Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The talk over the past few years was that Ryan Tannehill was missing on deep balls more than he was hitting them. This year, we haven't heard much of that but that's because offensive coordinator Bill Lazor hasn't put Tannehill in position to force those deep passes.
Instead, they've been relying on short and intermediate passes to move the chains and score points. While it's been effective, is it a long term solution to success for the offense?
“Football is about scoring points and winning games. I think we’re averaging 24 points a game or something like that.," Joe Philbin said. "There’s certainly room for improvement there. I’m not saying we’re where we want to be or need to be in terms of the offense. Again, there’s a lot of different ways to win in football. I have faith that we’re going to keep working on it. That’s part of our package. We have a vertical aspect to our offensive scheme. We’re going to utilize it when we see fit and, if it’s there, we’re going to take our shots and we’ll make some plays. I’m confident we’ll make some plays. If it’s not there and it’s covered, we’ll probably throw it down to the next guy underneath and progress from there.”
The longest offensive touchdown for the Dolphins in 2014 has only been 21 yards and Philbin said he is well aware of that statistic and is working to improve it.
“Interesting that you brought that up because last night I looked at 45 possessions we had where we had a first-and-10 inside the 20. I studied all of our possessions that we’ve had and then Bill (Lazor) and I were talking, and I asked a couple of the guys on the staff how long that exact play was that you are talking about. There is good news, bad news in there. We’re in the red zone a bunch. Certainly, sometimes it’s nice to get those touchdowns, whether they be 22 yards, 42 yards, 60 yards, 80 yards, but so far we haven’t had any.”
With the lack of deep passes on a weekly basis, it might cause opposing defenses to not respect the long ball. However, Philbin said he hasn't seen much of that going on.
“Not necessarily. There are a lot of good defensive coaches in this league, a lot of good schemes. Teams change things up and sometimes there is man coverage, there is zone coverage, there is press, there is off, there is eight-man drop, there is seven-man pressures, all different kinds of schemes. A lot of teams use multiple ways to defend us.”
With all that said though, Philbin said the goal is to win games and no matter how it's done, if the team walks away with a win, then the job has been successfully completed and that's all that matters.
"You have to do what you have to do to win games. Whatever way you can win games, you win games. If it’s one game it’s three touchdowns over 50 yards, I’m all for it. If it’s three touchdown drives of 15 plays each, then that’s the way it’ll be," he said. “We’ve won six games with the offense that we have. We want to win every single game that we play and so that’s part of our system and our scheme. We’re going to continue to work on executing our offense better, as well as we can.”