There is no team that spent more this free agency than the Miami Dolphins. While the acquisition and extension of Tyreek Hill dominated headlines, the team spent plenty more on the offensive side of the ball.
A total of eight new offensive players have been added to Miami’s roster, all of which is part of new coach Mike McDaniel’s revamp. Expectations are to win now, so Tua and the Dolphins better play their best game.
This article will give my breakdown on how Miami’s offense will differ from year’s past, based off the talent on their roster and McDaniel’s schemes of the past.
After extended success with the 49ers, Mike McDaniel is looking to take what he has learned from Kyle Shanahan and apply it in South Beach. In San Francisco, the 49ers’ offense was built through the run game, and relied on phenomenal blocking from his offensive line and fullback.
With the signings of Conor Williams and top free agent Terron Armstead, Miami Dolphins now have the proper big bodies to compare with McDaniel’s former front line. Armstead is one of the few NFL players comparable to all-pro Trent Williams, who McDaniel used innovative methods to allow him to become a lead blocker in certain plays.
Another integral piece to the 49ers offense was Kyle Juszczyk, a fullback that can both block in the run and be a serviceable receiver out of the backfield. With Miami signing Alec Ingold, they have found another athletic fullback who can do anything asked of him.
Miami made a multitude of signings and trades this offseason that fits exactly with Mike McDaniel’s analytic, run-first offense.
Miami’s Dolphins Track Stars
Outside of the trenches, the Dolphin’s skill position players are the fastest in the NFL, especially after their acquisition of the “cheetah” Tyreek Hill. The team’s undisputable speed gives McDaniel more room for creativity in his offensive play calling.
Hill can be used similarly to how McDaniel utilized Samuel, minus extended time in the backfield. While Hill is universally known as a deep threat, he is just as effective on short passes and end-arounds to the outside. These plays let Hill make plays in the open field with the ball already in his hands, which will maximize his ability.
Outside of Hill, Jaylen Waddle is another trailblazer at wide receiver, and led all rookies in catches a year ago. Waddle will likely see a decrease in targets with Tyreek Hill now in the mix, but still draws plenty of attention from every defense they face.
Lastly, in the backfield, Miami brought in two of the fastest halfbacks in the NFL, including a player tha worked in a McDaniel scheme in the past, Raheem Mostert. Mostert is arguably the fastest back in the open field, and when last seen healthy, torched the Green Bay Packers for 225 yards in the NFC championship back in 2020.
While Mostert will likely take the majority of the carries, former Arizona Cardinal Chase Edmunds is a receiver first who can work as a safety valve for Tua Tagovailoa. Edmunds may be undersized, but is a nightmare to tackle due to his elusiveness and breakaway speed.
Tua’s Ultimate Responsibilities
No matter how great the supporting cast is, the Dolphin’s fate this season relies heavily on the play of Tua Tagovailoa, who just wrapped up his second NFL season. His 2021 season was average at best, passing for under 2700 yards in thirteen games, along with sixteen touchdowns and ten interceptions.
His best attribute is his accuracy, as he completed about 68% of his passes a year ago. He is not as effective deep downfield as one would hope at this point, in Mike McDaniel’s system, that should not be a major problem.
I expect Tua to play a similar role as Jimmy Garroppolo, who had the main responsibility of getting the ball to the team’s best playmakers. I expect Tagovailoa to be a game manager this upcoming season, but that is not necessarily a bad thing for this team’s success.
There is a talent overhaul coming Tua’s way in 2022, and it’s his responsibility to not get in the way.
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