March 21, 2018

Know Your Opponent: With DolFans NYC






The NFL season is upon us and we open with the first installment of Know Your Opponent where we will spend some time focusing on the Texans’ weekly adversary.  This week, we get a few questions in with DolFans NYC and will touch on the Dolphins’ experience with Hard Knocks, first-year coach Joe Philbin, rookie QB Ryan Tannehill, plus a myriad of other players and issues.



What, if any, effect does the Miami Dolphins participation in Hard Knocks seem to have had on the team? Do you get the feeling the experience was a positive one?

I doubt it had much of an effect but I know some of the players who got called out on the show seemed to step it up and play better after their public embarrassment, so I would say that was positive. I think Hard Knocks would have been a much better experience for the Dolphins if they weren’t such a disaster right now. It was just week after week of pain but if it were up to me, the Dolphins would do the show every year.
Which rookies have made the strongest impact this preseason and what do you expect these young players to contribute week 1?

Clearly Ryan Tannehill is the highlight from our rookie class. Honestly, he is pretty much the highlight of our whole off season. If Tannehill ends up being a pretty good player in the NFL none of the problems the team has right now will matter. Outside of Tannehill the Dolphins actually have eleven rookies on their 53 man roster with another five on their practice squad. Jonathan Martin will be starting at right tackle and should play every down. Josh Samuda has been a big surprise at back up center and could see some time at guard this week. Derrick Shelby has been another positive surprise and could play as much or more at defensive end than third round pick Vernon Oliver.
What do you anticipate seeing from Ryan Tannehill the opening weekend?

The Texans tough defense is going to be one hell of a test for a rookie QB playing behind an injured offensive line and throwing to one of the weaker WR groups in the NFL. I think Tannehill is going to end up a pretty good player but this might not be his week to shine. His one and two receivers are Brian Hartline and Anthony Armstrong. Armstrong has been in camp less than a week and Hartline has been injured all camp. Tannehill has good chemistry with underrated slot receiver Davone Bess so expect to see a lot of passes his way, especially on third down.  
Word is, the Dolphins are fielding calls to trade Matt Moore. Is moving Moore the right option for the Dolphins? (The Dolphins subsequently kept Moore to back up Tannehill, cutting Garrard.)

This is sort of a moot point now that David Garrard has been cut. I really like Matt Moore but the organization was so high on Garrard before he was hurt. I hope in the end none of this matters and Tannehill flourishes. 

However, I think the Garrard thing makes sense. If we have him on the roster week 1 we have to guarantee his salary. It was between him and Moore and Moore is healthy and has more trade value. I don’t think anyone is too upset about it. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Garrard was resigned by the Dolphins at some point this season if there were an injury or if we found a trade partner for Moore.  

Has 1st time NFL Head Coach Joe Philbin really changed the culture of the Dolphins organization? How?

The main difference has been media access. Neither Tony Sparano or Nick Saban would ever have considered something like Hard Knocks in a million years and the team has been less secretive over all. Philbin also seems like a much more low key guy than anyone we have ever had as a coach but with all the trades and cuts it seems like while he might speak softly, he carries a big stick.

Were the decisions to trade Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis the right ones? How have and how will the trades affect the team this season?

I like both those players a lot. A couple of years I got Vontae into a night club in NYC after he Tweeted he was visiting. He seemed like a really good dude and he is a great football player. He also seemed really young and clearly it seems that he didn’t have the right maturity the Dolphins were looking for. Marshall frustrated me with a number of touchdown drops last year but he was by far the best receiver we had. I guess there were some internal things that made them feel they had to get rid of him. I am not really happy about either trade but I think we got fair value and hopefully the (draft) picks will help us down the road.
Who are some of the not-yet-well-known players on both offense and defense for whom the Texans fans need to keep an eye on?

I mentioned Davone Bess before. He is one of the best slot players in the NFL and most casual fans don’t have any clue who he is. Defensively I think we have a better front seven than people give us credit for and someone like Paul Sollai might be a guy to look for in the trenches.

State of the Texans extends a huge thanks to DolFans NYC for their participation and for helping Texans fans understand the inner workings of their week 1 opponent, the Miami Dolphins, a bit better. You can view the DolFans NYC  website here and follow them on Twitter here.

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