With all the talk about the Miami Dolphins offense heading into the 2023 season, members of their defense want to make sure folks don’t forget about them.
They reportedly believe they can be one of the five or 10 best defensive units in the NFL in the upcoming campaign.
Dolphins defenders believe they will be a top-10, if not top-5, defense in 2023. A big jump from 2022.
Two main reasons why: Vic Fangio’s scheme changes particularly to help the DBs and arrival of top CB Jalen Ramsey.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) July 26, 2023
“I’ve talked to defensive players with the Dolphins this offseason who’ve told me they expect to be a top 10 — if not a top five — defense this year,” said NFL insider Cameron Wolfe. “… They believe Vic Fangio’s scheme will change a lot of things and add a lot of strengths to their defense. In particular, one thing to watch, a lot less of the man coverage they ran last year and more zone coverage.”
Dolphins defensive players have been raving about Fangio and believe his coaching combined with their talents can take them to new heights.
Miami ranked from the middle to the bottom of the NFL in most defensive categories last season. The Dolphins were tied for 14th in sacks, were 18th in total yards allowed per game, 24th in points allowed per game and tied for 30th in takeaways.
Most of the talk so far this offseason has been about the team’s offense, which exploded onto the scene last season in the first year under head coach Mike McDaniel. The expectation is that it will get even better with more experience in his offensive system.
But Miami also made headlines on the defensive side of the ball this offseason when it acquired Jalen Ramsey in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams. The 28-year-old is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL and will pair with Xavien Howard, who recently suggested that he still sees himself as one of the league’s best players at his position.
The Dolphins also hired Fangio, who was a consultant for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles last season after he was fired as head coach of the Denver Broncos following the 2021 campaign. He officially joined the Dolphins in February and reportedly will be the highest paid coordinator in the NFL.
Miami has ranked better than 13th in yards allowed per game just once since the end of the 2010 NFL season, so a top 10 ranking in that department would be quite an achievement, to say nothing of what a top five finish would mean.
A defensive unit like that combined with the offensive fireworks the Dolphins are expecting would likely put Miami into the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in more than 20 years.