Rookie seventh-round pick Chandler Cox threw a key block on Kalen Ballage’s 3-yard touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and we might be seeing more of him on the field moving forward.
"I think having a fullback as part of your game plan is very important," offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea said. "Obviously the game goes a certain way, and there are some circumstances that lead you down a different path as far as what personnel group that you would select to use, but I think it's a very important part of the offense. We'll continue to look at that for opportunities to have more consistency in the run game with the use of the fullback.
"Chandler, in the limited snaps that he's been in on, has done a good job and has performed well on those snaps. It's just a matter of maybe getting an increased opportunity for him to be out there."
Cox has yet to catch a pass in the NFL, but he showed at Auburn the ability to do just that.
He had 11 rushing attempts during his four years in college, but had 26 receptions.
"I think the primary role of that position obviously is as a blocker, but certainly there should be opportunities in the pass if you're using that position and trying to have balance with him," O'Shea said. "Chandler hasn't had an opportunity to catch the ball in a game, but he certainly has showed the ability to catch the ball at practice, and when we've done things with him in the pass game, he's done a decent job. It's just a matter of having an opportunity to do it in the game and show he can do it."
New cornerback Ken Crawley has become a major contributor in the secondary over the past couple of weeks as one of the most experienced members of that group.
A four-year NFL veteran, Crawley is the elder statesman among the cornerbacks — if we're not counting Eric Rowe, who has been playing safety the past several games.
"He's got a good skill set, good speed, has some experience within this league, and that's something that you really cherish at that position," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said, "and (he's got) the ability just to be able to cover a guy in tight man-to-man coverage, which is a positive."
The Dolphins running game didn't put up big numbers against Buffalo, but it had a lot of success on the two snaps using the Wildcat formation.
The offense ran two plays with Ballage taking a shotgun snap with Jakeem Grant in motion in front of him. On the first, Ballage kept the ball and gained 7 yards to give the Dolphins a second-and-3 at the Buffalo 7-yard line. On the second, Ballage handed off to Grant, who easily got into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.
"It's nice to have those type of plays in your game plan that are a little bit different," O'Shea said. "We'll always look to do something a little bit different. One of the reasons why we were able to do that is because Kalen is good at that. I think he's done a good job in that position, and there are some decisions you need to make at that position whether to hand the ball or to take and stick your foot in the ground and get vertical like he did on the first play. I think that the first thing is he does that well.
"I think it's also important … maybe not only the Wildcat, but to have other things in your offense that might be a little bit different, outside the box, to help you when you're not having as much consistency in the run game as you would like."
The Dolphins continue to do a good job in terms of discipline, with six penalties or fewer in each of their past nine games.
Through Week 11, the Dolphins lead the NFL in both fewest penalties (55) and fewest penalty yards (444).
By contrast, the Dolphins had the eighth-highest penalty yardage total (978) in the NFL last season.
As a reminder, the Dolphins-Browns on Sunday was moved from CBS to FOX as part of a series of game time and TV switches.
Chris Myers and Daryl Johnston will call the game from the booth, with Laura Okmin serving as the sideline reporter.