Week 7 of the NFL season is here, which means it is time to open up The Phinsider’s mailbag again and take a shot at answering some of your questions. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions this week. We pulled some from throughout our submission request post and another one from Twitter. My goal is to cover as many topics as possible, as well as look for questions that are asked multiple times from different people so I can address more of your questions in responding to one question.
If you want to join out mailbag, check back here on The Phinsider on Wednesday. We will post an article asking for your questions. You can always hit me up on Twitter as well, using #AskPhinsider and we will check there for questions next week.
On to this week’s questions:
If O’Leary plays as well against the Lions as he did against the Bears, which of the TE Gray or Smythe do you think will end up without a job or on the PS if eligible? Do we really need Parker? With Wilson, Amendola, Grant and possibly 2 pass catching TE (Gieseki and O’Leary) with Drake and Gore out of the back field. - StrongarmDolphinfan
The Dolphins really seem to like Nick O’Leary and are hopeful that he can become a weapon in this offense. That said, I think there really is still a role for MarQueis Gray next year - though I would not guarantee he would be on the team. I could see the Dolphins keeping Gray, Mike Gesicki, O’Leary, and Durham Smythe. That would leave A.J. Derby as the odd man out, which seems wrong because the Dolphins really like him too, but someone of the group has to fall out if all of them can perform. If you added Derby and left off Gray, I would not say you are wrong, but I feel like Gray is the closest of the group to the “all-around” tight end, where as Gesicki (and O’Leary, it seems) are the pass catches and Smythe is the blocker.
I think this is Parker’s last year with the Dolphins. I just think they are ready to move on from a receiver with a ton of potential but who cannot get it together enough, injury wise, to be an asset. There are plenty of rumors circulating that the Dolphins are looking to trade Parker, which feels like them doing their due diligence to see if they can get anything for him before letting him walk away for nothing (except maybe a compensatory pick) in the offseason, once they rescind the fifth-year option. I think you see Miami move on with Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, and Danny Amendola, in large part because, like you said, they also have O’Leary and Gesicki, plus Kenyan Drake out of the backfield. In the Draft, I would not be surprised if they looked for a big-bodied wide receiver to replace Parker, and at some point they look for the slot guy to groom as Amendola’s replacement.
does ironing my underwear make me look soft? what about drinks with plastic swords and umbrellas? - hotsaucesteve
Ummmm....I don’t know that it makes you look soft...but definitely weird.
And plastic swords and umbrellas are awesome.
Who you want back for Sunday ? Wake , McCain or Tannehill …And you can choose only one . - Francesco Pergolini
The obvious caveat here is that Cameron Wake and Bobby McCain appear to be coming back, so that will be a huge benefit to the defense. Taking the spirit of the question, though, I want to say Ryan Tannehill because you always want your starting quarterback, but if Brock Osweiler can hold it down for another week, I will go with Bobby McCain. The pass rush needs Wake back, but the secondary without McCain is too easy for opposing quarterbacks to target.
Rule 1: Stay away from Xavien Howard.
Rule 2: Stay away from Reshad Jones.
Rule 3: Have a field day anywhere else.
McCain stops that from happening. No slight to Wake or Tannehill, but I would want McCain, especially given Matthew Stafford’s ability to put up video game passing stats.
Who else, besides Laremy Tunsil and Reshad Jones, would spell “guaranteed loss” if they were injured? We won without Tannehill. We have won without Wake and McCain. But when Tunsil went down, our offense collapsed. Same thing with the defense when Reshad sat out. Besides either of those two, what other position are we one injury away from a bad stretch of games? - Yarganaught
Xavien Howard. There are a lot of places where injuries have decimated depth - especially along both sides of the line of scrimmage - but the secondary without Howard just becomes a sieve. Opposing quarterbacks are already targeting players not named Howard in coverage, so now you take Howard out of the mix and quarterbacks will feel like they can do anything they want to the Dolphins cornerbacks.
What kind of performance(s) in the coming game or two, if any, would Osweiler need to have in order for you to give serious consideration to wanting him to start over a healthy Tannehill? - driftinscotty
I do not know that, short of setting records, there is much of anything Osweiler can do that would make me think Tannehill should not be the starter. Can he do things to make me feel like the Dolphins should not rush Tannehill back? Absolutely. But, we all know that there is a reason the Houston Texans gave up a draft pick just to get rid of the giant contract and Osweiler, and that player is still in there somewhere. Could he go off on a Ryan Fitzpatrick style tear and the Dolphins stick with the hot hand? If that happens, I guess it would make sense, but this is still Tannehill’s team.
How much Gase should modify the offense style for Osweiler? What plays we should/could see less and what (or who) we could/should see more? - Francesco Pergolini
I do not think we will see as many down-field shots as we might with Tannehill. Other than that, I think the offense remains fairly similar. This team should be built to run the ball early, then use the play-action passing game to open up things. That works with Tannehill and that works with Osweiler. I think we are seeing how important a coach liked Adam Gase and his experience as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator really is. He can adjust his offense to fit a new quarterback, even if it is not overt, huge changes to the plays. He knows how to get the most out of his quarterback, and Osweiler should benefit from that now.
A few games ago when we couldn’t run the ball at all, it was said that the opposition played to take away the run game from us, why didn’t Chicago do the same? - jonman
The Bears were the second-rated rush defense in the league coming into last week’s game. They had not allowed a 100-yard rusher in their first four games, but Frank Gore was able to reach that mark and the Dolphins were able to effectively run the ball. I do not think it had anything to do the Bears not trying to take away the run game, I think it was the Dolphins doing a better job to open up holes. Part of that is scheme, and the Dolphins had a good one on Sunday, and part of it is (likely) this offensive line starting to come together. When you have to change out your center and your left guard, it fairly well destroys an offensive line and the run game behind them. Travis Swanson and Ted Larsen have now been playing together and with the rest of the offensive line for a couple of weeks. They should be starting to find their role in the line. That is a huge step in the right direction for the Dolphins.
Towards the end of last week’s game against the Bears, the Dolphins kicked off and the Bears returner just let the ball bounce in the end zone and walked away……. it STAYED IN ENDZONE. Isn’t that a live ball and couldn’t a Dolphins player have picked it up for a TD? After 10 yards isn’t the ball live? - BTDOLFAN1
No. Not anymore. As of this year, the league changed the rule that a kickoff is considered downed once it touches the endzone. The idea is that the referees can now kill the play earlier, preventing unnecessary collisions between blockers as they wait to see if the player is going to down the ball or return it.
24 receptions for 389 yards and two touchdowns.
33 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
39 receptions for 485 yards and four touchdowns.
42 receptions for 546 yards and 10 touchdowns.
0 receptions for 0 yards and no touchdowns.
35 receptions for 347 yards with one touchdown.
Those are the rookie year stats for Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Randy McMichael, Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce (to be fair, he was on injured reserve for nearly the entire season), and Jason Witten. Extrapolating Gesicki’s stats thus far for the season, he is on pace for 24 receptions for 235 yards. Tight end is one of the hardest transitions for players from college to the NFL, and there is no way to speed it up or jump that curve. He will get more looks as the year moves along, but there is nothing to worry about right now. Gesicki is going to be fine.