Updated: 2:27 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 | Posted: 5:52 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Bengals to see 'familiar looking' Dolphins defense

By Jay Morrison

Staff Writer


For the second game in a row, the Cincinnati Bengals will face an opposing coordinator who used to be on head coach Marvin Lewis’ staff.

Last week it was former offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, who holds the same position in Jacksonville. Sunday it will be Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, who was the Bengals’ secondary coach from 2003-11 and quarterbacks coach from 2001-02.

“There are similarities to the things that we’ve done, and that Kevin is doing there,” Lewis said.

“We’re very similar,” added Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. “(Coyle) knows what he likes from (Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer), and he’s put his own stamp on it.

“He’s learned football at a lot of different places,” Gruden continued. “He’s a very smart guy, very detailed. He studies his butt off. If we’ve got a tendency, he’ll exploit it. We’ve got to make sure we’re really on top of it.”

Coyle switched the Dolphins to a 4-3 this year, and they come into the game ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run, allowing 56.8 yards per game. But they rank 30th against the pass (297.8), a number which is odd because of the dichotomy and also because of Coyle’s history as a secondary coach.

What’s even more surprising is that of the four teams Miami has faced, only Oakland ranks in the top half of the league in passing offense (13th). Houston (21st), Arizona (25th) and the New York Jets (27th) all rank near the bottom, but they were able to throw the ball in their wins against the Dolphins.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said some of the struggles the Miami secondary has had are a result of the high-risk approach the Dolphins take with their front seven.

“With all the zone blitzes and stuff that they show, they’ve got to trust those guys to go out and play,” Dalton said. “We feel we match up well with them. Obviously I feel we can match up with anybody with the receivers we have, the tight ends, the backs, everybody. It all comes down to execution on our part.”

Coyle was popular with his players in Cincinnati, and Bengals cornerback Leon Hall said he still talks and texts with his former coach a couple of times per week.

“He just cared a lot more than he really needed to,” Hall said. “With football stuff, obviously he cared. He wanted us to play the right way and do the right thing. But on a personal level, he really cared about you. He never forgot a guy’s birthday, literally, ever. He always got a cake, used to always sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ as dorky as it sounds. That was a big deal to him.”

Next Game

Who: Miami Dolpins (1-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

When: 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

TV/Radio: Ch. 7, Ch. 12; WCKY-AM (1530), WEBN-FM (102.7), WTUE-FM (104.7)