Dolphins' secondary finally steps up

LONDON – Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle had had enough.

According to starting safety Jimmy Wilson, Coyle called out the Dolphins' secondary Sunday morning before Miami's 38-14 blowout victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Miami’s starting secondary had zero interceptions in seven games, which included three in the regular season and four in the preseason. There have been dropped interceptions, blown coverages and missed tackles during Miami's slow start, and Coyle voiced his displeasure before kickoff.

“He said we have way too much talent to not have any plays on the back end,” Wilson said. “Coming off two tough losses, when you don’t have any plays on the back end you feel like it’s your fault.”

The Dolphins' secondary responded. The group had three interceptions and one fumble return for a touchdown in an easy win for Miami (2-2) at Wembley Stadium.

Wilson, cornerback Brent Grimes and rookie defensive back Walt Aikens all had interceptions against the hapless Raiders (0-4). Cortland Finnegan also picked up a bad snap by Oakland and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. The four takeaways were a season high.

Miami spent a lot of time remaking its secondary this past offseason and it didn't pay dividends until Sunday. The Dolphins signed Finnegan and veteran safety Louis Delmas in free agency and drafted Aikens in May.

“As you guys know, sometimes they come in bundles," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "You don’t have any for a while, and then you get a bunch of them. It was good to see different guys make some plays out there.”

Wilson was particularly relieved to get his hands on the ball with a third-quarter interception. He replaced the suspended Reshad Jones at the start of the season with mixed results as a first-time starter.

“We’re brothers and we laugh and joke a lot, but it’s hard to laugh and joke when you’re not playing up to your potential, especially for me,” Wilson said. “I’m filling in for Reshad and I’m not making any plays. I’ve been taking it to heart.”

Jones can officially return to the team this week following his four-game suspension. That should only help Miami’s secondary, which gained much-needed momentum in London.