Dolphins players seem to think it can happen, at least.
Linebacker Karlos Dansby recently told the Sun-Sentinel’s Izzy Gould he’s feels the defense–which was third against the run and sixth in points allowed, in 2011–has a higher ceiling.
“We’ve got a chance to be great,” Dansby told Gould. “We have a chance to be great in this defense. We have enough skill set. We have enough talent. We can make this defense work for us.”
If the numbers are to be trusted, it’s clear where the team can shore up its defense–in 2011, the Dolphins ranked 25th in total pass defense, giving up 3,992 yards. Part of this can be attributed to opposing offenses’ reluctance to run against the Dolphins front seven–adjusting it to passing yards per attempt shows there was some inflation–but if the goal is to be “great,” the margin of error is small.
Much has been made of the ever-increasing likelihood that the Dolphins defense will be switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 base, but the arrival of Kevin Coyle, the team’s new defensive coordinator, could be a boost for the secondary and, subsequently, the pass defense.
Prior to joining Joe Philbin’s staff this off-season, Coyle had been Cincinnati’s defensive backs coach for the past nine seasons, building a reputation for aggressive units and successful reclamation projects.
By tightening up the pass defense–improving the pass rush will surely be part of this–the Dolphins may be able to make Dansby’s claim a reality.
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