Now that the Atlanta Falcons have hired Mike Nolan to be their Defensive Coordinator. It is time to learn more about the man charged with turning our defense into a dominant unit. As most you probably know Mike was the Dolphins DC last year and we were lucky enough to talk to Brian Miller of PhinPhanatic, one of the biggest Miami Dolphins blogs on the internet, about Mike Nolan and the impact he will have on the Falcons.
Blogging Dirty – The Dolphins had the 6th ranked defense in 2011 in terms of points against, and in 2010 the Dolphins had even more success and were ranked in the top 10 in virtually every defensive category. How large a part did Mike Nolan play in that success?
Phin Phanatic – Hard to say. The team started 0-7 with the defense a major issue in those losses. Nolan is a very solid DC but he takes a lot of risks and sometimes doesnt do enough to make half-time adjustments.
Follow the jump for more from this Q&A…
BD – What typical features do you see in a Mike Nolan defense? What type of plays does he like to run?
PP – Nolan is a blitz happy DC. His stunts and schemes work well and he is very good at hiding his blitzes.
BD – We’ve talked briefly about the scheme but how big of an impact does Nolan have as a teacher of defense? Which Dolphins players have noticably improved because of Nolan?
PP – It is safe to say that Nolan brings out the best in average players. He educates on the field as well as in the classroom and most of all, his players respect him. Jared Odrick, Miami’s DE/LB has blossomed under Nolan.
BD – I noticed your tweet from (@phinphanatic) saying how disappointed you were that Nolan had left. How do you see the Dolphins changing because of Nolan’s departure?
PP – It is really hard to say because you dont know who will take over and the team was playing well to finish the season. There are so many changes coming that everyone is on edge. Many unrealistically.
BD – And Finally. I’m sure you have had a look at the Falcons at some point and the personnel that they have on defense. How big of an impact can Nolan have in Atlanta? and what kind of success do you see the Falcons having now that Mike Nolan is the DC?
PP – I think they have the pieces in place and Nolan will put them in a position to succeed. I think Atlanta needs a faster defense up front and Nolan will bring that but the corners and safeties will need to play in solid coverage. The good news is his defenses give opposing QBs little time.