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5 Stories to Track in Dolphins Training Camp

As we get closer to the start of training camp, I wanted to let you guys and gals know what storylines I’ll be spending my time in training camp observing. There are other question marks on this team outside of Tua that need answering before we can take seriously this playoff or bust attitude most seem to have. 

Run Game

One of the biggest storylines the entire offseason has been the “need” to improve the run game by drafting or signing elite talent. Names like Aaron Jones, Najee Harris, and Javonte Williams have all been talked about in insufferable amounts, but Myles Gaskin remains as the “workhorse” back heading into the 2021 season. The only addition to the RB room is Gerrid Doaks and Jordan Scarlett, which leads me to believe they expect (or hope) that the Oline developing is how they’ll be able to improve on a rush offense that finished 22nd in total rush yards with 1688, 29th in ypc with 3.9 and coming dead last for the longest run at 31 yards.

Rush Defense

One of the things Belichick always preached is the ability to stop the run first and then worry about the pass second, making teams one-dimensional. Last year at times it felt like teams could run at will against the Dolphins. In 2020 as a team, they finished 16th in overall rush yards p/game given up at 116.4, 24th in yards per away game with 132, and gave up 4.5 yards per carry which were tied for 16th in the league. The team expects further development from Raekwon Davis who at times showed dominance, as well as the additions of Adam Butler, John Jenkins, and Bernardrick McKinney helping add to Baker, Wilkins, and Ogbah who all played well last season.

Battle at WR

Excluding the top 3 guys in Parker, Fuller, and Waddle, the next 3 maybe 4 jobs are up for grabs for players like Lynn Bowden Jr, Albert Wilson, Preston Williams, Mack Hollins, Robert Foster, Malcolm Perry, and others. Will position flexibility help some stay on the active roster like Perry who can play slot, RB, and special teams, or Mack Hollins who can play WR, special teams, and even TE in a pinch? WR4 will be a crucial position on this team as most of the WRs have injury histories so expecting them to play more with one extra game is imprudent, especially when you consider WR4 will be a starter week 1 due to Fuller’s suspension. All the ingredients on paper, are there for one of, if not the most, explosive WR room in the league. It’s almost time to see if they can all put it together on the field.

Co-Offensive Coordinators

Heading into Flores’ now 3rd season and being on his 3rd and 4th Offensive Coordinator makes it a pivotal factor in how this season can go. From everything being put out, it will be a run game/ pass game coordinator situation with Godsey calling the plays on gameday due to his experience doing it with the Texans while having Studesville give major input throughout the week as well as handle anything needed on the field as Godsey will most likely be in the press box. Whatever way they decide to roll, they need to be quick and decisive in the decision because a certain 2nd year QB is fighting for his NFL life and needs people in his corner who are a help not a another obstacle, also I’m not sure how it will look to be hiring your 5th OC heading into your 4th year as a Head Coach.

Rookies & Second Year players first training camp

You know you can’t have a Dolphins article and not talk about Tua, who yes does need to improve but so many other players must perform, and it all starts in training camp to see if they can handle it. Can Brandon Jones, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland earn the trust of the staff to play large snap counts for 17 games? How about Lynn Bowden, Jaylen Waddle, Salvon Ahmed, and Gerrid Doaks who may all be integral parts of the offense at different points in the season. How are Austin Jackson, Noah Igbinoghene, Solomon Kindley, and Robert Hunt going to respond from shaky rookie years and with some staring at potential position switches to have a chance to play. These are all questions that need answering to have a successful season full of progress and development from your first and second year guys.

Ultimately if this team wants to have a playoff or bust attitude, the foundation begins on July 27th as a training camp with games and also 2 scrimmages against other teams, will allow the team the ability to gel and improve in a “normal” atmosphere that some have never even experienced.

 

 

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53-man Projection for Your 2021 Miami Dolphins

53-man Projection for Your 2021 Miami Dolphins

With under 2 weeks left into training camp officially starts on July 27th, 2021, I wanted to invite you into my thinking process as to who ends up emerging and becoming a part of your 2021 Miami Dolphins. Keep in mind that this does not account for trades, potential practice squad players nor transactions that may come after league-wide cuts.

QB (2)

Tua Tagovailoa & Jacoby Brissett 

This is one of the easier ones as it is all on Tua this season with Jacoby there to help him understand what he’s seeing. Jacoby also has experience starting so that if Tua gets dinged up and must miss time like last year, we may not see a drop in QB play.

Not making team: Reid Sinnett

RB (4)

Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, Salvon Ahmed & Gerrid Doaks

While some have Jordan Scarlett also making the team, I believe this team will go with Gaskin & Ahmed as the speed backs and Brown & Doaks as the power backs in that order. Keep in mind this will most likely be a running back by committee where the person with the hot hand gets most of the caries that afternoon. Doaks having special teams experience already from college is a big plus and may end up solidifying his spot on the roster. 

Not making team: Jordan Scarlett, Patrick Laird & Carl Tucker

WR (7)

Will Fuller, Devante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, Preston Williams, Lynn Bowden Jr, Robert Foster & Malcolm Perry.

