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Miami Dolphins

Ideal Lineups for the 2019 Miami Dolphins (1.0 Post Draft)

Travis Wingfield

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Mock draft season is fun for football writers for a couple of reasons. First, and foremost, the simulations generate clicks like nobody’s business. Then, if the writer is a genuine football fan, there’s the entertainment aspect of playing General Manager for all 32 teams.

Dec 9, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Brandon Bolden (38) celebrates his touchdown against the New England Patriots during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With the exception of one, singular mock on the eve of the draft, I resisted the urge and stayed true to my “no mocks” policy.

But now the Dolphins have a football team; a nearly-full roster ready to embark on another season. With rookie minicamps just two days out, and organized team activities to come later this month, this will serve as our 1.0 version of a roster prediction piece.

Rather than telling you who’s going to make the team, without any real knowledge of how these players are fitting into the new landscape of the Miami Dolphins, I’ll do you one better — I’ll detail who belongs in which personnel package.

Let’s start with the offense.

Six positions, in an ideal world, will never come off the field. Each of the five offensive linemen and the quarterback are destined to play 100% of the offensive snaps. With an ensuing camp-battle at, quite literally, five of those six position, we won’t venture into who wins those competitions…yet.

There are nine offensive groupings that a play caller can choose from — with the exception of exotic packages (i.e. Miami’s 31-personnel package in 2018 with Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage and Brandon Bolden on the field). Those rarities make up less than 1% of any given offense’s package deployments, so we will refrain from getting too deep into the weeds.

The nine common offensive groupings are:

11 – (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR)
12 – (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR)
13 – (1 RB, 3 TE, 1 WR)
21 – (2 RB, 1 TE, 2 WR)
20 – (2 RB, 0 TE, 3 WR)
23 – (2 RB, 3 TE, 0 WR)
01 – (0 RB, 1 TE, 4 WR)
10 – (1 RB, 0 TE, 4 WR)
00 – (0 RB, 0 TE, 5 WR)

Miami is fortunate enough to have diversity and depth at each of the position groups. With size, speed, and capable bodies up-and-down the depth chart, Miami can substitute and frustrated defensive coordinators with mismatches.

 

Package Running Backs Tight Ends Wide Outs
11 Drake Gesicki Wilson, Grant, Stills
12 Drake Gesicki, Allen Wilson, Grant
13 Ballage Allen, Smythe, O’Leary Stills
21 Drake, Cox Allen Wilson, Parker
20 Drake, Ballage Wilson, Grant, Stills
23 Drake, Cox Allen, Smythe, O’Leary
01 Gesicki Wilson, Grant, Stills, Parker
10 Drake Wilson, Grant, Stills, Parker
00 Wilson, Grant, Stills, Parker, Butler

 

Now, of course, any of these packages can institute substitutions throughout the course of the game, and for a variety of reasons. Injuries, fatigue, or even a more preferable matchup based on the opponent, you can bet Chad O’Shea will have multiple options for each of these packages.

The one, unnamed package that will certainly garner discussion, is the heavy package — extra offensive linemen. The Dolphins did it last year, and the Patriots made a habit of running a sixth big man onto the field under Josh McDaniels (O’Shea’s mentor). If he makes the team out of training camp, sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince has the makeup of an ideal sixth-linemen for the heavy package.

The defensive side of the ball is a little bit more complex. Rotation is much more common at all three levels of the defense. Substitution is necessity for conditioning purposes meaning you’ll often see a series-by-series rotation on the defensive line.

Just as the offensive side has positions that — ideally — don’t leave the field, defense has its 100% snap-takers as well. The free and strong safeties, the perimeter corners, and one — sometimes two — linebackers will take every rep.

With far less competition at these spots, I can confidently tell you that the five 100% players on Miami’s defense are: Xavien Howard, Eric Rowe, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Reshad Jones, and Raekwon McMillan — though McMillan could come off the field on third-and-long in lieu of a ‘backer more adept in coverage and as a blitzer.

