Even with the same oﬀense and coaches in place, the Miami Dolphins oﬀense should look very diﬀerent in 2017. Miami spent most of the oﬀseason ﬁlling holes on oﬀense while also keeping key components in place. So what diﬀerence does a year make when it comes to their new game plan?
If there is one message that has echoed throughout this oﬀseason, its “attack” on oﬀense. Ryan Tannehill has been given orders to let the ball ﬂy and with good reason. There is not any slowing down this oﬀseason by learning a new system. Instead, Tannehill will have the freedom to test his arm and conﬁdence in his receivers. He will not have to worry about ﬁnding the right routes, hitting the right reads, or slowing down plays. This oﬀseason he will not be handcuﬀed into playing it safe. By taking bigger chances, the oﬀseason can be spent ﬁguring out just how many gambles he can take. In addition, which ones will pay oﬀ come game day. With the freedom to attack, Miami’s oﬀense could see a lot more big plays this year but also could result in a lot more mistakes.
Pound the ball
Coaches have already put a tall order on getting more out of Jay Ajayi and the run game. Not only are they working with Ajayi on pass plays, Adam Gase has a goal in mind of getting Ajayi 22-25 carries per game which put him at the 350-400 carries mark. Ajayi was no stranger to being a workhorse in college at Boise State but the Dolphins need to be careful of the long-term knee injury concerns. On draft day, Ajayi slipped all the way to the fifth round to the Dolphins due to concerns over a knee injury suﬀered in college. Miami either saw something other teams did not, or feel comfortable moving forward with his workload.
Spread the ﬁeld
Miami has no shortage of weapons in 2017. Even with their stacked unit of DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Jarvis Landry, they went out and drafted Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant last year and still were not satisﬁed. The Miami Dolphins also used traded back in the seventh round in 2017 to select Isiah Ford, who fell a bit on draft day from the fourth or fifth round projection. On top of receivers, Miami went out and found two veteran tight ends in Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano who both add up to better blocking and receiving options this season. Miami should be able to throw the kitchen sink at opponents this year with a variety of diﬀerent personnel, schemes, and routes to keep teams guessing. If they can master the up-tempo oﬀense, it should give opposing defenses a headache.
The Miami Dolphins have been building and rebuilding their oﬀense for, what seems like, forever. Now with their apparent franchise quarterback in place, a youth movement, and a player friendly competitive coach on their side they just might have the right formula. The Dolphins on paper could be one of the top oﬀenses in the league this year, but they face a very tough schedule. Can they improve on last year’s success? On the other hand, will it be time to hit the reset button again?
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.