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Dolphins working to cure ailing running game

The Dolphins are the No. 11 rushing team in the NFL, which is a pretty good place to be. But the ranking is deceiving.

The Dolphins got off to a magnificent start running the football the first few weeks of the season, ranking as high as No. 2 after the second game of the season. But the last three weeks?

Eighty-six yards against Arizona.

Sixty-eight yards against Cincinnati.

Thirty-six yards against St. Louis. The season's worst mark.

The Dolphins averaged a paltry 1.1 yards per rush against the Rams. The trend is a concern to Miami coaches and players.

"As you guys know, we haven’t been very effective running the ball the last couple of weeks and we’ve got to get our running game back on track," coach Joe Philbin said. "It’s an important part of what we are and what we do. Our run defense and our ability to run the ball on offense, those are kind of core principles of the program. Frankly, we’ve been struggling the last couple of weeks. We’ve got to get ourselves back on track in the running game. You would think that with the success we had the first three weeks that we’d be able to sustain some level of it. But we’ve struggled as of late."

It has been a struggle and it has been a disappointment because one thing the Dolphins strive to be on offense is balanced. Frankly, the passing game isn't effective enough to carry them. And they know it.

“We want to be balanced," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "I think the last couple games have been tough. We haven’t been able to run the ball like we want to. Last time we played the Jets, we were fortunate to get some good runs and establish a run game. Since then, we’ve had some tough games on the ground. That’s kind of our identity. We want to be a balanced team. We want to be able to run the ball and we expect them to do things to try to stop the run. It’s just a battle of who can execute better."

The good news is indeed that Miami plays the New York Jets on Sunday. The last time the teams met, the Dolphins rushed for 185 yards and, as New York coach Rex Ryan notes, "that was with Reggie Bush not playing the second half."

So it stands to reason this is the week the Dolphins hope to regain their ground game mojo.

The reason the ground game has sputtered is, in part, that teams are basically loading up against the run. They are challenging the Dolphins to throw the ball while stacking the tackle box against runs.

That's not good for anybody, except for Tannehill. Indeed as teams have loaded up on Miami's run game, Tannehill has benefitted. He's been able to deliver his three best games in that his completion percentage went from 63 against Arizona to 65 against Cincinnati to 72 against St. Louis.

Tannehill's quarterback rating has similarly improved going from 86.5 to 92.3 to 112 in the last game.

And, ironically, while the Dolphins have been unable to run with much effectiveness, they've won two of the three games in which they struggled.

Still, despite the success, the team wants the problem resolved.

“I think it’s important for us, just we want to be balanced," Tannehill said. "I think that, if you’re able to run the ball, then you’re going to open up some passing lanes, open up play action and things down the field. Like you said, we haven’t had the run game we wanted to the past few weeks, (but) we want to build and get better there."

Comments

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When you're in a dating funk, you call up the sure thing girl on your list.

When you struggle with the running game, you call up the easy spread legs of a NY Jet run defense.

Problem solved.

I'm changing my call due to the expected storm in NY. Jets 20 Dolphins 13 ....and I already bet the under.

Yea stack the box baby...since defenses have decided to force our rook to pass... We have been winnings. So oh yea, 8 in the box, 9 then blitz? Yea baby any day do it!

LOL Mark, great post.

Armando i didnt know Ryan Tannehill is a running back

It's jets week....

anf its friday 2:30 pm...

were are you SO-CALLED FIN FANS @....

if you can't get up for this...then you probably can't get it u....

Mark in Toronto has been holding down the fort all day...

GET UP!!!!

GET MOTIVATED....

I don't want to see a bunch of cry babies jumping off the band wagon should the unfortunate happen...IMO...seems like many of you aren't o the wagon to bein with...

IT'S EFFING jets WEEK!!!!

Yeah the D's just stack the box cause they know Tannehill wont beat them.

YOU ARE RUNNING ON US THIS TIME.

YALL NOT DURABLE ENOUGH

LANDRY BLAM
DAVIS BOOM
POUHA GDNITE

Full of typo's...

BUT YOU GET MY POINT!!!

Its not rocket science; Bush has been limited since the last Jets game and other teams have been focused on stopping the run and daring Tannehill and our WR group to beat them. Thomas just received his third concussion while walking into the strong winds affecting Southern FL! Miller's too raw but will be great.

KRIS YOUR CRIES FALL ON DEAF EARS, THIS ISNT A FAN BASE MORE THAN THE CUBS HAVE!

YOU GOING TO BE MORE THAN CONCUSSED THIS GAME


SWEEP THE LEG
BODY BAG
PROTECT YA NECK!


BATH SALT SMOKIN ASS TRICK ASS HO

@AZ, valid point. Hopefully Bush is back to normal after the week off.

As Tannehill (the RB apparently) gets more respect, the running lanes will open again.

And yes Mark, doesn't hurt to be playing the Jets and Rex Ryan's defenseless.

