Welcome to Ask Mike – Week 13



from Piggy

Q – Mike E

I have been informed by the turkey delegation that their numbers are week after the holiday…

Now is the time for humans to strike poultry – if humans and pigkind join trotters to take down poultry you might just defeat these tasteless birds.  The time is now!  Lay off the bacon as a sign of peace to pigkind.

Also, how bad are the jests this year?  Did you have any idea that what it meant to be green was code for throw the season?  I thought they would be close to .500 his year.  They gave up on Smith, then gave up on Vick and are now back to Smith again…what kind of plan is that?


You’ll be happy to know that at my Thanksgiving dinner, there was no ham.  I can’t say we didn’t have any pork products, because we did have some sausage in our stuffing, but it was minimal.   We did manage to score a couple of turkeys, they were easy prey indeed!


The Jets are bad, sometimes really bad, but I think we all know they are capable of playing better than they do.  They are a team in disarray, and team that doesn’t know who their Head Coach, and possibly even GM is next season.


In the game they pulled Geno, I guess Rexy couldn’t watch his QB give up the ball any more in the 1st QTR, after Geno  completed only 2 passes to his team after 8 attempts, and completed 3 to the Bills.  I can understand that benching, he was outrageously ineffective that game, and needed to be benched.  I would have gone back to Geno though the next game, although it’s possible that Rexy thought if he could turn around the season with Vick, he could save his job.  In any case, I’m glad neither QB is on the Dolphins, and that we don’t have this nonsense to worry about.


I still fear the Jets, because they are not as bad talent wise as their record.  Decker is a solid receiver, not a game changer, and the Jets added Percy Harvin, who can be a gamechanger.  He’s not a great WR, but he is a talented football player with great speed and agility, and if he gets some open space, he can be very dangerous.  The Jets have a good rushing attack with RB Chris Ivory, 130 carries, 579 yards and 4.5YPC average, with 5 TD’s.  Throw in Chris Johnson’s 400 yards on 92 carries, and Bilal Powell’s 102 yards, and Jets RB’s have over 1000 yards rushing so far.  TheJets are 5th in rushing yards in the NFL.  That’s where the good news ends for the Jets though.  Between Vick and Geno, they have 10 TD’s – 12 INT’s.  They are 30th in scoring, and are 30th giving up points as well.  Somewhat understandable when their offense can’t keep drives going and can’t score.


Despite how bad the Jets are, the fact is, they are a division opponent, who know us very well, and they always seem to save at least one good effort against us per year.  What we need to do is jump on them early, and they will curl up and go away.  If we let them hang around, it could be a tough game.




from FFR

Q – Hey Mike,
Sitting here with my son who is up visiting for the Holiday.   I told you on the blog, that they do eventually come home to visit and spend time with their father.   Actually make time to spend with you and not just their friends. 
I was reading the blog and saw you asking for questions and was telling him about your Ask Mike and he blurted out a question.  So you are getting this one from FFR, Jr.
Do you think Mike Wallace will ever live up to his contract numbers and can Jarvis Landry ever become a true number one WR?
Landry is his new favorite player.
I hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving and wish you all the best.


I am honored to have received a question from FFR.  I never thought that day would come!  My son ran out as much as he possibly could, so it’s not quite happening yet.  Maybe when he gets a little older, his family will mean more to him, but right now, it’s all about his friends.  Glad your sonny is at the point where he realizes the importance of family.  It took me a while to get there myself, so I can’t really complain too much.   Thanksgiving was great though, quality time with the family at it’s best.  Hope yours was that as well.


As far as Mike Wallace, he was signed as a free agent, and at the time, he was the best WR in FA, so he was duly overpaid.  He will never live up to his contract, so forget what we pay him.  He’s been a good player for us, and if Tanny learns to just get the ball out to him quicker, he’ll make more big plays, and hit on  deeper passes.  Too often, Tannehill is throwing when he sees Wallace open rather than throwing it in anticipation of him getting open.  You see the best QB’s do that all the time, he just needs to learn to trust that.  It’s a timing thing.  Wallace has shown great effort this year, and has fought hard for extra yardage, and to me, looks like a better player.  He’s not Anquan Boldin, but he’s a better Mike Wallace IMO.


Jarvis Landry probably could be a #1, but if it were up to me, I’d keep him in the slot.  He’s great there, and in today’s NFL, a good slot WR is just as important, and maybe even more important, depending on the offensive scheme.   Tannehill is finding him often, so it matters not that he’s not on the perimeter.  It’s going to be interesting to see how Hartline finishes out the season, and whether he remains with the team next season.  No offense to Hartline, but he hasn’t been a big part of the offense as a #2 WR.  Last year, Hartline had 76 receptions for 1016 yards on 133 targets.  This season, after 11 games, Hartline has been targeted only 49 times, with 31 receptions for 360 yards and 1 TD.  For perspective, Landry in the last 6 games has been targeted 40 times with 31 receptions for 264 yards and 4 TD’s.  Landry has been a much bigger focus in our offense since game 2.  He’s for real, and Tannehill has gained a lot of trust in him.




from M13

Q –  Mike,
In my opinion, we are HIGHLY unlikely to re-sign Matt Moore as our backup to Ryan Tannehill next year. Reason? Salary cap implications. We’ve seen a GRAND transformation in Tanny from Sherman to now Lazor in Lazor’s first year here as OC.
The only other QB in our system is McLeod Bethel-Thompson… a Practice Squad journeyman who will NOT be able to carry us in the event of a long term injury to Tanny next year.
My question: how shall we address the most valuable position in the NFL (QB) with Matt Moore most likely leaving? Should we go with a FA vet to backup Tanny, or draft a QB whom Bill Lazor could mold for the future?


