Miami Dolphins Preview: Koa Misi
By Seth Fisher
Koa Misi 6’3″ 254 lbs
Transitioning from an outside linebacker to an inside linebacker proved to be quite the project for the Dolphins and Koa Misi last year, as it was his third position since entering the NFL in 2011. He’s played at 3-4 outside linebacker, 4-3 outside linebacker, and now middle linebacker. Misi also suffered from injuries last season, as he only managed to play in 11 games, in which he wasn’t healthy in any of those games in either.
When Misi did play though, he was productive, amassing a +8.9 rating for the Dolphins, which was good for fourth place on the team. Considering that Misi only played in 11 games, that is pretty impressive. Obviously Misi wasn’t the Pro Bowl playmaker like a Luke Kuechly or a Bobby Wagner was, but he was very dependable, and a defense does need those type of players.
Now that Misi has had the off-season to recover from his injuries, Misi should be a very solid linebacker for the Dolphins. Misi fits the “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” cliché, but it describes his game quite well. Misi is “Mr. Versatile”, meaning, he does a little of everything solidly, but does nothing great, as his PFF ratings show (+1.6 run defense, +4.4 pass rush, and +2.1 pass coverage). He is as solid as a linebacker as you will find in the NFL. He hardly ever makes mental mistakes, he is in the right position the vast majority of the time, and very rarely will he get beat in the run game.
Misi fits the “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” cliche, but it describes his game quite well
Misi’s problem is that he is not a playmaker. He will make the solid play, but he will not make the game-changing play, and that is fine for what the Dolphins need this year, especially if the other two starting linebackers can make some impact plays in his place. Even if he isn’t being a huge playmaker, he will definitely be better from last year simply because the Dolphins added Ndamukong Suh this off-season.
This will be a very key year this year for Misi because the Dolphins signed to a four year contract extension last year, and he will need to prove to them that they made the right choice, as they clearly did not with guys like Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler a few seasons ago.
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All the Dolphins need from Misi this year is for him to stay healthy, be a solid contributor, particularly in the run game, and teach the younger guys how to be professionals and work hard. Misi is one of the few veterans in this group and the Dolphins will need his leadership this year.
Projected Stats: 90 Tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble