« Starks: 'I regret' flipping the bird | Main | What Dion Jordan learned during Week One »

Bunch of thoughts about ... running the football

Normally I try to give you a clear and cogent theme on blog posts and try to do it in a logical manner that connects the dots so as to make sense.

Not this morning.

This post is about the Dolphins running game and that's as much as I can tell you. It's going to jump around. It's not going to flow. It's going to be like a stream of consciousness that perhaps makes sense only to me.


1. The Dolphins could not run the footballagainst the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and so today they are ranked No. 32 (last) in the NFL running the ball. So who's at fault? The offensive line, first, because there was no daylight. The Cleveland front seven, which I believe will prove itself to be formidable this year. The Dolphins running backs, who didn't make anyone miss or run through anyone. And finally, Miami's coaches who had no schematic answer to the Browns other than throw the football.

2. Talking to Lamar Miller on Tuesday, he's applying himself to watching more tape to get better this week. From that tape study he said the Colts are "pretty much the same front we played last week but faster." Well, that's not good news.

3. Miller said aside from watching more film this week the thing he's going to do to get different results is "try to get positive yards and run harder." He also said he has to "get more hungry and do better this week." Run harder? Get hungier? So he wasn't running as hard as he could against Cleveland? He's getting his first NFL start and he's not as hungry as humanly possible? Really?

4. Another week like last week against the Colts and the Dolphins better start shopping for available running backs. Willis McGahee comes to mind. (Does that make you hungrier, Lamar Miller)? Anyway, I'm told by a source the Dolphins have so far shown no interest in McGahee, who worked out for the Giants this week.

5. Tyson Clabo was bad against the Browns. He knows it. But he's convinced the Miami running game will get right.

"I feel like we're a unit right now," Clabo said. "We're all on the same page, communiction-wise. It's just a matter of execution. I think we'll be fine."

In the next breath, Clabo adds, "I think we have a chance to be really good up front."

6. By the way, Clabo draws lines of distinction on who is playing well up front for Miami. Good? Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey.

"Obviously Richie and Mike are pretty good football players," Clabo said. "In my opinion, the rest of us are just trying to catch up, to play at their level. The bar is really high for us right now. I think we can get there."

And this:

"They [Incognito and Pouncey] are really talented but they do a good job, they do pretty much what they're supposed to do pretty much on every play. Physically, they don't get beat often. You're a competitor so you see that and, man, you want to do that."

7. The Dolphins have an interesting dynamic going on when deciding how to deal with a defense that is commited to stuffing the run at the expense of protecting against the pass. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman likes to continue to try to run the ball to see if something busts loose. Head coach Joe Philbin is more apt to give up on running the ball altogether and simply throw it all the time.

“I think coach Philbin is certainly of that mindset, I don’t know if I’ve quite reached that mindset yet," Sherman said. "I like to be able to keep them honest, hand the ball off here once and a while just to eat up some clock time and also to say hey we’re still going to run the football but I think coach Philbin could possibly convince me otherwise."

That's all. Enough thinking for now.

Come back later for another update. And follow me on twitter @ArmandoSalguero






Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Agreed, that Georgia RB is a Beast.

He isn't as stocky as Lacy or Ricky.

He is built more like A.Peterson.

Again, I am not comparing the 2. Just saying that they are similar. You know how some here get offended.

The kid might slip in the Draft like Lacy though cause no real good RBs have come out of UGA in a while.

Jake Long will not last a full season. He's all used up. I'm glad he wasn't resigned.

30 out of 64 is Average.

You must've been a "C" student. Thinking that is above average.

And they aren't paying Jake to be Average. They are paying Jake to be Elite.

If the phins are ranked 32 in rushing the the browns are #1 against the run......there that takes a little sting out of the poor rushing attack last week.........lol........makes me feel better.......seriously though I think the phins will be fine, like someone said earlier lets see what it looks like in a few weeks before the panic button is hit.......

