I've got a day off today but decided because I have some time to myself to (again) check out the Ryan Tannehill quarterback camp segment with former coach Jon Gruden. I'm glad I did.
The 25-minute tape below is interesting on many levels. It suggests Tannehill's work at Texas A&M was much more NFL intensive than the typical college approach. That's very good.
It shows why Tannehill will be ahead of veterans David Garrard and Matt Moore in his knowledge of the offense. (He's way behind in on-field experience against NFL competition but ahead in understanding the terminology and concepts of the offense he's running).
And, most interesting to me, it gave me something of a peek at the offense the Dolphins will run. Most believe Miami's offense will be the Green Bay Packers offense. Um, actually, it'll be more West Coast offense used at A&M with some Green Bay concepts added in. It is not the Green Bay offense per se.
So what will you decipher in this episode that will apply to the Miami offense. Examples:
It will show you the Dolphins future personnel groupings.
There is Eagle: Four wide receiver and a back.
There is Zebra: Three wides, a tight end and a back.
"That was our base personnel that this year we ran 90 percent of our stuff out of," Tannehill said.
There is Tiger: Two tight ends, two wide receivers, one back.
There is Y: Three tight ends, one back and one wide receiver. In this one the Aggies sometimes used the tight end as a fullback.
I'm confident the Dolphins will have the same groupings because West Coast offenses have had these grouping dating back 20 years.
They've also used the same hand signals for these grouping for 20 years. The Eagle is denoted by flapping of the arms. The Zebra is denoted by putting an arm across the body as in a stripe. The Tiger is denoted by holding up both hands like claws.
You will see Tannehill asked to name 15 formations. He names 12: Stack right, stack right plus, stack right minus, Trips left, Star left, Star right, Trey left, Trey right, Squeeze, Tight right, Stack right snug, Stack right Z short.
A typcial West Coast offense call that will soon make its way to a Dolphins huddle near you: "Ground left tight close halfback right sprint right Z corner halfback flat."
The Dolphins, er Aggies, made a lot of hay on outside breaking routes. Look for the Dolphins to make a lot of hay on outside breaking routes. There are three kind:
The Acute and true comeback are comeback routes. The Winston is an out route.
Acute goes 14 yards coming back to 12 yards. It is a five-step drop and a hitch for the QB. Out of the shotgun it is a three-step drop and hitch.
True comeback goes 18 yards back to 16. It is a seven-step drop for the QB. Out of the shotgun it is a five-step and hitch.
The Winston is a 10- to 12-yard out route. It requires a five-step-plant-and-throw motion from the QB. Out of the shotgun it is three-step-plant and throw.
Look for the Dolphins, like any West Coast team, to depend heavily on the Acute route. Tannehill clearly has a very strong arm in that he often threw Acutes to the wide side of the field in college. Not everyone can make that throw.
One problem with this route?
The wide receiver has to win. Herein lies the importance of the wide receiver that I feel the Dolphins have not full address, but that's another blog. The wide receiver must get the cornerback out of his pedal for the route to work. That means the wide receiver must threaten the defensive back to the point where he turns his hips to run. At that point the receiver is free to make his break and the play is an easy completion.
But if the receiver cannot make the defensive back get out of his backpedal, the defensive player is in perfect position for the interception. Along the sideline. With open field in front of him. The wide receiver MUST win. Or the quarterback cannot throw the football in that situation and must settle for the checkdown.
Tannehill failed to settle for the checkdown a couple of times in college and it cost him.
Did I mention the wide receivers must win and force the DBs out of their pedal?