The Miami Dolphins have a defensive line that should be among the league elites when it comes to disrupting the opposing quarterback. Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, and Ndamukong Suh headline a group that is designed to apply pressure and generate sacks. The problem thus far in 2016 for the line is, opposing quarterbacks are not cooperating, relying on quick, three-step drops to get the ball into the hands of the receiver before the pass rush can get to the quarterback.
“It’s only four games,” Williams relied when asked this week if the defensive line is getting frustrated. “At the end of the year, it is what it is at that point. But right now, we’ve still got plenty of games to play.”
The team is currently tied for ninth in the league with 10 sacks, which means they have successfully gotten after the quarterback well enough to be in the top portion of the league, but it is still something for which they should be having better results given the talent they have. Offenses are doing a great job of scheming away from from the strength of Miami’s defense.
“It’s been difficult, especially last game,” Williams added. “If you time snap to throw, it’s pretty quick. At the same time, we’ve got to find a way to manage that; try to find a way to stop the quick throws however (we can) – if it’s tighter coverage, or us getting our hands up or whatever. We’ve got to figure something out because it is, more than not, quick passes so far. It has only been four games, so we’ll see what ends up happening at the end of the day; but right now, it’s been pretty quick. We’ve got to figure something out. If it’s not a sack, a batted ball is just as good.”
Wake also addressed the quick passing they have been facing and how the Dolphins’ defense can counter-act them. “You keep rushing because at some point, they can’t throw the ball three steps every play,” Wake explained. “There are going to be situations and we have to try to dictate those situations where they hold the ball and the guys up front can get their job done. I’m not a genius, but if I was a quarterback, I probably wouldn’t hold the ball for too long either. That’s the way this business is. You’ve just got to keep rushing knowing that eventually things will change. You don’t want that one rush to be like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a three-step (drop) and now it’s a five-step (drop).’ You’ve got to keep it going.”
The Titans have only allowed seven sacks thus far this year, and the Dolphins have to find a way to get after Marcus Mariota. Wake was asked what he sees when he watches the film of the Titans’ offensive line. Wake laughed, answering, “I see o-linemen. I don’t like o-linemen.”
He continued, “I think they’re like o-linemen – they’re big, they’re slow and they’re ugly, just like most of the ones we have here. Us fast pretty guys like to take advantage of them.”
Miami’s defensive line should be the strength of the defense. Now it is time for them to find a way to neutralize the short passes so that strength has a chance to actually become a disruption.
And, it allows Cameron Wake to continue to dislike o-linemen.