Miami Dolphins’ inside linebackers, Jerome Baker and David Long Jr., will have a lot on their plates this upcoming season within new defensive coordinater Vic Fangio’s scheme. On the latest episode of Dolphins Detail, Jake Mendel and Marek Brave discuss the impact Long and Baker will have for Miami in 2023.
Traditionally, Fangio’s defense features a lot of light boxes, daring opposing offenses to run the ball. This puts a lot of pressure on linebackers to fill gaps, shed blocks quickly and tackle ball carriers before they’ve gained too much yardage.
The loss of Elandon Roberts in Miami’s linebacker group means someone else will need to step up into that “thumper” role that Roberts manned for the Dolphins over the past few seasons. The addition of David Long Jr., a budding star in the National Football League, should help. Long also is able to cover running backs and tight ends in the passing game much better than Roberts did in the past. The question with Long will be if he can stay healthy for a full 17 game season — something that was an issue for him in Tennessee.
Jerome Baker has drawn the ire of Dolphins’ fans recently. His tackle numbers have been down the past couple of seasons, yet his contract has him at a $12.5 million cap hit in 2023 — a bit pricey for the production level Baker has been at for the past two years. Baker is still only 26 years old, but the Dolphins could get out of his contract after this upcoming season with just under a $5 million dead cap number in 2024. Could that be in the cards for #55?
Watch as Jake Mendel and Marek Brave discuss Miami’s inside linebackers on the latest episode of Dolphins Detail!