2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Dolphins making most of stout defensive front

By STEVEN WINE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-10 12:52

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - The Miami Dolphins, who face four of the NFL's top quarterbacks in the next month, figured it would be wise to come up with something fast.

So defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle created a package named ``speed.''

The scheme gets ends Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan into the game together, which gives the Dolphins a formidable pass rush and considerable flexibility. Miami unveiled the alignment in Sunday's season-opening win at Cleveland, and Coyle said it will be used more in the weeks to come.

``We can do a lot of things with those guys on the field,'' Coyle said. ``We had a lot of fast guys on the field with that particular group. We can cover with those guys because they are all athletic; you might have seen Dion dropping into coverage a few times. We just scratched the surface with that.''

The speed package is one of many schemes designed to take advantage of the depth and versatility in Miami's defensive front seven, which is the strength of the team. But the group will be sorely tested by the upcoming schedule, beginning Sunday when the Dolphins face Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Then come Matt Ryan and Atlanta, Drew Brees at New Orleans, and Joe Flacco and Baltimore.

If the Dolphins are still above .500 when that stretch ends, they'll be well-positioned for a run at only their second playoff berth since 2001.

``We aren't going to get a whole lot of sleep here over the next month,'' Coyle said with a laugh.

The goal is to make sure opposing offensive coordinators don't get much sleep, either. Video of the Dolphins' defensive performance at Cleveland might do the job.

Miami had six sacks, made three interceptions and allowed Cleveland to convert only one of 14 third downs. A swarming defense made life miserable for Brandon Weeden, and the Dolphins will need the same sort of pressure against more proven QBs in the weeks to come.

``We hit the quarterback a bunch of times Sunday,'' cornerback Brent Grimes said. ``Any time you can do that, it will put the halt on a lot of offensive attacks.''

The performance was just what Coyle and coach Joe Philbin envisioned from their front seven, starting with strong performances by the ends. Pro Bowler Wake had 2 1/2 sacks, Vernon applied constant pressure from the other side, and first-round draft pick Jordan came off the bench to earn his first NFL sack.

``Our defensive ends are among the most athletic guys there may be in the league,'' Coyle said. ``They aren't the biggest guys, but they are very strong and play with great leverage.''

While they controlled the flanks, Jared Odrick, Paul Soliai and Randy Starks dominated inside while rotating at the two tackle spots, and new linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler gave Miami more speed and blitzing options at their positions.

Coyle can use a wide variety of personnel combinations - for example, Odrick might line up at any of the four spots on the line. That makes the Dolphins even more difficult to block.

``We kept some cards in our back pocket throughout the preseason,'' Wake said. ``But when we started this offseason, we looked at our room and we knew we had a lot of guys that can do a lot of things pretty well, not just always line up and do the same thing. We have guys who can stand up, drop, rush the middle, rush the outside.

``All the guys have athletic ability to do a lot of things, and keeping the offense guessing will help our whole team.''

Such versatility can keep Coyle guessing, too. He said his options are so appealing it's sometimes tough to choose.

``Did you ever go to Baskin-Robbins?'' he asked with a laugh. ``Is it a tough call when you are looking at all the different flavors and you want to pick one but you can only have one? Yes.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve-Wine

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJul 6 01:43p

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson lost some weight this offseason and showed some quickness during offseason workouts, according to offensive line coach Mike Tice.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 6 01:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul's (hand) fireworks incident has led to the Giants withdrawing their long-term offer to Pierre-Paul which would have paid him $60 million, according to sources.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 6 01:13p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is still in a Miami hospital after suffering injuries to his hand from a fireworks accident.

C.J. AndersonJul 6 08:43a

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball is expected to receive seven or eight carries a game, while RB C.J. Anderson serves as the bellcow with 18 per game, in the [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 5 07:13p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) injured his hands in a fireworks accident, according to multiple sources. He was still meeting with doctors after being hospitalized for his [ More ]

Andrew QuarlessJul 4 01:43p

Green Bay Packers TE Andrew Quarless was arrested early Saturday, July 4, for allegedly firing a gun into the ground, according to police. Quarless supposedly was involved in a [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJul 3 10:23p

Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman should end up starting Week 1 ahead of RB Devonta Freeman, according to Steven Ruiz of USA TODAY Sports, because Coleman has top-end speed [ More ]

Ladarius GreenJul 3 03:33p

San Diego Chargers TE Ladarius Green likely will be the starting tight end with TE Antonio Gates being suspended for the first four games of the season.

Dez BryantJul 3 12:53p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant has had no progress in contract talks with the team, according to sources. The Cowboys are not budging off their offer of a long-term [ More ]

Darren McFaddenJul 2 11:03p

Dallas Cowboys RB Darren McFadden has topped 155 carries just twice in his seven years in the league, and he has averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry in [ More ]

Antonio GatesJul 2 04:33p

Updating a previous report, San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. It was previous reported that [ More ]

Antonio GatesJul 2 04:13p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Datone JonesJul 2 04:03p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Rolando McClainJul 2 03:03p

Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy and program for substances of abuse.

S. RichardsonJul 2 02:23p

New York Jets DT Sheldon Richardson has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse.

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group