DAVIE — Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke should be pretty happy this week. His side of the ball has been winning a lot of the 11-on-11 drills during offseason practices, and it looks like he’s got more than enough talent throughout the depth chart.
But Burke has a lot on his plate over the next few months. He’s trying to turn around a defense that wasn’t particularly great at anything last year. Miami wants to be a defense that swarms the quarterback up front and presents danger on the back end with a trio of good safeties. There’s also the issue of linebacker, which has been a problem area for the Dolphins for years.
Here are some notes from Burke’s press conference after practice today:
— He thinks first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick has been as good as the Dolphins expected. “He’s probably about as advertised,” Burke said. “He’s really sharp. He’s thirsty for knowledge and for more, and we’re trying to overload him a little bit. We keep giving him more and he keeps taking it. He spends a lot of extra time in the building on his own, working out, studying film.”
— Burke reiterated that nothing is set in stone at this point in the year. He’s not going to decide position battles until it gets closer to the season. That’s especially true at cornerback and linebacker.
— He said that current free agent safety Eric Reid was never a consideration for the Dolphins this offseason because their roster was already well put together at the position. The Dolphins met with Kenny Vaccaro as well and did not sign him.
— Defensive end Cameron Wake, at age 36, has shown little sign of decline during Organized Team Activities and minicamp. “It always just amazes me, at his age,” Burke said. “I hate to keep saying that. He probably gets mad when I keep bringing up his age and telling him he’s old and stuff. I actually talked about it in a defensive meeting this morning… I mean for how long he’s been here, the joy never goes out of it for him. He’s out smiling, loves practice, loves getting better, and competing.”
— Ever the adventurer, Burke is headed to Bora Bora for some diving and a six-day backpacking trip in Olympic National Park in Washington during the upcoming break. Dolphins coach Adam Gase will not be able to get him on the phone. “Probably not,” he said. “Whether I have cell phone service or not, he probably won’t be able to reach me.”
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