BY NICK ST. DENIS
Tempo, tempo, tempo.
We heard it a lot last year when the Miami Dolphins were settling into Joe Philbin's offense, and that same kind of talk has spilled over to the other side of the ball this year.
The Dolphins have fielded a fast-paced defense in 2013 with the help of newcomers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler -- a pair of linebackers acquired in free agency. The duo combined for 26 tackles Sunday in Miami's victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
“We are really pleased with both of those guys. I thought they played, I think between the two of them, they probably played on our statistics as we grade the tape," Dolphins defensive coordinator Coyle told the Sun-Sentinel this week. "I think Dannell had about 16 hits. Philip might have had 13 or 14 (hits). Between the two of them they were upward of probably 30 hits in the ballgame."
Wheeler made the game-sealing sack on fourth down and amassed two tackles for losses, two passes defensed and a quarterback hit in the contest.
Wheeler and Ellerbe had six tackles apiece in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, with Wheeler tallying a pass defensed and a quarterback hit and Ellerbe two quarterback hits.
Coyle will sign up for that production all season long.
"They fly around. They play with great energy," Coyle said. "We just have to keep on limiting the mistakes and proving the communication. They play at a very, very high tempo, and I’m really pleased with that.”
Miami hosts the high-powered Atlanta Falcons this upcoming Sunday.
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