The Miami Dolphins hired Adam Gase as their new head coach this offseason. Over the last year years, Gase had worked as the offensive coordinator for John Fox's teams in Denver (2013-14) and Chicago (2015). During that time, Gase ran one of the most no-huddle heavy offenses in all of football. In fact, the only offense that operated out of the no-huddle more than Gase's over those three years was Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles.
So it should come as no surprise that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill told Sirius XM NFL Radio that the Dolphins will be operating out of the no-huddle far more often in 2016.
NFL Savant has data on no-huddle offense going back to 2008. During that time, the Dolphins have been in the no-huddle on approximately 4.7 percent of the time, well below the NFL average of 6.5 percent. Miami ran the no-huddle more than the average team in only three of those eight seasons (2008-10), and even though the Dolphins' percentage of no-huddle snaps has been rising over the last few seasons, it's risen at a much slower rate than that of the rest of the league. We can expect Gase to change that in short order.
|Year||NFL NH %||MIA NH %|
The average Gase-coordinated team has worked from the no-huddle on 29.8 percent of its snaps, per the same NFL Savant data.
No-huddle, doesn't necessarily mean fast, though. Some teams -- like the 2015 Steelers -- are in n0-huddle more often than most (14.5 percent of snaps, seventh-highest in the league, per NFL Savant) but still operate at a slowed-down pace (30.6 seconds per snap in context-neutral situations, 19th in the league, per Football Outsiders).
The Dolphins have had a context-neutral pace ranking of 14th, 17th, and 16th over the last three seasons, snapping the ball just over every 30 seconds in each of those three years. Gase's Denver offenses ranked third (25.9 seconds) and ninth (29.3 seconds) in the same statistic, but the 2015 Bears were all the way down at 27th (31.7 seconds). It appears he wants to bring more of a Broncos pace to Miami, having them snap the ball at the aforementioned "ludicrous speed" on occasion.
What does ludicrous speed look like? Well, the Eagles were the fastest team in the NFL each of the last three years, snapping the ball once every 23.9 (2013), 22.2 (2014), and 23.9 (2015) seconds in those seasons. Those figures were an average of 1.0 (2013), 4.4 (2014), and 4.3 (2015) seconds faster than the next-closest team in those seasons. It worked on occasion, but it also tired out the defense at times as well. The Philly D faced 135 more plays than the next-closest team (Jacksonville) over the last three years, an average of about 2.8 per game. It faced exactly 200 more than the Dolphins defense, an average of about 4.2 per game.
Miami would be wise to deploy that faster-than-fast style of offense selectively, so as to not wear out the players on its own defense.