Dolphins continue cutting it close with play clock, but does it matter?

Mike Pouncey and the Dolphins are playing with fire when it comes to the play clock. (Getty Images)

DAVIE—One ongoing frustration with the Dolphins’ offense is its inability to get things done quickly. Adam Gase has mentioned multiple times that he would like to see the huddle break faster and the players get lined up with time to spare, but they continue to have issues with that.

In last weekend’s 16-10 win over the Titans, Miami snapped the ball with two seconds or fewer on the play clock on eight of its 54 snaps before reaching a point at which it there was incentive to run time off the clock late in the game.

There were two instances in which the Dolphins appeared to call timeout–once in the first quarter and once in the third—because they weren’t going to be lined up in time to get the play off.

On third downs, a problematic area for Miami, there were three plays in which Jay Cutler got the snap off with one second remaining. There were five others that came at two or three seconds.

Gase doesn’t think it’s a huge concern, but it’s still something he’d like to see improve.

“The faster you can get out of the huddle, the more things you can do – shifts, motions, cadence,” he said. “You’ve got more options. You’re able to see a defense, you might be able to check out of something. The closer you get to 0, now you’re limiting what you can do.”

There’s also the issue of defensive linemen being able to time their jump off the line. When the clock dwindles to the final seconds, they’re free to make their move with little concern about it being encroachment because either the ball will be snapped or the offense will be flagged for delay of game.

Overall, the more the Dolphins vary when they snap it, the harder it is for a defense to predict what they’re doing.

“I still think we have a long ways to go.” Gase said. “We’re not doing a good enough job of getting back to the huddle, getting in the huddle, getting our substitutions in there, getting the play call, getting to the line of scrimmage. We’re too slow.

“It’s something that we’ve really made a big point of emphasis on of just being better in little, tiny details of huddle mechanics, getting to the line of scrimmage, not walking around, come out of the huddle with a little sense of urgency. I know our guys, they’re working on it. They’re very aware of that’s something that we need to improve on.”

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