may mean adjusting to how replacement refs are calling games, even if that varies more than usual from week to week.
“I think we’re seeing more penalties down the field throughout the whole league right now,” Coyle said. “Whether it’s because of the officiating, I’m not sure exactly, but the numbers are up.”
The Dolphins’ defensive backs can try to cut down on the infractions not by adjusting down field, Coyle said, but by getting in a favorable spot right as the ball is snapped.
“We’ve got to do a better job of getting initial position on routes that doesn’t put you in a position where you have to reach or grab or make contact. We’re constantly talking about that and hopefully they will continue to get better with that end of it.”
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