The Dolphins were second-to-last in the NFL when it came to yards per carry in 2021. This wasn’t a new trend, Miami hadn’t been outside the bottom four teams in yards per carry since averaging 4.7 yards per run back in 2018.
The team revamped the rushing attack this offseason, beginning with the signing of rookie head coach Mike McDaniel, who had a hand in San Francisco’s ground-based offense for five seasons.
From there, the team inked running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert, along with linemen Connor Williams and Terron Armstead, with the hopes of improving on last season’s 3.4 yards per carry from a team that threw the ball 80.3 percent of the time on first down — the third-highest percentage in the NFL.
#dolphins RB chase edmonds was spotted in the jersey at today’s practice pic.twitter.com/kxeFKWjXS9 https://t.co/TAnFgIfqng— josh houtz (@houtz) August 23, 2022
We’re more than a week from seeing if the team’s rushing attack in a regular-season game, but one of McDaniel’s former quarterbacks is already buying the changes made by general manager Chris Grier and the front office.
After being No. 29 in rushing yards last season, Robert Griffin III believes the Dolphins will jump into the top 15 this season.
“The @MiamiDolphins running game MAKES A JUMP from 29th to top 15 this year,” the former offensive rookie of the year wrote on Twitter. “Scientist, Mike McDaniel, brought in RBs who excel in the Wide Zone Scheme in Edmonds, Mostert and Michel. Then added Armstead and Connor Williams at C to give the O-Line the athleticism it needs.”
The @MiamiDolphins running game MAKES A JUMP from 29th to top 15 this year. The Mad Scientist, Mike McDaniel, brought in RBs who excel in the Wide Zone Scheme in Edmonds, Mostert and Michel. Then added Armstead and Connor Williams at C to give the O-Line the athleticism it needs.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 28, 2022
While the tweet is a bit outdated, considering that the team released Sony Michel on Monday, it’s hard to ignore Griffin III’s opinion on what the Dolphins can accomplish with McDaniel, considering he was an offensive assistant with Washington when Griffin III won offensive rookie of the year in 2012.
In fact, Griffin III has praised McDaniel since he was hired by Miami back in February.
“Mike McDaniel is a mad genius plain and simple,” he wrote on Feb. 10. “Knows the game. Grew up in it. He is thoughtful & will let that show to his players & the media.”
The first time we’ll see Miami’s new-looked rushing attack will be on Sept. 11, when the Dolphins host the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. McDaniel and company will look to exploit a defense that allowed 4.5 yards per carry and the league’s 11th-most yards on the ground last year.