New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

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New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by rightchea on Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:45 pm

James Park wrote:Shortly after being introduced as the Dolphins’ newest defensive coordinator, Matt Burke stressed one of the more important features he brings to the organization is continuity, thanks to his experience with the team this last season.
Which puts him in an ideal position to address the their more pressing needs.
Here are some problems Burke must address in the months from now until September ...

http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/new-miami-dolphins-dc-matt-burkes-to-do-list/

good read!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by JMP on Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:38 am

Near the top of the list: stop making your corners line up 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by white1 on Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:19 am

I don't agree with all these points, and from what I've read and heard from Joseph and Burke, this doesn't seem to line up with the philosophy on defense.

Remedy the run stop

Yards are immaterial. Rushing yards even more so. What matters on defense according to the staff, and I agree with this, are more relevant to success as a team:
1. Making stops. What's a stop? Forcing the team to punt the ball, or taking it away. The categories that are relevant here are 3rd down defense, turnovers, and red zone statistics. We scored very high in these categories in 2016. About week 10 or 11, I think we were top in the league for 3rd down defense. You saw glimpses earlier in the season for what this defense can be, when we frustrated Seattle, and held Pittsburgh to ten points. Late in the season, our 3rd down defense got worse as we continue to hemmorhage starters, I think we finished 4th or 5th in the league. Also, points against skyrocketed which tanked our scoring defense stats. I think a big part late in the year was we gave up a ton of big plays - something we had successfully limited earlier in the season.

Give me a defense that is great on 3rd down, great in the red zone, limits opposing big plays, is top ten in scoring defense, and creates a lot of turnovers - and yards just don't matter to me. They could give up 500 a game and 200 rushing, and we'll still win games if we're holding teams to 17 or less points a game.

Figure out the secondary

Figure out the secondary? What? This is one area where the team really needs only one piece - a starting free safety. We've talked about this topic quite a bit, and this is one area where we have youth and depth on the boundary, a pro bowl strong safety, and a nickel corner with great experience also. Worse case, we sign a journeyman FS or draft one in a later round, and roll with it while we focus on the glaring needs like DE, DT and LB. Hell, retaining IAQ for one more year is not a horrible move either. Again, it's relative to the gaping holes elsewhere on the roster.

Find outside backers to compliment Kiko

Not a bad write up here, but they should not have led with this statement. In fact, would have been better to say "figure out the linebacker corps". The team is going to look for two linebackers. If we end up finding two great OLBs, then Alonso stays in the middle. If we find a great SLB and MLB, then Alonso kicks over to weakside. This gives our scouts and front office options and flexibility based on talent, cost, and how the draft falls to us.


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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by JMP on Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:22 am

Yards are actually VERY important. The more yards you give up, the longer your defense is on the field - leading to fatigue. And, giving up more yards generally leads to fewer opportunities for your offense. Looking at how many yards the Dolphin D gave up, it's no surprise that the Dolphin O ran fewer plays than any other NFL team - there is a direct correlation.

The ideal is complementary football, where offense, defense and STs help each other out and essentially work together to win. Too often, the Phins don't do that.

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by DolFan 316 on Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:18 am

Sorry Jmp, gotta agree with White_1 here Razz Especially when it comes to rushing yards. The game's become so offense-oriented now that even the best Ds can't hold a candle to the ones of yesteryear. You're doing well to hold opponents to 20 points a game, anything below that is gravy. Sacks and INTs continue to trend towards historical lows, with numbers that would've been considered pathetic just 10 years ago now being the norm. The league average for INTs this season was 13 (the Fins had 16) and for sacks it was a shade under 35 (the Fins had 33). This makes situational football more important than it's ever been. I'm not saying yardage means absolutely nothing mind you, just that it's not as important as it used to be back before 4000 yard passing seasons were routine.

All that having been said, this D needs a *lot* of upgrading. My order of priority is LBs, D-line, secondary. A good front 7 can mask a lot.

(BTW, has anyone else noticed the extreme shortage of good LBs in general lately? It mirrors the extreme shortage of good RBs that led to the committe approach 10 years ago.)

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by mercury22nathan on Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:13 am

i kind of think we're all arguing the same point. yes, stopping big passing plays is necessary to winning. and what does giving up big plays result in...giving up yards in chunks - as evidenced by the back to back 50 and 62 yard TD completions by Antonio Brown. stopping the run is necessary. as evidenced by the 10 play, 83 yard TD drive composed on nothing but 10 straight runs by LeVeon Bell. that resulted in lots of yards given up.

the Steelers did not face a single third down on the Bell running drive and they had one third down each on the two Brown TD drives. if you had told me the Phins defense would've only given up two third down conversions after three Steeler's drives and half way through the 2nd quarter, i would've thought the defense was crushing it, but rather, they were being crushed.

yes, stopping 3rd down conversions is essential, but they only matter if your defense is good enough to get the other team into 3rd downs to begin with. and giving up 3rd downs and lots of yards go hand in hand. if you give up 3rd downs, then naturally the other team is moving the ball and gaining yards. and short of a short field turnover, if a team is scoring points on you (the most important stat), they most likely are driving a good distance of the field to do so - whether by big plays or multi-third down conversions...either way, you are giving up yards.

i don't think any one defensive stat is any more or less indicative than the other. its really all one in the same.

