Welcome to Ask Mike – 2014 Season Week 1




from an anonymous source


Q -1)do you think the timing issue between Wallace and Tanny has anything to do with who the wr practice against. Both cb’s are above average.

2) NE has Mayo and Wilfork returning plus their offense is finally clicking where they don’t have to huddle every play like last year. They are going with the no huddle from 2012 and from all accounts everyone is on the same page with assignments. Belichick has never lost 2 in a row to a division oppt and has won 11 out of 12 division crowns.What will it take for the fins to pull this out of the hat?


I don’t believe the timing issues have anything to do with anything except Ryan Tannehill.  I know that’s not the answer most want to hear, but Wallace’s job is to get open, and then Tannehill’s job is to get Wallace the ball, and get him the ball in a manner that he has a chance to do some run after the catch damage.  If Tannehill underthrows Wallace, that won’t allow Wallace to score because it gave the defender time to catch up.  If he overthrows Wallace, there won’t be a completion.  I think it can improve, but I do think it’s a little in Tannehill’s head.  Roethlisberger had no problem connecting with Wallace, and soon, hopefully Tanny won’t either.


I think we need to do a few things to beat the Patriots.  We need to protect Tanny well, give him enough time to find the guys that are open.  If they smother Charles Clay, then either Wallace or Hartline will be in single coverage, or possibly the slot receiver when we go 3 wide, so either Gibson or Landry.  The Patriots don’t run the ball particularly well, but they do feature their RB’s as pass catchers, and we have to contain Shane Vereen in the short passing game.  An overaggressive Wheeler may over pursue, and leave a lane open for Vereen to do damage.  We can’t let that happen.


If Gronkowski plays, we need to keep a body on him, and we don’t have Dion Jordan, so it will be someone else, either Wheeler, Misi or Ellerbe, depending on which side he lines up on, if/or they decide to choose a dedicated LB or S to cover him.  I have a feeling he doesn’t play,  or even if he does, he won’t be in there a lot, so it likely won’t be an issue.  The Pats WR’s don’t scare me all that much.  Amendola needs to be hit early and often, and we may see him out of the game.  Edelman is Welker light, but not that light.  The former QB was done an excellent job replacing Welker without a significant drop off.


I do worry about the no huddle with NE and Tom Brady running it.  Discipline is going to be very important.  The pass rush up front is also going to be important, because immediate pressure disrupts those short routes, and then we’ll have a chance to take Brady down.  If Brady has time, or our LB’s get too aggressive, and leave an out for Brady, it could be trouble.   Too often last season it was our defense that was huffing and puffing, in our house in the heat, and that simply needs to change  Some of that is what we do on defense, but I think a lot of that has to do with what we didn’t do on offense.  We have to run the ball, and stick with it.  We need to be successful rushing the football.  The first time we played the Patriots we had a 17-3 lead at the half.  We picked Brady off (Dimitri Patterson), and we had success in the air and on the ground.  In the 2nd half, we abandoned the run game, and let the Patriots right back in it, until they overcame us.  Killer loss for us, it really was.  Yeah, the refs didn’t make it any easier, but Sherman should have been cut that day (“I would cut you right now!”)


It’s going to take a great game from our guys Sunday, or a bad game from the Patriots.  I’d rather it be a great game from our team, I really would.  Let’s set the tone that we’re for real right now, and make everyone forget about the Patriots.




from Piggy


Q -Dear Mike E


(singing) I believe the piglets are our future

teach them well and let them oink the way

Show them all the pork they possess inside…. 


Give me your list of 3 piglets to watch.  You can choose piglets on the practice squad or the 53 man roster.  Go!


I’m going to pick all new piglets, even though you didn’t specify to do that.  On offense, I’m going to go with Ja’Wuan James and Jarvis Landry. I think these 2 new piglets may be the most influential new players we have on the offensive side of the ball (not counting new veteran players).  Obviously James starting at RT will be very involved, and I think he’s going to make the RT, which has been a real nightmare for us at least 2 years, a non issue.  I think he’s going to get the job done, and done well.  can’t wait to see him in action.


Landry, although likely 4th on the depth chart is really the #2 slot WR.  He will get opportunities, both on the inside and the perimeter, but in the beginning, mostly the slot.  As long as Gibson is healthy, and playing well, we won’t see a lot, but this kid is gonna make things happen out there.  I think he will make the most of his opportunities, and he will make his reps count.  He’s another guy I can’t wait to see out there, and look forward to our 1st 4 wide set.


The last little piggy I want to you to watch is on defense, and it’s UDFA Chris McCain.  I think this guy is going to be next man up our defense, so if any of our LB’s ain’t getting the job done, McCain is ready, willing and able to take their place.  I’m rooting for this kid, I really am.  I think he will see playing time regardless, but I wouldn’t doubt if he’s a starter somewhere on the LB corps before seasons end.


