A Look At Miami’s Secondary

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 15, 2010 – 4:19 pm

I’ve said numerous times over the past few days while analyzing Sunday’s Vikings-Dolphins matchup that I expect Miami to try and apply heavy pressure to QB Brett Favre by utilizing blitz packages out of their standard 3-4 defensive alignment. Last week against New Orleans, the Vikings saw an odd-man front but the Saints elected to rush just 3 defenders and drop 8 into coverage on most plays.

The strategy of sitting back and playing coverage defense against Favre worked for New Orleans last week, primarily because the passing offense was a bit out of sync. If Miami employs the same strategy this week, with Favre and Co. in the friendly confines of Mall of America Field, they run the risk of being picked apart by a future Hall of Fame QB and a group of exciting playmakers on offense.

So that’s why I think Miami will be blitzing. As a result of this blitzing, it’ll be the Dolphins secondary who will be relied upon to button things down until the pass rushers get to Favre (I’m hoping they never get there in time. So is Favre).

Let’s take a look at a few of the Dolphins DBs – with help from Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress – who will be charged with stopping Favre and his receivers…

The Dolphins list Yeremiah Bell and Chris Clemons as the starters. Bell is a 7-year pro who led the Dolphins in tackles and was 2nd in INTs during the 2009 season; he also earned his 1st Pro Bowl honor last year. Clemons is younger but is a promising prospect. He was a 4-year letterwinner and 3-year starter at Clemson and is one of the Dolphins fastest players.

Childress described Miami’s safeties as “strong hitters.”

The listed starters are Vontae Davis and Jason Allen, with former Viking Benny Sapp and Sean Smith listed as backups; it sounds like Sapp is the nickel CB. Davis was a highly-touted draft prospect coming out of college was selected with a 1st round pick (#25 overall) by the Dolphins in 2009. He is the brother of San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis, also a 1st round pick, and he played in all 16 games as a rookie in ’09. Childress described Davis as “a very good man-coverage guy.”

Allen is a big CB at 6-1, 200 pounds, and is entering his 5th season out of the University of Tennessee. Smith is also a physical imposing CB at 6-3, 214 pounds and he started all 16 games in 2009 as a rookie for the Dolphins. Childress said Allen plays a lot of “bump man-to-man” and he also said Smith had a “very good rookie year” in ’09.

Sapp brings not only the ability to play nickel CB but also some familiarity with the Vikings offense after spending all of 2008 and 2009 and then the preseason in 2010 with the Vikings. But that street runs both ways, as the Vikings will be familiar with Sapp’s strengths and weaknesses in coverage.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “A Look At Miami’s Secondary”

  1. By PurplePeopleEater on Sep 15, 2010 | Reply

    They appear to have planty of strength against the pass, and our pass offense is still trying to find their rhythm. With that in mind, we’d be better off beating them down with the run. Wear the Fins out on the ground and save the pass for situations when you want to throw them off balance.

    AP is itching to regain his title as the best RB in the league, but he can’t accomplish that if we try to rely on a sultry throwing game. Work the ground ball for the next 2 weeks against a couple of weaker teams, use the bye week to bring things together and then we can start looking for an air game after Favre has a feel for his receivers.

  2. By Rogerthevikefan on Sep 15, 2010 | Reply

    Hopefully Farve will be able to use there inexperiance against them.

  3. By Dean on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Roger.. It’s Favre. Not Farve. Although you can pronounce it the same way :)
    I think this game will rely heavily on the defensive, and offensive coordinators. They seriously need to step up when they see opportunities like they’ve seen before, but merely never took advantage of it. Viking staff, you guys know what I’m talking about. Let’s not give paid off officials a reason to blow stupid calls on us this season, and if we do.. Let’s make sure we’re already ahead by 14 points. GO VIKINGS!!!

  4. By PurplePeopleEater on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Dean – Moronic announcers turned the pronunciation into FARV and were never corrected, and so the pronunciation is forever tainted. Similar to Shiancoe’s first name. I just saw him correcting a reporter in an interview this year that his name is pronounced “Vi-santh,” but it’s too late now. For how many years he’s been in the league he’ll never be able to convince all the reporters and announcers to stop their use of “Vi-santh-ay.”

  5. By Dean on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Touche purp.

  6. By purplenurple on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Dean, interesting side note….did you know Bernard Berrian is actually pronounced Troy Williamson…only without the silent hands.

  7. By MGR4FUN on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    i agree the purple runnin game has to punish the miami d til the play action pass crushes them … this is the most basic of basic football strategies … just let our better athletes impose their wills on the miami d … that by itself will keep the ronnie and rickey show on the sidelines and the score will push them out of their runnin game and if they become one demensional as a passin team the phins are then in a lot of trouble from pat / hevin & EJ … jared and ray will both hav their hands full this weekend and will do well to maintain outside contain and force the phins back to the middle to the waitin headhunters

  8. By VIKING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    vikes win this one 31-10

  9. By Plaxico Furris on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Only a child!!! would think the Vikes could score #31 points without a legit #1 receiver!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. By john turk on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    i use to admire favre in his hey day with the pack but i hope the fins visit the antique road show and put him out of his misery,go fish!!!

  11. By shula is god on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    dolphins in a upset a dark horse team 20-14 favre officially quits!!! purple people in panic!!

  12. By PHINS_UP on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Funny how no one even bothered to mention Brandon Marshall? With that being said, its not like we need a Ronnie and Ricky show. But i will be easy to get a balanced attack on a D, as well as the secondary that showed mediocre play at best in week 1.Gonna be a good one. Phins by 3.

    FYI, anyone who has this game over 7, just doesn’t now what there are talking about.

  13. By DolphinsRuleAll on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Dolphins are about to expose the Vikings in a big way. Don’t think you can just roll right over us, because it’s not going down like that! FINS UP!!!

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