Miami Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel ought to borrow passing ideas from Kyle Shanahan


Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is without doubt one of the most polarizing names within the NFL. The Dolphins chosen him with the fifth decide within the 2020 NFL Draft, one choice forward of Justin Herbert. And whereas the early returns and the expertise distinction are stark, that doesn’t imply Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins can’t discover success with Tua. McDaniel hails from the Kyle Shanahan teaching tree, which matches again to the Mike Shanahan tree, which is absolutely the Bill Walsh tree.

We’ve seen the youthful Shanahan have nice success with Jimmy Garoppolo, who will not be one of many 15-best quarterbacks within the league. Just a few passing ideas, particularly, may feed off what Tua excelled at in faculty and what would maximize the expertise surrounding the younger QB.

Maximizing the Miami Dolphins’ weapons

The idea shouldn’t be overseas. Miami attacked the offseason with a commerce for Tyreek Hill. As probably the greatest receivers within the NFL, Hill instantly brings expectations together with him, however not solely for himself.

Tua should present marked enchancment in Yr 3. He has a greater offensive thoughts round him, probably the most harmful weapon within the league at receiver, and a youthful model of that receiver in Jaylen Waddle. They’re two of probably the most explosive receivers within the league, and each are authentic landing threats each time they contact the ball.

So the offense ought to be predicated on horizontal-passing ideas that permit the 2 freedom to make performs after the catch. There ought to be very few cases of receivers merely operating to the sticks and turning round to attend for the ball.

We’ll take a look at a couple of ideas that might vastly influence Miami’s offense, after which we’ll tag a couple of extra on the finish as a bonus for collaborating.

Shot play: Burner

The Dolphins don’t have a standard X receiver anymore. DeVante Parker would have been that participant, however he’s now in New England. Rookie Erik Ezukanma could ultimately match into that position, however three extra proficient gamers are forward of him.

The Burner idea places Cowl 3 appears into battle. It additionally presents a tough matchup for the slot defender in opposition to the F receiver in Quarters.

Vs. Cowl 3

Towards Cowl 3, the cornerback ought to bail into the deep third with the X. In the meantime, the curl-flat defender has a couple of points on his plate.

First, the menace to his space is coming from the other slot, which signifies that communication between the deep security, linebackers, and himself should be on level, and his head should be on a swivel. Second, the test launch from the operating again is supposed as each an outlet for the QB and as bait to tug that defender ahead.

The way in which to take this away defensively is to have the WILL linebacker attempt to carry the over route by the F whereas the deep security drives excessive and beat that over path to the spot.

However that creates an extra drawback for the protection. The Z is now operating throughout the center at 20 yards vast open as a result of the Z is in all probability Hill on this offense. No cornerback with out outdoors and deep leverage carries him throughout the center even if he makes an attempt to sample match. This offers Waddle and Hill horizontal area in opposition to much less athletic defenders in zone protection.

Vs. Quarters

There are far too many variants to account for, so we’re sticking to the fundamental match-based Quarters protection right here.

The surface cornerbacks shall be in man protection in opposition to the 2 outdoors receivers. The safeties to every facet are answerable for the second receiver to their facet, however provided that that receiver goes vertical. If not, they’re robbing No. 1.

As a result of the Burner has the F crossing the sphere, that duty falls on the slot defender to hold throughout the sphere.

What slot defender goes to constantly carry Waddle throughout the complete subject? It might entail the bottom slot or WILL to return off his duty to the again and bail to the spot, leaving the flat outlet alone for a simple completion.


This league is about matchups, and some of the performs on the above sheet catch the attention when excited about Miami’s personnel.

Z Dagger F Shallow

These are the highest two performs. First, having the 6-foot-6 Mike Gesicki streaking up the seam ought to garner some consideration. Second, this once more offers Waddle a route crossing the sphere. Towards man protection, he’ll proceed operating and can sit versus zone.

Dagger is solely a tried and true idea that typically disturbs each open and closed middle-of-the-field appears. It places a horrible duty on the cornerback to drive inside on the in-breaking dagger route by the Z.

And right here it’s run by Hill.

Cluster 3 Jet Z Dagger X Shallow

This offers the identical look as the highest proper graphic, however with the X and F flipped and Hill in movement pre-snap.

The movement can provide Tua a cue on the protection between man and zone. Nonetheless, as a result of the unique alignment is a bunch, the protection would have in all probability checked right into a zone look. A variety of groups prefer to run a Cowl 3 variant in opposition to the tight cluster.

Irrespective of the protection, the Dolphins have an already full-speed Hill steaming vertically, which makes life tough for any protection.

His vertical menace forces defenders to actually bail exhausting, making the mirror to the center of the sphere far tougher.

Flag Water idea

There was no want to select any particular formation variation of this idea. Irrespective of who’s in movement or who runs what, the backers shall be in battle between the shallow and deeper routes sneaking behind them from the other facet.

Moreover, every one has both Hill or Waddle as the first goal on the China Route and the opposite because the secondary on the Flag. The one one that doesn’t is the Stack formation with the F operating the shallow throughout the sphere.

Dolphins bonus materials

That was all a bit nerdy. Listed here are a couple of different favorites that simply missed the reduce however also needs to present up right here and there on Sundays.

Y Leak

Getting Gesicki concerned downfield isn’t a foul possibility, and Y Leak rivals the slot fade in its undefeated-ness. However the first two choices right here will stay the 2 most explosive playmakers in Hill and Waddle, so it’s a win for the complete gang.


This can be a related philosophy to the Burner idea. A deep route complemented by a deep crossing sample and an beneath path to battle with the beneath defender.

Y Selection

Gesicki is fairly proficient, particularly as a receiving menace. This selection route permits him the liberty to assault the defender’s leverage.

3 Jet Hooters

We in all probability gained’t see this idea apart from lengthy third downs or end-of-half conditions.

There may be the event the place that is run on a 2nd-and-short scenario, and McDaniel needs to take a shot, however the deep drop paired with a nonetheless underwhelming offensive line makes it a bit impractical.

As a result of Tua doesn’t have an enormous arm, deep middle-of-field passes permit Miami to push the ball downfield with out lengthening the throw for his or her QB.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Professional Soccer Community. You’ll be able to learn extra of his work here and comply with him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch.

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