MIAMI GARDENS — Cam Wake was listing all the things he likes about first-year Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke and a really important one came up: “Stellar play-calling today.”
The Dolphins had six sacks, forced two fumbles and scored a touchdown in Sunday’s defeat of the Titans.
Burke seemed to pressure at the right times. And most importantly, he has figured out a way to cure Miami’s run-defense woes of 2016.
“I think for the most part, knowing his personnel,” Wake said of Burke. “He knows the guys. He knows the guys that he has and the skill set for each guy and being able to call plays and call the defenses that puts those certain guys in positions to make plays. Obviously, stellar play calling today. Obviously, the run was stopped, I’ll say, I think very definitively. And I think a lot goes to him in setting this up and putting us in position to make plays.”
The Dolphins are maximizing their depth with shifts of pass-rushers and run-stuffers.
“Obviously, we’ve got different guys going in and out,” Wake said. “If you look back and see, run stoppers in when they need to be, pass rushers in when they need to be. It all works together. It’s one cohesive unit. He’s kind of the brains of the operation for running the show, and I’m glad that he can put this one on his chart today, because this was a win that, again, for him most guys will probably not say his name but I think, to start off, everything that we did today started with him.”
Wake added that he knows teams will adjust to what Miami is doing effectively.
“I feel like, for us, the most important thing moving forward is knowing how teams are going to play against us,” he said. “And at some point, as I’ve told some of the other guys, yes, we’re good at certain things and teams are going to try to scheme you to limit your skill set, to limit your advantage, then that’s smart. They’re not idiots. What are you going to say, ‘If they’re throwing the ball quick or what.’ You can’t do anything about that. What are we going to do to change that? If they’re going to double team (Ndamukong) Suh, what are you going to do to change that? You can’t cry about it. You have to figure it out.”
Wake said Miami’s defense will not point fingers at a struggling offense.
“Wherever the ball is put down on the field, we’re going to attack no matter what,” Wake said. “No matter whatever the situation. No opportunities to cry about what’s going on. Offense, obviously, sometimes they’re going to have a day where they’re putting up points and helping us when we’re not having a great day. So, we work hand in hand. Whatever it takes for them to get the job done. Obviously, at the end of the game, they put drives together to put points on the board and secure the win for us. We work together. It’s not one side versus the other. It’s a full team, and the Miami Dolphins won today, and it was on the backs of everybody working really hard to get it done.”
After the win, Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also complimented Burke.
“There are a lot of new faces on this defense as well as some old faces, me being one of them,” Suh said. “We understand what we have. We understand that we got to go out there and execute. (Matt) Burke is going to put us in great positions as he is a very, very smart guy – obviously Ivy League guy – understands the game. I’ve been around him for a long time, and he’s going to put us in great places. As we are placed in those places go out there and execute and things are going to happen the way they are.”
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