Things to consider

It appears everyone is focused on the Dolphins' QB situation. Perhaps rightly so. The QB is the focal point of any offensive system. Teams feel as if they're never completely out of any game if they have a top-rated QB. But as Dan Marino and the 1980's Miami Dolphins learned, a Hall-of-Fame QB is no guarantee of the ultimate success. Offense leads the modern football age? That hasn't been borne out during these playoffs. 49ers, Giants, and Ravens are all top defensive teams. The Patriots, known for a high-flying offense, were in the middle of the NFL pack in terms of total points allowed. Not too terrible. Joe Philbin has many other things to consider besides obtaining a "franchise" QB.

I am very concerned about the Dolphins' defense. They just lost Mike Nolan, who did a fine job as defensive coordinator. A new coordinator will be hired and it is likely the defense must learn to transition to a 4:3 system. Paul Soliai, just named to the Pro Bowl, is a beast at NT. His contract is up and he will cost a bundle to re-sign. Players like him, especially durable ones, are very difficult to replace. I hope the Dolphins' brass makes the correct decisions on him and Kendall Langford, another top free agent. Philip Merling, a high draft pick several years ago, has been a disappointment thus far. It is likely he was misbranded by the Dolphins and might be a better fit in a 4:3 defensive system. His status needs to be revisited. Ditto for Koa Misi. The Dolphins' secondary, once thought to be the team's strength, hasn't lived up to expectations. Sean Smith has been a disappointment, Yeremiah Bell is aging, nobody has staked a firm claim on the FS position, and Nolan Carroll needs a great deal more seasoning. The Dolphins badly need better pass rushers. None of this stuff is glamorous but Philbin needs to address the defense as much as the offense. The Dolphins' depth last season was paper thin. I hope Philbin begins by selecting a quality defensive coordinator. Philbin released Todd Bowles today, which probably had more to do with personal reasons than anything else. After all, would anybody want a person working under him who applied for the exact same job and didn't get it? I think not.

All Dolphins' moves will be scrutinized very closely.


  1. 52% of the Dolphins defensive snaps last year were in a 4-3 front. Or a 4-2-5 front (another 4-3 principal style.) Not an issue moving to a 4-3 defense.

    Ireland gave the stat himself today on the radio

  2. I saw that Nolan ran a hybrid defense last year but was unaware that the actually 4:3 percentage was so high. Good to know.

  3. I agree about the fact we ran a hybrid 43/34 Defense. We played a lot of zone last year because we couldn't get pressure on the quarterback. If we can acquire new pass rushers and then play man to man press coverage, our defense will be #1 next year...


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