A lot has changed in the decade since Gruden was a coach; offenses are more pass-happy and as a consequence, defenses are more reliant on subpackages. And perhaps one of the biggest differences between now and then is the advancement in analytics. But Gruden made it clear when speaking with reporters at the NFL combine last week that he isn’t a big fan of statistical analysis.
“I’m trying to throw the game back to 1998,” Gruden told reporters бн “I’m not going to rely on modern technology. I will certainly have some people that are professional that can help me from that regard.
“There is some truth to what [Gruden’s] saying,” Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzo told ” Good Morning Football ” on Thursday. “There’s a lot of data some teams aren’t necessarily tapping into but PFF works with 30 out of 32 teams — I think it’s soon to be 32 — there are varying levels of using all that information [but] they’re all using it at a point where it’s going to help them in their game-planning, it’s going to help them in specific areas…. The biggest takeaway — and I was at the combine last week and I’ve worked with all 32 teams — they’re all at different levels. So they’re all using it to a point, maybe even including Jon.”
DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills figure to see an uptick in targets, but it may not be overly significant when you consider that both were already full-time players last season. The Dolphins had a third wideout on the field for 87 percent of their pass plays, which trailed only the Rams (92 percent) for highest in the league. Of course, a slight to moderate boost of targets, coupled with the return of Ryan Tannehill, is enough to get Parker and Stills into the WR3 discussion. Both can safely be considered flex plays, but there’s room for more.
Jakeem Grant, meanwhile, currently sits third on the WR depth chart and would slide into Landry’s slot gig, at least as the roster stands. It’s reasonable to expect an addition — and potentially a significant one — over the next two months. Leonte Carroo, Isaiah Ford and Rashawn Scott are also in the mix, but are no more than deep dynasty sleepers.