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Preview of the Dolphins offensive scheme

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:



True comeback.

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?

Anyway, enjoy:


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Armando It's time to wip out your ban stick... RACISM should not be tolerated. Hold your bloggers to a higher standard

Oscar, I dont care who you are, if you dont like the phins fine, franlkly I dont care about trolls. B33, I agree I am impressed with the kid, he deserves a chance to start if we go 3-13 with him, but he has the tools, better than 8-8 and no playoff. I like Moore though.

Excellence, ALoco. That's the most a Human Being can strive for.


on that note good night. My last parting words were, the tuna ruined the team and is not that good of a talent evaluator.

I do too... Problem w/ Moore is he deserves a fair shot at being a starter somewhere and he won't get it here with Miami spending a top ten pick on a QB... If I were IReland I'd trade him now before his value can drop. He ended last season positively beating the Jets. I'm sure he'd be an upgrade over Sanchez and Tebow even. But the wheel has officially turned for our franchise and it's time to start anew IMO. Even if he is resigned it would be as a backup.

Man, why is it that all the nay-sayers either leave or don't post when I'm here. I like them Guys. I guess I'm a very Positive Person.

Acoco didn't you always call Ginn Hands of stone or something like that... I'm not sure if it was you but I'm pretty sure you bashed him and his family regularly

lol@oscar. That was really was a troll like response. Unbelievable.

Ignorant for anyone to even wonder about Armando revealing secrets. This show was on ESPN. The video is on YOUTUBE.

Does anyone have a clue?

o yea ur right



Silver's article


Other ESPN writers had better opinions.

2-0 knicks are getting swept.

Of course, B33, they suck at the Boards.

is this the fins blog?

When it comes to the WR position people need to be patient. Remember, like it or not this IS a rebuilding year. If Garrard is healthy or Moore shows some improvement in the 4th quarter, we might still be reasonably competitive, but we're still reshaping the roster to fit the Philban/Sherman playbook (Armando's talk about the acute route is perceptive; that's what Cunningham and Naanee's signing would seem to address, as Hartline is the only guy that fits that pattern well, unless Wallace steps up).

Best column in some weeks Armando. Wish we saw more like this.

If the team moves to L.A. will anyone care?

The funniest thing I've heard in years.

Jeff Ireland:(Shortly after drafting Tannehill with the 8th overall pick)"I'm not going to reach".

2nd funniest thing.

Jeff Ireland: I have to listen to my board, it speaks to me.

All I could think of were those crazy Televangelists. You know, those rare few(crazies)that God speaks to directly.

Thanks for the info., Mando...

At least Ross had the sense to tell Ireland to draft Tannehill.

Dang Phins...troll much?

Marc....homer much?

Armando, thanks for posting this. I didn't get a chance to see it before now. As a long suffering Dolphins fan in North Dakota you are my go to source for Dolphins news.

This was definitely the strangest draft for me in terms of my main mock.

I only got one pick(for us)right.

What made it strange, almost all of the picks on my "Main Mock(no trade scenario)" were drafted into the AFC East!

Don't mean squat, though I found it interestring.

1. Coples - Jets

2. Stephen Hill - Jets

4. Nigel Bradham, OLB - Bills

5. Zebrie Sanders, T - Bills

6. BJ Cunningham - Dolphins

I had Kelechi Osemele(2nd-Ravens)and Cousins(4th-Skins)as my 3rd rounders. Taking Cousins in the third is what made want to take a flyer on Cunningham. Sort of like what Ireland did in bringing in Tannehill's favorite target.

Overall I didn't do too good. Though I do get a little satisfaction from getting the rounds right.........ah.......close..........ah, never mind.

Strange though, how many of them landed in the AFC East.

The strangest year ever in terms of my main mock(no trade scenario).

I only got one Dolphin pick right. The strange thing is, I got most rounds right(never happened for me before). The stranger thing, except for two picks, the rest all landed in the AFC East and in the right round.

1. Coples - Jets

2. Stephen Hill - Jets

4. Nigel Bradham - Bills

5. Zebrie Sanders, T - Bills

6. BJ Cunningham - Dolphins.

I had Kelechi Osemele(2nd-Ravens)and Kirk Cousins(4th-Skins)as my 3rd rounders. Cousins in why I wanted Cunningham. Sort of like Ireland brought in Tannehill's favorite target from A&M.

Overall I didn't do too good. Still, I'm getting some type of wierd satisfaction out of it.


Brandon Marshall needed to go! For lots of reasons. Anyone else remember the fact that whenever HE saw something on the field that he didn't like, he would change his route? Henna would throw the ball where he thought Marshall was supposed to be, but he was elsewhere. And, then he would be mad at Henne for not throwing the ball to him.

