With the caveat that things could change overnight, McDaniel has made it clear that his vision for the Dolphins next season begins with getting the best out of quarterback Tua Tagovalio. His phone call with the Dolphins quarterback was a piece of social media material generated by Miami during the rollout of his recruit, and during that discussion McDaniel pointed to the “greatness” he received from the young quarterback:
“My job is to train you, to bring that greatness out of you”
Coach McDaniel @Your pic.twitter.com/QP9QeNmYwk
— miami dolphins (@ miami dolphins) 8 February 2022
Last season, the Dolphins relied heavily on RPO games to try to get the best out of Tagovailoa. This makes sense, given the system he ran in college and how the dolphins were able to generate explosive plays on such designs.
This leads us to Edmonds.
Edmunds brings a perfect skill-set to running football on the Zone concepts, along with Miami’s experience in such a system. Some of his most explosive plays as a ball-carrier last season came on the RPO design, with Edmonds blocking the zone from the front.
On this play against the Indianapolis Colts, the Cardinals run a box-count RPO. Edmonds will attack from the inside as the offensive line uses zone blocking, but quarterback Kyler Murray has the option of throwing backside speed to wide receiver AJ Green, who is isolated on the right side of the formation:
The Colts try and slide a late safety, just before the snap, in hopes of generating favorable numbers in the box. It almost works, but Edmonds is able to find a crease, using quick footwork behind the line to get into a hole and then relying on his bursts with a knife through the hole, 11 yards on play. Taking advantage
The photo also highlights Edmund’s vision as a ball-carrier, as he scans quickly and then identifies an opportunity, then turns to his athleticism to make the most of the crease he gets. .
One of Arizona’s favorite RPO designs combined the inside zone running play with a bubble screen on the outside. On this snap against the Detroit Lions, Edmonds attacks inside the zone run play while Murray also has a potential bubble screen to the right of Christian Kirk. Another element of this play is the potential keepsake from the quarterback. Tight end Zach Ertz executes an arc block on this play, slicing left to right but the defensive end is left untouched and climbs to another level. If the defensive end crashes on Edmonds, Murray can block for him and keep Ertz around the edge.
Instead, the defensive end stays at home so Murray hands the football over to Edmonds:
Once again you see the sight and the explosion, as Edmonds initially starts midway through an A-gap, but cuts to the left and explodes 23 yards overhead for the Cardinals offense.
Here’s another example of this design at work against the Cleveland Browns:
It is a third and -6 game at the start of the game, and the Cardinals have a bubble screen called the left side as well as an inside field design. Seeing a light box from Cleveland, Murray closed the ball with ease, and the back burst overhead for a 40-yard lead in the game.
It doesn’t take long to find examples of dolphins using RPO games in the past season. In this play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Week 5, he sets up a slant-flat combination to the left with a back eye route from Mike Gasicki, but Tagovailoa instead hands the football to Miles Gaskin on an inside zone play. :
Given his experience, vision, footwork and bursts, Edmonds is an almost ideal fit for the offense we expect McDaniel to implement this season with Tagovailoa.