The Blitz: Pass Rush in Waves

December 31, 2020

One more day left in 2020 and just three more sleeps until the Dolphins first game in 2021, a big matchup in Buffalo. Today on the Blitz, we look at the first injury report of the week, under-the-radar offseason acquisitions, one of the integral parts of Miami's league-best third-down defense and Jerome Baker tells us the biggest reason behind his career-best numbers

Injury Report

Dolphins:

DNP: Wide receiver Jakeem Grant and linebacker Elandon Roberts did not practice Wednesday.

"Well, Elandon's injury was significant as you guys saw with him being – you guys saw that," Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores said. "He's obviously not going to play this week."

Four players practiced in a limited capacity: G Solomon Kindley, DE Shaq Lawson, S Bobby McCain, WR DeVante Parker.

Six Dolphins were listed on the injury report as full participants on Wednesday.

Three players did not practice Wednesday for the Buffalo Bills: WR Cole Beasley, G Jon Feliciano, TE Reggie Gilliam.

They Said It

Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker went over 100 tackles (108) for the second straight season with his 10-tackle night Saturday in Las Vegas. Through 15 games, he also more than doubled his career-best total in sacks (7.0) and quarterback hits (11), and his seven tackles for loss are a career high.

Baker credits his statistical jump to his teammates and the waves of pass-rushing options this Dolphins defense features.

"I'd say it's more credit to our d-line," Baker said. "Having (Emmanuel) Ogbah, having Shaq (Lawson), having Kyle (Van Noy), the offense has to gear towards blocking them first and it just helped me with more opportunities … Those guys will take up sometimes two or three guys. For me, it's usually a one-on-one battle and sometimes I'm just free."

Around the Beat

The Dolphins arrived at 10 wins after a busy offseason with double-digits acquisitions both in free agent signings and in the NFL Draft. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald chose his five under-the-radar acquisitions.

Those types of players — plus under-the-radar trade pickups — have contributed significantly to this Dolphins playoff run, and give general manager Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores credit for finding a half dozen of them.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

December 31, 1972 - QB Bob Griese comes off bench in 7-7 battle in third quarter after a 10-game absence and rallies Dolphins to a 21-17 victory at Pittsburgh to repeat as AFC Champions.

Stat of the Day

The Dolphins defense ranks first in the NFL on third down, holding the opposition to a 30.7 conversion rate. Wednesday, Flores revealed that assistant defensive backs coach Curt Kuntz leads the staff's third down meetings.

"He's very detailed," Baker said of Kuntz. "He tries to get every single thing they do on third down. I guess you can say he transitioned well. He's definitely been helping us doing his part when it comes to third down."

Know the Bills

Quarterback Josh Allen set the Bills franchise record with his 34th touchdown pass of the season Monday night in Foxboro. Of those 34 touchdowns, 20 have come from Buffalo's top four wide receivers in targets (Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown and Gabriel Davis). The quartet catches a collective 71.4 percent of their pass targets in 2020.

Content on Tap

Running backs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed combined for 299 yards from scrimmage the last two weeks. Today, both will join the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield to discuss their time together at the University of Washington, and now with the Dolphins. Plus, Washington Running Backs Coach Keith Bhonapha details the duo's friendship and shared work ethic on the football field.

We'll also hear from Coach Flores and a handful of Dolphins players and recap it all on Top News.

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