The Miami Dolphins offense comes alive in the fourth quarter when they are trailing and the first drive of the game when it is scripted but don’t blame the play calling.
George Godsey, Charlie Frye, or Eric Studesville? One of those three call the plays. For the most part, they don’t work. The coaches will tell you it is execution. Fans will point out the play of Jesse Davis or Austin Jackson. The tape will show a myriad of other problems and of course, the coaches themselves but in reality, the playbook is the problem.
There are two lines of thinking here. One, the playbook just simply sucks and two, the coaches are dumbing it down for Tua.
Looking at the second part of this, we blame Tua Tagovailoa. He is consistent enough that he is putting up better numbers than many rookies over the same measurable starts but there is a lot of room for improvement and the media acknowledges that he is not the problem. They are also telling you he is not the solution either.
If the trio of play callers is dumbing down the playbook, something we heard Chan Gailey did last year, then there is a problem and the Dolphins didn’t do enough prep work on Tua prior to drafting him. If that is the case, it is a monumental miss for Chris Grier and whoever pushed for drafting Tua should lose their job or sell the team. This is not to say that Tua is a mistake, it serves only to show that if the Dolphins are not running the offense they designed, then Tua should not have been their solution.
The other side of that coin is the playbook. Is this the playbook that Chan Gailey ran last year? Has it been modified? Is this an entirely new playbook designed by Godsey and Studesville? Regardless of where it comes from, it isn’t very good.
Brian Flores fired Chad O’Shea after one season because his playbook was too complicated, or so it was reported. Apparently a simplified playbook is so much better.
The plays Miami runs are vanilla at best. They script the first series and it falls apart afterwards. They play much better in the 4th when they are behind because they open it up more.
The coaches will tell you that they play to what the defense will give them but this is the biggest problem that I see. The coaches are letting the defense dictate how the offense is run not the offense dictating what the defense has to cover.
Jaylen Waddle is an explosive and exciting player but how many more receiver screens or quick slants do we need to see? He is one of the top rookie reception leaders but everything seems to be within five yards. His speed is his asset and we never see him downfield on a fly.
Mike Gesicki is the most sure-handed receiver on the team and yet we tend to see him only involved consistently in the 4th. He should be a focus of the offense in the same way that George Kittle and Travis Kelce are in their offenses. Flores should know this, he spent his career with the Patriots who rely on the TE more than any other position.
Frankly, there is nothing exciting about this offensive system. Personnel groupings make you scratch your head and from the first series to the fourth quarter there are more three and out series than we have seen in the past.
Yes, the offensive line doesn’t give Tua time to let plays develop down field but the Dolphins are not changing it up to buy him time. Why are they not rolling him out to create space? There are ways to let plays develop and create time. Miami isn’t attacking the weakness of opposing defenses either. Is that because Tua can’t make the quick check-off read? Maybe, but are the plays being called in set up for quick reads? I would guess that they are quick reads from the start which is why we so many slants and WR screens.
Is this on Tua? Maybe some of it sure. Is it actual play calling? Maybe but if you are calling plays from a playbook that isn’t designed to actually work, it really doesn’t matter what you call or when you call it or how it is executed. No matter how you look at it, if its garbage then you are teaching garbage. Given the Dolphins offensive output this year, you have to think it is exactly that.