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Vance Joseph wants Dolphins players to have “ownership” of defense

Jordan Phillips, Earl Mitchell, Ndamukong Suh

In this Thursday, July 30, 2015 photo, Miami Dolphins defensive tackles Jordan Phillips (97) Earl Mitchell (90) and Ndamukong Suh (93) prepare to run drills at the teams NFL football training camp in Davie, Fla. For about three weeks preceding the start of Dolphins training camp, rookie Phillips and his fiancee were on a vacation in Oregon. That is, except for the two hours a day where Phillips was learning from Suh. When the new defensive leader of the Dolphins asked Phillips to join him for what essentially was a training camp before training camp, the rookie didn’t hesitate before accepting the invitation. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


Before the Dolphins fired defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle after Week Four of the regular season, word out of Miami was that the team’s players were airing their grievances about the scheme at team meetings.

Vance Joseph will be the team’s defensive coordinator in 2016 and he said Thursday that he wants to have the team’s players invested in the defense, which means that his door will be open to their thoughts and suggestions as long as they are working hard on the field.

“If it’s [Ndamukong] Suh or if it’s [Reshad] Jones or if it’s [Brent] Grimes, whoever puts the work in and brings me ideas, I’ll listen,” Joseph said, via the Miami Herald. “It’s the NFL and you want players to have ownership of it. If it’s a closed door all the time that can be a problem for a defensive coordinator. So it’s an open door policy. We’re open to ideas that have been thought through.”

One idea that Joseph is already working on is a way to get Suh free to do more than occupy blockers at the point of attack after a year that saw him drawing a lot of attention from opposing blockers. Joseph said the team has “some ways to get him more single blocks, one-on-ones, and more opportunities,” although he wasn’t sharing any specifics with the public.