In what is the most competitive room on the entire team, we see the Dolphins go for what it loves most in younger players with untapped talent on cheap contracts. Barring any trades or injuries, the top 3 in Fuller, DVP, and Waddle are all locks. Outside of those 3, it’s a bloodbath to determine who sticks. Preston is firmly on the bubble; I expect another impressive camp that keeps him around, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s cut or traded. I also have the battles between LBJ vs Albert Wilson & Robert Foster vs Mack Hollins, going to Bowden and Foster due to being younger and cheaper in Bowden’s case, and Foster because of familiarity with Tua and special teams play. Malcolm Perry also squeaks in because of the position flexibility to play slot, RB, and special teams.

Not making team: Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins, Allen Hurns, Kai Locksley, Kirk Merritt & Albert Wilson.

TE (4)

Mike Gesicki, Hunter Long, Adam Shaheen & Cethan Carter

When looking back at the 2020 Miami Dolphin’s roster breakdown it’s almost impossible to gloss over the fact the team only kept 3 TEs when this season it could be a 5 deep position. I have the Dolphins keeping 4 this time around with the “surprise” being Durham Smythe as I expect them to go with the more versatile player in Cethan Carter and Hunter Long taking most of Smythe’s 675 total snaps per PFF.

Not making team: Jibril Blount, Chris Myarick & Durham Smythe.

OL (9)

Austin Jackson, Jessie Davis, Matt Skura, Liam Eichenberg, Robert Hunt, Michael Dieter, Solomon Kindley, DJ Fluker & Robert Jones

Another position group that I looked back on last year and we kept 9 so I went with the same amount. The battle of backup Center went to Dieter because of the flexibility to also play him at Guard in a pinch. The swing tackle will be Jessie Davis or Fluker who can also play Guard. The developmental OL went to Robert Jones over Larnel Coleman and Adam Pankey.

Not making team: Cameron Tom, Durval Queiroz Neto, Larnel Coleman, Jonathan Hubbard, Adam Pankey & Timon Paris.

DL (6)

Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis, Emmanuel Ogbah, Zack Sieler, Adam Butler & John Jenkins

Barring any injuries, this Dline will be comprised of mainly Wilkins, Davis, Ogbah, and Sieler with sprinkles of Adam Butler & John Jenkins. Last season post the Godchaux injury, the Dline rotation was essentially the same top 4 with others lightly contributing. I expect more of the same and will be curious to see if the development of Davis, as well as the additions of Butler and Jenkins, will help improve this rush D which at times, would get gashed on command.

Not making team: Nick Coe, Jonathan Ledbetter, Tyshun Render, Jason Strowbridge, Jerome Johnson & Benito Jones.

 LB (8)

Jerome Baker, Bernardrick McKinney, Andrew Van Ginkel, Jaelan Phillips, Duke Riley, Vince Biegel, Elandon Roberts & Brennan Scarlett

The LB room after the McKinney trade and drafting of Jaelan Phillips is all but locked in. Baker and McKinney on the inside with a rotation led by AVG and Phillips while having plenty of Biegel and Scarlett on the outside to start the year, as the Dolphins like to slowly bring rookies along. Duke Riley is Baker’s backup and fills the role the departure of Grugier-Hill created. Elandon Roberts could be someone I see starting on the PUP and eventually coming back as the backup to McKinney and a key special teams contributor. 

Not making team: Sam Eguavoen, Kylan Johnson & Calvin Munson.

 DB (10)

Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Noah Igbinoghene, Jason McCourty, Justin Coleman, Jevon Holland, Brandon Jones, Eric Rowe, Clayton Fejedelem & Nick Needham

As stated previously, this projection will not include any potential trades so I have the top 2 CBs being Xavien and Byron with Justin Coleman beating out Needham for the slot CB job. I also have Jason McCourty making the team and rotating the starting safety role with Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones. Fejedelem sticks around as a special teamer, but I could see him being released due to salary cap ramifications. Needham ultimately stuck around as my 53rd player but more on that later.

Not making team: Jaytlin Askew, Terrell Bonds, Javaris Davis, Tino Ellis, Jamal Perry, Trill Williams & Nate Holley

 K

Jason Sanders

2020 Fantasy Football’s #1 Kicker in points. Enough said.

 P

Michael Pallardy

Another lefty punter that fits the mold. Hopefully, we don’t see him on the field too much.

 LS

Blake Ferguson

You don’t draft a LS to cut him a year later.

Last 3 in:

The last 3 players that made it to this roster projection were Brennan Scarlett, Malcolm Perry & Nick Needham. Keep these names in mind as they could initially make the roster but if a player or 2 from another team becomes available, I could see these guys being the first to be cut or moved.

 

 

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Which Miami Dolphins to Draft in Fantasy

 

Since I began playing fantasy football in 2012, I have been able to pick up some ironclad rules as to how to draft and operate my fantasy team. Without divulging all my “confidential” information, I can give the one that always hurt me the most: I refused to draft or pick up any Miami Dolphins. The heart and the brain just could never decide how to properly handle sits and starts. Also, any NE Patriot, they truly are a week-to-week team depending on the matchup. Now in 2021 I still have that rule but maybe some of you guys or gals are better than me at this and can handle the emotional roller coaster. Here I am to break down some possible fantasy football options on your 2021 Miami Dolphins.

Myles Gaskin
Myles Gaskin when healthy last season was one of the top 10 most productive RBs when it came to yards from scrimmage and 11th overall player.

