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Raheem Mostert: HC Mike McDaniel 'apologetic' Dolphins didn't run the ball enough last season

In Mike McDaniel's first season as head coach in Miami, the former San Francisco 49ers run-game coordinator called the second-fewest rushing attempts in the NFL last season.

With Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and a dynamic passing attack, it's not stunning the Dolphins leaned on that part of the offense, despite Tua Tagovailoa's injury issues. However, McDaniel's self-evaluation following the season concluded that he needs to lean on the ground game in 2023.

"I had a talk with him during the exit interviews at the end of the season," running back Raheem Mostert said on Tuesday. "One thing that he was very apologetic about was the fact that we didn't run enough and that he was going to do his best to change that for the upcoming year. When he talks like that it just gets me fired up even more."

Mostert led Miami with 181 rushing attempts for 891 yards with three touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per tote. The Dolphins traded for Jeff Wilson midway through the season to help spike the ground attack. Wilson dashed for 468 yards and two TDs with the Dolphins on 92 carries (5.1 YPC).

The Dolphins improved on the ground down the stretch, averaging 122 rushing yards per game in the final five tilts, but bottomed out with 42 yards in their playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Given his background in the Kyle Shanahan offense, it's little surprise McDaniel wants to run the ball more in 2023, but with investment in the passing game, the Dolphins should remain a pass-first club.

The Dolphins added RB Devon Achane in the third round of the draft, utilizing one of only four picks on the backfield. Achane is a smaller back at 5-foot-8 but has been compared to Hill with his pass-catching ability. The rookie could be used as a weapon out of the backfield to threaten defenses, particularly taking advantage of middle linebackers dropping deeper to take away Hill and Waddle.

"Yeah, it's just exciting to get a young guy in there, be able to help him out and stuff like that in this offense and just teach them the ways of what it takes to be a pro," Mostert said of Achane. "That's the most important thing and also try to help utilize (him) and try to help us win games. That's the ultimate goal.

"He needs some guidance at some point, especially early on and I'm willing and able to do those things for him."

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