Protect the ball and force turnovers and odds are you're a winning team at the end of the season
BY ARMANDO SALGUEROASALGUERO@MIAMIHERALD.COM
Every room where Miami Dolphins defensive players meet at the team’s training facility is decorated with footballs. No, the footballs aren’t in glass cases and don’t recall great past performances. They actually are a reminder of past failure …
And a demand for change.
The Dolphins, you see, are emphasizing turnovers this year. And those footballs are in place so that when defensive players enter and leave the rooms, they punch at the balls, they try to snatch the balls, they try to strip the balls from their perch as if practicing how to treat ballcarriers this upcoming season.
The idea the players should be getting is the Dolphins are putting a premium on causing turnovers.
“We constantly look for better ways of teaching, from little things like that,” defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “We’ve got the footballs hanging from the walls in every defensive meeting room that they have to go in and when they walk in and out of the meeting rooms, they’re stripping and punching.
“It’s just a reminder.”
It reminds that last year the Dolphins were not nearly good enough at causing takeaways from opposing teams and were too generous in yielding turnovers. The team was minus-10 in takeaways, which means it had 10 more turnovers on offense and special teams than the defense and special teams took from opponents.
And that statistic, more than any other reason he can think of, is what coach Joe Philbin believes is the reason his team had a losing season.