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Thread: Dansby Leads New-Look Linebacker Corps

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    mnphinfan's Avatar
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    Dansby Leads New-Look Linebacker Corps

    Here's an article from Andy Kent on MiamiDolphins.com

    http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/da...nebacker-corps

    When Karlos Dansby signed his free agent contract at the beginning of March he expected to be under immediate scrutiny by the South Florida football fans because he is being asked to take on an integral role on defense. His resume after six seasons in Arizona as one of the anchors of the Cardinals’ defense speaks for itself – 563 tackles, 25.5 sacks, 25 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles and 10 interceptions from his inside linebacker spot, and he is ready for the responsibility that comes with his new role.
    “I wouldn’t call it a weight. I’d just call it an opportunity to be great, and that’s what I’m trying to be right now,” Dansby said after a recent OTA session at the team’s training facility in Davie. “I’m taking all major steps to try to be great. We are having a good time. I’m meshing well. You know, all the guys, we’re talking to each other. We are doing a lot of different stuff off the field and on the field, so I’d say we’re meshing real well right now.”
    Dansby will be lining up next to the only returning starter from last year among the linebackers, Channing Crowder, and the two of them will be breaking in new starters on the outside. Second-round draft pick Koa Misi will compete for the weak side starting job with the likes of Charlie Anderson while second-year man Cameron Wake will try to fend off Quentin Moses among others
    .

    Wake is eager to prove he belongs as a starter on the same unit as Dansby and that he can develop into an all-around linebacker and not just a pass rusher. He did manage to rack up 5.5 sacks in limited action last season, but he remains his own biggest critic and committed himself to getting bigger and stronger during the offseason. Having played behind six-time Pro Bowler Jason Taylor, Wake feels like he learned a lot, and now he’s looking forward to picking up good habits from Dansby.
    “He’s another veteran guy who obviously is a big playmaker,” Wake said. “Obviously, having a guy like that on the field you can count on, there’s not much more you can say about the guy. I know the way he feels. He wants to go out there and he wants to make big plays and having that kind of guy on your side, you don’t need to say much more. Maybe everybody will try to block him and free things up for me.”
    New defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has worked with some of the greatest inside linebackers in the history of the game, like Ray Lewis in Baltimore, and Dansby fits the mold of linebackers Nolan does well with.
    Dansby already has been impressed by Nolan’s energy and enthusiasm as well as the types of schemes he draws up, which are designed to put playmakers like Dansby in position to make game-changing plays. He is a little familiar with the kind of defense Nolan likes to run but he is learning something new all the time.
    We know Dansby is going to be a stud on defense as Nolan his going to come up with some crazy/brilliant schemes. The questions I have is can Crowder return to the same form he was at when playing with ZT and can Wake and Misi be the starters we need them to be. I see Wake have a Dumerville break out year. Nolan knows his strenth is getting after the QB and he is going to put him in the best places for him to succeed. My biggest question is how is Misi going to stand up at the SOLB? Will he be able to consistently set the edge? As a rookie I would be happy if he had a similar performance to what Roth had the year before we cut him.
    When I die I want to hire the Miami Dolphin's to be my pallbearers so they can let me down one last time.

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    footsteps_falco's Avatar
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    honestly i think people overlook wake's age a lot. i just feel like if a player is going on 29 years old, they are probably at the top of the game, you shouldnt really expect to see it change all that much. but wake IS different. he played in the CFL, and backed up some of the best linebackers in the NFL in a short time, his accomplishments in the CFL were extraordinary leaving his mark there with broken records. i just dont know that even after backing jason taylor, joey porter, and now dansby, if his game is really gonna change that much. i mean i hope it does, because hes at the top of it right now, and the guy has some extra ordinary pass rushing skills. but we've all seen his speed also be his downfall where he overshoots the QB, or just flat out wasnt strong enough and got pancaked. maybe with some extra working out and a little more muscle this could be avoided a bit more, also with some better scheming i think so as well. but i dont see wake magically becoming awesome in run support and coverage out of no where. i could be wrong, and he probably will improve if hes working at it, but if you wanna see this guys full potential, u gotta play a 4-3 and stick his fist in the ground. i just feel like we have a lot of 4-3 players who we force into awkward positions, and wonder why we dont get the best production out of a team that looks great on paper
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    mnphinfan's Avatar
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    The thing most people are forgetting though is that Dumerville spent most of his time with his hand on the ground rushing the QB. CK did a great thread/post on the responsibilities of the LB's in Nolan's defense (I tried to find it but I can't) regarding this exact issue. In it he showed that Dumerville rushed the QB about 65% of the time he was on the field and most of those times he did it with his fist on the ground. This is due to the fact the Nolan runs a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense which he does tailor to his players best skill set.

    I also read an article on NFL.com a few weeks ago showing the progression of projected great rookie pass rushers to their second year in the NFL. In the article it showed pretty well that most LB's who struggle getting sacks their rookie years continue having problems getting sacks their entire career with most of them becoming career backups or busts. It also showed that rookies who are able to manage 5-7 sacks their rookie seasons progressed nicely into their sophmore season with most of them accumulating double digit sacks. I would definitely put Wake into this category as he showed last year, that even with a limited amount of snaps he was consistantly able to get after the QB.

    I could be wrong but I just see Wake has having a breakout/probowl type of season this year.
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