 

Finishing the year with 972 in just 10 games played, dealing with covid, and spraining his MCL. If he had produced instead of 97.2 yards from scrimmage per game around 85-87 because of more usage at 16 games, he would have a little under 1400 total scrimmage yards with around 5-6 TDs. Gaskin 2 main obstacles in reaching said numbers in now a 17-game season would be how much teams focus on stopping the run to see if Tua can really beat them with his arm early in the year and also having players like Ahmed, Brown (potential TD vulture) and Gerrid Doaks looming in a potential RBBC but with that said, Gaskin has shown the resiliency needed to always fight his way onto the field as an integral part of the offense and I expect it to continue that way.

William Fuller
Speaking of Tua, his shiny new toy from the off-season is William Vincent Fuller V. A true threat to score from all 3 levels. He brings something that this offseason sorely lacked last season in speed, game-breaking speed to be exact. I won’t sugarcoat it for you though, he’s about the biggest boom or bust player in the entire league.


Every game that Fuller surpassed 100 yards receiving he followed it up with less than 60 yards every single time, with 2 instances of less than 38 yards, but in 2020 with DW he had his most consistent year in terms of playing all 11 games before his suspension as well as being a constant TD machine with 8 In 11 games. If Tua can put it all together, he and Fuller could put up huge fantasy points in a 17-game season.

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Devante Parker
DVP is someone that feels like I always must defend in some sort of fashion, but this is a guy who all his career was put down for missing games for little nagging injuries but quietly performed even while dealing with a QB controversy and an outdated playbook.

In games where Parker saw 9+ more targets he had 10 catches for 110 yards vs Seattle, 6 catches for 61 yards and 1 TD vs the Broncos, 8 catches for 119 yards vs the Jets, and 7 catches for 116 yards vs the Bills. If Tua can find the chemistry that Fitz had with DVP, they both could unlock a dynamic duo with him and Fuller that will leave defenses with pick your poison scenarios every game.

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Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen is the biggest unknown in this offense as he should in theory be looking at the starting slot job, but something about the way the Dolphins like to slowly bring rookies along especially early in the year doesn’t let me foresee him having enough targets to warrant an early draft pick for him. If you can take him late in the draft or through waivers/FA, he would be a great bench stash as he could explode later in the year once he’s adjusted to the speed of the game as well as showing the coaching staff, he can handle what’s required from him on the mental side because we know what kind of electric talent he is with the ball in his hands.

Mike Gesicki
Mike was probably the biggest disappointment in terms of how little they game planned to use him as the weapon that he is. Too many times I would see the game clock and notice it’s the middle of the second quarter and Gesicki was just getting his first target in the game. Mike is one of the few true mismatch TEs in the NFL and when you don’t script 2/3 of the first 15/20 plays to him, what’s the point of even having him on the team?

When you also only get 5.7 targets per game (13th best among TEs) you don’t get a chance to get into a rhythm in the same way WRs and other elite TEs can. If Mike can get more opportunities and be fed early and often he could put up big numbers with Tua as they have already shown the trust needed to perform at elite levels like in the Kansas City game.

Jason Sanders
Jason quietly put together a very strong 2020 finishing as the number 1 overall kicker in fantasy football with 172 points. He was also able to do it at a consistent pace as he beat his projections in 12 of the 17 games he played. If Jason finds himself again with an offense that struggles in the RedZone, he may find himself to finish well in the top 5 in fantasy points for Kickers again in 2021.

Tua?
The biggest wildcard for the entire Miami Dolphins is Tua Tagovailoa because if he doesn’t perform how many expect, the entire offense might take a step back. Let’s not dive too deep into his numbers as they have been looked at from every which way possible enough this offseason. Let’s instead try to project what he could potentially look like with a real offseason, another year post-injury, more time to work on chemistry with WRs, and with the organization giving him their full support for 2021. Tua could potentially be looking at a year with around 3500-3800 yards with 24-28 TDs passing and another 3-5 TDs rushing. Tua has the talent at the skill positions to potentially have a second-year breakout but it’s up to him and the talent put in front of him to go and get it done.

 

 

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Five Takeaways from Myles Gaskin’s Press Conference

When the Dolphins waited and waited and waited to take a running back in last month’s NFL draft, two things became crystal clear.

 

1:Maybe the Dolphins didn’t value the position. After all, most of Miami’s front office and coaching staff have ties to New England (one way or another) and correct me if I’m wrong, but they don’t exactly spend insane resources on the running back position. Yes, they drafted Sony Michel (who will likely be cut soon and the perfect waiver claim for the Dolphins) and Laurence Maroney in the first round. Still, overall, they plug and play running backs the same way that we’ve seen throughout the duration of Flores’ tenure in Miami.

OR

 

2: Brian Flores, Eric Studesville, and the rest of the Miami Dolphins coaching staff believe in Myles Gaskin. (Something I’ve said all offseason long) And truly believe he can be that workhorse running back. Which, if you’re into projecting numbers, hypotheticals, witches and wargs, and things like that, Gaskin would’ve amassed 1,000+ yards rushing and over 500+ yards rushing. 
I’m not sure we will ever know what the Miami Dolphin’s true intentions were in last month’s draft. But I think it is clear that Myles Gaskin will be the Dolphins starting running back heading into the season. Yesterday afternoon, Miami’s RB1 met with the South Florida media to discuss Miami’s new-look offense and his expectations heading into the 2021 NFL season.
Here are five takeaways from Myles Gaskin’s press conference on 5/17.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

One of the first things Myles Gaskin was asked is whether or not he realized he was on pace to be “like the fourth-most productive player in the NFL” last season. Here’s what RB1 had to say:

“I had heard things like that but I mean; I guess it’s like a compliment, but I wasn’t so you know what I’m saying? Like at the end of the day, I liked how I was playing, but I did miss those games and that’s not a factual statement. You never know what happens in those games, so I appreciate that just kind of being brought to light. But that’s my point of being healthy. I’ll just do as much as I can. Obviously, football is football and things happen, but just trying to do as much as I can to make sure my body is able to go through a 17-plus game season with the playoffs.”

Translation | Myles Gaskin doesn’t care what he was projected to do over a 16-game season. He’s working on getting his body right so he can withstand the beating of a “full 17 game season + PLAYOFFS”?!!?!?!!? #LFG

 

Gaskin on what it’s been like to have his college teammate Salvon Ahmed by his side throughout his NFL journey

 “It means everything. Just having a brother with you at all times and having a guy to compete with. Obviously, we’re best friends off the field, but definitely when we compete, like we’ll be going back and forth. He’ll win some, I’ll win some. We get mad at each other. Like the other day, we were racing and I didn’t even feel like – I lost – and I didn’t feel like talking to him on the ride back. I was sitting in the car just silent. I was so mad. (laughter) So I mean, just having somebody to compete with, especially having like a real friend to compete with, talk about the playbook with, all that type of stuff. Like we’ll be quizzing each other at dinner and stuff like that. It’s cool.”

Translation | Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are BFFS 4 Lyfe and help push one another to be the best players they can be. They probably have best friend necklaces too. 

 

He then shed some light on Miami’s new playbook now that Eric Studesville and George Godsey are co-offensive coordinators.

Translation | I’m just thankful it’s not Chan Gailey’s playbook. So, I think by default, players are excited and optimistic to see what this offense can do when not being handcuffed by Chanstefer.

 

One reporter asked Myles Gaskin why it was important to be back in Florida to attend voluntary workouts. The response wasn’t exactly what many expected 🙂

“I’ll just speak for myself. I just needed to get up out of Seattle, to be honest. Florida is Florida, so everything’s open. And just the weather. I mean, I got an apartment here. I’m not trying to – I’m not paying for an apartment not to stay there. So I have my other reasons for myself and obviously, help me learn the playbook being on-site. I mean, we got everything you need here, but there’s definitely a mix of football and just trying to get up – I was living at my parents’ house, so you know how that goes. It’s cool and all until they want you to clean a bathroom or something. (laughter)”

Translation | I love my parents, but I’m the starting running back of the Miami Dolphins. I don’t belong in Seattle, living in my parent’s basement. I had to get the hell out of there! #RunGaskinRun

 

Gaskin ended his press conference by telling reporters the difference between the running back heading into year three.

“I’m better, I guess. Just more better in the mind, better just physically, just ready to go. I know what I’m looking for. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses and I’m trying to get those all to strengths and even my strengths are even stronger. So I think I just have more of a focus on what – I feel like when I first came in, I was just wide-eyed. ‘I just want to get better.’ But now I’m really focused on what I want to get better at, if that makes sense.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what RB1 can do this upcoming szn.

Dolphins Loss Chiefs

Week 15 Dolphins/Patriots Odds and Prediction

 

 

The Miami Dolphins face the New England Patriots in Week 15 at 8-5 and in control of their playoff destiny.

 

Miami Dolphins (8-5) vs New England Patriots (6-7)

Sunday Dec. 20th, 1PM EST

Line: Dolphins -2.5

O/U 41.5

 

For the changing of the guard in the AFC East to be complete the Patriots must be eliminated from playoff contention outright, even though Buffalo has nearly clinched the division.

The Dolphins are just a slight favorite despite a better record and being at home. Both teams are in vastly positions after New England beat Miami convincingly 21-11 in Week 1. Cam Newton has struggled and the Dolphins’ defense has become one of the best in the league.

 

Newton has just five touchdown passes against 10 interceptions but his 11 rushing scores are tied for the second highest total in the NFL. In Week 1 Newton was very efficient through the air completing 15-of-19 passes for 165 yards. However it was on the ground where Newton did his most damage with 15 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Miami is playing much better on both sides of the ball and since Tua Tagovailoa took over at quarterback they are limiting mistakes with the football. Ryan Fitzpatrick started under center in Week 1 and threw three interceptions without a touchdown. Conversely Tua has so far thrown just one pick in seven starts.
New England is the 5th best rushing team in the NFL entering Week 15 averaging 147.5 yards per game, while Miami’s defense ranks 21st in the league allowing 120.2 yards per game. Where Miami excels is in pass coverage and their 16 interceptions are second in the NFL. Xavien Howard leads the NFL with nine picks and has firmly entered the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Newton will be without wide receiver Julian Edelman which gives him even fewer weapons.

 

Miami will need to be careful as New England still has a solid defense led by Stephon Gilmore, they are right behind the Dolphins with 15 interceptions. Tua will need to take what the defense gives him, and if Mike Gesicki and Devante Parker can go that will give the offense a huge boost.

