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Dolphins' loss could lead to change at defensive coordinator

The Miami Dolphins' ugly start could claim its first victim if they lose again Sunday, though it might not be the last.

With a 1-2 record heading into Sunday's game against the New York Jets in London, the Dolphins are at a crossroads. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is not happy with the way the season began after a heavy-spending offseason, and another embarrassing defeat like last week's 27-point disaster to the Bills will almost certainly trigger a shakeup of the coaching staff.

It is in the realm of possibility that coach Joe Philbin could be in danger if the result is particularly poor -- a scenario that can't be dismissed outright. But several sources informed of Miami's thinking say it's more likely there could be a change at defensive coordinator if the team loses to the Jets.

Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has lost the confidence of his players, according to sources. If one change is made, expect it to involve the embattled Coyle.

Players have grown frustrated with Coyle, the team's coordinator since 2012, and not just because they have the seventh-worst defense even with Ndamukong Suh and his $114 million contract. Their faith in his schemes has dwindled.

Players had a very frank and contentious closed-door meeting with Coyle this week, sources say, and they attempted to clear the air. The message was his schemes were too complex and constricting, and that they didn't put the players in position to make plays.

They begged him to simplify, and a source said Coyle junked many of the complexities of the defense this week to allow the players to play.

There were other frustrations, personnel-wise. Why was undrafted rookie linebacker Zach Vigil sharing time with veteran Kelvin Sheppard? Why was Brice McCain, a slot cornerback most of his career, playing over Jamar Taylor on the outside?

So many unanswered questions. And if the Dolphins lose badly, Coyle's potential departure could serve as the answer.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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