The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack

5 MINUTES OF “LAZOR” MANIA

With the hiring of Bill Lazor as the Fins’ offensive coordinator this off-season, Dolfans have been hoping against hope that last season’s sadly anemic offensive scheme would become a thing of the past.  Without doubt, last season’s anemic offensive scheme played a big role in the team’s dismal offensive output.  This was never more evident than in the last 2 games of the season when the Fins—needing a single win to get to the playoffs—scored a combined 7 points to seal their fate.  With the coming of the Lazor era, Dolfans are clamoring for a different fate.

So there was much anticipation headed into the Fins’ first preseason game of 2014.  And for the first 5 minutes of the game, Dolfans saw what they wanted to see.  They saw an offense that moved the chains.  They saw an offense that scored points.  They saw an erect quarterback who completed every pass he threw.  They saw a game-opening touchdown.  It was enough to make you take a closer look to double check that this offense was indeed wearing orange and aqua.  Just 5 minutes into the new season and the Fins’ had a 7-0 lead.  And for you non-math people, 7 is not divisible by 3!

Amazingly, this was accomplished in the offense’s very first effort under game conditions.  And it was done with 4 key skill position players (Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Charles Clay and Knowshon Moreno) watching from the sideline in street clothes.  It was enough to get a starved fan base to anoint Bill Lazor as their savior.  It was enough to make Dolfans see Ryan Tannehill’s passes as “Lazor” beams and describe the new offense as “Lazor” sharp.  And maybe this will prove to be the case so the Fins’ faithful won’t have to keep falling back on their proud but now ancient franchise history.

But the reality here is it was just one single drive.  Yes, the Fins’ number ones had success against the Falcons’ number ones to start the game.  But then the Falcons’ number ones came onto the field for their first drive against the Fins’ number ones on defense.   Nine minutes later the Falcons’ drive ended with the score being tied at 7.  So maybe both offenses were just ahead of both defenses at this early juncture.  And don’t forget that the Falcons were only a 4-12 team last season.  Ryan Tannehill did not exactly slay a potent dragon in the first 5 minutes of the preseason opener.

The positives in the game against the Falcons were threefold.  First, of course, was the first team offense led by Ryan Tannehill.  Tannehill was 6 of 6 for 62 yards and a TD.    The new o-line kept him on his feet during the entire 10-play, 73-yard touchdown drive.  It was all good.  Another positive was rookie Jarvis Landry.  Although he did not catch a single pass, he displayed real speed and agility on an impressive 49-yard punt return that set up the Fins’ only other score, a field goal.  Also positive to note was that Will Davis seemed to be all over the defensive backfield. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin there was Dion Jordan who seemed to pick up right where he left off last season, not distinguishing himself in any way.  Not only does he still look like yet another “gift” from the Jeff Ireland era, but his gifts will be sitting on the sideline for the first quarter of the season due to a suspension for a PED violation.  Speaking of which, Reshad Jones will also be missing in action for the first month of the new season due to his PED suspension.

While desperate Dolfans will no doubt place much emphasis on that first drive and whip themselves up into a state of Lazor mania, it must be remembered that it was just one drive in one preseason game.  Dolfans who forget this reality no doubt have short memories.  They forget how just last season the Fins started 3-0.  But how did that work out for them?  The joy of the first 5 minutes can end next week just as abruptly as last season’s 3-0 start came crashing down in a 35-10 thrashing by the Saints in week 4.  So for now, perhaps it would be best to not get too carried away talking about Tannehill’s “Lazor” beams or how the first team offense looked “Lazor” sharp.  Let’s first wait and see how Tannehill does on his next drive and then let’s wait and see where the Fins sit come mid-October.

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