Written by Matthew Cannata
In January 2014, head coach Joe Philbin fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who had come under fire in the past two seasons for his wild decisions during games and his inability to adjust during games, especially after halftime. Soon after, Philbin hired Bill Lazor, who spent last season as the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach. Now, as the offensive coordinator in Miami, he is looking to make a statement in the NFL and quarterback Ryan Tannehill says that it's a completely different system than the one the team ran under Sherman.
“It’s a completely different system,” Tannehill said. “I think there are always some similarities between offenses. But we have some new concepts, some things we haven’t done in the past, pushing the ball downfield in many different ways. Spreading the field is going to be a big key. Noticeably from the stands, you can see as far as spreading the field in the run game and in the passing game.”
Tannehill said that this offense is all based on timing, which has it's pros and cons.
“This offense is pure timing, throwing to spots. You see on the first day, you might miss a guy, but we’re throwing to these spots and over time we’re going to build the trust that the receiver is going to be there and I’m going to put it in the right spot. That’s the biggest thing right now, it’s trusting the receivers, trusting myself, them trusting me and getting the ball in the right spot at the right time.”
Tight end Charles Clay, who had a breakout season last year, is looking forward to what he will be able to do in 2014 in Lazor's offense and is excited about all of the pre-snap motion going on.
“It’s tough,” he said. “For one, you know when you come out of the huddle, you get lined up so fast, first thing they have to do is identify where guys are lined up. The way they move people around you can’t come out and say, ‘OK, we know he’ll be over here. We know he’ll be over here.' So then you take that point of it, and then guys start motioning and flying around. It’s real tough. From Day One, when we started installing it and doing against them, that’s one of the things they said is that it’s tough to get lined up.”
The offense has been slowly adjusting to it over the first few days of training camp but the players say that they will be ready once the bullets start to fly for real.
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