Dolphins want Ryan Tannehill to run more often

The Dolphins want to give Ryan Tannehill more chances to use his legs.
Chris Humphreys/Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Tannehill hasn't carried the ball that often this season, rushing for just 44 yards in nine games. He's on pace to have 78 rushing yards in 2015, which would be 233 yards fewer than his total from a year ago.

Running the ball was one of Tannehill's best traits coming out of college where he played wide receiver, but it hasn't been utilized nearly as much this season. And that's not necessarily the way the Dolphins want things to go.

“That’s certainly still in our package,” Dan Campbell said of Tannehill running the ball more often, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “Would we like to run him more? Yeah.”

Tannehill's ability to extend plays with his legs contributed to his success last season, and it sounds like Campbell wants to see more of that in the coming weeks. Granted, that's not always easy to do with Miami's struggling offensive line, but Campbell believes it can help spark the offense.

“We somewhat hit a brick wall last week,” Campbell said. “We averaged 3.8 per carry, and that’s not good enough. We need to be averaging a minimum of four.”

Both Jay Ajayi and Tannehill can help increase that average, they just need more carries. Ajayi is averaging 8.1 yards per carry this season, and although Tannehill hasn't ran it particularly well, he has a career average of 5.0 yards per rush.

“Some of it is our decision. Some of it is the decision of the defenses we’re playing,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said of Tannehill running the ball. “Sometimes we’ve called runs that are just designed runs that are not read but the look is wrong, we don’t wan’t him running into a bad look and we’ve gotten out of it.

“… [And] sometimes when we do read defenders, whether it’s the end or the linebacker, it turns out the look they’ve given has been for him to hand the ball.”

It remains to be seen if Tannehill will get more opportunities to pull it down and run, but it may not be a great idea against the Cowboys, given their talent up front.

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