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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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Jaguars free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew is visiting the Steelers today, per source. They are not the only interested team.

Dashi, I will tell you waht he did - he improved left tackle and burned up $21M in the cap in the process... I can see why this guy has been passed over time and time again. There are no other sure things in his signings ... a bunch of projections and possibilities but other than Albert, i would have ZERO confidence in betting the mortgage that our o line, d line, or secondary would be as good or better than last year.

I have hope but nothing tangible to pin them on.

I still think we can be better because our coaching should be better on offense and our Qb will be improved.

But I also would've hoped we got a bigger return on a $21M spend than we got.

And for god sakes, if you are going to spend $13M a year on your corners, i hope they are smart enough to be more aggressive and change things up on defense...

I tried to post some football stuff earlier, but it's all been blocked for some reason. Yet, these posts about Armando pop right up. WTF?

When A GM turns down the Dolphins job and would much rather go to Cleveland than, . . .

. . . the F.B.I. would call that a clue

Anybody gonna take Armando (or Vegas) on that 50-1 bet.....


d,qwell Jackson was a better LB than Dansby, whitner is old. ben tate is the only good FA signing the browns signed. Browns better hope Hoyer is healthy enough to start next season cause they ain't got a QB. and believe me I live in Cleveland people aint all that excited about FA moves. I hear it on 92.3 the fan all the time. And if the browns draft manziel at 5 ha ha ha, well I ain't going to say. The browns will mess it up as always in the 1st round.

Fired QB Weeden & Miami's QB Tannehill had very similar stats
think Tannehill had more turnvers though

Home-O, no way in hell Manziel has a better season this year than tannehill had this year ... no freaking way.

You want another prediction, tannehill will surpass your boyfriend Cam Newton this year.

Full Blown Idiot that FBI?

Browns w Ray Farmer, Dansby,Tate & Whitner and a new drafted QB will be better than the Dolphins

No Doubt

Dolphins cannot get past the Jets or the Bills Thad Lewis

Forget drafting a MLB early! We have 2 guys with mega contracts, ride them out 1 more year.

As I suggested last week, move Misi inside for a year if you want to move Ellerbe outside. That's better than drafting an ILB early when the OL is more pressing area of need.

Drafting an ILB 1st round is wasting a draft pick. Misi has the frame to play in the middle.

My ip is blocked. Can only post from my phone:). F-you, Fagulero!

Tannehill will be benched during the regular season for poor play

JJ, good point on mando's writing...

This doesn't even make sense...

"Last season, as the Dolphins declined in multiple defensive categories "

declined means to turn down or reject.

The word he's looking for is regressed.. like Cam newton has done for three years now.

Cam Newton regressed last year? WHO KNEW!

Another glaring example of why not to take anything the azzhat in Toronto has to say seriously.


Still squeezing sour grapes.

Grow Up!!

Unlike you and "others" here who post under other names and don't admit when they get called out. "Yes", I, Dashi, Admit when I am posting under a different name. That the Idiot thinks that everyone is "Dashi" is beyond me.

Odin and Others still post on here. They just prefer not to be trolled while posting. Can't blame them. To those, I respond and I don't try and call them out so the "Idiot" doesn't troll them.

Now if you want to talk football, we can talk football.

It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong with Dashi. Dashi never calls another posters opinion idiotic.

With that said Dashi only has a problem with 1 idiot here, sometimes 2. And they know who they are.

Do you think I enjoy it when the idiot goes on his endless Dashi Rant. As we are experiencing right now.

Tannehill looks like Howdy Doody and Lauren can throw better @ 60 ft

The clowns 4-12 next season. Joe Thomas will finally get sick of this shyt and demand a trade. Joe haden will leave. Alex mack will be like why did you guys franchise me. Jimmy haslam will go to jail and sell the team. All because the browns drafts johhny football and it destroys the franchise for another 10 years.

and the browns fire Ray farmer and rehires mike lombardi

Tannehill will soon be a back-up or 3rd stringer and going to school at Nova

Lauren will be bedding down w superior QB 5.9 inch Thad Lewis

Joe Hayden w Dansby & Whitner will be amazing

way better than the Dolphins


Gotta change my diaper!

