Welcome to Ask Mike – Week 36


Tim, Ken, Stanger, Mike E, Brian & Piggy



from O Rob, 


Q – Hi Mike,

First of all let me say thanks and congratulate the NE faction of FME for representing our Fins in the big win over the Jets.


My question is; with so many calling for Irelands head at the end of this year, is it even a longshot that Miami would make such a move?


My thinking, regardless of our win/loss record we have a young team with a coach not finished with his 2nd year.


 When hiring a GM you’re not hiring a puppet, you’re hiring a guy with different philosophies and ideas and maybe a different staff. 


To me it would be the most outrageous move to assemble this team and after year 2 cut its head off. I doubt Ross would do such a thing at this time.


IMO there’s not a snowballs chance in Miami of Ireland going anywhere anytime soon.


Your Thoughts ????


The Dolphins were represented well, both by FME bloggers, and DolfansNYC, which totaled over 800 fans.  Philbin mentioned how loud we were, and said it felt like a home game.


As far as Ireland is concerned, I do think his job is in jeopardy.  I think how we finish out these last 4 games could make or break him.  Although we have a favorable schedule, only one team we play in the next 4 has a winning record (New England), there are NO gimme’s in the NFL.  If we finish out losing 3 of 4, or all 4, I’d say it’s a definite that Ireland is gone.


It’s not just the football operations Rob, it’s the perception of our team, and the whole Martin/Incognito episode does not look favorably on our team.  Whether Martin has legitimate gripes or not, our team was cast negatively publicly, and the news coming out that Philbin wanted to cut Richie when the “Golf incident” occurred, but Ireland overruled casts him a in a dark light.


Our team, whether they know it or not, may be fighting for Ireland’s job.  We play Pittsburgh (5-7), the Patriots, who are currently 9-3, and then the Bills (4-8), and then the season finale against the Jets in Miami, Jets are now 5-7.  We should win 3 of 4, but you can’t count on that in the least.  Ireland’s fate likely is in the hands of the players he’s acquired during his years, so a fitting form of justice in my opinion.




from Wyoming


Q – There has been a lot of discussion about the Rookies not playing!

I remember some saying that will be a positive of having Philbin as a coach.

And I hear a bunch of complaining about playing time from others.


Player development


Piss poor coaching / drafting


What is your take?


I for one have been very vocal about the lack of playing time our picks RD1 through RD 3 have gotten.  i would only blame the GM if I thought the guys he drafted were taken way out of line, and I don’t believe that to be the case.  Jordan was top 5 pick, we took him at #3.  Jamar Taylor was considered by some a borderline 1st RD pick, and we took him in the 2nd, pick #54.  CB Will Davis was a bit of a surprise, but CB’s were coming off the board quickly, and Ireland may have gotten a little desperate with Davis, and snatched him after a swap of draft pick position in the 3rd RD with the Browns for Davone Bess, we then took Davis with the #93 pick


I’m just going with hard fact stats here, not PFF’s QB pressures or hurries.  Dion Jordan has played in parts of 12 games, no starts, and has 11 tackles, 4 assists, 2 sacks, and 2 passes defensed.  Jamar Taylor has played in portions of 7 games, no starts, and has 1 tackle, no passes defensed. (Wonder if that tackle was Jimmy Graham in the end zone)  Will Davis has played in parts of 3 games, no starts and has 1 tackle, no passes defensed.  Well, that’s insanely disappointing if you look at those numbers, and I don’t blame Ireland for that.


We saw last year, this coaching staff is very stubborn when it came to the rookies.  While 6th RD pick Alfred Morris was tearing up the NFL, our 4th RD pick (#97), who we traded up to get (Lamar Miller), played very little.  To be fair, we were paying Reggie Bush a lot of money, but if they had no plans of re-signing Bush, we should have seen a lot more of Lamar Miller knowing he would be the starting RB next year.  We saw it with Michael Egnew as well, who didn’t suit up until game 15, and didn’t register a stat last year (Egnew was our 3rd RD pick, #78)


I’d have to say a lot of the moves the coaches have me scratching my head.  Michael Egnew was practically a WR playing TE for Mizzou, and we completely ignored that, although almost every single fan here was crying for a seam threat TE.  Duh!  You think Egnew might be that guy???  Once again, to be fair, they have a done a nice job with Charles Clay, but still, why not Egnew?  You take a 6’5” 260 TE with 4.6 speed, and use him as a FB?  Not a receiving FB either, a lead blocker?  I don’t get it.  He’s done OK, but why??  I can almost guarantee if they used him as a receiving TE, he’d do even better than he does as a blocker.


