« PFF Week Seven grades: Tannehill good (and bad); OL really good overall, Maxwell struggles, Phillips has handful of bad plays | Main | Dolphins minds meeting to figure out where this team goes next »

More running and less passing = more success for Dolphins

Sometimes success is about desire. That is the case with the Miami Dolphins running game right now.

Kindly consider that in 2015, the Miami Dolphins could have had a great running game. And decided they didn't really want to have a great running game despite averaging a good 4.3 yards per rush.

How do I know this? It's because the Dolphins had the No. 5 and No. 7 leading rushers in the NFL in the NFL this year on their team last year. That's right, last year's Dolphins had both Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi on the team.

And yet those Dolphins, with running backs that are among the NFL's leading rushers this year, were last in the league in rushing attempts. Dead. Last.

(The argument, I'm sure, from a coaching staff that determined it wouldn't be smart to run more is that the run wouldn't have been as successful then as it is now. That doesn't fly. The 2015 Dolphins were ninth best in rushing average in the NFL.)

So the reason the Dolphins failed to run the football last year is because they didn't want to do it.

This season is a different story. But it took a while.

The truth of the matter is Adam Gase, the team's head coach and offensive playcaller, prefers to pass rather than run.

“Yes," Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen joked earlier this week. "He gets that rash from calling too many run plays, so we’ve got that under control."

The truth is Gase is like many play-callers in that he believes he has more control in the outcome of a play when he calls a pass versus a run. He can anticipate coverages and know how he's going to attack, them beforehand. Talk to any NFL coach and he'll tell you there's more predictability in the hands of the playcaller when he's calling passes.

The thinking that three things can happen on a pass play and two are bad is no longer valid for them.

Running, on the other hand requires more talent, requires more unison within the offensive, requires more work.

The Dolphins are obviously doing that work the past few weeks. It has been coming for a while.

But the fact the coaching staff last year didn't do that work other than to give it lip service is astounding. You'll recall last year coaches saying over and over, they didn't want to ask Ryan Tannehill to throw 40 times. They wanted to limit the hits on him by limiting the dropbacks.

And then Sunday would come and the team would throw over and over and over --- which is why Miami was 17th in the NFL with 588 pass attempts.

This year the Dolphins are 27th in the NFL in passing attempts.

More running. Less passing.

More winning.