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Dolphins defense trying to change ... but not to 3-4

Last season, as the Dolphins declined in multiple defensive categories from the season before -- run defense, third-down defense, pass completion percentage, first downs allowed, yards allowed, and the the big one, points allowed -- there was the suggestion in cyberspace that perhaps the defense would be better off as a 3-4 defense rather than a 4-3 defense.

I know the idea was out there because, well, I helped create it. It just seemed to me the Dolphins defense that was pretty good in 2011 as a 3-4 unit was less effective in 2012 as a 4-3 unit and then was worse again in 2013 in multiple categories in that same 4-3.

Well, forget that switch to the 3-4.

It is not happening.

The Dolphins are indeed doubling down on the idea of running the 4-3 and this brief free agency period has already shown the team's intent. When the club had linebacker D'Qwell Jackson in for a visit weeks ago, coaches told him they saw him as a middle linebacker fit in their 4-3.

When the club first contacted and talked with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, they told him that though he'd played in the 3-4 in Houston, they saw him as a 4-3 defensive tackle. Indeed, that was  a selling point for Mitchell.

"I definitely wanted to be a part of a 4-3 team," Mitchell said, "so I’m definitely ... I’m excited and I really appreciate getting involved with this organization for giving me an opportunity."

Mitchell sees the chance to play in the 4-3 as an opportunity because he likes it more. He believes he's better suited for it. And, by the way, he won't have centers and guards diving at his knees from multiple angles like they do to 3-4 nose tackles.

"I think it will definitely give me an opportunity to showcase my skill and just, it will definitely be a time where I can definitely just be able to make more plays and be part of a, just getting after the quarterback," said Mitchell, who played in the 4-3 in college.

So that's that.

The Dolphins are and will remain a base 4-3. That doesn't mean they don't plan some changes.

Obviously, the Jackson flirtation made it clear the team wants to move Dannell Ellerbe, signed last year to replace Karlos Dansby in the middle, to outside linebacker. The team has also told linebacker Koa Misi he might be moving him to the middle unless the draft or the remainder of free agency yields a middle linebacker type, a fact also reported recently by The Herald's Barry Jackson.

What does this front seven shuffling say?

Well, obviously the Dolphins are looking for upgrade. But in toying with the idea of upgrade, the consideration to change the scheme has been discarded.

Yet ... and I'm just talking to myself here ... I'm convinced Jared Odrick and Randy Starks playing the five-technique would be excellent, and indeed Starks went to a Pro Bowl playing that spot and Odrick was drafted in the first round specifically for that spot.

I believe Mitchell is a good nose, although the loss of Paul Soliai to play that spot stings and crimps my potential 3-4 lineup.

The linebackers?

Cameron Wake, Dion Jordan and Olivier Vernon outside in some sort of rotation. Ellerbe, Phillip Wheeler and Misi inside in some sort of rotation.


Your revamped 3-4 front.

By the way, when the Dolphins brought Ellerbe over from Baltimore last year, they took him away from the more familiar 3-4. Jordan looks like a prototype 3-4 linebacker much more than he seems suited to play 4-3 DE.

Cameron Wake, obvioulsy, is a wash because he's been effective in both schemes. I've had multiple personnel people tell me Vernon, smallish as a 4-3 end, would be well suited as a 3-4 OLB.

OK, end of sermon.

The point is the Dolphins defense that needs to stop the slide in mutliple areas from the past couple of years since the scheme change is looking to make some adjustments. A change back to the 3-4 isn't one of them.


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Andrew luck can run faster than manziel

Yeah Dashi it was like the knee Trent Green took to the side of his dome. I thought they were both dead!

O.Vernon goes about 270. He isn't small for a DE. You can say he is short for the position. But he isn't small. Plus, O.Vernon has the Strength of a NT.

All the jaded blind Tannehill lovers are soooo mad
that the winning Heisman Trophy QB Johhny Football is way better than the inaccurate losing failed QB Tannehill

John Gruden was right
Tannehill is inaccurate and cannot close games

Tanny proved it in 2012 and 2013 getting shut out in both 2012 & 2013 December games

Tanny is "awful"

Next Up!

