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Dolphins notebook: Defense using KISS system

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DAVIE, Fla. — Coach Joe Philbin desires a simplified defensive scheme next season and the Miami Dolphins have started that process.

“As I think I mentioned at the Owner’s Meetings, some of it is the multiplicity of different groupings and different packages,” Philbin said. “So far, I think we’ve trimmed that down a little bit and then it’s the volume within each concept because how can you get the guys repetitions. Everything is really starting now.”

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, whose job was thought to be in jeopardy after the season, seems to be onboard with the idea. In fact, Coyle sounds as though he struck a conciliatory chord.

“I really want to do a good job of taking these players strengths and maximizing them as opposed to them fitting the system that we’ve had over the years,” he said.

Two years ago the Dolphins were a blitz-happy team. That changed last season. This season, expect the number of substitutions and defensive packages to be reduced as the Dolphins seek to keep their players’ heads clear at the line of scrimmage.

–Outside linebacker Chris McCain didn’t seem to have the trust of the coaching staff last season despite a hot start that included a sack and a blocked punt in the opener against New England.

McCain, who also battled injury issues, rarely got on the field after that game. He played defensive end in some passing situation last year as a rookie and is now penciled in as a starter.

“He’s a young guy, he’s a guy that benefits from every repetition he gets out there,” coach Joe Philbin said. “I think he’s shown himself pretty well so far. It’s very early and we’re just getting guys in and getting them reps.”

–Wide receiver Jarvis Landry had a breakout rookie season with 84 receptions for 758 yards and five touchdowns. But he gained most of those yards as a slot receiver. Landry would like to expand his role, and the Dolphins agree.

“Part of the OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and mandatory minicamps would be ome of the things he can do well on the outside,”Philbin said. “I think if teams are going to line up and play us, you’re going to be ready for him in the slot. But you may not quite be ready for him outside. So what are some of the things we can exploit, take advantage of based on his alignment?

“He’s really worked hard. His route running fundamentals have looked really good.”


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