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Dolphins Unveil New Offensive Package

No, the Miami Dolphins did not play their best football last night in an ugly loss to the New Orleans Saints.  That being said, the game was not a “must win” and therefore we can all take a deep breathe and relax.  While a win would have been nice, the past is the past and this team needs to focus on next Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.  While others are busy discussing Miami’s negatives from last night, there was a major positive that stood out to me and I’m sure to many others.  No, it was not the overall consistent play of CB Nolan Carroll (kudos to him though).  It was OC Mike Sherman’s unveiling of the read-option package.

We’ve seen Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers run this package for about a year now.  I have been yearning to see Sherman let Tannehill run it too, seeing that he did frequently under Sherman at Texas A&M.  The read-option is fairly simple.  Tannehill has Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas either beside him or behind him and after hiking the ball has the option of handing the ball off to the running back or keeping it himself to either run or throw.  If the defensive lineman collapses on the running back, Tannehill keeps it himself.  If the lineman drops back, Tannehill can hand it off or keep it to throw.  We saw situations where he handed the ball off, threw a pass (to Brian Hartline on a slant), and kept it himself for a 20+ yard scamper.

What I like so much about this formation is it’s versatility.  It allows Tannehill to make the best decision.  It also gives the defense a different look each play.  Too many times has this Dolphins’ running game been stalled or thwarted from opposing defenses sniffing out the same mundane running pattern.  Not only does this package give Lamar Miller space to run, but it also gives Tannehill an opportunity to use his athletic ability to make big plays happen.  Now he just has to practice holding on to the ball!

I think we can expect to see more of the read-option in the future, as Miami had success running it last night.  Yes, there were a few mistakes and busted plays, but those will go away as Miami runs this offense more frequently.  Baltimore has a good defense, and I think mixing up the Miami running game is crucial to their success next Sunday.


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Tags: Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill

  • Humberto Silva Jr.

    Not a huge fan of the read option but the dolphins have the best QB to pull it off I think he’s familiar with it from college he’s got that quick athleticism from his WR days and he has very good intuition and descision making for the read option

    • Eric Roddy

      Agreed, well said!

  • gofins60

    I see this “read option” as just another trick play like the Wildcat. It will work for a while until teams figure out how to stop it. And, like the Wildcat, Miami (Sherman) will probably continue to use it long after it no longer works. I say drop the fancy stuff, have a strong o-line that will keep the QB clean and open holes for the running game.

    • Pygskyn

      It’s just another wrinkle. Teams that live and die by it will find themselves in trouble down the line, But unlike the Wildcat, this one can be snuck in there without the defense knowing before the play. It’s going to be best when used as a changeup 3 to 5 times during a game rather than a core of the offense.

      • Eric Roddy

        I agree with both of you, it should be used in moderation! Thanks for reading and commenting

  • William Varner

    The Read Option is a horrible idea. Look at RG3. If your QB gets hurt bad or takes too many open field hits, there goes your season and the QBs confidence from here on out. A QB should only run when absolutely necessary. That’s why you have a RB. You always want your QB to have a pass first mentality. Especially a young one still learning to read defenses.

    • Eric Roddy

      That makes sense. However, Tannehill does not necessarily have to run the ball. He can use the read option to keep the defense on its toes and hand the ball off. It is great to be used a couple times during a game, not as the sole way to run the ball! thanks for reading and commenting!

    • HerrinSchadenfreude

      The same thing happens if he stands in the pocket behind a sheet of saran wrap he refers to as an offensive line as if he where a Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees and gets literally destroyed.

      Nobody say for him to make a habit of running it like Vick used to do. But the option can’t come off the table until he has people in front of him that can actually form a pocket to stay in.

  • Mark Perrotte

    Dan Marino…Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees. Probably the 4 best ever. How many of them used the read option? Keep that college crap out of NFL football or else Miami is going to end up turning Tannehill into a Tebow. He simply needs better O line protection. I love the way he stands in the pocket, if he could just get a better sense of where the defenders are to avoid fumbling. He is a pocket passer or he is a bust..its just the way it is. RG3 will put up nice stats, etc…bur lets see who wins the next superbowl.