In summation, I think this staff needs to get more out of their rookies.  While the NFL has made it easier not to force rookies into the game due to the rookie cap, so many other teams get far more production out of their rookies, and teams that are better than us in the standings.  It’s not like we’re 10-2 and above suspicion.  We’re 6-6, and middling, and we’ve had injuries to our CB’s almost every week, so where are Taylor and Davis?


For comparison, DET drafted Ziggy Ansah 2 spots later than Jordan, and Ansah has 13 tackles, 10 assists, 7 sacks, 1 pass defenses and 2 forced fumbles. David Amerson, taken by the Redskins 3 picks before Jamar Taylor has 6 starts, played in 12 games, and has 30 tackles, 8 assists, 2 INT’s, 1 TD, 8 passes defensed and 1 forced fumble. Kayvon Webster, CB for the Denver Broncos was taken 3 picks before Will Davis, and has played in 12 games, 1 start, with 26 tackles, 3 assists, 8 passes defensed, 1 INT, and 1 forced fumble.  I think these are all fair comparisons, and it illustrates that it’s our coaching, not the GM.




from Piggy


Q – Dear Mike E


Do you think the fact that, at the game last Sunday, a Dolfan a few rows in front of us wearing a Mike Wallace jersey hurled on himself and others is indicative of anything?  


I think it means Mike Wallace is about to explode!  


(Piggy pukes)


LMAO!!!  That was pretty funny, I saw that too, and I really felt bad for the people around him.  The only saving grace about getting puked on at a Jets game in NJ is that it wasn’t 80 degrees, baking the puke and wafting the smell of it all over the place.


For those who don’t know, Piggy, Ken, Tim, Brian and I went to Sunday’s Dolphins vs Jets game, and sat with over 800 Dolphins fans from DolfansNYC, who arranged the whole thing.  They had a tailgate (We had our own), and also provided transport from NYC (We drove independently), but it’s a very cool scene, cheering with so many Dolphins fans at a Jets game.  A great experience, one I would I recommend for anyone who wants to make the trip to NJ to see a game.  It’s like being at a home game, only there are more Dolphins fans in NJ.  🙂


I hope Wallace is ready to explode, and I mean that in a good way, not like “If fucking Tannehill misses me one more fucking time when I’m WIDE OPEN I’m going to explode”, but more like 8 receptions, 180 yards and 2 TD’s against the Steelers explode!  We could use that, and maybe that’s the game that finally forms the bond between Wallace and Tannehill.  It certainly couldn’t hurt.




from Tim


Q – Hey Mike,


Now that the Martin/Incognito shit storm has died down, based purely on football, where do you think Jeff Ireland, Joe Philbin and his staff stand?


Thank you!



Like I said earlier to O Rob, I think much of their future hinges on the next 4 games.  A late season collapse by our team could doom both, but almost certainly will end Ireland’s tenure here.  Another year of sub .500 play by his teams, and the writing on is on the wall.


As far as Joe Philbin, Mike Sherman and Kevin Coyle, that is less clear.  Firstly, if Ireland is fired, I think it’s absolutely imperative that the GM that is hired singularly determines who our next Head Coach.  If he decides he likes what Joe Philbin and his staff have done, then he should retain them.  If not, off with their heads.  I like Joe Philbin, and mostly, I like his character, and I think he’s a good human being.  On the other hand, he hasn’t shown me he’s an extraordinary innovator, motivator or strategist, so if the new GM wants to replace him, so be it.  He’ll get a job as an OC, maybe even OUR OC.


