Part 1 of the latest SI Fan Nation All Dolphins post practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
From Bojack Duttsman (@Dutton_saucycat):
Hi Alain, long time reader, first time questioner from Alberta, Canada. I like the depth of this Dolphins team. My biggest question mark, aside from the dead horse (O-line), is our defensive corps. Are they good enough?
Hey Bojack, congratulations! Always love first time askers! Here’s an important point to make regarding your question, which is whether or not we count tight ends Melvin Ingram, Jaylan Phillips and Andrew VanGinkel as defensive backs as listed. Including those players, as well as starting linebackers Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts who are off the ball, yes, this group is pretty good. Could the Dolphins use a stud at inside linebacker who could make an immediate impact? sure But this group — and note, I didn’t include Channing Tyndall because I think it will be mostly special teams for him as a rookie — is pretty good.
From Reza Hariri (@Therealrezpect1):
You are viewing Crossen & Thrill CB 4/5. After watching the joint practice, where can Miami improve. Does any of the LB depth stand out?
Hey Reza, never too early to make roster predictions, amirite? Well, since you ask, I could very well see Crossen and Williams as the third and fourth cornerbacks, though I don’t want to count Noah Igbinogene out just yet. Where can the Dolphins improve? Well, the ones that stand out to me are cornerback, offensive line and inside linebacker, but that being said, there isn’t a glaring hole on this team. As far as depth at linebacker goes, Duke Riley really caught my eye throughout camp. I mean, big time. Sam Eguavoen also had some good moments.
From Dave (@angryvet59):
Darrell Bevell trained in the rainy, cold weather of Seattle and the frozen tundra of Green Bay. Think he can help in that part of Tua’s game, which IMO is his achilles heel?
Hi Dave, I’m afraid you won’t like the answer. The problem with Tua’s pitching in bad weather (cold, wind, rain) has little to do with mechanics and almost everything to do with arm strength, which is where it comes into play – not on deep passes, as the narrative really annoys. And I’ve been saying all along that Tua’s arm strength is fine when the weather is good or when he can get on his feet, but it becomes a problem when it’s the other way around. And nothing has happened to change my mind yet.
From Murph (@murph244):
Can Miami control the clock with run guru McDaniel to help their D against the Bills? It seems as if the D has been gassed in years past due to lack of grip on offense.
Hey Murph, there’s no doubt that being able to control the ball during the game will be a huge help to the defense, not just against Buffalo, but against any other team. And I’d like to point to the Buffalo game last year to support your argument about the offense not helping the defense because, remember, that game was tied 3-3 at halftime before the defense faltered in the second half.
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From Bretty White (@B_Lillz):
Thoughts on Austin Jackson?
Hi Bretty, Austin Jackson is a very nice young man who I really hope will be a success for the Dolphins. Guess you’d like to hear about his progress, though. It’s too early to say exactly what kind of season he’ll have, but I think it’s pretty clear that he looks better at this point than he did this time last year. There’s no question that this scheme works for him, and there’s reason to be optimistic that he can make a big leap in 2022.
From Sal Cano (@SalCano73561477):
Noah isn’t going to help on defense, so why not give him field goals and field goals? It’s too risky to have Tyreek, Weddle or Mostert doing it all season.
Hi Sel, I don’t take issue with your second point, although I can see value in having Hill return punts late in the half or if the Dolphins need a spark because he can do it in a hurry. Igbinogen has NFL return experience, but not as a returner, and it’s not as simple as just putting someone back there. I think the Dolphins will have other options if they decide not to use one of the three players you mentioned.
From Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly):
What can save Noah Igbinogen’s career?
I always love getting questions from Omar, who I’ve always had great conversations with during his talk (which is sadly coming to an end). And that’s a good thing considering Igbinogen’s couple of rough practices against Tampa Bay. From where I sit, there are no major issues with Igbinogen’s physicality or work ethic, he just lacks feel and instincts when it comes to playing cornerback. This shows when the ball is in the air or when he makes a double move. The reality is that I saw good things from Igbinogen in camp before the trip to Tampa Bay (usually in quick schemes where the play stays in front of him) and still think something is clicking the more reps he gets. But at some point, the Dolphins should consider moving him to a safe spot where he’s not on an island. I don’t think we’re there yet, but we’re getting there.
From Alex Szabo (@AlexSzabo23):
Will the center position be good before Week 1?
Hey Alex, barring a major change in the next month or so, that means Connor Williams playing center for the first time in his NFL career. I wish I had a crystal ball and could definitively answer your question, but since you asked, you expect an answer. I expect Williams to do well under center, but since this is his first year at the position, I don’t necessarily expect him to be Mike Pouncey either.
From Dan Giunta (@Dan_B_Phin_Phan):
Elena, as always, thanks so much for keeping in touch with the Dolphins fan base! Do you believe the current OL will help bolster Tua’s defense enough to take his game to the next level?
Hi Dan, first off, thanks, but here comes the unpopular answer: Tua, not the offensive line, needs to step up his game. For some reason, there’s a perception that Tua saved his life every time he came back to play last season, and that wasn’t the case. Was line performance less than ideal? Absolutely. Was it the disaster that so many tried to make it out to be? Absolutely not. Yes, the Dolphins ranked near or near the bottom of the league by some metrics, but by others, the Dolphins allowed the 10th most pressures in the league on a percentage basis. With all of this in mind, it’s obvious that the better the offensive line, the easier it is for a defender to succeed. And since the line should definitely be improved, it should make Tua’s job easier.