Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Ryan Tannehill has rushed for 150 yards on 22 attempts in six games this season, averaging 6.8 yards per rush with his longest one coming in at 40 yards. With the exception of one or two, all of these runs have come out of the read-option package, which is something that Bill Lazor brought with him to Miami and has implemented it extremely well over the past few weeks. Count Joe Philbin as one of the ones who is pleased with the way it has all worked out.
“I think I may have said this, the interesting thing is we probably went into the game thinking that they were probably going to make him hand the ball off more than we did. Sometimes all the scouting we do and all this extra homework that we supposedly do, and we get to the game and something different happens. He has been a good decision maker throughout the course of the season (on) those types of plays, and he did that well again yesterday. Frankly, we didn’t think we would get as many run yesterday as we did.”
Lazor, who is the one who will continue to call these plays heading into the next several weeks, said that all of the decisions are being made by Tannehill after the ball is snapped and it’s those good decisions that have led to good results for the offense.
“I don’t think that’s an either-or kind of answer. I think part of what we do is to give him the option at times to pull the ball. I think every single day, both practice and in games he gets better at it, making the decision, how aggressive to be. He’s confident in it. Obviously, it helped us win the game.”
Tannehill has improved quite well over the past three games and Dolphins fans, coaches, players and media are being cautiously optimistic that he can continue this level of play the remainder of the season. Lazor said that while Tannehill has shown signs of improvement, he still has a lot to work on and get better at.
“That’s a very open-ended question. Ryan got better. There are some specific signs of him getting better. We are going to make sure we point those out so that he feels the plays, what it was, and there were some specific signs of him not taking maybe the next step or, ‘OK, where do we go from here?’ But I saw anticipation improve. I saw some good pocket-presence. I think the guy is getting better. I’m excited about where he can go.”
If Tannehill can continue this level of play, the Dolphins offense will be very hard to stop and it will consistently give the opposing defense fits on a weekly basis.