NOTEBOOK: Trusnik Filled In Admirably For Ellerbe; Other Notes

Posted Oct 23, 2013

Backup middle linebacker took on all of the key responsibilities.

There was a viable concern last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills on the defensive side of the ball when starting middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was declared inactive with a shoulder injury, but backup Jason Trusnik alleviated that concern.

During his previous six seasons in the National Football League, Trusnik started 17 games so he was not completely out of his element in that role. However, this time he not only had to take care of his tactical responsibilities against the run and the pass. It was his duty to call out the defensive alignments and make sure everybody was on the same page before the ball was snapped and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was pleased with the outcome.

“Trus was solid and it was his kind of game,” said Coyle, who watched Trusnik record six solo tackles and one tackle for loss on defense. “They were running the ball inside and I thought they did a good job, he did a good job communicating. He’s a bright guy, he knows the defense and I thought he did a really good job in that area.”

Trusnik also added one special teams tackle so he was kept quite busy in front of the home crowd at Sun Life Stadium. But as a veteran, he is aware that it takes more than just one player to make a difference in the outcome of the game. Considering that the Dolphins fell short in a 23-21 loss to the Bills, he kept his outing in perspective.

“I think as a unit, as a defense, I think we made some really good plays but there’s always a handful of plays you can’t let happen,” Trusnik said. “Unfortunately, that handful of plays here and there throughout the game is what kind of caused certain situations to happen. So I think overall we’ve got some things to work at and we did some good things, too.”

All of the other defensive players didn’t notice a drop-off in terms of communication and alignment with Trusnik making the calls.

“Some guys that come into the game that aren’t used to being out there as much fold,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “Trusnik, he did a great job. He’s been doing his things these past couple of weeks and having us set up right. Ellerbe’s a great player and we missed him out there but Jason did a helluva job being out there making all the play calls and getting everybody in line.”

Things don’t get any easier with the New England Patriots on the road up next this Sunday at Gillette Stadium. They happen to have a quarterback on their side in Tom Brady who has won three Super Bowls during his career and is coming off of a tough overtime loss inside the division to the New York Jets.

“This isn’t somebody new that we’ve been playing, this is a guy that we play twice a year, every year,” said Trusnik, who is in his third season with the Dolphins after playing for the Jets and Cleveland. “We know what he does, we know what they do and it’s getting them off their game. We’ve got to go up there ready to play, get them off their game and play our game solid and do every play at our best and do it right. That’s how you win the game.”

Should Ellerbe not be able to go Sunday, it will be up to Trusnik to fill that role in the middle again and to try to win the chess match with Brady before the snap. And Ellerbe himself gave him a ringing endorsement when it comes to how he can handle that role.

“Trusnik, he’s a guy that can do a lot for this team,” he said. “He can play every linebacker position so they had the ultimate confidence in him and I did, too. He plays Mike he plays Sam and he can do it so it wasn’t any drop-off I don’t think.”


With all of the roster moves that were made last week, the practice squad for Miami changed looks a little bit. The Dolphins lost wide receiver Brian Tyms to the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday, as he was signed to their active roster and replaced him today with former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Nate Palmer. He played his college football at Southern Illinois.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Josh Kaddu was back on the practice squad after being waived Monday to make room for offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie. There was a spot open for him because defensive tackle Issako Aatui was promoted off of the practice squad last week.


South Florida’s own Rick Ross was the beneficiary of a “Two for Tuesday” special during the stretching period when it came to the music selections as both of his songs were chosen. “Play Your Part” led things off and then his song “Tic Toc,” featuring JC was the second song.


“We’re excited because we’ve got a bad taste in our mouth from the last game and the last few games actually. Our thing is to get out there and compete. That’s the only thing that will make us go out there and feel better about ourselves.” – wide receiver Brandon Gibson on going up to New England and trying to get that first division win
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins