In the two seasons under Joe Philbin, the Miami Dolphins’ offense has ranked in the 26th and 27th respectively in the league. With Mike Sherman leading the offense, the Dolphins were unable to provide a creative, explosive offense that is required to put up points in today’s NFL. Well with the firing of Mike Sherman this offseason, the Dolphins wanted to bring in a young offensive mind that will best utilize the talent that the team has and also be able to be explosive and put points up on the board. They hired Bill Lazor, the quarterbacks coach from the Philadelphia Eagles that was credited for helping Nick Folesemerge last season. With Lazor being under head coach Chip Kelly, he learned a lot from him and is now using a lot his concepts and installing them into Miami’s new version of the West Coast offense. And with a new offense comes changes. These changes will be much welcomed in Miami and some will be key if they are succeed this year.
1. Mike Wallace will be used in a variety of new roles this year.
When Wallace came to Miami last year, he was deemed as the deep threat savior for this offense. As it turned out, Mike Sherman has no clue as to how to use this weapon correctly and Wallace’ yards per catch average were his lowest of his career. With Lazor installing a spread West Coast offense, Wallace will be used in a variety of ways this year. “Nobody can ever key on me,” Wallace said to media after an OTA practice. “Last year, you kind of knew where I was every single play, what you had to do because I was there every game, same spot. Moving around, it’s harder for the defense to know where you’re at, harder for them to adjust.”
In addition to Wallace being moved around a lot in the new offense, he will be running some new routes as well. When asked about the new offense after an OTA practice early last week, Tannehill told the media that everyone has been learning something new, including the wide receivers learning new routes they have never ran before. When asked about the new offense, Wallace, via the Miami Herald, said, “My style: Big-play offense. I see Ryan’s excited about it. He’s called me about eight, nine times. I just want to make some plays for my team. Go out and make some plays for my team and have a much better year than last year.”
2. There has been a complete overhaul of the offensive line this offseason
With four starting offensive line positions needing to be filled coming into this offseason, the Dolphins have looked to have filled each one. With Branden Albert slated to start at left tackle, Mike Pouncey at center, rookie Ja’Wuan James at right tackle, Shelley Smith at one of the guard positions, and a competition between rookie Billy Turner, Sam Brenner, Dallas Thomas, and Nate Garner, for the other guard spot, the Dolphins looks as if they might have completely rebuilt their offensive line this year.
3. There will be serious competition for the starting guard spots on the offensive line.
With only two starting offensive guard spots available and five guys competing for the two spots, the offensive guard position looks to be a very competitive battle this offseason. Guards Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner, Shelley Smith, Sam Brenner, and Nate Garner are all competing for two of the available guard spots on the roster. The “projected starting lineup” has been Branden Albert, Billy Turner, Mike Pouncey, Shelley Smith, and Ja’Wuan James going from left to right. But just like there is parody league-wide in the NFL, there is was change and parody when it comes to training camp battles on every team as well, and this looks no different. Most expect that it will come down to Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner competing for the left guard spot with Shelley Smith locking up the right guard spot, but again with parody ever present, there is no for sure thing until is plays out on the field.