The Blitz: Baker Talks Balance, Chiefs Matchup

December 10, 2020

It's been a busy week at Dolphins headquarters. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy brought home Defensive Player of the Week honors, wide receiver DeVante Parker teamed up with Starlight Children's Hospital to provide patients with custom hospital gowns and cornerback Byron Jones has been selected as the Dolphins nominee for the 2020 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

The Miami Dolphins today announced cornerback Byron Jones as the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. Considered the league's most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Each of the league's 32 nominees were announced today.

Linebacker Jerome Baker discussed the challenges of facing the Chiefs defense, his confidence in safety Eric Rowe and the aggressive mindset of the Miami defense.

Here's what's happening today in Davie.

Wednesday Injury Report

Dolphins:

Running back Salvon Ahmed, offensive guard Ereck Flowers and linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts did not practice Wednesday.

Ten Dolphins players were limited in Wednesday's practice.

Chiefs:

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, offensive lineman Yasir Durant and linebacker Damien Wilson didn't practice on Wednesday.

For the rest of the Dolphins-Chiefs Week 14 injury report, click here.

They Said It

The Dolphins defense – and the entire team for that matter – has taken on the personality of Head Coach Brian Flores. Aggressive, dictating the terms, and applying constant pressure on the opposition had produced the NFL's No. 2 ranked scoring defense.

Wednesday, Baker talked about Miami's attacking mindset and the week-to-week nature of the league.

"You still want to be aggressive, but you can't be too aggressive," Baker said. "That's just the main challenge we have. We're definitely going to see how everything shakes out. Ultimately, our defense is built on being aggressive, so we're just going to wait until Sunday and see how it works out."

"This week, it's all about playing team defense," he continued. "We can't rely on one person or two guys or whatever it is. You can't just double somebody or do things like that. You also have to play together. You have to alert guys across the field. You have to communicate and play together as a defense. The d-line has to go along with the coverage. It truly has to be a team defensive game."

Around the Beat

Baker was also asked Wednesday about the potential matchup between safety Eric Rowe and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

"We're very confident," Baker said of Rowe. "He's been proving it week in and week out … We're going to ask him to do a number of things … We definitely believe in him. Ultimately, it's going to be a great challenge for him Sunday."

Rowe is limiting pass-catchers to just 5.2 yards per target when tested by opposing quarterbacks this season. Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post detailed the potential matchup between Rowe and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, whose 1,114 receiving yards are second-most in the NFL.

Rowe is a connoisseur, an expert, an authority, on what makes a great tight end and what to do to have a chance to stop them.

Enter Travis Kelce.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

December 10, 1978 – Linebacker Larry Gordon intercepts three passes in a 23-6 rout of the Oakland Raiders at the Orange Bowl to clinch wild-card berth in playoffs.

Stat of the Day

Baker's plate is always full. He plays a lot of snaps, rushes the quarterback, defends the run and often finds himself in coverage. Over the last four games, Baker has surrendered just 31 receiving yards on 10 pass targets for an impressive 3.1 yards per target allowed. He's also recorded three quarterback pressures, a half-sack, and six run stops over that span, per Pro Football Focus.

Know the Chiefs

Travis Kelce's 1,114 receiving yards are second to only Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (1,119). However, the fifth straight season with over 1,000 yards for Kelce has him clear of Darren Waller, whose 742 receiving yards are second among NFL tight ends, by 372 yards. Kelce has led all NFL tight ends in receiving three of the last five seasons. He was close to making it 5-for-5; in 2017, Kelce was just 46 yards shy of Rob Gronkowski and only 41 yards behind George Kittle in 2018.

Content on Tap

Cornerback Byron Jones is today's guest on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield. Jones talks about his selection as the Dolphins nominee for the 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. We will also have a written feature on Jones available today on MiamiDolphins.com.

As always, we'll get you caught up on the day's happenings on Top News including Brian Flores' and player's media along with the latest injury report for Dolphins-Chiefs.

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