Playing with surefire Hall of Famers such as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed allowed the middle linebacker to soak in everything he possibly could about how to lead a Super Bowl caliber defense. Now he’s hoping to bring some of the tricks of the trade he learned from Charm City down to South Beach.
During a majority of his career with the Ravens, Ellerbe was the equivalent of a super-sub kind of player. He was a guy who could come off the bench in key situations and make a big play. Last season, Ellerbe became a starter after Ray Lewis’s triceps injury, and showed how instrumental he was to the Ravens’ feared defense. That importance was exemplified perfectly in his game sealing interception against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship Game.
Now, Ellerbe is excited to carve out his own legacy with the Dolphins. In an interview with the Finsiders that aired Thursday afternoon, he talked about how he sees them as a hungry young defense that he can open up a new chapter in his career with.
“I can’t even explain into words. Just to be a part of this defense that’s up and coming and just to be a key factor, I mean that’s what I’ve been working for my whole life,” Ellerbe said. “And for me to get it off of a Super Bowl run it feels like it’s a dream.”
He thinks the Dolphins made some great moves to put the pieces in place for a aggressive new defense, including his new teammate in the linebacking corps Philip Wheeler. Ellerbe and Wheeler bring incredible speed and tenacity to the linebacker position, and can do everything that the position warrants them to do.
“I just feel like we’re the type of guys that can do whatever you need us to do. We’re the type of guys that can run, can hit, and can blitz,” Ellerbe said. “I know for certain that all he (Wheeler) wants do is blitz so you call him to blitz, he’s gonna be all out.”
He and Wheeler are also very versatile, and according to Ellerbe, that’s what you need in today’s high-paced game.
“You can’t have big stocky linebackers out there that can’t run because they’re single minded and space will make them look bad,” Ellerbe said. “I feel like that’s a plus that we have two versatile guys, and I feel like we can play each other’s position.”
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