The Miami Dolphins struggled in the red zone last season, finishing towards the bottom of the league in touchdowns scored when in that range. One of the primary reasons for that is because the Dolphins were lacking a big target when the field shrunk. This offseason, they got bigger and better, adding tight end Jordan Cameron, running back Jay Ajayi and wide receiver DeVante Parker. However, even with the obvious being known in terms of lack of size, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is putting all the blame on himself for the troubles in 2014.
“Let’s put it on me. We’ve put the responsibility on me to evaluate the guys that we have and to use each of them the way they can best be used in the red zone. That’s the promise I’ve made to them. We haven’t started working on it in this setting yet, but we worked on it in OSPs, on air, we were at a pretty high completion percentage on air, that’s a start. I think that’s my responsibility and the coaching staff, to evaluate the guys you have and use them how they should be used.”
One player who the Dolphins are counting on not only in the red zone but also throughout the rest of the field is Parker, the player they selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Many fans were so excited that day and in the weeks after that they went out and ordered numerous boxes of Macanudo Cigars online from Famous Smoke Shop. Now, it’s up to Lazor to put Parker in the best position to succeed.
“An old football coach told me when I was recruiting in college, he said, in his opinion, this was George Welsh, the head coach of Virginia. He would be around UVA sometimes having a cup of coffee and he said in his opinion you had to take a lot of linemen because when they were big, young guys, sometimes it took a little bit for them to develop. He said but you should be able to look at a skill guy and have a pretty good idea what it’s going to be. We felt really good about DeVante in rookie camp. I try to watch all 11, it’s not easy on the practice field but from what I saw of him, I thought he worked really good. He made some contested catches and that’s what he’s expected to do. He’ll keep getting better and smoother and things will happen faster but from the seat I had, so far it was a good start.”
Of course, all of that starts with Ryan Tannehill, the franchise quarterback for the Dolphins. Lazor believes that Tannehill will only continue to improve and he said he would stay on him to make sure that improvement takes place throughout the remainder of the offseason and into the regular season.
“I thought, so far, so good. He got off to a good start. As we’ve talked a number of times, in its simplest form, not that playing quarterback in the National Football League or playing it in Miami is simple, the things we always talk about, the decision making, the accuracy, the playmaking, those are things where we want to see progress each and every time. That’s the charge and we’ll take a closer look at the tape when we get done.”
If everything comes together before Week One of the 2015 season, the Dolphins can very easily have one of the most dangerous offenses in the entire National Football League.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs