The Genius Behind the Scenes in Miami: Dolphins' Playbook Review 101
The most exciting story in the NFL last year was the surprising manner in which the Dolphins unleashed their biggest weapon in key games.
With a well-timed execution of variations of the single-wing formation, this team brought life back into the league.
The biggest shift in the Miami Dolphins playbook will be to create plays that will continue to surprise the defenses of their opponents. Most importantly, the Wildcat Formation is going to undergo some major changes.
This coaching staff is bringing back the old school in more than one way. The clues are there.
Tony Sparano is obviously creating a literal team and not sponsoring individuals. Tony Sparano and company have been given the green light to build their dynasty with a team of young, motivated players.
When players are hungry and eager to make an impression, there are bound to be fireworks.
The Dolphins made some interesting additions to the roster in this offseason. After studying these “new kids” in town, I really started to get a handle on what is going on in Miami for 2009.
What’s going on here is pretty darn smart.
Vontae Davis – Cornerback
ADD STRENGTH TO COVER TWO AND COVER FOUR FORMATIONS
Adding the first of two new cornerbacks this year shows that the Dolphins recognize their weakness in the secondary and are getting prepared to defend against the pass from teams like the Patriots and the Bills.
In week 12 against the Patriots, Cassel and Moss effectively exposed this weakness. It was the spread offense that overpowered the Dolphins and you can bet the pencils were flying up in the coaching box on this one.
Paired with their third pick, Sean Smith as CB, the evidence is presented.
Adding strength in the Dolphins’ secondary to assist Will Allen and provide insurance in case of injury is a key defensive strategy that is required to help the Dolphins in ’09.
Pat White – Quarterback
MORE SURPRISES IN THE SINGLE-WING FORMATION
Think the Dolphins are going to ditch the Wildcat Formation?
The addition of Pat White to this offense is an odd choice as their third QB. That is a huge indicator that his experience as a WR will mean a new phase for the Wildcat.
Listed on the Dolphins’ roster as WR, White is going to likely create a huge problem for defenses—since Ronnie Brown last year only posed part of that threat.
White will line up in the WR position or the QB position, and that is going to add to the guessing game and give them the muscle that they need to progress this system into the next season.
Whereas Ronnie Brown’s arm was at most lucky to complete the long pass, White is a dangerous element of the offensive arsenal with his QB experience.
Chad Henne – Quarterback Challenge
PASSING AND SHOTGUN FORMATION
Rumor has it that Henne’s presence will motivate Pennington. If the Dolphins are struggling in the beginning of the season, Chad will most likely be brought in on plays to gain a lot of yardage deep.
He is going to spend some time throwing deep to Ginn Jr. for sure.
What is apparent is that Tony Sparano has faith in Ted Ginn, Jr.
In Ginn’s third season with the Dolphins, it is certain to be his best thus far.
Jake Grove – Center
IMPROVED UTILIZATION OF THE BASE FORMATION
To balance out the additions to the defense, Jake Grove is going to open up the lane to allow for some running room and add strength on the ground. The Dolphins lacked this force last year, which gave way to the introduction of the single-wing offense.
Grove is another hungry player—coming from five seasons with the Raiders.
The Bottom Line
It is the entire team of players and coaches who are creating a fresh look for the Dolphins.
The group is comprised of recently added coaches who have spent significant time in the NFL. Last year was a huge indicator of the combined talent that contributed to the success of this team.
The Miami Dolphins are rebuilding.
Expect to see this team succeed in the next 2 years with a successful trip to the AFC title game.