If we win out, or even win 3 of 4, and make the playoffs, I’m not so sure.  I think if Ireland still gets fired because of our public image, I would understand it, but I still believe that any GM hired should have autonomous power in choosing the Head Coach, but I believe his decision would lie more favorably in retaining Philbin.  I think it’s very fair that they would be judged on these last 4 games. It really isn’t just the last 4 games, it’s their whole tenure, but it’s come down to this.  We need to win to make the playoffs, and all 4 games are reasonably winnable.  3 division games, 2 teams we have lost to already (Bills, Pats),  but now we get the Patriots at home, after totally outplaying them for one half, and then collapsing in the 2nd.  The Bills are a team we can beat, as are the Jets, and the Steelers.  I think we can beat the Patriots too, if we play a complete game.


I’m still disappointed with how this staff works with rookies, and I think that needs to change.  Rookies help teams, and we need to be more flexible in that regard.  If we were 10-2 right now, no one would be questioning the play of our rookies, but 7-9 last year, and 6-6 this year opens them up for scrutiny.




from Stanger


Q – The changes to the D were made with the aim to improve pass coverage, cut down on big plays and increase turnovers with the tacit admission that we’d be trading some pounders for a little less physicality.  Did we get what they claimed we would?




I think the idea here was to get a little younger, save some $$$, and get a little better at defending the pass.  I’m not necessarily sure we’ve got what we wanted.  I didn’t love Dansby and Burnett, but Dansby was a very solid player, who sometimes underachieved here due to some injuries.  I clearly remember him playing hurt, and I also remember him playing well at times, but not a playmaker for us at all, and I think that was part of the equation.


Ellerbe finally made a big play, a nice INT in coverage down the middle, and that was a great play, even if it looked like he was on a treadmill on the INT return.  Wheeler is a very active player, and he seems to be around the ball, but he hasn’t made all the tackles he should, has missed some big ones, and hasn’t really done much in pass coverage.


Ellerbe may still be adjusting to playing ILB in a 4-3 scheme, and Wheeler might still be getting used to different responsibilities here in Coyle’s 4-3 scheme.


If you take a look west, you’ll see Dansby is playing at a very high level this season for ARZ, and I think most of the reason why he’s gone this year is not because we felt like we were really upgrading, but saving a little dough, and also getting rid of a vocal leader that IMO, Philbin didn’t care for.  Dansby opened his mouth a few times too many, and you can feel the disdain from Philbin towards him strongly.




from Son


Q – Mikey, 

Are there any group photos from Metlife?

It seems at this point the investigation favors the team, I don’t see many changes coming to the coaching staff or the front office. Do you?


To remain ever vigilant, I’m not sure anything seems like anything with the investigation, other than the fact that it’s been quiet on that front.  That’s a good thing, because this shouldn’t be interfering with our team who is on a playoff drive right now.  When the info comes out, hopefully after the season, there will be ample to time to mete out punishment if it’s necessary.  I’m still waiting for the whole story to come out, IF there’s a story.


Like I have said in a couple of questions above, I think winning is the only thing that will save Ireland now.  If we go 8-8, or certainly 7-9, Ireland will, and should be fired for not getting it done here in MIA.  Also unfortunate that Philbin may be a casualty in this, but while I like Philbin, I think he’s a good coach, not a great coach.  I do think he’s replaceable, along with his staff of Sherman and Coyle.  This was a big win this past weekend, but it’s only kept us alive to fight another week.  One loss here could end our chances for the playoffs.




from Ken


Q – Feeling pretty good after last Sunday. Which leads me to the question what was our best win of the season so far? But I won’t allow myself to feel that good just yet so what was the worst loss of the season so far?


I think it was our best win this season for sure.  It was a complete win, and even though we left some points on the board, we scored more than enough to win this game.  I don’t think any of us are fooled that the Jets are an offensive juggernaut that we somehow managed to dominate, because for the most part, the Jets self destructed, and couldn’t get out of their own way.  Still, we handled them well, and we didn’t play to their level, we beat them up good, and did what he had to do.


It was also a great win, because we were there, at MetLife, rooting our team on amongst hundreds of other Dolphins fan, as well as some of the FME crew, and in that regard, it doesn’t get any better!


Unfortunately, it only counts as one win, and every week we pretty much need a win, or face the harsh reality of another year without playoffs for our Miami Dolphins.  Let’s hope we can keep the winning going, and that thrashing the Jets sparked something for our team.




And now for the babe of the week . . . 




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