Welcome to Ask Mike – Week 8




from ER (Elephant Rider)


Q – When thinking about all the venom spewing at Big Joe lately, I’m reminded of another coach.  Jason Garret.  The cowgirls are winning and their coach similarly had a rocky road his first years.  

Big Joe seems to be learning and adjusting. I don’t see any motivational issues this year either.  Is it possible we are just throwing him under the bus, when the situation obviously needed a few seasons to correct and properly build for the long term?





I’m not ready to lighten up on Joe until we hop off the see-saw.  I think we need to string together some wins, and and then get into the playoffs.  Just to remind you, I still hold Joe accountable for the loss against Green Bay.  I think he should have made it his priority to come up with something with Lazor in that series to get the first down.  I see the Steelers running a reverse/pass with Antonio Brown with the game on the line, and you know what, it worked!  Stop playing it safe, because safe gets you losses!  Do what you can to WIN the game, and stop doing things to try and not lose.


On the other hand, I do think Joe and Bill are learning and adjusting.  I know Tim will say it’s execution, but that was a different plan on offense last week against the Bears.  We saw Tannehill running and imposing himself on the defense to stop him.   We saw him on the move outside the pocket and making things happen in the passing game.  Tannehill is very comfortable moving around, and seems to throw more accurately while on the run.  Good strategy, and kudos to both Lazor and Philbin.


I don’t think we’re (I’m) throwing Philbin under the bus.  I can’t project as far as next year, or the year after and see that Philbin is steadily progressing.  Let’s see some progression this year.  A good game here and there doesn’t change my mind.  Consistently playing well does.  Let Philbin get us to 10-6 or 11-5, and I’m all in for another couple of years to see what he can do.  Flip-flop all season long, and finish 8-8 or worse, I would say I’ve seen enough.


I want to give you props on an excellent question.  Jason Garrett is a perfect defense for Joe Philbin, as he has basically gone almost the same route since taking over the Cowboys as interim Head Coach back in 2010 when the Cowboys went 6-10.  His first full year in ’11 was 8-8, and the same for ’12 and ’13, also 8-8.  Only thing I can say is, Garrett has the Cowboys at 6-1 and we’re still 3-3.  We’ll see where we go from here.  Garrett started the ’10 season after Wade Phillips was fired, and had the Cowboys at 1-7.  Garrett helped the team to a 5-3 record the rest of the season to finish 6-10. BTW, Wade Philips was the first Cowboys Head Coach to ever to be fired during the season. Also, thank you for sending in your question the day before!  Early bird gets the worm!  😉




from GDP


Q – The trade deadline is Oct. 28th. Do you see or personally want the Dolphins trading a player from a position of strength like WR or DL for a player at a position we’re weak at. Or even perhaps a trade to gather draft picks for next year.

What say you?


PS. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up and you too could one day be the commissioner of the Feline Football League  


GetterDone Phins! Tame the Kitties in Jax! 


I say you have to always strive to make your team better.  If that includes a trade now, before the deadline, then sure.  I know I have said in the past that I want to build a strong WR corps like the GB Packers, but after watching our offense this year, it may not be necessary.  I really had no idea what to expect from Lazor, but at least so far, we’re not really employing all of our WR’s as much as I had expected.  I expected to see a lot more 4 and 5 wide, and that’s not who we are.  


Mike Wallace leads the team with 30 receptions, and he has been targeted far more than any other WR on the team.  After Wallace, only hardcore fans like us would know that rookie Jarvis Landry is 2nd in receptions with 22.  After Landry is TE Charles Clay, who I believe would have at least 10 more receptions if he had been healthy all season.  After Clay is Hartline with 19, and then RB Lamar Miller with 17.  Then it’s a precipitous drop to 7 for the other slot WR Brandon Gibson. Rishard Matthews has been nearly invisible and seldom used this season, and has 4 receptions.


Obviously, Lazor is running mostly a 2 WR or 3 WR set.  That certainly lessens the value of your depth, if they’re not going to see the field.  Despite Hartline being 3rd, right behind Landry, it’s clear he’s not a major part of this offense.  Does that make him expendable?  Tough question, because we have seen Landry do his damage exclusively from the slot, where I believe he is best (For now).  He’s dynamic in the slot, and very physical, and aggressive making the catch.  Could that translate to the perimeter?  I’m not sure I’d want to make that move now, when he’s clicking so well in the slot.  Brandon Gibson has played outside, but is he healthy enough right now that you can count on him to do that?  Not sure, but it doesn’t seem like it.  How about Rishard Matthews?  He can play the outside, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it, but I don’t know if Lazor and Philbin feel the same way.  


