Miami Dolphins Defense 2018

We won’t get our first look at this newly crafted Dolphins defense until our first minicamp, which will be June 5-7, but we can catch a small glimpse at the OTA workouts which will be May 22-24, May 29-31 and then June 11-14.  I can’t wait to see the new faces, and even some new old faces.  We’ve definitely made a lot of changes, and only time will tell if the moves we’ve made help our team.  Besides the obvious cap cost cutting of Ndumakong Suh, the Dolphins brought in DE Robert Quinn for an exchange of draft picks, the Dolphins sending the Rams 2018 4th and 6th RD picks, in exchange for the Rams 2018 6th RD pick and of course, Robert Quinn. We recently traded a 2019 7th RD pick to the Detroit Lions for DT Akeem Spence.  In the draft we selected the versatile FS/CB/DB Minkah Fitzpatrick who can cover anywhere on the field, against anyone on the field, from RB’s to TE’s, to WR’s.  To continue the pass coverage theme, the Dolphins drafted speedy cover LB Jerome Baker in RD 3.  In RD 6, the Dolphins added another piece in CB Cornell Armstrong who will add depth to our CB stable.  In RD 7, LB Quentin Poling will be a ST’s player, and then we signed a bunch of UDFA’s, most notably Utah State CB Jalen Davis.

It seems as if we’ve made quite a few changes, and in my mind, it was quite necessary.  Of course, offensive struggles beget defensive struggles, but I’m just talking about the defense, which was far from good last year.  Mid pack in yardage allowed, and 29th in points allowed.  Something had to change, and changes were swiftly made.  While jettisoning Suh won’t make us a better defense, my hope is we will be less reliant on one player.  As great as Suh is/was, he played an insane amount of snaps, and let’s face it, he’s still human, and at 6’4 310, playing close to 900 snaps with the majority of them being double teamed had to be exhausting.  I think more frequent rotations of lineman will ultimately benefit our team.  You can’t expect one man to do it all, and I think in some ways that’s what happened.

Let’s look at the front 7.  New additions to this group are 2017 NFL Draft 2nd RD pick LB Raekwon McMillan.  I’m excited to see the young man back on the field manning the MLB position.  He earned the job last season, and hopefully now healthy, will retake it.  We traded for DE Robert Quinn, and he should be starting, and then getting some help from last year’s 1st RD pick DE Charles Harris.  36 year old Superman Cam Wake returns for his 10th NFL season, and we brought back run stopping DE/DT William Hayes for another season.  DT’s Jordan Phillips and last year’s 5th RD pick and surprise success DT Davon Godchaux will likely be the starters, but again, there will be frequent substitutions to keep players fresh.  We may see the LB we traded a 2018 5th RD pick for to the Saints Stephone Anthony man the SLB spot, and returning WLB Kiko Alonso.  We declined to pick up the 5th YR option on Anthony, which hopefully will have Anthony playing hungry for a new contract.

I think what we’ve really improved upon this season is depth, and that definitely counts big time in a sport where injuries occur daily.  This is what I believe at the moment would be our starting lineup, and then depth behind the starters.

RE Robert Quinn/Charles Harris

DT Jordan Phillips/Vincent Taylor

DT Davon Godchaux/Akeem Spence

LE Cam Wake/William Hayes

SLB Stephone Anthony/T.J. McDonald

MLB Raekwon McMillan/Chase Allen

WLB Kiko Alonso/Jerome Baker

RCB Cordrea Tanskersley/Tony Lippett

LCB Xavien Howard/Torry McTyer

NB Bobby McCain

FS Minkah Fitzpatrick

SS Reshad Jones

I think safety T.J. McDonald will be transitioning to LB play on passing downs, and I won’t be surprised in the least if our 2 nickel LB’s at some point of the season are Jerome Baker and T.J. MCDonald.  I strongly believe Minkah Fitzpatrick will be our starting safety from day 1, and will easily earn that spot next to Reshad Jones.  I truly hope that McDonald will embrace that change and take it as a positive.  We have him under contract for 4 years, now he just needs to play where we need him, and earn it!  Even if Minkah Fitzpatrick does start, it’s great to have McDonald right behind him on the depth chart.

Charles Harris seems like the forgotten man after trading for Robert Quinn, but I think he will see plenty of snaps on passing downs at both RE and LE, subbing for both Quinn and Wake.  I think he’s actually going to have a very nice season for us.  At LB, the additions of McMillan and Baker should make both the run defense (Raekwon) and the pass defense (Baker) better.  Add in T.J. McDonald, and it just seems so much better than watching Kiko Alonso trailing just about anyone from 5-10 yards behind them.  I know it’s unfair, but that’s what it looked like most of the time, and that’s why Baker and McDonald are here.  If Robert Quinn is healthy, we can hope for big things from him, and if he starts out hot, Wake will benefit as well, because Quinn will get more attention, which will allow Wake to just beat the RT, and not worry about a RB or TE on his side.

At DT, Jordan Phillips will have his chance to show the NFL he’s a premier player with the absence of Ndumakong Suh.  He’s now going to be the man, and up and comer Davon Godchaux, who had a nice rookie season now steps up into the starting lineup.  Redundantly, and I apologize, there will be lots of rotation, but the next guys in need to hold their own, and that’s where trading for Akeem Spence comes in.  He’s been the next guy in for Detroit, and should thrive in that role here in Miami.  Vincent Taylor will be also counted on to be that next guy in, and DE William Hayes can double as a DT on passing downs, much like the NASCAR or speed package many teams employ.

Last year at CB, Xavien Howard really made a late season push, and hopefully he takes over where he left off.  Cordrea Tankersley looked good out of the starting gates, but had his ups and downs IMO, but the knock on him that he shies away from tackling didn’t show itself last year, which was encouraging.  Slot CB Bobby McCain easily had his best and most consistent season last year.  Arguably, he was our best DB last season.  To me though, the biggest addition is S Minkah Fitzpatrick.  Like I said earlier, he will be starting from day one, and he’s the lynch pin to the back end of the defense.  He gives us something we haven’t had our in quite some time, a player who can protect the CB’s in our zone defense.  He has the instincts, the speed, and the recovery speed to make plays in the secondary.  This allows Reshad Jones to help out closer to the LOS, with Minkah patrolling the deep skies.  Honestly, I just can’t wait to see this in play.

I don’t think we’re going to be a top 10 defense this season, but I do think we will be close in some categories, and if the offense holds up it’s end of the bargain, who knows, maybe top 10 is attainable. Why not us?  next week, I’m going to look at the offense, but in the meantime,  D-fense! D-fense!  D-Fense!

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1,432 Responses to Miami Dolphins Defense 2018

  1. ocalarob says:

    i’m going to Alabama today for a golf tournament, i won’t be around to share my rushing thoughts with you, but not to worry in my spare time i’ll work on the stats and have plenty for you when i get back. 🙂

    ;

  2. Tim Knight says:

    I had a dream last night that a bunch of us were hanging out in someone’s living room talking Phins. It was half-time of the first PS game with Tannehill back against the Bills. The game is what preceded this part of the dream. In the game, Tannehill’s first pass was tipped a few times and almost picked off. Then he escaped pressure and ran through the middle for a decent gain but fumbled – the ball rolling and being pushed all over where we could have recovered it many times but it kept escaping us. LOL

    The score at the half was Bills 6-3 and we were discussing here we go again with not scoring. I said can we for once even in the PS score TDs on back to back drives and be up 14-0 or something. LOL

  3. pheloniusphish says:

    “I get it sour grapes, he’s no longer with the team so the some feel the need to get revenge, I bet if he was still with the team the posts here would be a lot different.”

    Yep. We would bitching about him being a prima dona troublemaker and always getting stuffed at or behind the line on first down runs because he wasn’t running the play as called.

  4. The Flying Pig says:

    Tim
    That’s is a shitty dream

    I will take my naked in high school dreams any day over a 6-3 halftime score

  5. The Flying Pig says:

    Oink

  6. Mike E. says:

    School or college dreams usually entail me trying to find my class for like 3 hours and by the time I get there, the final exam is almost over. Always extremely frustrating.

    BTW – Tim – Go to sleep now and finish that damn dream!

    • Tim Knight says:

      I hate when they’re incomplete.

      I have dreams at times where I can’t throw a ball, like I can’t release it with any velocity. Those are really frustrating. It’s like the dreams when you’re running from something and you can barely move.

  7. ElephantRider says:

    Tim

    Crazy thing….I dreamt almost same thing. It was at the game tho. It was being played at some temporary practice field. It was against the Bills… was sitting with a bunch of posters here, even tho I don’t know what you guys look like. Phins were up 7-3 halftime then I had to go to work. Lol

  8. ocalarob says:

    I always dream that i’m trying to tee off and there’s no room, i’m frantically looking for room to hit my drive because my group is leaving me behind, then i start thinking how i can catch up to them maybe waiting for them on the turn.
    frustrating and have had numerous dreams like this.

