Dolphins show off no-huddle offense
DAVIE, Fla. (AP)
The Miami Dolphins have decided faster is better on offense.
The Dolphins unveiled their new fast-paced offense in the preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night, going without a huddle for almost half the snaps.
Miami produced only seven points in a 20-7 loss, but did succeed in establishing a faster tempo.
''I think it's awesome,'' quarterback Matt Moore said after the game. ''I think the offensive line did a great job, receivers were lined up and you can tell looking across the ball at the defense, they were a little worn out.''
Miami gained 354 yards against Tampa Bay, beating their 2011 regular season average of 317.4. First-year coach Joe Philbin said the Dolphins executed the no-huddle ''relatively well,'' but added the play clock too often was lower than he would have liked when the ball was snapped.
Wide receiver Legedu Naanee said the no-huddle often accomplished one of its goals, keeping the defense off balance and unable to properly line up.
''The DBs were looking to the sideline,'' he said. ''It was good. We've just got to continue to get better and capitalize on it.''
The Dolphins (No. 27 in the AP Pro32) went without a huddle on 33 of their 71 offensive snaps, including plays nullified by penalties. By comparison, Miami used the no-huddle on 61 plays during the entire 2011 regular season and never more than 14 times in any game.
''It's so much faster,'' said second-year center Mike Pouncey. ''Last year we were having trouble getting the ball snapped before the end of the play clock. Now this year we're trying to snap it at 24. We're going to wear teams down by the end of the game. It's definitely going to give us an advantage.''
The Dolphins have employed a fast-paced offense from the start of training camp. Philbin said part of the reason was to maximize practice time and get more reps to evaluate all the players.
Another benefit is to help the team's conditioning.
''We do want to run a lot of plays at the opposition,'' Philbin said. ''We feel like the more plays run, the better opportunity you have to score points.''
The Dolphins averaged 61 offensive snaps last season, excluding penalties, and Philbin said he wants that number to increase significantly in 2012.
Miami surpassed that number in the preseason opener (65, excluding penalties) and could have had an even higher total by doing better than 3-for-13 in third-down conversions.
But the Dolphins did succeed in establishing a fast tempo on offense.
''It is as tiring as it looks,'' said running back Reggie Bush.
The hope in Miami is that the new offense will wear down opposing defenses, particularly in early season games in South Florida.
''I think it's going to get us in great condition and it's really going to test defenses,'' said guard Richie Incognito. ''Defenses are really going to be back on their heels. They're going to be winded. They better come to play. We're going to be playing in the heat, we're going to be playing with this up-tempo offense, so it's really going to test the defense.''
Learning the new West Coast-type offense is an ongoing process for the Dolphins, but wide receiver Davone Bess said it will pay off.
''You continue to get faster because you're expecting what's coming up next, you know already,'' Bess said. ''You kind of got the head start already. The more and more we do it, the more comfortable we get, the more unstoppable we'll be.''
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross watched the first practice of training camp and said he was excited about the new offense.
''I think the one thing about football is it keeps on becoming a faster and faster game and I think this team is a much faster team, much faster-paced team and I think they are serious about their business,'' Ross said. ''With the up-tempo nature of this offense, it's going to bring a lot of excitement to South Florida. I think it will translate into wins.''
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