The Miami Dolphins defense needs to continue its fast paced growth.
Health is a concern for any NFL team and the Miami Dolphins are no different. They have had several key players miss time in 2023 and the loss of Jaelan Phillips has been the biggest blow to their roster. Phillips will miss the rest of the season but Miami's defense can't take a step back.
We can debate the effectiveness of the Miami Dolphins offense the last four games but there is no debating that the Dolphins defense has been playing at an extremely high level. They are getting better week-to-week and without Phillips, they will need to continue.
Miami signed Jason Pierre-Paul to help replace Phillips but he isn't the same player he used to be and the Dolphins will use him in clear passing situations where JPP can simply rush the QB. He is a liability in pass coverage but that isn't why he is being brought to Miami.
The Dolphins will utilize Andrew Van Ginkel more on the edge as well. AVG stepped in flawlessly for Phillips earlier in the season and should have no problems filling that role as needed for the rest of the year.
Miami's defense has become disruptive and there is little doubt that the return of Jaylen Ramsey had a big impact on the mental play on the field, Miami has been very good since he returned.
The question is can the Miami Dolphins continue to develop?
There is no question that each week Miami's defensive players are becoming more and more understanding of the Vic Fangio system. Because of that, Fangio can continue to install more schemes and designed protections and stunts which will serve to confuse other offenses.
Miami's defense started slow as they learned the new scheme but they are getting it now and settling into their responsibilities. With more knowledge comes more from Fangio so yeah, this defense should get better.