Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Top News: Dolphins Assistants Reflect on Week 1, Look to Sunday

Miami Dolphins
16 Sep 2020, 08:05 GMT+10

Travis Wingfield

Without the benefit of the preseason, Week 1 was always going to create questions about a variety of topics. Player usage, gameday decisions, post-game corrections; the Dolphins coaching staff provided their perspective on how the kickoff game played out, as well as a look ahead to the Sunday home opener vs. the Buffalo Bills.

Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer reflected on his first game in his new position with the Dolphins.

"The good news is everything from a week ago is correctable and we're working hard to do that," Boyer said.

Acknowledging the need for improvement in rushing defense, Boyer talked about the adjustments the team has to make before Sunday's game at Hard Rock Stadium if the defense wants to limit Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills offense.

"Buffalo has a very talented offensive personnel and a good play caller who will test us on things we struggled with Week 1," Boyer says. "He's going to test us on things that are perceived weaknesses."

The play caller Boyer is referring to is Brian Daboll, who spent the 2011 season as the Dolphins offensive coordinator. Another former Dolphins play caller is back at the controls for Miami in Chan Gailey. Tuesday, Gailey detailed the usage of the running backs and how the flow of the game dictated the offensive packages, and thus who saw more snaps.

"We have players that play certain packages for us and when the package that we were using Jordan (Howard) for wasn't doing as well, it ended up lessening his play time and Myles (Gaskin) went up because we were more in the spread offense and doing things that we had him in there for," Gailey said. "We were trying to use all of the packages where it would get spread fairly evenly if we could; but it just didn't work out that way by the end of the

Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville explained that the starting running back is exclusively dependent on which package the team opens with, and how the offense wants to be able to rotate backs to best feature their strong suits on an individual basis.

"The first guy out there is technically the starter but it depends on what personnel grouping we use and how we want to attack," Studesville said.

The Dolphins offense faced another challenge when last year's leading receiver (and the leader in catches and yards in the game at halftime) left with a hamstring injury. Gailey talked about the impact of losing DeVante Parker in-game.

"We had to change some things. Everybody runs a route differently," Gailey explained. "Grant is a good player but he runs things differently than Parker does and we don't have time on task from last year with Fitzpatrick and Jakeem like we do 'Fitz' and DeVante. It changes some things. It changes some thought processes. So you have to adjust and I need to do a better job of adjusting when that happens. It's the first time I've dealt with it with these guys, so hopefully I'll be better the next time."

The offensive line featured four new starters from a year ago. The result was a solid day in the pass protection department. According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins line allowed just five total pressures on 38 drop backs. Rookie Austin Jackson pitched a goose egg (no pressures) while fellow rookie Solomon Kindley allowed just one hurry.

Offensive Line Coach Steve Marshall talked about the performances of his young guys up front.

"The thing I like about Austin (Jackson) is his competitive spirit," Marshall said. The guy fought hard. He's a tough guy. Solomon (Kindley) is a big, strong young man. I really like where they are at this point. They know they've got a lot more work and a lot more challenges in front of them."

Gailey talked about the communication of the line and picking up the many stunts (a pass rush scheme where the defensive linemen cross in an attempt to confuse the offensive line) the Patriots run.

"It's going to keep - the tempo and the speed - getting bigger and faster every week just because we missed some stunts but we picked some up, so they're going to keep trying that," Gailey said. "In the run game, they moved some of their people than we had seen before. We didn't handle movement very well and we're going to get that too in the run game."

Marshall was asked about the differences in his approach in preparing his guys for what the Buffalo Bills have to offer in Week 2.

"It doesn't change one bit. Our fundamentals are the same," Marshall said. "I'm not worried about what New England or Buffalo can do. I'm worried about getting these guys better one day at a time, one practice at a time, one rep at a time."

Behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami sustained a few drives and moved the ball at times last week at New England. Quarterbacks Coach Robby Brown said that, despite the flashes, Fitzpatrick never settled into a rhythm.

"He never really got in a great rhythm," Brown said. "He had some things he did really well and did some things we can improve on, but that's every week in the NFL."

Fitzpatrick enjoyed success last year throwing to a pair of tall targets who specialize in pulling down contested passes. Sunday, the Patriots defensive backs were up to the task.

Wide Receivers Coach Josh Grizzard talked about the ever-evolving matchups and how his pass catchers alter their approach based on the coverage.

"That goes week-to-week based on the scheme you're going against," Grizzard said. "It could create those (jump ball) opportunities, or you could get more of a zone look where it's not necessarily high-pointing the ball. I like that ability in DeVante (Parker), Preston (Williams), Mike (Gesicki) and really the rest of the group on their (high-pointing) skill set."

Grizzard referred to the 6-6 tight end Mike Gesicki, who played 39 of his 45 snaps in the slot or out wide, per Pro Football Focus.

Tight Ends Coach George Godsey talked about an area his tight ends can improve in to help Miami's running game.

"When we started out running the football we were getting couple of yards, two or three yards," Godsey said. "We'd like to have more efficient plays. Can we get that done? I think we can. There's definitely room for us to improve."

Wide Receivers Coach Josh Grizzard talked about the ever-evolving matchups and how his pass catchers alter their approach based on the coverage.

"That goes week-to-week based on the scheme you're going against," Grizzard said. "It could create those (jump ball) opportunities, or you could get more of a zone look where it's not necessarily high-pointing the ball. I like that ability in DeVante (Parker), Preston (Williams), Mike (Gesicki) and really the rest of the group on their (high-pointing) skill set."

Grizzard referred to the 6-6 tight end Mike Gesicki, who played 39 of his 45 snaps in the slot or out wide, per Pro Football Focus.

Tight Ends Coach George Godsey talked about an area his tight ends can improve in to help Miami's running game.

"When we started out running the football we were getting couple of yards, two or three yards," Godsey said. "We'd like to have more efficient plays. Can we get that done? I think we can. There's definitely room for us to improve."

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