Dolphins confident in bringing back nearly identical offense from 2016

Kenny Stills figures to be a key figure in the offense this year. (Getty Images)

Throughout the offseason, the Dolphins have made minimal additions to their offense. Their biggest moves were making sure Kenny Stills didn’t leave in free agency and trading for tight end help in Julius Thomas.

Miami is bringing back the exact group of receivers, running back and quarterback from last year’s team that averaged 22.7 points (17th in the league) and 332.8 yards (24th). The offensive line looks the same other than Laremy Tunsil moving from left guard to left tackle and, as of now, Ted Larsen taking over the spot he vacated.

Thomas, coming of two dismal, injury-hampered seasons in Jacksonville, steps into a tight end position that had little impact in the passing attack last season. He’s by far the biggest upgrade personnel-wise. In the draft, Miami picked up offensive guard Isaac Asiata in the fifth round and receiver Isaiah Ford, in the seventh. Those were the only additions on offense.

“We added Julius Thomas and we were able to re-sign Kenny Stills,” vice president Mike Tannenbaum said when asked why the team didn’t put more of an emphasis on offense in the draft. “We look at it as more of what we have done in the offseason, and what you do in free agency sometimes complements what you do in the draft. We were able to add Isaiah Ford in the seventh round; but again, we are taking more of a longer view of the whole offseason.”

One component of Miami’s thinking is that its offense was weighed down by injuries last year. Ryan Tannehill missed three games, DeVante Parker’s health was up and down and the team used seven different combinations on the starting offensive line. Tannehill coming back strong from his knee sprain is the core concern for the Dolphins, and he seems strong so far.

Right before he went down, Tannehill has having one of the best runs of his career. He and Gase seemed to click, and there’s good reason for the team to expect he’ll be even better in their second season together.

The other concern is the line, where it appears the Dolphins have improved their depth, but that depends largely on whether they get 16 games out of Mike Pouncey. He played five last year. As of now, they were start Tunsil, Larsen, Pouncey, Jermon Bushrod and Ja’Wuan James, followed by a solid set of backups that includes Asiata and Kraig Urbik.

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