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Miami Dolphins

Charting Ryan Tannehill Week 9 2016

Travis Wingfield



After a pair of slump-busting games the Dolphins offense reverted back to an ineffective strike force. Miami’s finesse style of offensive line play was bullied by a stout Jets front full of complex blitzes. Kenny Stills missed half the game and Ryan Tanenhill made a handful of mistakes on his own accord.

Drive NumberPlayQuarterDownDistancePersonnelFormationBound/FieldResultThrow LocalDirectionPressurePres TimeContestedRouteTargetAir YardsYACPlay ActionGun/UCFD/TD
111st2nd12122x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightDeep overJones1014YesU/CFirst Down
121st1st10113x1FieldCompletionOn targetRightSquare inParker40Gun
231st1st10113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetMiddleSlantLandry56U/CFirst Down
242nd1st10123x1FieldOff targetShort hopLeftHit2.81YesDeep overLandry14YesU/C
252nd3rd9113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightHurry2.07YesWheelWilliams136GunFirst Down
262nd2nd9122x2FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleFlareLandry-412YesU/C
272nd3rd1Heavy - 132x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightYesSpeed outJones10GunTouchdown
382nd2nd11113x1FieldCompletionOn targetLeftHit2.24Speed outStills74GunFirst Down
4102nd1st10113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetMiddleHit2.31ArrowAjayi16Gun
4112nd2nd3113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetRightSwingAjayi-810Gun
4122nd3rd1112x2FieldCompletionOn targetLeftFlareAjayi010GunFirst Down
4132nd1st10113x1BoundaryCompletionOn targetLeftHit1.93FlatWilliams01Gun
5153rd2nd9123x2BoundaryCompletionOn targetLeftHitchParker40Gun
5163rd3rd5113x1FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleSwingDrake-713YesGunFirst Down
6183rd2nd10113x1EvenCompletionOn targetLeftScreenLandry014U/CFirst Down
6193rd1st10113xFieldCompletionOn targetMiddleSpeed outGray40Gun
6203rd1st10113x1FieldPBULOS batMiddleScreenParker1Gun
6213rd3rd5113x2FieldOff targetShort hopLeftYesFlatGray0Gun
7223rd1st10113x1FieldCompletionOn targetMiddleSpeed outGray33U/C
7233rd3rd2113x1BoundaryPBUBad readRightYesSwingAjayi-7U/C
8254th3rd9113x2FieldCompletionOn targetLeftHit2.63FlatJones215GunFirst Down
8264th1st10122x2FieldOff targetOverthrowRightHit1.71YesOutLandry10YesU/C
8274th3rd4113x1FieldOff targetOverthrowMiddleGoCarroo39Gun
9284th2nd6013x1FieldDropOn targetMiddleScreenGrant-3U/C
9294th3rd6112x2BoundaryDropOn targetLeftHurry2.09YesBrokenJones7Gun
10304th2nd1113x1Run for -2 yardsZone ReadGun

The Dolphins’ quarterback was under siege for the majority of this contest. Early on Miami took advantage of soft spots vacated by the aggressive Jets’ defense. Moving the chains, converting in the red zone and an impressive third down rate, things looked right in line with the previous two games.

Then Stills went out.

Stills’ presence alone wasn’t the sole factor for the Miami offense bogging down entirely in the second half. The Dolphins did, however, miss a golden opportunity on a go-route to replacement slot-man Leonte Carroo.

Pressure was the name of the game in this match-up. On 29 drop backs, despite taking just one sack, Tannehill was under pressure 11 times (eight hits and two hurries). The average time from snap-to-pressure was just 2.31 seconds.

Any effort to thwart the Jets aggression proved futile. Whether it was a basic four-man rush, or sending extra men, Tannehill was constantly under immediate duress.

After a more vertical-centric game plan was executed in the week prior, the Dolphins had to go back to the conservative, short passing game it regularly employed. Only seven of the 26 qualifying passes went beyond five yards in the air. Tannehill’s average air yards per throw was a measly 4.08 (less than half from the Buffalo game).

Once again Miami executed on third down. Five of the 11 passing attempts resulted in first downs with a sixth added for drop adjustment. Tannehill wasn’t free of error on his own, however. Five of his 26 throws were attributed to quarterback error – an abnormally high number for Tannehill.

Miami converted first downs on nine of 30 plays, a 30% rate. The play action game wasn’t clicking like it normally was in 2016. Just 38 yards passing on five passes (three completions) came from play pass.

Contested passes were an even greater challenge. Tannehill completed just 25% of his contested throws. Adjusting for one drop, Tannehill was 3-for-8 throwing into tight windows.

The Jets pressure and denial of the running game forced Miami back into more variety from a play calling standpoint. 12-personnel was brought onto the field six times, 01-personnel once and heavy-13 once. 11-personnel remained the base package with 22 reps occurring in said look.

Still, the Dolphins had an opportunity to close the game out on offense late. Drops on two consecutive plays forced the ‘Phins to punt it back and play defense to preserve the win. Tannehill’s prowess throwing on the run and evading pressure was on display on this crucial Dom Jones drop.

While there were throws Tannehill would’ve liked to have had back in this game, the overall lack of effectiveness could be contributed to a team effort. Tannehill’s errors are erased by his third down efforts giving him his second inconclusive grade on the season.

Result: Inconsequential performance by the QB
Next: Week 10 vs. San Diego

Go To:

Week 1 at Seattle
Week 2 at New England
Week 3 vs. Cleveland
Week 4 at Cincinnati
Week 5 vs. Tennessee
Week 6 vs. Pittsburgh
Week 7 vs. Buffalo

Additional videos:

Evidence from the 2016 offense that we can apply to 2018

Stands in under pressure and delivers a strike on third down

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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.


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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.


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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.

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