And, the WCO requires the WR's to be precise in their routes. B. Marsh often rounded off his routes and did not make crisp cuts. He COULD have been great in a WCO...if he wanted to be. But, he'd rather play backyard playground football. Which is why he's back with Cutler, who like that style! An undisciplined WR doesn't do well in a West Coast style offense. It's more about timing, ball-placement, & mismatches on the field. Something Sparano never did or allowed to happen. I guess it was too complicated for him to grasp.

Chad Pennington made a living throwing to short & medium precise routes and check-downs. Which is similar to the WCO, except the WCO has better YAC due to the creation of mismatches. Thankfully, Moore, Garrard, & Tannehill all have better arms than CP10 had.

Miami goes 9-7, just due to better coaching!

Lamar Miller has got "it".

I'll define "it" for you: Lamar Miller!

I know we needed WR's and his spot would have been perfect to get. But if you watch him, you won't care.

He has excellent vision and uses it like a sword.

He has enough patience to set up blocks. What's more, he uses his vision and blockers to set up blocks **AND** cutback lanes. He naturally **CREATES** his cutback lanes.

You can't teach vision. To go a step further, you can't teach a back how to use his vision to the fullest.

Lamar Miller was a STEAL! The only thing I'm worried about is Philbin not getting this kid on the field fast enough.

Martin was a great pick, but Miller is the BEST pick of this draft.

Ok, watched the episode. I know am certain of 3 things:
1) Jon Gruden knows a lot about football 2) Jon Gruden LOVES all QBs 3) I am now excited about seeing Tannehill in action.

Bess: 10.3 yds/rec and <3 TD/yr; #3 receiver
Hartline: <40 rec/yr and <2 TD/yr; #3
Naanee: 21 rec/yr for 11 yds/rec and <1 TD/yr; #4

2 late-round (big but slow) draft picks plus:
Clay: 16 rec
Wallace: 3 rec/yr
Moore: 3 rec/yr
Gates: 2 rec
Pruitt: 0 rec

Looks like the new staff has its work cut out for it in finding someone for the 3 QBs to throw to, other than RB and maybe TE. Perhaps the 'Fins can run some 2- and 3-QB sets, since that's where the attention has gone.

Posted by: JackSparrow | April 30, 2012 at 06:18 PM

Well, if you appreciate the positive energy, why not STHU, sit bask, and bask in the glow of a team that hasn't lost a game as yet..and fans who are grasping at anything we can to hang on to a feeling our team can be relevant again.

If we are horrible come September through December, then by all means enjoy your I told you sos. (though a real fan wouldn't say it)
Until then, shove it where the sun fails to shine.

If a corner back just told you the route you were about to run, you would change your route to.
What does it say about your WR core when u lead the team in drops and u still make the probowl?
And no other WR on the team even sniffed a vote.
Heck, if not for him, we would have been 0 and 16.
He and Bush made all the plays during the 6 games we actually won.
He just can't stop going to clubs and beating up females. We had to cut cut ties.

BTW, to all Mando bashers, YOU folks are so incredibly literate (in your own minds), get your butt off the couch and apply for a job at the Herald.
Thought so.

Were you the one that deleted my posts, IMAWriter?

They will be published somewhere else, you know.

I love how this article is soo wrong, David will be the starting qb!?!?!

How can I delete a post? I wouldn't know how, and wouldn't if I did.)
I can to this party late, but I only post with my user name (other than when I posted as "wants a Harbaugh as coach)
So, I have no idea what you're referring to.

I am just tired of folks beating up the messenger...Mando.
If someone don't like his style, I'd suggest going somewhere else.

I didn't particularly like Jason Cole's style..other than during the summer when music was the thing, but I never once posted my thoughts on his palpable dislike for the Fins.

Those that accuse Mando of that are WAY off base. (IMO)

Posted by: bill da thrill | May 01, 2012 at 01:05 AM

Bill, I don't believe the article is "wrong"...as you say, but I do believe if Garrard has something left ij the tank, his arm is way better than Moore's, and could seriously challenge for the starting spot.
I still remember the Moore 40 yarders floating in the breeze, 5 yards short of their target. Remember Hartline having to wait for a pass when he was behind the defender by 20 yards?

Who you think it was,IMAWriter? BTW, you either can or can't(write).

actually both hardline and gates have more than enough sped to get DB's out of their backpedal.

sorry odin but tannehill was also a good pick. he has all the tools you'd want a QB to have. so what he didn't start 4 years in college. ten green he threw twice as many TDs to ints. he big, he's fast, he has tremendous arm strength, he can throw on the run. who cares if he sits mast of his first season!! carson palmer did, eli manning did, aaron rogers sat 3 years!!! every time i read one of your posts i vomit a little in my mouth. either you're raging on the team, or talking about how knowledgeable you are... gag. anyone who makes mock drafts needs to find a new hobby!! or a girlfriend!! same goes for anyone who posts more than 20 times a day!! if i get above 5 i wanna poke my own eyes out.

