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Miami Dolphins DC Vance Joseph explains reasons for 4-3; PLUS other stuff

Vance Joseph is a confident man, and if you doubt that please check out my column in today's Miami Herald about the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator who already has very strong feelings about ...

His unit's strength...

His unit's weakness...

How his unit will play...

And how he matches up against the more experienced offensive coordinators in the AFC East.

So go to the column for that. Here, I want to discuss a couple of issues that didn't make it to the column for space reasons but nonetheless are of interest.

You know Joseph came from a background where teams he worked for played both the 3-4 and the 4-3. And I was intrigued to find out why it is Joseph has decided to go with a base 4-3 for the Dolphins. The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl with a 3-4 last year as did the New England Patriots the year before that.

But Seattle has won with the 4-3 of late, also. So both win.

"Both win," Joseph told me. "And I've been a 3-4 guy most of my career. But when you come to a place like this and see the defensive personnel you've got, and, in my opinion, it's not broken, you can't all of a sudden go to 34 where you have to re-draft to a defense. That takes time. That takes too much time.

"And I don't want to be a guy who as a coordinator, I'm a 34 guy with 43 personnel driven team. I'm not going to say, 'Well, let's change it,' and set us back two or three years. That's not smart in my opinion. That's not coordinating. If this team had 34 personnel, we'd be a 34 defense. I can do both. For me, it's not a big deal to be a 34 or 43 defense, it's just numbers. It would be a shame to come to a place that's close to being good on defense and then flip it, then you're three years away again. I didn't want to do that."

This is a departure from the approach Kevin Coyle took in 2012. The Dolphins had run a 3-4 defense for seven years when Coyle changed it back to a 4-3 upon his hiring. No knock on Coyle, just stating a fact of what happened.

More interestingly, Joseph thinks the Dolphins were close to being pretty good on defense before he took over?

"Absolutely," he said. "Because in spurts last year, you could see they put up good stats against good people. But in spurts they also didn't look very good. But it wasn't because of effort or I wouldn't say even scheme. I don't know what it was. You watch the film and they did some really good things last year. A couple of games it got out of whack. But between Cam and those guys, you have good, solid NFL players here. So we're capable of playing good defense. And I expect we'll play good defense."