Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin knows his defense can't let New York TE Dustin Keller have another big game Sunday.
The first-year coach said his team had spent extra time preparing for the Dolphins-killer this week. Keller, who missed his team's 23-20 overtime win at Miami last month, has four touchdown catches in eight games against the Dolphins. The former Purdue standout returned from his nagging ailment last week against the Patriots and looked sharp as he caught seven passes for 93 yards and a score.
“He gives you problems,” Philbin said. “They do a great job with him formationally. They don't line him up in the same spot as you guys know. They move him around. He's got versatility. He's a very athletic player and I remember evaluating him when he came out as a college player. The guy's, he's a threat, he's a weapon and they do a nice job with him.”
And with star New York receiver Santonio Holmes out the rest of the season with a foot injury, Keller likely will see plenty of passes from Jets QB Mark Sanchez.
“I think he's playing well,” Philbin said of Sanchez. “He's a productive guy. We think his awareness in the pocket is excellent. It appears that he's glad to have number 81 (Keller) back. That certainly seems to be evident when you watch their tape. We think he's distributing the ball pretty well.”
Walking wounded: Dolphins DT Randy Starks returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday for undisclosed reasons.
“It's non-football personal,” Philbin said.
The four-year veteran is an anchor on the defensive line and has amassed 16 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one interception this season. He also is a major reason why the team is yielding a mere 3.3 yards per carry, the second-lowest average in the league.
Starting CB Richard Marshall missed Thursday's practice with a nagging back injury that forced him out of the team's past two games. If he can't go, CB Nolan Carroll likely will draw the start versus the Jets.
DB Jimmy Wilson, who has moved to nickelback due to Marshall's injury, was limited in practice a second straight day with an ailing ankle.
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