When the Miami Dolphins acquired outside linebacker Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2023 first-round draft pick, a 2024 fourth-round pick, and running back Chase Edmunds, they may have expected the former 5th-overall pick to have a more significant impact than he did.
Chubb agrees with that sentiment, and during his Tuesday press conference, he opened up about some things that may have held him back during his first season with the Dolphins.
“I was up and down with it. Just coming in, grasping a whole new defense, grasping a whole new set of teammates, I felt like I did okay. I for sure held myself to a higher standard,” Chubb said.
He continued, “I wanted to come in and be that guy that got 10 sacks in half a season and stuff like that, but everything doesn’t work out like that. I battled a couple of things at the end with my broken hand and high-ankle sprain, so that was discouraging. But I just look back at all that as fuel for this year. Just seeing where I could have been, where this team could have been. We had so many high expectations, and with me coming in and finishing out with just a playoff berth, that’s not what the goal is. That’s not what the standard is. So it was cool to be able to experience that. That was my first time in the playoffs, but this team and this organization have so many bigger things ahead of us that I’m using that for sure as fuel.”
But in 2023, Chubb is determined to change the narrative and hopes that being reunited with former head coach Vic Fangio will be the perfect storm for his return to form this season.
“Yeah, that’s one of my favorite coaches that I’ve been in a room with just because he expects so much out of his players, and he’s going to keep it straight up with you. If he calls a play and you didn’t execute, he’s going to ask you, ‘Why didn’t you execute? I put you in a position to execute. Why didn’t you?’ So in this high-paced game we play, that’s what you need. You just need that transparency. You need somebody to be on you a little bit to hold you to that standard that we hold ourselves to. That's what he's going to do, and I'm excited about it."
Chubb later spoke about his goals this upcoming season and what he hopes to provide the Dolphins' new-look defense in 2023.
"Just to be more of a leader, more of a tone-setter. Like I said, man, how can I lead when I don't know everybody around me? I try to learn names. I tried to do this, but it just wasn't clicking for me. And that's no excuse, but it's just like, that's just the reality of it. So my main thing is just being the person that Denver drafted and Miami decided, 'okay, yeah, we need that guy on our team.' So that's my leadership, that's my intensity, that's my playstyle. So just got to get back to that man. I'm already taking steps to do that and so once the season gets going, I feel like it's going to be full steam ahead."
The 2022 Pro Bowler has his eyes set on many things over the next few years, including playing meaningful football when others are playing in the Pro Bowl, but that doesn't mean he wasn't stoked for the opportunity.
"It was a dope experience, but now I've got my sights set on something big. I want All-Pros, I want Super Bowl rings, I want everything that comes with that. So it's cool. It's a cool individual accolade, but I want this team to be playing in the mix when the Pro Bowl comes around so we can't even go. Yeah, we get nominated, but we can't even go because we've got a bigger thing to worry about."
Lastly, Chubb spoke about the loaded AFC East and how he feels playing against Aaron Rodgers twice a season.
"I'm excited. It's an opportunity to play against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. I'm excited to compete against that twice a year. The game plan that goes into each and every week – I mean each time I play him, it brings out the best in everybody. Everybody knows that okay yeah, we got 'A-Rod' (Aaron Rodgers) this week so we got to be on our p's and q's. Now we've just got a division full of great quarterbacks, so I'm excited to be in the mix and be competing towards the end of the year when it really counts. So it's going to be fun. I know he's excited to play a lot of the good edge rushers we've got in this division as well, so it's going to be fun."
He also gave a spoiler as to what Rodgers can expect this upcoming season.
"I haven't sacked him. I got a couple of hits on him, but I never sacked him yet, so this will be a perfect opportunity."
On paper, the 2023 Miami Dolphins defense has the chance to be special. And when paired alongside Mike McDaniel’s high-octane offense, this upcoming season could be one of the most memorable in recent memory.
What are your thoughts on Bradley Chubb’s comments? Are you excited to see what he can do in his second season with the Dolphins? How do you feel looking back at Miami’s trade with Denver now that the draft is just days away? Let us know in the comments section below!