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Dolphins may want to re-establish running game

The Dolphins running game had it all together the first month of the season.

Miami plowed Oakland for 263 rush yards the second week of the season.

Then came 185 yards against Jets the following week.

Then a hard-earned 86 yards against Arizona.

And then the attack fell off the table.

The Bengals game was the low-point in which the Dolphins averaged only 1.9 yards per carry and that was one of four consecutive games in which the team rushing average was 2.9 or lower.

The Dolphins rebounded last week against the struggling Indianapolis rush defense, but even then the damage was modest -- 84 yards on 18 attempts.

So the question the Dolphins are asking themselves is how good they really are running the ball.

"Early on in the season if you looked at us and got a profile of us, I'd tell you we're a team that can run the football and defend the run extremely well," Coach Joe Philbin said. "Frankly the second part of the season, that hasn't stayed true to form necessarily. It's an area we have to solidify again and get back to basics on both sides of the ball. It's something we need to improve upon because if you looked at us after four weeks you say, 'Boy these guys can run and defend the run.' And it's not a 180 from there but it's not what it was."

Obviously the old adage about the other guys getting paid factors here. Other teams have decided they will gameplan against the Miami running game and take their chances with rookie Ryan Tannehill and his receivers. So the Dolphins are seeing a lot of run blitzes, stacked tackle boxes, everything.

"You don't want to over-react because there's a lot of factors," Philbin said. "You look at the stat sheet and at one point see we're averaging 150 yards rushing and now we're averaging 110. So you look deeper and whats the tape telling you. But the tape is telling you you got to get better, too."

The tape says the Dolphins are searching for an identity in the run game. There's nothing about their running attack that is consistent. They don't have a play that is their signature play. They don't run mostly to one side with tons of success. They are not predictable on when Reggie Bush is used or not and when Daniel Thomas gets work or does not. And Lamar Miller is a huge wild card because of the team's concerns about his pass blocking.

Bush averaged 17 rushes per game the first five games. He's averaging 12 rushes per game the past three weeks and, again, remember that last week the Colts came into the game with a struggling run defense. The Colts are currently No. 25 in the NFL against the run.

And yet Bush got only 10 carries.

Thomas, meanwhile, got six carries after he got 15 the week before.

Rhyme? Reason? 

Is Bush hurt?

"There's nothing wrong with Reggie," Philbin said. "I think Reggie played well. Some of it is dictated by the down and distance and type of game we're in. Score. All those things. Maybe the scheme we're utilizing -- inside or outside. We take into consideration a lot of factors but it's not a reflection of us being disappointed in Reggie in any way, shape or form."

Something the Dolphins need to consider:

The Colts wrote a book on how to attack their defense. It's called go after the secondary that gave up 433 passing yards.

One way to combat this approach is shorten the game and thus shorten the opportunities for the other team to expose your defense. The Dolphins (can't believe I'm saying this) have to run the ball more. (I'm a big fan of throwing the football).

Running the ball more often increases time of possession. It keeps your defense off the field. It is a great way to protect the secondary.

This week, for example, that should be the approach. The Tennessee defense is a slice of Swiss cheese and it is particularly weak against the run. The Titans are 30th in the NFL, yielding 141.6 rushing yards per game. They are 25th in the NFL, allowing 4.4 yards per rush.

Run the ball, Dolphins!

Get back to your identity.

 

 

Comments

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There is always next year.
Which has been the MO for the phins the last 12 years. This is 8-8 team right now so hopefully next year we can make a run. But if not then there is always 2014.

From the last blog........

So what do you propose doing about our #1 pick Odrick if we just stuck Vernon in as starter right away?

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | November 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM

YG and WHRB,

I don't think it's a matter of just sticking Vernon in there for Odrick.

The fact is, Odrick has played the run extremely well this year....so far.

With Vernon being inexperienced and slighty undersized, he hasn't proved he can play the run. Hence, why we drafted him as a Pass Rushing Specialist.

So, for now, we'll see alot of both of them. When Vernon starts PROVING that he can play disciplined, set the edge and hold up against the run, then we can consider what to do with Odrick.

I myself, I believe Odrick stays regardless. He's young, locked in, and MAINLY veratile. He can play at a high level both inside and out. Outside on rundowns and inside on some passing downs. He's more of a pass rush threat than Solia inside and Big Paulie can use the breathers.

Craig M,

I have to take exception with your constant comments on our pass rush. We definitely have to get better. But I don't think they were as bad against Luck as you've been making it sound.

We sacked him once and it should have been twice. Rookie DE Derrick Shelby had him in the grasp as he dropped to one knee and threw the pass.

