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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Offseason Signals Philosophical Shift on Offense

Travis Wingfield

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Under Chad O’Shea, Miami seeks to become more explosive with an old-school approach

Few teams operated with less variety than the Adam Gase-led Miami Dolphins. During that three-year period, the Dolphins called on 11-personnel at a greater frequency than all but three teams in the National Football League. Under Gase, the Dolphins emphasized the wide receiver position, “F” tight ends (flex TEs that move about the formation), and parked two and three tight end sets, except in emergency situations.

Conversely, over that same time period, only three teams ran 11-personnel LESS than the New England Patriots — the former employer of new Miami Offensive Coordinator, Chad O’Shea. Specific personnel of those teams will certainly play into that offensive utilization, but it’s Miami’s offseason acquisitions that lend a look into imminent change going forward.

Year-one of Miami’s rebuild includes a collection of a certain brand of offensive player. Dwayne Allen, Michael Deiter, Isaiah Prince, Chandler Cox, and Myles Gaskin — each of these new Dolphins specialize in one of two things:

1.) Moving people off the line of scrimmage (Allen, Deiter, Prince)
2.) A tone-setting mentality as a ball carrier/lead-blocker (Gaskin/Cox)

The differences, from Gase to O’Shea, in desired O-line traits are vast. Miami’s staple inside/outside zone game required athletic linemen that could get out in space. Jesse Davis excelled in this area, Ja’Wuan James resembled a freight train as a play-side puller, and Laremy Tunsil is elite at literally everything.

Two of those players are still in Miami, but the new additions hint towards a more smash-mouth, tone-setting type of presence on the line.

Deiter, in addition to a mauling mentality, functions well in space (athletically), but Allen, Prince and Cox are pretty well-defined in their strengths – moving the point-of-attack.

Sep 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals as Tigers fullback Chandler Cox (27) blocks at left in the first quarter of the 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The cherry on the top was the Fullback/H-back from Auburn, Chandler Cox. In 2018’s NFL, 21-personnel (2 backs, 1 tight end, 2 receivers) has devolved into more of a wrinkle than an actual personnel grouping. League-wide, the average deployment of 21-personnel is down to 11%, but that number is dramatically increased because of two teams.

While there are eight teams that called for two-back sets less than 10 times in 2018, San Francisco and New England are working against the modern-day grain. Kyle Shanahan, courtesy of Fullback Kyle Juszczyk and his $21 million contract, dialed up 12-personnel 54% of San Francisco’s offensive play calls last season.

New England ran 21-personnel at a clip of 36% of its respective offensive plays — second most in the NFL. The third highest deployment of 21-personnel, in 2018, came from the Denver Broncos at 23% of the play calls.

With Juszczyk in San Francisco (63% snap count player), and James Develin in New England (36% snap count player) both of those teams have confidence in calling upon the fullback. Miami’s seventh-round pick, Chandler Cox, figures to check in much more closely to Develin’s usage number, and even that is likely generous.

The fullback isn’t the only option that brings 21-personnel onto the field. Late in the year, Miami teased some two-back sets in which Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage were featured. One of Miami’s rare explosive plays came from the ultra-rare 31-personnel package when Drake was on the field with Frank Gore and Brandon Bolden (a 54-yard TD run for Bolden in the Miami Miracle game). O’Shea, lauded for his creativity and astute red-zone game plan implementation in New England, is certainly privy to the talent he has working with behind new quarterback Josh Rosen.

Speaking of Rosen, a lot of his success game from 12-personnel packages last year. The Cardinals had to commit extra bodies to pass protection to ensure their rookie passer adequate time to survey the defense.

The Cardinals offense ran 12-personnel (1 back, 2 tight ends, 2 receivers) at a clip 6% higher than the league average in 2018, and only five teams ran 12-personnel more frequently than Arizona.

According to Pro Football Focus Josh Rosen, as all quarterbacks are, was more effective throwing off of play action. Rosen ranked 17th in the league in play action frequency (24.1% of his pass attempts), though that rate is severely hampered by Arizona’s comprehensive struggles to generate offensive success and constantly playing catch up on the scoreboard. Rosen’s YPA increased by 1.3 on play action, and his passer rating took a 20.1 jump on play-pass, compared to non-play-pass play calls.

Condensed formations, opposed to the spread attack, allow the quarterback to work inside-out, and utilize the play-pass game more effectively. With Dwayne Allen and Mike Gesicki operating as polar opposites, within the same position group, and the interchangeability between Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, expect plenty more of this in 2019.

Zigging, while the rest of the league zags, only works with a competent coaching staff. Until they prove otherwise, that’s what Miami has under Brian Flores, in Chad O’Shea and company.

Even if O’Shea doesn’t live up to the hype, it won’t take much to improve upon his predecessor’s resume. From 2016-2018, the Dolphins scoring offense ranked an average of 24th-best in the NFL – better than just eight teams, or one quarter of the league.

@WingfieldNFL

Source for personnel usage: SharpFootballStats.com

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    Bill Martin

    April 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    My second favourite draft pick next to Wilkins. Dolphins fans are going to love this guy.

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Miami Dolphins

Josh Rosen 2018 Passing Chart – Week 17 at Seattle

Travis Wingfield

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Football, more so than any other sport, requires context to tell the full story. Box scores provide the casual fan with a general idea of the cumulative result of any given game, but without isolating each player’s performance, many details go unnoticed.

This project is entirely based around isolating the play of Josh Rosen. Traditional data points will tell you that his rookie season was one of the worst in the history of the league. Watching each drop back multiple times over, breaking down the most impactful plays, and charting the data that tells the true story, this is the 2018 Josh Rosen charting project.

Jump To:

Week 4 vs. Seattle
Week 5 at San Francisco
Week 6 at Minnesota
Week 7 vs. Denver
Week 8 vs. San Francisco
Week 10 at Kansas City
Week 11 vs. Oakland
Week 12 at LA Chargers
Week 13 at Green Bay
Week 14 vs. Detroit
Week 15 at Atlanta
Week 16 vs. LA Rams
Week 17 at Seattle

Week 17 at Seattle –

By the time this season finale came to an end the entire Cardinals operation had to breathe a sigh of relief. A disaster season, that came to a crashing conclusion, was finally in the rearview. For Josh Rosen, the last month of the season was a recurring nightmare. Rosen threw 146 passes in December and the only one that crossed pay dirt was a busted coverage in this Seattle game.

Some of Rosen’s strong suits didn’t travel to the Pacific Northwest. Throwing into contested windows, play-action passing, and third down conversions each brought back less than satisfactory returns.

The Cardinal passing offense converted 3-of-14 3rd downs. Rosen was 2-of-14 for 23 yards on contested throws and 5-of-10 for 56 yards on play pass.

Rosen was chucking-and-praying once again. The average air yards per throw tallied 10.8 yards, while the Arizona receivers only amassed 51 yards after the catch (34.2% of Rosen’s passing total).

The short passing game was far more fruitful than the vertical attacks.

 

Portion of the Field Accurate Pass/Number of Passes
20+ yards 0/3 (0%)
11-19 yards 0/3 (0%)
0-10 yards (or behind LOS) 11/16 (68.8%)

 

The game was littered with mistakes from the Cardinals QB. Rosen registered 14 mistakes (11 from accuracy, 2 ball security issues, and 1 poor read). Rosen lost two fumbles and had two would-be interceptions dropped by the Seattle defense.

The personnel deployment featured more versatility than recent weeks. Rosen’s passes were supplemented by the following personnel packages.

 

11-personnel 31 snaps
12-personnel 3 snaps
21-personnel 4 snaps

 

As has been the case all season, Rosen was under frequent pressure. Seattle arrived for 11 pressures (6 sacks, 3 hits, 2 hurries) at an average time from snap-to-pressure of 2.19 seconds.

The busted coverage touchdown was Rosen’s one red-zone completion (1-of-3). He was in the gun for 25 snaps and under-center for 13.

