Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins Blind Sense Of Faith


Miami Dolphins Blind Sense Of Faith

If you have ever played football, you know it’s a game of inches.  A game were so many components are working at one time that you are constantly looking for a weakness to expose.  Once you have found the weakness opposing coaches will continue to attack that glaring flaw until it has been corrected.  Each player is responsible for a specific function, and as a team all players play in a scheme that is designed by their coaches to implement in a certain fashion.

As a player you see it in a different angle. You are not worried about the other players holding their role, rather you are completely isolated to your own specific responsibility to ensure that you…pardon my French…don’t screw it up.  You have a sense of blind faith knowing that you are relying on your teammates to perform their task as much as they are relying on you.   As a former Safety you learn one real important lesson; the best secondary is the one that plays for the fewest amount of time.

How does that happen, well it all ties back to that sense of blind faith.

The New York Giants have built a blueprint on how to specifically beat the best teams by imploring a Wide 9 set. This formation allowed the GMen to implore their fastest four defensive players.  In this set formation we saw the following:

DE – Justin Tucker
DE – Jason Pierre-Paul
DE – Osi Umenyiora
DE – Mathias Kiwanuka

All the player listed above our true defensive ends,  and should not be playing defensive tackles, however the GMen decided to implement this Wide 9 Set (commonly referred to a their Nascar package) on passing downs to get to the opposing quarterback.  With so much speed on the field it worked.  In either matches against the Patriots in the Super bowl game, Tom Brady, literally only had a few seconds to see where he would throw the ball or he would feel the speed of the Nascar package.

This package was the talk of the league.  Had the Gmen found a way to finally stabilize the era of the pocket passer? As the NFL is a copycat league, a few teams have tried to replicate this set (Eagles, Colts, and Lions to name a few) but were not as successful as them.  Why? The Giants had an additional element in their secondary that a few teams possessed; speed.  Rather than build a secondary that had elite players for their isolated position the Giants decided to scout players that could play multiple positions to offset the need of a certain skill set.  The Giants acquired safeties and cornerbacks that could play the reverse of their positions. Meaning their Strong Safety could easily switch and play Free Safety.  This type of defense allowed the Giants to play the best players on the field at the same time, and all those player contained one key ingredient….which was speed.

Speed on the line with four defensive ends rather than the traditional set.  Speed in the secondary with all players playing interchangeable positions.  With the increased pass rush caused by the Nascar set, the opposing quarterbacks would be looking to make quick reads from their Wide Receivers, Tight Ends or Running backs, since there was so much speed within their secondary the opposing team mismatch would not allow a target to be created and thereby the QB had to take a sack or risk a turnover.   The players knew one thing, if they focused on stopping their assigned player from getting to the ball, a negative play could be achieved, thereby leading to the mentality of a sense of blind faith.

How all this comes into focus for our team is quite simple.  During the entire offseason Ireland and Philbin focused their attention on one key characteristic…speed.   They have done this by imploring their own version of Nascar package and calling it their Speed package:

DE – Cam Wake
DE – Dion Jordan
DE – Oliver Vernon
DE – Koa Misi

You add the element of speed within the secondary by having two interchangeable safeties with Rashed Jones and Chris Clemons. You also add a pinch by introducing an elite shut down corner in Brent Grimes, you splash in the acquisitions of two speed driven Linebackers; Philph Wheeler and Darnell Ellerbe you have a recipe for chaos. Kevin Coyle has requested all the ingredients he needs to build a formula that might be better than what the Giants implored a few years ago.  Time will let us know how good this recipe can taste, or if we, than fans are left with a sour taste in our mouth.  Perhaps we should take the same mentality of our players and believe in the sense of blind faith.

Tags: Cameron Wake Dannell Ellerbe Dion Jordan Joe Philbin Kevin Coyle Koa Misi Oliver Vernon Philip Wheeler

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  • Jack Jackson

    Love it! Have been watching the Giants D do this to their opponents and was thinking/hoping the dolphins were going after this style, but was not sure. This is the type of D I have been wishing for. Jordan is still very raw but he will come into his own wtih his gifts. Vernon is much improved as I suspected even last year. Our defense will be ghastly when they learn to gel a litle more. Lots of new players from other teams just starting to work together and trust their cohorts.

    • dj

      One thing to notice as well Jack, is the Coyle is implementing a formation that disguise a lot of his responsibilities. We saw Jordan and Wake drop back in coverage with Wheeler and Darnell blitzing, it keeps that opposing OLmen on their heels, not knowing what to expect.

      When our players fully understand this hybrid formation, watch out, as it can be scary good!