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Vance Joseph: 'If this team had 34 personnel, we'd be a 34 defense'

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Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph discusses his view of the team's defensive system.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins hired a new coaching staff this offseason, with former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase at the helm as the head coach. He then brought in former Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph to work as his defensive coordinator. After Joseph was hired, there was speculation that the team could be looking to switch from a 4-3 defense back to a 3-4 system, a scheme the team used prior to the Joe Philbin era for the franchise.

Joseph has worked in both systems in his career, and took the correct methodology in deciding what to do with the Dolphins in 2016. "I don't want to be a guy who as a coordinator [says], 'I'm a 34 guy with 43 personnel driven team,'" Joseph told the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero recently. "I'm not going to say, 'Well, let's change it,' and set us back two or three years. That's not smart in my opinion. That's not coordinating. If this team had 34 personnel, we'd be a 34 defense. I can do both. For me, it's not a big deal to be a 34 or 43 defense, it's just numbers. It would be a shame to come to a place that's close to being good on defense and then flip it, then you're three years away again. I didn't want to do that."

The Dolphins have built a defense ready to succeed, with stars such as Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh on the defensive line, adding Mario Williams this offseason. At linebacker, the team added Kiko Alonso, who disappointed with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was a dominant rookie with the Buffalo Bills and could still return to that form. Reshad Jones at safety made his first Pro Bowl last year and is poised to be considered among the game's elite safeties. Sticking with the 4-3 system, building upon a base that admittedly disappointed last year but has the potential to be great, seems like the right move rather than blowing it up in an effort to force a 3-4 system on a 4-3 team.

The NFL, however, has seen 3-4 teams win the last two Super Bowls, as Salguero points out, with the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots each carrying home a Lombardi Trophy.

"Both win," Joseph said to Salguero. "And I've been a 3-4 guy most of my career. But when you come to a place like this and see the defensive personnel you've got, and, in my opinion, it's not broken, you can't all of a sudden go to 34 where you have to re-draft to a defense. That takes time. That takes too much time."

Joseph has described his vision for the 2016 Dolphin defense as an attacking one, telling Salguero in another report, "We’re going to be an attack-style defense from every position — from the D-line, corners, safeties, linebackers. Every position.” (Sidenote: Highly recommend reading this article. A lot of good stuff from Joseph.)

Joseph wants this defense to be ready to succeed now. The veterans on the team are ready for this defense to succeed now. The Dolphins fans are ready to see this defense succeed now. Joseph is taking the correct strategy to make that happen. Now, it is a matter of putting it all together and succeeding.