Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
The Miami Dolphins offense has featured a ton of short and intermediate passes while only seeing one or two deep pass attempts per game. Sometimes, we don't see any deep pass attempts. Is this a problem though and if it is, are the Dolphins trying to fix it?
“We’ve been stressing with the guys, the skill players specifically when they get the ball in their hands, there are certain plays throughout the course of a game, let’s say running plays, might be blocked for two yards or four or eight and maybe even 10 (yards)," Joe Philbin said. "Part of the job description of a running back is to make some yards on their own, whether it be elusiveness, whether it be breaking a tackle. Lamar (Miller) made (Bills CB Leodis) McKelvin miss and got a 40-yard (run) two weeks ago. Certainly, we’ve been stressing that, and in the passing game some of the similar things. There are not a ton of routes in our five-step or our seven-step. A lot of them are 16, 14, 18 yards, but then you have space between you and the defender. You have the ball in your hand, make something happen. So there are other ways, and obviously we want to connect on some of the deeper balls down the field too.”
Philbin said that he hasn't seen defenses playing the offense in a 20-yard box, thus limiting certain plays the Dolphins can run. He did admit that sometimes this will happen, but not enough to alter their game plan on game day.
Tannehill, who has been adjusting and growing in the new offense under Bill Lazor, said that the improvement has been steady but he's getting to the point where he's truly comfortable doing what needs to be done.
“It’s been good. Obviously, there was a little adjustment time early on through the offseason and the first couple of games. I feel like right now we’re on the same page, we think about the game the same way and I really like the way he’s been calling the games," he said. "We don’t do a whole lot of no huddle or on the line stuff, but we try to have tempo once we break the huddle just with our shifts and motions and put pressure on defense that way. I think it does create some different things for teams to look at and challenges them to get lined up and communicated.”
Some of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game, such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, relied on short and intermediate routes while mixing in a deep ball here and there. While it's a great thing to have, it's not truly necessary to have one of the better offenses in the league, as the Dolphins have proved this year.