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Up-tempo is great when quarterback and execution are great

Some of the buzz around the start of Dolphins training camp practices has been about speed and tempo.

The Dolphins are practicing in multiple groups -- first-team offense versus first-team defense on one side of the 50-yard line and second-team O versus second-team D on the other side -- both at the same time.

It is a system that turns what would typically be an 80-play practice into a 140- to 160-play practice.

That's awesome!

But as the Dolphins practice fast and rarely even huddle, the tempo is also intended to carry over to games. That's because the Dolphins want to play an up-tempo, snap a lot of plays, fast-working offense this season.

“It’s a spread open, fast paced, up tempo offense," running back Reggie Bush said. "We run a lot of zone schemes, which, for a running back like me, is great. I’ve always loved the zone running scheme. It does wonders for running backs."

"Part of this whole thing is, while we want to be an up tempo offense, we do want to run a lot of plays at the opposition," coach Joe Philbin said. "We feel like the more plays run, the better opportunity you have to score points. But there’s also a couple of other residual benefits – I mean the conditioning aspect is I think a big advantage for our whole entire football team, offense and defense."

All that has the potential for very good things.

The New England Patriots run a similar attack. So did the Colts when Peyton Manning was the quarterback. Other teams go into this mode when they fall behind as well.

It's fast-break football ...

When it works.

What I mean is working fast on offense is a great weapon against an opposing defense because it doesn't let them catch their breath, it creates mismatches, and creates uncertainty and mistakes by them.

But it does all those things only when the quarterback play is at a very high level and the execution of everyone else on offense is crisp.

When the QB isn't quite so good or the execution of the offensive players isn't nearly perfect, this idea of running a lot of plays fast is a disaster.

It basically translates to having the offense rushing to get off the field. And that exposes Miami's defense.

Think about that.

When a fast-paced offense is performing as intended, it is moving the chains and doing it quickly and the defensive guys are on the bench watching. That's good.

But if the team running the up-tempo attack has three quick incomplete passes, its defense that was just on the field has to go right back out again. And the other team that just had a chance to score is going to get yet another chance almost immediately.

In that case, up-tempo offense turns into a rush to give up the football.

It is a two-edged sword.

Up-tempo is great when Tom Brady is at quarterback. But I wonder how things will be with David Garrard or Matt Moore or rookie Ryan Tannehill pulling the trigger. Philbin's offense places a lot of pressure on the QB as it is. They are responsible for making a lot of changes and making a lot of calls at the line of scrimmage -- moreso than more convential units that huddle up.

But it also asks the quarterback to be spectacular in completing a very high percentage of his passes to keep his unit on the field and protect his defensive teammates.

The approach also is demanding of other offensive players.

Suddenly a sack allowed by an offensive lineman is a bigger problem than usual because the team finds itself in bad down-and-distance situations while rushing into those situations.

Receivers similarly have to be precise with their routes.

One of the reasons Chad Johnson didn't get a lot of playing time last year reportedly was because he didn't know his assignments precisely. Like his days in Cincinnati, he'd stretch a 15-yard pattern to 17 yards and it would drive Brady nuts because the precision was lost.

And as the up-tempo attack cannot afford incompletions, Johnson didn't see the field a ton and only caught 15 passes on the year.

So now in Miami's up-tempo offense Johnson's going to be precise? He'll have to be to make things work for his quarterbacks. Everyone will have to be to keep moving the sticks and keep the offense on the field to avoid exposing the defense to more snaps.

By the way, this idea of a fast-paced offense isn't new in Miami.

Last year, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll tried it some in camp and Miami opened with it against New England.

The result was that Miami threw for 419 yards and rushed for another 98 yards in scoring 24 points. That, by any measure, is very good offensive production. But the offense sputtered just enough to give the ball back to the Patriots more times than what they held it.

And so while the Dolphins gained 488 yards, New England put up 622. While Miami scored 24, New England scored 38.

Miami's offensive players couldn't execute at the same rate as New England's. Miami also couldn't make big enough plays to maximize its time of possession.

The point is that, as with everything else, the idea of running an up-tempo offense sounds wonderful and definitely is when players are executing and the quarterback is playing at a high level. But one reason more teams don't do this is because they don't have a Brady or Manning running the attack and they don't want to expose their defense.

This year the Dolphins will try to run this attack with neither Brady nor Manning at quarterback. It'll be interesting to see how well that works for both the offense and defense. 