So, my piglets to watch are Ja’Wuan James, Jarvis Landry and Chris McCain.  Son – I almost picked Darkwa, I really did, but I think Landry is going to be fun to watch.




from Tim 


Q -Alrighty then! So the season is about to begin and we host the hated Pats game 1. 


So do we see the uptempo offense on Sunday and do you think the game plan is more pass, run or balance?


I do think we will see the uptempo offense, but not necessarily right away.  I’d almost prefer that, let them think we’re not going to do it, and then on the 3rd drive, just wear them down in the heat, and then destroy them the rest of the game.  I want to see Patriot’s defender sucking air, hands on their knees or hips, trying to catch their breaths, while we go up and down the field on them.


I think we’re going to need balance against the Patriots.  With Revis and Dennard, it likely won’t be easy to throw on them, but we have a lot of weapons now, and they can’t cover everyone.    If they make it their business to focus on Clay, then someone else will step up, whether it’s Wallace, Hartline, Gibson or Landry, or possibly Sims or Gator.  We need to run the ball though, and we need to get some success with it, and stick to it.  We don’t need to get 150 yards rushing to win, but I’d hope we have at least 25-30 carries (by our RB’s, not including QB carries), and at least 100 yards.


I’d say balance is the word, but any particular drive may feature one more than the other, and that’s fine.  Don’t be predictable, but execute well, and we can beat the Patriots.  They’re the favorites, but I think we set the tone for the season with this win against the hated division rival.




from M13


Q – Dear Mike E,


As QB Coach of the Philly Eagles last year, Bill Lazor helped Nick Foles to a league leading 119.2 Passer Rating with 27 TDs and 2 INTs . Now granted, the Chip Kelly Offense (with OC Pat Shurmur) helped to make as much happen to be sure. I wonder how much Lazor was a REAL part of that equation. 


My question: can Lazor (now as OC) help Ryan Tannehill to become the QB he’s supposed to be?  


Absolutely M.  I’m not going to say that Lazor is the “QB Whisperer” or anything, but I do think he’s already had a positive influence on Tannehill.  I think he has Tannehill believing that he’s the leader of this team, and that we need him to step up to another level in order for the team to be successful.  More than anything he can say though, I think Lazor’s fresher approach to our offense is a much need kick that Tannehill, and the offense needed.


Lazor was part of a few of the better Coaches staffs in the NFL.  He worked with Dan Reeves with the Falcons as Offensive Quality Control coach.  Then off to Washington as QB’s Coach under Joe Gibbs. He also worked with Mike Holmgren and Jim Mora Jr., and then of course after being the Head Coach at Virginia, he came back to the NFL as QB’s Coach under Chip Kelly and the Eagles.  I think Lazor has been a part of some serious offensive minds, and I’d bet that his offense has elements from all of the stops he’s made.  One thing each of those offenses had that he was a part of was a strong commitment to the run game.  Also, most of those offenses, except for Washington, were WCO’s.  Being committed to the run game, in and of itself will help Ryan Tannehill.


I think Lazor will use the uptempo offense, which if done properly, can exhaust a defense.  I believe that Philbin always had that type of offense in mind when he got here, but for some reason, with Sherman, it never happened.  I think Lazor will implement it, while also allowing the run game to get the time of possession in our favor.  It won’t just be a quick passing attack, we will grind out some yards on the ground as well.  Tannehill can’t, and shouldn’t be expected to succeed without success on the ground, and average to good protection from his offensive line.  When you think of how poor both were last year, it’s really a testament to how good Ryan Tannehill was under those circumstances.




from Stanger


Q – One, just one.   Name the rookie other than Ja’Wuan James or Jarvis Landry who will have the most impact on the field this season.




I was very tempted to go with Son’s man, Orleans Darkwa, but again, I have to push him aside for now.  I just don’t think Darkwa is going to get enough of an opportunity to show what he can do this season, and for that reason, I’m not going to pick him.


It was still a tough decision, and it was between 2 guys on defense, DT Anthony Johnson and LB Chris McCain.  I’m going with McCain here, because I think he’s going to be starting sooner than later.  Johnson is still an important part of the DL rotation, and one injury there will have him in the starting lineup.  I just think McCain has impressed enough, and the LB’s are on such shaky ground, that I believe there will be a very low tolerance for poor play from any of the LBers, and I think McCain is ready and willing to make that jump.  I don’t think he’s overwhelmed at all, and his demeanor really impresses me (And the Coaches).


It’s not that I wish any ill to Wheeler, Misi or Ellerbe, but I really want to see this kid out there getting a chance, and making things happen.  I think if either Ellerbe or especially Wheeler falter, McCain will be in there quick.  If it’s Misi, I’d imagine Ellerbe back in the middle, and McCain on the outside.  Look out for the new #58!




And now for the babe of the week . . . .


Let’s go Dolphins!!!!


This entry was posted in Ask Mike. Bookmark the permalink.