In addition, we put Luck on the ground 12 times. After that, we had some pressures where we almost got ot him and/or chased him out of the pocket.

The clincher, in my opinion, the DL hurried Luck enough to have created what should have been 3 int's and probably a 4th.

If there is a can't miss DE available in the draft, I'd take him. I would be even more willing to take a pass rushing OLB!

My point though, I think you're being a little harsh on the DL and the pass rush specifically. These could be a lot better(and I think they will be), but their not as bad as people are trying to make them out to be.

From last Sundays game, I would point the finger at the secondary before the D-Line.

Armando....

prior to p'aying our Offence.....the Colts were ranked 28th in RUN D.....I'd say that qualifies as SWISS CHEESE as well....

It is inexcusable that PHILBIN and company coudn't come up with a better rushing attack against that weak RUN D......

Why did Miller get one RUSH....get a shifty 7 yards....and NEVER get another carry....HELL....if you don't want him to block...then hand him the DAM ball.....Heand Bush as a Tandem could be tought to stop.....keep hitting the D with speed...and then when Miller comes in....hit them with even more speed.....

I'm not a HUGE fan of the screen game....but the Skins use it for a considerable portion of their offense.....

I think we could use it a bit more....when you factor in the talents of our 2 feature back.....

The players seem to be losing confidence in Tannehill and who can blame them. He's been just terrible at crunch time.

Opposing D's just stack the box to stop the run knowing Tannehill wont beat them passing.

Kris, I agree in principle with your post. The one thing I will point out about the Miller thing is this. If you have a back that can't block yet yes you COULD just put him in when you're running the ball.

But that would be a bad coaching move considering the rest of the league also knows he can't block. Meaning every time the kid walks on the field you would be tipping your hand as to exactly which type of play you are about to run. Everyone knows you are running the ball at that point and it hurts your offense.

Now yes, if the rest of the league were lazy and didn't scout their opponents you could absolutely only put him in when you are running. But like I said, every defensive coordinator in the league is aware he struggles blocking. That really hampers what the coach is able to do with him at this point in time.

The secret to improving our rushing game???

Simple....

Get a true #1 WR and a real TE that threatens the middle of the field.

Without those two weapons most teams will play man on Hartline and Bess and stack the box to stop the run.

If I'm Reggie Bush I'm thinking I'm getting set up to be replaced. They don't use him enough. They seem to love Daniel Thomas, who is inconsistent. And once Lamar Miller gets going, there is no room for Bush.

Its hard to have a running game when you dont have a good QB.

Frank,

It's not that he's getting set up. It sounds like they're keeping the price down on him. Teams limit carries or playing time of players making a contract push more than people think.

I cannot say that's what is happening to Bush. But it bears scrutiny. Why else limit him like they have?

Anyone suggesting THILL isnt' the real deal is foolish. Wihtout serious weapons he doesn't stand a chance to be world class.

He is very good on the run. He has a command of the offense, beyond what most rookies could do. He fixes mistakes made. Since Houston he has limited INT's. He is showing good touch on longer passes.

What he doesn't have is a #1WR and a TE that threatens the middle. If he did we would see more 'chunk yards' and more TD's scored.

Then our crappy secondary wouldn't hurt us so badly.

Jay:

Kindly report back to your mental health therapist immediately. AQnd refrain from pretending to have a clue on these football blogs. Oh yeah, and your Jets actually blow.

Tannehill is just like Henne. Surround him with a great OL and top receivers and it still wont make any difference. Give Moore a shot or go back to the draft next year for a QB.

I apoligize for my dumb comments. I am just upset because my beloved Sanchize is so awful. Can't help myself.

I'm not a HUGE fan of the screen game....but the Skins use it for a considerable portion of their offense.....

I think we could use it a bit more....when you factor in the talents of our 2 feature back.....

Posted by: Kris | November 07, 2012 at 04:30 PM

Kris,

I AM a huge FAN of the screen. I'm not a huge FAN of over-using or having the screen account for a large part of your offense/game plan.

I suspect this is what you meant. Anyway, I have to agree. To the ZILLIONTH degree. Not just because our personel is well suited for it. I believe they are. I believe we should utilize it and I believe we should utilize a bit more often.

But how about this Kris. How about because of the way teams are choosing to defend us? Stacking the box, blitzing the run, blitzing the pass. In short, Defenses are trying to apply high pressure defenses against us.

What could be better than to respond to this with well designed and well timed screens. All kinds of them. RB screens, WR screens and TE screen too.

