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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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Tua Tagovailoa

Breaking down the Miami Dolphins first open 2021 practice

For the first time since last December, the Miami Dolphins held their first open practice for the media to watch. With that first practice comes the opportunity to see and hear from the players in a real football environment and get an idea of where they stand.

As OTAs are voluntary, it’s no surprise to see that some players opted not to attend. The most notable absences were Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Jason McCourty, Emmanuel Ogbah, Justin Coleman, Jerome Baker, Benardrick McKinney, Will Fuller, and D.J. Fluker. Just looking at the list, it’s mostly veterans who didn’t show up. This is a regular pattern across the NFL and ultimately means nothing. It’s only when mandatory mini-camp arrives that attendance will matter.

“Like I’ve told them, you don’t just roll out of bed and jump back into it as if you’re in midseason form, so there’s a lot of working through some kinks, I would say, even just from a basic fundamentals, footwork, hand placement standpoint.” Head coach Brian Flores said before practice. “It’s good to get them out here and work through some of those things. We’ll see them these next few weeks to include minicamp.”

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Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns attended practice, with video being taken of Wilson catching a pass from veteran QB Jacoby Brissett.

However, Wilson will need every opportunity he can get to prove he still deserves a roster spot with all the weapons that have been added. This Miami Dolphins regime has shown over and over that no player is safe, no matter how good or respected they are.

Speaking of Brissett, it was reported that he and rookie Jaylen Waddle were getting extra work in after practice was over. This is a good sign considering Waddle is projected to be a big contributor to the offense in 2021. Why wasn’t it Tua Tagovailoa instead? One possible reason is he was preparing for a media session.

The offense and defense never faced each other in Wednesday’s practice. Both sides kept to their own work during practice and the players’ only real opponent was the grass in front of them. Part of the agreement the players reached with Brian Flores stated that OTAs would be a much lighter workload. So the session focused mainly on teaching and fundamentals.

After practice was over, players spoke with the media and dropped some interesting tidbits regarding their mindset and the surrounding chatter. One of the most candid of them all was tight end Mike Gesicki.

This is likely in regards due to the recent chatter coming from the likes of Colin Cowherd and others. The criticisms regarding Tagovailoa’s health, arm strength, durability and comparison to fellow QB Justin Herbert has dominated national airwaves. Fortunately, it seems that Tua Tagovailoa isn’t fazed by this talk and appreciates his teammate’s defense of him.

Later, Tua offered some insight on his strength and conditioning.

Obviously, this is excellent news. After all, one of the main concerns of 2020 was Tagovailoa’s health. Now instead of focusing on healing, he can focus on raising his peak physical shape. Everyone has seen the images and videos of Tua Tagovailoa working out, and it’s obvious that he looks much stronger than he did last season.

However, the quote that will likely make the national news regarded Tua Tagovailoa’s level of comfort last season. It was speculated by many that Tagovailoa looked lost at times in the huddle and wasn’t sure where to go with the ball. Tagovailoa confirmed these suspicions in Wednesday’s virtual press conference.

To clarify, Tagovailoa is not suggesting he did not take the time to learn the playbook. He clarified his comments, saying that when he was in the game, the playcalls were simpler, there weren’t extra alerts or things to take into consideration. He didn’t have the playbook down to such a science that he felt comfortable changing things on the fly, pointing things out, speaking with authority and helping his teammates execute.

Considering he was a step behind all season due to his rehab, this should not be a surprise. He did not get to really focus on learning every detail of the playbook because he had to spend time healing and getting back to his baseline physical shape. Plus, the offense was not catered to his strengths, and neither was the offensive coordinator. Last year’s offense was best suited for Ryan Fitzpatrick, a gunslinger. Not a surgeon like Tua Tagovailoa.

Granted, Tagovailoa takes responsibility for not knowing the playbook as well as he should have. But now things are different, now the offense is being built around him. That has already done wonders for his level of comfort, and it’s showing in the huddle.

As time goes on, there will be more opportunities to see what Tagovailoa is truly capable of. His teammates have made it clear they believe in him and they’re excited to work with him. All the other discussions outside the organization are being scoffed at or ignored.

It will be interesting to see where things progress from here.

Quotes aggregated by Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga), who is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast

Summary by Luis Sung (@LuisDSung), who has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for eight years.

