If NFL teams thought it was hard to prepare to play against the Dolphins last year, this year is going to be even worse for them. Not only do the Dolphins have the same personnel to run last year’s trickery, now they also have a passing threat.
If a defense wants to have success against Miami this season, then they better be prepared for anything. The Dolphins now have so many weapons that in any given play they have multiple options to give the ball to. Here are a few things defenses will need to prepare for.
First, they need to spend at least some time preparing for the Wildcat offense. It didn’t work all of the time last year, but it still worked a lot and helped the Dolphins in some key wins.
Take the New York Jets Monday Night game, for example. All the Dolphins did was run the Wildcat, and it worked amazingly. The Jets obviously didn’t prepare enough for the Wildcat, so in order for other teams not to follow in their footsteps this season they will have to spend at least some time preparing for it.
Another thing defenses will need to prepare for is the standard running game. The Dolphins have three incredible running backs (Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Lex Hilliard) and a first down machine at fullback (Lousaka Polite).
All three running backs are capable of breaking free at any time. Many people haven’t heard of Lex Hilliard, but he showed huge potential last year whenever he ran.
It felt like every time Lousaka Polite touched the football he got a first down. The Dolphins would always put him in on third and short and let him pound it out. I honestly don’t remember a single time when he ran on third and short and didn’t get a first down.
The passing game is the newest addition to what has become a high-powered offense.
The Dolphins traded with the Denver Broncos for Brandon Marshall during the offseason, filling the Dolphins' biggest need. Now, defenses who used to be able to stack the defensive line because their cornerbacks were able to shut down Dolphins receivers one-on-one will need to have more passing coverage.
Brandon Marshall requires a double team a lot of the time and he can still make big plays at will. With the extra coverage on Marshall, the other Dolphins receivers will benefit when defenses roll a safety to Marshall's side.
Who knows, maybe one of Miami’s receivers from last year will start to transform into a deep threat himself.
One last threat opponents of the Miami Dolphins will have to worry about is the tight end position. The Dolphins were able to use tight end Anthony Fasano extremely well two years ago. Now that teams will be focusing more on other Dolphins, Fasano should have a much better season than last year’s poor performance. It’s just something to watch for.
So as you can see, the Dolphins now have threats everywhere on offense. I would love to hear what other coaches say trying to prepare for the Dolphins. One thing I am sure of is that opposing defenses will be frustrated a lot next year.