I heard the Miami Dolphins need to add a running back all off-season and during training camp. People say that is the missing element of the offense. My reaction was I felt the Dolphins had good running backs, and Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel needs to commit to the running game more. I was critical of McDaniel for not running the football more last year, especially in short-yardage situations and in games where the running game was clicking, but he decided to throw the ball because it was their strength. I won’t argue the passing game is the strength of the Dolphins, but as the season goes on, you must be able to run the football to complement your passing game.
The Dolphins brought back Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and Salvon Ahmed. They also brought back Myles Gaskin, but undrafted rookie Chris Brooks beat him out. The Dolphins drafted De’Von Achane in the 3rd round of the draft. The problem on the outside was the Dolphins didn’t do enough, but in training camp and the preseason, the running back position was one of the best and deepest positions on the team.
Then Dalvin Cook was released by the Minnesota Vikings, and all signs pointed to him signing with the Dolphins, his hometown team. It seemed like a good fit. However, general manager Chris Grier looked at signing him as a luxury. He investigated signing him, but he wouldn’t give him top dollar. The Dolphins are up against the cap next year, and he knows the team could only spend so much. Cook signed with the New York Jets, and people were upset that the Dolphins let him sign with the division rival.
Later in training camp, the Indianapolis Colts let star running back Jonathan Taylor look around for a trade, but the Colts wanted high draft picks and premium players for compensation. Once again, Grier investigated the Taylor situation but ultimately decided to pass. He wasn’t willing to give up a high pick or any of his players, which gave him a new contract. To make things more interesting, the Colts put Taylor on IR with an injury that kept him out at least the first four games of the season, so that would have been a dicey decision, to say the least.
The season started against the Los Angeles Chargers, and McDaniel vowed to commit more to the running game this off-season. However, McDaniel only ran the ball 20 times and was mostly passing the ball. Then, the following week, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick came up with a game plan to take away the passing game and forced the Dolphins to be more patient on offense. Well, it worked, but McDaniel finally committed to the run as the team ran 30 times for 145 yards. Then came yesterday against the Denver Broncos as the Dolphins ran it 46 times for over 300 yards, including 200 by the rookie Achane.
Right now, things are starting to click with the running game and the commitment as well, so why do the Dolphins need to add a back like Taylor? The answer is they don’t. The Dolphins don’t need another running back and aren’t desperate for one. Their running backs are fine. Wilson will be coming off injured reserve soon, and Ahmed will also be back. The Dolphins are proving they have enough depth at the running back position to carry the team this year. McDaniel must continue to commit to the running game, and he will see the results. Maybe not like against the Broncos, but that will take pressure off the passing game, especially as the season goes on and the weather gets cooler.