Part 2 of the pre-Bills game SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag:
From FinsUpMass (@paulbdotcom);
I think Miami can win. But I am worried about Von Miller. Are our backs capable blockers – we will need them to account for him on stunts?
Hey Paul, that’s a good question because we just haven’t seen them have to do a lot of pass blocking so far. Alec Ingold clearly would be able to handle that task to some degree, but maybe we’ll find out about the backs, although we shouldn’t expect Miller to come in free on a running back because it should be up to the O-line to slow him down.
From David Triana (@davidtriana_):
If Greg Little plays very well against the Bills defensive line, how does that affect a potential return for Austin Jackson? Or does it solidify Little as the answer at right tackle going forward this season?
Hey David, that’s always a good question whenever somebody leaves the lineup for a few games and my answer is always that if things are going great with the new guy, then why take the chance of messing up a good thing. There are exceptions, of course, but unless you’re talking about A-type players, you have to adjust and not have a hard rule of “you can’t lose your job because of an injury.” I say you can if your replacement outperforms you. That said, I don’t know what Mike McDaniel’s philosophy is on the matter yet.
From Big Fax Man (@BigDolphinsFax):
When we trade Teddy B?
Hey there, the Dolphins will be trading Teddy Bridgewater as soon as they’re blown away by a trade offer that would make them feel OK with leaving a rookie seventh-round pick as the top backup behind a quarterback with a history of injuries as opposed to a veteran with starting experience. In other words, I’d say it’s definitely on the lower side of 50-50 that it happens.
From David Nastali (@DNastali):
Wondering who you think will be inactive this week for this matchup, and how will we contain Allen?
Yeah, Josh Allen is going to be awfully hard to contain, especially if he has Gabe Davis back in the lineup to start opposite Stefon Diggs. I say the best way to “contain” Allen is to throw different looks at him and, of course, get some pressure. As for the inactive list, well, we already know that Hunter Long and Cethan Carter will be inactive since they were ruled out Friday, and then I’d add Erik Ezukanma, Skylar Thompson, one of the running backs (Gaskin or Ahmed) and then possibly Trey Flowers (he was inactive in Week 1). Obviously this changes if any of the guys listed as questionable end up not playing.
From Tony G (@Tgiles1968):
Only one (simple) question. Will the defense generate a pass rush this week to get some pressure on Allen?
Hey Tony, you’re asking to predict what’s going to happen and I just can’t do that. What I would tell you is that I have major concerns about the Dolphins being able to do that because they didn’t do it last week and very little in the opener. The question is whether Josh Boyer is willing to go crazy with the blitzing, but that would be a lot more sensible if he had Jones and Howard fully healthy in the lineup.
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From Rob Reimer (@RobReimer76):
With how bad our defense looked vs the Ravens, do you think Coach McDaniel can help our pass defense? Or does he only coach the offense and leave the defense up to Coach Josh?
Hey Rob, there’s nothing that happens without McDaniel being involved and OK’ing it, but it’s also fair to say that it’s Josh Boyer who’s driving the defense. Also remember that McDaniel’s background is as an offensive coach and he retained Boyer as DC to handle that side of the ball.
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From Chris Bustin (@ChrisBustin13):
Hey Alain, my biggest concern for this game is the Bills’ margin of victory over the Rams and then the Titans. What would you say is the most optimistic reason that this game won’t be a blowout like the Bills’ first two opponents? Thanks!
Hey Chris, first off I’d say that final scores can be misleading and here remember that the Bills-Rams score was 10-10 at halftime, just like it was 3-3 in the Bills-Dolphins rematch last year before it ended as a 26-11 final. As for my biggest reason for optimism, I’d point to all the injuries in the Buffalo secondary. If the offensive line can even provide a decent amount of protection, the opportunity is there for the passing game to do its thing.
From bjj (@bjjocelyn1):
First: Any key injuries we should be concerned about? Secondly: What’s your score prediction? JK! Actually my question is a bit odd: I’ve not been to a Fins home game in a decade. Doesn’t seem we ever have a home-field advantage. Has the tide turned any relative to that?
Hey there, first, props on the joke! That was good. Yes, I do think that the tide is turning in terms of the support at Hard Rock Stadium and the offseason additions have played a big role in that. But also understand that Buffalo travels very well and therefore there will be a segment of Bills fans at the stadium on Sunday.
From Tommy in Hialeah (@Dolphinfan201):
Do the Dolphins learn from the second half success and just start attacking from the start?
Hey Tommy, I have to be honest and tell you this notion of “wanting to start fast” has always been silly to me. I mean, like any team is planning on starting slow and falling behind. Truth is, there’s really no carryover from one game to the next, other than finding out things that work and maybe things that don’t work.
From Culler Commentary (@cullercomm):
If this game comes down to an offensive shootout, what is your opinion on how much the heat/humidity will affect the defenses, and which defense would you suppose benefit more?
Hey, I think the notion of the heat/humidity is always a bit overblown, but if it does become a factor, it favors the defense that’s not on the field as much.
From mr. mojo risin’ (@dennisgriffin7):
Obviously the heat will help Fins, but do you think short week for Bills will make any difference? Considering only 2 games so far?
Hey Dennis, as I pointed out earlier, I don’t buy to a great extend the idea of the heat making a huge difference — I believe winter weather is a much bigger factor — but I do buy the idea of playing on a short week when it involves a road game. So in that sense, it is clearly an advantage for the Dolphins. Then again, the numbers from last season actually suggest otherwise because, according to my research, teams went 7-1 last year when playing on the road following a Monday night game. Oh, and the one team that lost: The Dolphins at Tennessee after their Monday night game at New Orleans.
From Lee Huntley (@LeeHuntley11):
From Fin Fan68, Von Miller. Do the Fins audible away from where he is 10 seconds prior to the snap? Or does Tua motion a TE/FB to stay in for extra protection on 2nd or 3rd & Long?
Hey Lee, don’t know about audibling away from him, but maybe instead running a naked bootleg to his side early to slow down his pursuit off the snap is an idea. And I also absolutely agree with the idea of having a back or tight end either providing a double team or at least chipping him.
From Dave (@angryvet59):
Edmonds’ 28-yard run IMO was the best run so far this season. Blocking looked great. Something to build on?
Hey Dave, everything on that play was great, from the pre-snap motion taking away a defender from the area they attacked, to the linemen and blockers clearing a big hole, to Edmonds zipping through there. It was a beautiful thing to see. Having said all that, it was just one great play that they could or could not repeat, but the circumstances were also favorable because the Ravens looked like they thought the Dolphins were in pass-only mode on that final drive and this was a great counter move. Bottom line: Game circumstances were a part of the success of that plan, so thinking it automatically happens again is unrealistic.