Brown 9-7

Dolphins 6-10

Bills 8-8

Patriots 14-2

Jets 5-11

then the Cleveland clowns fans throws dog bones at themselves wondering why they shop up to games and tortures them. the Cleveland Indians has better odds winning the world series than the browns winning 5 games next season.

I am the prototype to building the perfect idiot.

I also enjoy low fat yogurt parfaits.

QB Mike Glennon is also much better than Tannefail

Glennon in 13 games had 19 TD only 9 INTs and only 3 fumbles


QB Glennon is much better than our fake QB

I enjoy being a negative nelly!

Home is positive

Positive that the Dolphin's w Tannehill will

I enjoy licking men' butttttts

LOL A Home's trolls

good stuff


I believe the Change in Philosophy started with the Hiring of Philbin.

This is Year 3.

Actually Year 4, when you think about it. Ireland started making the transition to a different Philosophy in Spo's last year.

That this is the year, that the roster finally fits. Agreed.

I also agree that the Dolphins shouldn't be switching Philosophies every 4-5 Years. It doesn't allow the roster to develop. Even if Philbin is not the answer. Which I believe he is. The Dolphins better keep the same Philosophy even if they change coaches. Else, we are going to be stuck in the same loop.

Picture if the Fins Hire B.Cowher next season. That means they will have to change on both sides of the ball again. That would really drive me crazy.

I can not wait to spoon with my boyfriend

Is Gigi still trolling internet dating services to date black men w no money

Last time it did not work out so well

There ar eplanty more fat black men w no money that she can drool over


Dashi = MORON
deity = MORON
dbo the great = MORON

Always at the Top of your Wish List.



I agree with you're 11:53 post....I know we are on opposite sides of the fence...and I think it's cool....

I just want us all to fight for an equal blog.....and to say that you admit when you post under other names might be a bit of a stretch....would you agree....

I have used ONE NAME for almost (or more than) 4 years now.....

even as I cross the seas...it is still KRIS...with an ASTERISK.....

It's my thing....perhaps not everybody....but for me....it works...

What was when I asked before about that one play they showed from last year on Mike Wallace and then it was almost exsactly the same the next one with Brian Hareline? I asked before and nobody said but they showed it on the TV many time and then also on the late pogrom with the high lights on channel 7? Who remembers this???

I just had Jehovah's wittness's @ my door.....2 chicks...

I hit on one of them....

is that wrong....will I be punished...lol....I hope in the form of a future dominatrix.....

I have herpes simplex 10 but I promise to not give it to you.

with tpuke

David, can you translate that question into English?

Blog, consider this your free education for the day but Newton in year three accounted for fewer yards and TDs than in year 1...


Tell me where Newton has been more productive in year 3 than 1? If anything the TEAM has improved by nutting Newton and allowing him to pass fewer times.. His pass attempts have shrunk from years 1 to 3 as have his rushing attempts. In other words, the team improved by asking Cam Newton to do less.

Newton is decent average Qb - but not the superstar most deem him to be.

Does anybody think dion Jordan can be good at the OLB position? couldn't be any worse than wheeler.

For the most part this defense tended to play well in the first half and then fold in the second half. This my friends is partly on Coyle, who could not make adjustments and a Miami offense that couldn't stay on the field in the second half. The defense stays on the field way too long and eventually wears in the second half. Miami's offense did nothing to help the defense get rest in the second half. Bottom line a good defense is helped by a good offense. All these changes mean nothing if Tannehill and the new offense can't get it together.


Maybe I worded it wrong?

What I am saying is that "If" I were to use another name and get called out on it. Dashi will admit it. Most the time when I use another name, I will say it is Dashi.

I, Personally don't care if people use other names. I have a problem with people acting like Idiots and rambling on about things. Then never admitting the Truth or that they are Wrong.

Reason, Me and you have never had a problem. When Dashi is wrong he admits it, and when you are wrong you admit it (Sometimes). ;)

My problem is with Mr. 1001 never admits when he is wrong. I understand it is a lot, but still maybe he would learn to calm down all that hypocrisy if he would just admit to being wrong from time to time.