 

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

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Five Takeaways from Chris Grier’s Pre-Draft Press Conference

There are few things more pointless than an NFL general manager’s press conferences eight days before the draft. But that’s not stopping us all from trying to weed through the smoke like Ricky Williams trying to find any hint as to what Dolphins might do in the 2021 NFL draft. So without further ado, here are some of Chris Grier’s most notable comments from his 4/21 press conference..

Warning | All of this was said 8 days before the 2021 NFL Draft. Like EVERYTHING this time of the year, please take it with a grain of pink Himalayan sea salt.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Grier’s opening speech was phenomenal.

I really don’t believe words can do it justice. So please, take a listen for yourself.

 

Trade up? Trade down? The Miami Dolphins are always open for business.

I will never pretend to know what the Miami Dolphins’ draft plans are, especially now that there’s a new regime in town. But one thing that was clear when the Dolphins traded up with the Philadephia Eagles, at least in my opinion anyway, is that they had their eye on a particular player or players that they believe will be drafted between picks 5-10. Grier reiterated that earlier today when he suggested it was important to get back up into the top-10.

But that doesn’t mean the team is done trading. Not one bit.

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Opt-Outs Don’t matter to Chris Grier and the Dolphins.

Rumblings were going around that the Miami Dolphins may or may not be interested in players that chose to sit out the 2020 season. That always seemed a bit silly, but Chris Grier himself decided to go Mythbusters when asked the question earlier today.

Sure, maybe this is all smoke and mirrors. But to think that Chris Grier or Brian Flores would pass on Micah Parsons, Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, or any talented player that may have opted out and fits what the team believes in because they didn’t play collegiately in 2020, is sadly mistaken. Nevertheless, it had to be asked and should give those Ja’Marr Chase stans plenty of hope if the Cincinnati Bengals were to pass on him at No.5.

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KVN is gone, and the youth movement has started

When the Dolphins released Kyle Van Noy, many people wondered why–including Kyle Van Noy himself. Some thought maybe there was more to the story, while others saw it for what it was–an opportunity for players like Andrew Van Ginkel, Vince Biegel, and even Jerome Baker to see more opportunities rushing the passer. Add in newly signed linebacker Brennan Scarlett and the inevitable rookie or two they add in next week’s draft. The position should be more than fine moving forward.

Tua Tagovailoa, No Matter What

Speaking of year two jumps, This saying has been going around Twitter for the better part of two years, and now with the draft eight days away, truer words have not been spoken. To hell with rumors of Deshaun Watson or PFF mock drafts suggesting Justin Fields or Zach Wilson at #3, this is Tua Tagovailoa’s team. And he’s been working hard AF all offseason long.

 

Chris Grier even went as far as admitting he saw some of the thirsty pictures of Tua, despite not really paying attention to social media. Good one, Chris. You and I both know your wallpaper is a photo of Tua Flexing like Big Poppa Pump. AND I’M SURE GRIER SHOWED ALL YOUR FRIENDS the video of Tua catching heavy wands while balancing on a skateboard as if he were Rodney Mullen or Tony Hawk.

 

I don’t remember what the point is anymore. Oh yes, Tua Tagovailoa is the Dolphins starting QB, whether you like it or not.

 

Recap of Miami Dolphins’ March 26 Madness

Let me just start off with this,

 

Chris Grier my brother your flowers and a round of applause

 

I will be the first to admit that I had been a skeptic of Chris Grier because of picks like Charles Harris and no RB or WR being drafted before the 6th round, but wow did Chris knock it out of the park in trading back with the 49ers…. So, in the in the midst of me praising Chris Grier and writing this article, He decided that he would make another trade this time with the Philadelphia Eagles so let’s recap all the craziness so far.

 

The First Deal:

This bomb shocked everyone as Flores had previously mentioned picking someone “let’s say in the top 10” so a trade with the 49ers came as a surprise as most expected it to be the Carolina Panthers at 8 who would trade up. For the 49ers this move signals that a QB run will start the 2021 NFL Draft. For the Dolphins the move to 12 signaled serious Najee Harris vibes as the first pick but Chris Grier had other plans apparently, as he was not done dealing for the day.