Another week, another low conversion rate. The Cardinal passing game converted 8-of-38 plays into first downs (21.1%)

It’s difficult to imagine a more trying rookie season than the one Rosen experienced. The offensive line play was poor, the only consistent pass catcher was Larry Fitzgerald, and Rosen had his own share of rookie mistakes to compound things.

This game goes into the losing performance category marking eight consecutive games that Rosen failed to reach the winning performance category.

 

2018 Performance Results Number of Games
Winning Performance 2 (SEA, SF)
Inconsequential Performance 3 (@MIN, @LAC, @ATL)
Losing Performance 7 (@SF, DEN, @KC, OAK, @GB, DET, LAR, @SEA)

Winning Performance – The QB played well enough to garner a victory. He limited mistakes and made plays in crucial situations.
Inconsequential Performance – More of a game-managing role, the QB didn’t have the big plays, but mistakes were limited.
Losing Performance – The QB limited his team’s ability to win the game with his performance.

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Josh Rosen 2018 Passing Chart – Week 16 vs. LA Rams

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Football, more so than any other sport, requires context to tell the full story. Box scores provide the casual fan with a general idea of the cumulative result of any given game, but without isolating each player’s performance, many details go unnoticed.

This project is entirely based around isolating the play of Josh Rosen. Traditional data points will tell you that his rookie season was one of the worst in the history of the league. Watching each drop back multiple times over, breaking down the most impactful plays, and charting the data that tells the true story, this is the 2018 Josh Rosen charting project.

Jump To:

Week 4 vs. Seattle
Week 5 at San Francisco
Week 6 at Minnesota
Week 7 vs. Denver
Week 8 vs. San Francisco
Week 10 at Kansas City
Week 11 vs. Oakland
Week 12 at LA Chargers
Week 13 at Green Bay
Week 14 vs. Detroit
Week 15 at Atlanta
Week 16 vs. LA Rams
Week 17 at Seattle

 

Week 16 vs. LA Rams –

For the second consecutive game Josh Rosen didn’t finish under-center for the Cardinals. In a blowout loss, where it seemed like the entire game plan revolved around making life easy on Josh Rosen, Arizona still managed to get ran out of the building. Mike Glennon completed the final series for the Red Birds offense.

Rosen threw the ball only 23 times, but scrambled more than he has all season. The game plan also featured the least amount of variety, from a personnel grouping standpoint, all season.

 

11-personnel 30 snaps
12-personnel 1 snap

 

Rosen’s typical third down heroics didn’t show up. The Cardinals converted only 2-of-10 third downs in the passing game (one a QB scramble). Converting, as it has been all season, was a challenge in general — Arizona converted just 6-of-31 drop backs (19.4%).

Rosen was in the shotgun almost exclusively (3 under-center, 28 in the gun). This led to a limited play-action passing game (only one throw from play pass).

The four mistakes attributed to Rosen were largely deep shots. He missed on short pass, but two of the three inaccuracies came on balls down the field. One of those deep shots was an ill-advised throw into coverage despite a wide open Larry Fitzgerald coming across the formation (seen in the video thread).

Rosen’s depth splits were as follows:

 

Portion of the Field Accurate Pass/Number of Passes
20+ yards 0/3 (0%)
11-19 yards 0/3 (0%)
0-10 yards (or behind LOS) 11/16 (68.8%)

 

More than half of Rosen’s 87 passing yards came from YAC (54%). The average depth of Rosen’s passes was 9.22 air yards per throw.

Throwing into tight window was a futile effort. Rosen completed 1-of-7 contested throws for 7 yards. Pressure was a regular fixture, yet again, as Rosen was under duress on 11 drop backs (4 sacks, 5 hits, 2 hurries). The average time from snap-to-pressure was 2.30 seconds.

The war of attrition seems to have finally broken the Cardinals spirit. The team’s execution was lacking all year, but this game was something of a “white flag” effort from the coaching staff. Rosen gets tabbed with a losing performance for a lack of big-time plays, a few mistakes, and an awful holistic result.

