Dansby Energized By Potential Of New Miami Defense

Posted Jun 5, 2012

Two years running as the Don Shula Leadership Award winner gives Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby some carte blanche when it comes to weighing in on the new defense.

This is Dansby’s ninth season in the National Football League and third as a member of the Dolphins, but he will be lining up in his third different defense in the last four years. From a production standpoint, Dansby has proven he can deliver no matter the scheme as the former Auburn University standout has exceeded 100 tackles in four of the last five seasons.
Along with Kevin Burnett last year and Channing Crowder the year before, Dansby held down the fort inside the previous two years in Miami’s predominantly 3-4 scheme. Now the 6-foot-4, 250-pound versatile backer will be called upon to lead the way in new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s system, which employs a lot of 4-3 alignments as well as some 3-4.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Dansby, who had 103 tackles (88 solo), two sacks and an interception in 2011. “I think our fans are going to love it even more once we start making all the plays that we’re going to have opportunities to make. Once we do that we’re going to be a terror on defense I guess.”
Dansby is accustomed to being a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and that’s something he made a habit of doing with the Arizona Cardinals. When they made their run to the Super Bowl in 2008, Dansby was a catalyst, especially in the postseason when he racked up a team-high 37 tackles. His fumble recovery that he returned 17 yards for a touchdown in overtime against the Green Bay Packers the following postseason remains one of the most memorable plays in team history.
Things were a little quieter for Dansby his first two seasons in Miami on the turnover front as he forced just three fumbles and had the one interception last season but no fumble recoveries. He does have five sacks during that same timeframe, but that’s below what he was getting in Arizona as he got to the quarterback 25.5 times and he is looking to return to that form under Coyle.
“It charges me up because I’m ready to show these guys what I’ve really got,” Dansby said. “They really haven’t had the opportunity to bear witness to it up close and personal and I’m eager to show myself what I’ve got. I’ve got a lot bottled up that I’m trying to unleash right now and this is the perfect time for me to prime myself and get ready for it.”
With OTAs in full swing and the mandatory mini-camp right around the corner in the second week of June, Dansby and the rest of the defensive players are ready to take that unit to the next level. The excitement of playing for a new head coach in Joe Philbin and a new staff has reinvigorated everybody.
In addition, knowing that he is a veteran that can easily become a casualty of the salary cap has motivated Dansby even more. He has described himself as a Pro Bowl caliber player in the past and considers himself among the best linebackers in the league, so now he wants to back up those words in this new defense.
“This offseason has been going great for me,” said Dansby, who has started 111 of the 120 games he is played in during his career. “I know I’m feeling 10 times better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’ve never felt this good in my whole career so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got a lot of high expectations for this season and the new coaching staff is doing a great job of preparing us already.”

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