Math 101 (YG), average is the point. You doint pay $9M a year for average. The average salary and cap hits are significantly south of there. You don't build winners by monopolizing your cap space with average performers.


soooooo,bush got 192 yds all on the right side huh?

db,keep hammering these homers,they r clueless.

I hope you are right because Sunday they should play to their idenity that they have after one game,sorry dont have time to wait a few games got to win Sunday.
They have to play great defense,win the turnover battle which includes points off of turnovers,and the passing game has to move quickly up and down the field to compete against Luck and the Colts.
I hope Sherman has some cards to play that they havent used because they dont have time to establish the run,just keep the defense honest by mixing in some running plays.
All this writing about the running game,look if they wanted to have a great running game why did they allow Bush to walk.Philbin is a WCO proponent and I hope he follows that.

i got 2 go take a homer.

You're right on build - he is more atheltically built than Lacy - more similar to an AP type build. We will have to see how athletic he is come the spring but the comparisons to Hershel Walker are out there....

Andrew Luck QB Rating → 95.1 #1 in the league
Ryan Tannehill QB Rating → 59.7 #16th in league

Just looked up Gurley, he is Bigger (6'1" 230) than he looks. The Kid is only 19 and he is built like a house. Good Pro Prospect.

2015 will be a great RB draft. Duke, Gurley and Yeldon will probably be coming out that year.

I don't really see that many great RBs coming out in 2014.

What I would like the Fins to do is Find a Prototype WR early in the Next draft.

By Prototype I mean a WR that is at least 6'2" 220lbs and runs a Low 4.4, Maybe even 4.3 and can jump thru the roof.

Jake Long got hurt on one play and was walked off the field by trainers but he did return..

Dashi, I know we both wanted Lacy really bad, and I loved his determination in his game, but I know you have not given up on Miller. We did what we had to against that stacked defense, but I don't think it was Miller's fault.

Miller has some power, it just takes at least a couple of steps to gain some inertia. There was just no room to start. Cleveland took it away. They deserve some credit.

Dashi, that's what I meant on Gurley - he's huge, powerful, but no Ron Dayne. He's super fast (at least appears that way against college guys) too. Saw him stiff arm on South Carolina player (no not Clowney) right through the turf.

And I was thinking the same thing about the big WR this morning which is another reason I'm surprised McNutt hasn't been called up yet. No he doesn't run a 4.4 (4.5) but he's super big and can dominate other teams 4th corner... rather see him out there than Matthews.... McNutt brings a dimension the Dolphins don't have. I mean watching the Charger game - they have Floyd and Brown - guys aren't household names but they have tight end frames on WR legs .. must be so easy for Rivers ...

Ireland should cut his losses concerning Daniel Thomas. Just admit it was a mistake to pick him, and get something in return. Reggie Bush wasn't used properly by Sherman, so he shouldn't be here, either. The o-line is a work-in-progress as the team moves toward a zone -blocking scheme. It takes time to acquire the proper personnel to run it properly. There is progress being made on the offense as a whole, but the o- line seems to be lagging behind. I expect this o-line group to be at least above average by mid-season. And YG must have Armando's man parts in his mouth.

Running game

There's several reasons I think the running game didn't work out and yet Miami got a great start and won on the road. In order the biggest problem was coaching, personel and then players. Also Cleveland brought the house and stacked the box so credit them as well.

A. Coaching - The coaches have to do a better job of calling plays for starters. I don't remember seeing anything other then ground and pound type runs vs a Cleveland D Cordinator who did the same thing last year which was bring heat every play and force Tannehill to beat him. A toss a sweep an off tackle, for a RB who has 4.3 speed seems like an obvious call. The inside wasn't there yet that's all we called. Also there is this innovation called the read option and if we all remember last year the read option worked quite well. I know they prefer not to but if you want balance and to move the chains to rest a dominant defense and to keep them dominant then you better start coaching and getting creative to open things up.