The Dolphins need to find a running game to help Tua against a tough New England defense, and Bill Belichick will try to take away anything easy. New England’s run defense is worse than Miami’s, ranking 23rd allowing 124 yards-per-game. If Miami can run the ball in this one it bodes well for success to close out the season.

I predict Miami will finally get the ground game going and control a fairly low scoring game. The Dolphins’ defense can force Newton into mistakes and I see that trend continuing in this matchup. Field position will be critical and the Dolphins have perhaps the best kicker and special teams in the NFL.

That could make the difference in a close game.

 

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20

 

Related:

Dolphins Cardinals

Tua’s agent may have just leaked who the Dolphins starting QB will be

The 2020 NFL season has been anything but ordinary.

Which could explain why the Dolphins have won 6 of their last 8 games and currently hold the 6th seed in the AFC.

Again, this has been a crazy year. But being a Dolphins fan never comes easy.

And after patiently waiting for The Franchise Tua Tagovailoa to supplant Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team’s starting quarterback, we’re now right back where we started.

Tua was unable to play last Sunday vs the New York Jets. And despite countless Twitter doctors misdiagnosing this as ‘JuSt A JaMMeD tHuMb’ , it appears that there is legit uncertainty surrounding who Miami’s quarterback will be Sunday vs Cincinnati.

Friday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Tagovailoa’s status was in doubt for Sunday’s game.

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We later heard from Brian Flores that the team would not be making a decision until IMMEDIATELY AFTER HE MET WITH THE MEDIA. Flores is treasure and is very much at the forefront of the Coach of the Year race. But this left a lot of Dolphins fans wanting to know more. And after roughly 24 hours, we may finally have our answer.

RUMOR: Tua Tagovailoa to start for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday (Not confirmed)

Minutes ago, Tua Tagovailoa’s agent Leigh Steinberg posted this on Facebook. And thanks to many diehard Dolphins fans, we may now have our answer as to who the quarterback is for Sunday’s game.

He later edited his post to say “Dolphins” instead of “Tua”. This was later confirmed by Twitter detective, Jimmy. Thank you, Jimmy.

What does this all mean? I really don’t know.

Maybe, Flores is trying to get back at Steinberg for leaking the news that Tagovailoa was going to be the starter earlier in the year. (Note: This has not been confirmed but we can all see the writing on the wall) Or, and more likely, Tua is going to be the starting quarterback Sunday vs the Bengals. A matchup that many believe Miami should win convincingly. But as we saw a few weeks ago in Denver and countless times throughout a league year, Any team can win on any given Sunday.

Final Yard

I’m not going to sit here and tell you with 100% confidence that Tua Tagovailoa will be the team’s starting quarterback Sunday, but it definitely seems that way. If reports are true that he practiced all week, why wouldn’t he be ready to go Sunday vs the Bengals? We’ve heard time and time again this is Tagovailoa’s team and if your plan is to have him play the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills with the playoffs on the line–you have to let him get back out there vs the Bengals.

Furthermore, if you want to allow Tua to develop and build chemistry with the wide receiver, live game reps are of the upmost important. Oh, and can we please open the offense up a bit more and #LetTuaCook?

I don’t know if Tua will be the Dolphins starting QB tomorrow afternoon, but I do know one thing. Brian Flores is on his way to the airport to have a ‘talk’ with Leigh Steinberg.

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Southpaw Slinger: Can Tua Become a Top 5 Lefty?

It’s been 5 years since the last lefty quarterback threw a touchdown in the NFL. Tua Tagovailoa was the first lefty quarterback to throw a touchdown since Kellen Moore threw for 435 yards and 3 touchdowns in week 17 of the 2015-2016 season.

Although Tua won his first career game on Sunday in a largely defensive performance by the Dolphins(4-3), he threw a few very well placed balls, including a 3 yard touchdown to Devante Parker, which was the lowest separation on a touchdown pass all season with .28 yards of separation. Talk about accuracy! Based off of this performance, where will Tua rank among all lefty quarterbacks?

Steve Young, Boomer Esiason, Mike Vick, and Ken Stabler are who I have found to be the top 4 lefty quarterbacks of all time, but will Tua earn himself a spot on this list and make it a top 5 list?

1.       Steve Young has earned himself the number one spot on this list as a Hall of Famer who has 7 Pro Bowl appearances, is a 3-time super bowl champ, and has won league MVP 2 times.

2.      Boomer Esiason receives the title of second best lefty of all time. He is a 4-time Pro Bowler with all-time records for lefty quarterbacks such as 247 Touchdown passes, 37,920 passing yards, and 2,969 completions. Esiason was also a 1-time league MVP.

3.      Michael Vick was the best running quarterback of all time and the third best lefty quarterback of all time. He is a 4-time Pro Bowler and has the most career rushing yards by a quarterback ever with 6,109 and was the first ever quarterback to get 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

4.      The fourth spot belongs to Ken Stabler (The Snake) for now, but if Tua plays to his expectations, he can easily take this spot and possibly move even higher on this list. Ken Stabler is a Hall Of Famer, 4-time Pro Bowler, 1-Time league MVP, and has 1 Super Bowl win.

5.      My prediction for Tua Tagovailoa is that he will be the Phins first star quarterback since Marino, along with the fifth best lefty quarterback of all time. I think his throw accuracy is already among the best in the league. If he can keep his cool in the NFL, he will easily be an all-time great.

