Behind Enemy Lines: Patriots - Dolphins Pt 1

In this multi-part series we asked Dolphin Digest Asst editor Alain Poupart to share his insights on the Dolphins offense. Poupart addressed the Chad Henne struggles, How the Dolphins might play catchup this week, the impact of the Ronnie Brown loss and more...

From The Other Side – Dolphins
Alain Poupart – Asst Editor Dolphin Digest

OFFENSE

1) With Ronnie Brown out, how has that affected what the Dolphins can do on offense?
Alain Poupart: In terms of their base offense, very little because Ricky Williams has been playing so well all season. When Brown's absence has hurt is with the Wildcat because he was the quarterback in the formation and Williams was the back coming in motion at the snap. The Dolphins used the Wildcat at Carolina and at Buffalo, but there was never anybody motion, which was a big component of that offense. And then there was that ill-fated Williams pass on a first-and-goal at Buffalo that resulted in an momentum-changing interception.

2) If the Dolphins need to make up points in a hurry, what options do they have?
Poupart: Surrender. The Dolphins can't get points in a hurry, and that plus the inability to stop opponents from doing the same has been their biggest problem all season. The only receiver on the roster who's a deep threat is Ted Ginn Jr., but he's just too inconsistent to be considered a viable option. So the Dolphins are left with having to grind out long drives.

3) Chad Henne threw three picks last week, easily his worst outing of the year. Was it just a fluke, or should Dolphins fans be worried he’s NOT the right guy to replace Pennington in the long term?
Poupart: Remember that the three picks all came in the final 4 minutes of the game, and Henne actually had played very well up to that point. It's very difficult to fairly judge Henne's long-term potential as a quarterback because the Dolphins' current receiving corps is so deficient, yet I would say the signs overall look fairly encouraging.

4) We saw a new wrinkle with Pat White running the Wildcat offense vs the Patriots the first game. Will we see something similar, or is White in a new role?
Poupart: Actually, when White is in the game, it's not the Wildcat, but rather what they're doing is running a spread option. White didn't play at all in the game at Carolina and he came into the game late at Buffalo and gained 2 yards on a keeper. If he plays against the Patriots, it will be in the same capacity, although I wouldn't assume a great contribution from White.

5) Is Ted Ginn a WR, KR or something else altogether? In other words, will we see him in a bigger role on offense?
Poupart: By this time, it's clear what Ginn is, and that's a marginal player with the straight-ahead speed to give him the ability to make a big play on occasion when things break right. As a receiver, he drops way too many passes to be relied upon. As a returner, he rarely attacks the hole with any kind of aggressiveness, which is why his two returns for touchdowns against the Jets on Nov. 1 was such a surprising development. Anything the Dolphins get out of Ginn these days has to be considered a bonus.


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From the Other Side Patriots: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


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