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Coyle Talks 3-4 vs. 4-3 Defense
By on February 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Much has been made about the Dolphins spreading it out on offense next season, but there’s also a new man running the defense.

Recently hired defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle talked to The Finsiders about defensive schemes and his philosophy for building a defense.

Although it’s base defense was a 3-4 last season, Coyle noted Miami only played out of the formation about 25 percent of the time. With a majority of the league deciding to air it out, it’s more important that teams remain flexible enough to make substitutions.

“It’s not about 3-4 or 4-3,” Coyle said. “Whatever we end up evolving to—and right now it’s an ongoing process as we’re evaluating players and talking about scheme and how they fit in—it’s going to be about execution.”

Coyle assured there will be an emphasis on creating turnovers, something the Dolphins defense has struggled with in the past.

“Once you start to get turnovers, what I’ve seen over the years, it’s like a wildfire,” Coyle said. “Once you start to get them, and there’s some confidence that way, they tend to keep coming in bunches.”

Whether the defense plays with three or four down lineman, Coyle feels that the defensive line needs to be the defense’s foundation.

“You need to be strong up front,” said Coyle, who came to Miami from Cincinnati. “And that is one of the great things we have going into this season.”

As a first-time NFL defensive coordinator, Coyle will lean on his assistants to help shape the defense’s new look.

“This is not going to be a one-man show,” Coyle said. “I’m looking for a lot of input from our guys on defense, and I think we have a quality defensive staff that are going to have a lot to say.”


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This team made some great strides this off-season. I like the coach, I love Tannehill. I’ll be going to a whole lot of Fins games this year! GO FINS!

guppy says:

This is the real key to next season.I’m not sure we ran a 4-3 75% of the time either(send me game film I missed alot due to work).Anyway note “we’re evaluating players and talking about scheme and how they fit in”.In a 4-3 your pass rush comes mainly from DE & 3-4 mainly from OLB.Can Soliai be as effective a DT as he is a NT & do you pay the kinda money he will or should get?Who is on this roster to start at the other DT?We have Dansby & Burnett,2 100+ tackle ILB’s,who stays inside & who goes outside & can the one going outside play up to that potential or does one get traded?Can Wake play a 4-3 OLB?Can he make the shift to a 4-3 DE (6-3 250 kinda small)?Don’t get me wrong I do like the 4-3 better but question do we have the right personnel & it seems our better defensive players are more suited to a 3-4.I think it will take atleast 2yrs to procure the right personnel for a solid 4-3.I’d rather take that time upgrading my offense because I do believe we’re somewhat close.Anyway good luck phish & kick butt!