Below, I've created a table of every player who has recorded a sack, quarterback hit, interception, or pass defense. Take a look:
What stands out immediately from that table?
Not sure? Look at who is not on that list - Akin Ayodele and Channing Crowder.
That fact both astounds me and doesn't surprise me at all, if that's possible. What I mean by that is I know our starting inside linebackers are terrible coverage and blitz players, but to go through an entire half season without registering a single meaningful play in pass defense? Hell, even Reggie Torbor has five total stat-plays, and he's only played a fraction of the snaps as those two.
When the opposing quarterback drops back to pass, there is just a gaping hole in the middle of the field, and that's shown itself in Miami's inability to stop opposing tight ends, running backs, and receivers on underneath routes. This team needs a lot of things, but one of the most important is an inside linebacker who can rush the quarterback.
Another disappointment is Joey Porter's production. Is he simply hurt, or has he slammed into a brick wall in terms of his ability? He does have five quarterback hits in addition to his 2.5 sacks, but that total is equal to Cameron Wake, who has barely played this year. As the year moves forward, the coaches have got to give Wake more playing time. Kendall Langford also needs to step up his pass rushing.
As far as positive surprises go, Jason Taylor is on pace for double-digit sacks after his disaster season of a year ago. But most exciting has been the development of Randy Starks, who leads the team by a wide margin with a combined 12.5 sacks/QHs. He has probably been this team's defensive MVP so far this season. Starks is one of the few free agent additions that has really worked out for the team, and he's still very young so his future is bright.