Dolphins Need To Stop Using Garner As TE


Everyone has opinions on what is wrong with the Miami Dolphins.  Everyone has a solution as well.  It’s no wonder that so many people are biting back and forth to try and get their opinion heard, stressed, and/or accepted.  I got this blog so for me, my opinion can be left out here to fly in the wind…you however, get to chastise me in the comments, thereby getting your opinion out there to fly in the wind.

Today’s opinion?  Nate Garner.

Why is it that the Dolphins, specifically head coach Tony Sparano, are using Nate Garner as a TE?  The answer is simple, RT Marc Columbo is horrible.  At years end 2010, Tony Sparano stated that he needed to stop rotating his offensive line so much throughout the pre-season.  He needed to give the line time to gel together and become a cohesive unit.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked this year.  Go back to tinkering with the line Tony.

Moving Garner to what amounts to a second tackle on the right side does more than help Columbo block.  It completely takes away from your offensive packages.  This is not a two tight end set.  Garner does not catch passes or run routes.  With only 11 players allowed on the field, the Dolphins now are minus one when Garner enters the game for this formation.  That means that Reggie Bush, Charles Clay, or Daniel Thomas is not in the game.  It means that defenses have a better idea that the Dolphins are going to pass.

So far this year, the Dolphins have passed more out of that formation than have ran it.  When they have run the ball, Thomas has delivered up the middle more than to the outside.  Compounding the issue further is the fact that Garner really hasn’t been able to slow down the rush on that side of the ball.  Henne is still under extreme pressure most of the game.

So why do it?

For starters, there is little options left on the table for Sparano outside of replacing Columbo.  Which the team needs to seriously consider.  Moving Vernon Carey back to tackle may help the situation a little but why not just plug in Nate Garner in the RT spot and be done with it?  He’s already there enough as it is.

Maybe the Dolphins are trying to set up a new trick play out of it and are simply reeling teams in so that they can explode out of it like they did with the Wild Cat?  I’m kidding.  The Dolphins might also be better complimented if they actually lined up in a two tight end set with two TE’s.  You could keep Jeron Mastrud back to help Columbo but you could also use him on a TE screen or in an actual route.

There are so many other options available to Miami that it boggles the mind that they are still rotating Garner into the game in this formation.  How about rolling Chad Henne to the left?  He is already running for his life as it is so moving about 5 to 6 yards to the west may not be a bad idea.  It would buy him time.  How about running screens to the right side?  A defense will get burned once and then start to cover it.  Faking a scree after that would hold the DE long enough for other routes to get open and again buy more time for Henne.

Instead, Sparano lines up a lineman to help block.  Garner takes a position away from a ball handler and it gives Henne one less target and the defense one less person to defend.  So it makes zero sense to use it.

Granted the team isn’t using the formation all game long but there really is no good time to use it.  It makes no sense.  At this point however, a lot of things don’t make sense.