The Miami Dolphins have a problem. Well, the MIami Dolphins have lots of problems, but they have one major offensive problem. At some point during this offseason, the Dolphins' running game seems to have gotten lost. It's just no where to be seen. It definitely has not shown up this preseason.
In two full games, the Dolphin have run the ball 27 times, gaining 80 yards, with one touchdown.That's a 2.9 yards per carry average.
In comparison, the Washington Redskins ran the ball 31 times, for 122 yards, a 3.9 yards per carry average. And that was just the game against the Chicago Bears yesterday. The Detroit Lions, a team that had a 5,000 yard passer last year, ran the ball 27 times, against the Baltimore Ravens on Friday, racking up 166 yards, a 6.1 yards per attempt average.
And the Dolphins can only run the ball 27 times over two games?
Miami is transitioning to a pass first, west coast offense this year. But, someone may have wanted to tell the running game that they could still come to the games. They still have a role.
Last season, starting running back Reggie Bush tallied a 1,000 yard season for the first time in his career. This offseason, he talked about wanting to lead the league in rushing. Now, in the preseason, Bush should just be hoping he gets enough carries to qualify as a running back in the league's statistics.
So far through the preseason, the Dolphins are second to last in the league in rushing attempts. It's not that the Dolphins can't run the ball, it's that they won't run it. The offensive line has struggled to run block so far this preseason, simply because they cannot get the reps to work on the run blocking.
The Dolphins don't need to turn into the 2011 Dolphins (or the 2012 New York Jets), running the ball as much as they possibly can, but they sure need to run it more than 12 times, like they did against the Panthers on Friday night. The team has to establish the run, just so there is a threat of the run. A play action pass will work a lot better when there is at least the possibility that the team could hand off the ball.
Maybe this is just the preseason. Maybe the coaches fully believe Bush, Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller, Steve Slaton, and the rest of the team's running back stable is ready to go already, and they need to see the passing plays more than anything else in these preseason contests. Maybe this is an overreaction to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman's preseason offense.
But, at some point the running game has to show up.
Otherwise, we really may have to send out a search party.