 

Aidan Scully (@AScullySports) is a new contributor to Five Reasons Sports Network.

Could Le’Veon Bell end up in Miami? Flores won’t say no.

Today is the day free agent running back Le’Veon Bell will be wined and dined (from a distance) by potential NFL teams.

Could the Miami Dolphins be interested in Bell’s services? That I can’t say for sure.

However, I will make a case as to why I think he would be a welcomed addition.

But first, a word from our good friend Adam. #FreeRapoport

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Miami Dolphins were at least in talks about the playmaking RB before his release.

No one truly knows how deep these talks were between the Dolphins and Jets. But after listening to the video, I get the feeling New York may have been a bit desperate?

But I don’t care. Let the speculation commence!

Flores won’t say ‘no.’ 

Yesterday, Flores didn’t really speak on the 28-year-old RB. Except he did, when he snuck this little nugget into his discussion on the Jets running back room without their Pro Bowl RB.

Look, Le’Veon Bell is a great player. I think we all know that. He’s had a lot of production in this league – run, pass and just a dynamic player.

Today, when asked what he thought about Bell and a potential new home in Miami, Flores dropped another nice little quote.

Where does Bell fit into the offense?

No disrespect to Myles Gaskin, who is proving to be an NFL RB and a key piece to Miami’s backfield, but Bell is a different breed of running back. And while the Jordan Howard experience may have failed or the team continues to struggle to get Matt Breida involved, the Dolphins could use something a little bit more.

Enter 28-year-old Le’ Veon Bell, hungry AF to prove to the doubters wrong. Most importantly, to prove Adam Gase wrong.

Bell had success in a similar offense in the past. And despite his recent woes in New York (and even his later years in Pittsburgh), I’m not convinced the book is closed. His patient running style would be effective behind Miami’s newly revamped offensive line and adding a weapon like him to an offense already averaging 27.2 points per game–watch out.

The Final Yard

I won’t lose sleep if the Dolphins miss out on Le’Veon Bell. But, rarely, a player that has eclipsed over 6,139 yards and 38 touchdowns falls from the sky. And while he’s proven to be an exceptional runner, it’s his ability to line up in the slot and split out wide that admittedly intrigues me most.

How would a defense stop DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Preston Williams, Jakeem Grant/Isaiah Ford, and Le’Veon Bell when all split out wide? Then, think of the different packages, whether it be (Gaskin/Bell, Bell/Breida, Gaskin/Breida, Bell/Howard, etc..) or even Lynn Bowden-Malcolm Perry.

I need a cigarette.

Miami’s offense is already scary. But adding a player like Bell would turn the Dolphins offense into a Megazord. An unstoppable force. And for a team already averaging 27.2 PPG, that’s scary.

He might not sign in Miami, but Le’Veon Bell would be a great signing for the Miami Dolphins.

Best of all, we could go around and tell anyone who listens, Gase swapped Bell for Ballage

Stock up, Stock down vs San Francisco 49ers

Welcome back to another installment of Stock Up Stock Down. In Week 5 of the NFL season, your Miami Dolphins came out on top against the San Francisco 49ers in a surprisingly dominant fashion with only a few things to nitpick at. We took control of the game from the first drive and did not let up throughout the game. With so much to dissect, let’s dive right in

Stock Up

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan must have a couple of burner Twitter accounts and saw all the calls for Tua to start because he came out on fire from the very first play. All last year we praised Fitz for his ability to give his receivers a chance to make plays on the ball by throwing the 50/50 balls, which he has done this year but only to Gesicki and DVP, and it was apparent starting the game with a deep shot to Preston for 47 yards and culminating with a 3 yard TD pass to Adam Shaheen.

Ryan led an efficient offense all afternoon long, finishing with not just the stats (22/28 350 yards 3 TD) but also scoring on 9 of the 12 drives the offense was on the field (1 was the final drive to kill time and in the game). Overall, because of his play, I doubt we hear anything else about Tua starting until we after we play the Jets at home in Week 6.

Preston Williams

All season long, Fitzpatrick has shown a level of confidence in DVP and Gesicki, but this week it appears the level of trust extended to Preston and showed what it could result in. Preston, from the first play, took the extra trust and earned more with a 47-yard deep catch to start the game, and he did not let up the rest of the game leading to the first 100-yard game of his young career. He finished the afternoon with 4 catches for 106 yards and a TD in what I would call the most complete game of his career. The key here is going to continue to see this effort and attention to detail from the Unicorn because if we do, the sky is the limit for him.

Jason Sanders

Last week I placed Jason Sanders in the stock up as a slight to Flores’s inability or unwillingness to make tough decisions, but the start to the year that Jason has had is truly something to marvel at. Jason has started the year 14/14 on field goals and another 10/10 on extra points. It is a piece of mind to know that your kicker is perfect on every kick each time you send him out there.

Defense

This must be what it feels like to have a defensive-minded Head Coach because the D was flying around all afternoon long. Throughout the game, we saw players like Jerome Baker, Eric Rowe, Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, and even Andrew Van Ginkel. Jerome finished with 8 tackles and a huge sack at the end to ice it. Rowe shut down Kittle to a tune of 4 catches for 44 yards. Xavien got an interception, which is his third game straight with an interception. Byron Jones seemed to be the missing piece that solidified the rest of the defense as Noah was not tasked with an impossible task. Lastly, one of my personal gems through my analysis of his tape, AVG. AVG was a wrecking ball off the edge all afternoon long, totaling 6 tackles 1 sack, 1 FF, and 1.5 TFL. For more in-depth on AVG.

