« And then there was one (unsigned rookie) left ... | Main | Dolphins add Eric Steinbach as RG »

Dolphins relative strength on defense is ... good

The Dolphins this season are transitioning their defense from the 3-4 that has dominated since Nick Saban took over in 2005 and lasted through Cam Cameron to the Parcellian Era.

While Miami may use the 3-4 at times this season, I think it's fair to believe they should be called a 4-3.

Yeah, that means Cameron Wake goes from OLB to DE. That means Paul Soliai is no longer exclusively a nose tackle. And the five-technique defensive ends are suddenly going to have to transition or play defensive tackle.

Meanwhile, the unit lost its two most tenured players -- Pass-rusher Jason Taylor to retirement and SS Yeremiah Bell to the waiver wire.

Not surprisingly, the Dolphins haven't exactly replaced either player with guaranteed upgrades. Yes, Olivier Vernon was drafted in the third round and is expected to help rush the passer. But will he deliver seven sacks to offset the seven Taylor contributed last year?

Yes, the club is expecting Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons to finally grow up and man the deep secondary. But which will take over the leadership duties that Bell filled the past few years. And can either finally start getting some interceptions for the Miami secondary that needs more turnovers?

We'll see.

Overall, however, the Miami defense seems talented on many levels. The defensive line got stronger because Wake is now with the unit and he's perhaps the team's best defensive player. Two of the three linebacker spots are manned by proven vets. There is a good combination of youth and experience at cornerback although the depth is a question.

Are we about to see the 2001 Baltimore Ravens?


Are we about to see the 2007 Miami defense?

God, I hope not.

We're going to see a unit that should be solid and relative good. The unit's relative strength:

Defensive line: Kendall Langford is gone after signing a $6 per year deal with somebodyorother. Why does that not worry me? Well, because Langford was a nice player but not a playmaker. He was a big body but not one that collected sacks, caused fumbles, or made tackles behind the line of scrimmage with any consistency. The Dolphins, meanwhile, still keep Randy Starks, who does make plays, they have Jared Odrick, who has shown promise and also has made plays, and they re-signed Paul Soliai who has been to a Pro Bowl game. Those three beefy men will all play and form a good foundation for an active front. Tony McDaniel, the world's tallest defensive tackle at 6-7, provides decent depth in that he can give the team 20-25 solid downs every week. Add Wake at defensive and you have some quarterback pressure. If Vernon is the player GM Jeff Ireland believes, then the Dolphins have something. If not, this club needs pass-rush help. Look for Odrick to work outside initially. Overall strength: 7 but possibly a 9 if either Vernon or Odrick can become good ends.

Linebackers: Karlos Dansby is good and when he's on he's very good. Kevin Burnett, quirky and all, is good and can rise to very good at times. Gary Guyton knows how to play and is a winner. Jamal Westerman seems more like a down lineman to me and, beyond that, more like a special teams guy. The big question is Koa Misi. Can the guy find a comfort in the 4-3 that he clearly could not find in the 3-4? This is a make-or-break year for Misi because his position demands he make some plays and he didn't do much of that last year. Rookie Josh Kaddu is obviously a project. Overall strength: 7.5.

Secondary: Vontae Davis played very well late last season after his, ahem, one-game suspension. He finished the season with four interceptions but that doesn't tell the whole story. He was physical. He was very good in coverage. He started to show the promise everyone expects. Maybe he's starting to get it. Sean Smith is fine, too. Did he finish with a burst? Not really, but he was more consistent throughout the year. These guys aren't kids anymore. This is Year Four for both players. No excuses anymore, fellas. Six-year veteran Richard Marshall comes to the team with a reputation for being solid. He has made plays in his career. He is the strongest candidate for work as the team's nickel cornerback. I already discussed the safety position above. It is a concern. A darkhorse that requires attention is Jimmy Wilson. He's likely headed to the safety spot. He hits like a sledgehammer. He's fearless. Last year, he was probably over his head playing cornerback as a rookie. But I like his potenial. Overall strength: 6.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

stuff tanny on the ps, nobody will snap him up off of the ps, don't worry. nobody.


