The Miami Dolphins featured one of the league’s top defenses in 2020. The team allowed 21.1 points per game, the fourth-lowest mark in the league.
With Xavien Howard on the field and happy, defensive coordinator Josh Boyer and the rest of Miami’s coaching staff can focus on stopping opposing quarterbacks, which starts with Chicago’s Andy Dalton and Justin Fields, a first-round pick in the 2021 draft.
The Dolphins will participate in co-op practices with the Bears for two days and will be off on Friday before beginning the preseason against each other on Saturday afternoon.
Boyer met with the media on Monday as the team prepared for a trip to Chicago.
“Whether it’s Jalen [Phillips] or any of our guys, I’m itching to see because our defense is going to evolve and it will evolve over time,” Boyer said when asked if he was itching to see more of Phillips on the practice field. “Exactly when it will be, I’m not real sure; but I’m excited to see these guys get out there and work.”
Practicing with the Bears allows the team to try out some new things after working against the same defense for 10 days.
“I’m excited to put guys in different spots and see how that looks. I’m real excited to go to Chicago and practice against them. We’ve been hitting our guys for call it 10 practices if you will,” Boyer said. ”I think our guys know and understand we need to play a complimentary game and we’re excited to go out there and compete against Chicago as a defense, offense, special teams. I’m excited for it all.”
Above all else, Boyer made it clear that it starts with players who invest time into the game.
“I think it starts with you bring in guys that love football, put the team first, they are mentally and physically tough – which ‘Flo’ (Brian Flores) embodies all of those things, and they really have a humble personality or mentality or however you want to look at it,” Boyer said. “I think ‘Flo’ embodies all of those things. I think a lot of our guys embody all of those things. Yeah, I would say it takes a little bit of his personality for sure.”
The Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears will practice together on Wednesday and Thursday. The two teams will play on Aug. 14 in Chicago. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.