BTW - Tannehill is getting better at running the screen and SELLING the screen. Check the game tapes from earlier in the season. He wasn't selling them very well and technically speaking, he wasn't getting enough depth in his drop backs when trying to set uo the screen.

I know, I'm babbling away. But to me, it's a big deal. Tannehill's getting better at it. Our personel is PERFECTLY suited for it. And maybe mostly, opposing defenses are setting themselves up to get burnt by the screen.

I also apoligize for my fellow Jet fan, NJPHIN. He is also upset, but for a different reason. He thinks by trolling here it will make up for his tiny little package.

When Moore played it opened up the runnng game. The Jets D could no longer stack the box and Moore won the game for us.

But that would be a bad coaching move considering the rest of the league also knows he can't block. Meaning every time the kid walks on the field you would be tipping your hand as to exactly which type of play you are about to run. Everyone knows you are running the ball at that point and it hurts your offense.

Posted by: Phins78 | November 07, 2012 at 04:54 PM

Great, totally agree. Thats why I trot his(Miller) happy a ss on the field and promptly call a screen pass!

Of course I grew up watching Shula! And he was pretty good at making positives out of negatives!

Hey moron Jay:

Tannehill is already better than Moore and he's a rookie. Deal with it, Your Jets are awful and thier QB stinks. Sancrap is actually getting worse.

Wish Tannehill had more than 2 passing TDs to Wr after 8 games.

No wonder we suck.

LMAO!

Why not give Tanny a try at WR?

Zonk:

Will you polish my knob?

With Tannehill we would have been 2-0 agains t the Jets

Hard for ou WRs to catch footballs thrown at their shoe laces

Tannehill was 2-5 and melting

Good thing Matt Moore saved the day

and then Tannehill choked and lost again last week

Why is Moore not starting ?

John Jerry at QB would have more than 2 passing TDs to WRs after 8 games

............ just saying

Zonk promised to do me first.

Come on Monkey Boy!

Thats three straight days you've been trying to stir the pot with your "Moore over Tannehill" thesis.

Thats also three straight days that you've basically been exposed and ignored-LOL. Don't you EVER get tired of being exposed and ignored as a Fool? Wow-LOL. You're a real glutton for punishment.

PS: Friendly Tip: When they easily figure out it's you trolling and you've failed to stir the pot(which has been quite often anymore), MOVE ON ALREADY - Sheesh - LOL.

PSS: You can't think of ANYTHING better than THIS?

ROTFLMAO - No wonder you don't stand a chance!

Chris Johnson is way better than Reggie Bush

Tannehill's better then Moore just like RoboHenne's better then Moore. Philbin made a huge mistake not starting Moore. We'd be 7-1.

Tannehill is as fragile as Ted Ginn.
We need Matt Moore in there.

When Moore played it opened up the runnng game. The Jets D could no longer stack the box and Moore won the game for us.

Posted by: Jay | November 07, 2012 at 05:17 PM

Actually, our defense(Blocked punt for a TD), got us off to a 10 zip lead.

Thats why Rex could "...no longer stack the box".

And while I credit Moore with having played a great game, Vernon himself accounted for a 10 point swing on the score board.

So in all reality, Moore didn't "Win The Game" for us so much as it was a GREAT overall TEAM Effort!

Just the facts Honey!

If not for Fasano and his Bozo feet, Bess dropping one and Hartline dropping perfect throws from Moore

Moore would have had a PERFECT QB RATING

Moore is simply better

agree with Odin, Moore played a great game and should start.

Odinseye are u drunk or just stupid? lol

Posted by: Counselor | November 07, 2012 at 05:31 PM

Well, I'm not sure. But after reading just a few of your retarded posts, I **FEEL** alot Stupider - Duh!

The truth is that Tannehill wasnt even good in college ball. Since when is a QB that lost 6 games as a college senior ....get drafted the 8th player overall? He's never been a winner at any level.

I admit that Tannehill is for real, I just wish my Jets had enough brains to draft him.

Moore is simply better

Posted by: Counselor | November 07, 2012 at 05:36 PM

Yeah, all 11 completions and his 100 yard performance pretty much PROVES it.

Ha ha, you asked if I was drunk OR stupid. It's pretty OBVIOUS you're Drunk **AND** Stupid.

Bhwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

You're easier than a Fat Chick with Low Self-Seteem!

Tannehill is every bit as bad as Henne was. It'll just take the blind homers another 4 years to realize it. Sad.

Long Live the Obamas!

Moore is a journeyman pig, but he actually should be starting: for the Jets.

Hey! If any REAL POSTERS are still out there, speak up please.

I know this place trails off after 5. But I don't have any desire to sit here and prove how ignorant Mando's Knob Polisher is.

