Should The Miami Dolphins Pound It In Or Air It Out?

Brandon Marshall

He is why we should be pass-first
Just hearing that name should take away any doubt about whether the Dolphins should run the ball or pass it more, but sadly it does not have that effect on all Miami Dolphins fans.

There has been some debate on this site(and others, of course) on whether the Miami Dolphins should be a run-first team or a pass-first team.

Basically, we are not exactly sure about the identity of this team.

Let me just say this before I get started. I believe that the Dolphins should continue what they have started to do this season and rely more on passing the ball than running it.

With that said, I will attempt to take an objective look at both types of offensive styles, but because I think they should be a pass-first team I may throw in some things along the way supporting my position. I will also end with a full explanation of why I think the way I do about primarily passing instead of running. So please dive in and enjoy:

Super Quick Analysis of Pass-First
You always hear about the official things of the NFL like the official credit card, the official airline, and the official light beer. Well, I think the passing game should be called the "Official Offensive Style of the NFL."

Passing the ball puts up much more points than running, and it can do it in a hurry. It is the most efficient way to score on offense. No other play can deflate a defense like a long pass play for a touchdown. They can go from having plenty of room on the field to help stop the offense to giving up a score and losing all momentum in a single play.

Sure you can have that with a run play, too, but it just isn't nearly as frequent.

An average pass play will easily out-gain an average run play, and you rarely lose yards out of the pass. If you are looking to move the chains chances are you could get a first down with a single successful pass play, where as if you relied on running the ball the chances of getting a first down on one run is much less likely.

The one big problem with throwing the ball is an increased likelihood of interceptions, which can instantly kill a drive and give the other team good field position.

Super Quick Analysis of Run-First
Running the ball more is easily the more conservative style. It is great to use if you are trying to avoid a turnover or have a quarterback that makes too many mistakes(which Chad Henne does not), and it is a good style to use when you have a young quarterback who cannot carry a lot of the load by himself(which I believe Chad Henne can do).

It may not score fast, but it can really pound away at a defense and make them tired. The Dolphins did that a lot last year and were able to tire the defense out by controlling the time of possession(even though it never worked too well).

The problem with running the ball is that all it takes is one or two bad runs and you are looking at 2nd or 3rd and long plays, which are not the running game's friend. Sure, it is very possible to gain 10 or more yards on a run play, but the chances of gaining that much in a single play are a lot less than passing the ball instead.

My Thoughts
The NFL is no longer a running league, so I wonder why we would want to try and revert back to a run-first style. We have finally seen Miami's offense be willing to give Henne control and throw the ball, and he has actually been pretty good. If you take out his three interceptions against the Patriots he only had one interception thrown in the first three games.

I do understand that he makes occasional mistakes and will throw a badly timed interception now and then, but he is still inexperienced and should not be expected to throw a perfect game every game.

We added Brandon Marshall for a reason. He is a huge target and a huge playmaker. He is guaranteed to get you a lot of receptions, and he is great at gaining yards after the play. It would be ridiculous not to use him a lot and just run the ball instead. It may be frustrating to see Henne misfire on a throw to Marshall(or any other receiver for that matter), but those things will happen and we need to stick with our quarterback so he can continue to get better.

What we really need to do is just give Henne time to learn and develop. Sure the interceptions are annoying, but keeping Henne throwing the ball will help the Miami Dolphins in the long run.

If he does get enough time playing in games to develop then he can turn into a premier quarterback in the NFL.

Every time Henne has a bad game Dolphins fans instantly begin calling for Chad Pennington to be the starter. They did it after a preseason game for goodness sakes!

Let me tell you right now that there is no reason to put Chad Pennington in. A lot of the Dolphins fans are impatient, and they need to give Chad Henne the time to turn into a great quarterback. It may not happen overnight, but it sure won't happen when he is sitting on the bench. The more he plays, the more comfortable he becomes.

He has a great arm, and pretty much has all of the other physical attributes a quarterback needs.

He is just lacking a little bit in the mentality aspect of the quarterback position, and that is something that he can only improve on the field. I don't mean he is scared, either. The game is just still fast moving in his mind, and it hasn't slowed down for him yet.

You always hear about the game slowing down for mentally tough veterans who have a lot of experience. If we want Henne to be one of those mentally tough players we need him playing to gain that experience.

The best part about having Chad Pennington on this team is his ability to teach Henne, and not be on the field instead of Henne. Pennington is a great quarterback, but he is not our future.

Chad Henne is the future of the Miami Dolphins. He is the next Dan Marino, and we need to give him time to turn into one.

Let me finish by saying that I don't hate running the ball, because that would just be weird.

I think running the ball should be a staple in every offense, but it shouldn't be used as much or more than passing the ball unless the offense is desperate with their QB situation. Passing the ball is much better at scoring and moving the chains, which is what you want your offense to be able to do.

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