Following Bill Lazor‘s hiring as the Dolphins offensive coordinator, people within league circles immediately wondered if the Chip Kelly high-flying offense would be making its way to Miami because of Lazor’s connection to the Philadelphia Eagles head coach. So far through the offseason program, it appears that bits and pieces from the famed college and now NFL system is making its way into the Miami playbook. Built on the concept of speed and pace, Lazor’s new scheme looks to use the athleticism and agile skill sets of the Dolphins offensive weapons, utilizing them in ways that they’ve previously not be used before. That’s positive news to ESPN.com’s Matt Williamson, a former NFL scout, who feels like the offense is heading in the right direction.
In an interview with The Finsiders, Williamson spoke about how Lazor’s offense is influenced by Kelly, and how Miami’s offense will improve from last season.
The offense will obviously only go as far as third year quarterback Ryan Tannehill will take it, and we’ve heard time and time again that Tannehill’s athletic style of quarterbacking is the perfect fit for something like this. Williamson is still high on Tannehill because of his talent mobility, and thinks that he could fill the role Nick Foles did for Philadelphia last year.
“I’m still very much a Tannehill fan, and I think I’m higher on him than most people are across the country,” said Williamson. “I think he has a good feel for the position, I think he has all of the ability in the world, I think his leg will be more utilized than in the previous regime did. We didn’t see a lot of that from Nick Foles, but we do know the Chip Kelly system stresses a mobile quarterback and I think Tannehill’s athletic enough to pull that off for sure.”
Another major cog in the Kelly system was former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, and Williamson sees a current Dolphins player filling that slot nicely. Primed for a bounce back season in the same vein as Jackson was last year, receiver Mike Wallace may be the man to showcase his skills the brightest in this type of scheme.
“I look at Mike Wallace and think he’s DeSean Jackson, and an improved line should help him as well,” said Williamson. “I think he’s somebody that has gone under the radar quite a bit and could have a bounce back season in this system if the line is better and they can actually throw deep and use his skills. So I think the offense will be improved.”
But the deep ball weapon isn’t the most important part of this offense in the eyes of the former scout. In fact, throwing the ball all over the field isn’t the basis of this offense. It may be high paced, but it’s focused on the ground game more than anything else. If Miami’s receivers can not only be factors in the passing game but also blocking downfield, it can unlock this system’s unlimited potential.
“The common misconception is that this is a high-paced, throw it all over the field type of offense,” said Williamson. “And while it is high-paced, it’s a very run heavy scheme and he wants everybody to be able to block, especially when you have a home run threat like a (LeSean) McCoy, like a (Lamar) Miller. If you can have a receiver spring a block deep downfield that could end up being a long touchdown run for your back. I think that’s something that they do stress from that position.”
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