You’ve probably read about the Dolphins defense featuring a hybrid between 4-3 and 3-4 looks — don’t listen to that. This defense is far more complex than pigeonholing the calls into two options. Miami’s fronts will be fluid and multiple.

Locked On Dolphins Writer Kevin Dern authored an extensive look at Miami’s potential defensive packages, coming over from New England with Brian Flores, in a February film study piece.

Here are the number of play calls, from each personnel grouping, that New England ran in 2018 under Flores.

HALF DOLLAR – 30 personnel (3 DL, 0 LB, 8 DBs) – 1 Snap
QUARTER – 40 personnel (4 DL, 0 LB, 7 DBs) – 3 Snaps
QUARTER – 31 personnel (3 DL, 1 LB, 7 DBs) – 45 Snaps
QUARTER – 22 personnel (2 DL, 2 LBs, 7 DBs) – 41 Snaps
DIME – 41 personnel (4 DL, 1 LB, 6 DBs) – 82 Snaps
DIME – 32 personnel (3 DL, 2 LBs, 6 DBs) – 162 Snaps
DIME – 23 personnel (2 DL, 3LBs, 6 DBs) – 1 Snap
NICKEL – 42 personnel (4 DL, 2 LBs, 5 DBs) – 307 Snaps
NICKEL – 33 personnel (3 DL, 3 LBs, 5 DBs) – 226 Snaps
BASE – 52 personnel (5 DL, 2 LBs, 4 DBs) – 12 Snaps
BASE – 43 personnel (4 DL, 3 LBs, 4 DBs) – 97 Snaps
BASE – 34 personnel (3 DL, 4 LBs, 4 DBs) – 13 Snaps
HEAVY – 53 personnel (5 DL, 3 LBs, 3 DBs) – 1 Snap
HEAVY – 63 personnel (6 DL, 3 LBs, 2 DBs) – 7 Snaps
HEAVY – 64 personnel (6 DL, 4 LBs, 1 DB) – 3 Snaps

For the sake of this exercise, and redundancy, I’m going to cut out the deployments that featured fewer than 20 snaps (30, 40, 23, 52, 34, 53, 63, and 64-personnell. Also, I’ll list the ideal 11 players that will be on the field for each package.

REMEMBER – Howard, Rowe, Jones, and Fitzpatrick are on the field for EVERY play.

Personnel Defensive Linemen Linebackers Secondary (25, 21, 29, 20)
31 Harris, Wilkins, Taylor Baker McCain, Davis, Smith
22 Wilkins, Taylor McMillan, Baker McCain, Davis, Smith
41 Wilkins, Godchaux, Taylor, Harris McMillan McCain, Smith
32 Wilkins, Taylor, Harris McMillan, Baker McCain, Smith
42 Wilkins, Godchaux, Taylor, Harris McMillan, Baker McCain
33 Wilkins, Godchaux, Taylor McMillan, Baker, Alonso McCain
43 Wilkins, Godchaux, Harris, Carradine McMillan, Baker, Alonso

 

Again, it’s difficult to usher in much variety when fatigue is not a factor. Andrew Van Ginkel has a shot to play a lot this year if he can flash early in camp. Often times, New England would bring the fifth defensive back onto the field by-way of a safety, opposed to the traditional nickel corner. This probably won’t be the case due simply to Miami’s personnel at the corner and safety positions respectively.

A lot of this will change in the coming months. Miami is expected to meet with former Packers Linebacker Nick Perry today, so we could see new bodies added to this sheet this week. But this is the type of exercise the Dolphins coaches will play out in the meeting room as they piece together the plan for the 2019 season.

Be sure to join us on the site and the podcast when mock lineups 2.0 is released sometime prior to training camp in July.

@WingfieldNFL

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  1. Avatar

    Todd Shank

    May 8, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I think it is likely one of the pat’s QUARTER–31 snaps was miscounted. It probably should have been counted as a DIME-31.1* (3DL, 1LB, 1TE, 6DB).

    * “Gronkowski . . . . Didn’t have the angle!”

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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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