I wish I knew if they ever work Landry on the outside in practice, or if he only takes reps from the slot, and also, how effective Landry is in practice if he does play on the outside.  I need to move to FLA, buy a microphone, and get in there and start axing questions of my own!  My thought is, if we’re not trading Hartline (I don’t think we can trade Wallace), no one else in our WR corps is going to bring anything worthwhile back, so I wouldn’t bother.


I love the DL dynamic we have.  The rotation has worked out very well, and I assume it will only get better when Dion Jordan gets back into the mix.  Still hoping that kid pans out, but it’s getting later and later all the time, and more doubtful too.  Vernon, Starks, Mitchell and Wake have done a great job this year,  None of those guys are going to be traded, unless we have a solid back up plan in place.  I suppose in theory, you could trade Starks or Vernon, with Odrick and Anthony Johnson waiting in the wings at DT, and Dion Jordan making his return this week.  Does anyone think DJ is not only ready, but someone that can be counted on?  I don’t think so, too unstable, and hasn’t showed much at all as a player (Yet).  


I guess what I’m saying is, it doesn’t seem to me like we can trade any of our DL at this point, but that’s mostly because I’m not sure how confident the coaches are with the depth we have behind them.  If they do have confidence, say in Anthony Johnson and Jared Odrick to take over for Starks, and we could get a top LB in here, I’d do it, but that type of trade seems so unlikely.




from Tim


Q – This is going to be a very long winded question. Do you think we’re seeing the evolution of this offense getting to another level?


Thank you!


It sure seems like it.  As you know, this offense will only go as far as Ryan Tannehill takes it.  Let’s start from game 4 against the Raiders.  A very effective game for Tanny, throwing for 278 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT.  He also ran for 35 yards on 5 carries, and I think this was the start of Tannehill running being incorporated into the offense.  It works.  It’s another aspect of this offense that defenses have to account for.  


Against GB, it was a little different.  back to the Jekyll and Hyde Tanny, but a very good 2nd half effort.  Tanny finished the day 20-31, 244 yards, 2 TD’s, 2 INT’s.  More importantly, once again, Tanny ran for 49 yards on 3 carries.  That aspect of Tannehill’s game is huge.  It can totally change how opposing defenses play us, and believe me, if the defense employs a “Spy”, a LB or S who has to stay in and make sure Tannehill doesn’t run, that leaves a defender off our receivers, and that is a huge help.  Jrvis Landry is really emerging, and Landry led the Dolphins with receptions with 6 catches for 75 yards and a TD.


Last week, against the Bears, we witnessed the first real good complete game by the offense and defense.  All 4 quarters, we played well.  A first for this season.  The offense was great, Tannehill finished 25-32, 277 YDS, 2 TD, ZERO INT’s.  That’s what I’m talking about!  Landry again a big part of the offense, with 4 more catches.  I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but Landry in the last 3 games, 14 catches, 160 yards.  He’s definitely becoming a major part of our offense, and I think it continues to increase in small increments.  Also, Charles Clay is getting healthy, although admittedly, I thought he looked off in the first half against GB.  He caught a pass in the first half, and looked awkward trying to escape, and actually got pushed easily out of bounds.  he did show much better explosion in the 2nd half though.  Clay and Landry are playmakers.  Wallace is a playmaker.  I’d still like to try more deep passes to Wallace, even if just one or two a game.  


It seems like Miller, and the O-line are working well together.  We’ll miss Moreno, but not as much as most of us though after game 1.  I’d also like to see Hartline get more involved, and I’d also like to see our equipment manager have the right spikes on our players cleats.  WTF!  Our guys were slipping and sliding all over the place.  Get on that!  It seems like we’re bringing the offense to another level, but I hope we can keep it up, and be consistent, and then we’ll be where we all want us to be, in the playoffs.




from Walker


Q -Dear Axe Mike,


You know I’m a hardcore FSU fan but am no way an apologist. Though I relish the bad boy image of my beloved institution, I’m all for having Winston’s bags packed moments after hoisting the 2014-15 National Championship trophy in front of bawling SEC fans. Jameis is an idiot, plain and simple, but would you take a chance in a mid-round acquisition if Tannehill continues to improve and there is no legitimate concern of a QB controversy?


With the exception of the sexual assault charges, every other altercation has been trivial and seemingly nonviolent. Who here has never stolen a drink, killed a squirrel, gotten crabs, or jumped up on a table? And though I would never accept a rapist on my team and once had wanted him booted, I am grateful an FSU alum friend of mine forced me to read the police report… cough cough, she changed her story three times, cough… she was knocked out, then drugged… cough. Yes, it’s early for draft talk but think of the hilarity in adventures with Philbin, Twitterella, and Jameis. Hope you are well my friend.


