The Dolphins have only finished ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East once in the last 12 years. New Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe sees it as his job to change that.
“I was brought here to help knock them off,” Ellerbe told Mike Freeman of CBS. “That doesn’t mean we will, but we feel like we can. Like I said, we just have to prove it. You have to actually go do it.”
Talk is cheap, and Ellerbe made clear that he knows that: He is eager to make noise with his play and not with his words.
“I think they are but you have to prove it, you can’t just talk about it,” Ellerbe said.
Ellerbe also mentioned that he believes the Patriots’ offense will suffer from the loss of tight end Aaron Hernandez.
“Losing a starter always hurts and losing a starter as good as he was will really hurt,” he said. “I don’t think you can say the Patriots are the same as before after what happened to Hernandez.”
The Patriots’ passing game has also lost Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Danny Woodhead, and Rob Gronkowski’s status is uncertain after back surgery. So four of New England’s top five pass catchers from last year are gone, and the fifth is a question mark. It’s easy to see why the Dolphins might think now is the time to knock the Patriots off.