Why not place dion Jordan at the OLB? he can be way more efficient than wheeler, plus he can cover TE's

man, i think armundo talks a lot but makes sense very little.
this defensive personal is perfectly suited for the 4-3 not the 3-4!
the front four is a really great group with depth. yes, even at DT with the resigning of starks and the aquiring of mitchell. we have 4 great ends and 3 great 4-3 tackles and a couple of young depth guys. i'd prefer we play straight up along the front more, especially on 1st and 2nd down. i even think we are a guy away from fixing the LB situation. i like putting misi in the middle. he's a good run stopper. i also like j. jenkins in the rotation. they get another year in the system now.

as far as jodan goes he will get more play this season.he is very healthy now. he will be there for all the workouts and minicamps. he looked like the real deal when in.

Manziel is "quick" football quick

there is a dif

Manzel is a winner

Tannehill a loser


Got Denver ?


Do you really see RB as a real possibility? I don't see it because Joe Philbin is an admitted pass first kind of guy. Does he value the RB position enough to adjust?

As far as Shazier from Ohio State I like him but like you said he's better suited to play OLB and that is definitely not a position of value league wide.

Got Patriots ?

Got Kuechly ?

Wilson and Brees are high IQ QBs. Johhny is an idiot. Johnny doesn't stand a chance. Johnny will get drafted by the Browns and then in a couple years Irsay will be washing down a few pain killers with a 40 of The High Life looking for a few more twitter hits and trade a high round pick for him.

Got a franchise QB ?

or a failed reach @ #8

Got Wilson? Got Foles?

or did u reach at number 8

and fail w a QB that cannot throw past 60 ft?


I reject your notion of putting Carlos Hyde ahead of Tre La Soul.Must stay committed and true!

I am sorry, But Dashi isn't responding to the ridiculous responses today.

To say N.Saban runs a 4-3. Is Ridiculous!!

To say J.Manziel will be a good "Pro QB". Is Ridiculous!!

To say Dashi gets his opinion from other people. Specially Sportswriters. Is Obscenely Ridiculous!!

You would have to be a Ridiculous Idiot if you believe any of the above to be true.

reel dumbazz in sight you keep spewing the same idiotic statements about your silly hard on with manziel. Manziel is not NFL quick, he is going to get killed. PERIOD. Brandon weeden had more college success than Manziel. now look at him. a back up to tony freaking room ha ha ha lol.

Got Bazooka Joe and another OC that combined has never called even one offensive play on Sunday?


How many draft picks will this team have ... we need to draft 2 o line starters, a starting rb, a starting MLB, a starting safety.... sheesh, would've been nice if they at least addressed some of this in free agency sufficiently - that $5M they spent on Finnegan to play 28 yards off the receiver as per Coyle's style would've been better spent on a LB or O lineman...



I do see it as a possibility that Hyde could be the pick. I'm just connecting the dots with Hickey. In Tampa Bay they "reached" for Doug Martin and he ended up being their most productive offense player with close to 2000 yards from scrimmage. Miami doesn't have a RB who can carry the load or have any real effect on the game. Lamar Miller is a change of pace guy. No way he should be your starter. He's a 1 trick pony. Daniel Thomas is a back up and just an average one at that.

As far as Shazier to eaches own. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know 4-3 OLB can be found in any round but the impact he's capable of is something you can't find in every round. I have no reason to be biased toward him. I'm a Michigan fan so I just look at him objectively and see a future star who fills the stat sheets.

Tannefail prectices his accuracy at Dicks Sporting Goods by bouncing balls down flights of stairs and by throwing tennis balls to his dog

Tom Brady has a whole nother practice regimen on throwing mechanics

Philbin is in the Dolphins cafeteria looking for discarded chewing gum under the tables

Bellicheck & Elway are studying film and signing elite players in Free Agency

The first time I saw manziel play - the guy doing play by play asked the colour commentator - who does Manziel remind you of. The colour commentator (I belive it was Bob Griese) said ..............

