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Film Study: A Similar Offense In Miami


NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell shares his observations of the upcoming opponent through the tape study of the team's previous game. Here are Cosell's notes from the Miami Dolphins' loss to the Buffalo Bills. Fran Duffy's Eagle Eye in the Sky will feature the All-22 of the Miami offense on Thursday.

Ten Observations Of The Dolphins' Offense

1. There are a lot of similarities between the Dolphins' offense and the Eagles' offense with Bill Lazor as the offensive coordinator in Miami. Many of the same concepts are utilized.

2. The Dolphins feature quarterback Ryan Tannehill under center, pistol and shotgun. It's an offense with formation versatility. Tannehill is a short-to-intermediate passer. He's not a willing downfield thrower and he's not comfortable driving the ball down the field.

3. Miami has played more 12 personnel since Campbell became the head coach. Prior to that, the Dolphins played high percentage 11 personnel.

4. There is a lot of misdirection and deception to the Dolphins' offense, both in the run and pass game.

5. The Dolphins have no power element to their offense. They cannot line up and run the ball through the heart of a defense.

6. Inside zone remains the foundation of the Dolphins' run game. Running back Lamar Miller has explosive downhill traits, but he's not a physical inside runner.

7. Miami shows just enough read-option that defensively you must prepare for it. Tannehill has had some big runs the last two years.

8. Jarvis Landry continues to be the Dolphins' move receiver. He aligns all over the formation and is the shift-motion receiver.

9. The Dolphins will selectively jump into speed tempo no huddle pending on down and distance and field location.

10. Right tackle Jason Fox really struggled in pass protection. He's a liability who needs to be attacked one on one.

Ten Observations Of The Dolphins' Defense

1. The Bills attacked the edge of the Dolphins' defense with the run game. Miami struggled to defend those outside runs which it will have to do against the Eagles. Defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby did not play well in the outside run game. They either allowed the back to get outside of them or they widened too much and did not constrict the inside gap. Shelby started for the Dolphins with Wake on Injured Reserve.

2. The player who always stands out on the Dolphins' defense is defensive tackle Earl Mitchell.

3. Ndamukong Suh's sack in the fourth quarter was a great example of what kind of player and pass rusher he is: Relentlessly powerful more than explosively quick. Suh and Mitchell can be dominant inside. Suh can be relentlessly powerful and Mitchell plays with great intensity.

4. Cornerback Brent Grimes is not the same player he once was. He has definitely lost a little quickness and speed.

5. Brice McCain was back at nickel slot corner for the Dolphins after missing two games with injury.

6. The Dolphins went man-free blitz on Bills first third-and-long. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor broke the pocket and ran for 14 yards. Running back LeSean McCoy crossed the formation and made a great block on blitzing safety Reshad Jones.

7. The Bills gained 420 yards on only 51 plays. That's as astounding 8.2 yards per play. They were 8-of-13 on third down, including Sammy Watkins' 44-yard touchdown and running back Karlos Williams' 38-yard score.

8. Williams' touchdown came out of 11 personnel with Williams offset right with Taylor in the shotgun. It was sweep right with guard Richie Incognito pulling. The Bills caught the Dolphins in a double A-gap alignment so there were fewer bodies at the second level of the defense. Vernon widened to force Williams to cut it back inside but there was no one there.

9. Miami played dime on Bills' first third-and-long with both safeties Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens on the field. Prior to that snap, they had played only nine snaps of dime all season.

10. The Dolphins played predominantly single-high safety coverages against the Bills which was likely a function of the Bills' personnel and run foundation.

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