B. Personel - The Dolphins used Clay far too much. He is undersized and a good pass catcher/H-back/2nd TE type of player. Forcing him to be something he is not is only going to continue to hurt this team. Dion Sims should be starting at TE as a run blocker and Clay as a FB/TE so this way you can come out in 21 or 12 personel and keep the defense off guard.

C. Players - obviously have to do a better job but again this falls on the coaches to get plays that suit the personel on the field. Miami doesn't have a great offensive line but I don't think they are 23 carries for 20 yards bad either. Lamar Miller may just be a speed guy and not a complete RB but it's not his fault he didn't get any seams to break into or any corners to turn. Charles Clay fine pass catching day and a good game but he is not a starting caliber TE because he is OVERMATCHED as a blocker at TE. Give him some room and let him play FB he can get in someones way but at the point of attack he can't win consistently at the line of scrimmage and he more then likely consistently will get beat.

Solution - you fix A and B and I think C comes together to be a respectable group that is able to sustain drives and be complimentary to the pass game at a minimum.

Here's my 2 cents:

1) QB option, please: I know we don't really want to expose our qb too often, but why are we never using that option/run as a qb keeper? Watch the Browns and they're jumping the running back option every time. I think you should always go with the qb option keeper the first time you run it b/c that causes the defense to pause every time. We have a qb with a 4.6 40. We should occasionally take advantage of it.

2) Misdirection, please: We also just need to run some misdirection in general. We keep running these standard formations and runs, it simplifies things for the defenses we're playing against. I'm not saying do it every play, but something that gives the defense pause and keeps us a little more unpredictable.

3) 7-8 man fronts? Keep passing, please: I agree with Philbin. Let's just destroy them with the pass until they realize they need to do a little mroe pass protection. That's what they'r giving. Let's take it.

4) Keep up with long ball, please: I don't care if we miss on all of them. You have to continually sacrifice plays throughout your drive to stretch the defense, keep them on their heels, and allow for everything underneath to be a little easier. Keep them thinking we're dangerous b/c we are.

Does this mean that the Browns will only allow an average of twenty yards per game? Mike Wallace will average one catch per game? Dimitri Patterson will have two interceptions per game, Nolan Carroll one? I think not. How about we see maybe three or four games before we determine exactly what is the trend for this season.

Posted by: Coral Gables'81 | September 11, 2013 at 07:16 AM
I'll be very happy if the Dolphins can average one win every week that they play up until the SB is over.

T-Hill has a better QBR than Brady after week 1. Your Point?


That stat just means A.Luck won't have as good a game this week.

It is still early in the season to claim stats as the ultimate judging point. You have to look at who he posted those numbers against.

I loved Reggie but agree with some others here that it seems like only a matter of time until he's hurt again......enough to sideline him--thats his history and he was relatively injury free here....but now pushing 30-would not have paid him 4-5 mill/yr at this point--the OL needs to improve, no doubt, but Miller and Thomas need to stop hesitating (defenders are too fast) and just hit the hole....and if there is none, put your head down and get what you can get--stop losing yards....2nd and 13 is a killer.

The last thing I want to see our offense run is the read option. Was I the only one who saw defenses just forget the RB this week in read option plays and just blast the QB? From the games I saw, Vick, RG3, and Kape all took hellacious shots standing the pocket playing with the read option handoff. The NFl has clearly said it's ok to hit the Qb there and defenses are taking no prisoners and not even considering the RB anymore. They are gladly giving up 5 yard runs in exchange for whipping the QB. The read option is going the way of the wildcat...

NO to the read option.


You make some good points and basically we are on the same page from the post I posted right before you.

1. The read option is something this team needs to explore and not after Indy let's start doing it now because the read option opens things up. Even if we only run a few times a game that's a chain moving, clock eating play that must be used sooner then later because I don't want to say after Indy we should've tried it but couldn't eat the clock and Luck killed us with a late drive.

2. I agree the Dolphins ran power G and ran between the 5 and 6 holes all game. Where is the lead toss and to the 7 and 8 holes with a running back with 4.3 speed? A simple counter play, anything to force a downhill defense to read and react and not crash.

3. I agree and disagree. If the running game is isn't working I don't believe you should ever abandon no matter the score. The only exception is if the passing game is Patriots/Packers on fire. But Philbin seems like he is saying pass for the sake of passing if the run game doesn't work and be damned if the pass game fails too.

4. I thought the long ball could of stretched things out for the run game but the pass to Hartline was a great pass that covered 34 yards all the way into the end zone and Tannehill connected. That was a pass Tannehill couldn't make last year but if he continues to prove he can make that pass I think you will see defenses playing him much differently and opening the running game.

Just thinking. One tipped ball by a receiver, that results in a pick six, that causes you to lose a close game, that keeps you from getting in the playoffs, that keeps you from winning the Super bowl. 9-7, horrible season!

Or the ball falls harmlessly to the ground, 10-6 Great season!!

Baltimore, Green Bay and the Giants have all done this recently.

Is a game that involves that much luck really worth ehis much of our time?? Hell yes!!!!!

Jj--I've been a bigger supporter of Thomas than most here, or at least feel like he's too young to give up on, but I'm starting to agree re: cut your losses and move on--problem is that they need him, or at least they need the depth--maybe cut him loose at year end but only if they have another good RB in the wings....would be tough to start the year with Miller, Gillislee and a new guy they draft--little experience/depth there.

Math.....I'm pretty sure the Rams aint paying Long 9-10 mill to be above average

Benz JJ, RB should definitely be on the shopping list come April. How dire that need will be will depend on Miller's success - not Thomas. Thomas is good as gone, not a fan of Gillislee - I'm with Dashi - just doesn't have the skills for the NFL level. If Miller gets 1000-1200 yards - we are loooking at RB in the 3rd-4th round. If he flounders or mediocre - 2nd. I think given the talent available - first round will be a TE. Bumper crop coming up.


Lacy and L.Miller are still my Boys. I'm not gassing up L.Miller right now for personnel reasons. But my faith in his abilities are still strong. The guy has talent.

On the game. We could've beaten the Browns 40-10. But the Refs were calling everything back.

If you didn't like how the team played. Something is wrong with you. The Defense was dominant, T-Hill didn't look like a Rookie. Or like Weeden.

Last week just got me excited for this week. This will be a better test for our defense, and our offense should preform better.


I'm not saying make the read option a staple formation or mini-series of plays but I do think a few times a game they should use it.

Kaep, Vick and RG3 all lined up and the whole world knew what was coming therefore the defenses knew to pop the QB everytime. But if you line up shotgun and pass, pass and then read option maybe 3-4 times a game that could net some good yardage and now also have the defense guessing is this a read option or pass.

I think Vick and RG3 at some point this year and soon miss their annual few games a year so I get what you're saying. I can't see dismissing it altogther to open up the running game. The running game is a lot like a passing game you have to get into a rhythm sometimes and it starts clicking.

All I've read on here for five years is, 'it's a passing league. You can't win in the NFL without a passing game'. T-hill and the passing game have a decent day, we have six sacks and 3 picks and win by 13 on the road and all I hear is 'we couldn't run the ball. We're dead last in the league in rushing yards'.

Honest to God.......you couldn't make this stuff up. Most of you have no clue how to be happy in life.

We handily won the turnover battle and if not for a couple of dumb penalties we could have had a punt returned for a TD and stopped them from getting their TD.

But let's talk about the running game......

You don't win Championships without being able to run the ball period. Even when the cheatriots won the the superbowl they had veteran running backs that could run when necessary(On the goal line,run clock,slow down the pass rush etc..)


You know who my 2 favorites going into draft were. E.Lacy and C.Patterson.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy we traded up for D.Jordan.

But that Big WR that is a Red zone threat is clearly missing. And so is that Power back that can gain the Tough yards.

