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Ellerbe Says Defense Capable Of Being Among NFL’s Best
By on July 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

071113-ellerbe660While the Dolphins offense has garnered many of the headlines this offseason with the additions of Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, Dustin Keller and others to complement Ryan Tannehill, Maimi’s defense has a new look as well. The Dolphins added Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Brent Grimes, Dion Jordan and other playmakers to a unit that finished seventh in the NFL in scoring defense in 2012. On Wednesday evening, the defense took center stage as Ellerbe, Wheeler and Jimmy Wilson answered questions from fans during the team’s third “Inside The Huddle” conference call, a special teleconference open to Dolphins Season Ticket Members along with other select fans. Here are some of the notable comments from the defenders during their Q & A session with the fans:

(On how defense stacks up with other units across the league)

Dannell Ellerbe: “I see us being at the top of the list but it’s too early to say right now. I mean everybody is going to say the same thing. I can sit here and I can honestly say that we have talent on defense, we have speed, (and) we have guys that can make plays. If guys just show up and make the plays that they’re capable of making, we’ll be a top three defense.”

(On defense looking to create more sacks and turnovers in 2013)

Dannell Ellerbe: “Oh yea man, being aggressive. You know I’m used to that coming from Baltimore. Coming down here, seems like I haven’t missed a beat. I’m just looking forward to it. Getting sacks come from beating your man one on one, so we’re going to have to set-up a lot of one on one battles with running backs with our linebackers and we’re just going to have to win. We aren’t going to put all that pressure on Cam (Wake) to get all the sacks; we’re going to open it for him if we can get to the quarterback too, so (opposing offenses) will have more than one person to focus on.”

Jimmy Wilson: “We got balls set-up everywhere (in the Doctors Hospital Training Facility) to where we can’t even walk into a meeting without trying to strip somebody. It’s going to be a lot of ripping at the ball and an aggressive nature towards (opposing) ball carriers.”

(On goals for the secondary 2013)

Jimmy Wilson: “Same things they are every year. We dropped a lot of picks last year and in pass defense we want to be in the top five of the league and in takeaways we want to be in the top five of the league. We’ve added Brent Grimes and a couple more playmakers so when that ball is in the air it’s going to be hard for other receivers to catch the ball on us, especially with our pass-rush and the guys we have up front.”

(On overall strengths of the team)

Philip Wheeler: “We got a fast team right now. We have a lot of new additions- me, Dannell (Ellerbe), we have Mike Wallace on the other side of the ball, a very fast guy. I feel like we’re going to be a speed team and I think that’s going to help us out a lot.”

(On Ryan Tannehill)

Jimmy Wilson: “Being able to see Tannehill as a rookie and see him now, I think he’s increased his skill level (by) leaps and bounds. I just think he’s more comfortable with the game; he’s bigger, faster, stronger and everybody knows that he has an NFL arm. As a quarterback you got to have more of that brain capacity and that’s what he’s picked up, he’s picked up a lot of our blitzes. We’ve thrown a lot at him early and he seems to be handling it real well so I think Dolphins fans are going to be real excited about our offense this year.”

Philip Wheeler: “I played against him last when I was with the Raiders. He surprised us, (the coaches) told us he could run in the scouting report, but shoot, we never really saw it like that. One play nobody got open and he just darted out up the middle of the pocket, gained like seventeen, eighteen yards and nobody could really tackle him. So I was like ‘man, this guy can move.’ I saw it first-hand so yea, he can definitely move.”

(On the Dolphins offense)

Dannell Ellerbe: “As far as the offense, I feel like we have a fast offense. This is one of the fastest teams that I’ve played on. We have playmakers at receiver, any one of those guys can break it open at any time. Quarterback, he’s a young quarterback but he’s out there playing like a veteran. We have a big offensive line, we can run the power game (or) spread them out, we can do whatever. And our tight ends, we have some of the best tight ends in the game. We need to put up some points this year and I see us doing it.”

(On goals for 2013)

Dannell Ellerbe: “My main goal is to win another Super Bowl.”


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