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"I want to ruin Tom Brady's day" - Dolphins star Baker no longer starstruck by Buccaneers QB

Indianapolis Colts v Miami Dolphins
Indianapolis Colts v Miami Dolphins
Tayyib Abu

Jerome Baker has laid down the gauntlet to Tom Brady ahead of this week's matchup between the Dolphins and the Bucs. Baker said it is an honor to play against the most successful quarterback in history, but he wants to ruin Brady's day.

Jerome Baker: It’s an honor to play against Tom Brady. Early on I was starstruck going against a guy I played in Madden. But now I want to win. I want to find a way to ruin his day.

The linebacker was speaking before the big game. The Dolphins are 1-3, and a defeat here would put Brian Flores' side in a significant hole. Baker said about how he and his teammates must look at themselves to get the Dolphins' season kickstarted:

“We have to look in the mirror and stop blaming other people, other things and turn this around for us."

Can Baker ruin Brady's day?

One of the advantages Baker has is that his defense will go into the matchup against Brady and the Bucs because head coach Brian Flores has the answers regarding Brady.

Flores worked on the defense when Brady was playing in New England. Flores has notoriously shut down the McDaniels/Brady-style offense in the last two years. Earlier this year, the Dolphins restricted the Patriots to a meager 16 points.

Brady has adopted many of the Patriots' concepts in Tampa Bay. So Brian Flores shouldn't be surprised with what he sees from the Bucs' offense. Flores spoke about his former colleague on Wednesday:

"Preparation. I know Brady's looking for every advantage. When you've been around the guy, and you see the way he works ... not surprised."

The Dolphins need Flores to employ a near-perfect gameplan, and his players must perform flawlessly. Baker will be a vital ingredient for the Dolphins. The Dolphins are currently the 25th-ranked scoring defense. Furthermore, they rank 24th in yards allowed. The numbers aren't good enough for a team that has playoff hopes.

A boost for Baker and Flores might be the welcome return of Raekwon Davis. The big nose tackle hasn't played yet in 2021, but Coach Flores spoke confidently about his status.

Coach on what Davis' return would mean to the run defense: I think it would mean a lot. He's big, he's strong, he's hard to move inside. Hopefully we can get him a few days of practice, but I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch.

The Dolphins' defense must get back to the form of 2020. Baker knows that the defense must form the backbone of this team while Tua Tagovailoa is out injured. Brian Flores knows that too. If the Dolphins are to breathe life into a deflating season, they must do what Baker said: ruin Brady's day.


Edited by Piyush Bisht

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