New England Patriots AFC East Offseason Analysis: Miami Dolphins

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Dec 14, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) tackles Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 41-13. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins have had head coach Joe Philbin in charge since the 2012 season. With Kevin Coyle as defensive coordinator the Dolphins have managed to maintain a strong defense but had issues on offense in Philbin’s first two years. Last year he brought in Bill Lazor as the offensive coordinator to replace young quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s college coach Mike Sherman who had been in charge his first two seasons.

Lazor had an immediate impact on the offense as the Dolphins was immediate as he emphasized Tannehill’s strengths in the short and intermediate passing attack while limiting his deep passes which is not his forte. An offense that scored 288 total points in 2012 leaped to 388 points in 2014 and jumped from 26th in the league in scoring to 11th. Tannehill threw for over 4,000 yards and had 27 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions.

Of course, the Dolphins still finished 8-8 as the poor play of the offensive line stymied the offense while the secondary struggled throughout the season. With pressing needs on the offensive line–particularly the interior of the line–and at cornerback opposite Brent Grimes and at safety, the Dolphins spent big bucks in free agency, made trades, and drafted primarily on the defensive line and skill positions on offense. Now Miami heads into 2015 with the same questions along the offensive line and still looking to improve the secondary.

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