Too many times the Miami Dolphins entered a season like an old car that by November was huffing and puttering to the side of the road with smoke pouring out the hood. There was 2012, when General Manager Jeff Ireland said of his playmaking positions, “We got talent, just not enough speed.”
There was 2018, when coach Adam Gase answered a mid-season question about his team by saying, “It’s a good thing football isn’t just a foot race.”
On Sunday, the Dolphins won their opener in a manner that showed the pathway to more wins. They’re fast. It’s not just a one-man-showstopper that caused Philadelphia cornerback K’Von Wallace to say in preseason about new Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill: “I’ve never seen anyone that fast in my life.”
These Dolphins are stacked with such high-end speed no one even mentions their fastest player in any conversation about guessing their fastest player.
“I just stand there, saying nothing,’ cornerback Keion Crossen says. “I’m just a workhorse. I don’t go around hollering how fast I am. If you know, you know. If you don’t, you’ll find out.”
Crossen recorded the second-fastest speed (22.05 mph) by any NFL player in the first weekend’s games, according to NextGen Stats. He’s recorded the most times above 22 mph in each of the previous two seasons in his usual role as a punt team’s gunner. But he understands why no one mentions this in the locker room.
“People look at speed on offense, at the guys running with the ball,’ he said. “And we’ve got guys like that.”
Receiver Jaylen Waddle recorded the fifth-fastest time with the ball Sunday (20.3 mph) on his 42-yard touchdown that opened up the win against New England. Hill had the 10th-fastest time for a ball carrier Sunday, even if he didn’t hit his top-end speed.
Then there’s the re-made running-back room that didn’t get loose Sunday. That’s the bottom-line that has to budge. The Dolphins’ 13 points and 302 yards of offense wasn’t much, suggesting an new offensive system still finding its way.
Coach Mike McDaniel gave a list to scouts of skills he wanted for his zone-blocking scheme. Speed evidently was high on the list. Running back Raheem Mostert ran with the ball over 23 mph for San Francisco in 2020, the only ball-carrier to break that barrier since recording speed began in 2016.
Chase Edmonds topped speeds of 15 mph on nearly a quarter of his carries in Arizona …read more
Source:: The Mercury News