Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
On Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, Ryan Tannehill had 3 carries for 49 yards. He averaged 16.3 yards per carry and his longest run of the day was 40 yards. All three of these carries came off the read-option, which offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has brought with him to Miami. Tannehill walked us through this type of play and explained what goes on from the second he gets to the line of scrimmage.
“It just depends on the play call who we are reading. Then you just follow your keys. If you feel like he is going to make a play on the (running) back or is going to make it tough for the back to get up field, then you pull it. If he stays where he is at and is not going to be able to make the tackle, then you hand it. Obviously, you want the running back to carry the ball the majority of the time. That’s kind of the purpose of the running back. I don’t want to be carrying the ball 20 times a game. We might call 30 zone-reads, and I might keep three of them. It all just matters how teams play us and what they are doing on the back side to defend the zone-read. I think it’s a great tool for us. I think it keeps defenses honest, keeps them off balance.
Tannehill talked about how his longest run of the day brought some energy and spark to the team when he arrived back at the huddle, which re-enforced the impact of this play if it works the right way.
“I always want to throw it just being a quarterback, but I think it brought some juice to the team, just getting a chunk of yards on an explosive play. It got us moving down the field early in the second half. It kind of got things going for us, and that hurts the defense when the quarterback gets good yards on the team. I think they have to respect that, and it can open up things for the running back throughout the rest of the game, which it did. It’s a crucial part to what we do.”
Many have said that Tannehill needs to use his feet more often throughout the game to keep drives going and to keep the opposing offense on the field. If he runs like he did on Sunday against the Packers, it’s going to be hard to stop him and if the Dolphins can put it all together, they can be a dangerous team.