Interview Of Dolphins Matt Burke Hints At Great Expectations
Burke has deployed his Linebackers from every technique possible
After Adam Gase gave his first news conference, Phinsnews was one of the very first to dive headlong onto his bandwagon and believe good things were in store for the Dolphins due to his presence and demeanour. Now that Matt Burke, Miami’s new Defensive Coordinator, has given his first full length conference (at least first one I’m privy too), Phinsnews is here to plant their flag and say to Dolphins Fans expect great things from him as well… and here’s why:
Beyond the interview, Burke has a 14 year career in NFL coaching and has earned his way to this position. Here’s a good article by Tom Like summing up his achievements. It’s a good read and overview. The point most notable to me is Burke’s ability to coach up players and get the best from them. From a lesser standpoint, but of some interest, he has a Degree in Psychology and Education.
Okay, enough preamble.
In personality, Burke could be Gase’s long lost brother–no wonder they are such good friends.
Burke offers a coach who is cerebral and aggressive nature with experience
Both have an aggressive, somewhat sarcastic nature, ability to think on their toes, offer nuanced and forthright responses, and a crazy-eyed look–although Gase’s eye are a bit crazier. Players will likely respond to Burke as they do to Gase. Burke is likable, displays that “alpha-male” mentality, and appears highly intelligent. This type of demeanor will allow him latitude with his vets in the early stage. With a year coaching the Miami defense in the books, Burke’s a known quantity to the vets and has already been vetted by them by this point. Of course, over the long haul, he’ll need to produce to keep that latitude.
Beyond the personality traits, his football knowledge, and the detailed responses were both refreshing and illuminating.
Some key points gave me hope (if they end up more than talking points): Match ups and putting players in the right position for success.
I loved his concept on using the Linebacker core– if they are able to handle the mental aspect– in diverse positions that best suits the match-ups of the week. This flexibility will give an extra dimension to the game planing and play calling and offers real hope that we’ll get some creativity on defense. We could actually see a Miami DC call up an advantage for the defense on a more regular basis than a new moon. If this concept has follow through, it will give opposing offenses a bit more to plan for and be much more fun to watch.
Burke and Gase seem mirrors of each other
Another aspect of the interview I appreciated was the strong belief that a player’s talents, in combinations with certain techniques and assignments, offer the best chance for success. For example, Byron Maxwell is at his best in press zone-coverage, yet he rarely, if ever, saw that type of technique in 2016. Whatever the reason was last year, Burke spoke as if this year the “D” will be set up around their strengths. And if so, we could see a strong advance from 30th ranked defense. To be fair, talk is cheap, but given the nature of this regime so far, I’m inclined to believe.
I’m not saying he can’t bomb, but my gut and mind says we’re in for a treat. If Burke is near the equal of Gase on the defensive side of the ball, then we very well may see another year where the Dolphins make the critics and their expectations look foolsih. Go Fins.