The Miami Dolphins haven’t attempted a lot of deep passes this season and in fact, rank towards the bottom of the league in deep balls attempted. There could be a myriad of reasons for this – perhaps the coaches don’t have trust in Ryan Tannehill, maybe they don’t trust the receiving corps or maybe they don’t put a premium on deep balls.
However, Bill Lazor hinted that it has to do more with Tannehill and the offensive line than it does with not having trust in the players to execute it properly.
“One thing to understand, in the passing game, most of the time, there is a deep throw somewhere built into the play that’s called, not 100 percent of the time, but a good portion of the time and then it’s up to the quarterback to say hey, that one particular situation where that deep throw shows up, we call it an alert, if it’s there take it, otherwise work the rest of the play like you’re supposed to. There were some yesterday that we called specifically to throw it down the field, but the ball wasn’t able to get there. I’d be happy to score quickly on deep throws when we can, we’ve got to find another way, that’s my job.”
Tannehill completed several deep passes against the Baltimore Ravens but it seemed that they were called back each time because of penalties.
“We had two of them, right? I thought one of them was a classic case of where the quarterback scrambled out of the pocket and the offensive lineman probably for whatever reason drifted down field. Usually, when it’s called, that’s when it called. The second one, I know the rules very well, our players are coached on the rules, I thought they executed it correctly.”
Some say that the Dolphins should attempt deep passes just because there is a chance of drawing a penalty for defensive pass interference. Lazor wasn’t buying that though and said that their goal is to complete passes – not get lucky with flags.
“On my drive home at night I think about completing them. We’ve talked about it all year, we want them. It’s the same thing as we’ve talked about with red zone scoring, at times this year we’ve talked about how we don’t score enough touchdowns when we’re in the red zone. The flip side is we get in the red zone as much as or more than anyone else. There are a lot of ways to win. What we’ve got to do is score, however we can do it. We’re open to all ways.”
Joe Philbin downplayed all of it and said that all he cares about is scoring points and it doesn’t matter how they get them.
“I’m interested in scoring points. We want to score as many points as possible. We want to score points every single possession. How we get there, certainly it’s great to have 80-yard touchdown plays. The Steelers had a 95-yard play yesterday. Certainly, those are good to have. I don’t think anybody would complain if we had them. At the end of the day, you want to score points however you can get them.”
The Dolphins could at least attempt a few deep passes a game to keep the defense honest but with that said, it’s hard to make anything happen when the quarterback doesn’t have much time in the pocket due to the offensive line collapsing.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs