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Phinsider Mailbag - Week 13 2018

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Detroit Lions v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Phinsider Mailbag is back and we are once again answering your questions. Wednesday, I requested whatever questions you wanted answered about the Miami Dolphins, with the plan to answer them yesterday. Well, things got delayed a little and we are opening the mailbag this morning. Let’s get right to the questions.

Do you see any actual plan this team has for its future? The oline, dline, and QB are all question marks heading into the off season. How is the current team leadership supposed to rebuild the three most foundational parts of a team in one offseason when they have failed to do so in the last three? - LetsGoFins35

I think this team is in better shape than fans realize. Yes, there are issues with the depth of this team, but if they were healthy, they would be a lot better than they are right now. There is a solid foundation with the team, for example, the offensive line has Laremy Tunsil playing like a franchise left tackle, Ja’Wuan James playing like a top-tier right tackle, and Jesse Davis locking down the right guard position. If they either get Daniel Kilgore and Josh Sitton back healthy or find young replacements for those, the offensive line is stacked.

Obviously, the talk is all about Ryan Tannehill’s future right now, with people wanting Teddy Bridgewater, a drafted quarterback, or basically anyone else next year. There is speculation that Adam Gase is starting to distance himself from Tannehill so that they can move on from his next year and Kenny Stills saying he cannot throw the ball to himself on Thursday has spun up even more speculation - despite Stills coming back to the podium to stress that he was not trying to disparage the quarterbacks on the team. I still feel like Tannehill is the starting quarterback in 2019 because there are not any other great options available. I think the team is looking for their next franchise quarterback, but that does not mean Tannehill is not the starter next year.


In reference to the last game. Can Tannehill really change the plays at the line of scrimmage? The play I have in mind is the first down on the last series. Dolphins had a 1st down at their own 6. They lined up with 2 WR, 2 TE and 1 RB with seven blockers. The Colts had initially eight in the box but sold out and actually brought a ninth player to stop the running play. Leaving two players on man to man without any safety help. Tannehill should have changed to a pass and it is incredible that he did not- if he was able to. The Colts defensive formation was easy to see. Is he really able to change plays? - Gllmiaspr

This is interesting. Tannehill can audible, but he is not someone who calls his own plays - he’s not Dan Marino out there playing the game how he wants. There are few of those quarterbacks in today’s version of the game. Tannehill told them media this week, “No. That’s not something that I think about. I think (Coach Gase) had a reason he called that. It’s something we talked about throughout the week. Obviously, not at the end of the game, but in third-and-10 situations, they were extremely good on third-and-long situations. I understood the call when it came in and I’m not out there just checking all types of plays. Things we talk about during the week, I’ll check – if we get a certain look on a certain play. But it’s not often that he’s calling one play and I’m just completely waving him off to another play. He has a reason why he’s calling things and wants things ran a certain way, so that’s what we do.”

He added, “We have a lot of checks. I wouldn’t say completely waving him off probably ever. I don’t know. Ten, fifteen plays a game we have adjustments, checks that we can make.”

Basically, it sounds like they have specific looks for the defense which, when they see, Tannehill checks into a specific play to try to exploit, but he does not ignore what Gase calls and make up his own play ever.


What Options Do You See for transitioning the offensive playcalling away from Gase for the remainder of the year? - EgregiousPhilbin

I really do not see anyone. Gase will likely finish the year as the play caller. I think he has to take a good, critical look at it next year and decide if he feels like being a head coach is harming his ability to call and a game and if his ability to call a game is harming his role as a head coach. I really think he is the right man for the head coaching position, but that he has to continue to grow and develop. One of those developments may need to be to find a true offensive coordinator to run Gase’s offense.


Do you think that Carroo will play a larger roll this week, or will we see more of Ford than Carroo, or do you think it will be a fairly even mix of both? - 39 is number 1

I think Carroo finds a bigger role, especially when compared to Ford. Leonte Carroo has at least been in a game this year, while Isaiah Ford is just coming up from the practice squad. Look for Carroo to be more involved in the offense this week.


This team is such a mess!! First, Wake & Quinn have a combined 6.5 sacks and that’s totally unacceptable. Charles Harris’s season is a waste. Our interior D-line lacks beef and plays like veggie burger with Swiss cheese. The secondary is the only bright spot. Now to the offense….the interior OL routinely gets manhandled and trickery seems to be our only strategy. One draft will not solve all these issues. What should be our plan in the draft and do we have the $$ to do anything in free agency? - BTDOLFAN1

Get healthy.

Pretty simple start to fixing the issues.


What about drafting the best LB available at our 1st round slot in the draft?? - BaltPhinfan

I have not started to look at possible prospects yet this year, so based solely on initial reaction, I say no. Kiko Alonso, despite what fans seem to think, is actually playing at a Pro Bowl level. Jerome Baker is developing very nicely as a three-down linebacker who can cover; he still has a ways to go, but he is developing. So, this question comes down to Raekwon McMillan. I think McMillan will be fine. He has to learn and develop still.

Defensive coordinator Matt Burke spoke about McMillan this week, saying, “Honestly, you’re probably going to think I’m crazy here. Sometimes I think he’s too fast in a reactionary sense. Sometimes he reacts to things too quick and I think he gets himself out of position sometimes. I spend a lot of time talking to Raekwon about just slowing down. He sees one thing and he’s gone, so some times he overreacts to the play-action passes or even the run game. He sees a run and starts going 100 miles per hour to get there and then when he cuts back, he overruns things and those sorts of things. I actually a lot of times try to tell him not to slow down in terms of a running factor but just slow down in his reads a little bit to give him that half a step to diagnose and things like that.”

He continued, “He was very proud the other day. I know you guys saw the other night the Houston game was on and Lamar Miller broke that 97-yard run and he was talking about he caught him on the one in our game. He was pretty proud of himself for that.

“Some of the stuff … He’s a rookie and I treat him as such and he probably doesn’t like that; but I think with him it’s just some of the stuff I don’t think he’s seen as he’s building that database of plays and things that he’s seeing more and more. Situations that he maybe hasn’t been put into before, as he builds that experience under his belt, I think he’s getting better and better. His production has gone up for us from a tackle standpoint in the last month or so. I think he’s trending in the right direction and I don’t think his physical ability is going to hold him back from doing the things we’re asking him to do.”

I think the Dolphins need to look for a playmaker with their first round pick, and if that is a linebacker, then select that prospect. However, I would look defensive line, safety, wide receiver, or quarterback before I would lock in on linebacker. Let the young players develop rather than giving up on them this quickly.


The Phinsider Mailbag will be back next week. Look for your chance to ask questions on Wednesday. You can always leave us a question on Twitter as well using #AskPhinsider.