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Earth to Armando? You mentioned 3 qb(Brady/Rogers/P Manning) really great at running a up tempo offense. You even forgot Brees.

Of these qb's, the only one on our schedule is Brady. We were middle of the pack or lower in scoring last season. Meaning the defense spent an awful lots of time on the field anyway.

As long long as our offense can create a symbolence of time of possession. It still give the d time to rest. Even if they only scored 50% of thier redzone possessions.

Clue, very simple. Wallace is NOT going to be signed by the Steelers, they just gave Antonio Brown a HUGE contract. They will lose Wallace NO MATTER how you look at it. So instead of losing him for nothing, they could get a draft pick in return. Happens all the time in Pro Sports. Haven't you been paying attention?

Dolphins are the laughingstock of the NFL. Ross, save the Dolphins. SELL THE TEAM!!!!

Montreal, DO you think Ireland wants to sign Wallace to a mega contract like the other WR's I mentioned in my previous post? Wallace isnt even on the same level as Johnson, Megatron or Fitzgerald.

Dolphins are the laughingstock of the NFL. Ross, save the Dolphins. SELL THE TEAM!!!!

Posted by: Jay | July 31, 2012 at 03:06 PM


Then there should be no reason for you to come back here again.
Save this blog - Go away!
And sell yourself as the "ho" that you are.

Clue, please read my previous post. I DON'T think Ireland will trade for Wallace. And we don't know what kind of money Wallace is looking for. Obviously, the Dolphins would have to speak to his agent before making any type of trade. Why not? The guy is a playmaker. How many playmakers do we have at the WR position? We had one and we traded him. He's 26. He's at the same level as Fitzgerald. Comparing him to Megatron and Johnson is ridiculous, you're talking about the two best WRs in the league. Doesn't mean everybody else sucks. Please.

andre johnson is NOT in the top 5 wr in the league. He is a broken leg/torn hamstring/busted knee miss 6 games a year scrub.......F THE U......GO NOLES


and speaking on the B. Edwards deal......id rather have burress. Talk about red zone potential. He scorched us last year. sign him and get him in camp.

Nobody will give the Steelers a first round pick for Wallace. If that's what the Steelers want, they'll lose him for nothing. Not sure that's what the Steelers want. I would offer a 3rd and a 6th...

Sceme's don't beat people. Players beat people. How many teams tried to run the Bears 46 defense without the Bears' personsel and failed miserably. Mando's right. It should be interesting to see how this strategy works without Brady, Rodgers, or Manning running the show.

Burress runs a 6.0 in a 40, Why the F would you even consider signing him? Montreal, Wallace is a one dimensional speed guy, thats it, he isnt going over the middle, or making tough catches in a crowd. So compare him to Fitzgerald is nuts, he couldnt hold Fitzgerald jock strap. Wallace is looking for top 5 WR money.

Montreal, DO you think Ireland wants to sign Wallace to a mega contract like the other WR's I mentioned in my previous post? Wallace isnt even on the same level as Johnson, Megatron or Fitzgerald.
Posted by: Clue | July 31, 2012 at 03:07 PM


Ross is too cheap to pay for good players.

Uhm, more teams than just the Packers, Pats, and Colts ran the hurry up. You don't need the greatest qb ever to run it, you jsut need a good one. And if Garrard's back holds up, you have a good one - even if it is only for a season. He's an 80+ rating career passer and had junk to throw to in jacksonville. He could do it in spurts in Miami no doubt.

Wallace has more TDs in 3 years than all of our WRs combined. He averages over 15 YPC and topped 1000 yards receiving twice. One dimensional speed guy my a**...I don't care how he does it, bottom line is he does. Let's think about that for a second shall we?

Wallace is worth a #1 draft pick. I'd rather have him then a Long or Pouncey or Odick.

Actually, we could use a Dez Bryant right about now.

#1. DFan in Mont.
I agree with you on Wallace
I will give up two second rounders in a heart beat!! It's a proven receiver! JI hasn't prove that he can draft a top notch receiver or a QB for crying out loud! But maybe this year he may have hit on a QB with Tannehill maybe!
But receivers, Chad Johnson is the only proven receiver, and he needs to prove himself again this year!! I know what some of you loyal fans are going to write is how about Bess and Hartline! Well what about them? I think they are good slot players but do they scare the other teams defense! NO
now Marshall did, but unfortunately JI would sign someone that could have replace him
But what do I know I'm just a loyal Dumba s s

cj is the only #1 wr on the phins.lol

should of got moss, the phins passed up on him 30 seasons ago, but it looks like he can still play.