I've helped everyone reconize this idot and exposing the Meth induced retardation is like shooting fish in a barrel.

In short: He's so dumb, it's not even fun......ANYMORE!

Sorry if the truths hurts Honey, but........Just the Facts Man!

Wait a minute? ............Man?

I mean, I mean: Juts the facts ...........He/She ;)

im out hereodin....

I am soooo happy Obama-mama won. Goody!!!!!!

Moore is a journeyman pig, but he actually should be starting: for the Jets.

Posted by: Counselor needs Counseling | November 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM

I know this idiot is just trying troll. Look at his last Obama post. He's "STIFF" with anticipation, hoping for responses.

But in all seriousness, Moore would be the Starter for the jets.

He's Light Years ahead of, and better than Sanchez and Tebow COMBINED!

And you can BET own Nat!

With Oblama sticking around for 4 more years, I still dont have to work and can get free phonesand food stamps. What a country!

Check out Pete Prisco's All Pro picks on CBS Sports. He picked Pouncey, Wake, Starks and Jones as starters. Something is starting to go right.

PS: "Counselor needs Counseling", that last post was directed at Monkey Bu-oy! Not you!

Knew this was coming:
Sun Sentinel Dolphins: The Dolphins place CB Richard Marshall on injured reserve, claim CB Brandon McDonald off waivers from Buccaneers. | Txt STOP FINS 2quit

Check out Obama's unemployment rate numbers. Something has gone terribly wrong.

Never a day goes by without odin talking about METH and ho mo's. Never.

odin, Kris says he is here for you. Talk about being hard up for someone to chat with....................wow.

Lamar Miller should get 15-20 carries. I bet he racks up 120 yds.

Miami should sign the first lady to improve the pass rush. She looks like she has prototypical NFL size. Either that, or she should star in the next planet of the apes sequel.

Odin,

Not sure if you're still around or not. Got your post to me a couple of hours ago. You're right that I might be a little hard on the DL right now. We did get to Luck a few times and we could have had a few picks. Our secondary wasn't great. I guess what I'm looking for is not just an OK or good DL but a dominant DL. I like the guys we have but I don't think we've got that true guy who can step up if Wake is double-teamed or shutdown. That's what I'm looking for.

I just know that teams have drafted CBs high and very often it hasn't worked out. If we look at this team, we did it with Fletcher, Jason Allen, Davis and Smith and the results have been disappointing. I just think a guy opposite Wake, able to do a lot of the things he can do, would make all the difference in the world.

I'm going to sign off now before all the trolls start impersonating me again. I'll check in later....done.

31 other nfl teams want to establish the run too. Its a lot easier to say than it is to do. Especially if teams are putting 7-89 men in he run box to stop you.

The players seem to be losing confidence in Tannehill and who can blame them. He's been just terrible at crunch time.

Posted by: Jay | November 07, 2012 at 04:48 PM


Opposing D's just stack the box to stop the run knowing Tannehill wont beat them passing.

Posted by: Vegas Mike | November 07, 2012 at 04:51 PM

Are these 2 guys posting this sh.t just trying to get a reaction? We have ourselves a damn good, young QB to grow with. Jeezzz. you would think antbody with even a pedestrian view of football could see that...f.ckin' morons!

THIS IS FOR MR 47%ER! FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS TAKE THIS BBD AND STICK IT IN YOUR FAVORITE SPOT SO STUPID SH..T WON'T COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH YOU DUMB ASS WANNA SLEEP WITH RUSH LAMBAUGH, DON'T CALL ME A RACIST ASS! YOU TRIED AND STILL LOSS SO GO SLEEP WITH YOUR SISTER AND NEXT TIME HOW BOUT TALKING ABOUT FOOTBALL INSTEAD OF ANGRY AMERICAN IDEAS! AND YOU WONDER WHY YOU GOT YOUR ASS KICKED! IF YOU WAKE UP YOU WOULD REALIZE IT IS 2012 NOT 1952 AND THERE IS 304 ELECTORIAL REASONS WHY YOU SUCK! YOU ARE JUST TO STUCK ON LEAVE IT TO BEAVER TO REALIZE IT! YOU INSENSITVE PECKER HEAD! TAKE YOUR GUNS YOU CARE SO MUCH ABOUT AND USE IT SO WE WANT HAVE TO USE ONE OURSELVES! IN CLOSING THE NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO SPEAK BAD ABOUT THE 1ST LADY OR ANY LADY JUST REMEMBER YOUR COUSIN IS ALSO YO MOMMA MF! GO DOLPHINS FORGET THIS IDIOT PIECE OF SH..T!

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