I was unaware of his workout #'s at the combine and yes College is a different animal but last Season Luck struggled 2 weeks straight and held the ball to long. Once Vs. USC were he nearly gave the game away and relied heavily on the holes his line was punching in the run game. The following week Vs. Cal it's like he forgot how to play in the 1st half even though his line gave him enough time to eat a sandwich in the backfield, I believe both games even though won by Stanford actually lost Luck the Heisman. Your points are valid though so here is to hoping the kid is just not a good workout warrior and gives us something.

I wonder what kind of gag order the media has on them while hard knocks is recording. I assume there must be something so the show's stories don't break early...

Welcome back Mando.

did aloco get deported.?.

Henne has had a well rested throwing shoulder/arm for an extra yr now as his injury was on no throwing shoulder

Funny thing is Henne is better than Tanny and will prove so this season w Jax

Ireland is lost and completely bankrupt our team as this was the true reason for dumping Marshall & Bell

Clearly at this point the Dolphins have not signed or drafted anyone better at either position

Bell would have resigned and played here for much less
He like all others just could not stand pompous arrogant Ireland rubbing him the wrong way
That's he signed w the Jets as Sparano felt the same way

If Marshall did not find in, then it is Ireland's job to get fair or hopefully better trade compensation for an elite player, not trade for an, "Egnew"

The Bears really needed Marshall as this was the missing link to their offense

Expect great play and another Pro Bowl trip for B-Marsh and Lovie Smith looking like a genius getting over huge on Ireland

Looks like my post got deleted, bummer.

Posted by: Poizen | July 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Yes. They need to make room for Home's idiotic ramblings to himself.

Hey what kind of crackers?? I like my crackers with cream cheese! LMAO!

Home on the Herald = Wang Sandwich

Turd, AKA home, please condense your ramblings down to 1 letter. No one reads your long winded banter.

Xcuse typos

Weeden beat RG III, Luck and Tannehill? In a steel cage match? Football is a team sport. Nice try

Posted by: PUHLEEEEASE | July 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Home suggests u watch jon Gruden's QB scouting reports and was also his language to Weeden as he spoke about Weeden w praise

Try to behave :)

Poizen some of my posts also get deleted if blog writer does not agree

same thing happens in China ;)

The Fins D could be dominant this year, depends on the secondary - whether Vonte and Smith have grown up or not, adults know how to focus, children do not.

Jones and Clemons? One would have to think that they will be improved with another year of playing under their belts, camps this year and Coyle's tutoring.

That remains to be seen however.

But if these 4 guys can play at a high and consistent level this D will be one of the best in the league.

Fingers crossed. And Hail Mary's uttered.

We can hope on Martin but in particular

Jared O'Drick who only avg 1.3 tackles a game last season
but showed some promise starting to get sacks and had an INT fall in his arms on a tipped ball has been totally embarrassing Martin

Expect Murtha to start at RT

I didn't like the Tannenhill pick myself, thought it was a major reach like a 2 round reach... but as one of my friends & fellow dolfan told me it gives us Hope.
I thought it gave us a wasted first round pick, but Hope certainly sounds better, so I hope Tannenhill turns out to be the Franchise QB we need, he wasn't a Franchise College QB, but hopefully the coaching staff can turn him into a Franchise NFL QB... Here's hoping for a playoff game for the dolphins this year & for Tannehill to turn into a Superbowl winning QB for dolphins sometime in the years to come.
Go Dolphins....

Tannehill is WORSE then Henne.

Miller hopefully will shine light and show some promise as our only good draft pick in 2012

Also their is an advantage playing in the same stadium as u played in college

This one of the small reasons why 24 yr old QB/FB Tim Tebow should have been signed in FA instead of injured soon to be 35 yr old Garrard
Tebow has had ENORMOUS SUCCESS since high school winning big games in our stadium over and over again

sellouts would be a good thing in Miami

Expect Murtha to start at RT

Home on the Herald | July 26, 2012 at 01:13 PM

Then we better sign a vet RT in a hurry before Murtha gets his annual Season ending injury.

blah blah. all that matters is what happens on the field

Gruden was drooling over Tannehill too. Nothing to see there

Exactly two persons here are smart: (1) Mando; (2) Home.

I am not Home. He is right about everything. Especially Tebow.