 

 

Trade with Eagles:

If the deal with the 49ers didn’t kick you off your chair, then the one with the Eagles for sure did. This one move here signifies that the Dolphins aren’t just about wheeling and dealing for picks, but they’ll do it for a specific player as well. I really have to wonder which player or players they have identified as being potential choices for the number 6 overall selection.

 

New Draft Order:

Overall looking at the end result of the 2021 NFL Draft and a couple things standout for me.

  1. The 2021 NFL Draft will start with 4 straight QB selections.
  2. The Bengals will have the choice of both Penei and Chase
  3. And the Dolphins might still have the choice of the top 3 WR and Kyle Pitts at 6.
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To round it all up, this move was probably the biggest indicator of Chris Grier playing chess not  checkers with the competition. Not only was he able to turn the #3 overall pick into a plethora of riches in the coming years:

But he was also able to put the Dolphins in a position where all the options that should be getting considered at 3, are now slam dunk picks at 6 after all the moves.

 

Chris Grier, you killed this one chief!

Miami Dolphins

Five Takeaways from Flores/Grier Press Conference

Earlier today, Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores met with the media for their end-of-the-season press conference. But despite Miami’s front office doing their best to keep things close to the chest, there were plenty of takeaways from this afternoon’s zoom meeting.

Here are five takeaways from Brian Flores and Chris Grier’s press conference.

Tua Tagovailoa is the Miami Dolphins starting Quarterback.

This shouldn’t need to be said, but with every national media outlet trying to spin a QB controversy in Miami, it needed to be.

With a normal offseason and an improved arsenal of weapons, 2021 Tua should look a lot more like the guy we fell in love with at Tuscaloosa.

Tua is the franchise quarterback of the Miami Dolphins.

Chan Gailey expected back as offensive coordinator in 2021?

Coach Flores didn’t say much regarding his coaching staff in 2021, but what he did say was that he expected his assistant coaches to be back in 2021. This means 69-year-old Chan Gailey will once again be calling plays for Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins’ offense. This might have been the most disappointing takeaway from today’s presser.

Here’s what Flores had to say when asked if he’d retain his staff for the 2021 season.

“Yeah, we expect everyone back. Hopefully you’re not jinxing me now. Last time I said that, we lost Karl Dorrell, we lost Pat Graham, so thanks. (laughter) Hopefully not, though. We expect everyone back.”

There’s an outside chance Gailey might still retire. But for now, it looks like Gailey will be Miami’s play-caller moving forward.

Brian Flores should be Coach of the Year, in Chris Grier’s opinion.

There are plenty of deserving NFL head coaches that could be nominated for Coach of the Year. However, if you ask GM Chris Grier, he will tell you no one is more deserving than Dolphins’ HC Brian Flores–and I agree. Yes, the Week 17 loss to Buffalo should leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.

Flores deserves to be the coach of the year, with or without playoffs.

Dolphins plan to add competition at all positions in the offseason.

Miami has a lot of options via free agency and the draft. For example, the team has 4 top-50 picks, and their ‘available balance’ in FA rivals what we saw last year. So with a large number of running backs and wide receivers hitting the market, Miami’s interest could be key. But As you would expect, Flores and Grier never speak in absolutes, but they did shed some light on the offensive line and receiving corps–two positions the Dolphins could address at No.3 overall.

The best is yet to come

10 wins is a great accomplishment for a team in year two of a rebuild. But make no mistake about it, that loss to Buffalo left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. And what this team does in the offseason to build around the young nucleus in place could be what ultimately decides whether or not the Dolphins take the next step from promising young team to legit-playoff contenders.

Coach Flores promised to leave no stone unturned.

Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker said it best.

Dolphins win Patriots

5 Takeaways from Dolphins Win Over Patriots

The Miami Dolphins (9-5) continued to prove doubters wrong with their comeback win over the New England Patriots (6-8) on Sunday. Miami’s 22-12 victory demonstrated the team’s resilience and drive, proving once again this franchise has the right coach and young quarterback.

With the win, the Dolphins kept pace in the AFC playoff race, holding their spot as the 7-seed. Gaining their ninth victory meant Miami secured its first winning season since 2016 and just their second since 2008.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the Dolphins win over the Patriots.

