Hey folks. Today I present to you five questions with Kevin Nogle, the Managing Editor over at The Phinsider. Kevin may prefer a less awesome shade of green than us here at Gang Green Nation, but when it comes to the Miami Dolphins, I don't know that you'll find a more knowledgeable source. I took this opportunity to ask him five questions about the Dolphins in preparation of this upcoming weekend. To see my answers to his questions, check out the Phinsider. Thank you very much to Kevin for doing this with us.
1. RB Reggie Bush appears to be the Miami Dolphins' biggest threat on offense. Having watched him thus far, if you had to game plan against him, what would you recommend?
Reggie is a hard one to specify a game plan, because if you try to shut him down between the tackles, he'll bounce outside - and vice-versa. Then, if the running game isn't working, the Dolphins will line him up as a wide receiver, or have him come out of the backfield, to get him his touches through the air. The main thing against Bush is to keep containment, because he will make you pay if you don't. And it doesn't have to be Bush to notice the containment break down. Last week against the Raiders, left tackle Jake Long noticed a hole every time the Raiders showed a certain package. He brought it up to quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who audibled into a run the next time the Raiders showed that defense, and Bush broke it for his 65-yard touchdown.
Join us below the jump for more questions.
2. The Dolphins don't appear to have many receiving threats with the loss of WR Brandon Marshall, so how do you expect QB Ryan Tannehill and his receiving corps to do against the New York Jets' secondary?
The first key is obviously going to be the health of Darrelle Revis. But, the Dolphins found something last week with Tannehill hitting wide receiver Brian Hartline nine times for 111 yards, so the passing game is starting to open up a little. With the Jets' secondary strength, short passes, and multiple routes will be the order of the day. Look for Charles Clay, Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller, Anthony Fasano, Davone Bess, and Anthony Armstrong (if he's healthy) to all get involved in the passing game.
3. The trade of CB Vontae Davis seems to be a bust for the Indianapolis Colts, with GM Jeff Ireland thus far looking like a genius. How has his trade impacted your secondary thus far into the season?
The real impact has simply been depth. Last week, Sean Smith and Richard Marshall both had to miss portions of the game with minor injuries. The Dolphins are only carrying four cornerbacks, with Nolan Carroll and R.J. Stanford joining Marshall and Smith. Miami has also been forced, in both games so far, to use Jimmy Wilson at corner as well, despite the team moving him from corner to safety this offseason.
4. So far, HC Joe Philbin has looked like a stickler for detail and obviously has a great resume as offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers. What's the biggest difference to former HC Tony Sparano you've noticed so far?
Tempo. The Dolphins practice fast, and they play fast. That's something completely new to the team. I think it also shows up in the game management. Under Sparano, the team would burn time outs all the time - plays getting in too late, indecision on the field and with the coaches, etc. With the tempo the Dolphins are trying to reach, there isn't time for indecision and second guessing. The play is called, the team lines up and goes. The Dolphins arent wasting timeouts just because they couldn't get the play in on time.
5. Many people have doubted the Miami Dolphins coming into this season, often ranking them in last place in the AFC East. However, all the teams in the division are 1-1 (although the Jets have a .5 game lead due to their divisional win over the Buffalo Bills) and have all shown their fair share of struggles, so what do you expect from the team in general this year?
Before the season, I predicted the Dolphins to be an 8-8 team. I know most people think that's way high for this team, but I think the schedule benefits the Dolphins this year. Anywhere from 6-8 wins, I think, is realistic. I just think there is more talent on the team than people realize, and I don't think anyone took into account the Miami defense, which will be a force throughout this season.