Where Will Miami Dolphins Koa Misi Play?
By Brian Miller
Over the weekend Profootballtalk.com posted a piece regarding Miami Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi. Specifically they cited an internal “spirited debate” about where the veteran linebacker will play in 2015. It brings up a good question as many fans simply believed that Misi would return to the middle where he played in 2014.
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Prior to the 2014 season the Dolphins decided to move Misi into the middle and Dannell Ellerbe back outside with Phillip Wheeler on the other side. It appears, if this article is true, that the decision to move Misi to the middle and possibly keep him there in 2015 is the decisions of defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and head coach Joe Philbin. Read that as you will.
PFT says that the debate has been sparked by Coyle and Philbin’s desire to keep him inside while the personnel department want him moved back to the outside. With Wheeler and Ellerbe gone the Dolphins are thin at linebacker but last year Jelani Jenkins stood out as the best linebacker on the team and he will take one outside spot while the middle and the other outside backer spot remain undetermined.
Last week Joe Philbin told members of the media at the owners meeting that Misi will remain at middle linebacker next season, “as of right now”. Who exactly makes up the “personnel department” members isn’t clear but they could include GM Dennis Hickey and Mike Tannenbaum. How much say they have in who plays where may not make a difference this year but missing the playoffs in 2015 could result in a coaching change.
In his time with Miami, Misi has started 57 of 68 games, 11 of those last year at middle linebacker. He has 12 sacks, one of those coming last season, and 183 tackles and 69 assists.
It’s impossible to know how “spirited” the debates were or inevitably who wins out on those debates but one thing is certain, Joe Philbin has remained steadfast in his ideas of who plays where and how since his arrival. It’s one of the reasons that he and Jeff Ireland butted heads over personnel and playing time.
If the Dolphins do keep Misi inside they will likely see Chris McCain work towards becoming the other linebacker outside.