Part 2 of the latest SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag following joint workouts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
From Jorge Boyd (@raga1922):
Hi Alain, who do you think won the joint training between the Dolphins and the Bucs?
Hey Jorge this is obviously very subjective as they don’t keep score (although each team did a two minute drill on Wednesday and only Tampa Bay was able to score a basket) but I think based on what I could observe that the Dolphins were able to defend themselves and could even have had the advantage. The Dolphins offense certainly had a more productive day than the Bucs offense on Thursday, but Tom Brady’s absence obviously had something to do with it.
From Steven (@SteveA305):
After a few practices at training camp and two days of joint practices with the Buccaneers, what was the most pleasant surprise?
Hi Steven, I don’t know if anything was a big surprise to me, but if I have to mention something (or someone) I think I could go with Trill Williams, who looks like the real deal as than NFL cornerback. I was also impressed, maybe more than I expected, by some of Skylar Thompson’s throws.
From Brian Knipp (@knipp_brian):
Can Mike McDaniel make the playoffs and get fired for Sean Payton next season?
Hey Brian, that’s an interesting question because Stephen Ross has always been known to like the big splash move and getting clear Payton would fall into that category. That said, I just don’t know how you could go past a coach helping you reach the playoffs in his first season. I just have a hard time seeing that.
From Larry Bury (@LarryburyBury):
What unit is this team’s Achilles’ heel that could ultimately prevent a playoff spot?
Hey Larry, would the offensive line be too obvious an answer? I think that’s a good place to start, but I also don’t think it’s as simple as the offensive line and that’s it. I think there are legitimate question marks on defense including stopping the run and what happens at cornerback if Byron Jones has to miss some time and also how things work with Brian Flores who is no longer there. But there’s also plenty of reason to be optimistic everywhere, including this defense, which fires every starter from a group that had a very good time last season.
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From MermAndy (@iamMermandy):
Hey Alain, does Skylar have a real chance of pushing for QB2?
Hey Andy, I understand the question based on some of the awesome work Thompson has done in camp, but training camp practices and the NFL regular season are two entirely different ball games and trust a rookie pick seventh-round replacement for a quarterback whose durability is a big question mark is not how teams usually operate. Bottom line: I hear where you’re from, but I just don’t see it.
From James Sonny Burnett (@JamesBurnett11):
Is there any hope for Williams and Bowden, Jr. to make that list?
Hi James, it’s a logical question in light of the report that both are bought into the league and the truth is that I see no way to make the list except injury. I think the top five at wide receiver are pretty well defined with Hill, Waddle, Wilson, Ezukanma, and Sherfield, and if the Dolphins end up keeping six on the 53-man roster, I think River Cracraft is the guy right now. moment. Both Williams and Bowden have been very quiet in practice at camp, especially Bowden, and I’m just having a hard time seeing either of them having anything like a legit chance to stick .
From Dixon Tam (@DixonTam):
Is it too early to start comparing Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to former #Dolphins greats Mark Duper and Mark Clayton? Duper was a burner but I’m not sure he’s as sneaky as Hill, and I don’t think Clayton is as quick as Waddle, but both are fearless little WRs. Supplementary question: #Dolphins likely to put their WR room back in an offseason. What credit does Wes Welker get for helping scout and develop players like Eric Ezukanma and Braylon Sanders in such a short time? Bowden & Williams are now apparently expendable.
Hey Dixon, here’s what I would say about the WR lineup: yeah, it’s too early in terms of production because Duper and Clayton both put up big numbers, but let’s not forget they took advantage to play in a wide open passing offense with the ultimate the pitcher gets the ball to them. Talent wise I would have actually put Hill and Waddle ahead of Duper and Clayton and the draft would support me on that because Waddle was the sixth overall pick and Hill was a fifth round pick who would have been a first round if not for off-field issues, whereas Duper (based purely on speed since he was a track guy in college) was a second-round pick and Clayton went in the eighth round. And in terms of size, neither Duper nor Clayton were big receivers either, so there’s no difference there. In fact, I would say Hill is the most physical of the four. As for Welker and his impact on the scouting and development of Ezukanma and Sanders, I’m sure he played a big role in landing EE since both are Texas Tech alumni. But let’s not go overboard and anoint Ezukanma and Sanders too quickly in terms of development while we’re still in training camp.
From Chris Bustin (@ChrisBustin13):
Hi Alan. Sorry for this Football 101 question, but I honestly don’t know what an offensive coordinator does in a system where the head coach calls plays. With Mike McDaniel in charge, what will OC Frank Smith’s main responsibilities be for the team? Thanks!
Hey Chris, to coordinate? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Smith’s responsibilities will be the same as any OC with an attacking-minded head coach in terms of collaborating and helping develop the game plan and directing things in training in conjunction with McDaniel. He’s also still in charge of offense with McDaniel as watchman (with the final say on play calls during games).
From Carl Cassidy (@CarlCassidy11):
If the Dolphins start the season 0-5, is it time to panic?
Hey Carl, uh, yeah! Unless I’m mistaken, no team has ever made the playoffs after starting 0-5 (although the 17-game season only started last year), so that would be a major issue. It would be time to panic not only for the 2022 season, but also globally, because this team was built to make a run towards and in the playoffs, and 0-5 is kind of the antithesis of that.