The Runway: Five Questions With The Phinsider, Part 3

MIAMI - OCTOBER 4: Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after a play against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Field on October 4 2010 in Miami Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

My third question for Mosul_DolFan of The Phinsider deals with Miami's underperforming defense.

 

The Dolphins had a top ten defense last season. What is up with the unit this year?


I wish I had an answer for you.  The best answer I can give you is, they miss Channing Crowder.  Every year, when Crowder would miss time, the defense would look flat.  Then, as he was coming back, you would hear comments from the other players about how excited they were to have Crowder back.  Fans hated Crowder, because they all saw him as a loud mouth, who didn't back it up on the field.  Yet, the players would always want hi on the field.  This year, without him, the defense looks great.  Crowder seems to bring something other than huge stats to a defense.  He's a solid player, but he brings an attitude to a defense, and the entire until plays better with him on the field

The team can't pass rush.  They aren't able to shut down receivers.  Tight ends, which have for years caused problems for Miami, and Crowder's release came because the Dolphins signed Kevin Burnett to be the tight end coverage guy, are still a problem.  Cameron Wake needs help on the opposite side, where Koa Misi has disappeared this year, and Jason Taylor isn't exactly tearing it up either.  Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, who I believe should be able to rival Revis and Cromartie, haven't been able to get going, with Davis injured and Smith struggling.  

The defense just doesn't have an identity right now.  Maybe it's Crowder missing, maybe it's guys just not performing, or maybe it's defensive coordinator Mike Nolan getting conservative, but the defense, just like the offense, is a mess.
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