How to fix the Miami Dolphins on the field
The Miami Dolphins came into this season with high expectations and have the fan base struggling to fathom a win. Through the first three games of the season, Miami has been underwhelming and downright dreadful. Everything that was supposed to be a strength has been a weakness and it has fans scratching their heads like they have uncontrollable lice. Obviously everyone thinks the resolution to the issue is to replace the coaching staff, and while that may be true, there’s adjustments on the field in personnel and scheme that the team can make to help their cause of winning.
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1. Bench Greg Jennings, start DeVante Parker
The veteran receiver has been a major disappointment with practically as many drops as he has catches. Kenny Stills has been ineffective as well during the first three games of the season. Enter Parker who has been limited in snaps because he’s returning from injury and rounding into form; but anyone can see that when he does get on the field, he wins his match-ups. Giving Ryan Tannehill another big, fast, powerful target to compliment Rishard Matthews, Jarvis Landry, & Jordan Cameron; could provide the balance in the passing attack the Miami Dolphins seek.
2. Get Billy Turner & Jason Fox snaps at guard and find a commitment to the run
Granted half of this equation depends on Branden Albert returning from injury but either way Turner needs to play some as he could help with his power in the running game. Dallas Thomas and Jamil Douglas have struggled mightily and creating a rotation with Fox and Turner inside will at least keep all of them fresh and hopefully make the guard play more effective. While it may also hurt continuity along the line, with the way things have unfolded thus far, a shake up should be considered as it couldn’t get worse could it? The Miami Dolphins also need to find a commitment to the run game, which I understand has been difficult to do with the slow starts and early deficits they’ve gotten off to. But by doing so though, they’ll help their o line by being aggressive firing off the ball in run blocking as opposed to playing on their heels in pass pro, give them an opportunity to wear down the defensive line and slow down the pass rush.
3. Play more 3-4 & 5-2 base looks and move Ndamukong Suh around the formation
The Miami Dolphins haven’t been able to stop the run much at all and they’ve been stubborn sticking with a 4 man front with two undersized ends. Miami has depth at defensive tackle and can rotate Jordan Phillips, C.J. Mosley and A.J. Francis at NT with Earl Mitchell, Suh, Derrick Shelby and Terrence Fede at the 5 technique DE’s. This will allow Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon to play further out on the edge and utilize their speed more. Miami also has to take advantage of teams keying on Suh and move him around the formation to attempt to create some confusion for opposing offenses. The Dolphins also don’t have a 3rd solid staring linebacker, so only needing two in Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi for the majority of snaps would benefit Miami. Kelvin Sheppard and Zach Vigil shouldn’t have to play such big roles in the base D. Miami’s personnel doesn’t fit a 4-3 defense, having been an ill fit for 3 seasons, and they need to play to the strengths of their roster.
4. Play Jonas Gray over Damien Williams
The Dolphins need a true thumper between the tackles to compliment Lamar Miller and Williams is not that player. While he is talented and good in the passing game, Williams lacks true power and vision. With Jay Ajayi still out on temporary IR, Gray got some carries against the Bills and showed good vision and the leg drive to break the arm tackles Miller & Williams can’t. While Miller should remain the lead back, the Dolphins need to get the running game going and getting a nice blend of explosiveness from Miller and a guy who can get the tough yards in Gray, might be the recipe the Miami Dolphins need to jumpstart a stagnant ground game.
5. Play Brice McCain where he was signed to play, in the slot
McCain has been starting on the boundary and he’s getting used and abused out there. It’s clear the starting spot does not suit him. With Jamar Taylor healthy, the Miami Dolphins need put McCain back in his natural position and get back to developing Taylor on the boundary where he performed well at last season before his injury. Granted there will be penalties and growing pains but it’s painfully obvious he’s better suited outside while McCain is better suited for the slot. The Dolphins should also look to getting the rookie Bobby McCain some snaps both in the slot and on the boundary to give the other corners a breather.
Sunday in London is about as big of a game for this franchise as there’s been in quite sometime, because if they lose, best believe there will monumental changes during the bye week. There are no more excuses for this coaching staff and it’s time for them to put players in spots where they can succeed and lead this team to some victories.