Connect with us

Miami Dolphins

Charting Ryan Tannehill Week 1 2016

Travis Wingfield




The advent of NFL GamePass has ushered in a new era of tracking and critiquing America’s most popular sport. Spawning juggernauts like Pro Football Focus, data previously available only to the 32 franchises is now in the hands of the public.

Still, antiquated statistics reign supreme. Volume numbers listing touchdown passes or completion percentage merely tell the result of the story – leaving out the details for how the game arrived at that juncture.

The purpose of this project is to lay out the fine-points of every Ryan Tannehill drop back from the 2016 season. Each game will have its own write-up with GIFs from the key moments in the game, scouting notes and the venerable table of data-charting.

Without further ado, week one at Seattle:

Week 1 at Seattle –

Drive No.PlayQuarterDownDistancePersonnelFormationBound/FieldResultThrow LocalDirectionPressurePres TimeContestedRouteTargetAir YardsYACPlay ActionGun/UCFD/TD
111st110113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftScreenLandry-41Gun
121st35113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleScreenLandry-33Gun
231st110112x2EvenCompletionOn TargetRightHurry2.59HitchCarroo20Gun
241st36112x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetLeftHurry1.58SwingFoster248GunFirst
251st27113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleFlatLandry10Gun
261st36113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleHit2.65Square InCameron50Gun
372nd110113x1BoundaryDropOn TargetMiddleGoStills53Gun
392nd318112x2FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleHurry2.37Shal CrossLandr28Gun
5122nd110113x1RunZone readGun
11 yard run - FD
5132nd25113x1BoundaryPBULOS batMiddleAngleWilliams2Gun
5152nd110112x2FieldDropOn TargetMiddleHit3.36OverCameron16Gun
5162nd315113x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetMiddleSearchFoster42Gun
6183rd316113x1EvenCompletionOn TargetMiddleAngleFoster06Gun
7193rd110112x2FieldCompletionOn TargetRightHurry3.24FlatCameron10YesU/C
7203rd29112x2RunZone readGun1 yard run
7213rd38112x2FieldUnderthrowHit as throwMiddleHit1.99Shal crossLandry2Gun
8223rd37113x1FieldPBUBehindMiddleHit2.13Inter crossLandry8Gun
8244th310113x1FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleHurrySlantLandry77GunFirst
5 yard run (naked boot designed)
8264th25113x1FieldPBULOS batMiddleSearchLandry5Gun
8274th35113x2BoundaryCompletionOn TargetRightHit2.79ComebackCarroo93GunFirst
8284th15113x1FieldPBUOn TargetLeftYesFlatFoster0Gun
8294th25113x1RunZone readGun
(neg) 2 yard run
Scramble out of bounds
9314th110122x2FieldCompletionOn TargetMiddleDigStills160YesU/CFirst
9324th29122x2FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftHit3.26ComebackLandry90YesU/CFirst
9334th110113x2FieldCompletionOn TargetLeftBrokenLandry721GunFirst
9344th110113x1BoundaryCompletionOn TargetLeftScreenWilliams-433GunFirst
Scramble end of game

This was a shaky day for the debut of Adam Gase’s offense in Miami. Devante Parker missed the game with an injury, Jay Ajayi was left in South Florida to sulk, and Mike Pouncey had aggravated yet another injury.

Yet, the Dolphins offense crossed the goal line with a four minutes and change on the game-clock. Ryan Tannehill’s two-yard run, via a quarterback draw, caught the Seattle defense napping.

Tannehill was in the shotgun all day (33 of 38 drop backs – 86.8%). From that formation, he kept the football on designed quarterback runs three times – each the zone-read (he had another run on a play-action boot from under-center). Seattle all-pro safety Earl Thomas was privy to the empty set at the goal line, but was too late.

Up until that point, the offense was sputtering. Only 23.7 of Tannehill’s 38 plays with the ball in his hands resulted in a first down. Constantly under duress, the average time-to-pressure on the 19 instances of heat on the quarterback was 2.6 seconds (categorized as 4 sacks, 7 hits and 8 hurries).

The Dolphins two biggest plays came on a pair of quick-hitters to the running back. Damien Williams and Arian Foster had lengthy scampers after catching the ball from the backfield. Of Tannehill’s 186 passing yards, 132 came after the catch – a 71% clip.

While the Williams’ reception (seen first) was simply a well-designed screen, the swing pass to Foster showcased Tannehill’s re-focused pre-snap prowess. Identifying the blitzer and getting the football out to his hot-read, he put his running back in a one-on-one position to make a huge play and Foster obliged.

Three of the five passes targeted 15 yards and beyond was target. Tannehill was largely accurate throwing on-target on 18 of 26 qualifying throws (intentional throw-aways not graded against). The Dolphins dropped two passes – one beyond the sticks and the infamous Kenny Stills would-be-touchdown.