It has gotten to the point he has become a pathological liar.

Dashi, you are literally on this blog every single time I visit it.

Do you have ANY life aside from posting here? Are you even employed? That's an honest question.

Jordan can definitely play OLB... his feet and coverage ability are a dead giveaway. The guy is tremendously fluid and has a tonne of experience playing coverage in college. At times he played nickel CB at Oregon. Why this team insists he's a hand in the ground DE is beyond me. he can be good doing that - but he could be phenomenal if they move him around all over the perimeter of that front 7. He should be playing ALL 3 DOWNS!

I'm guessing as long as you don't do it in the Kingdom Hall you will be alright Kris.

Can't be changing the defense every other year. We need to get the players with the skill sets to make the 4-3 a success.

Daytona = Sith Lord

Mark In Toronto, agree with you about Jordan. Seems the Dolphins get some darn good talent, (Dansby) but don't use their strengths. Look how players leave and all of a sudden get good or good players come here and drop off. After awhile it makes sense it can't be all on these players. Coaching and schemes have to be scrutinized.

Mark...agree, though I have a feeling the lack of creativity when it comes to Jordan's use has more to do with Philbin than it does Coyle.

Posted by: dolfnman | March 19, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Lack of mid-game/halftime adjustments was the problem with the ENTIRE coaching staff last year (HC/OC/DC). If they can't fix that, then I'm not sure they can ever put a winning team on the field. The Owner took all the excuses away from Philbin. He can't cry about the GM, he can't cry about controversies and distractions. It's 53 players, 16 games, and you HAVE to win 9. Or. Go. Home!

None of the RB's have a true first round grade.
There's at least 4 pretty good backs that will be available in the 2nd round.

You don't need a pinpoint accurate QB with Ebron. That dude snatches everything.

if you remember Starks pro bowl came 1 year too late.Its like he was rewarded for the year befores play.

Armando, if your so smart at strategy, why are you wasting time writing self opinion pieces?

"Denver & New England look good"

Last year we won the fa big names we were chastized.

This year it is denver and new england and everyone is saying they did great!

Its silly. The love fest for New england by miami reporters is sickening.

Grimes>Joe Hayden

I have mixed feelings with Coyle, is hard to blame Coyle when Weeler fail to make a easy and important tackle or when Weeler make a stupid personal foul, or when opposing offenses pick Weeler or Clemmons to make a big 1 and 10 with a screen pass, etc.
But at the end, is Coyle's responsability not to make the proper adjustments.
In favor of Coyle I can say that is a visible improvement of Ellerbe along the season. There are players more coachables than others.

The other day I watched an old Steeler's game and the great Roethisberger under throws a pass to Mike Wallace resulting in an interception. By the other hand I remember some deep well accurate balls from Tannehill to Hartline, The point is that is not easy to throw a deep throw to Wallace because I think he is a long sprinter, more distance, more speed, and that is why he is very good going on top the defences. Is hard to connect with him but not impossible by any means. Again Roethisberger show ous how to hit Wallace deep.

I put more of the blame of the last two losses on Sherman than Tannehill. Sherman have the tendency to abandon the run, among others things, and the Jets and Bills know it perfectly

Your post at 11:53 to Kris is so hypocrital that you disgust me.

Do YOU EVER want to talk football without resorting to arguing and insulting everyone on the blog? It's a tiresome act my child.

This statement from you is an outright lie- "It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong with Dashi. Dashi never calls another posters opinion idiotic."

It DOES matter to your fragile ego when someone makes a valid point and calls you out on it.

So you want to talk football? I'm still around in between all of the useless name calling and childish banter. I am going to respond to your list the other day, followed by your insult at the end of the post that contradicts what you just said about not calling other posters opinions idiotic.

Just a tip for you- If you can have a normal healthy debate with other posters without flexing your muscles like an arrogant know it all, maybe you wouldn't get dumped on the way you do on this blog. Not sure you understand the concept of gaining respect by respecting others.

you won't like the list because it's much more factual than the horsecrap you've been spewing. You and Ireland ought to get together for a beer and discuss you insecurities

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