Miami Dolphins Preview: Chris McCain


Chris McCain 6’5″ 250 lbs.

2014 Review:

An undrafted free agent last year out of California Berkeley, Chris McCain wasn’t drafted because of a lack of talent, but because of his off-the-field issues. Thankfully though, those things seem to be behind him now as it appears that he is settling into his role as a professional athlete. His talents were almost on full display the very first game of the year in 2014 as he sacked Tom Brady to help seal the game for the Dolphins and blocked a punt on special teams as well.

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From then on, though, he didn’t get much playing time at all, only accumulating 31 more snaps for the rest of the year, which the majority of them coming from special teams. That was a real disappointing end to the season considering the kind of impact that he had the on the first game of the year, but look for McCain to get a lot more snaps this year.

2015 Preview:

At 6’5″ 250 pounds, McCain is a fast, physical presence on the defense, who could turn into a real steal for the Dolphins, but many wondered why the first game against the New England Patriots was his only game last year where he got extended playing time. While not knowing the playbook fully certainly contributed to that, that question is almost impossible to answer fully, unless you happen to be inside the Dolphins facilities. What is easy to answer is the question of his undeniable is his talent.

McCain is strong enough to set the edge on run plays and tackle the running back, athletic enough to cover running backs out of the backfield, and talented enough to rush the passer and create havoc in the backfield for the quarterback. He just needs the time and experience to put it all together.

McCain could be a poor man’s Von Miller if defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle uses him properly. He could be used to stop the run on first and second down and then to rush the passer on third down, by taking advantage of the NASCAR package by rushing Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Ndamukong Suh, and McCain all at the same time.  The offense can only double team so many people and that leaves one-on-one coverage for one of these guys, in which case all of these guys are more than capable of beating a man in a one-on-one situation.

Coyle’s main problem this off-season is getting McCain enough practice time both at linebacker and as pass rusher.

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  • "“Our charge right now is to make sure he’s getting enough work rushing the passer and at the linebacker position,” he said. “He’s been getting a lot of base work, and a lot of rush work with our nickel package and we’re going to continue to do that.”"

    Starting McCain can definitely be seen as a risky or a high risk, high reward type of proposition for the Dolphins, but starting him would give this defense a lot of flexibility that they didn’t have last year, which is something that Dion Jordan was supposed to provide this year after they spent their third overall pick in the 2013 draft on him.

    Projected Stats: 45 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles