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A warning: Talent more important than scheme

The Dolphins' offense is different this year because the offensive coordinator is new this year. But is that truly a big deal?

It must be noted the Dolphins have changed offensive coordinators more than they have change head coaches in the past decade. And still Miami fans are waiting for an offense that can rival New England's.

Bill Lazor is Joe Philbin's second offensive coordinator. Tony Sparano had two offensive coordinators in his time. Nick Saban had two offensive coordinators in his time. Dave Wannstedt had three offensive coordinators and perhaps more, depending on whom you believe. Jimmy Johnson had a couple.

Lazor brings with him the idea of moving guys around. Motion. Shifting.

And he's pretty confident about that approach.

“My attitude as I walk into a job is that I’m here to make a difference," he said Tuesday. "That’s not to point the spotlight on me. It’s more to put the responsibility on me. I’m here to do positive things. I’m here to provide leadership. I’m here to help with the expertise in any area I can continue to add it. Some people walk into a job and maybe think about, ‘What is that situation?’ I just choose to walk into a job and say, ‘This is what we are going to make the situation.’”

That's good. But as with everything else, there are pros and cons.

The folks who love the shifting and motion and so forth love to tell you it helps keep the defense from locking in on guys. It is harder to bracket a receiver who is moving presnap. It also creates indecision for the defense.

But the folks that approach offense in a stationary presnap fashion -- like the Dolphins did under Mike Sherman the past couple of years -- will tell you their way of doing things is also well-thought.

“When you’re stationary as a football team or ahead of your emphasis on stationary, you might be able to make more adjustments offensively, check a play in another direction, redirect things, signal things differently," Philbin said.

"If you’re snapping a ball and guys are moving, you don’t really have that option. And so you have to kind of go with the play. Your intent is that you’re going to create a little bit of indecision, limit the play speed of the defense with all the shifting and motioning and so forth. The flipside is you’re not always 100 percent sure of the adjustments and you may get stuck into a look that maybe is less than ideal.”

So both approaches have strengths and weaknesses.

Where does that leave us?

It says here that both approaches have won. Both approaches have been highly successful.

The bottom line is talent.

If the offense is talented, either approach will work. If the offense lacks talent, neither approach will work very well.

The point?

Be cautious of believing all will be different or problems will be resolved based on a change in scheme or system. Sometimes there is incremental improvement. Sometimes not.

Exponential improvement, however, comes when greater talent is injected into the equation. That's when things change dramatically. Remember, it's not about the scheme.

It's mostly about the talent.



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Sorry I'm in a meeting - defending my pipeline and trying to blog at the same time.

The best guy we had at covering TEs hardly ever played... haha... f'n Coyle!


Agreed with your point.


Before last season people would come on here and say you can win with a horrible O-line. That those guys who make up half your offense are non important in professional football.

Again, out of the 11 Starters on Offense 5 of them line up on the line, 6 if you count the TE. Yet, These guys don't matter.

No real Dolphin fan after the 2013 debacle can ever say that the O-line does not matter.

Yeah, I would've bit on beadles. people are saying $6M for a OG is crazy? We paid $5M for one of the worst CBs in the NFL last year. We paid almost $4M for a Rb who can't get on the field.

Beadles is a pro bowler. Easily worth $6M considering the critical situation we were in and the amount of cap space we had.

Either make a huge impact with $6M or a neglible or non impact with $5M or $4M. now you tell me what's crazy.

Also would've spent big on Veldheer/Collins or I thought Giacomini/Saffold/Oher were worth their contracts. And others I'm not mentioning...

Then sprinkle in depth cheap signings like Colledge/Satele and you're off...

Dashi @ 12:33

My comments are not meant to criticize the players.
My comments are meant to criticize Hickey for doing such a shhtty job.

Annnnnnd football is back. Welcome back Armando. Hope all is well.

It's early in camp but I do have a big concern with the Fins already. Why do they insist on playing players away from their natural positions and strengths? We saw that with Elerbee last year. We saw that with Wallace, by not moving him around. Now we see it with Shelly Smith. Knock Knock Coach, he is NOT a center. Bring in Saetle or a real center. With 5 new linemen, it will take awhile to gel. Quit messing around, this is not an emergency situation, unless you make it one. 7 games without Pouncey our season could be over quickly if we do not have a solid line. Go Fins!!

Gates was a Spo pick.

Posted by: Dashi | July 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Back it up with facts, not your fantasy imagination based on nothingness.

That is true, however there was one football genius that defied that logic; his name was Don Shula! From a spectator at the LA Coliseum January 1973

Shawn Murphy, Donald Thomas, Jonathan Martin, John Jerry, Andrew Gardner..nuff said

Jake Grove, Justin Smiley, Lance Louis, Tyson Clabo, Marc Colombo...laughable

Taking an o lineman in the first round, especially LTs in the top ten, is complete idiocy.

Posted by: Bobbyd12 | July 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Like you said it is early and we are not playing any games yet. they will settle on starters soon. they just need to know what each guy is capable of handling. I am not worried about the o-line or LB's yet as the starters will get determined soon.

According to this logic, Dan Marino wasn't hampered by Jimmy Johnson's schemes, he simply suddenly got much less talented for the last 5 years of his career.

According to this logic, Dan Marino wasn't hampered by Jimmy Johnson's schemes, he simply suddenly got much less talented for the last 5 years of his career.

Posted by: CJ Roberts | July 30, 2014 at 02:39 PM

That is what happened. He should have retired 3 years earlier. He got jitters in the pocket and just didn't throw the ball as well anymore.

We think that this new offense is going to turn lamar miller and Williams into beats and we tell you why here!!! Come by check it out and comment! http://phinsnews.com/miller-and-wallace-are-benefiting-from-the-lazor-offense/

I agree that talent is important but the scheme play calling and coaching is more important. Look at the 49ers before Jim Harbaugh, they were one of the worst teams in the NFL and one of the most talented. Then Harbaugh came in and put them on the map. I would argue this team has the talent to be 10 - 6 but I reaaly dont think Philbin has the ability to manage a 10-6 season. The best coaches win even with poor teams. Mike Tomlin, Rex Ryan are two examples of that last year. The poor coaches find ways to have their talented teams lose, and personally believe thats what Joe Philbin is.

There is very little talent on offence.

Posted by: Jay

Come on man, If you can't spell offense, who cares what you think about it.

If you're offense is stationary and makes "adjustments", then the defense is dictating the play, and often their initial look is deceptive. If the offense is in motion, the offense is dictating the play, and forcing the defense to adjust. That said, an offense that uses a lot of motion, can still make adjustments at he line of scrimmage prior to the play. Therefor, you can actually do both.

The Dolphins offense has talent, and it's well suited to the type of scheme Lazor is implementing.

This is the dumbest article that Ive read in a long time. Of course talent is important, but scheme is equally as important can have a huge effect on how well the team plays. Sherman's offense would not successful on damn near any team. It was one dimensional, lazy, and not at all creative. The "style" may have worked had it not been ran by an inept and incompetent OC. When you decide multiple times in one season to run a sweep, on 2nd or 3rd and short, with your slowest RB, then your are incompetent. When your oline is as bad as ours was, and you STILL have your QB doing 5 and 7 step drop backs, instead of using short passes and screens, then you are inept.
But this article doesnt point that out. Armando is trying to imply that this team isnt very talented and that couldnt be further from the truth. To say that a scheme will work so long as there is talent is really, one of the dumbest things Ive heard from a sports writer. If that were true, then explain San Fran pre-Harbaugh. They sucked, but it damn sure wasnt for lack of talent, as Harbaugh proved by inheriting pretty much the same team, with the same QB (Alex Smith), who by all accounts was a "bust", and turned 6-10 team into a 13-3 team. That was a very talented team that did not have talented coaches. So, yes, Armando, a scheme can and does dictate how well a team will do. And the Phins are a very talented team that looks to have the right OC and scheme in place to be damn good.

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