Coaches and scouts began preparing for the football season in January. Players joined them a few months later.
The Dolphins have since gone through Organized Team Activities, minicamps, training camp, exhibition games and now 12 weeks of the regular season. And yet, they still do not know who they are on offense, according to Clyde Christensen.
Asked Thursday if the Dolphins have an offensive identity, Christensen (the Dolphins’ coordinator of that phase of the game) responded:
“Not yet. I feel like we’re still, same thing, where so many things, we’re back quarterback-wise. I feel like we’re fighting for one. I think we are fighting for one. ... We’ve kind of lost our identity. We kind of thrived on protecting the football and right now, we haven’t been doing that.”
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That sort of honesty is rare in football, but Christensen has always been candid. Plus, what else can he say?
The Dolphins are 30th in yards (285.8), 29th in rushing (79.2) and 30th in scoring (15.8).
Much of the focus has fallen on Adam Gase, and for good reason. He decides on the game plan and calls the plays.
So what is Christensen’s role? It’s always been a little murky, at least publicly. On Thursday, he tried to clear it up:
“Just to be a support and just to tie it all together. ... Trying to tie run-pass-play action, some of those things together, and just keep everyone moving everyone in the same direction in a cheerleader manner.”
“I always tease that I’m the village idiot that just keeps giving the same message over and over and over again in the center of the town square,” Christensen added. “You just keep playing, you keep working and who knows? We’ll look up at the end and see what happened. Five-game losing streak — what now? So what? What now? Got the next game coming up. I would probably see myself, one of my roles, as just keep the message right out in front.”
Christensen, 61, is probably the sunniest person at Dolphins headquarters. He’s as optimistic as they come.
But even he admits this season has taken its toll.
“I think it’s been extremely frustrating, just because there’s been no rhythm to it in any way, not weekly schedule-wise, not personnel-wise, not quarterback-wise, not success-wise,” he said. “There hasn’t been a consistent level of success. There hasn’t even been geographic consistency, as far as being in a spot. I think it’s been frustrating for everybody. There’s nothing fun about losing.”
Gase, meanwhile, had no inclination Thursday for talking about why things have gone wrong.
“It really doesn’t matter,” Gase said. “No one cares. Gotta figure out a way to move the ball and score points. ... We just haven’t played well. We haven’t coached well. We have to do a lot of things better.”