It’s not something you have to watch live or on replay to find uninspiring. The running game for the Miami Dolphins last night was non-existent. How can you tell by reading stat lines and watching highlights? In the first half, the leading rusher was Chad Henne with a ten yard scramble. Pretty indicative of a poor running game.
Jeff Ireland traded up in last April’s draft to select Daniel Thomas in round 2. Leaving, ahem, Ryan Mallett for the New England Patriots. Oh, you know you were thinking it. Thomas made his Miami Dolphins starting debut last night with 4 carries for 5 yards. His longest run? 3 yards. So he had 3 other carries that netted him two yards total. Hardly something to get excited about.
Thomas added a 25 yard catch and run to his stats, but we are talking about the running game here. A running corp that is minus Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Patrick Cobbs. The reality is that the running game last night failed to excite anyone.
The offensive line play was a horrible mess and Tony Sparano, a supposed offensive line genius needs to figure out what he is going to do with that unit. No, Jake Long wasn’t in the game but you have to be able to perform without one player. No they didn’t do use any pulling guards, but 5 yards from your top running back? Yes the offense was scaled back and it was simply just the first pre-season game and there is hardly a reason for concern yet. However, when your stats look like this, Nic Grigsby – 22 yards on 7 carries, Kory Sheets – 18 yards on 9 carries, Lex Hilliard – 2 yards on three carries, there is some room for improvement and there needs to be some concern somewhere.
The Dolphins have an issue at the QB position with the inconsistent play of Chad Henne, the running game needs to be vital part of the offense. If last night is any indication, the Dolphins have some serious work to do there as well. Whether it was the offensive line or the way the runners hit the holes, the Dolphins offense has a lot of work in front of them.