The vast majority of the throws made throughout the game were to open receivers. Of the 26 qualifying pass attempts, just four were into contested areas – all four fell incomplete.

Miami’s offense only converted one third down via the pass in the first half, but came on in the second frame. In total, Tannehill threw catchable passes on nine of his 12 third down plays. Eight were caught and four moved the sticks. Accounting for Cameron’s third-down-drop, Tannehill had an adjusted third down conversion rate of 41.7%. 

(In-depth breakdown (with audio) of Tannehill going through progressions on this Cameron drop).

Of the eight passes gone awry, three were quarterback error. Each of the 21 passes targeted 10-yards-and-in were on-target; two batted at the line-of-scrimmage and three pass break-ups by the defensive backs. Approaching the red-zone in the second quarter, Tannehill had an opportunity to hit Stills in the end-zone on an extremely difficult throw. The pass sailed a yard too long and fell incomplete. On the same possession, Tannehill broke the pocket and was late to recognize Stills coming back to the football, throwing it and behind and a tick too tardy.

With a limited roster at both wide receiver and running back, Gase operated primarily from one grouping and one formation. The Dolphins were in 11-personnel 34 of the 38 drop backs (89.5%) and lined up in 3×1 formations 24 times (63.2%)

Two of the three plays ran from 12-personnel came at the start of the lone touchdown drive – each play yielding chunk yardage.

Tannehill’s marked improvements were on display in this game. Quicker processing of the defense’s pre-snap look, better pocket manipulation and smoother foot work – Gase’s work on the fifth-year quarterback was evident.

Anticipatory throw:

Example of WRs failing to uncover:

Immediate pressure to cause a misfire:

Threat as a runner:

The case in most NFL games, one or two plays with a different result would’ve made the long-flight back to Miami a much happier affair. Kenny Stills hanging on to the wide-open go-route would’ve tacked 20 points onto Tannehill’s passer rating and, given the defense’s performance, Seattle might’ve failed to overcome the two-score deficit.

All things told, Tannehill’s performance neither prohibited his team from winning, nor was it considered enough to claim a win was imminent.

Result: Inconsequential performance by the QB

Next: Week 2 at New England


Go To:

Week 2 at New England

Week 3 vs. Cleveland

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Miami Dolphins

Pillaging the Pats

Travis Wingfield



Taking From the Rich and Giving to the Phins

De facto Patriots Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores is set to take over the big chair in Miami at the conclusion of New England’s 2018 season. Rumored to be coming with Flores are a pair of Pats staffers.

A master of delegation, Bill Belichick constantly maintains the smallest staff in the league. Flores’ intentions are to bring with him Pats’ Consultant Bret Bielema and Wide Receivers Coach Chad O’Shea.

*We’ll have a comprehensive breakdown of the offensive scheme that comes with O’Shea should this move push closer to official. And we’ll do so in the same capacity as the Defensive Crash Course piece.

If Flores is able to extract both Bielema and O’Shea, he’s plundering 16% of the 2018 Patriots’ staff (that includes Flores). Belichick’s coaching tree has yielded less than desirable results in their new destinations, but Flores is described as “different” from the rest.

By now Dolphins fans are tired of lip service. If Flores is the exception to the many before him, great – we’ll find out on Sundays. Flores is, however, off to a unique beginning compared to the lackluster rest.


Coach (Year Left New England) Additional Migrating Staffers
Charlies Weis (2005 – Notre Dame) 0
Romeo Crennel (2005 – Cleveland) 0
Eric Mangini (2007 – NY Jets) 0
Josh McDaniels (2009 – Denver) 0
Bill O’Brien (2012 – Penn State) 0
Matt Patricia (2018 – Detroit) 0


Goose eggs. I didn’t expect that when I began this study, hence the table. Interestingly, the greatest dearth in the Patriots run came between the 2008-2010 seasons. That sentence is a house of cards for two reasons:

1.) It’s sort of hilarious to call two playoff appearances and a combined record of 35-13 a dearth. Those three seasons were the last time New England weren’t participating in the Conference Championship – they’ve qualified for eight consecutive title games since.

2.) It’s something of a strawman to suggest New England’s 14-2 season was cut short at the divisional round because of a loss of coordinators. Not to mention the 2008 season that brought back 11 wins despite starting Matt Cassel for 15 games.

That three-year stretch did come after New England lost its offensive and defensive coordinators, and then Crennel’s replacement at DC (Mangini) two years later. No one is mistaking Flores, Bielema, and O’Shea for Weis, Crennel, and Mangini, but this would be a similar exodus – the difference being all at once opposed to three years.

