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Karlos Dansby: 2012 Year In Review

Posted Feb 11, 2013

Leading tackler adapted quickly to Coyle’s new 4-3 defense.

Asking a nine-year veteran to learn a totally new defensive system from scratch is not the easiest thing to do, but Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Karlos Dansby did just that in 2012. The end result was the most productive season of his career.

Dansby was the quarterback of Miami’s base 4-3 defense and not only delivered on his own with a career-high 134 tackles (101 solo), but helped fellow linebackers Kevin Burnett and Koa Misi enjoy stellar seasons. Burnett also tallied a career-high for him with 110 tackles (80 solo) and Misi nearly doubled his total from 2011 with 65 tackles (50 solo) and a career-high 3.5 sacks.

This was the first time Dansby had reached the century mark in solo tackles and he broke up a career-high nine passes while having to cover running backs, tight ends and even slot receivers from time to time. Having excelled in a 3-4 for the bulk of his career, Dansby knew this was going to be a challenge for him but he embraced it.

“It’s hard to move from a Mike in a 3-4 to a Mike in a 4-3 because the whole game changes,” Dansby said. “The way you have to view the game changes and it’s a transition I’m still trying to make and I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’ve looked at tape of Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher and Jon Beason to help me get a better feel for the position.”

Judging by his performance in 2012, Dansby is well on his way.

Signature Moment

It’s not easily apparent which of the 16 regular season games he started would be considered to be Dansby’s best because he was consistent throughout. Three of his most productive games statistically came in losses at New England (December 30th), at San Francisco (December 9th) and against New England at home (December 2nd). He racked up 13 tackles (six solo) in the season-ending 28-0 loss to the Patriots and finished with 12 (eight solo) in a 27-13 loss to the NFC Champion 49ers. One week earlier he tallied 11 tackles (10 solo) and one pass defensed at Sun Life Stadium in a 23-16 loss to New England, but if one of those three performances stood out above the rest it had to be the second New England game. Dansby dominated the first half with 10 tackles (four solo), the most of his career in a first half.

Coaching Perspective

“Karlos is a true professional. He always comes prepared and he does a good job communicating the message from the meeting room out to the field.” – linebackers coach George Edwards

Teammate Perspective

“Certain teams have guys you look to. He’s kind of the pilot of the ship, and we’re only going to go as far as he takes us.” – veteran linebacker Kevin Burnett
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins