NFL Awards Watch: Week 5
As the Dolphins expand their playbook, it's becoming more apparent their intent is to develop an offense that revolves even more around the versatile talents of
The second overall pick of the 2005 Draft has become the triggerman in Miami's version of the "Wildcat" offense, and the results have been staggering. Brown has scored five times, thrown a 19-yard touchdown pass and twice topped the century mark in rushing in back-to-back upsets over the Patriots and Chargers.
The plan to cleverly deploy Brown was formulated in training camp, but his thumb injury delayed the process. With Brown healthy, the team is maximizing his unique set of skills by using him in various ways as the point in the single-wing formation.
In the Dolphins' version of the "Wildcat" offense, Brown takes a direct snap from center, and runs a read-option with the wingback (
The exotic formation puts defenses in a quandary. If they focus exclusively on Brown, he simply hands the ball off to Williams on a fly sweep around the corner. If they pay too much attention to Williams on the fly sweep, Brown keeps the ball and picks a hole up the middle. In addition, the Dolphins have sprinkled in some misdirection plays that allow Brown to run away from the side of the motion. Thus, it's not surprising the Dolphins have totaled 167 yards and five touchdowns in the 16 plays that have featured the formation in the past two games.
"We did it out of what we think is necessity and utilization," said offensive coordinator
However, Brown's success should not be overshadowed by the Dolphins' use of the exotic formation. The fourth-year pro was coming into his own last season and had a streak of four consecutive 100-yard rushing games prior to his suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 7. In his return to the lineup, Brown has shown the same burst and explosiveness that was on display last season. And the hard-nosed runner is showing no ill effect from the knee injury as he relentlessly plows through defenders on tough, inside runs. That ability has endeared him to the coaching staff, and led them to use him exclusively as the team's feature back.
"I think that's his ability," said head coach
After struggling during the first two weeks of the season (47 rushing yards on 17 carries), Brown has found his stride while directing the team's "Wildcat" formation, and the surge in production has catapulted him into the conversation as a candidate for the Offensive Player of the Year.