Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For McKinnie, MNF is Monday Night Film


While we were watching quarterback Tom Brady try to keep his team's hopes alive late in an eventual 24-20 loss, Bryant McKinnie's eyes were honed elsewhere.

The 34-year-old veteran was intently focused on Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy, his future foe in this weekend's home matchup against the Panthers.

"I watch it as if I’m watching film. I’m actually not watching the game. I’m watching the player and their techniques and stuff like that. That’s really what I’m watching," McKinnie said Tuesday, via miamidolphins.com. "I don’t ever watch the ball carrier, I watch the person who I would be going against and the person they’re playing against to see what possibly they might be doing wrong.

"I’ll use the DVR thing to rewind if I need to."

While Miami's undefeated record against Carolina likely has McKinnie optimistic for Sunday, Hardy's play so far this season can humble any opponent. The 25-year-old pass rusher has been a big disruption in the backfield through 10 games, tallying six sacks and 40 QB hits and hurries combined.

Pro Football Focus has him ranked 10th among all defensive ends in the pass rush and seventh against the run.

McKinnie, who struggled with Baltimore early on in the season, has played better since heading south. His work in both the running game and in pass protection have improved, and he's allowed far less open shots at the quarterback, though he has surrendered three sacks in his last four games. 

Carolina has tallied 31 sacks to date and has gotten after the quarterback on another 160 or so occasions, which has forced opposing quarterbacks to give up 14 interceptions and a subpar average QB ratings of 76.5.

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