Dolphins ‘sugar’ huddle offense is helping Tannehill progress

The Miami Dolphins welcomed in a new head coach and two new coordinators this offseason. The Dolphins spent most of training camp and the preseason learning the new systems brought in by Kevin Coyle and Mike Sherman.  Only one player on the Dolphins roster had familiarity with the new system being installed; Ryan Tannehill.  Tannehill knew Mike Sherman’s offense inside and out at Texas A&M. With the Dolphins, Joe Philbin and Sherman installed a more lengthy and complex version of the A&M offense. BUT, Tannehill had a huge head start given his familiarity with the system.  This familiarity has greatly helped ease Tannehill’s transition to the NFL.

Another big factor that has helped accelerate Tannehill’s progress is the Dolphins use of the no huddle offense.  According to Stats Inc., the Dolphins run the no huddle offense 58.6% of the time. Sometimes the Dolphins run a classic no huddle, but more often they run what they call a ‘sugar’ huddle.  Both are classified as no huddle offensive snaps. A sugar huddle, as Ben Volin points out, is when Tannehill has a half huddle with his linemen and running backs. The wide receivers stay outside and get their assignments from hand signals or calls from Tannehill at the line.

The Dolphins actually run the no huddle more than any team in the NFL. The no huddle is effective when the offense is picking up first downs, controlling the clock, keeping the defense in disarray, tiring out the defense and limiting substitutions. However, if the Dolphins offense goes 3 and out, the Dolphins defense has to go right back onto the field, which is counterproductive.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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