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Koa Misi: Miami Dolphins' defense 'can be great' in '13

During his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Koa Misi witnessed his share of bad defense. After an offseason rich with free-agent signings, the team's starting outside linebacker says those days are over.

"We can be great," Misi said Wednesday, according to The Miami Herald. "We've got a lot of new guys. They're trying to learn the defense right now. The guys that they brought in to play in this defense and bring it to where we need to be, I think they did a good job in that."

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Misi, at 26, already ranks as the Dolphins' longest-tenured linebacker, a commentary on the team's constantly churning roster under general manager Jeff Ireland. For the Dolpins to stop offenses, free agents Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler must perform up to expectations. If the parts come together, there's reason to believe the Dolphins can do some damage in the AFC East.

Misi's comments came one day after receiver Mike Wallace gushed about a newfound, winning atmosphere in Miami.

"Everybody has a college mentality around here," Wallace said. "It's a lot different than where I came from. Everybody's hungry. Everybody wants to get better, get to where we need to be -- that's a winning record."

Wallace insists that wasn't a shot at his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, but instead a testament to the confidence he has in his new one. Misi is fully on board during an offseason that's brought tangible hope to South Beach.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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