HENNE got screw last year by JI, putting him on IR. For the none throwing shoulder! I think he would have been a good backup, and he played in a great conference and HENNE was successful in college and was limited in the pro's, or was he? Under TS and JI I think screw him up mentally! I hope he does well in Jax.. So with that said is tanny going to become a NFL QB ????
I would hope so I really do!

According to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, he could "revolutionize" the pro game

Says Gruden: "Tim Tebow is 250 pounds, and he's the strongest human being that's ever played the position He can throw well enough at any level

"Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said he would pick Tebow with a top 10 pick over any quarterback in the 2010 draft"


If Miller can stay healthy expect our return game to get better by leaps and bounds, if nothing else and Bush in the slot with this kid in the backfield could be very interesting from a match up point of view for opposing D's. One player I am keeping my eye on this offseason is C.Gates who has it all physically to be special and now has the Coaching staff that will work on his game. In fairness to Gates he had no offseason OTA's or complete practices as a rookie and I remember what a bomb Clayton was as a rookie punt returner in 83 before exploding in 84, comparing them from a physical standpoint Gates is faster and bigger, really hoping this kids lights come on.

Tim Tebow is now 255 lbs and ready to pass and run through the Dolphins defense again, esp w o Y-Bell

Now if the Ireland would have drafted
LB Luke or DE/DT Cox
then the Dolphins would have had better odds this season

Gruden never develop a QB or even drafted a good QB! So Gruden to me is a unproven evaluator! If he was a good evaluator or a great coach, why isn't a lot of teams breaking his door down to offer him a contract! But I could be wrong on Gruden maybe he doesn't want to coach, or be a GM!! But what I know I'm a Dumba s s dolpfan!!!!

Miller Time baby! That kid is a playa

Like the promise of Gates also but he is not big about 5.11 and 185-190 lbs

Speed Kills

I agree on Gates if he can improve his route running and bulks up in muscle, but you right can't teach speed, and there are players right now in the NFL that are smaller and are probowlers. Like the player in philly Jackson.

Gruden did excellent w Rich Gannon and was the reason Gannon developed into such a good QB at the end of his carrer

Gannon had an excellent year due to Gruden's development of him

The Gruden beat him in the SB by out coaching, even posing as Rich Gannon in Bucs football practices prior to the SB

Long Live Chucky!

Clayton was also 5.9 and about 180 lbs

so Gates is same size but up to 10 lbs heavier
as athletes get bigger every few yrs

Can we trade Tannehill gor Tebow?

I'm watching Payton manning news conference after first practice, and a reporter ask him if he missed playing football! I though we had dumb a s s reports here in Mia asking question!! But it was nice seeing payton out there! But I know lots of fans here including myself wanted Payton here but he is 36.. And not the future! But man it would have been nice in a PHINS uniform!
But again Ross to cheap to pay him just like he did to Flynn!!

Yeah you right! On Rich Gannon but he was good not great, and I forgot about him, anyone else??

Hey Ray do you realize the Mark Sanchez only had 12 starts at USC , the Aaron Rodger had 25 starts at Cal, that Matt Cassel had 0 starts at USC, that Blaine Gabbert had 26 starts at Mizzou, that Tom Brady had 25 starts at Michigan, and they all are starting in the NFL. It's not how many starts, it's how they play. So let's see how Tanneybplays.

Heck, Ross was too cheap to pay Orton, Manning, Flynn, and even Tannehill.

It the salary is covered by the CBA. The hold up is the guaranteed money during the last years of the contract.

Any one who thinks Tebow will be a great qb no matter what weight doesn't know football.

Eric Steinbach signed by Dolphins. Really?

I am not Home.
Posted by: Tim Couch | July 26, 2012 at 01:25 PM

Yes, you are. The fact that you say your not is proof positive that you are! Everyone knows you clown!

Now stfu you idiot & go do something productive with your life instead of talking to or about your self!

Then the Dolphins, Jets, Steelers, Chiefs ,Bears an others really suck cuz
Tebow punched them in the mouth and knocked their teeth out in his very first start against each of them

have a HAARPy day :(

Yeah I really want a qb with the lowest qb rating in the league starting for my team. Doesn't that sound stupid.

Home - what idiot refers to himself in the third person. Me thinks that is dumb.

« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.