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Expect a diversified rushing attack by the Miami Dolphins in 2022

Who needs an “RB1” anyway?

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Chase Edmonds was gearing up for his fourth season in the NFL when asked who may be the starting running back in Arizona, considering the team added former Pittsburgh Steeler James Conner.

“I hate the term RB1,” Edmonds said nearly 11 months ago.

Edmonds registered a career-high of 903 yards from scrimmage in just 12 games last season while Conner found the end zone for an eye-popping 18 touchdowns.

Since then, Edmonds has traded in his Cardinals red for aqua and orange, but it’s hard to imagine his thoughts on a true “lead” running back have changed.

Edmonds, who is entering his fifth year in the NFL, was one of the first signings the Miami Dolphins made in free agency. General Manager Chris Grier didn’t stop there, acquiring both Raheem Mostert to bolster a running back group that features Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, who combined for more than 200 rushing attempts and nearly 800 yards on the ground in 2021.

With a room loaded with starting experience, and it is important to add that the team added fullback Alec Ingold, it’s hard to imagine that the Dolphins will lean on just one ball carrier in Mike McDaniel’s first season as the team’s head coach.

“I love Mike already,” Edmonds said ahead earlier this offseason. “The one thing that sticks out to me is that Mike is very relatable. He puts his relationship with his players first, and I think that in the NFL which is such a business-oriented business, obviously, that’s sometimes hard to find.

“Sometimes you have coaches who treat it like ‘straight-line’ military. Walk down a straight line, go and do work and leave. Mike, so far, has done a great job of kind of just listening to his players, having an open dialog, figuring out what we like and what we don’t like, and making sure that it’s a good relationship going forward to the season.”

While Edmonds made his thoughts on a featured running back clear just a season ago, he was asked how he thought McDaniel may handle the group this season.

“I think that comes down to McDaniel finding out what he likes about what each back uses. It’s kind of just like a puzzle piece,” Edmonds said. “You have to figure out which puzzle fits the piece at that time. If he feels like he needs something for a certain play, he might call on Myles or Raheem and if he feels like he needs something else for another play, he might call on me, so that’s why he is the head coach and gets paid what he gets paid. He has to figure that out.”

It is important to keep in mind, that Miami’s offense will likely consist of more than just one puzzle this season. For example, Edmonds thrived in an inside-zone scheme a season ago. In San Francisco, McDaniel leveraged an outside zone scheme.

“The flow of the backers is different because in inside zone, it’s more slow to fast, where I can pitter-patter my steps,” Edmonds said. “Outside zone here, it’s kind of like you’re riding a wave. Once you hit that wave, you’ve got to hit it and go. I’m getting used to that. I’m getting my feet under me. I’m taking pride in that journey, that challenge of fine-tuning it.”

Whether it is Edmonds working with the inside zone, Mostert riding the outside-zone wave, or players like Gaskin and Michel just hitting the first open lane they find, Miami’s village of running backs has a lot to offer, and it will take the entire village if the Dolphins want to successfully run the ball in 2022.