HOMOSENSE

Kris is ready to roll. I got your back man. Hope we come guns blazing. Weather might not be optimum for the pass game, so we need to be strong on the ground. And our defense needs to keep doing what it's doing stopping the run. I don't just want to win, I want to embarrass those fools. Break them down to the dust, make the groundskeepers have to come in with vacuums to collect them and throw them away. This is a turning point in our Season. We're either going up from here, or else this might be the beginning of the end. We'll see. I want to see our guys HUNGRY, ANGRY and ready to STOMP on some little green men.

The writers like all this talk especially in New York.Tebow made a good move going there eventhough he dosent play much he makes the loot to play and to pose and chat with new endorsements.Ditto for loud mouth Rex Ryan(New Yawkers love his constant quote machine pie hole) who has gotten slimmer ala Tony Sporano I dont think GQ will be calling either of their agents anytime soon.Bad thing about loud mouth players and coaches in New York there are a lot more critics that publish their opinions and get the paying fans in agreement when the team is losing.

DC,

"Break them down to the dust, make the groundskeepers have to come in with vacuums to collect them and throw them away"

That's motivating prose my friend

Rex Ryan is a soft piece of garbage, and his defense is soft garbage.

Fins 24-10 with 185 rushing yards.

Gambling is stupid. Vegas Mike is a piece of garbage.

Only DC Tool would think Tool in Toronto's post was good. Aren't you guys married with kids?

So let me get this straight...we've got two first round picks on the O-line, a first round running back, a second round running back, a tank of a fullback and a first round QB...and we still can't figure out how to run the ball?

Ireland invested huge sums of MONEY into the O-Line and the inability to run the ball falls squarely on their shoulders.

Bush, Miller, Clay, Lane...all these guys should be utilized to their potential and shame on Philbin for not being able to figure it out...that why we bought him in...

Shoot, all the other coaches have the same problem and they can run scheme's to negate the "box stuffing" defenses.

Come on Philbin...start using that 145 IQ and get er' done!

21-0!!

Yes, Even T-Sizzle will get a Couple runs this Week!

Reggie has been running scared Recently! But it look like he start Running hard again during the 4th Qtr of last Game! The fins as a Unit should Rush for at least over 200+! The Jets Suck!

And Lego Blows!

Funny how Lego has showed up! and all his other idiot Persona have taken a break for now!

U just make it to easy troll!

At least before u would talk to urself! Now since we all know It's Ur Gimmick! U can't! Go right ahead and Expose Urself with ur childish antics!

@ 3:22 no, I'm not.

Dolphins should win this game and the run will get better especially if tannihill keeps playing like he is, we really should have won the first game.This time we finish the Job!!!

The Jets are going to focus on our passing game. That is the reason for the comments to Bush this week. Mind games. We think that they are targeting run. But they are going to focus on passing.
Why worry about the run if they contain the big score? A running game produces a lot of threes and takes up a lot of time. Ryan feels that he can beat our defense because they have Wake timed. (2.8 seconds to release) or something around that number and Sanchez will time it to make the pass. So he will let us do 3 and 4 yards all day long. They will have Holmes or another receiver open because they feel they can beat us with the pass.
I trust that coach Philbin will have something up his sleeves. And our secondary has been improving.
Go Phins

Tannehill will not throw a pick six this week and it will not come down to Carpenter kicking a 50 yard FG.

We also will not have Nanee taking up a perfectly good active roster spot.

Moore, Gaffney, whoever, having another target out there will open things up.

Oh, and, the jets suck.

@kindry, I'd buy more into your Jets insight if you knew Holmes was out for the season.

Interesting idea though.

Really not a good match up for the Jets and they were very lucky to escape the first time with a win.

Curious to see how Philbins team looks off a bye week.

It's all a matter of balance, on both sides. They more or less know now that if they stack the box, Tannehill will harm them(specially - Revis). If they don't, we can run on them if we execute properly. So?

With Revis out our Offense should be able to move the ball. Since we don't have a true #1 receiver Cromartie will take out one wide out (likely hartline). We should put Bess in the slot and either Moore or Gafney in the other wideout position. I see Bess having a big day.

Weather is going to play a factor up there so we need to be able to run, throw screens, throw to TD's over the middle and throw slants. Not going to be able to convert much down field as the WETS are going to be blitzing all the time.

This comes down to THILL and Carpenter. I expect a close game and we can't afford picks and we can't afford any miss kicks. If Philbin goes for anything over 45 yards in the Meadowlands he is crazy given Sandy's impact on the area.

When our punter is our only pro bowl prospect you know we stink.

The running game is suffering but I think that Reggie is a little more rested and hopefully recuperated during the bye and the same can be said about Thomas hopefully the rookie used this down time to learn and appropriately adjust to blitz pickups.

If you know any Miami Dolphin fans tell them about the book I wrote titled Stark Contrast in the Miami Dolphins Coaches and Owners, which can be found on www.createspace.com/4038086 thanks.

