DAVIE–Matt Burke is in his first few months as the Dolphins‘ defensive coordinator, and today was his first time speaking to the media since the day he got the job in January.
Burke steps into the job after working as the linebackers coach under Vance Joseph last year. He was the obvious successor when Joseph became head coach of the Broncos, coach Adam Gase said, because it maintains continuity in scheme and terminology.
Here’s what Burke said about how he plans to run the defense this year:
-He expects Miami to better against the run in part because, “statistically we can’t get much worse, right?” Burke said injury issues were a big factor last year with Reshad Jones missing time and Kiko Alonso playing through injury. Additions like Lawrence Timmons will make a difference as well.
–As far as how different Burke is than Joseph, he says it will be only a “subtle” change. “We’ve worked together a couple years and took a lot from each other,” Burke said. “I don’t think there will be a massively noticeable change. I’m just trying to streamline a couple things, but schematically it’ll be pretty similar.”
–Regarding Charles Harris, Burke thought he was among the most polished pass rushers in this year’s draft class. “He’s explosive,” Burke said. “He’s one of the more twitchy players in the draft… We didn’t think he’d be available there for us.”
–Burke believes Wake will be a tremendous influence on Harris. “He’s the ultimate professional,” Burke said. “If a kid wants to model his career after him, that’s great.”
–Burke declined, as Gase has, to give specifics on where the linebackers will play. He would not answer a question about whether Raekwon McMillan will start out at outside linebacker.
–The Dolphins are looking for a starting defensive tackle to line up next to Ndamukong Suh. Like other Miami coaches, Burke said Jordan Phillips has been “inconsistent” and has some work to do to secure that job.
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