Speaking about this years draft. Where are those who were Crying for A Mediocre TE or a Midget WR with our #8 pick.

D.Sims is just as good as any of those 2 Over drafted TEs. And the last thing we need is another Slot WR.

how is the Colts front better than the Browns? LOL Colts may have the worst set of linebackers in football

Craig M,

I'm fine with the way the game ended. I saw a lot to like and focus more on that then a lack of running game but truth be told we have to do MUCH better if we want to come out of these first 5 with a winning record before the bye week and Buffalo.

The Defense was what we all was hoping to see. They hit Weeden 25 times combined, sacks and hits. That's an amazing stat. The defense has a real face and leader in Cam Wake! No more phonies and pump yourself Dansby and Sean Smiths. Tannehill was great IMO. He had no help from the running game and yet made one errant throw that deflected into a turnover. But he was great and looked like a QB who's taking the next step.

BUT..... You have to have balance and a running game. I don't think Tannehill is at the level to carry a team by himself. He needs some balance. I'm not saying he needs 150 yards a week but 80-100 as a team is where Im aiming for which Im obviously aiming low after week 1.

Passing can win alot of regular season games,get you in the record books and on sportscenter but running the ball can get you the Lumbardi Trophy (Championships)

Cam Wake has three sacks and Patterson has two INTs....

But about that run game.....

Good morning everyone. As always, I appreciate you coming here.

Just as a reminder, if you didn't get it yesterday on the previous blog:

There will be no inappropriate language on this blog.

You are free to debate each other but keep it respectful, please.

You will not imposter someone else.

And you are free to tell me what you think, but there will be no abuse of Mando permitted, either.

It is sad I have to remind some of you about this but from checking some chronics on here, apparently they think this blog is a place you come to offend people. It is not.

Violate these simple guidelines and you'll be banned. I kid you not.

Have a wonderful day. Come back later for the next update.


agree that Gillislee is probably a career depth back(which you do need at times)--but thats to my point.....if Miller does ok and Thomas is gone, and Gillisle is the 3 or 4, then we're basically relying heavily on a guy they draft to be #2--even if thats a higher 2nd/3rd rd pick, he's still a rookie and might simply not be ready by game 1--could sign a vet but thats likely a tired re-tread....but thats what theyd have to do if they cut Thomas.

Philbin wanted RB's that could pass protect. I think that worked quite well in the second half.

I do so well remember when, if you stopped our running game, we lost. You trolls might as well face it. Tannehill took control of this game and took it away from Cleveland. He went through his progressions, under pressure, found the right receiver and delivered the ball accurately. In the 4th quarter. Screw QBR.

Winner, Winner, Winner!!!

I think Miller will be fine too....would just like to see him run harder and more determined at times (but I realize thats a hard thing to gauge so might just be an impression)

I wonder what Dolfans will complain about this week. 1-0 fellas.......mission accomplished!

The only mistake the Dolphins made on Sunday was not recognizing that Cleveland's game plan was to go all-in on stopping the run and putting the ball in the air from the beginning. Why force the run?


I have Amex-wife like that.hates to see other people happy......sad!


Lamar Miller is slow getting to the hole, thinking to much. Just play...Can anyone say REGGIE BUSH. I told you so! several times on this same blog when the Dolphins refused to pay Reggie. It was easy for me to see that Miller was not in the same class but so many people get tricked by speed in the NFL. A running backs best assets are his instinks,vision,agillity,balance and toughness. Speed is secondary to all of it. You've got to be a football player first! A fast receiver is no good if he can't catch the ball ect...you get the point.

Craig, if you'd like to read about Cam Wake's sacks, I refer you to the column I wrote following the game. Thanks.

Dashi, about your complaint relative to wanting tangible facts on the OL's performance, I refer you to the PFF post I put up yesterday that had the grade for Clabo and others. You obviously spoke without knowing what you were talking about. And by the way, Dashi, the buffet comments and so forth are not welcome on this blog.

