More on the Miami Dolphins Use of the Read-Option July 1, 2013  |  C.D. Carter


The mere possibility of Miami Dolphins second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill rushing for 500 yards was tantalizing enough to explore the fantasy football ramifications of the team’s use of the read-option.

That number, of course, was extrapolated from the Dolphins’ deployment of the read-option package over the final month of the 2012 regular season. The conclusion, as told by game tape watcher Jordan Plocher, was that Tannehill was often overwhelmed by the speed of the NFL game, resulting in a series of less-than-optimal decisions in the read-option plays.

Tannehill undoubtedly has the physical tools to make defenses pay for making the wrong call on read-option plays, so it’s possible — likely, even — that we’ll see Tannehill rush for many more than the 211 yards he ran for last season.

Read more on the read-option…
Does the Read-Option Change Ryan Tannehill’s Fantasy Prospects?

How would the read-option impact the usage and — most importantly — stat lines of Miami’s other skill position players? Plocher, after watching and re-watching every Dolphins read-option snap from 2012, chimed in.

On newly acquired wide receiver Mike Wallace: “They had one in particular where the slot wide receiver motioned and Tannehill faked giving it to him and threw a pass for a touchdown to the running back. They have also sent a wide receiver behind the quarterback like he is running a reverse so at some point they will be using Mike Wallace in those roles.  I can tell you that the first alternate play off of the read-option is a quick pass out to a receiver. I imagine you will see them using this feature as well and try to get Wallace the ball on the perimeter. ”

On running back Lamar Miller, who is slated to see a starter’s workload this season: “Lamar Miller is an explosive back that I think is well-suited to racking up yards in a read-option.  Statistically speaking last year, players yards per carry averages were noticeably higher in read-option than in other run plays.  So I would say Lamar Miller is going to see some big holes and increased production the more they run it. Until some defensive coordinator figures it out.”

More on Tannehill: “They have a wrinkle in the read-option game where [tight end] crosses the field to act as a lead blocker for the quarterback if he keeps it.  So I would say they plan to run the ball with Tannehill. And he’s capable of doing it, don’t get me wrong. He’s an athletic kid but not as good a runner as the other quarterbacks that will be doing this. “

4 Responses

  1. Rod T says:

    I disagree with the statement that Tannehill can’t run the ball as well as other QB’s running the same offense. Tannehill has shown great speed and the ability to make players miss in open field. My concern is how it shortens the life of the QB taking those hits. If they limit his carries to red zone only it may prolong his career.

    • C.D. Carter says:

      I think it’s all about a QB’s ability to turn huge hits into glancing blows. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are expert at this, sometimes sacrificing two or three yards in order to keep their head attached to their neck. RGIII, on the other hand, sacrifices body and soul to gain another yard or two. That’s why the read-option might not be sustainable for some QBs. If Tannehill can use the read-option like Wilson, for example, I think he can stay healthy and effective as a runner.

  2. J. Stone says:

    Does Miami O-Line help or hurt the read option? I feel like their addition are more suited for the west coast offense.

    • C.D. Carter says:

      Good point. That could be a reason they don’t lean on the read-option this year. I don’t think there’s any reason to think they’ll use it more than a few times a game.

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