As we look forward to the 2015 draft, the Dolphins have just as many holes, if not more, than at last year’s draft. Our current pre-draft offensive line might be more settled than last year, but we’re short on WRs, LBs, and (as always) DBs.
No matter what players we pick, the Dolphin coaches need to do a better job of utilizing them. Today we’re going to examine Bill Lazor’s offense…what went wrong and what needs to be done. All the best offensive players in the world will not help the Dolphins unless Lazor and Philbin utilize them properly.
As we went back and reviewed every single play the Dolphins ran on offense last year, a few things immediately came to mind.
- No trick plays
- Too many 4-wide formations
- No QB sneaks
- No QB draws
- No pitchouts
- No fullback power rushes
To summarize, the Dolphins’ offense was far too simple and far too predictable.
How many times have we seen an opposing QB run a QB draw on us? It always works against the Dolphins, and our defense is never prepared. Even when us fans and the announcers know it’s coming, the Dolphins never seem to know. The QB draw is an effective play with even mediocre QBs. Given Ryan Tannehill’s running ability, we should be feasting on this play at least 2 or 3 times per game.
The Dolphins tried 2 fake punts last year, and we got called for illegal motion on both of them. Absolutely unacceptable.
We haven’t run a flea-flicker since the effective wildcat days.
A fake field goal? Tricky and non-standard offensive formations? Double reverses? Not allowed in Philbinland. All these plays work against the Dolphins, but yet we never try them ourselves.
The 4-wide formations and even 5-wide formations occurred far too often last year. With 5 linemen and 5 WRs, that left no extra blockers. We were susectible to blitzes and bull rushes, and it showed. Way too often. The Dolphins weren’t fooling anyone.
Remove three of those wideouts out and instead put in three extra guys onto the line of scrimmage, such as adding two tight ends and an extra tackle to the line. We needed more bulk on 3rd-and-inches, and we failed too many times. In addition, remove another wideout and replace him with a fullback…someone to clear the way for a RB in goalline situations. Or, quick handoffs to the fullback can be effective. Remember how consistent Lousaka Polite was? We need more of that.
We also need a coach who is willing to go for it on 4th down once in a while. Bill Lazor is not at fault here. Joe Philbin’s lack of vision and lack of a killer instinct is clearly to blame. Too many times last year we had the ball in the opponents’ territory facing a fourth-and-inches. In almost every case, Philbin opted for mid to long-range field goals. Usually Caleb Sturgus failed us, which means that Joe Philbin failed us.
Even when Sturgis did make the field goal, Joe Philbin failed us by not at least trying for the first down. When the opposing defense is facing a 4th-and-inches, do you think they’re nervous and fear when a kicker comes off the bench? Or do they breathe a sigh of relief to see the kicker coming in? As usual, Joe Philbin doesn’t get it. He helps the opponent win.
The worst case of this was the last game of the year against the Jets. It was an absolutely meaningless game for both teams. The Jets kept going for it on 4th down. The Jets ran fakes. The Jets won the game.
Clueless Joe Philbin won’t let his offense try for a first down in meaningless games. Just imagine how conservative he will be if he ever makes the playoffs and has to make such decisions in games that count!
In other Dolphins news, washed-up Wes Welker (who still defends what nick Saban did to us) and overpriced Michael Crabtree have been in for tryouts. We’ll keep you posted.