Dolphins notebook

Dolphins DC Kevin Coyle takes blame for Monday’s mess against Saints

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass in the fourth quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sept. 30, 2013.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees throws a pass in the fourth quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sept. 30, 2013.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / Staff Photo
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Monday night’s torching by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees dropped the Dolphins to 24th in pass defense and 26th in overall defense, and left Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle blaming himself to an extent.

“The pass defense was not good enough, not even close,” coach Joe Philbin said Tuesday. “We made it too easy on them.”

Brees completed 30 of 39 passes for 413 yards, four touchdowns and a 144.5 rating. According to Pro Football Focus, linebacker Philip Wheeler allowed all seven passes against him to be completed, for 87 yards, and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe allowed 5 of 6, for 82 yards.

Brees completed 3 of 4 passes in safety Reshad Jones’ coverage area, for 76 yards, and all four in safety Jimmy Wilson’s area, for 44.

“We’ve got to be more consistent with everything we’re doing,” Coyle said. “I’ve got to get them in better position to make plays. I didn’t do a good job of that [Monday] night. Hopefully, we can get it corrected.”

Running back Darren Sproles torched the Dolphins with 114 yards on seven receptions. Asked if he would do anything differently now against Sproles, Coyle said: “There were times we were doubling him. But you can’t do it every play. … They schemed us pretty good. I’ve got to do a better job of helping these guys.”


• The Dolphins waived fullback Tyler Clutts and safety Kelcie McCray but did not announce corresponding roster additions. Clutts played 32 offensive snaps in four games, including four Monday. McCray played no defensive snaps in four games. Both played on special teams.

•  Lamar Miller (11 carries, 62 yards) again outplayed Daniel Thomas (four carries, 5 yards) on Monday. But Philbin said Thomas played more in the second half because the Dolphins needed pass protection.

Does offensive coordinator Mike Sherman believe Miller is distancing himself from Thomas?

“I don’t get that [sense],” Sherman said. “We will continue the way we’ve been so far until someone really steps forward and makes that known to us.”

• Sherman said his call on a failed fourth-and-inches — he opted to pitch to Thomas instead of running a quarterback sneak — “will really haunt me.”

• Ellerbe insisted playing his former team, Baltimore, on Sunday will be “just another game” but said the Ravens’ financial efforts to keep him were “at the bottom of the barrel. … I was surprised a little bit.”

The Baltimore Sun reported in March that the Ravens offered him nearly $5 million a year. The Dolphins signed him to a five-year, $35 million deal, with $17 million guaranteed.

• The Dolphins are minus-1 in turnovers, and Philbin said he told his players: “We are the only team in football that has a winning record and a minus turnover differential. That’s not sustainable. That’s not going to fly.”

• Quarterback Ryan Tannehill leads the league in fumbles with six, including a costly one late in Monday’s first half, and Philbin said: “His awareness in the pocket has to be better at times.”

• The Dolphins decided before Monday’s game that Cameron Wake (knee) wasn’t healthy enough to play, but Coyle said he hopes he will be available Sunday.

“Cam wanted to play [Monday],” Coyle said.

Without Wake, the Dolphins produced only two sacks, by Olivier Vernon and Jared Odrick. According to Pro Football Focus, in Week 4, only the Vikings’ Matt Cassel was pressured on a lower percentage of dropbacks (against Pittsburgh) than Brees was against the Dolphins.

• Though defensive tackle Paul Soliai played very well after missing a week with a knee injury, he logged only 22 of the Saints’ 71 offensive snaps because New Orleans passed so much. Defensive tackle Marvin Austin, signed last week, played 18.

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