The kid might slip in the Draft like Lacy though cause no real good RBs have come out of UGA in a while.

Posted by: Dashi | September 11, 2013 at 09:53 AM

Gurly was a true Fr. last Yr. by rule you have to be 3 Yrs. removed from H.S. to be eligible to enter the NFL draft. Like Duke at the U he's part of a strong group in the 2015 draft.


You're wrong. Bush would have fared no better Sunday. You obviously dint watch the game. The OL did a lousy job opening up holes for the RBs.

There will be no inappropriate language on this blog.

Violate these simple guidelines and you'll be banned. I kid you not.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | September 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM
It's one fukking game......
Posted by: Craig M | | September 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Craig, Mando only talks about the bad - then he wonders why the team doesn't talk to him - or he only talks bad because the team won't talk to him. Either way, he comes off looking bad.

Craig.....yes, obviously some other good things to talk about, which is fine (but its human nature to talk about things that didnt go as well....but thats ok)--the running game is/could be an issue because it reflects on the Oline (and the RBs to a degree)--but most important, if we dont establish a running game then defenses wont respect that and bring constant/heavy pressure on our young franchise QB--4 sacks is alot already....if Tanny is running for his life or gets hurt, thats a problem--that will happen if we cant establish a running game.....so thats why we're talking about it.


Stats sometimes can be a bit misleading the DL for the Browns were collapsing the interior OL of the Dolphins sometimes in the backfield simultaneously with the hand off. The Tackles protecting Tannehill were the main issue of concern for fans and one you stressed plenty this past Off-Season. In my view while not perfect they seemed to be less of an issue than the movement the DL got on our interior group, your thoughts?

Mark, your comment reveals an incredible amount of ignorance. The team doesn't talk to me? Bro, they're lining up to talk to me. You have no idea.


Wasn't here yesterday. Or read it so I apologize if I offend with my language. Or Comments.

With that said, I will expect then that this Blog will not turn into a Dashi this Dashi That like it has over the past year and half. Every time I come on here I have to come with my game face on.

Cause I posted one post and the very next post was a Dash I= Dog Poop.

You treat Dashi with respect, and Dashi will treat you respect.

Now just don't go back on your word. Cause it gets tiring hearing something is going to happen about the problem on this Blog, Yet, the problem still persist.


I refer you to the PFF post I put up on Monday. Again, the tackles graded poorly in both run and pass blocking.

The only player that had a positive grade on OL was Incognito.


The comment wasn't directed at you but rather the hoardes of Dolphin fans that have forgotten how to be happy. My guess if we'd 45-0 Sunday they'd still have something to complain about, there's not a team in the NFL that doesn't have things to worry about and that includes the Denver Broncos and their dominant win Thursday.

Is it important to run and have a balanced attack? No question. Should we debate it all week after a convincing win Sunday? I don't think we should.

Dashi I found it laughable that people wanted Austin. he's small and his metrics are bloody average (wait is bloody considered offensive language in the USA or just in England?). He got lambasted by one Cardinal LB. he's not even Eric Metcalf let alone special.

Eifert I think will be a good pro and was good value for where he was drafted. Still Clay outproduced him last week.

And Jordan in 17 snaps did more than the other two guys. jordan is the one guy that can and should be special of the three.

And Mando, you want to get rid of the offensive language and inappropriate condict on this blog - you just need to get rid of one guy. he icites everything and harasses everyone who comes here to talk football.

Dashi, I am probably not that good at evaluating talent, but I think that Gillislee has potential. He runs under control and does not panic. If our O-Line can get the zone blocking scheme down he will excel at finding the hole. IF, and that is big, he can pass protect, he will do well.


I think Mark was thinking Gurly was coming out next year.

Re-read my post. I said Duke, Gurly, and Yeldon will be a strong 2015 draft.

« 1 2 3 4 »

The comments to this entry are closed.