Kevin Coyle is an optimistic man. In only his second season as defensive coordinator, he's looking for big improvements on the defensive side of the football field.
Among the biggest upgrades have been additions to the pass rush, secondary and linebacker position. Dion Jordan, Brent Grimes, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler will be expected to perform at a high level from day one of the NFL regular season.
"There were a number of things we did well last year, but there's a number of areas, particularly the big plays in the passing game and the turnovers, the takeaways, that we were not close to achieving what we want," Coyle said.
"Going into this year, I believe if we can maintain some areas that we were very, very good in a year ago, and then take a few steps forward ... I believe we're going to do a much better job in the turnovers."
Coyle is especially impressed with the editions of both Ellerbe and Wheeler, at the expense of Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett.
"Honestly, we never thought we would be able to get both here and we did," he added. "I think our ability to make plays at that position certainly will be advanced coming this fall."
As for the defensive line, Randy Starks has been seeing an increased workload since re-joining the team. However, Jared Odrick has been one player that is standing out for the coaches.
"He's certainly showing us that he can not only play the position, but be very good at the position in the league," Coyle said. "One thing that I think is exciting about this whole group is the versatility that we have.
"You can move an Odrick to a three technique, you can move him back outside to a five technique, with the role that we will have with our outside defensive ends, with guys that can interchange and play different spots."
Having our defensive coordinator speak in such glowing terms about our defensive unit is certainly a big boost for the team, the owner and the fanbase. Lets just hope Kevin Coyle is right. I certainly hope so.
What do you think? Do you think Miami's defense will make great improvements this coming season? Lets hear your thoughts.