Dolphin Fans Question Mike Sherman


Sept 8, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman walks the sidelines before the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

It seemed a perfect fit for a team that was changing coaches and philosophy.  Hire a former NFL head coach who helped build a championship in Green Bay to be the teams offensive coordinator.  Passes were issued in year one as a rookie QB struggled with no-name WR’s and a new system.  Now, after only one game, many fans are questioning whether OC Mike Sherman is the right man to call this teams offense.

Dolphins fans will be quick to point out the day that Reggie Bush had in Detroit which included as 78 yard catch and run by the former Dolphins RB.  They will also be quick to point out that yesterday’s running game was one of the worst in the history of the franchise.  And finger pointing is directed at the Miami Dolphins OC, Mike Sherman.

The Dolphins beat the Browns on Sunday and one could say they did so with a generic vanilla offense.  No motion or pulling schemes.  No attention to develop a mismatch with your number one WR.  It was run like a decoy offense.  use Mike Wallace outside and draw away the coverage on everyone else.  Is that what Miami bought with 60 million?  If it is, fans are none to thrilled.

Of course that is not what they bought.  Yesterday was one game, the first game at that.  It’s going to take time, an old cliche’ that Miami fans have been forced to buy into for the better part of a decade and a half.  It seems.

While the media want to stir up controversy to sell web hits and newspapers, fans are growing impatient with the promises that are being left miserably back in the training facility.

As 2012 came to a close fans of the Dolphins watched QB Ryan Tannehill mature.  He used his legs to gain yards and throw off defenders.  He moved out of the pocket and hit targets in stride while on the run.  Through pre-season and one regular season game Tannehill looks the part of an NFL QB but he is standing trying to look more like a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning than a Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick.  While he doesn’t have the speed of the latter or the experience of the former, Tannehill seems to be lacking in one thing that all of those four QB’s share.  A pistol whipped desire to beat down the other team.

It’s not necessarily a knock on Tannehill.  I like him being our QB.  A lot.  Yet I wonder where his killer drive is at sometimes.  It’s almost as if the coaches have drilled the fear of death into him regarding turnovers.  He plays soft and methodical with minimum risks.  Unfortunately playing like that will eventually lead to mistakes.  On Sunday, Tannehill found a way to win in the 4th quarter but it’s something he needs to develop for an entire game.

This of course is not about Ryan Tannehill’s short comings.  It’s about his offensive coordinator.  Mike Sherman is the man who designed this offense and is the one who put it into game plan.  While Tannehill may not have time and Lamar Miller may not have space, the burden of figuring it out rests on Sherman.  Fans want to know where the QB running out of the pocket went from last year.  They want to know where is the speed that they were teased with.  This offense is not what they were asked to chew on and they are hoping it’s not the offense they are being asked to swallow.

On Sunday the Dolphins used minimal motion and none that I recall by their WR’s.  Why isn’t Mike Wallace being used as a motion receiver to change the coverage assignments?  The West Coast Offense is supposed to be fast.  Almost like a non-stop no-huddle.  The Dolphins took their time getting to the line after being in the huddle prior to each snap.  The offense lacked speed and once again we say dump off passes and pocket collapses.  Fans want to know why Mike Sherman can’t see what we see on TV?

Tannehill could avoid pressure by rolling the pocket left or right.  By attacking an opposing defense wide you take pressure off the middle of your weak line and put it on the shoulders of your tackles and ends.  Miami’s approach on Sunday was slow motion off tackle runs that went nowhere.

Fans have a reason to be upset.  They were told there would be fireworks and in week one they were given sparklers.  The offense of the Miami Dolphins lacks creativity.  It lacks the fundamental elements of an offense that makes it a top rated team.  While teams use “go-to” plays to pick up first downs and move the chains the Dolphins often use those plays as part of their regular offense and the issue with that is when it comes time to “go-to” that play, the defense already knows how it plays out.

It’s one game against a very very good front defense.  But great offenses stand in the face of those defenses and score and score again.  They eat up yards and put themselves into great position.  The Dolphins lumbered around on Sunday.  In part due to penalties.  In part due to bad line play.  In part due to the severely lacking rushing attack.  Also in part to a very non-creative offense that looked more like it was being run by Dave Wannstedt than being run as a shadow of Green Bay’s.  If this is supposed to be the Green Bay style of offense the Dolphins may want to go back to Wisconsin.