DAVIE–One of the biggest surprises of this NFL season has been the Dolphins‘ development into a top-10 defense.
Miami was near the bottom last year and set a franchise record for most rushing yards allowed. That prompted a substantial rebuild in the offseason, and it’s clearly that project was successful. Acquisitions like Lawrence Timmons, William Hayes, Charles Harris and Davon Godchaux have already paid off, and the Dolphins expect even more help as linebacker Rey Maualuga continues to acclimate and safety T.J. McDonald comes off suspension in the ninth game.
With Miami facing a tremendous test from the Falcons’ offense Sunday, here are Burke’s thoughts on where his defense stands:
–Burke said holding defensive tackle Jordan Phillips out last week was a preference toward playing a healthy Vincent Taylor over a questionable Phillips. Phillips is likely to play this week.
–Cornerback Byron Maxwell was inactive last week, which appeared to be performance-based. Burke said he’s dealing with a nagging injury as well.
–Burke called Atlanta “the best offense, top to bottom,” that the Dolphins have faced this year.
–Burke’s been impressed by Timmons’ effort overall. Not only in games, but he’s constantly running full speed in practice.
–Opponents are completing 73 percent of their passes against the Dolphins. Burke said cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley are getting better, which will help bring that number down.
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