One week after the team designated him with the franchise tag, Starks was comfortable talking exclusively to Dolphins.com about the potential of his unit under defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle among other things. He’s a little over a month removed from having played in his second Pro Bowl, where he joined defensive end
“We’ve been playing together for years now and you don’t want to mess up that chemistry so I’m just happy to be here for one more year,” said Starks, who finished with 4.5 sacks, 27 tackles (18 solo) and one interception. “All of us together, our expectations are higher now and we expect to make a run this year. To have all of us together again, we expect to do something real special this year.”
“Randy’s a real good player and he’s one of those leader type of guys and someone that you look up to on the defense,” Misi said. “I’m glad that they brought him back and I’m glad that they’re giving him another chance to play another year. I think the whole defense is happy that they brought him back because he’s a good guy in the locker room, too.”
Once the season concluded and Starks thought ahead to becoming an unrestricted free agent he knew the offseason was going to be a little different. He was intent on not letting the uncertainty of his situation impact his family and his plans to get away from football for a little bit.
In fact, the entire defensive line went away together to the Dominican Republic, with defensive end Jared Odrick planning the entire trip. Starks gave Odrick an A as a travel agent for picking the accommodations and arranging the transportation and everything else.
“You know we all hang together and we’re all very close in the room and we just went out of the country and had a good time,” he said. “We just enjoy each other company and it’s just good to get away, have a good time and go somewhere nobody’s been. It was a good experience and I’d like to do that every year.”
Team bonding excursions like the one Starks and his fellow defensive linemen took can go a long way to positively impacting their play on the field on Sundays. Since he, Odrick, Wake and defensive tackle Paul Soliai have been together for three seasons they have gotten to know each other’s tendencies.
Now that they better understand the 4-3 defensive scheme of defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, these four are primed to take their games to the next level in 2013. The more time they spend together can only improve the odds of that happening, according to Starks.
“I’m a believer that when you do stuff as a team you’ll win,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that all of the teams that are successful do stuff together and I think that helps you build a relationship and become closer with the person. If you become closer to the person you’ll play harder, and we know how the defense works now and can see how things are playing out now.
“(Coyle) can throw more things at you because nothing’s new now and when you do that your defense becomes more successful. You just know what the coach is thinking now. At first we didn’t really know what was going to happen and now I kind of know what to expect.”
Dolphins fans know what to expect out of Starks, and now they can sit back and watch him do his thing for at least another season.