Dolphins' offense and growing pains

DAVIE, Fla. -- For all the excitement about Bill Lazor's new offense with the Miami Dolphins, the reality is there is a growing process the team must go through. Some days it's a painful process. Other days you can see growth.

The Dolphins' offense has shown flashes in the first week of training camp. But there have also been bad snaps, turnovers, poor pass protection and drops by receivers. Miami has been in the process of installing Lazor's offense since the spring and is still working out the issues.

"We're nowhere near where we want to be," Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline said candidly. "You can see it coming along. You can see guys, myself included, playing better, playing faster. We're still working on timing. We're still working on getting in and out of the huddle faster, getting lined up faster, maintaining our tempo through the heat. That will come with time."

Lazor said this week that it's his job to take the Dolphins' offense to places they haven't been before. The first-year offensive coordinator is throwing a lot at his players in terms of concepts and tempo.

It looks good when things are clicking. But more often than not, the offense has been inconsistent in the first week of camp. The goal is to have consistency by the time Miami faces the New England Patriots in the regular-season opener.

"I'm trying to get them out of the huddle faster," Lazor explained. "Sometimes, it's uncomfortable. Sometimes, it's uncomfortable for the line to make the calls that quickly. The quarterback might want them to settle in and make the calls. We don't want them [to]. We want to go. We want to go. So it's every single day it's a push."

The Dolphins were ranked 27th in total offense last season and averaged just 19.8 points per game. There was nothing Miami did particularly well offensively. The Dolphins couldn't run the ball with any consistency or protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was sacked a franchise-record 58 times last season.

In terms of concepts and tempo, Lazor's scheme does appear to be more creative and an upgrade from last year's basic offense under former assistant Mike Sherman. But creativity won't matter this season if Miami's players cannot execute in the regular season.

"We're still learning," Hartline said. "I think overall we kind of know it. It's just a lot of the routes will have conversions, so now you're going against the defense. If you're out there on air, it's pretty easy at this point."