Where do the 2020 Miami Dolphins rank in spacing the field?

Kyle Crabbs
·2 min read

When the Miami Dolphins made the decision to transition from offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea this offseason and move in a different direction, the move caused a lot of speculation about what Miami’s future on offense would look like. The hiring of Chan Gailey was announced as O’Shea’s replacement seemed to have provided a clue of not just what direction Miami was going to go with their quarterback of the future but also the structure of the offense. The expectation was Miami would space the field horizontally, make reads elementary and find quick outlets to throw the football.

Reality has matched that expectation thus far. According to Next Gen Stats, no team spaces the field more than the Miami Dolphins in 2020, with their average width of formations checking in at over 30 yards — far and away the biggest average in the league.

What does this mean with the Dolphins’ quarterback change looming? Theoretically, spacing the field like this will make it easier to identify pressure situations because teams will have to cheat in to close the distance when blitzing or conversely run the risk of not getting home to the quarterback and leaving receivers uncovered. That’s a good proposition for a rookie quarterback — and it is further aided by the expectation that the team is going to begin to implement more RPO concepts with Tagovailoa now at the helm of the offense.

Running RPOs was one of Tagovailoa’s best traits leaving Alabama and the nice thing about them is that on any given play, the quarterback should have answers to what the defense is playing — because the whole point of the play design is to leverage a single defender and make them wrong based on where they flow. With a wide open offense and some new wrinkles — Miami’s plan for Tagovailoa is clear: space the field and take advantage of how teams try to combat getting stretched so thin within 10-yards of the line of scrimmage.