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2 posts from September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013

Soliai, Patterson out vs. Falcons PLUS more info

Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who injured his knee in the victory over Indianapolis last week, will miss this week's game against the Falcons and his status is uncertain for next week as well, according to the Dolphins injury report and sources.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who missed last week's game at Indy, will also miss the home opener Sunday, the Dolphins said in their injury report.

This final injury report of the week was a salt and pepper dose of good and troubling news.

WR Mike Wallace, who missed two weeks with a groin injury during the preseason and training camp, is questionable for Sunday with a groin injury. He was limited in practice on Friday.

Center Mike Pouncey was also limited in practice with an ankle injury and is listed as questionable but he is expected to play barring a setback the next couple of days.

Safety Chris Clemons, who missed all of the week's practices before Friday because of a hamstring injury, was able to do limited practice work today. So he's improving despite being listed as questionable. He has said he will play against the Falcons.

LB Koa Misi (right knee) and QB Pat Devlin (ankle) were also limited in practice Friday and are listed as questionable. I expect Misi to be available and Devlin's status is the inactive third quarterback anyway so he wouldn't be needed unless the Apocalypse is underway Sunday afternoon at Sun Life.

Speaking of quarterback injuries, starter Ryan Tannehill, who was limited in practice earlier in the week with a right (throwing) shoulder issue, took all his repetitions in practice today. He is listed as probable. He's good to go although the issue demands scrutiny as he takes hits on game day.

Dannell Ellerbe (toe), Nate Garner (pectoral, ribs), John Jerry (knee), Dion Jordan (shouler), Jamar Taylor (groin, hernia), Olivier Vernon (thumb) and Jimmy Wilson (groin) all practiced full on Friday and are listed as probable for the game.

Dolphins D by any other name still excellent

They call themselves "The Brotherhood."

The Dolphins defense has given itself a nickname, handle, sobriquet, whatever you want to call it. Cameron Wake says it's the brainchild of Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, himself and others, and the players have had shirts made to celebrate the new identity.

Not everyone gets a shirt by the way.

"This is one shirt you have to earn," Wake says. "We don't give it out to everybody."

I canvassed the Dolphins locker room and found many of the defenders had a shirt such as the one Wake is modeling in the photo.Cam1

"It means you're recognized for doing something good," linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said. "It's good when you get the respect from your teammates and coaches."

That's what the shirt may mean. The "Brotherhood' means more, Wake says.

"The brotherhood is strong. It's like a fraternity. It's a family," Wake says. "You have a job to do and 10 other guys are expecting you to do your job so they can do their job. If you don't do your job, you're letting everybody down. You're letting your family down. And if you have too many letdowns, somebody else will be doing your job. You have to respect the brotherhood.

so far this season, the Dolphins defense, the brotherhood, is doing a good job where it counts most -- the scoreboard. The Dolphins are tied with the Jets and Oakland for fewest points allowed per game. They are fourth inn third down efficiency. They are sixth in interceptions percentage. They are ninth in sacks per pass.

But it is the points per game that suggests good things ahead.  

"That's the No. 1 stat on a defense," Wake says. "You want to make sure you take care of that. You want to keep it going and it's the culmination of all the other ones -- don't let them run the ball, get off the field on third down, turnovers. It all trickles down to defensive points allowed."

If the Dolphins continue to play defense at their current level (yes, everyone knows two games is a small sample size) then Ellerbe says his new teammates might start to gain a reputation similar to the one his old mates on the Baltimore defense earned.

"It's something that comes with time," he said. "We're putting in the work right now. So a couple of years down the road, it'll be something that's talked about: The Miami defense. We want to start our own thing down here."

Well, they've already nicknamed themselves.