Dan Campbell conducted a tutorial on the advantages of using multiple tight ends Thursday — not surprising, considering he coached that position the past four-plus years.
“I’m trying to get four tight ends in the game,” Campbell said, mostly in jest. (The Dolphins technically could after adding a fourth to their active roster in Brandon Williams this week.)
But as long as they’re healthy and productive, the Dolphins will mostly go with Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims. And it could become their base offense.
Cameron and Sims are both athletic and versatile, which creates a conundrum for opposing teams: Do they stay in their base defense and risk getting beat through the air, or go to nickel and possibly get run over?
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“For us, that’s something we’d like to live a lot more in, two-tights,” Campbell said.
FINDING A BALANCE
The Dolphins had by far their most balanced offensive approach of the season against the Titans, but both Campbell and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor insisted it was the run-pass split that the team wanted under Joe Philbin.
“Most games when we have had success here, we’ve been closer to balanced,” Lazor said.
Lazor was particularly happy about the amount of Dolphins third-down situations last week (9), which reflected high production on first and second downs.
“If you get first downs, you get more chances to run it,” Lazor said.
After Jarvis Landry, no Dolphins receiver was on the field more than Rishard Matthews on Sunday (60 of 67 snaps). Matthews has earned the playing time; his 363 receiving yards and three touchdown catches both lead the team.
But with Matthews’ emergence, that has meant fewer opportunities for Greg Jennings and DeVante Parker, Miami’s first-round pick.
“There is not one guy that we don’t like or we’re down on,” Lazor said. “Some days you come out of it and say, ‘I wish we had more passes’. … I would like for each of them to get it a whole bunch of times, but it just doesn’t work out that way.”
The Dolphins received some encouraging injury news Thursday. Three players practiced fully after being limited Wednesday: CB Brent Grimes (knee), S Reshad Jones (shoulder) and Cameron Wake (hamstring).
CB Zack Bowman also practiced without limitation after missing Wednesday’s session due to an undisclosed non-injury issue.
Two players did pop up on the injury report for the first time this week: C Mike Pouncey (hip), who was limited Thursday, and backup QB Matt Moore (nose), who was not.
ODDS AND ENDS
▪ Campbell, on what has surprised him the most in the last three weeks:
“Things that I’ve heard about, but didn’t necessarily know until it happened, which is all the other things that come along with being in this position which don’t have anything to do with football. From who sits in what seat on the plane on road trips to what time should snack be? I’ve got help with those, but there’s little things like that that pop up that really aren’t top priority that you have to deal with.”
▪ Campbell challenged the Dolphins’ fan base to show up and make lots of noise Sunday against the Texans: “I expect Sun Life is going to be packed, and it’s going to be loud, and our defense is going to love it.”