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Coach Coyle: We’ve Been An Aggressive Defense

Posted Oct 14, 2013

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle talks with the media to discuss Sunday's game against the Bills and gives analysis on the play of the Dolphins defense through the first five games of 2013.



(On if his defense is more likely to disguise things against an inexperienced quarterback) – “That’s a good question. At times when you look at their type of scheme, they are a quick tempo team. They get up to the ball a lot. When you look at their play count per game, they’ve had some games where they’ve had 85, 87, 80 snaps in games thus far this year. They are moving pretty quickly. You have to be careful in terms of disguising when you play teams like that. If you had a team that was going to have inexperience at quarterback and were going to have a young player in there, sometimes it plays to your advantage.”

(On if it an advantage to the quarterback or defense when playing an inexperienced quarterback with not much game film) – “I’ll tell you after the game (laughs). I think the advantage is you know things are generally not going to be overly complicated when you play a young player. I thought he did a heck of a job orchestrated the game plan they gave him yesterday against Cincinnati. He took the ball right down the field during the opening drive. He was comfortable. His first third down pass of the game was a deep throw. He put it right on the money for about a 40-yard gain. They weren’t exactly being conservative with him early on. He ran a quarterback draw for a touchdown down in the redzone. They did some things with him that they had been doing right along. I don’t think their style changed a lot. This is a team that does an outstanding job of running the football. I can’t compliment them enough in terms of what they are doing right now with the two fine running backs they have. That’s where there bread and butter is. They are going to be a team that yesterday made some shot plays down the field in the pass game late in the game that got them back into it and tied it. The reason they’ve been in every ballgame they’ve played is because they can run the football very effectively.”

(On what he has seen on the explosive plays allowed and what he can do to limit that) –“We need to do a better job. We set that as a primary goal going into the season. Last week we had four explosive plays. The first plus 20 yard run we gave up in the entire season was last week. It was in a defense that we didn’t fit the run correctly. It really was a play to our advantage to where they ran the ball and how they did it, yet the ball popped out and they gained 28 yards on it. We need to get that corrected, and I think we have. There were three passes, three big passes in that game the other day of 40 yards plus. Two of those came after a completion of about six yards after on the first one. We missed a tackle and the guy ran for another 30 some odd yards. There was another one on an over route. We were in great position. It looked like we were going to intercept the ball, and we didn’t make the play on the ball at that point. I’m as concerned or more concerned than coach (Joe Philbin) is about the big plays, but you’ve got to analyze how they are happening. Sometimes if they are happening, which is balls being thrown vertically down the field, then you have some issues in terms of the matchups. We haven’t really had those major problems thus far this year. I think we are just going to have to make more plays on the ball, create more pressure on the quarterback and hopefully we’ll see those things diminish quite a bit.”

(On some people referring to his defense as bend-don’t-break) – “Yeah, I hate that term, to be honest with you.”

(On what is closer to the truth with the defense in terms of big-play defense or bend-don’t-break) – “No, we’ve been an aggressive defense. We aren’t satisfied with the way we’ve played through five games. I think I mentioned it last week, we’ve been inconsistent. There have been flashes of very good play, individual play, but collectively we haven’t had a game where we came out and just flat played from start to finish the way we are capable of. We are working hard. The players are working hard. I really believe it’s going to start to come. We’ve got too good of players, and we trust our scheme and what we are doing. We have an aggressive scheme. We have an attacking scheme. That’s why I’m not joking when I say to you I don’t like that term (bend-don’t-break) because although in games it’s looked like that this way this year because we haven’t had the three-and-out consistency or the big play consistency defensively that I believe we can have and hopefully we have here soon as we go forward. We want to get after people. We want to create turnovers. We want to be dictating the tempo of the game. That’s what we plan to do from here on out.”

(On what bend-don’t-break tells him) – “That means we’ve given up a lot of yards, which we have in some games. We still have played fairly decently in the redzone, though not to the level that we did a year ago. I think we are not having major problems there. We haven’t played good in the beginning of games nor in the beginning of the second half. I think coach (Joe Philbin) may have alluded to that. We’ve got to start the game better by creating field position and setting the tempo of the game. The other game, for example, last week we had them 3rd-and-6. We had what we thought was a good call. They threw it right to where we wanted them to. They were short of the sticks even with the completion. We just make the tackle and we are off the field, three-and-out, the crowd is into it and we are feeling great about ourselves. They break it out. They get a couple of more yards. They kick a field goal. We are losing 3-0. Your whole mindset kind of starts the game out in a feeling of we just didn’t accomplish what we wanted to do to set out. Then you are kind of digging your way back into it.”

(On how disconcerting are amount of yards allowed) – “The yards, the bottom line as far as we are concerned is points. How many points do you give up? We’ve given up big points in one game against New Orleans. We didn’t play particularly well, and there were a lot of different factors in that game that I don’t want to get into now. All the other games we are playing at the level where if you keep the points in that area, you are going to have a chance to win, which is obvious. It’s the same thing the Buffalo Bills are doing right now. You look at every single one of their games and see how tight those games have been here going into overtime against Cincinnati. The Cleveland game is as nip-and-tuck as a game could be. They return a punt for a touchdown and at the end they intercept the pass for a touchdown. I think the end of the game the spread was 13 points or something. I don’t remember exactly, but it looked like Cleveland dominated the game. They did not. They were down at halftime. It was one of those kind of games. They lose by two to New England in the opening game of the season. This team I think has done exceptionally well staying in games, competing in games and we are going to have to play a great game on defense because they are very good on defense as well.”

(On if there was any concern Randy Starks preseason absence would carry over into the season, and how has Starks played this season) – “It really wasn’t a concern. Randy (Starks) is a pro. There are certain business aspects of the game. The longer you are in it, (and) it’s not like you accept it. You want everybody here, but yet there are things you can’t control. Some of the time certain issues come up with players that the way the league is structured allows them to do certain things. It allows management to do certain things as well. As a coach you just learn to live with it. You try to encourage the guys here because you want the camaraderie, you want the chemistry, you want the player developing. Randy has come back. He’s the ultimate pro. He works his tail off. He’s a leader, quiet leader of our defense. I think all of the players respect him as we do as coaches.”

(On what Dimitri Patterson brings back to the team) – “I asked him today if he knew how to put his pads back on, if somebody had to teach him (laughing). It seems like it’s been a long time since he’s been out here with us. He’s stayed up with everything mentally. He’s a sharp guy that way. He’s anxious to get back and start to participate again. I think it’s been hard on him not being able to do that, but he certainly will provide us with a big boost if we can get him back in the lineup as quickly as we can. We are going to have to determine how much we are going to be able to use him here as we move forward.”

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