Ty Detmer

Johnny Football will throw more WR TDs in his first two games than Ryan Timothy Tannehill did all of his 2012 season w 3 WR TDs

Lauren Tannehill is just a money hungry "beard" for the goofy gay Ryan Timothy Tannehill

Johhny football if drafted will be converted to WR his rookie season


LOL. My bad bro. I'm huge on our guy Tre La Soul but I guess just connecting the dots of what I'd think Hickey would do. Plus a 1-2 punch of Hyde and Miller seems a little more logical.

BUT I do think Mason can be an every down all purpose back as well and is the the better fit for a Lazor offense. The fact he has no ties to Lamar Miller and Philbin doesn't seem to care for his abilities very much then Im all over taking Tre Mason at 19 if you see Lamar Miller as not in your future.

If I was taking Tre Mason at 19 which I'd be all for then I want Andre Brown or someone of that ilk in FA to compliment him. If I see Lamar Miller as having a future as a very good change of pace guy then Im all over Hyde.

Im torn between the 2 lol.

mark, thats speaking a lot, because ty detmer was even a better QB than Manziel.

Philbin is in the Dolphins cafeteria looking for discarded chewing gum under the tables
what about the snitch
in the pant suit?

This is Tannehill's last year attempting to masquerade as a NFL QB

The failed experiment is over after the NFL world laughs at Miami, . . . again

Wont be long b4 all Dolphin coaches are taking Midol and acting like they're on their period after dealing w Snitch Dawn & Bazooka Joe

Wilson, Jimmy Wilson wants to Bietch slap Dawn Aponte

U know it's true

Now the Home-O is making stuff up. "Football Quick". Ha!!

Quickness is Quickness. It isn't specific to "1"Sport!

And All that "Agility" isn't going to help in the Pro's.

The problem with guys like Manziel and other "Quick Guys" is that they think you can make "Multiple Cuts" without moving foward like they did in "College"! You have "ONE CUT" as a "PRO" then you better hit that opening.





If you are going to be using the name, "Stick to the Character", We all know that Home-O likes to refer to himself in 3rd person. Is Dashi Right? Or is Dashi Right? You Big Gay Clown.

Agree with Dashi on CJ Mosley - not the guy ... he will be lucky to be a first round pick, period.

No way Tanneeehill gets a veteran franchise NFL QB contract next season


Tannehill goes to JAX next season as Henne's back up

The fish should have known when Tanny threw 32 incompletions and 3 INTs against Texas and looked "awful"

Johnny Football to the Browns

Browns will have a better record than the Dolphins next season

Dolphins first have to get past the better team 8-8 JETS w Geno & no weapons and 25 INTs


Tannehill goes to JAX next season as Henne's back up

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2014/03/dolphins-defense-trying-to-change-but-not-to-3-4/comments/page/3/?cid=6a00d83451b26169e201a51189498b970c#comment-form#storylink=cpy

Love It


Henne teaching Tannehill next season how to throw deep

henne would
luv to throw
2 mw

reel dumbazz in sight's mom was found sleeping with Richie incognito

My posts are being deleted! F-you, Armando!


Right Tackle has got to be priority#1 left on the table for the Dolphins. Next, running back. I'm surprised and somewhat disappointed the Dolphins have not picked up Knoshawn Moreno and missed on Ben Tate. The Dolphins missed having a veteran in the backfield last year. Someone with great instinks and football IQ. LAMAR MILLER will never be great! no matter how many chances he gets. We have alot of money tied up in LB's, lets see if this position can be improved with better use of players and better coaching. Dansby thrived before and after leaving Miami, so maybe the problem has been with the Dolphins coaching staff.

Armando is a Hypocrite!

1.21 jigga watt stop laughing out loud, it's annoying already

dashi, do you ever have your own opinions or just repeat the oft stated opinions on sports talk?

Posted by: Fred | March 19, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Flip flopping Dashi! One day Ireland is GOD, he the next day he sucks, now Dashi is thankful Jeffy put over 75% of the roster in place. What a joke!

OK, we heard it ... Predicting the Browns will have a better record than the Dolphins...

If you are proven wrong here, I think you should never show up here again.... man has to honour his own words... no matter how retarded he is.

Moreno def should have have replaced the often injured and fumbling DT

DT accidentally had one good game in the snow w a ll defenders slipping, sliding and falling

Moreno is a huge upgrade over DT and UM trash Lame Miller


I don't think we have as many holes to fill as you think.

Our real needs are still 2 more O-linemen, a Safety, a LB, and another RB to compliment L.Miller.

Which brings the question, What has Mr.Hickey Done?

And I only really see him addressing 2 of the 5 Needs in the Draft. Hopefully 1 of them is a Linemen.

Browns to be better than the hapless 2014 Dolphins


With each passing day of the NFL offseason, the Cleveland Browns’ game plan becomes clearer. General manager Ray Farmer may have been a wild card of sorts entering free agency, but his plan to rebuild the Browns is slowly coming to light.

As promised, the Browns have used their cap space to fill holes in the roster. Safety Donte Whitner, linebacker Karlos Dansby and running back Ben Tate can all be classified as upgrades at their positions. These signings, along with the release of quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell, paint a picture of who the Browns might draft in May.

When I wrote the seven-round mock draft of “best case scenarios” for the Browns back in January, I had them selecting a quarterback and wide receiver with their first two picks. Farmer’s actions have done nothing but strengthen the case that they will draft a ton of offense early.

Dashi....Think of me what you will...and I will do the same of you...

you are an admitted MULTIPLE name changer....and in my book...that equals lower than scum....

if Armando called you on it GOOD....if he didn't....you have admitted to it yourself....so Armando's words (impersonated or not) is not really necessary....

Here...I'll call it even if you just bring....hotie seeking...rocking roll listening too....just wanna partie odin back....



You were as pretty as a ballerina last night. I had a wonderful time.

Show me where Dashi has said Ireland Sucks!

Look it up, DON'T BE A HYPOCRITE!!

Those words have never come out my mouth.

But sure keep posting lies and say Dashi said it.

Oh, Lord. Another one of these columns where Armando pretends he's a coaching strategist. I guess some of you weirdos fall for that stuff (the same ones who think they're expert draft prognosticators, etc.)

Browns just signed a better LB, RB, and safety than anything Miami has on the roster

Now they will draft a QB better than ours
Which wont be hard since Tannehill is the worst rated starting deep passer in the NFL

Armando needs to go back to grammar school. Or he needs an editor.

Any time a new scheme or new players are introduced and you don't see instant positive results, doesn't mean it a bad plan. It just means it is a developing plan.

One of the points I heard made by Kevin Coyle and Bill Lazor after Lazor was hired to replace Sherman was "Coaches must have a vision of what they want to create on the field"... At some point, you must stop switching things up and settle into a plan and invest the players and time into it long enough for it to come to fruition.

For whatever reason, be it how the media spins it, or how fans perceive it, The Dolphins keep being looked at as a team that has already been developed and is prepared to make a full on run. Nothing could be further from the truth. You cannot have 75% of your skill positions on offense on the team for just 1 years playing together with those who have been here longer and expect to see a mature, highly competitive squad. And subsequent to that... you cannot keep making fundamental changes and expect maturity either.

I see a vision behind the players Miami has acquired in FA this year. I see where those players they acquired last year fit. Some are depth, some are there because injury always disrupts a season. Regardless of all the second guessing... one truth has become clear... Unless this team sticks with SOMETHING.... NOTHING will come out of it but the same mediocrity.

Last season the Jets were better, Thad Lewis was better and now the Browns have a better GM
(GM Farmer turned down the Dolphins job)
and a much better 2014 FA and higher draft picks coming incl 4th over all

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