Rarely a week goes by that an NFL coach doesn’t show his players clips of video to drive home a point or set the emotional tone.
New defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo didn’t need to dial up Netflix or dig too deep in the archives this week.
He just showed highlights of the Dolphins’ defense from August, when it overwhelmed Miami’s offensive line and anyone it faced in the preseason.
“We’ve got to get back to dominating,” linebacker Jelani Jenkins said. “I think we felt really good about our defense coming out of training camp. We put on that film again and reminded ourselves of what we can do and what we’re capable of.”
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
So what has changed?
Anarumo insisted again Thursday that it’s not the scheme.
He again denied that this is or ever has been a read-and-react defense, which has been a major criticism locally and nationally.
“I can’t speak for why someone would see it that way,” Anarumo said. “I know as coaches ever since we’ve been here that’s not been the case. They’re taught to get off the ball and attack, that’s not how it’s been and that’s not how it’s going to be.”
And while Anarumo is replacing Kevin Coyle, he’s not going to be replacing his system. Rather, he said what needs to change is the players’ execution of that scheme.
“It all goes back to execution, and that has been our focus to this point and the practices that we’ve had are focusing on the guys flying around, executing and doing their job,” Anarumo said. “That’s primarily what we focused on the last week and I think that will carry over to all the groups.”
Anarumo said he has a “good relationship” with Ndamukong Suh that long predates Anarumo’s promotion.
“I kind of pride myself on getting around the whole team and getting to know the guys on the team.”
Dion Sims practiced without limitation Thursday for the first time since sustaining a significant concussion in the season pener.
The tight end expects to play Sunday against the Titans.
“I’m very excited, just like anybody else would be,” Sims said. “Sitting out four weeks and seeing the team suffer. It’s frustrating to me. I was ready to get out there and help as much as I can.”
Cornerback Brent Grimes, meanwhile, was again able to practice on a limited basis Thursday. It does not appear that the sprained MCL he injured in London will keep him out of the Titans game.
Grimes never seems to get hurt, and on the rare occasion he does, he doesn’t stay hurt long.
“Maybe it’s a lucky thing,” Grimes said. “That’s cool. I’ll take it. Maybe I did hit a little lottery.”
Defensive tackle A.J. Francis practiced on a limited basis Thursday after a back injury kept him out Wednesday.