  9. mf13ss says:

    I’ve had a recurring dream for probably 20+ years. Bases are loaded and I’m up to bat. I SMOKE a fastball, hitting the ball like 500+ feet and it keeps rolling because there’s no fence. The CF runs after the ball, but I can’t run out of the batter’s box: the more I run, the deeper I’m running myself into the ground.

    Eventually, the CF picks up the ball about 700 feet out and throws it back, the ball gets relayed all the way back to the catcher, where I get tagged out at home plate… without ever having made it out of the batter’s box: I’m about 2 feet deep in a hole that my spikes dug out from running, as though I was running in place. I got 3 RBIs, but I COULDN’T even make it out of the batter’s box.

    I HATE THAT DREAM!!! LOL

    • Tim Knight says:

      Those types are dreams suck. I’ve had dreams where I can’t shake someone’s hand because I can’t move it similar to the not being able to throw a ball dream. So frustrating!

  10. Tim Knight says:

    Wild storms here. Started with what looked like tornado type winds, stuff swirling in circles, now rain, thunder and lightning. Branches down and sirens going off. We just had our house power washed today prepping to have it painted tomorrow. I’m sure that raggy shit that’s all over the place is going to be stuck to the house now. Ugh!

  11. The Flying Pig says:

  12. son of a son of a shula says:

    Rain the last two days for me too, including bad thunderstorms all afternoon.

    No recurring dreams however. I do remember having a dream once after watching Rich Camarillo play one time that I was trying out for the team figuring anyone could play in the NFL.

  13. Mike E. says:

    Tim – The power didn’t actually go out, but I was thinking it might, happens sometimes in bad downpours. More likely it would happen at my house and not my office, but I think we lost power here at my office once too

  14. Mike E. says:

    Didn’t Camarillo score the winning TD in our nearly defeated season?

  15. The Flying Pig says:

  16. Mike E. says:

    I’m more of a bourbon fan. My brother in law drinks scotch

  17. Rockphin says:

    Mike E. says:
    May 15, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Oh yeah, so it was. So who is Rich Camarillo?

    Man, you got a google machine right in front of you.

  18. Rockphin says:

    Obscure NE punter reference Son?

  19. Mike E. says:

    LOL @ google machine

  20. Rockphin says:

    Siri search the internet, who is Rich Camarillo?

    well, that didn’t work.

  21. Mike E. says:

    Rich punted his way through 16 NFL seasons. Not too shabby

  22. son of a son of a shula says:

    Lol, I meant Greg

  23. Rockphin says:

    This from the random WTF?? FILE:

  24. Rockphin says:

    you REALLY have to lobe butter and Ranch dressing….

  25. pheloniusphish says:

    Pigs – McCallum isn’t bad. But like Mike, I’m more of a Bourbon drinker. My opinion on Scotch whiskey might be flawed.

  26. Mike E. says:

    Piggy – Do tell . . . . How was the MacCallan?

  27. Rockphin says:

    I think I will just leave this here.

  28. Ken says:

    I like scotch. That is good stuff Piggy

  29. wyoming85 says:

    This one showed up today!

  30. Rockphin says:

    I’m sorry I got lost up the page for the last 118 minutes somehow, what were we talking about?

  31. ocalarob says:

    you guys better watch that drinking, i’ve had a friend who died from colon cancer at a relatively young age mid 50s, I have another good friend just diagnosed with it awaiting surgery to get his colostomy bag , both were drinkers. it sits in your colon and does damage, they don’t call it rot gut for nothing.

    remember when you hit the age of fifty it’s time for a colonoscopy, and every 5 years after, this could save your life.

  32. Rockphin says:

    $2.2 BILLION for the Carolina Panthers!

  33. Mike E. says:

    Rob – Thanks for the advice. I drink very infrequently. I also had a colonoscopy recently and all clear. 5 years until the next one. Even when I do drink, I don’t usually go crazy, but there are exceptions of course. Anyway, my office is surrounded by a whole lot of senior developments, and there are many in their 80’s, 90’s and beyond who come in reeking of cigarette smoke, so it’s genetics man. It’s not what you do, it’s what’s you’re made up of.

  34. Mike E. says:

    NEW BLOG UP!

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