2014 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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

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