JS_in_LA said:

"Several dudes that matched that profile were available to us, an we passed on all of them. There were about 5-6 available and some were still hanging around late rounds. Shame."

I am calling you out on this: Name them!

(ps) I agree, Brandon Marshall is a very good receiver and good have thrived in this offense, EXCEPT! He is a diva, "throw to me, or I am not all all happy" receiver. THIS IS WHY HE IS GONE!Don't you realize Philbin and Ireland talked about BM for hours until they decided to can him at a loss?! Hmmmmmm......wonder why??!!

Good posts Tracy474 and odinseye.

If you haven't already research Rishard Matthew's game film. Watch his podium interviews as team Capt., his punt returns, his PRO day 40, his father's background as USMC MSGT RET.

Why 49ers passed with CPK as back-up it is a mystery and, frankly, a problem. What am I missing? His route running isn't ideal always. Otherwise, I don't get the slip to 7th.

Beginning here:


Im not sold on Tanne yet...he looks good stat wise with his personal attributes like size, arm strength, etc...
Don't be surprised if he beats ONE of our stock QB's and gets second-third string just on shear smarts of knowing the plays, formations, reads, etc..

Whoops, I'm at three posts now..according to "jaison" I'm a borderline freak. Hey Jaison, maybe we are all just so rich we don't have to do anything else besides blog

i gotta believe garrard will be cut sometime after camp in august. his contract isnt guaranteed. so moore and tanne with devlin on practice squad.

Wow! We're going to adopt the 6 and 6 Texas A&M offense lock, stock and barrel! What a shame that Philbin wasted all those years as the Packers OC -- what did that offense accomplish?!!!

Posters keep using the term mismatch. Who on this wr core is going to be a mismatch for any nickel cb or safety will good cover skills???

I watched every clip of BJ CUnningham I could find and the kid has good hands but is tackled as soon as he catches the ball and takes a step. Has no wiggle...quickness...speed or moves so that equates to zero yac.

Hartline is trash...he does slip and fall on 80% of his routes and after the catch he lacks quickness/change of direction and appears to be running with ankle weights.

Those thinking the system can make up for truly dynamic explosive wr's ala Philly are fooling themselves. Stop comparing the Fins to the Pats and there system.

Bess was also a non factor after game 7 and can't uncover without making 12 moves during a route..by then the qb is sacked or thrown it some where else.

mondo what time is kick off?

Wow! We're going to adopt the 6 and 6 Texas A&M offense lock, stock and barrel! What a shame that Philbin wasted all those years as the Packers OC -- what did that offense accomplish?!!!

Posted by: PhinzSinz'66 | May 01, 2012 at 07:57 AM

You guys are so easily manipulated by the media it's unreal. Just because a sports writer says they will run a particular offense, or the rookie QB says so, doesn't mean jack. You guys overreact to every single statement or opinion you find in the media.


Wake up and get a freaking clue already.

So we have a college offense in place! Boy I hope it works!!


Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Hopefully there will be at least 5 rookies starting the season which means, mistakes during the first 4-6 games depending how good the coaching staff really is. Anyway you slice it next yr is a learning curve season (once again) Ground hog day all over again, and again, and again. Three new head coaches in the last 6 yrs, three GMs, and numerous released players who said the exact same things these new players are saying. New faces same old line, same ole articles in the same old news papers. If one was to research articles written 10 yrs ago, you couldnt tell the today articles from the old, with exception of the dates written. They say the same thing year after boring year. yadda, yadda, yadda.

I did the exact thing you suggested Dragon and plenty is a lot different so....

"Redskins released WR Jabar Gaffney."

If the Dolphins want to upgrade the WR position MAYBE Ireland's plan was to wait until after the draft when players start getting cut for cap reasons. However, cap space is an issue so first things first--Make some room to re-up on Wake.


Armando It's time to wip out your ban stick... RACISM should not be tolerated. Hold your bloggers to a higher standard
Posted by: B33RCA53 | April 30, 2012 at 09:01 PM

Ireland is getting that good ole boy racist reputation. Do the Dolphins even care?

Tannehill wasnt too good in college so how does anyone expect him to do well in the pros?

TanneHill wasn't to good in college? He only played 18 games. I will trust Coach Sherman 's opinion, thank you.

Mike Pouncey and Co MUST be able to neutralize Dont'a Hightower on blitzes up the middle. The guy is a beast and if not checked, he will make life miserable for any of our QB's.

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