Breaking down Miami Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel’s use of fullbacks

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Whereas some NFL offensive coordinators have eradicated the fullback place from their playbooks, first-year Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel isn’t a member of that group. As a notable department throughout the Shanahan teaching tree, McDaniel is acquainted with the worth a fullback can convey to an offense, particularly after teaching perennial Professional Bowl participant Kyle Juszczyk in San Francisco for the previous 5 years.

How the fullback can influence each phases of the Dolphins’ offense

Now in control of the offense in South Florida, McDaniel couldn’t wait to convey a fullback to Miami. In reality, the top coach just lately admitted it was on the high of his personnel to-do listing.

“I’ve been lucky sufficient, since 2005, to be in the identical construction of offense, and this will likely be my seventh group,” McDaniel stated. “From the start line of Day 1 set up, I’ve had a fullback concerned.”

The Dolphins are considered one of a handful of groups with multiple fullbacks on their roster heading into coaching camp. Former Las Vegas Raiders fullback Alec Ingold is the favourite for the beginning job, whereas John Lovett will push for a job on Miami’s roster or elsewhere.

The fullback job ought to be considered as a coveted put up beneath McDaniel, who helped flip Juszcyzk right into a transcendent expertise on the afterthought place, which as soon as appeared on the verge of extinction.

Mike McDaniel will look to create mismatches together with his fullbacks

With the NFL’s elevated deal with the passing sport, the fullback place has tailored with a purpose to survive. As an alternative of trying to find lumbering blockers with huge shoulder pads, groups who use fullbacks are actually looking for a mismatch machine.

Juszczyk was that mismatch-maker in San Francisco, and Ingold just lately informed Professional Soccer Community that he joined the Dolphins partially due to McDaniel’s background with Juszczyk.

Ingold is an athlete who can run, catch, and block, and that may assist McDaniel combine and match personnel with a fullback on the sector. The Dolphins can use 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs) with regularity. That formation might create complications for opposing defensive coordinators, who want to find out the function of the fullback on a given play. Is Ingold within the sport to dam? Is he a passing possibility? Might he run the ball himself?

The fullback’s presence might additionally influence the move of offensive substitutions. For example, if Ingold is within the sport, that would imply that Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are the one wideouts on the sector. Or, Ingold might drive a good finish, corresponding to franchise-tagged playmaker Mike Gesicki, briefly out of the lineup.

McDaniel desires fluidity in his personnel groupings in order that defensive coordinators need to do psychological gymnastics to place in the precise defenders to close down his assault. This method by McDaniel might result in greater holes within the operating sport and extra room for wideouts to function in area. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa may benefit from Ingold, not solely from his blocking but in addition as an outlet weapon. – Mike Kaye, PFN Lead NFL Reporter

The Dolphins’ present stack of playmakers is already tough to venture so including a fullback who can be utilized like Juszczyk to the combo additional muddies the water. In 2021, Juszczyk was focused 38 instances and ran the ball eight instances. The query is whether or not McDaniel would use Ingold equally or if that utilization was particular to Juszczyk.

Miami’s fantasy football upside with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and a three-headed backfield will endure a bit of even dropping 30 targets. There are such a lot of new elements throughout the offense that it’s exhausting to be assured within the unit’s potential quantity or the way it will operate. McDaniel utilizing a invaluable fullback additional complicates issues.

One of the best case is Miami makes use of Gesicki to his full athletic potential as a transfer tight finish and large slot goal. This might get him straightforward completions in area as a fullback in sure conditions as nicely. We actually don’t need targets being filtered to Ingold, although.

I wouldn’t knock any of Miami’s high playmakers decrease with the inclusion of a fullback by a major quantity. It’s truthful to anticipate each Hill and Waddle to get the lion’s share of targets, whereas it’s potential Gesicki and operating again Chase Edmonds lose two to a few mixed targets every sport. – Tommy Garrett, PFN Senior Fantasy Analyst

How the Dolphins’ use of a fullback might influence betting odds

There’s no motive to bury the lede right here. The Dolphins’ use of a fullback shouldn’t be going to influence their betting odds in any respect. There are solely a handful of fullbacks that play any kind of significant snaps within the NFL. On the 49ers, I wouldn’t say McDaniel utilized the fullback place; he particularly utilized Juszczyk.

Miami has Ingold as their presumptive beginning fullback. He’s been one of many extra lively fullbacks over the previous couple of years, however that also amounted to only a 12% snap share in 2021. It’s potential he’s extra concerned on the Dolphins, however Ingold’s not about to maneuver the percentages.

I’ve full confidence in McDaniel to deploy his gamers in a fashion that maximizes their potential. With that stated, Ingold’s utilization and function on the group shouldn’t be going to play a think about any bets you make (or don’t make) on Dolphins video games. – Jason Katz, PFN Fantasy and Betting Analyst

How the Dolphins’ use of a fullback might influence their 2023 NFL Draft plans

Look, I like fullbacks as a lot as the following man. There’s nothing extra satisfying than seeing an anger-filled 6’0”, 240-pound man completely slab a linebacker in open area as a lead blocker, solely to thirst for extra contact thereafter. But when we’re speaking about how the Dolphins’ use of a fullback might influence their 2023 NFL Draft plans, we will’t sugarcoat it. Any influence will likely be minor.

At the beginning, Miami already has an skilled fullback in Ingold, who’s nonetheless younger and trending up. They signed him to a two-year contract price over $6 million this previous offseason. So odds are, Miami will roll with Ingold at FB for the foreseeable future, barring a notable regression in 2022.

Likelihood is Ingold is due for an elevated function with McDaniel. He possible received’t be Juszczyk — few are. However in McDaniel’s scheme, there’s an excellent likelihood Ingold can have extra duty. There will likely be elevated strain that comes with that duty. And if Ingold doesn’t meet expectations, the Dolphins have the capital to usher in competitors within the 2023 NFL Draft.

Any fullback choice will possible be on Day 3, the place the Dolphins are at present projected to have three complete picks in Rounds 5-7. As of now, there’s no surefire standout within the 2023 NFL Draft FB class. However two names to look at are NDSU’s Hunter Luepke and Iowa’s Monte Pottebaum. Luepke is a tricky, gritty, and versatile utility participant for the Bison, whereas Pottebaum is a hard-nosed blocker who brings extra worth as a short-yardage again. – Ian Cummings, PFN NFL Draft Analyst

Join PFN Move and take a look at ‘The Rise of the Fullback’

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As soon as signed up, you should definitely take a look at “The Rise of the Fullback” by PFN Lead NFL Report Mike Kaye, on why groups are making the once-forgotten place related once more.


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