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NOTEBOOK: Locker's Mobility Catches Dolphins' Attention; Other Notes

Posted Nov 8, 2012

Young Titans quarterback could test Miami's athletic front seven.



Rush discipline will again be the theme for the Miami Dolphins defense this week when they welcome the Tennessee Titans to South Florida.

Now that Titans head coach Mike Munchak has confirmed the likelihood of second-year quarterback Jake Locker getting the start over veteran matt Hasselbeck, the Dolphins are preparing for another challenge similar to the one they faced last week. Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck’s athleticism and mobility in and out of the pocket allowed him to extend plays and Locker can do the same.

“With a mobile quarterback you have to make sure that you’re rushing together as a unit,” said Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, who has 8.5 sacks at the midway point of the season. “You can’t have one person up the field, another person shallow, one guy rushing wide and the other guy tight. If you leave enough holes then there are opportunities for him to get loose and run around so you can’t give him those rush lanes. He wants to throw the ball and not get hit, which is any quarterback’s goal.”

Locker has only played in four games this season due to a separated left shoulder, but he showed off his running skills during that span by averaging 8.4 yards per carry. He has 67 yards on eight carries while completing 67-of-106 passes for 781 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions before giving way to Hasselbeck.

The last game Locker played in was the shootout win in overtime against the Detroit Lions, where he completed 29-of-42 passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns. He put up a 113.0 passer rating and added 35 rushing yards on four carries as the Titans came out on top, 44-41.

“The guy can make all the throws, he’s got mobility and he can extend plays,” Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “We’re going to have to do an excellent job and our pass rush discipline’s going to be huge. With our edge pressure, if your guys can beat an offensive tackle with speed certainly you don’t want to prohibit them from doing that. But at the same time you just can’t take off and start running and get pushed past the quarterback all day and then let him step up and escape. It’s a balance and it creates a problem for you, no doubt.”

STRONG PRESENCE ON ESPN’S ALL-AFC EAST TEAM

Only the New England Patriots have more players listed on ESPN’s mid-season All-AFC East team than the Miami Dolphins – and the difference is just one.

But when it comes to balance, Miami wins hands down with three starters on defense (defensive end Cameron Wake, linebacker Karlos Dansby and cornerback Sean Smith), three on offense (left tackle Jake Long, center Mike Pouncey and wide receiver Brian Hartline) and two on special teams (punter Brandon Fields and special teams player Olivier Vernon). New England has six starters on offense, two on defense and none on special teams.

Both the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills have four players apiece listed on the website.

DOLPHINS TIDBITS

## For the second straight day a new cornerback debuted on the practice field, and this time it was Brandon McDonald, who was claimed off waivers yesterday from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McDonald is wearing No. 32 and he takes the roster of spot of veteran cornerback Richard Marshall, who was placed in Injured Reserve due to his lingering back injury.

## There was only one song played in earnest during today’s stretching and warm-up period and that was “My President,” by Young Jeezy with Nas. It was played twice in response to Tuesday’s election in which President Barak Obama was re-elected for a second term.

Game Pass: Miami Dolphins