New Miami football OC Shannon Dawson brings Air Raid evolution

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The hiring of Shannon Dawson as the new offensive coordinator for the Miami football program brings an evolved air raid offense. Dawson spoke to Miami beat reporters for the first time on Tuesday. There has been a lot of emphasis on the roots of Dawson in the air raid offense. He explained his evolution on Tuesday.

Dawson joins the Miami football program after spending the last four years at Houston including the previous three as offensive coordinator. Dawson began working in the Air Raid under the developer of the offense Hal Mumme at Southeastern Louisiana as an assistant in 2004.

On Tuesday Dawson explained that he adapts his version of the Air Raid offense to his personnel. Tight end should be the deepest position for Miami offensively in 2023. Dawson could choose to utilize two or three tight ends formations in 2023. Elijah Arroyo and Jaleel Skinner are both pass-catching threats for Miami at TE.

The Hurricanes also add Oregon transfer, TE Cameron McCormick. McCormick has frequently been injury prone throughout his collegiate career but is highly regarded as a blocker. Mario Cristobal wants to play power football but knew that Miami needed a more modern offense than the Hurricanes had in 2022.

Shannon Dawson explains Miami football offensive expectations

"“But ultimately, the philosophy of offense doesn’t change based on who’s out there. We’ve evolved over the past 10 or so years. My background is air raid offense. That’s who I learned from…But as times change, as defenses change, as pass rushes changes, you evolve.We’ve evolved at running the football more efficiently, which in turn, creates bigger plays because now defenses are so coverage-oriented that you have to dink-and-dunk if you’re a true throw-it-every-time offense. The only way you can get guys to play down where you can take shots is to run the ball effectively.I think it’s really meshed well together over the years and what I’ve learned is that I might not throw it as many times, but I can throw it for more yards if you run the ball more effectively and that’s the goal. That’s the goal here.”"

Houston finished 50th nationally in 2022 averaging 4.59 yards per carry. The Cougars were eighth nationally averaging 314.0 passing yards per game. Miami was 97th averaging 23.6 points per game in 2022 and 86th averaging 367.4 yards per game. Dawson has a big task ahead of him improving the Miami offense.

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Expect Miami to evolve offensively in 2023 as Dawson learns who and what works during games. Keeping quarterback Tyler Van Dyke healthy will be important. The additions on the offensive line should help Van Dyke and allow Cristobal to have an offense closer to his philosophy than the lack of production in 2022.