 

2018 Performance Results Number of Games
Winning Performance 2 (SEA, SF)
Inconsequential Performance 3 (@MIN, @LAC, @ATL)
Losing Performance 6 (@SF, DEN, @KC, OAK, @GB, DET, LAR)

Winning Performance – The QB played well enough to garner a victory. He limited mistakes and made plays in crucial situations.
Inconsequential Performance – More of a game-managing role, the QB didn’t have the big plays, but mistakes were limited.
Losing Performance – The QB limited his team’s ability to win the game with his performance.

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Josh Rosen 2018 Passing Chart – Week 15 at Atlanta

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Football, more so than any other sport, requires context to tell the full story. Box scores provide the casual fan with a general idea of the cumulative result of any given game, but without isolating each player’s performance, many details go unnoticed.

This project is entirely based around isolating the play of Josh Rosen. Traditional data points will tell you that his rookie season was one of the worst in the history of the league. Watching each drop back multiple times over, breaking down the most impactful plays, and charting the data that tells the true story, this is the 2018 Josh Rosen charting project.

Jump To:

Week 4 vs. Seattle
Week 5 at San Francisco
Week 6 at Minnesota
Week 7 vs. Denver
Week 8 vs. San Francisco
Week 10 at Kansas City
Week 11 vs. Oakland
Week 12 at LA Chargers
Week 13 at Green Bay
Week 14 vs. Detroit
Week 15 at Atlanta
Week 16 vs. LA Rams
Week 17 at Seattle

 

Week 15 at Atlanta –

We’ve reached the point in the season where the Cardinals coaching staff had to make a switch to prevent further damaging their 21-year-old quarterback. Josh Rosen, under duress all game, with very little help from the route concepts and plan to attack the Atlanta defense, was pulled for Mike Glennon in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons pass rush would’ve crippled the most grizzled veteran in the NFL; it completely debilitated Rosen. The Cardinal QB was under pressure 15-of-27 drop backs (6 sacks, 6 hits, 3 hurries) with an average snap-to-pressure time of 2.17 seconds.

Atlanta’s unrelenting pressure led to a season-low in average air yards per attempt (4.6 AYPT). The Arizona receivers picked up 82 yards after the catch counting for 62.1% of Rosen’s passing total.

Once again, a lopsided scoreboard forced Arizona into very little variety from a personnel grouping standpoint. Rosen was 4-of-5 with 37 yards on non-11-personnel calls. The issue there — Arizona was always in 11-personnell.

 

11-personnel 22 snaps
12-personnel 4 snaps
21-personnel 1 snap

 

Rosen only committed two mistakes in the game (one accuracy, one a poor decision). The biggest mistake was an example of nervous antics in the pocket and a decision Rosen would prefer to have back (available in the Twitter thread).

Rosen was under-center just 5 times (gun 22), and only threw from play action three times; Rosen was 2-of-3 with 13 yards on play pass.

The Arizona offense converted only 18.5% (5-of-27) passing plays into first downs. Throwing into contested windows was a 50-50 proposition — Rosen threw for 68 yards on 4-of-8 passing into tight windows.

Rosen’s depth splits were as follows:

 

Portion of the Field Accurate Pass/Number of Passes
20+ yards 1/1 (100%)
11-19 yards 2/3 (66.7%)
0-10 yards (or behind LOS) 12/15 (80%)

 

It was a miserable day for the Cardinals all the way around. Rosen never stood much of a chance to make a big time paly, or to make a game-changing mistake — but the one time he did make a crucial mistake, the game was already out of reach. This showing goes in the inconsequential column.

 

2018 Performance Results Number of Games
Winning Performance 2 (SEA, SF)
Inconsequential Performance 3 (@MIN, @LAC, @ATL)
Losing Performance 5 (@SF, DEN, @KC, OAK, @GB, DET)

Winning Performance – The QB played well enough to garner a victory. He limited mistakes and made plays in crucial situations.
Inconsequential Performance – More of a game-managing role, the QB didn’t have the big plays, but mistakes were limited.
Losing Performance – The QB limited his team’s ability to win the game with his performance.

@WingfieldNFL

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