DAVIE — Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke usually shows his players a few plays from the previous game before moving on to preparations for the next game.
Not this week.
After allowing 548 yards, including 294 rushing yards, and touchdowns on five consecutive Carolina Panthers drives on Monday, Burke had the whole defense in the office on Tuesday to review the entire second half.
“That’s not an easy game to swallow, you know,” Burke said of the 45-21 loss. “One, I appreciate the schedule (coach) Adam (Gase) put together. Where we brought the guys in on Tuesday afternoon. And I didn’t sleep. I came back here and went right to work. So we had a chance to really look at it. As a defense we watched the entire second half together as a whole group. Again, it wasn’t easy to look at it. But there are things that have to be addressed.”
Why did Burke make the players watch the entire half?
“To be honest with you, I felt that one of our issues – Monday night and possibly in the last couple weeks – there’s been a little disconnect I felt between the different levels of the defense,” Burke said. “I felt it was important for everybody to be in there together and talking it out. I just didn’t feel the communication was there. I didn’t feel the understanding of how the front fits with the linebackers and how the coverage in the back end fits the linebackers and that sort of thing. I felt it was important this week to really take most of the meeting together.”
After a strong start to the season, Miami’s defense has been beaten all the way down to 25th in the NFL in scoring defense (24.9 points per game) and 17th in the league in total defense (341.2 yards).
“No one played well the other night, so let’s not hide that fact,” Burke said.
Burke put all of the poor defensive stats from the Carolina game on the wall and the players had to look at them all day.
“Again, we all own that,” Burke said. “I told those guys. I put all of the stats up on the board. None of them are pretty. Not a single one. I said ‘We own this together. Every man in this room has a piece of this and we’ve got to get it sorted out because I feel like we’re not playing together as a unit, which we were better at earlier in the year.”
Burke said he is glad this week is not a bye, as was previously scheduled.
“Not having the bye week, to me, actually helps us,” Burke said. “If we had to sit two weeks and chew on that for a bye weekend and not play for another two weeks. As a coach particularly says, we have to go back to work here. We can’t wallow in it. We have to correct what we have to correct and go back to it.”