Dolphins Run All Over Patriots in Win

One of the consistent struggles this season has been Miami’s inability to gain traction on the ground. The Dolphins have cycled through seven different running backs this season hoping to find the answer, but the team remained among the worst in the league in rushing yards-per-game and yards-per-carry.

But Sunday, the Dolphins found a ground game. Miami ran up a season-high 250 rushing yards against the Patriots and limited New England to 117 yards on the ground, 100 yards fewer than they allowed in their first matchup between these two.

This unexpected turn resulted in a total control of the ball game. The Dolphins rushed 42 times for a 6.0 yards-per-carry average. They punched in three rushing touchdowns and kept the ball away from New England. Miami topped the Pats in total plays (70 to 52) and time of possession (37:26 to 22:34).

Hogging the ball from New England forced the Patriots to rely on Cam Newton’s arm, which has not been a strength this season.

Ahmed Lays Claim to RB1 Spot

The Dolphins running back carrousel has spun for a few seasons now. This year, seven different backs have carried the ball.  In 2019, the team’s leading rusher was a 37-year-old quarterback, despite seven different RBs getting carries throughout the season.

And while the churn continues, there have been a couple of players who’ve flashed in their opportunities. The latest: Salvon Ahmed.

Ahmed became Miami’s first 100-yard rusher since Kalen Ballage put up 123 yards in Week 15 of the 2018 season. His 122 rushing yards are the most in franchise history by an undrafted player in his rookie season and the eighth-most by any Dolphins rookie.

Ahmed’s gained 288 yards on 63 carries this season, both numbers good for second-most on the team despite playing in only four games. His 4.6 yards-per-carry average tops Dolphins RBs with at least 15 carries. He averages 72 yards-per-game, which leads the team, and 17 of his 63 carries (26.9 percent) have gone for first downs.

Breida at His Best

The Dolphins finally saw a productive Matt Breida in the lineup on Sunday, too. Breida recorded a season-high 86 yards on 12 carries. His speed and shiftiness seemed like a solid addition for Miami this season, but inconsistent play and opportunity has limited the fourth-year pro.

Against the Patriots, Breida provided a lift Miami had yet to see from him this season. His 7.2 yards-per-carry led the team and may have earned him further opportunity, even if Myles Gaskin returns next week.

Breida sports great speed on the outside and good hands out of the backfield. Although he wasn’t involved in the passing game on Sunday, Breida’s caught 9-of-10 targets tossed his way this season for 96 yards.

Dolphins Defense Dominates in Win over Patriots

Miami extended its league-long takeaway streak to 20 games when Xavien Howard forced a fumble in the third quarter. The fumble stood as the Dolphins’ 26th takeaway this season, most in the league by day’s end. (Pittsburgh has 25 takeaways and is scheduled to play on Monday night.)

Howard’s third quarter play helped flip the momentum of this game and resulted his first forced fumble of the season. He’s now been involved in 10 takeaways for Miami this year (nine interceptions) and is well positioned for a Defensive Player of the Year push.

The Dolphins defense limited New England to just 12 points today, all field goals. It was the third time the Dolphins haven’t allowed a touchdown this season, making Miami just the second defense to accomplish the feat this season.

Miami allows 18.4 points-per-game, just two tenths of a point behind the Steelers for the league lead. The Dolphins rank first in third-down defense (32.5 percent) and are tied for tenth in sacks (37).

Dolphins Youth Movement in Full Effect

Thanks in part to injuries, Miami rolled out a starting lineup that included eight rookies, six on offensive. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time a team started six rookies on offense since December of 2018 when Arizona did so. And although Patriots head coach Bill Belichick sported a 20-5 record against rookie quarterbacks, the Dolphins didn’t seem to mind.

The offense started well and drove the ball into the Red Zone before a critical mistake by Tua Tagovailoa resulted in an interception. From there, the offense remained dormant throughout the first half.

But after being held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season, the Dolphins came to life offensively. Tagovailoa led the team on a nine-play, 72-yard drive, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Ahmed. Much of the ball movement on that drive came on the ground, behind an offensive line sporting three rookies: Robert Hunt, Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley.