Fin77 that was the dumbest article theyve written in awhile.. There are easily the names of Wake and Pouncey that can be added also Starks and Jones... Not saying much for offense but that will come.

jpao @ 4:03: I agree with you. If the big storm hits, it's going to be low scoring game with lots of field goal attempts. This could really come down to Carpenter again.

Pouncey, Starks, and Wake have also been pro bowl prospects, but stating that doesn't help your argument so you stick to just Fields

Hopefully Tannehill keeps his momentum going after this bye week, a little worried he enjoyed his wife and week off a little too much and may need this week to get back in into the swing of things

Mike Francesca, a highly touted sports radio guy, just praised Tannehill and basically said he's better than Sanchez now. Sanchez only had one year starting in college and has done nothing. Tannehill looks like he'll pan out better. Maybe he's trying to stir up the NY fanbase and generate good radio but I believe him. With no WR Tannehill is performing just fine. I would LOVE to see him put the dagger in our opponent though, that's the only thing missing

Uhm, Sean Smith, Mike Pouncey, Reggie Bush, Brian hartline, Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, and Paul Soliai all at minimum will garner Pro Bowl consideration at this pace.

Stop being a wanker, Fin 77.

At least Philbin seems like a coach. Cameron was an OC, not HC material. Sparano is a OL specialist (Lol!!!) and Saban can only perform when he recruits all the top talent. Philbin knows what he's doing.

who cares at all about pro bowls. worthless

LOL AT PRO BOWL PUNTER

ONLY PRO BOWL YOULL HAVE AFTER SUNDAY IS A STEAMING PILE OF MY BROWN LOG IN PROCELINE


U

MAD>?

YOUR ALL ON BATH SALTS LICKING EACH OTHER LIKE APES, CLEANING OUT THE MITES AND MANGO WORMS!

love is not easy.................
LOVE IS NICE ONLY WHEN YOU LOVE ONLY A WOMAN ,,,,,,,

VEGAS MIKE


THATS MY DAWG!

CAMERON WAKE UP NEXT TO A MAN

MIKE POUNCEY ALL ON A FLESH STICK

I didn't know New York was so full of third graders having access to a computer.

Logo is at the Projects Rec Center!

Where they only have 1 computer for all 4 Buildings!

Let the other little Kids use the Computer, LOGO!

DASHI,


DO YOU WORK ?

OR YOU R GETTING PAID THROUGH OUR TAX MONEY ???

..I watched the Ram game a few times to see if I could figure out whayt they were doing that made it so difficult to run the ball. It was the first time this year that our offensive line was really dominated at the point of attack. They did a good job of winning at the point of attack and not letting our lineman get to the"second level". The plays for the most part were stuffed at the line of scrimmage, or strung out to let their pursuit make the plays. The other thing that was totaly clear, and I wonder how we will adjust. The Rams did a good job shutting down the cut back lane. there was nothing. I don't know if we were out schemed or if they are just fast, or if they knew something. But they did not allow many yards on cut back runs. This maybe a concern if this continues and becomes a problem. 90 percent of our run plays are dependant on the running back making a cut to find the crease. It just wasn't there v St. Louis.

I'm curious to see if in fact the jets learned something from the Rams. Or if it was a case of the Rams personel just matching up well against our team. They(jets) do not have the speed the Rams front 7 have. So in my mind I think we should hve no problem establishing the run this week..We will see.

YOU GUYS ARE SO LAME, I CANT EVEN FEEL BAD FOR AUTISTIC FOLK THO

we played the rams. we have played some really bad football teams

Hey look at that, A jets fan comes in and writes with the caps lock on and then Aloco shows up immediately after, in all caps of course.

You're a mental patient. Aloco the Jets fan. That's what I will call you from now on. You will now be known as ALOCO THE JETS FAN.

Thank you for stopping by and crapping all over the blog. It smells so bad in here that I will save my football talk for another papers blog.

NICE IM CAUSING PARANOIA, BECAUSE IM CERTAINLY NOT ALOCO. IM A REAL JET FAN SERVING YOU A HELPING OF SHUT THE FK UP

TGIF!, I have forgotten what that means, only to remind me that I work tomorrow and only at $100/hr.

Rexy is Sexy. Philbin is a turd. I'll stroke mine to Rex any day.

There are no bad Football Teams in this League, connors, and only badly prepared Ones.

ERIK LESTER LOST ALL OF HIS HAIR AND IS NOW BALD. SO I WANT TO CALL HIM BALDY.... HA HA HA YOU WENT BALD. CAN I PLEASE SHINE YOUR HORSE SHOE HEAD... HEY YOU CAN ALWAYS GO TO THE HAIRCLUB FOR MEN. HA HA HA!!!!!!!! Kendall Fla

disagree 100 percent oscar

Miami wins because of defense MIAMI 31 JETS 3

OK, connors. Why you disagree?

im hoping for a big fins win and save the season but if i had to bet on it id take jets 16-13

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