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by rightchea on Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:31 am

What might also help the defense is getting the offense down field and scoring or at least some point where the punter can keep the opposing team from being so close to the 50 yard line. I also believe that Misi will not be around much longer nor will Jenkins, with that said Miami have to find at least one good player from FA and the draft. There is nothing more important on defense right now then finding someone to stop the run and contribute in pass coverage.

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by JMP on Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:15 am

You don't think yards are important?

The Dolphins ranked #32 in number of offensive plays.
The Dolphins ranked #2 in number of defensive plays, and #29 in yards allowed per game.

It's simple math...the more plays your defense is on the field, the more tired they get - and the fewer opportunities your offense has to score.

It may not matter much if you have a quick-strike offense that can consistently score a TD in one minute and your defense can consistently keep the opponent out of the endzone. But that's not the Miami Dolphins.

And, excellent post, merc!

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by Degarmo on Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:43 pm

Another factor about yardage is field position. Longer field = exponentially more difficult time scoring.
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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by JMP on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:18 pm

Degarmo wrote:Another factor about yardage is field position.  Longer field = exponentially more difficult time scoring.  

Yep, absolutely. That's a huge factor.

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by white1 on Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:22 am

BTW, has anyone else noticed the extreme shortage of good LBs in general lately? It mirrors the extreme shortage of good RBs that led to the committe approach 10 years ago.

Yes, definitely. Linebackers are being asked to do so much in today's game. You have to shed blocks and cut through traffic to stop the run on one play. On the next, you're trying to run with today's basketball-like tight ends down the seam. It's a rare player that can work at LB and avoid becoming a liability in one play vs another.

Plus, the strongside linebacker is becoming less and less relevant over time. The norm is keeping the WLB and MLB on the field for third downs, and bring in the nickel back - and that's happening for more and more plays per game. Many times on 2nd and long, especially if first down is a negative play for the offense. The nickel CB is becoming way more important than having a good SLB.

Degarmo wrote:
Another factor about yardage is field position. Longer field = exponentially more difficult time scoring.

Yep, absolutely. That's a huge factor.

Agreed. That's why I'm willing to see the team spend some money on our core special teams guys. By "core" that doesn't mean everyone at every position. But let's take Michael Thomas, due a tender of $2.8 million or so. Yes, I pay that without thinking. He is the special teams captain, and a playmaker. You don't pinch pennies with guys like that. Same with Paysinger, who has been a teams beast. Keep him, he's a fairly capable backup at LB too.

Don't take teams lightly, because when you lose enough talent there - it will show up on game day in a bad way. If you're losing the field position battle it makes things so much harder on both your offense and defense.


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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by JMP on Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:50 am

Great post, white. With so many teams being pass-happy these days, safeties and nickel and dime players have grown in importance at the expense of LBs (particularly SLB, as you said). That said, you can see the run slowly coming back, with teams like the Cowboys, Titans, Bills and even Dolphins going run-heavy.

The key to me is having a strong MLB. That is the position that generally sets the tone for the entire defense. If you're weak in the middle, you have no chance.

As far as special teams, I agree that it is a vital part of the game. We are fortunate to have some very good STs players like Denney, Aiken, Paysinger and Thomas.

The thing with Thomas is, will he continue to play safety, or will he become STs-only like Aiken? If he's going to get snaps on defense, then yes, the $2.8 million is fine. But if he is going to drop to primarily STs - which is what should happen IMO, because I think he's a liability at safety - then $2.8 million is absurd. Matthew Slater, arguably the best STs player in the NFL, doesn't make anywhere close to that, even with bonus $. Considering that Jones and IAQ will be in the starting lineup next season, I don't know how many snaps Thomas will get. I like him in dime packages, but is that worth $2.8 million?

And then there's AJ Hendy and Jordan Lucas to consider. I personally think Lucas is a wasted roster space, but Hendy has some nice upside IMO. If the coaches think either one of those guys (both of whom are very cheap) is ready for a bigger role, that makes Thomas expendable.

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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by Degarmo on Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:41 pm

With teams going smaller and more athletic at LB, they're practically begging to be smashed by a power football team.  It's time to start running the ball again.
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Re: New Miami Dolphins DC Matt Burke’s To-Do List

Post by JMP on Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:33 am

Degarmo wrote:With teams going smaller and more athletic at LB, they're practically begging to be smashed by a power football team.  It's time to start running the ball again.

And we just happen to be in a division with Blount, Forte/Powell and McCoy/Gillislee. Probably not the best time for the Dolphins to go small at LB...

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