Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It often takes NFL players several weeks and games to acclimate to a new offensive system. For some, it even takes a year or so to fully be comfortable in it. We have all seen first-hand the growing pains associated with the new offense with the Miami Dolphins but now, heading into their seventh game of the season, it appears the players are finally settling in and are doing more without thinking.
“I think what happens is, there are adjustments with anything you do in football and we attempt to cover as many as we can in practice,” Joe Philbin said. “But it’s hard to get everything covered and sometimes there is a learning curve and sometimes game speed and some things maybe that you didn’t prepare for. I thought the one thing on the fourth-and-1 that I showed to the team, which was great on Ryan’s (Tannehill) run was the defense do exactly what we thought they were going to do. Our right tackle (Ja’Wuan James) adjusted and Charles Clay adjusted, our quarterback adjusted. When the players start doing that, that’s a big difference. To me, that’s a sign of progress.”
With that said, Philbin did admit that after scoring 33 points in the first game against the New England Patriots, he didn’t think the offense would take a few steps back. After all, they dominated the Patriots defense but then wiltered against the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
“We scored 33 points in the first game I think. I didn’t really have a specific time table. I try to look at each game as an independent season so to speak. It’s one game at a time. I don’t profess to be smart enough to predict that we’re going to score 18, 19 points a game in the first three games and then 28. I don’t really spend my time thinking about that stuff. I thought our staff has done a good job teaching it and our players seem to be buying into it, the approach to it and the philosophy of it. I think we’re making some progress.”
The most important position on the field is quarterback and Ryan Tannehill is one of the players who has settled in the most. With his rushing abilities now on full display, it gives the opposing defense one more thing to work on during the week and to worry about during the game. Having that kind of weapon certainly gives a big advantage to the Dolphins.