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Interview Of Dolphins Matt Burke Hints At Great Expectations

Interview Of Dolphins Matt Burke Hints At Great Expectations

Matt Burke and Sigmund Freud have more in common than the beard.

Matt Burke and Sigmund Freud have more in common than just the beard.

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.

NFL football fans will enjoy the interview… and if you are a nut like me (five views and counting) maybe a re-watch or two will cement some points.

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.


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  • Dunner

    I remember last year as well, PLAYOFFS!!! With the LBers they had coming and going last year, didn’t matter who the LBer coach was, could have been Billacheat, they just were not serviceable outside of Kiko. Unlike last season, there are some pieces to work with this season (counting on McMillan becoming the day 1 starter). This group should provide the defense with a HUGE upgrade.

    As far as DC, that remains a mystery until real action takes place. It is not the Jets games or even the Bills games that worry me with Burke, it will be the Pats and how will he align and/or adjust vs the Pats and Billacheat. However, it does seem that the entire staff lead by Gase are all on the same page, because it seems they are trying to assemble a defense that is geared towards stopping Brady and company. Each coach, even Gase, has mentioned the Pats short passing game and their little screens/slants and how our defense is better prepared to eliminate the YAC all while punishing the smaller WRs that catch said passes. When you can counter and slow down or have an answer for Billacheat’s plan, then we’ll know Burke has what it takes.

    • Dunner

      A couple of sleeper LBers to watch out for this season: Praise Martin-Oguike and Trevor Reilly. Because I believe Misi will be cut, depth at this position will be very important.

    • Lemmus

      …you and the fan mill appear to see McMillan as the 2nd coming …I see him as a 2nd rounder with a lot of question marks …maybe he can take Misi’s slot out of the box, maybe not …if Misi is actually healthy, I see zero chance he gets cut …and a better than even chance he starts while McMillan learns the pro game behind him …what McMillan offers, imnsho, is depth with an eventual start …keep in mind that, when healthy, Misi is a consistent, above average LB who takes no plays off …he has known weaknesses in his game but he also has much more experience and versatility than any rookie and is well matched with Alonzo and Timmons

      …I also think that Harris could start at LB rather than DE …yes, he can rush the QB …but that’s by far not all he can do, especially as a LB in a hybrid 4-3 where his current weight and build are best suited imnsho …we’ll see soon enough

      …as for Burke out coaching Belicheat, I’m not holding my breath …Belicheat is not a one-dimensional coach …any doubts about that should have been erased by his half-time adjustments vs Atlanta …Belicheat can be beat of course, but I’ll wait until Gase-Burke has done it repeatedly before I credit them as legend busters

      …I do concur that we go into camp looking, on paper, to be much improved at LB …but that’s on paper …if Burke, Misi, Harris, Timmons and McMillan all pan out, great …but I think the odds are against that actually being the case …again, we’ll see soon enough

      • admin

        I don’t think Burke will “out coach” Belli… first, Belli sets up the gameplan, but doesn’t make the calls. But, what I do think is that Burke offers maybe the most creative thinker on D since Nolan… and again, this is just my opinion– well see if my hunch is right or not. This for the most part isn’t rocket science (see how old I am with that phrase). Mostly, it’s squad verse squad where variables (luck) and talent and consistency are the equation. But, every so often, a coach has a knack for setting up nice gameplan that takes advantage of the other team till half time and also can call up one or two calls a game that is one step ahead of his opponent. Then their is the coach that tea cups everything… a la Jimmy johnson. And if it matches his plan, he does as well as his talent and plan match… then there is the coaches that evaluate the talent and then build the plan. Burke offered this as his style. Easier said than done. But, based on my hunch and his words this is what I’ll be expecting… and judging his performance on.

  • Lemmus

    …what I “know” about Burke is that he was the LB coach last year for one of the worst LB groups in the NFL …everything else is pure PR, talk, and surmise until he shows he can actually produce as DC

    …plus one additional factor …Gase is betting a lot on him …which does count …but I can’t forget Gase and the turnstile twins …so I’m not placing a lot of weight on “Gase talk”

    …like Burke’s attitude, I do …but then I liked Philbust’s attitude …until he failed

    …when Burke walks the talk, I’ll cheer for him …until then, I remember last year

    • admin

      See above for most of my response. Burke has been with Gase for a season… the Turnstlye twins were seen from a far and then one camp of hands on. I agree he should have nailed that one faster, but Burkes track record working with Lb’s has been darn good. Last year he had one LB. I fault Vance for creating a system that hinges so much on LB’s knowing you had none and having no backup plan and Tannenbaum for giving Vance very little to work with. Again, all of this is speculative. But then again the same was said when I made the same statement for Gase. We’ll see if I can put a second feather in my cap or choke on it.