We all kind of figured the addition of Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins was a good thing in that it caused problems for opposing defenses. Yes, the Dolphins have an elite receiver now.
That should help the passing game.
But coach Tony Sparano today got more detailed about how it will help the passing game beyond Marshall. And, yes, it will help the running game as well.
Simply, last year opposing teams had one approach to stopping the Miami offense: They didn't want to get beaten by the running game of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
That meant teams would load eight men in the box and that not only would hinder Miami's running attack but also shut down the tight end position because, as Sparano shared today, "the middle of the field was closed."
Enter Marshall into the mix and the middle of the field should open up if teams do what is expected and they double team the new addition with a cornerback and safety over the top on one side of the field. Now, the defense cannot clog the middle of the field, opening things up for the tight end and it definitely cannot commit eight players to stopping the running game, thus opening up running lanes.
Voila: Multi-dimensional offense.
Of course, this is all conjecture and educated guessing not only by us, but the Dolphins themselves. As Sparano points out, he's waiting to see how teams prioritize stopping the Miami offense.
"I don't really know how these people are going to look at us," he said today. "I would anticipate most people will say, 'We're not going to let Brandon Marshall beat us.' But last year the philosophy was, 'We're not going to let Ricky and Ronnie beat us.' So I'm not sure how they're going to look at us right now. They might say, 'Well, prove to us that Brandon is going to beat us.' Or it might still be, 'Prove to us that Ricky and Ronnie can beat us.' If it's the [former] then the tight end will get the ball a little bit more."
Obviously, the proof will be up to the Dolphins. If teams decided they still aren't going to allow Miami to run, then Chad Henne and Marshall must hurt the defense deeply enough and often enough to make them adjust. And if defenses decide to stop Marshall from the start, the tight end play and the running game must be good enough to make the defense pay for its decision.
This much is certain, however. The Dolphins offense now poses a dilemma for oposing defenses.
And that is a good thing.
Other matters ...
The coach said cornerback Will Allen was held out of practice Wednesday morning because his knee was bothering him so he is being rested ... Evan Oglesby, helped off the practice field in Tuesday's late practice, has an ankle injury. Sparano did not say how serious the injury is but having witnessed it, it seemed like a multi-week affair to me ... Center Jake Grove said the bone bruise in his knee is "really nothing.' He returned to practice today although he didn't finish the entire session, something which was planned ... Guard Nate Garner stopped working late in the morning practice and sat out several repetition. He was limping ... The Dolphins have canceled this afternoon's practice. They're scheduled back to work tomorrow morning.
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