Your Chiefen


I think it’s kind of doubtful Walker.  No doubt he is talented, but you know that we’ve cracked down on not taking players with big character concerns, and I think Jameis Winston is just that.  That’s not to say that we won’t be looking to draft a QB at some point in the draft to back up Tanny, but I truly doubt it will be Winston.


It’s kind of unfair that we have been pushed to be this way.  I suspect that in a year or so, with all of this nonsense far enough in the rear view mirror, we can start once again begin acting like every other NFL team, and taking chances on thugs, morons, rapists, drug addicts, drunks and the like, but we need to be patient until we’re at that point.  We don’t want the media swarming around like vultures looking for a hot story to smear our team.  Heck, we may even be a playoff team this year if we can string together a few solid games.  It started last week with the Bears in CHI, now we need to keep it turned up against the Jaguars in neighboring Jacksonville.  Good for us that it’s almost a home game.


Good to hear from you, keep the questions coming bother!




from O Rob


Q – MIKE it would seem Landry has replaced Gibson as the slot rec on the depth chart, is this a good move and is Gibson the logical choice to demote, considering all of our WR corps?


No doubt about it Rob, and I’d say the demotion has already begun. Gibson was inactive this past week, so while he’s still on the 53 man roster, as he should, being inactive is pretty tough for a prideful guy like Brandon Gibson. (Apparently, Gibson was a healthy scratch)  I like Gibson, I think he was doing a great job for us last year when he was healthy, and I also think he’s a talented player.  He brings a similar physicality to the game as Landry, and he has played both outside and inside (For the Rams) as a receiver, so he’s a valuable guy to have on the roster in case of injury to someone else.  


I think Landry is the future of this team.  I readily admit I chastised Hickey for that pick, lamenting we could have gotten Donte Moncrief later on, instead of reaching for Landry in the 2nd.  Well, Moncrief is on the Colts, playing with Andrew Luck, and he has 9 receptions for 103 yards, 0 TD’s on 11 targets.  Landry, on the other hand has 22 receptions for 232 yards and 1 TD on 30 targets.  Granted, the Colts do have Reggie Wayne, TY Hilton and Hakeem Nicks, so there is competition there, but Landry has had the much hotter start. Landry is also rising fast, with 14 catches and 160 yards in the last 3 games.


Landry is clearly the future in MIA.  Gibson, if he were to be cut next season would have $1M dead money that would count against the cap next year. (Thanks Jahn, for clearing that up for me!)  I’m not saying that Gibson being cut is a foregone conclusion, but Wallace is balling this year, and Landry is as well.  The forgotten man here is Brian Hartline.  While he hasn’t been invisible, he has seldom been a big part of the gameplan, and has yet to put up a big game, or even have a memorable one.  Hartline has 19 receptions for 96 yards and 1 TD on 31 targets.    Hartline has started and played every game.  Those numbers are very low for a #2 WR in the NFL.  His biggest game this year was against OAK, when he caught 6 passes for 74 yards, no TD’s.  Hartline, on the other hand can be cut w/o any salary cap hit, so he’s the one to watch.  Hartline’s contract was very heavily front loaded.




from Wyoming


Q – Do you think Piggy could be a coach or GM in the NPFL?


I think he would be best suited for a WR! 


  Seriously though


What do you think of the Misi experiment so far?


I think Piggy would be best being served at the tailgating party


WARNING!  Graphic pig images!




As far as Misi is concerned, it’s still too early to make heads of tails on whether he’s right for MLB.  he was injured, so he really hasn’t played all that much.  He’s only played in 3 games, and has 17 total tackles, and 1 FR.  As I kind of expected, he’s not really an impact player.  He’s not a game changer, and probably never will be.  I want to see more of him this year to make that decision final, but I’m not expecting a lot more to be honest.  I think we will look to the draft and free agency next year to solve our weak LB corps issues.  As of now, not too many big names in FA at ILB, David Harris, Rey Maualuga, Brandon Spikes.  As far as the draft, you guys know better than I do, (I haven’t started researching yet), but Denzel Perryman, Eric Kendricks, Bernardrick McKinney (good thing his last name isn’t Odrick) and AJ Johnson are some of the guys we might be looking at.


In the meantime, Misi has 10 games to show he deserves consideration for next season as a starter at MLB.  Right now I’d have to give him an INC.




and now for the babe of the week . . . . 



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