DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Much of the attention being paid to the Miami Dolphins so far during training camp has been on the offense, and rightly so.
After struggling to score points with any kind of consistency throughout the past two seasons, it’s understandable that every little move and tweak is being placed under the microscope.
On the flip side, Miami’s defense is considered the strength of the team. Even though they had some struggles a season ago, the areas that need improvement are being addressed and seem very manageable.
Bottom line, the offense isn’t being held to the same standards as the defense. When that happens, there is an added pressure that falls on the defense to make sure that they perform up to that level.
The topic came up when defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle met with the media following Wednesday’s practice but he took the opportunity for praise and turned it into a challenge for his unit.
“The one thing we talk about as a defense is that we have one job to do, and that’s to keep people from scoring points and get the ball back for the offense,” said Coyle. “One thing we’ve done a decent job, as you guys know, is we have kept people off the board to a fairly successful degree. But we haven’t created enough opportunities by making game-changing plays.”
Coyle went on to say that he and his players feel they can become one of the league’s top defenses. That may be true, but Dolphins fans are well aware that there is a big difference between having the potential to be great and realizing that potential.
“We like the challenge of having a veteran group of guys that feel that they can be among the league’s top defenses and if we execute we feel we can do that,” Coyle added.
As for the offense, Coyle is the first to point out that the best way for the defense to get better is to be pushed and challenged by Miami’s offense.
With all the changes that new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has brought to the Dolphins, the constant movement and up-tempo style can certainly help Coyle’s defense become one of the better ones out there.
“We’ve got a lot of work to go through to get to that point,” said Coyle. “But certainly I think our offensive players and our offensive staff are doing a great job of giving us a lot of problems. They create issues with a lot of changes of strength, a lot of movement, a lot of pre-snap.”
The Dolphins are only five practices into training camp so expectations much be tempered.
Head coach Joe Philbin isn’t one to show a lot of emotion, but even he couldn’t help but smile when asked about Coyle’s group.
“I’m excited about our defense,” said Philbin. “I think they look good so far.”
The true test of just how good they are won’t come until the Dolphins starting playing against new opponents. That time will come soon enough, as Miami’s preseason schedule opens on August 8 in Atlanta.