This time last year, Kevin Coyle and Bill Lazor still worked for the Miami Dolphins.
Coyle coordinated their defense; Lazor called the plays on offense. Each was ultimately fired throughout the course of the 2015 season.
On Thursday, they will try to beat their old team. Coyle and Lazor are now position coaches for the Cincinnati Bengals.
But some of the issues that helped derail Coyle’s time here have followed him to a new address.
Word out of Cincinnati is that there’s already friction in the defensive backs meeting room, which he leads.
Bengals players may have a point. The Bengals have gotten torched this year in a way they hadn’t under now-Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.
The secondary has already allowed nine passing touchdowns, second-most in the league. New Broncos starter Trevor Siemian torched the Bengals Sunday for 312 yards and four scores in Denver’s 29-17 road victory. The Bengals surrendered two touchdown passes over 40 yards Sunday; they gave up just six pass plays of that length in each of Joseph’s last two years in Cincinnati.
Players are particularly upset with some of Coyle’s technique instructions; at least one player believes he’s coaching them not to lose instead of coaching them to win.
If this sounds familiar, it should. Dolphins players privately (and at times, even publicly) were critical of Coyle’s scheme and the way he interacted with him. One Dolphins player who was personally fond of Coyle said Monday that he wasn’t surprised that friction has followed him to a new city.
Jordan Cameron did sustain a concussion in Sunday’s win over the Browns and will not play Thursday against Cincinnati, Dolphins coach Adam Gase announced Monday.
That makes four concussions in as many years for Cameron — a flashing red warning signal in the age of CTE. Cameron sustained three of those concussions while with Cleveland, but did not have one in 2015, his first year with the Dolphins.
“I think if anybody had any concerns in this organization, that would have been brought to me,” Gase said. “I know that I’ve been around a few guys that over time, it has gone up. I know Wes [Welker] had quite a few before I was with him in Denver, and then we had too many when I was with him in those last couple of years.”
Gase added: “We’re always trying to look for things and help our players, safety-wise, with concussions. I know we’ll always have those discussions to make sure that we do whatever’s best for him so he’s not in harm’s way.”
Gase provided updates on a number of other injuries Monday.
Most notably: Arian Foster is all but certain to miss his second straight game with a groin injury.
“It would be tough for us to get himi back this week,” Gase said.
Meanwhile, there are big questions on the offensive line. Left tackle Branden Albert and center Anthony Steen both suffered ankle injuries Sunday.
They, Jelani Jenkins (groin) and Koa Misi (neck) will all be evaluated throughout the week.
While the Dolphins did not practice Monday, they had to submit an injury report as if they did. The Dolphins projected that Pouncey, Steen, Albert, Cameron, Foster, Misi, Jenkins and Jarvis Landry (shoulder) all would have been held out.