Coaching Staff

The Coaching Staff all should get some credit for the game plan and adjustments made throughout the game by getting an early lead after a 4th down stop. After that momentum swing, it was all downhill for the 49ers. On the defensive side, the coaching staff placed their players in positions to succeed by eliminating the 49ers offense from ever getting in rhythm through the air. We realized early on that their secondary was extremely small, with the lone exception was Brian Allen, who was just activated this week. All game long we attacked a beat up and weak secondary. Preston being single teamed all game led to us hitting him early and getting him his 100-yard game as well as getting another huge game from Mike Gesicki.

Stock Down

Jordan Howard

I find it hard to imagine seeing Jordan Howard in a Dolphins uniform for very much longer. A random and surprise coaching decision to not dress Jordan for the game led to more of Breida and Myles taking over goal-line duties. I still am of the opinion that if Howard was given the same role and opportunity as Myles, he would more than show the skills that have made him a 1,000-yard RB in the league.

Rushing Attack

It seems counterintuitive that we would sit a talented RB while still averaging only 2.8 yards per carry before the game. That is unacceptable and by looking at the tape Myles is only getting whatever the offensive line is getting for him. I don’t see any explosive moves or ability to make a man miss and take it to the house and while Coach Flores has bromance for Myles, but we need to start getting the ball to Breida and even Jordan Howard. Think about this, Myles had a 21-yard run (his longest on the year) and had a total of 57 yards rushing on 16 carries. My math is funny sometimes but 15 carries for 36 yards equals 2.4 yards a carry. Unacceptable.

Jesse Davis at Right Tackle

It’s becoming harder to see a world where Jesse Davis comes back to have his job on as the Right Tackle once Austin Jackson comes back from IR. Seeing both Solomon Kindley and Robert Hunt move bodies around all game long really showed that we have a solid foundation to build on and one which needs as much playing time as possible, even if it comes at the cost of veterans who are mere stopgaps for the future. By all indications our investments this past draft have been fruitful and eventually we will have an OL with 3 rookies playing and based off the early results, we have no need to feel nervous about saying that.

Rush Defense

I really have a tough time understanding how a team that finished with 26 less points than us still manages to average 6.8 yards per carry totaling 131 for the day and 1 TD. Somehow while being up the entirety of the game, we still allowed San Francisco the ability to run the ball when they wanted to even though they had to throw it all game to try and get back into it. If this had been a closer game or even a game that San Francisco got a lead in, are we talking 200+ yards rushing being given up? It does little to play the what if games, but this is a trend that still has not been broken and with the potential loss of Davon Godchaux we lose one of our most experienced run defenders to an already porous rush defense.

Overall this team pulled off a great win which should show guys that these types of results are possible when everyone is playing together, mistake free and discipline brand of football. Coach Flores constantly preaches about each player starring in their role and if everyone can buy in to that we may be able to go on a little win streak here with the lowly but still rival New York Jets coming into town.

 

 

 

Five things to watch: Miami Dolphins vs San Francisco 49ers

Coming off a terrible loss that we had a chance to win, your Miami Dolphins travel cross country to play the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers and Kyle Shanahan have been dealing with a shocking amount of injuries early on in the year, which will very likely force the 49ers to not have either their starting QB or RB. Can your Miami Dolphins take advantage of an opponent who is struggling to even field a healthy team by all indications? Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Offensive Line

Coming off a game where they only allowed 1 sack, the offensive will once again be asked to slow an effective pass rush down. The injury report has not been kind to the offensive line so far as Solomon Kindley started limited in the week but is now a full participant. Unfortunately, our other rookie Austin Jackson began the week with 2 did not practice designations. Without at least a limited practice before the game, we will most likely be going with a backup LT. Not really the best recipe if you wanted to possibly get your rookie QB some snaps.

Slowing down Shanahan’s Run Game

For us to have any chance in this game, we need to limit what Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers do best, which is run the ball. Like last week and slowing Russell, it is going to a lot easier said than done. They could be down their 2 best RB with both Mostert and Tevin Colman dealing with injuries meaning If we can stop 3rd and 4th string RB from running wild on us, we would be making them one dimensional on offense, which is the opposite of what they want with Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard out there.

Establishing the Run Game

It cannot be stated more what a disappointment our running attack has been. I mean to strictly leave it on the RBs inability to make explosive plays and the coaching staff’s inability to try different players in different roles. This is a sort of revenge game for ex-49ers RB Matt Breida, meaning there would be no better game to get him or even Jordan Howard more than the 4.5 carries they have been averaging over the first four games.

A quarter of the season is gone, and as much as Coach Flores loves Myles for what he represents, he is not a starting RB in the NFL. We need to start exploring all our options because this patriots style of RB use is great when you have talented RBs that can excel in their roles, but when you force Jordan Howard to only be a goal-line back and get 4.5 carries a game when he has shown to be a multiple 1000 yard rusher it becomes increasingly more frustrating as each game passes.

