• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Dolphins coordinator explains bizarre play that resulted in safety vs. Raiders

·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

No, Jacoby Brissett should not have thrown a pass to Jaylen Waddle as the receiver stood in his own end zone in Sunday's loss at Las Vegas.

But, no, Dolphins co-offensive coordinator Eric Studesville explained on Tuesday, that was not Brissett's offensive play call.

That was on the Dolphins coaching staff.

"No, we called that play into him," Studesville said. "That wasn't an audible or anything of that nature."

Miami was leading 14-0 and facing a 1st-and-10 from their own 1-yard line.

But when Brissett threw a bit high to Waddle, out to his left, he was almost immediately tackled for a safety that sparked momentum for the Raiders.

After the game Brissett said he made a bad decision. But it certainly seemed like a bad play call, too.

"I think what happens is when you're in the heat of the game, you're calling plays, and that position, Jacoby, made a decision. I read what he said about it," Studesville said. "And I think that's what happens. He made a decision and right, wrong, if we all went back we would do different things, probably we would do something different. Or we could do something different. But we didn't. That's what we did on that play. So we have to learn and grow from that experience of what happened on that play."

So, to put a bit of a bow on a play call that resulted in something never seen in NFL history — a completed pass for a safety, without a fumble or penalty — everyone says they could have done better.

And, for the record, no, Waddle was not simply a decoy on the play. Even though Brissett could have chosen an open Adam Shaheen, about four yards out in front of him, Waddle was part of the play design.

"No, that was an empty formation and we had five eligible receivers in that formation," Studesville said.

Miami's offensive struggles go well beyond one play, of course.

The Dolphins are 31st in the NFL in yards per play and 30th in the NFL in points per game. There has been a lack of explosive plays, which is odd considering the team has explosive weapons.

"We are talking a lot about trying to find explosive plays and ways to find explosive plays in the passing game," Studesville said. "Not just to Jaylen but to other people, also. Will Fuller. Mike Gesicki. We did take some shots. We are constantly talking about it. We are trying to put them in. We are trying to get them. We are limited at times because of what the defense gives us. We have to call them at the right times. We have to be prepared. We have to dial them up when we think we have the best chance to execute those."

NFL POWER RANKINGS: How far did Dolphins fall after loss?

Dolphins coaches have been saying that they want to take what the defensive gives. In many cases, that means short passing plays. But isn't there a time to go beyond what the defense is giving and try to take more?

"There is a whole process in that when we game plan and put things together that we want to call in the game, we're calling those things based on what we studied and looked at and what we anticipate the defense is giving us," Studesville said. "What we're calling is what we think would be best against those looks."

But what about dictating what happens based on what Miami wants its offensive identity to be and its collection of particular talents?

Though the Dolphins concede that in-game adjustments need to be made, they are pretty steadfast in a methodical, opponent-to-opponent approach.

"We want to dictate what we think is best for us against what the defense has shown us," Studesville said.

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward (29) tackles Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) for a safety during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward (29) tackles Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) for a safety during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Waddle, in particular, must become a deeper threat, in order to live up to his status as the sixth pick in the last NFL draft.

At Alabama, Waddle averaged 18.9 yards per catch. As a Dolphin, he's averaging 7.6.

Miami did pass protect and run the ball a bit better against the Raiders than they did in previous games. But in particular, the Dolphins have not been good in the middle portion of games.

In three contests, the Dolphins have 32 points scored in the first and fourth quarters, but only 10 points in the second and third quarters.

"We want to have urgency at all times," Studesville said. "We want to be productive not just at the beginning or the end of a game. We want to be productive the entire game. We want to have tempo. We want to have urgency the entire game. We're working for that. We have to get better at it."

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami Dolphins explains bizarre play that resulted in safety