Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Miami Dolphins [Print without images]

Monday, October 14, 2013
Revisiting Dolphins' bye-week issues

By James Walker

The Miami Dolphins just completed their bye week for the 2013 season.

Here is a look back at the issues the coaching staff tried to address during their off week.

1. Offensive line

Analysis: Miami’s struggling offensive line has been the biggest topic during the bye week. It’s up to the Dolphins’ coaching staff to clean up a messy issue, which includes struggles both in the running game and pass protection. The Dolphins have allowed 24 sacks in five games. Second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill won’t last if he continues to get sacked almost five times a game. Miami’s appears to be taking the route of coaching up the players they have. I think some bench players, such as Nate Garner and Danny Watkins, should at least add to the rotation.

2. Lack of running game

Analysis: This is another issue on offense. Miami’s running game is 28th in the NFL. It’s a two-fold problem from the offensive line and the running backs. The players up front aren’t getting enough push and consistently creating holes for the tailbacks, and the running backs aren’t doing a good enough job eluding tacklers. Both sides must to do better. One suggestion would be to provide more carries for Lamar Miller and fewer carries for backup Daniel Thomas. We will find out Miami’s plan at running back during the week.

3. Injuries on defense

Analysis: The Dolphins finished their last game against Baltimore without three defensive starters. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (shoulder), defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) and cornerback Nolan Carroll (ribs) were banged up and didn’t return to the game. The bye week should help most or all of these players to be ready for next Sunday against Buffalo. Miami’s defense has underperformed in recent weeks, partially due to various injuries.

After several days off, the Dolphins will go back to work Monday. ESPN.com’s Dolphins page will have all the latest this afternoon from the team’s headquarters in Davie, Fla.