DAVIE (CBSMiami) – It didn’t take very long for the Miami Dolphins to find Vance Joseph’s replacement.
The Dolphins announced on Thursday that linebackers coach Matt Burke has been promoted to defensive coordinator.
The move comes one day after Vance Joseph, who had been Miami’s defensive coordinator for the 2016 season, took a job as the new head coach of the Denver Broncos.
“Him being with ‘V.J.’ [Vance Joseph] for the amount of time that they were together in Cincinnati and then him coming along with the Dolphins last season was really big for us in the aspect that I really felt like we had two defensive coordinators on that side of the ball,” said Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. “We were very fortunate to be able get him. He had plenty of opportunities to go other places and decided to coach linebackers for us when it was critical for our success this past season and for myself, so it was an easy decision for our organization and me to elevate him to this position.”
Burke, 40, is coming off of his first season with the Dolphins. He was hired to be part of Adam Gase’s coaching staff just three days after Gase was hired by Miami.
“It’s obviously an exciting moment personally and hopefully for our organization to move forward,” Burke said. “It has been a hectic few weeks, or a few days, from Sunday forward. Everything has kind of happened pretty quickly. It’s taking a little time to sink in, but I’m really excited to get going and help this team move forward.”
Burke has been a linebackers coach in the NFL for the past eight seasons, spending time with the Cincinnati Bengals (2014-15) and the Detroit Lions (2009-13).
He also spent time with the Tennessee Titans (2004-2008) as an administrative assistant, defensive assistant and quality control coach.
This means that the Dolphins will continue to employ a 4-3 defense similar to what they ran under Joseph.
“The players respect him and mentally they love the attitude and energy he brings every day,” said Gase. “They respect his knowledge of the game. These guys know that they’ll be able to come in every game prepared and ready to roll to face whoever we’re playing that week. This is one of those moves where we’re able to keep the continuity of our system and our coaching staff together and we’ll be able to add a piece here and there, but for the most part, our players won’t be walking into a brand new system. They’ll have an idea of what we’re looking to do and we’ll really be growing from this point on.”
Last season Miami ranked 29th in the NFL in total defense (out of 32 teams). They were 30th against the run and 15th against the pass.
The Dolphins gave up a franchise-record 6,122 yards in 2016 but still won 10 games and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
“I think whether there was a new coordinator change or not, you always take the offseason to try to evaluate what you did good and what you did bad, and we haven’t hardly started that process yet,” said Burke. “I think there are going to be some things that we really like and some things we didn’t, and that’s going to be part of growing. I think we did a good job of instituting our structure and having a nice foundation to build from, moving forward. I was kind of happy with that. I think the guys bought into the things we were trying to do and I’m excited to have that foundation to build upon moving forward.”
Burke said that he doesn’t anticipate coaching the linebackers coach in addition to his responsibilities as defensive coordinator, but that it’s still early in the process.
“I don’t see myself filling both roles, so I would assume we’re going to find someone to put in that room, but we haven’t even started those discussions yet,” he said.