The Miami Dolphins' first-team defense has not allowed a single point in two preseason games. A major reason is the stout defensive line led by Pro Bowlers Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh.
Miami's starting defensive line has been a force in training camp against its own offensive line and opponents in joint practices and preseason games. The Dolphins have controlled the line of scrimmage and the starters helped the team lead by a combined score of 24-0 in nearly three quarters of work this preseason.
The Dolphins' defense even had a four-down goal-line stand Saturday against the Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton.
"So far, it’s been a wonderful experience," Wake told reporters in Carolina. "Everybody has come together. We spent a lot of time in the past few days together, just building that bond. I feel like those are the times that we’re going to fall back on way down the season in December when we have another situation maybe like that where it’s a goal-line stand and we need to bond together and stand up.”
Suh and Wake are the big names on the left side of the defensive line, but Miami also has a lot of depth at other spots with defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Terrence Fede, and defensive tackles Earl Mitchell and rookie second-round pick Jordan Phillips.
The Dolphins are investing a lot of resources into their defensive line with the goal of fixing their 24th-ranked run defense from a year ago. This year the defensive line is arguably the deepest area on Miami's roster.
"A lot of guys," Wake said. "Real deep in that room. ... We told them, ‘Look, it doesn’t matter who’s in the game, the standard is still there. You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to stop them and get off the field.’"