It’s no secret that Belichick is a ruthless competitor that has no qualms about making enemies. The Patriots have blocked coaches from interviewing for outside positions in the past. Clearly, New England doesn’t block assistants from taking head coaching jobs, but the fact that zero staffers jumped ship might insinuate staffers are held hostage.

Maybe that’s where the idea that Flores is different from the rest comes from. His ability to separate himself from the Pats’ program. His intentions to implement his own initiative that doesn’t try to form as a carbon copy of Belichick’s well-oiled machine in Foxboro.

There are a million ways to splice this, but it all comes back to one conclusion: Brian Flores is beloved by everyone that knows him – even the heartless Hoodie.


Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

Crash Course On 2019 Dolphins Defensive Scheme

Travis Wingfield



For a publication based primarily on analysis, these last two weeks have been a bit of a drag for content. We know the potential names but, as they say, potential doesn’t play on Sundays. In this case, the reference refers to the rumors and names linked to various positions with the Dolphins – rumors, meaning anything but finalized.

Enter Patrick Graham.

It has been reported that Miami, under Head Coach to Be Named Brian Flores, will tag the former Green Bay Packers assistant as the Defensive Coordinator position with the Dolphins in 2019.

Graham, a former staffer alongside Flores in New England, spent the 2018 season coaching the linebackers on Mike Pettine’s defense.

Another name linked to the vacant DC job is Bret Bielema. The former Wisconsin and Arkansas Head Coach spent the 2018 season working hand-in-hand with Bill Belichick as a Consultant to the Head Coach.

And so, from this, we glean some potential defensive structures, schemes and principles that figure to be migrating south this winter along with Flores.

For Flores, Graham, and potentially Bielema, the task is tall. Redirect a unit that ranked 29th in points allowed each of the last two years under the inexperienced watch of Matt Burke.

We start first in New England. After all, Flores will be a master of delegation, but he knows this scheme as well as anyone. Few teams mix up their fronts with more frequency than the New England Patriots.

The prevailing theme among these slight variances of defensive schemes is the “Bear” front. A Bear front simply refers to six defenders up around the line of scrimmage. Two of those players are positioned in a linebacker technique while the other four are down linemen.

This variation of the Bear front is a 3-3 look using three down-linemen, two outside ‘backers shaded off the 9-technique alignment.

In this image provided by the Twitter account of James Light, we can see the variations from the nickel and dime packages (yes, Miami will FINALLY be running some dime defense in 2019).

The more traditional look aligns those six players in a 4-2 set.

Bret Bielema last coached (on the field) in 2017 at Arkansas, so he’s no stranger to the evolution of the college game and its integration into the NFL. There, Bielema’s defense was based in the traditional 3-4, but the tight splits inside look an awful lot like the classic Bear front (nose tackle over the center and two fellow linemen in a variance between 2i and 4 techniques). Bielema helped institute some of these principles in 2018 – his one season with the Patriots.

The common theme between all of these looks is to prevent specific run plays. The inside run becomes increasingly difficult with all the bodies down around the line of scrimmage. The even bigger factor (both literally and figuratively) is the beef inside.

Lining up with three down-linemen (pushing 300 pounds a pop) and defending one gap makes it nearly impossible to pull, which means the end of any gap-scheming.

The scheme is also designed to shut down inside zone, but also free up the linebackers with fewer keys and responsibilities. Instead of asking the defensive ends to set the edge on the way to their pass rush (the design of the wide-9) this alignment puts that responsibility on the outside linebackers.

The widened pre-snap alignment gives the linebackers a quicker, unimpeded path to outside runs. Only the Mike Linebacker has to weed through trash and take on blocks in this defense. Raekwon McMillan would likely serve as the Middle Linebacker. McMillan’s instincts and physicality at the point-of-attack would capitalize on the things the former Buckeye does well.

Then there’s the influence of the actual Titled-Defensive Coordinator, Patrick Graham. Working under Mike Pettine, Graham absorbed the principles of the Bear front and the 46 defense. Pettine spent time with Rex Ryan in Baltimore and with the New York Jets and, as we all know, Rex’s Dad Buddy was the originator of the 46 defense.

The imagine comes from the Patriots defense, but it’s along the lines of what you see in Green Bay with Pettine (and Graham). Four down-linemen condensed to create space off the edge of the linebackers. This means more pass rushing opportunities from linebackers.

Later, as it inches near official status in the way it has with Graham, we will dive into the potential principles and concepts of Jim Caldwell’s offense in today’s NFL. Much like the Dolphins inclination to bring an experienced consultant along with the young defensive boss, the play on the attack unit is heading in that direction as well.

These consultants figure in as prominent fixtures early in this experimental tenure of young coaches. Caldwell (63-years-old with 41 years of coaching experience) and Bielema (48-years-old with 22 years of coaching experience) can ease the transition to the Flores/Graham grouping along with whomever (possibly Chad O’Shea of the Patriots) Flores chooses as his Offensive Coordinator.

