MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Credit Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott for keeping it light during what has to be a stressful week preparing for the supercharged Miami Dolphins offense.
When asked how he gets his team ready for the Dolphins’ speed, McDermott quipped, “get a couple Usain Bolts.”
How do you prepare for the Miami Dolphins speed?
— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) September 27, 2023
Short of that, there’s no way to prepare for Miami’s speed. Facing the Dolphins is a lot like playing the Broncos at Mile High. You know it won’t be a normal game (speed for Dolphins, thin air in Denver). You just get through the three hours the best you can.
Miami Dolphins’ Unprecedented Speed
The Dolphins through three weeks lead the team in every major offensive category (yards, yards per play, points, rushing, passing). And it’s a direct reflection of the team’s concerted effort to get more explosive over the past three years.
NFL Next Gen Stats charts the top speeds of every ball carrier on every play. And the five fastest times of the season have all been logged by Dolphins players (two by De’Von Achane, two by Tyreek Hill, and one by Raheem Mostert).
Throw in Jaylen Waddle’s 35-yard catch in Week 1, and you have Dolphins responsible for six of the 12 fastest plays in the NFL this year. And that doesn’t even include receiver Robbie Chosen, who would be the fastest receiver on some teams.
— Jaime Eisner (@JaimeEisner) September 24, 2023
How Dolphins’ Track Team Offense Was Built
What makes the Dolphins so unique is their depth of speed. It isn’t just one guy. And while it’s early in the season, the five fastest times through three weeks would have ranked in the year-end top 20 most every season.
So how did the Dolphins pull this off? Let’s break it down.
WR Jaylen Waddle
- Date Acquired: April 29, 2021
- How Acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2021 NFL Draft (Dolphins traded down from 3 to 12, and then back up to 6, on March 26)
- Combine 40 Time: N/A (Was rehabbing an ankle injury)
- Fastest Time of 2023: 20.99 mph (Week 1, 35-yard reception, 12th overall in 2023)
WR Tyreek Hill
- Date Acquired: March 23, 2022
- How Acquired: Traded from Kansas City Chiefs for a 2022 first-, second-, and fourth-round pick, plus fourth- and sixth-round picks in the 2023 Draft
- Combine 40 Time: N/A (4.29 at West Alabama Pro Day)
- Fastest Time of 2023: 21.66 mph (Week 1, 47-yard reception, second overall in 2023)
RB Raheem Mostert
- Date Acquired: March 15, 2023
- How Acquired: Re-signed as a free agent (two-year, $5.6 million contract)
- Combine 40 Time: 4.34
- Fastest Time of 2023: 21.62 mph (Week 2, 43-yard touchdown run, third overall in 2023)
WR Robbie Chosen
- Date Acquired: April 17, 2023
- How Acquired: Signed a free-agent contract with Dolphins (later cut, signed to practice squad and then elevated to active roster before Week 3)
- Combine 40 Time: N/A (4.36 at Temple Pro Day)
- Fastest Time of 2023: 20.05 (Week 3, 68-yard touchdown reception)
RB De’Von Achane
- Date Acquired: April 28, 2023
- How Acquired: Selected with the 84th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft
- Combine 40 Time: 4.32
- Fastest Time of 2023: 21.93 (Week 3, 67-yard touchdown run, first overall in 2023)
Miami Dolphins’ Strategy Explained
Mike McDaniel spoke in detail Wednesday about how the Dolphins put together this world-class collection of speed.
“I think one thing that we’re afforded and our working relationship, speaking of Chris [Grier] and I, is that we can functionally move in a direction with vision and purpose. So I think we’ve always shared a commonality for talent, specifically offensive skill positions.
“… We approached it with opportunities, or trying to take advantage of the opportunities or the hand dealt. For the most part, I definitely didn’t come here and say, ‘I demand Tyreek Hill.’ But I sure was like, ‘Chris, we have (to),’ and it’s kind of like that. I think those players are getting the notoriety they deserve, because they are fast, but they’ve decided to commit themselves to being football technicians. And that’s what is making a big difference.”
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