Dolphin Shout Miami Dolphins Fan Question - Defense - From Anthony Bertolini

Here is a question from Anthony Bertolini in NY. That's right, he's in the heart of Jets territory. But, please don't attack him because he is loyal to the aqua and orange. Here is his question:

Although we went Defense in the draft I'm very worried about numerous factors:
-We're still a bit weak at OLB
-We still dont have a proven Free Safety
-We have a defensive lineman moving to NT for the first time as a permanent solution
-Even Jason Ferguson (when he gets back) is in his late 30's and has to be battling weariness after all these years

Paul, I'm very excited about the upcoming season, and I wait all year for this, so I guess my question is...... Are we thinking with our hearts too much as opposed to our heads? Is there a distinct possibility that I'm going to have to suffer through another sub par season while praying for a great 2011 draft? Is Mike Nolan capable of taking pieces from elsewhere and making them work in new positions? Please keep in mind I'm surrounded here by Damn Jet Fans who think every year they're Super Bowl Bound..........Please can you give me some news?

My Answer:

First, let me put one thing to rest. Jets fans are always going to think they are good, even if they aren't. Just ignore all of the hype. They maybe pretty good this year, but they aren't near as close to where their fans think they are.

As for thinking with our hearts and heads, I will admit that I do get a little over-excited and think with my heart sometimes. But, I don't think that there is a possibility that you will have to suffer through another mediocre season. Everything really is looking up for Miami. The offense is very, very good, and our defense is getting better by the day.

And about Mike Nolan, I am completely confident in him. He is the least of any of my concerns this year. I did a little bit of analyzing how he helped defenses when he was a coordinator, and here is what I came up with:

Nolan has been a defensive coordinator for 11 years. In 8 out of those 11 years, Nolan's defense has been in the top half of the NFL in points allowed. Of those 8 seasons, his defense has been in the top 10 six times.

While those are just statistics and the results can vary from team to team, that is still a very good indicator of his skills.

I have also read about how he has changed Miami's defensive mindset to a more agressive one, which I think sounds great.

I know you are concerned with the OLB position, the free safety position, and the moving to the nose tackle position. But, stop worrying about it. If Mike Nolan is willing to make the move, then I am willing to trust him. He has 22 years of coaching experience in the NFL. He knows what he is doing.

So, put your mind and heart to rest. Miami is going to be great this year, and any problem they may have most likely won't be big enough to ruin the season. The Dolphins have a great chance at making the playoffs this year.

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