The Miami Dolphins are going back to the drawing board and, this time, hope to institute a much more diverse approach to their offense with the possibility of rotating wide receivers in and out of the lineup (even on a play to play basis) and having no focus on one individual star. For the past two seasons the Dolphins relied heavily on Brandon Marshall to carry their passing game out on his own. Carry out he did; accounting for more than 30 percent of Miami’s passing yards and scoring 9 of the 20 touchdowns by wide receivers. But while Marshall was playing the hero, other receivers were not given the opportunity to step up and grow, leaving them with no Plan B. And with Marshall now looking forward to the bitter winters of Chicago, the Dolphins realize they need to encourage the others in the receiving corps to live up to their full potential.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys that have a developmental ceiling”, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said, “They haven’t developed yet, and we’re going to see that this year, hopefully.”
The new approach to the offense brought on by new Head Coach Joe Philbin and Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman will be beneficial for many reasons. First, the offense can rely on a number of different guys, not just the one ‘go to’, completely opening up their field. Every guy out there will be prepped and ready to make the big play, creating more possibilities for rookie QB Matt Moore, and making it harder for a defense to choose which receivers to double-team.
Second, the Dolphins no longer run the risk of any of their receivers running out of steam. Guys can literally line up for one down and be replaced the next, all the while running the exact same play. The New York Giants found this approach extremely helpful with their defense this past season – they were able to rotate defensive players in and out knowing full well any one of them was poised to make the play.
Third, The Dolphins do not run the risk of having to revamp the entire offense again next offseason regardless of who they lose thanks to free agency or trades, as was the case with Marshall.
And fourth, friendly competition between players keeps them focused and sharp; knowing they always have something to prove. Veteran WR Marlon Moore sees the upside of this saying, “It’s a beneficial process, knowing you’ve got guys out here to compete and fight for reps, but also try to help each other at the same time.”
The Dolphins are due for a new offensive strategy and this one just may work for them. But hey, the Dolphins haven’t had more than 23 passing touchdowns a season since 1995, so it’s safe to say it can’t get any worse.