The offensive crash course will be posted just as soon as we have more concrete news.


Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Mock Draft Roundup: A Kyler Murray Sighting

Skyler Trunck



It is that time of year again.  Yes, the time of year where we all jump to immediate conclusions, argue and judge each other on projections that, statistically speaking, have a less chance of happening than winning the lottery or being struck by lightning multiple times.

It’s mock draft season!  Well – it’s been mock draft season since December 30th but who’s counting…

Let’s get started on what I hope becomes a weekly (or bi-weekly depending on how many updates are made) mock draft roundup for Miami’s 13th overall pick:


Bleacher Report: Greedy Williams – CB – LSU

Greedy Williams, arguably one of the top corners in this draft — right up there with Washington corner Byron Murphy.  Someone to pair with all-pro corner, Xavien Howard, is a need for this Miami defense. Drafting or bringing in a reliable #2 corner also allows Miami to play players like Bobby McCain and Minkah Fitzpatrick in their proper roles, slot corner and safety respectively.

Williams is a tall corner, measuring in at 6’3”.  Add in the speed he possesses and simply looking at the metrics, he has what you want, physically, for a corner.


CBS Sports: Greedy Williams – CB – LSU

Right off the bat, two mocks having Miami select LSU corner, Greedy Williams.  It’s hard to argue against this pick when you watch Williams.

For those looking for a quarterback, this mock draft saw four — yes, four — quarterbacks go before Miami’s selection.  In between those selections saw a lot of the top defensive line players taken – both edge and interior. Assuming this is the case, a player like Williams would be a solid pick as far as value and need go.


The Draft Network: Kyler Murray – QB – Oklahoma

Now it’s getting exciting!  There isn’t a player in this draft with more hype than Kyler Murray.  As written here at Locked on Dolphins, Murray has the answers for this Miami team.

Some question if he will be available at #13.  As Ian Rapoport reports, maybe that idea isn’t so far-fetched.  Maybe it’s just early smoke-screens or maybe teams are actually concerned about his size.  Make no mistake, despite the round 2 or 3 grade, quarterbacks always find their name called much earlier.  Murray will be no exception.

2019 still may be a “rebuilding” year, but I promise drafting Murray would produce a season defined as anything but boring.  If you’re hoping for Miami to make a splash in the draft, drafting Murray would certainly be the biggest play.


Drafttek: Dexter Lawrence – DT – Clemson

Dexter Lawrence did not play in Clemson’s final two games, which ultimately resulted in a national championship.  Although Lawrence wasn’t on the field, don’t misunderstand the impact Lawrence had on this Clemson team.

Lawrence has the size to play on the interior of a defensive line, coming in at 6’4” and 340 lbs.  He isn’t the quickest tackle in the world, but he can stop the run with the best of them and bring interior pressure to disrupt the quarterback.  Although I feel this is high for Lawrence and there may be more impactful positional prospects available at this pick (e.g. defensive end Jachai Polite, Montez Sweat), he would be a safe pick who would contribute day 1 for this Miami defense.


Pro Football Focus: Dexter Lawrence – DT – Clemson

This now makes two choices for Clemson star interior defensive lineman, Dexter Lawrence.  

What is interesting, in this mock, players like Houston’s Ed Oliver were still available.  Oliver, also an interior defensive lineman, has a different skillset than Lawrence, obvious by Oliver coming in measured at 6’3” and 292 lbs.

Is Miami looking for that big man in the middle who doesn’t get moved around (like Minnesota defensive tackle, Linval Joseph), or the quick tackle, more built for pass-rushing (like Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald).  Who knows, but if both are in the board, Miami’s plan for the future at defensive line will be clear with this pick.


SB Nation: Daniel Jones – QB – Duke

It’s no secret Miami is in the market for a quarterback.  Although Duke quarterback, Daniel Jones, has potential, this would be a reach.  Jones doesn’t seem to have the high ceiling other quarterbacks slotted in the first round do, so why reach on a player who at best may be a slightly better version of Ryan Tannehill?  There are other options out there at a cheaper price.

When you thrown in Miami is supposedly eyeing the 2020 draft class for their franchise quarterback with the 2019 draft geared towards fixing the trenches, it only raises more questions at why this may be the pick.

All that said, it’s the NFL draft.  Smoke screens are a plenty and no one really knows what a team is going to do and how a player will or won’t turn out.  Pulling the trigger on your franchise quarterback is certainly alluring, but why not put your chips all in on a player who has the franchise-altering potential?  I just don’t see it with Jones.



I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on who Miami should take at #13.  Follow me on Twitter @skylertrunck and let’s discuss.

Continue Reading