There were a lot of factors involved in the success of the Miami Dolphins defense last season, from innovative game plans to brilliant individual performances by players like Xavien Howard.
But let's also not forget about the play calling, which helped the Dolphins baffle their share of opponents last season.
This is where defensive coordinator Josh Boyer comes in, and Pro Football Focus gave him some major props in its series of NFL rankings.
Boyer came in at number 4 on PFF's list of defensive play callers, ahead of well-established defensive coordinators like Leslie Frazier and Todd Bowles, the latter the former Dolphins interim head coach.
"In just the second season of the Dolphins' rebuild, and Boyer’s first as their defensive coordinator, they fielded one of the league’s best defenses, allowing them to win double-digit games for just the second time in over a decade," PFF wrote about Boyer. "The Dolphins, ranking just 14th in pass-rushing grade, were able to secure a league-leading 18 interceptions, led by Xavien Howard's 10. Emmanuel Ogbah, who has long been a bust in the NFL since being drafted No. 32 overall in 2016, produced nine sacks himself.
"While a bit noisy, the Dolphins' 2020 performance has a decent chance of carrying forward due to the front office's continued effort to secure draft capital — one piece of which turned into Jaelan Phillips in April, the draft’s best edge defender."
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Topping PFF's list of defensive play callers was new Chargers head coach Brandon Staley (he was DC of the Rams last season), followed by Don Martindale of the Baltimore Ravens and Keith Butler of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is busy these days preparing for his second NFL season, but he's going to be giving back after the Dolphins wrap up their offseason program.
Tagovailoa first will be conducting a virtual football camp June 19 at 10 a.m. Hawaii time, the event sponsored by Procter & Gamble.
Ten days later, Tagovailoa will be back in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home for his great college career, for the Luau With Tua. The event at Bryant-Denny Stadium will feature Polynesian food and entertainment and benefit the Tua Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama, and Nick's Kids.
A total of eight players were not spotted by the media during the open OTA last week, but three of them were shown on the Dolphins Twitter account walking onto the practice field this week.
The three were wide receiver Will Fuller V, and linebackers Benardrick McKinney and Brennan Scarlett.
The other five who were not spotted by the media last week were RBs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, defensive linemen Emmanuel Ogbah and Zach Sieler, and cornerback Xavien Howard.
Preseason Schedule Official
Though the Dolphins revealed their 2021 preseason schedule last month, the NFL officially released the league's entire preseason slate Thursday.
As previously announced, the Dolphins will face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Saturday, Aug. 14, the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 21, and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 29.