New Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell didn't know exactly what he wanted to do with his defensive staff upon taking over from fired coach Joe Philbin. It didn't take Campbell long to figure it out, though.
According to Albert Breer of NFL Media, the Dolphins have moved on from defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, they have named former defensive back coach Lou Anarumo as the interim coordinator.
At this point, it made no sense to hang onto Coyle. Barring an epic turnaround, there was never any real chance he'd be brought back after 2015 anyway.
The Dolphins might as well start grooming the next defensive coordinator now, or at least finding out if Anarumo could effectively fill that spot. Who knows, maybe a new coordinator could be just the spark the defense needs to start heading in the right direction.
|Dolphins defensive rankings|
|Net yards per pass play||7.8||29|
|Yards per rush||4.4||25|
|3rd down %||42.1||22|
|Red zone %||60||19|
|Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com; TeamRankings.com|
It certainly can't get much worse.
The Dolphins currently rank in the bottom half of the league in nearly every important defensive statistic. Most troubling is their struggle to defend against the run; with one of the league's best defensive lines, stopping the run should be no problem at all.
The Dolphins had previously made it known to the world that they were looking to make a change at defensive coordinator when they "touched base with" former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, who was most recently the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2014:
This took place before the Dolphins reportedly fired Coyle.
Certainly, Schwartz would have been an interesting hire due to his experience with Ndamukong Suh, but Schwartz also runs an aggressive 4-3 scheme that could have been exactly what the Dolphins need to get their defense going.
But whether it's an experienced voice coming in from the outside like Schwartz or a young, growing voice moving up from within the coaching staff, it might be worth a change just to see if the players will respond better to someone—anyone—who has a different vision.
Coyle's defensive players are already fed up with his scheme just four weeks into the regular season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media:
Players have grown frustrated with Coyle. ... Their faith in his schemes has dwindled. Players had a very frank and contentious closed-door meeting with Coyle this week, sources say, and they attempted to clear the air. The message was his schemes were too complex and constricting, and that they didn't put the players in position to make plays.
They begged him to simplify, and a source said Coyle junked many of the complexities of the defense this week to allow the players to play.
With a defensive scheme that is forcing explosive athletes like Suh and Cameron Wake to play on their heels rather than play aggressively and attack, it's no wonder the players are upset with the scheme.
But it hardly makes sense to bring in a new coordinator to teach a new scheme with new language midway through the season. Thus, it made more sense to promote Anarumo.
Campbell wasted no time in making changes to the offensive coaching staff, with four coaching changes in his first 48 hours as head coach. He only just started making changes on the defensive staff, though, and he had good reason for taking a more measured approach: His first day working with the defense as a coach was his first day as head coach of the Dolphins.
But apparently, he's seen enough. So have the Dolphins' defensive players and fans.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained via team news release.