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The Dolphins Defense: A smorgasbord of pieces?

 
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dolphan9954


Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 6960
Location: Miami
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: The Dolphins Defense: A smorgasbord of pieces? Reply with quote

Might we see more 3-4 looks this season? Looking at the front 7, the Dolphins defense is a very confusing mix of pieces that when looked at as a whole makes me question what the scheme truly is. Are we a 4-3 team? Are we going back to a 3-4? Are we a hybrid? Let's take a look at the key pieces in the front 7:


Defensive Line

Cameron Wake- A natural 4-3 end, but has been excellent in both a 3-4 and a 4-3. Awful coverage, a beast against the run, and one of the five best pass rushers in the league.

Jared Odrick- Was great as a 3-4 DE, was good as a nickel rusher inside, and was decent as a 4-3 DE.

Randy Starks- Literally has been dominant at every position in on the DL. Great 3-4 DE, great 4-3 DT and was solid as a true nose before injury.

Paul Soliai- Was good as a 4-3 DT, but was great as a NT.

Olivier Vernon- Shown flashes of brilliance as an all-around player. Coming out of college many thought he was a 3-4 OLB, but has bulked up to 270 to play DE. He has huge talent and can be molded into anything the team wants him to be.

Vaughn Martin- Played in a 3-4 and was terrible. Basically an awful player all-around from what I've gathered lol.

Dion Jordan- Played as a joker at Oregon. Rushed mainly standing up, and proved to be at his best standing up as opposed to with his hand in the dirt (strange.) He looks to be a perfect 3-4 OLB, and the type of player that would've been nice 3 years ago. Again, can be molded into anything the staff wants.

Linebackers
Dannell Ellerbe- Played well for Baltimore in a 3-4 defense, but also was good in the 4 DL nickel package in the middle.

Phillip Wheeler- Has had his most success in a cover 2, or a 4-3 defense. Has never played in a 3-4.

Koa Misi- Was solid in a 3-4, was solid in a 4-3. Nothing spectacular, but to me he is a 4-3 MLB or a 3-4 OLB.

Jelani Jenkins- Could develop into a nice ILB, but ultimately I think he is a 4-3 OLB, much like Wheeler.

Josh Kaddu- Philbin loves his ability to rush the passer, to me is a 3-4 OLB or could develop into a 4-3 LB.

In a 3-4 Defense we are looking at this alignment:

DE: Odrick/Martin
NT: Soliai/Alecxih
DE: Starks/Martin/Randall
OLB: Jordan/Misi/Kaddu
ILB: Ellerbe/Misi/Spitler
ILB: Wheeler/Jenkins
OLB: Wake/Vernon

To me that is the best case scenario. Wake never should drop into coverage, Jordan has the ability to and also is dangerous as a rusher. Ellerbe is an ideal run stopper, but can make plays in coverage. Wheeler is a pure cover guy, but also an excellent blitzer.

In a 4-3 alignment
DE: Jordan/Vernon
DT: Starks/Odrick
DT: Soliai/Martin
DE: Wake/Shelby
OLB: Misi/Jenkins
MLB: Ellerbe/Spitler
OLB: Wheeler/Kaddu

While this is a good unit, I think it takes away from the overall versatility of the unit. Jordan becomes limited, and it takes Odrick off the field. Odrick is one of the team's most dynamic players because of his length and his speed inside.

Am I crazy here for thinking something is a little off?
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Dolphin Dave


Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the personel we have added, I think we are going to be seeing more of a hybrid D. That seems to be the trend that defenses are going these days. Multiple fronts and moving players around to create confusion on the offensive protection packages.
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Russ57


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 681
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been saying that starks and solia are not 4-3 players and should be traded. Now it seems we keep adding pass rushers that are better suited to a 3-4 alignment.

Odrick needs to be moved inside to a 4-3 DT. Wake has proven he can play 4-3 DE. It remains to be seen what Vernon and Jordan are best suited for. I saw Vernon make some beautiful plays on passes last year. Jordan did that in college too. Almost seems a crime to make them bulk up and play with their hand in the dirt.

I really wanted guys more like Dantone and Tank but wtf do I know. Wake can play the strong side of the formation so maybe it will work out for the best.

