Miami Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe joined The Finsiders Tuesday evening to discuss the mindset of the team going into the Atlanta game Friday night. He also provided an in-depth look into training camp thus far. However, the primary focus of the interview centered around Ellerbe’s switch back to outside linebacker this season.
The former Super Bowl champion signed a free agent deal with Miami in March 2013 and was brought in, along with Philip Wheeler, to restock the linebacker position. However, Ellerbe would be asked to move from outside to middle linebacker, a position he hadn’t played since college. While he still put up productive numbers (101 combined tackles) last season, he struggled to fully grasp his new position.
“It’s different,” Ellerbe said. “When you’re playing mike (middle) you’re playing inside out and when you’re playing will (outside) you’re more likely outside in, so I was still, in my mind, not trying to let them beat me to the outside because I was used to keeping things inside of me. It was just a transition that I had to get used to.”
Head Coach Joe Philbin and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle decided a change was in order, and by the start of training camp, it was evident that the linebacker unit had been shuffled once again. Ellerbe was back on the outside, with fifth year man Koa Misi taking over the middle for the first time in his career. While Ellerbe told The Finsiders he was better prepared for the middle this season, he did admit, however, that he was excited to be back home.
“Its going great,” Ellerbe said. “Im back home, doing what I’ve been doing the whole time I’ve been in the league before I got here. I’m comfortable at that position… I feel like I did good at the middle, and I was going to be better this year, but now I’m back at home and I feel more comfortable.”
To hear more of Ellerbe’s thoughts on training camp, the growth of MLB Koa Misi, and what the mindset of the team is heading into their first preseason game on Friday night, click here.
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