Stop us if you have heard this before:
The Dolphins "want to run an up-tempo, no-huddle offense." And they believe they have the quarterback to do it.
That's according to Miami's new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who knows all about the Dolphins' failure to meet Adam Gase's vision for his offense the last two seasons, but is determined to make this year different.
That will depend largely on the health and form of Ryan Tannehill, who is still rehabbing from his second major knee injury in less than a year.
Tannehill is now nine months removed from ACL surgery, and the Dolphins might play it safe with him for the time being.
Spring practices begin on May 22, and what exactly he will do remains to be seen; Loggains said that Dolphins coaches are "in the process of putting together a good plan for him." But Loggains likes what he has seen so far, saying that he's "absolutely" sold on Tannehill as a franchise quarterback.
"He’s a good thrower," Loggains said. "He can make all of the throws. He can attack you 53 1/3 [yards, the width of the field,] and put the ball down the field the way we need him to do. There’s not a throw he can’t make. We’re just in the process of cleaning up the communication thing. There’s some fundamental stuff we’re working hard on. As far as throwing, I haven’t seen any limitations of anything."
Again, this should all be familiar to even the most casual observer. Gase took the Dolphins job in 2016, in large part, because Tannehill was part of the package. And he wanted to run his offense at a break-neck pace in Year 1.
It didn't happen. The players that surrounded Tannehill simply could not pull it off, so they slowed way down and fed Jay Ajayi the ball.
Twenty seventeen was supposed to be different. Tannehill was dialed in throughout OTAs and the first week of training camp. And then he tore the same ligament in his left knee that he did the previous December, and was lost for the year.
The Dolphins' offense, with Jay Cutler, was similarly lost.
So Gase's up-tempo offense was scrapped again.
No longer. He has the personnel he wants. The players have the experience they need. And Tannehill should have command of Gase's offense. This is the longest he's been in any one system as a pro. Mike Sherman and Bill Lazor were both gone after two years.
"It’s been impressive to watch Ryan throw the football and the command he has of the offense," Loggains said, unsolicited. "The 2016 season, he had such a good year and for me, when I got here, the first thing I did was turn on the OTAs and training camp right before he got hurt, and got to watch how much improvement, how much jump he was taking in Year 2. It was unfortunate he got hurt. Obviously, the offense was affected by it."
The same goes for DeVante Parker, who is entering Year 4 of a pro career that has been all potential, but little fulfillment.
Parker has battled foot, hamstring and ankle injuries throughout his career, but the Dolphins believe he still can be great.
"Through his career here, the one thing that’s really impressed about DeVante is for a long-cut guy, he can get in out and of breaks," Loggains said. "That’s really impressive to watch on the field. He can run those comebacks, drop his hips. A lot of long-cut guys struggle with that. DeVante has the ability to do that.
"The first cut up I turned on was Day 1 of training camp, he was playing above the rim, catching a red area touchdown," Loggains continued. "We have to make sure we max out his potential, because it’s there. We’ve got to get it out of him. I think familiarity with the offense, being in it for another year, playing with Ryan consistency. Fourth year, you hope the light comes on and he’s the player we expect him to be."
One possible change on offense this year: Formation and personnel groupings.
The Dolphins were a base three-wide, one tight end, one running back offense last year, and Loggains initially expected 2018 to be more of the same. But getting Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe in the draft has made him reconsider. Now, the Dolphins have the ability to go four-wide on one play and three tight ends the next.