So yes, I too am confused as it seems our players would make for a monster 3-4 team.
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WaterBear56


Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Posts: 3130
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A. I've heard nothing but bad things about Vaughn Martin. Randall will make the team over him.

B. Jordan played SLB at Oregon, he rarely put his arm down but was still a terrific pass rusher.

C. Ellerbe is my favorite LB already. Complete monster in coverage.
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Phins315


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are finally bringing in "football players" guys who are diverse and can play multiple schemes/roles. Ideally it's going to be a nightmare of a defense to prepare for because you never know what's going to come at you. We just need a leader to step up. Wake is the lead by example type player, we need either Ellerbe or Jones to step up and run the defense IMO
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cddolphin


Joined: 23 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have hybrid players, so our defense will be a hybrid. Why else would Philbin want LBers that can blitz?
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Jaytotha


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Versatility is key with defenses. Coaches will try and gameplan against the defense so it allows you to make the adjustments needed
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SUG


Joined: 15 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent thread.

I think our base will be a 4/3.
But I have to agree that given the diversity of talent in the front 7 we will be mixing in some 3/4.
My only concern there (switching up) is not the front 7 but the secondary in coverage assignments.

You know, "confussion"" doesn't discriminate, it happens on both sides of the fence.
Do we really have the personell in the secondary that is comfortable with that scheme or with each other for that matter.

When I look at 2 of the most prolific Deff that gave NE & arse whoopin it was The NYG & S.F.
Those guys dont really earn a living with exotic LB blitzes.
It's basically an outstanding Grp of front 4 with LB capable of shutting down lanes/middle field & 4 DBs in coverage.

Personally, I never liked the idea of going all out blitzing elite guys like Brady. Thats what he wants yiu to do.
I can recall that the times we beat Brady (more often than not) was with the 3/4 Deff that better disguises which LB is "hot"

Just an observation.
sug
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RealMetalFan


Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mentioned this elsewhere, I would LOVE to see some 5-2 this year.

Wake--Starks--Soliai--Odrick--Jordan
Ellerbe-------Wheeler

C'mon, tell me you wouldn't want to see the look on the o-lines face when they see that hahaha
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freak_of_nature


Joined: 15 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think UDFA AJ Francis, the DT from Maryland, has a decent shot of making the team.
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ViolentMonk71


Joined: 06 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a good problem to have....it looks like the team maybe too talent in the front 7 Very Happy

We most likely won't until we go into training camp what they will be doing with all these pieces, but it does give the team plenty of options. I like both scenarios and would like to see the team use both as needed through out the season. It may be something they have to do while Jordan develops. I also don't see any reason Jordan can't bulk up to 260-265 (he's mentioned on several occasions that he's over 250 ) and still play both DE and OLB. He has enough athleticism to put on the weight and not lose any speed.
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bpastermack


Joined: 17 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RealMetalFan wrote:
I mentioned this elsewhere, I would LOVE to see some 5-2 this year.

Wake--Starks--Soliai--Odrick--Jordan
Ellerbe-------Wheeler

C'mon, tell me you wouldn't want to see the look on the o-lines face when they see that hahaha


I agree with this. I think we will run a hybrid and incorporate 5-2, 4-3, and 3-4 defenses. The package that works the best will be used the most often.
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FrozenPhinsFan


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bpastermack wrote:
RealMetalFan wrote:
I mentioned this elsewhere, I would LOVE to see some 5-2 this year.

Wake--Starks--Soliai--Odrick--Jordan
Ellerbe-------Wheeler

C'mon, tell me you wouldn't want to see the look on the o-lines face when they see that hahaha


I agree with this. I think we will run a hybrid and incorporate 5-2, 4-3, and 3-4 defenses. The package that works the best will be used the most often.


A lot of flexibility, which is great as injuries will happen and we'll want to show different looks against different teams.

Personnel wise it really comes down to Misi vs Odrick being on the field. I would like to keep Wake with in his 4 point stance much as possible. While he was an 8/10 OLB, he was amazing last year back at his natural DE spot, and that was without a true rush threat as his bookend.
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