In the fourth quarter, Miami took the lead for good on a 14-play, 90-yard drive that ended on a three-yard TD run by Tagovailoa. The Dolphins began the drive down 9-7 and added a thrilling two-point conversion to make the score 16-9. Tagovailoa completed 4-of-5 passes for 19 yards in addition to the go-ahead touchdown. It was the second game-winning drive and fourth-quarter comeback of his career.

Tagovailoa rushed for two touchdowns, becoming the fifth quarterback in Dolphins history to have two rushing touchdowns in the same game, the first since Cleo Lemon on October 14, 2007 at Cleveland.

Rookies led the way for Miami against Belichick’s vaunted defense, particularly Tagovailoa at quarterback and Ahmed in the backfield. Rookie receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. led the team with six catches. The future is bright for this franchise.

Dolphins Patriots

5 Keys to Dolphins-Patriots in Week 15

The Miami Dolphins (8-5) enter Week 15 with a pivotal matchup with the New England Patriots (6-7). The Dolphins currently hold the final playoff spot in the AFC and may need to win their final three games this season to get into the postseason.

The game stands a rematch of the Week 1 contest between these division rivals. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 21-11 in the season opener and that stands as Miami’s worst loss of the season. But in Week 15, the Dolphins are a different team.

Here’s a look at five keys to the Dolphins-Patriots matchup in Week 15.

Dolphins-Patriots: Keep Up the Solid Run Defense

The Dolphins sport one of the top defensive units in the NFL, but if there’s a clear weakness with that group, it’s the run defense. Miami allows 120.2 rushing yards-per-game (22nd) and 4.6 yards-per-carry (25th). In Week 14 against the Chiefs, though, the run D played well.

Kansas City managed just 94 yards on 24 rushes, good for 3.9 yards-per-carry. The Dolphins limited explosive rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire to 32 yards on 16 carries (2.0 yards-per-carry) and 12 of those came on one run.

Miami will need a similar performance in Week 15 against the Patriots, a team that ran all over them in the season opener. In Week 1, New England carried the ball 42 times for 217 yards and three touchdowns, good for a 5.2 yards-per-carry average. Those numbers are similar to the 189 yards and 5.7 YPC average put up by the Broncos in Week 11.

But the Dolphins run defense has improved since those losses. They haven’t allowed a team to rush over 100 yards or get over 4.0 yards-per-carry over the last three weeks.

Put Up Points Early

The strength of the Patriots offense is the ground game. New England leads the league in rushing attempts, and they use that attack to control the pace of play. In Week 1, New England hogged the ball, and the Dolphins only had four second half possessions. But the Patriots have a limited passing attack, coming in at 29th in passing (185.4 yards-per-game) and have thrown a total of eight touchdown passes in 2020.

If the Dolphins can get an early lead, it may force New England to abandon their strength to get back into the game. Cam Newton, who was benched in Week 14 after a horrible showing against the Rams, has thrown just five touchdowns this season. He’s thrown twice as many interceptions.

The Dolphins lead the league in first quarter scoring (7.5 points-per-game) and are seventh in first half scoring (15.5). The Patriots, meanwhile, are last in scoring in the first quarter (2.2) and 27th in first half scoring (9.2). And early lead could lead to Miami’s defense turning up the heat on Cam.

Dolphins-Patriots: Limit Newton’s Legs

As stated earlier, the Patriots lead the league in rushing attempts. Damien Harris paces the team with 137 attempts, good for 691 yards and two touchdowns. But second on the team in carries is Newton. His 113 attempts are third-most among quarterbacks.

In Week 1, the Dolphins allowed Newton 75 yards on 15 carries. He scored two rushing touchdowns. On the season, Newton’s piled up 451 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Miami has historically struggled against mobile quarterbacks like Newton and Arizona’s Kyler Murray. If the Dolphins are to win this game and keep their playoff hopes alive, they’ll need to keep Newton in the pocket.

Miami’s defense must find a way to limit positive gains on first down, forcing the Patriots into second- and third-and-long situations. Miami sports the top third-down defense in the league, allowing opponents to convert just 33.1 percent of the time on third-down. The long down-and-distance will allow the Dolphins to attack Newton. The Patriots surrender 2.2 sacks-per-game (Miami gets 2.6 per). And in Week 14, New England allowed four sacks in their loss to. The Rams.

