Miami Dolphins running game remains a preseason concern

Teddy Bridgewater Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Teddy Bridgewater Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Dolphins running game was not very good for the second week in a row and there are a lot of questions as to why.

Mike McDaniel is supposed to be the running back guru and so far, Miami fans haven’t seen anything resembling more than the last four years of Miami Dolphins football. An anemic rushing attack that looks more like it will compete for the bottom of the NFL statistically rather than a bruising part of the offense.

To be fair, Miami has yet to use a fullback which is a key part of McDaniel’s offense. Miami’s game plan has been very vanilla and Terron Armstead hasn’t touched the field. In addition, both the Raiders and Buccaneers stacked the line of scrimmage, something that likely won’t happen with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the field. Neither has played so far.

Is this a problem fans should be worried about? Yes, frankly, they should.

What is missing is the physicality of the running game. Even without a fullback, the Dolphins offensive line which has been quite good in pass protection has been horrible in the trenches clearing gaps for the running backs.

On Saturday night, the Dolphins totaled four yards in the first half. They finished the game with an atrocious 37.

Last night saw the first runs by Chase Edmonds who managed to average one yard per carry, he carried three times. The most proficient runner in two games has been Salvon Ahmed who rushed five times for 20 yards last night.

The Dolphins need to figure something out and if the line assignments are not working then the Dolphins need to adjust. Moving Connor Williams back to his natural guard spot and putting Michael Dieter at center could help open running lanes on the left side but is this more a problem of Larnel Coleman?

Miami Dolphins
Chase Edmonds (2) Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

Coleman wasn’t good again last night. Inconsistent throughout the game, Coleman also committed a critical false start on fourth and six inches leading to a Dolphins field goal.

Why the Dolphins have not worked someone else out at left tackle in the preseason is interesting. The coaches seem set on using the former 7th round pick of a year ago at the position and if the Dolphins lose Armstead for any period of time, Coleman has not shown he can handle the job.

McDaniel had this to say about his running game last night.

"It does raise the urgency for the offensive line, tight ends, and receivers blocking, but at the same time I’m not panicked because I would be more panicked if they were entering into something that we had totally prepared them for and we still weren’t able to displace people on the line of scrimmage and do things of that nature – Miami Dolphins post-game transcripts"

Will Miami’s left side be better with Eichenberg and Armstead on the field for running plays? One would hope so but the starters on the other side, Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson are the definitive starters and so far, the Dolphins haven’t found success running behind them either.

Hopefully, all we are seeing is basic plays that will change once the season starts. Blocking assignments could simply be man-up right now as well. Either way, there is some pause for concern and they have only a few weeks to figure it out. Last week, McDaniel said that they needed to better in the running game, last night, they didn’t.