NFL Wire News

Dolphins rookie coaches pass first test


The Sports Xchange

DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and assistant head coach Darren Rizzi were serving in those respective roles for the first time in the NFL.

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was the old veteran, in his 21st game in that capacity.

“They all had a very good game plan,” Campbell said. “We all felt good about it, they felt extremely good about it and as I told them before we walked out for the game, that was the least of my concerns were my coordinators and what kind of game they were going to call.

“I’ll tell you what, they did a heck of a job, very encouraging.”

Perhaps most attention was on Anarumo, who replaced fired defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle because the defense, including expensive free agent tackle Ndamukong Suh, was a major disappointment.

After looking listless in previous games while playing what appeared to be a two-gap technique up front, the defensive line was noticeable by its aggressive play in the 38-10 win over Tennessee on Sunday.

Suh had only one tackle, but wreaked havoc in the middle. The defensive ends piled up stats, with Cameron Wake totaling four tackles, four sacks and Olivier Vernon four tackles, one sack.

Linebackers Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi had seven and eight tackles, respectively.

–Miami is 24th in the NFL in total defense (379.4 yards per game) with last week’s shellacking of Tennessee. Miami is 31st in run defense (141 yards per game), up one spot from dead last, and 12th in passing yards per game (238.4).

This is hardly what the Dolphins expected, but the Titans game was a start and now the defense must continue to show improvement.

The Houston Texans are having a rough season, but still will be a tough test for the Dolphins. The Texans’ offense is sixth in yards per game (393.8), fourth in passing yards per game (297.8) and 23rd in rushing yards per game (96).

NOTES: Among those who did not practice Wednesday were cornerback Brice McCain (right knee) and cornerback Zack Bowman (shoulder). … Among those limited in practice Wednesday were left tackle Branden Albert (hamstring), cornerback Brent Grimes (right knee), strong safety Reshad Jones (shoulder), defensive end Cam Wake (hamstring) defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (ankle) and wide receiver Kenny Stills (back). … Guard Jeff Linkenbach might be on the outs with the new coaching staff. He was inactive last week for the first time all season. … Cornerback Tony Lippett might get a second chance under the new coaching staff after being inactive for four games. … Tight end Brandon Williams, signed Oct. 16 from the practice squad, could be active this week.

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business