Snag More Takeaways

This one goes without saying, but we’ll say it here anyway. The Dolphins are tied with Pittsburgh for the most takeaways this season (25). Miami’s streak of at least one takeaway in 19 consecutive games is the longest in the NFL.

And the Dolphins defense was particularly impressive last week, despite the loss to Kansas City. They intercepted Patrick Mahomes three times and forced a fumble. Mahomes had entered the Week 14 contest with just two interceptions all season.

Newton’s 10 interceptions this season are eighth-most in the league. The Patriots 14 total interceptions thrown are fourth-most. New England has lost four fumbles this season, so their 18 total turnovers are middle-of-the-pack. But in their seven losses this season, the Patriots are minus-six in turnover differential.

Xavien Howard will look to extend his personal interception streak to sixth game and push his league lead in the INT department. The Patriots throw 1.1 interceptions-per-game (fourth-most), so he’ll have his opportunities. If Howard snags his 10th INT, it will match the single-season franchise record.

The Dolphins defense has feasted on turnovers this year. They’ve returned a pair of fumbles for touchdowns and consistently set up their offense with a short field. Doing that would certainly help their rookie quarterback.

Dolphins-Patriots: Get Tagovailoa Settled In

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a long history of dominating rookie quarterbacks. And Week 15’s matchup marks the first time Tua Tagovailoa will face a Belichick defense. Belichick sports a 5-20 record against rookie QBs and most recently put the clamps on Chargers rookie Justin Herbert.

Working in Miami’s favor is the fact that it’s a home game. All five of Belichick’s losses to rookie QBs have come on the road.

Tagovailoa has settled into the offense well over the last several weeks. He’s demonstrated positive chemistry with Mike Gesicki, who could play despite a shoulder injury, DeVante Parker and Lynn Bowden Jr. Tagovailoa spreads the ball around in the passing game and has taken well to the up-tempo, no-huddle attack.

Tagovailoa may need to focus on the short passing game to simulate what would come on the ground. But he’s been good in that range thus far, connecting on 76-of-95 passes for 617 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions on throws under 10 yards through the air.

New England tends to flood the field with defensive backs and doesn’t blitz at an alarming rate (just 24 percent of the time, ninth-lowest). Tagovailoa will need to be patient and take with the Patriots give him.

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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

 

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Will fuller

Five Takeaways from the Dolphins first week of free agency

The first week of free agency is officially in the books, and the Miami Dolphins have made several key acquisitions to improve in 2021 and beyond.

Here are five things we learned about the Dolphins after the first week of free agency!

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“You can’t always get what you want.”

Maybe we should’ve listened to coach Brian Flores when he openly warned fans and the media that the team would more-than-likely miss out on a few key free agents. He even went as far as to reference the Rolling Stones’ song. And yet, we still failed to heed his warning.

Here were Flores’ exact words during his March 11th press conference:

“This is a very unique year, a very unique year. We do have some money form a cap standpoint that we can spend; but again, it’s an interesting year. I think I’m going to be playing the song ‘you can’t always get what you want,’ on Day 1 in free agency, to be honest with you, because we may get priced out on some guys we’re looking at that we’d like to have. They may just want to go elsewhere. So I think we’re going to try to do the best we can. We’ve had multiple meeting about this; and again, I would say just getting the cap number yesterday kind of sets the stage for us to at least say ‘we’re going to have this; we can do this, this, this and this,’ and kind of forecast and predict said player, we expect him to get this, which I’d say wipes out this amount or whatever percentage of cash we have to spend. I don’t know if that answers your question. You can’t always get what you want. I try to tell my kids that too. (laughter)”

The truth is, most of us will never know what Miami’s plan was in free agency. I’m not even sure some of those within the organization could honestly tell you. But while fans sat and wondered what was happening 48 hours into the legal-tampering period, Flores and general manager Chris Grier remained cool as a cucumber. They had a plan to improve the roster while continuing to use their resources (and money) wisely. CHECK!

Stone Cold Flores is going to continue to do what he wants when he wants. The sooner we all come to that realization, the better.

The Dolphins will leave no stone unturned in finding talent

Acorns may have been Jeff Ireland’s thing, but what we see from the NEW Miami Dolphins since Brian Flores’ arrival has been impressive, to say the least. Sure, the team traded for Isaiah Wilson, a swing-and-a-miss, but do you fault the Dolphins for trying? I don’t. And I don’t blame them for trying to get the most out of Josh Rosen, Mark Walton, Antonio Callaway, or insert player’s name here.

