Friday, November 15, 2013

Coyle insists Dolphins still 'solid' against run


The Miami Dolphins' run defense can be looked at from a few angles, the most obvious being its 119.1 yards against per game, which ranks in the bottom quarter of the league.

The Dolphins have also given up 10 rushing touchdowns, which puts them near the bottom of the barrel in that category, as well.

However, Miami's 3.9 per-rush average and its very limited number of breakaway runs given up paints a more positive picture -- or at least a different one.

"I think they’ve been solid throughout the season overall," Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said this week, via "At times very, very good. I didn’t think that we dominated the front (Monday) night the way that we have against a lot of teams at times when they’ve tried to run the football."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup running back Mike James, who started in place of the injured Doug Martin, was rolling early in the Dolphins' most recent defeat, gaining 41 yards on just five carries before getting injured.

Bobby Rainey was efficient in his place with 45 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, and depth back Brian Leonard pounded away at Miami's front for another 57 rushing yards of his own.

"Give them some credit, they did a good job, but yet I think our guys are better than how we played," Coyle said. "If you take it in the big picture of things, I still think we have three of the better interior guys at their position in the league."

The Dolphins have yet to surrender a rushing play of 40 yards or more, and they've given up just five rushes of 20 yards or more. Their discipline has been evident in the prevention of explosive runs, but the fact that teams are confident enough to keep pounding away for short-but-sweet gains isn't a compliment. Only one team in the NFL averages more rushing attempts against than the Dolphins.

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