Written by Steven Wilson at 9:18 AM EST | Twitter: @stevenjwilson11
Every team in the NFL wants to make the necessary halftime adjustments in order to win their respective game. Those gameplan alterations work at times and other times they don’t. For the Miami Dolphins, the coaches have been some of the best in the NFL this year exploiting defenses after getting a glimpse of them in the first half.
“Each week it is a little different,” Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin stated. “Typically in a game, for example, let’s say offensively, we may have had, I’m just throwing out a number, we may have had 50 pass plays in and 25 run plays in on the game-plan, not counting red zone or third down. We went in at half and, what did we have 20 plays last week on offense? So you are looking at the sheet and you have 55 options maybe, I’m throwing out numbers, so where are we heading? We’ve had two first downs. We have 56 yards. What are we doing? Everybody collaborates quickly. There’s not a lot of time. Sometimes some of the adjustments are being made while the other side of the ball is out there at the end of the first half. You just come up with the best possible plan that you can.”
Each coach has their own responsibilities when it comes to making adjustments. The offensive coordinator collaborates with the offensive line coach. The head coach talks to the wide receivers coach and so on.
“You look for some input,” Philbin admits before joking, “as you know, every receiver is open every play. You have to weed through some of that. It’s a collaborative effort. You do the best you can. You make things quick. At times there are things you haven’t seen and you have to do some different things that aren’t on the plan, but that, in my experience in 12 years, has been rare.”
The Dolphins have been a strong offensive team coming out of intermission. Through seven games year, the aqua and orange have outscored their opponents 63 to 38 in the third quarter alone including last week against the Jags where Miami held a 14-3 edge.
“I thought we’ve done a relatively good job coming out of the half,” continued Philbin. “Hopefully, we can continue that.”
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill says those adjustments – the ones suggested by coaches and executed by players – separate the good teams from the bad ones.
“Well, halftime is a big thing,” he said. “I think good teams make good halftime adjustments. Obviously, we want to start the game better. We want to come out fast and score points in the first half, but I think a lot of games are won in the second half of the football game. You want to be able to make those halftime adjustments, whether they be schematically – just talking over different looks that we’ve been getting in the first half. It gives everyone a chance to reset, talk about the looks that we’re getting and then go from [there].”
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