I wouldn't give up two second rounders for Wallace...I'd try to get him for less than that...If they want more, screw them...

montreal. u wouldn't give up 2 2's but ire would. just like w/ marsh.lol

2 watt, I didn't mind giving up 2 second round picks for Marshall because he was productive. Trading him for 2 third round picks is what I don't get. I just don't understand Ireland sometimes but whatever...If Tannehill doesn't become a franchise QB, Ireland is done.

ross wanted his GM to know less than himself so he kept ireland.

I agree with Mark in Toronto from a little while back. You dont need the greatest QB to run the hurry up, you just need one that understands it, and is good enough to run it.

A large number of teams did it last year.

Our draft picks are pretty useless with Ireland, so trading them for established players would be a much better option.

Would Brady or Manning be as good as they are running a conservative, slow, untalented offense? Just saying, because you'll never know if the QB's you're drafting and developing are capable of being great if you don't allow them to play in an offense that gives them the opportunity to be great.

As a fan, I'm sick of watching play calling that looks like an old NFL Films rerun of 1974 season highlights. Mando can keep that "safe" approach that leads to losing boring seasons. If they're going to lose, lose while building a dynamic team that is fun to watch.

Armando, although you are one of my least favorite sports reporters and you do have a point here. However, it gives us a better shot at offense and I believe in our Defense. We are going to be the upset team this year - you'll see. Phins for Life. Carol

The reason I said I give up two seconds for Wallace because, JI will screw those picks anyway! So get a proven player like Wallace
Or drafts picks that JI picks is a toss up!

This team doesnt have either a #1 or #2 receiver. Trading Da Beast was a big mistake and I cant see any QB having success without playmakers.

It is looking more and more that RT will handle the first snap of the Season.

I mean, according to his wr's and coaches, the guy has a strong arm, is accurate, knows the offense thoroughly and what to call against a defense. What more could you want in a QB?

Defense due to lockout was Fat, slow, and over weight when camp started same can be said of the oline even Jake Long had a crap year. This was all caused by the lockout we will be much better game one this year. Hell the secondary was winded and have cramps game one last year

qbclub13 how dumb are you? did you know the other 31 teams were locked out too? they ran right over us.

Wallace is canned tuna without Rothraper to make him look good.

I agree 100%. Chad at one point was a #1. Receiver, but does he have one more great year left!! It remain to be seen!! But I think he will because of this type offense! And keep a eye on Fuller. The guy looks like a beast physically! Who knows how about if he becomes a great receiver! Like Bolden from the Ravens did! Remember guys no thought Bolden was going to be that good!
Or Cruz from the Giants..there are so many great story's so maybe the PHINS have a great story this year!! GO PHINS!!

Why are you using my username! I would change my but I can't The setting my itouch won't let me I tried logging out to reset my username but I can't!! Let's work something out please...thanks

I mean, according to his wr's and coaches, the guy has a strong arm, is accurate, knows the offense thoroughly and what to call against a defense. What more could you want in a QB?
Posted by: oscar canosa | July 31, 2012 at 06:38 PM

When he can make quick, correct decisions and accurate throws in the face of a rush, -that's been his knock so far - then he's OK in my book to start.
He's been struggling with that up to now, and will get himself, and his receivers killed, and cause loads of turnovers.

Up to now he's held the ball too long, gotten himself in trouble, and it loses any separation the receivers might have had, and gets them plastered as well once the ball is delivered. Big serious issue, but also expected.
When he gets the "speed of the game" conquered, he's set.
Sounds encouraging that he may be making strides the last few days in that direction.

Actually, JS, Bess said yesterday that he was impressed with Tannehill because, "when we are into a zone and we go into it wrong, he throws the ball to our other shoulder and gives us time to adjust. That's a great advantage to have for us(WR's).". You need to read more, son.

DFD (Dance f#ck#r dance)!


This is our defenses theme song this year. Bring the pain, turnovers and desperation against our foes! See them running for their lives. GO FINS!

Tannehill's experience playing WR helps him to know where the receiver wants the ball. Play him.

