The Miami defense gave up about 20 points per game.*
That is an outstanding number, and every Dolphin executive, coach, player, and fan needs to realize that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s such a simple philosophy, but oh so true.
* Actually, the Defense gave up a lot less that 20 points per game. If you take away all the free points that Ryan Tannehill handed to other teams, the average is a lot less. It’s not Kevin Coyle’s fault that Tannehill threw a pick-6 to Buffalo, for example, and to the Steeler guy with the fancy shampoo hair.
When your D gives up 20 points per game, you’re asking your offense to score only 21 points to get a win. It’s not like we tell the offense that we need 35 points every week. We only need 21, a very obtainable mark to aim for.
Points matter. Period. Better yet, points are the ONLY thing that matters. All year long, we heard the media harp on our defense for not stopping the run. But who cares? Really, does it matter if we give up 60-yard drives on the ground all day long, as long as we hold the opponent to zero points on those drives? Coyle had his defense prepared every week. They played ferociously in the red zone. They kept opponents out of the endzone. They held opponents to only 20 ppg!
Sure, there are a few issues that we need to address, but those can be adjusted by Coyle. For example, When Cam Wake was playing at his best, the opponents started to double-team him. This left Olivier Vernon free to roam, and Vernon had a great few games. But once the opponents realized that Vernon was a great player too, they focused on BOTH Vernon and Wake, and Kevin Coyle didn’t really have an answer. Next year he will.
The corner blitzes were effective at some points, but we needed a few more up-the-middle blitzes. Too many times, our opponents picked up those outside blitzes, leaving their middle vulnerable. But we had no one in the middle. I believe Coyle will see this and adjust better next year.
The defensive personnel is stout, and I don’t think we need to add much, depending on which free agents leave. We’d like to see Paul Solai stay in the game on passing downs. It’s not like he’s inept at rushing the passer. No need to remove him every single pass down.
If you want to bring in new faces, maybe an impact LB would be good, or some more depth in the secondary. We’re not convinced that Rashad Jones or Chris Clemons are Pro Bowl material, and that’s what we need. But if you don’t address this need, then we should still be in good shape with the current guys.
Obviously, we need help on the O side of the ball. Let’s hope our new GM, whoever it turns out to be, gets it. Seven rounds of the draft. Let’s choose 7 offensive players. Let’s trust our defense this time.