Those are only the misses. We don’t even talk about some of the guys they’ve been able to get the most out of. Players like Zach Sieler, Salvon Ahmed, Mack Hollins, the list goes on and on.

My point? Things are different in Miami. And good football teams will stop at no cost to acquire talent. For years we watched as the Evil Empire in New England followed this mantra. But now, Flores and his staff are starting to forge their own path. This is the way, and the future in Miami is much brighter because of it.

I love Zach Sieler.

Miami’s game-changing running back is in the 2021 NFL Draft

It became clear once Aaron Jones re-signed with the Green Bay Packers that the Miami Dolphins would not be overpaying for a free-agent back this offseason. Instead, the Dolphins chose to sign former LA Rams’ running back Malcolm Brown to a one-year deal. The 27-year-old RB combined for ten touchdowns over the last two seasons and should fill the void left behind by Jordan Howard. I kid, i kid. But Brown does bring the thunder in a way the Dolphins believed Howard could when they inked him last March.

Translation: He is mean AF, and it will be hard for any defensive lineman to stop in short-yard situations. 

Personally, I never wanted the Dolphins to go after Aaron Jones.

Especially when you consider what his contract will cost in comparison to one of this year’s top rookies. Sure, it would’ve filled a void on the roster and allowed the team to use those top draft picks elsewhere. And yes, Jones would’ve been the best RB the Dolphins have had since Ricky Williams himself. But when you think of adding a young talent like Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, or Javonte Williams to Miami’s current stable of running backs. Well, that to me always seemed like the Dolphins’ best, and most likely, option.

May I interest you in a soon-to-be 21-year old Javonte Williams?

Will Fuller is the wide receiver the Dolphins needed

Heading into free agency, three wide receivers were being talked about most among NFL fanbases. It wasn’t until after Curtis Samuel signed with the Washington Football Team that people started to remember Will Fuller V was still available. Some joked that maybe Fuller would reunite with Deshaun Watson, but never for a second did a source or expert mention Fuller as a target–despite his skill-set being everything the Dolphins needed at wide receiver.

Maybe I was blinded by my long-lasting admiration for Curtis Samuel. I don’t know. Whatever the reason may be, Fuller has all the tools to not only take the top off a defense but take Miami’s offense to another stratosphere. Best of all, Fuller has sure hands and has shown the ability to go up and high-point the football. When you slowly start to peel away the layers, it becomes much more clear; William Fuller is everything the Dolphins needed at wide receiver.

The biggest question mark surrounding Fuller and the Dolphins’ wide receivers now, is whether they can stay healthy for a full 17-game season.

In Tua Tagovailoa, We Trust

I can’t sit here and tell you if the Dolphins tiptoed into free agency with one eye focused on a certain Houston quarterback. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But what we can agree on is that right now, Watson is too toxic to touch. And whether the plan was “Tua Tagovailoa, no matter what!” or “tUa TAgOvAilOa NO mAtTer WhAt,” the Left Arm of God is the Miami Dolphins franchise quarterback NOW and for the immediate future.

Obviously, things can change at the drop of a hat. But what we’re seeing is a Dolphins team-building around their 23-year-old signal-caller, as they should. They brought in Matt Skura to slightly upgrade the offensive line. And as we discussed previously, they added a playmaking wide receiver that does everything the team needed in 2020. Last year, we all knew Ryan Fitzpatrick would start and eventually hand the reigns over to Tagovailoa.

This year it is Tagovailoa’s team. And with a full offseason to get bigger, faster, and stronger, you can bet your ass we’re going to see the same Tagovailoa we all fell in love with at Tuscaloosa.

This article was written by me, Josh Houtz. Follow me on Twitter

Tua vs Mahomes could be the beginning of something special

For the first time since 2003, the Miami Dolphins are 8-4 and currently hold the No.6  seed in the AFC.

Which is crazy, isn’t it? I mean, when you think about how far this team has come in such a short amount of time, it should give fans everywhere a reason to be excited.

