Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Big-play prevention a focus for Dolphins' defense


The Miami Dolphins' defense has been labeled by some as a bend-but-don't-break style unit. That bothers defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.

"I hate that term, to be honest with you," Coyle told reporters Monday, via

Through five games, the Miami Dolphins' defense has given up seven passing plays of 40 yards or more. The only two teams that have given up as many or more big passing plays are the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills, both of whom have played one more game than the Dolphins.

And while the stats would indicate that the Dolphins are getting beat over the top on a regular basis, that's not necessarily the case. Miami's Week 5 loss to the Ravens was chock full of examples.

"There were three passes, three big passes in that game the other day of 40 yards plus," Coyle said. "Two of those came after a completion of about six yards after on the first one. We missed a tackle and the guy ran for another 30 some odd yards. There was another one on an over route. We were in great position. It looked like we were going to intercept the ball, and we didn’t make the play on the ball at that point.

". . . Sometimes if they are happening, which is balls being thrown vertically down the field, then you have some issues in terms of the matchups. We haven’t really had those major problems thus far this year. I think we are just going to have to make more plays on the ball, create more pressure on the quarterback and hopefully we’ll see those things diminish quite a bit."

The Dolphins have been good against the run, having given up just one rush of 20 yards or more. That run, again, came against the Ravens.

"It was in a defense that we didn’t fit the run correctly," Coyle said. "It really was a play to our advantage to where they ran the ball and how they did it, yet the ball popped out and they gained 28 yards on it. We need to get that corrected, and I think we have."

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