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Dannell Ellerbe's first season in Miami didn't quite go as planned.
Last season, the Dolphins thought they had upgraded at linebacker by cutting Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett for Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
On paper, the acquisitions seemed to be brilliant, as the team got younger and faster at two pivotal positions on the defense.
The problem is that the game isn't played on paper. The moves turned out to be huge downgrades, especially when it came to the run defense.
According to Pro Football Focus, Ellerbe ranked 53rd of 55 inside linebackers against the run, while Wheeler ranked 35th of 35 outside linebackers.
Anyone who is expecting the team to replace the two linebackers are being unrealistic, considering both of their cap numbers.
However, I believe that their struggles had more to do with the scheme than their talent and ability.
This past season was Ellerbe's first in a 4-3 defense, and it was also Wheeler's third straight season playing in a new system.
Take a look at this tweet from Pro Football Focus prior to last season, which compared the four linebackers.
While Ellerbe wasn't a stud against the run in 2012, he was solid. Wheeler, meanwhile, has never been a good run-stuffer, but he excels in rushing the passer, which he didn't do nearly enough of in 2013.
It seems that Kevin Coyle will remain the defensive coordinator, so the task is on him to better use what Ellerbe and Wheeler bring to the table.