After all, it seems like only yesterday when ESPN’s Mike Greenberg begged the league to punish the Dolphins for deliberately tanking. (OH THE IRONY!) But then things started to come together. And Brian Flores and his team were playing pretty damn good football towards the end of last season. This had many wondering whether or not the Dolphins had won too many games to get a franchise-altering quarterback.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

The Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa with the 5th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. And while some fans and experts are debating whether Tua will be a superior QB to Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow, there’s a much bigger question at play.

Can Tagovailoa become a generational quarterback capable of going toe to toe with the NFL’s elite?

We’re about to find out.

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Patrick Mahomes

First, let me start by saying that I know quarterbacks don’t directly faceoff against one another. This isn’t an opening tip-off in basketball. Or a penalty shot in hockey. Football is a team game. We all know this. And yet somehow, we sit here and view Sunday’s matchup between arguably the greatest QB to ever play the game and Patrick Mahomes… I’m kidding. But you get the point. Tua is not going up against Mahomes; he instead has to execute vs. Kansas City’s defense.

But all we continue to see is Mahomes vs. Tagovailoa.

And that’s not uncommon.

“He’s probably a left-handed Patrick Mahomes,” said one scout. “He does the same things Mahomes does. He gets out of the pocket. He doesn’t need to set his feet. He can throw the ball the length of the field,” the NFL scout said, via The Athletic. “Take a look at the LSU game. He had never been in that situation before in his life and he brought them back. … He does have inconsistent mechanics. He needs to square up and set his feet more. But left-handers do things differently.” 

Now, I’m not going to sit here and compare anyone to Patrick Mahomes. Well, maybe Dan Marino. But I’m not ready to compare Tagovailoa to Mahomes, and that’s okay. Nevertheless, Sunday’s matchup would be a huge step in the right direction. Moreover, it’s something that this fanbase, this football team, and this city deserve.

Listen to what Mahomes had to say about Miami’s young signal-caller

Now some might take what Mahomes said and dissect it, only to find out he was being sincere. I don’t think he meant anything bad by the “game-manager” comments. Because Tua himself would tell you this defense has played a huge part in the team’s success. And he hasn’t been asked to go out there and make the same plays as a Patrick Mahomes–not yet anyway. That will all change on Sunday, and Tua and Miami’s offense will be ready.

“I think we’re going to need to execute every time we go out there offensively. I don’t think we need to do anything new. We’ve just got to go out there and have all 11 guys playing together and being on the same page, really. We’ve just got to be able to go out there and execute, do that and in the red area, I know (Offensive Coordinator) Chan (Gailey) has something really good for us. But we’ve got to execute offensively. I believe we have the plays, just not executed the way we had done it in practice. It’s all about execution and you can only take it a play at a time and just don’t worry about anything else.”

Tua went on to praise Patrick Mahomes for the type of generational talent he is.

 

But please, temper expectations!

We’re going to have to continue to remind ourselves on Sunday that this is only year two of Brian Flores’ rebuild. And let’s face it, Andy Reid is one of the top coaches in all of football. Everything he touches turns to gold, and paired alongside Mahomes; it’s going to be a tough task. But Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could ultimately be the deciding factor. Not only is he one of the top defensive minds in all of football, but he knows how to get after the QB. It will be up to Chan Gailey and Miami’s young offensive line to not only get the team in the best position to succeed but to keep their franchise signal-caller upright.

Because let’s face it, if the Dolphins want to have any chance on Sunday, they’re going to have to get a superstar performance from Tua Tagovailoa.

You can still vote for Tua Tagovailoa for Rookie of the Week!

Final Yard

 

I don’t know that we will ever see another quarterback as talented as Patrick Mahomes. I think he’s that damn good. But football is a team sport. And with an elite defense by his side and all the tools to go toe to toe with the NFL’s elite, why can’t Tagovailoa outshine Mahomes in Miami? Why can’t Brian Flores do to the Chiefs defense–exactly what he did to them back in the AFC Championship game in 2019? Quite frankly, why not Miami?

If the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa hope to play meaningful football games well into January (any time soon), they’re going to have to get through Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs consistently.

Sunday’s matchup is just the first of what could become the next great QB duel. And I, for one, am here for it. Now, all Chan Gailey and the Dolphins offense has to do is #LetTuaCook.

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