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NOTEBOOK: Misi Motivated By New Contract; Other Notes

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Fourth-year linebacker feels rewarded by team for his hard work.



Last Saturday, a day before the Miami Dolphins opened the 2013 season at the Cleveland Browns, they locked up promising young linebacker Koa Misi for another four years. He celebrated with five tackles and a quarterback hit in a dominant performance by the entire Miami defense.

Misi was in the last year of his rookie contract and he wasn’t quite sure what the next step in his career was going to be after the season, but he knew he wanted to take that step as a Miami Dolphin. So when the new deal keeping him in South Florida until 2017 was consummated he breathed a sigh of relief.

“You’re kind of thinking if I can play good then maybe I’ll get re-signed or where am I going to go after this,” said Misi, who has nine career sacks coming into this season. “But I don’t have to think about that kind of stuff anymore. I’m here now and I thank the whole organization for signing me back.”

When Misi was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Utah he was more of a natural defensive end that was being converted to a 3-4 outside linebacker and he put up 4.5 sacks to finish second on the team. But he took a small step back in 2011 and was hampered by a neck injury before a shoulder injury landed him on Injured Reserve.

Last season, Misi’s first under Coyle and Head Coach Joe Philbin, he blossomed as a 4-3 outside linebacker that sometimes lined up as an extra defensive end. He started all 14 games that he played in, missing two with an ankle injury, and finished with 60 tackles (47 solo) 3.5 sacks, four pass breakups and one forced fumble, which certainly helped bolster his case for staying.

“I think last year was my best year by far since I’ve been here,” Misi said. “This past offseason was probably the hardest I’ve trained so far so I’ve just been working real hard and hard work pays off. I’m happy with what’s come of it and I’ll still be the same guy, I’ll still keep working hard and doing my best to help this team.”

LOCKER ROOM BRAGGING RIGHTS GO TO “THE U”

There was a lot of noise coming from inside the locker room leading up to last Saturday’s college football showdown at Sun Life Stadium between the University of Miami and University of Florida. Most of it was coming from the locker of center Mike Pouncey, who was confident his Gators would come out on top, but he was wrong.

As a result, the friendly bet he and the other Florida players on the team – rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis, rookie running back Mike Gillislee and rookie linebacker Jelani Jekins – lost to running back Lamar Miller and defensive end Olivier Vernon from “The U” had to be honored.

“It felt good,” Vernon said. “All of the chattering we were doing throughout the whole week, my UM boys finally came through for me so it was fun.”

While Pouncey wouldn’t reveal precisely what the bet was, he still managed a smile when he was reminded of the outcome and didn’t make too many excuses for his alma mater.

“They gave it to me pretty heavy and I heard it from everybody,” said Pouncey, who won a national championship with the Gators in 2008. “I tell you one thing, it was a good game and we turned the ball over too much, but those guys, they’ve got all the bragging rights right now. It was heartbreaking and it was hard for me to go to that side of the locker room after losing to the Hurricanes. It was tough for me.”

ON THE MEND

Two of the three players that sat out of practice all last week and missed the Browns game due to injury were back on the field today. Rookie cornerback Will Davis and third-string quarterback Pat Devlin returned to action in anticipation of this week’s road game at the Indianapolis Colts. … Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor and veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson did not practice.

THE LAST WORD

“That celebration is exhausting, so sometimes if it’s a third down and you know you may be coming off the field and you can go down and sit relax, that may determine how extensive it is. But if it’s a first or second down you might need to go out there and continue to play for your team. I think it might have been a second down so I had to save some in the tank.” – Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake on his muted sack celebration after his first sack last week at Cleveland
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