Koa Misi made a rare appearance in the Dolphins locker room on Monday. He showed his typically friendly disposition although it seemed he needed a haircut.
But I digress.
The point is Koa Misi was visible in the locker room. Now, he needs to show up with more frequency on game days.
The truth about the Dolphins 2010 second-round draft pick is that he has been something of an enigma this season. He wasn't exactly an impact player last year but this year he's been less productive than he was as a rookie.
Misi has 25 tackles through 11 games. He has one sack. He has one forced fumble.
Last year Misi contibuted more. He averaged 2.56 tackles per game last year compared to 2.25 per game this year. He had 4.5 sacks in 16 games compared to his one sack this year.
He had two forced fumbles, two passes defensed and three tackles for loss. This year, no passes defensed. This year, he has three tackles for loss.
Not what I would call significant improvement. Not what I would call improvement at all, actually.
Now, if you talk to coaches, they'll tell you about things Misi is doing better technically. They'll tell you he's often in better position and is setting the edge better and on and on. But ask why his bottom line numbers aren't thus better and you get silence.
And, without apologies, production is more important than technique.
Misi came to the Dolphins as a try-hard defensive end who needed to make the transition to stand-up 3-4 OLB. He gave hope last year that he could make the transition.
This year? Not quite as much.