This time last week after we lost the first game of the year to Baltimore, people were burying us. We were 0-1 and going nowhere fast. Now, we're 1-1 and playing a divisional rival in their house on Sunday. It's going to be a test, but that's why we play the game, right?
To me, the biggest difference in the secondary between our week one struggles against Baltimore and then the win over New England last week – it was communication. In the second half, we were great in how we communicated and worked together. We really made it our focus – I know it sounds a bit cliché, but we said we have to do better than we were doing in the first half.
Simply put, if we wanted to win, we had to communicate better. And we did. And we won. It's nice when it works out that way.
Now it comes down to Miami and this is a tough game. It's not must-win, not at this point in the season, but we can't give them an advantage. We're fully aware that they beat us last year, the only team to beat us both times we faced them last year. We know it, and we know that we didn't play our best.
I can tell you, we're not happy about it and it's something we're talking about.
And of course, when you talk Miami, you're talking about the wildcat. They do it really well, I mean really well. It is tough for the front seven, certainly harder than it is for us in the secondary. In their wildcat, it is all about the running backs and their running game. Ronny Browne is great, but we need to stop him. We need to stop him and Ricky Williams. They're not quarterbacks back there, they're running backs.
In the first game down there last year, they ran over us in that wildcat. Then in the second game at home, we did a much better job of stopping it. There's things we can do so that we aren't just sitting there, reacting to them. We want to take it to them too.
Here's a point I want to bring up that a lot of people aren't talking about, and it is Brad Smith. You know, we go against him and that wildcat offense in practice as part of game prep. We work against it in the off-season too. That helps us a lot.
In many ways, what he's capable of doing isn't just ordinary stuff, it's better then what the offense we face is capable of. That means we're ready for whatever comes our way. Having an athlete like Brad who did this in college and did it so well is a huge asset to us in our game preparation and getting comfortable against the wildcat we have to face on Sunday night. Other offenses don't have the ability to add wrinkles like our offense does with Brad who can run and throw the ball, so that means we as a defense are extra ready each and every week when we go against this in practice.
Jim Leonhard writes a regular blog exlcusively for GWR!