What happened to the Defense?

Even though the Miami Dolphins are only two games deep into the preseason, and 3 of their main starters have been sidelined with injuries. (Karlos Dansby (knee), Cameron Wake (back injury), and Kevin Burnett (back)) It is becoming obvious that the biggest lose for the Dolphins during the offseason, was not Brandon Marshall, but defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Mike Nolan came over from the Denver Broncos, and turned the Miami Dolphins defense into the 3rd rated run defense in the league last year. Now, Nolan is in Atlanta, who the Dolphins face in their 3rd preseason game on friday, and it has become apparent that the once strength of the team has now already become more of a liability then the possibility of a rookie QB starting.

In two preseason games the 1st string defense has surrendered 5 scores on 6 possessions, and 4 of those scores have been for touchdowns. Against Carolina they allowed 295 yards by halftime. The sports betting strategy is that if the Dolphins defense can not find a way to stop opposing offenses, then phins news fans are going to be in for a very long season. Combine this with the possibility of rookie QB Ryan Tannehill starting the season, who is bound to have a bumpy ride in the beginning, and the sports betting strategyphins news would be to pick the Dolphins to go under on the total of 7 1/2 wins for the season for -120 on acesportsbook.com. I must admit, I had a lot more hope for this team before seeing their first two preseason games, and even laughably thought they might be able to win 10 games. However, I thought the defense was going to be able to carry this team. Instead, I am definitely more worried about the defense, and if the defense is going to let up more points then an arcade pin ball machine then, it really does not matter how well the offense plays.

Ireland has had 4 drafts and offseason’s to find the team a free safety, and it appears he still has not even come close. This position has been a weakness for us for at least the past 4 to 5 years, and it is very discouraging that it has rarely been addressed by management. Sorry but drafting Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones, in subsequent drafts in the 5th round does not count as management recognizes a teams weaknesses and addressing them. There should have been at least one first round pick, at least a 2nd round pick, or even doubling down on the position during one of the four drafts that Jeff Ireland was involved in. Once again the phins news fans see the positions that the Dolphins need the most help in, but the organization has shown no urgency to fix the problems. I really truly wanted to give the management the benefit of the doubt before this season began, and I know these are just preseason games, however, the large regression of the defense has really bothered me. The only thing that phins new fans can hope for is that with the combinations of injuries and a plain vanilla defense that has not shown exotic blitz packages, that the defense will only get better as time progresses. One can only hope.

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  • Ryan

    Its the preseason and the Dolphins have a veteran front 7…I am not going to read too much into these early struggles.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      True it is still early, but you have to admit, the defense has been very discouraging. I would have expected it more with the offense being led by a rookie, not by a defense that was ranked 3rd in the league last year against the run

      • Ryan

        There is no question that their play has been less than great. Also, I can not agree more about how big the loss of Mike. Nolan actually was, but I am still confident they will bring it together when the regular season begins.

        • Jimmy Bourbon

          I hope you are right Im not ready to throw in the towel just yet, but it is definitely not making me feel all warm and fuzzy about this team

  • Russ McLendon

    This position has been one of my gripes for years now,O-Line is another.Protection continues to break down on that side.Hopefully Martin will step up,Right now he’s still learning to keep his feet moving

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      O-line has been a money hole work in progress for the last 4 years. Hopefully with continued reps together as a unit, the o-line can get better as the season progresses. Yeah i will give Martin a pass for now, he is a rookie learning a new spot at RT, hopefully he can figure it out

  • phinfreak

    Philbin made the rookie mistake of fixin something that aint broken.

    The D was fine w 3-4 scheme. Now, its gonna be swiss cheese.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Totally agree, as soon as MIke Nolan left, and then I heard we were changing back to a 4-3 I knew the defense would suffer. It took the phins a solid two years to be comfortable playing in the 3-4. Now these guys have to scrap what they learned and adjust their game accordingly. Defense is about fast instincts and when these guys have to waste an extra second thinking of what their responsibility is on each play.

  • Bob

    hopefully it is because they are learning a new defense,once they can get healthly and put more pressure on the Qb then the backs won’t have to stick so long ,hopefully

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      I hoping for that, but our pass rush has been invisible in these two preseason games. Hopeful injuries and the lack of blitzing is the cause, however I am afraid of a repeat of last year, when the defense did not finally playing well until the season was lost at 0-7

    • phinfreak

      This is not about learning a new D (4-3). In fact, its far easier to coach, play, and learn the 4-3 than a odd man front (3-4).

      The real problem, and it seems nobody wants to say it, is lack of talent.

      There are absolutely zero play makers on this D. Not a single impact player.

      Cam Wake may be the closest we have to an impact player requiring double teams and scheming against but he’s been inconsistent at that and has been handled single blocked by T in the league.

      Nobody on the second or third level that effects opposing D’s…and that my dear is the glaring and real problem.

      • Jimmy Bourbon

        This is still the same group of guys on defense that had the 3rd ranked rush defense last year, so it can’t be totally a lack of talent issue. There has to be more to it? The giants have proved countless times the best defense is a pass rush and this is lacking, mainly because Ireland never addresses the issue in free agency or the draft

  • phinfreak

    That stat is very misleading. Teams scored almost at will against this D last year. So they ran as part of their 4 minute O at the end of the game. Teams ran against this D when they had to. Remember this D couldnt get off the field in order to win games last year.

    Fact is this front has gotten pushed off the ball this preseason, and that is very telling. Its not scheme, proof is 3-4 teams and 4-3 teams have been winning SB for years.

    Its talent – period – end of story.

    • Jimmy Bourbon

      Well the D was terrible when they were 0-7, but they did turn it on the last half of the season. And the year before the defense was a strength. Yes I agree it is talent, but these same group of guys were not this bad last year at the end of the season, what happened to them?

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