Be nice to JS.....he's a good guy

I'm tired of hearing about Marshalls stupid drops. I challenge anyone to name one game we would have won without him.
Even with his drops, he was still a top 4 WR in the AFC.
Maybe he should have dropped Moore passes. At least we would have gotten RG3 or your precious Luck. Lol

the WCO offense is about short passes and precision. Garrard throws for about %66 completion in the short to medium range. That's not much different than manning or even brady.

If Tanny shows he can handle the backup role Garrard will be cut.

Practicing up tempo gets the defense ready to play up tempo, just because the team CAN play up tempo, doesnt mean it will all the time....

So,they had a great WR but crap QB, and now MAYBE they have a QB but crap receivers. Can you say dysfunctional Dolphins?

garrard will start, after they fall out of contention im sure tanny will take over. hopefully be ready in 2013. eson had us at 32 out of 32 teams. no way we are that bad.

Oh here we go with the they better win this year or Philbin needs to be fired mentality. Of course the offense needs the players to execute. But that's the point. Philbin needs time to get his players into the mix. He needs a few years. Not one year, offense is mediocre because it doesn't have the pieces yet, and then everyone wants the scheme to change.

This is exactly why the Pats and Colts are so good. They installed their philosophies and plays years ago and do it every year, no matter what. They get the players that fit their philosophies. They didn't start great but after they got the pieces the sky was the limit. We need patience. If Philbin shows to be a smart coach there is no reason for the media to start whining midway through the season that the offense is 'just too darned hard, lets go back to Sparano and Hennings way'! That was the offense that was being called out to Marshall by dbs before they snapped the ball.

Thius article is a good read and obviously has merit but it reads like Sparano wrote it. Like we are scared to try something different. Patience is the key. Install a way of doing things and get the players to fit.

Jarred great point. It's called over-speed training and the Russian Olympic hockey team coaches were the first ones to use it. Their philosophy was you practice at twice your normal speed so when you play in games everything slows down for you and you play better. You're used to doing things at twice the speed so it seems a lot easier when you're playing the guys who aren't used to the tempo.

Mandos right, you need the right players. But I love this way of doing things, always been a big fan and I want to let Philbin establish this so it just becomes the Dolphins way of doing things. Get the players to fit while you go.

Moore will be the odd man out. Garrard is clearly better and has a few years left to start or back up Tannehill. A few teams are desperate for a backup qb, JI may be able to get a fifth rounder for Moore.

I thing I haven't really read here about and it's the OL, a question was ask to Philbin of the OL if the OL had any cohesiveness! And Philbin say no not yet! Now I know it's early but do you guys think that if your right side of the line needs improvement don't you draft a RT, not trying to convert a player that threw out his college career played LT!! You draft a RT because the need you have.., am I right or wrong!! Now how you suppose to build cohesiveness trying to develop a player to play a position he isn't comfortable with and has no experience! But I don't know nothing I'm just a dumb dolpfan!!! Go PHINS !!!

It's done all the time Ray. Cogs was a right guard now he is left. Pouncey was a guard now a center. Teams all over the league do it and its good to have OL that can play more than one spot.

Well guys are won't be posting for awhile
I be trying to change my username But my
Itouch won't let me or can't , there is a another ray using my username. I be back!


Cog. Poncey played couple position in college..Martin didn't , versatile players is ok to have but that doesn't build cohesiveness
Or continuity!! But for the PHINS is going to take awhile, I just hope it works out for hicks and Martin!

So Clyde gates want to improve badly but can he! Not too many seven round draft pick has had success ! Good luck Clyde

danny rodriguez is ray

Make no mistake, last years team MVP is the starting QB.

Hey, great to see many of y'all again! I have high hopes that we'll at least be an interesting team this year.
Heard today the Jets hope at RT failed his physical again.
I can only hope Tony Sparano remembers his old buddy Mr. Columbo, and invites him over for a year.
I wish we would shave locked up Braylon Edwards for the year. His drops are way less critical than were Marshall, and he could take it all the way, something Marshall couldn't do.

Mark sir, we have 2 QB's that could easily get it deep to Wallace. The one who can't should be traded even up with Pittsburgh, that being Moore. Remember the wounded ducks Moore threw in the 2nd half against NE?
The Steelers could use a backup for Ben, and our 2 QB's plus Devlin would make it easier to figure out who starts...not to mention finally having a true #1 wideout..

I don't believe Wallace is a "system" guy, per se.
Half the time those completions came on scrambles by Ben, who's is KING of that sort of thing.

We need to do this before NE trades Ryan Mallet for Wallace.

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