Miami Traveling

Last week I spoke about the Seattle Seahawks and the historical struggles of west coast teams traveling to the east coast and essentially playing a 10am. Well, we can go ahead and reverse the roles because east coast teams traveling to the west have also historically struggled to execute. In what will be a quick trip as the Dolphins are traveling their Saturday due to COVID regulations, can we as a team go in their focus, locked and loaded to get our second W of the year, or will we be flying home Sunday night knowing we just earned our 4th loss of the year?

Coaching Staff

After a quarter of the year, most teams begin an introspective process to assess what went right and what went wrong during the first 25 percent of the year. The entire coaching staff’s performance has to be top on the list of what went wrong.  The entire staff needs to hold themselves accountable as they would a player missing a block, assignment, or tackle.

Decisions are coming on the horizon that could very well affect the next decade of this franchise when it comes to Tua Tagovailoa. Already this week, we have had to “announce” who our starting QB is with Flores coming out and saying that not only is Fitz our starter this week but also that Tua is not ready and that if he was Tua’s father, he would not want him to play yet, but he’s already a snap away from being in the game as the backup QB, so why those comments?

Ultimately, it will take an entire team effort for 60 minutes to steal this game away as we enter 9-point underdogs. Can Fitzpatrick hold off Tua for another week? Will Jerome Baker finally show up after 16 tackles total in the 3 games after his 16-tackle game? How much of a difference will a healthy Byron bring to a defense that has been getting torched all year? All questions of great importance for not just the rest of this year but also next year. Till next time guys, Fins Up!

Voices

5 Reasons Contributors on Dolphins-Jets “clash”

The Miami Dolphins are favored for the first time in forever against unintentionally-tanking former coach Adam Gase and the hapless New York Jets.

We asked some of our Five Reasons Sports contributors to assess the matchup.

*****

 

Though matchups between divisional opponents—especially when a head coach is going up against his former team—are supposed to be interesting, this one probably won’t be. The Jets are a dumpster fire this year led by Adam Gase, who should be on the hot seat after starting off this season 0-5 and finishing last year with a 7-9 record and whatever bag of chips you’re rewarded for being 3rd in the AFC East. 

 

Not to mention that the Jets somehow managed to waive Le’Veon Bell, arguably one of the best runningbacks in the league and almost certainly their best player, instead of trading him and getting at least something for him. Bell walks away with a cool $28 mil and the Jets walk away with… another bag of chips? Don’t ask Adam Gase about Bell though; those questions are “irrelevant.”

 

Without Bell and QB Sam Darnold, who is still nursing a shoulder injury, New York will have to hope veteran backup Joe Flacco can put something together. Flacco was 18 of 33 for 195 yards and a single touchdown in last week’s embarrassing 30-10 loss to Arizona.

 

The Dolphins, meanwhile, have started to show some grit with a big 43-17 win over last year’s Super Bowl contenders, the San Francisco 49ers, last week. Though the 9ers were decimated by injuries, the Fins showed some true potential on both sides of the ball, totaling five sacks and two interceptions on defense and 444 total yards of offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s best performance of the season (including a QBR of 99.1, the highest of any quarterback this year). 

 

The only way this game could get interesting is if Bell signs with Miami, considered as of now to be one of his top three landing spots. There’s nothing better than a revenge game, right?

— Kylie Wang

*****

 

The Miami Dolphins are preparing to take on a division rival in the New York Jets this Sunday, bringing back an old face in Adam Gase. And with Sam Darnold out,  Joe Flacco, an old Dolphins nemesis, will be under center for the Jets once again this week. 

Flacco has been very successful against the Dolphins with a total of 7 wins and 0 losses. — six wins in the regular season and one in the postseason.

His regular season numbers over those 6 starts against Miami include completing 71 percent of his passes with 10 TD’s to 3 INT’s and adding 1 rushing touchdown. In his last start in 2017, the Dolphins got embarrassed 40-0 even as Flacco’s outing ended early on the controversial hit by then-Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Fast forward to Sunday’s game, though, and times are different for the former Super Bowl MVP. His best days are behind him and he is currently on the worst team in the NFL.

The Dolphins are favored by eight. Don’t expect Flacco to keep it that close.

— Jaccare Givens 

 

*****

With an annihilation of the 49ers on the road comes some expectations.

We have learned that Miami can win and play good teams tough with “Fitzmagic”.  They have little to no hope with “Fitztragic”.  In this case, Miami has a decided talent advantage, are home, and confidence is riding high.  The last time I said this team had real expectations, was the Thursday night beat down of the Jaguars.  I expect much of the same.  It is required.  No letdowns allowed.

Miami Dolphins 30  NY Jets 16

— Alfredo Arteaga

 

*****

 

Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has shown that with inferior competition he can devise strong game plans. That will continue. I expect the Dolphins to take an early lead behind the arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick attacking downfield to DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki and Preston Williams. Once the adrenaline starts to fade, an ugly, punt filled late afternoon will take place with whichever team can establish the run coming out on top. I trust Coach Flores to take advantage of the early lead and let his pass rushers like Emmanuel Ogbah, Andrew Van Ginkel, Jerome Baker and maybe the banged-up Kyle Van Noy go to work. Jason Saunders will also extend his consecutive streak of field goals to start the year and in the process break Olindo Mare’s record for overall consecutive field goals of 19 to his 20.

Dolphins 27 Jets 13

— Juan Cardona