I’m not sure highly unlikely is the case.  It’s going to come to down to demand, and need.  I know Moore would love a shot at a starting job, but I think he might find that not to be the case.    Depending on what happens in that regard, if Moore isn’t promised a shot elsewhere, he may just end up back here in MIA.  Let’s say, just for the question’s sake that he leaves.


Here is a list of FA QB’s in 2015




Mark Sanchez, Christian Ponder, Matt Flynn, Colt McCoy will all be UFA’s.  I think any of the above that I listed would suffice as our backup.  I can’t say that Matt Moore is considerably better than any of those guys, and if you’ve watched Mark Sanchez with the eagles the last few weeks, it’s not silly to think that Sanchez could be just as good or better.


If we’re going to look to the draft, I think we have more pressing needs that need to be attended to, since our backup QB can be had in FA.  IMO, in most cases, when your franchise QB goes down, there’s going to be a drop off, so I’m not looking before the 4th RD for my backup.  It’s too early for me to go into the draft, I haven’t looked yet, and we’re still in a playoff hunt, so I won’t be looking at the ’15 draft, and hopefully, we stay alive long enough to keep it weeks away, not just days away.


I’m sure you have a better handle on who will be available in the 4th RD or later, but if you want some names, Oregon St. QB Sean Mannion, Baylor QB Bryce Petty, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan, and N.C. State QB Jacoby Brissett.  I’ll trust your judgement on any of these guys after you read it, and I’m sure you’ll have a few of your own.  I’ll gladly defer to you on this.


The truth is, even if we draft a QB this year, and say even if we draft one as early as the 3rd RD, there’s no telling whether he would be ready to play as the backup in ’15.  At this point, I’d still say Moore is a possibility, or one of the above FA QB’s I mentioned.  I look forward to your answer!



from Tim

Q –
Hey Mike, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Simple question, if the Dolphins lose to the Jets do you think we make the playoffs?

My feeling is we can only lose one more game so I’m iffy that we make it anyway. But if we lose to the Jets, we have to run the table.

Thank you!


My gut reaction if we lose would be ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!  Actually, my 24 hour later reaction would be the same.  I think it would be totally unrealistic to expect our team to run the table against the Ravens, Patriots, Vikings, and then the Jets again.  The 2 teams that worry me the most as far as competing for a playoff spot are the Chiefs, who beat us, and therefore hold a tiebreaker against us, and have a 5-3 conference record,  and the Steelers, who are 7-4, and have a 6-3 conference record.  The Ravens, although they are 7-4 have a lousy 3-4 conference record, they got fat on the NFC South, as has the entire AFC North division.


The Chiefs have a rough schedule ahead, playing the Broncos in KC this week, then traveling to Arizona to play the Cardinals, home for the Raiders, then @ the Steelers, and the finale home for the Chargers.  They can easily lose 3 of those games.


The Steelers have an easier schedule, playing 2 NFC South teams.  This week they play the Saints at home, then on to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, then @ the Falcons, and then they finish with home games against the Chiefs and Bengals.


We need to beat the Ravens, to keep an advantage on them.  They play the Chargers at home this week, then 12/7 for the NE Fest, they travel to Miami to face the mighty Dolphins, then home to the Jaguars, @ the Texans, and then home for the Browns.


A lot of scoreboard watching we will be doing (I saw the Star Wars trailer!)   🙂


I agree that we have a one game cushion, and as unlikely as it is, I’d prefer that to be against the Vikings, because it has no conference implications.




from GDP

Q – Dear Mr. Hand 

The Jests rushed for an average of 170.5 yards in a four-game stretch before managing 92 on Monday. They might be able to get the running game going against Miami, which allowed a season-high 201 yards last week.

Do you stack the box on the #5 rushing Jests with our safeties & play the LB’s up with Amaro out and a TO prone Geno Smith, or do you stay back in Zone like Coyle has been prone to do, especially with us thin @ CB sans Grimes?

GetterDone Phins!


I saw the Star Wars trailer!  It’s Hand Solo to you Spicoli!



I don’t think we have to stack the box, but I’m sure we won’t be dropping 7 and 8 into coverage against Geno Smith.  We can play our usual defense against the Jets.  Nothing fancy necessary, no 4-6 defense, just play ‘em straight up as we always do.  We just didn’t tackle last week, and we have to improve considerably this week, or it will be a long day.  Jets RB’s can tote the rock, Chris Ivory is for real, and Chris Johnson is no slouch either, even if he isn’t vintage Chris Johnson.  Like I mentioned earlier, the Jets are 5th in rushing yards, so they can move the ball.  We need to be fired up, and disciplined at the same time.  Make hard, sure tackles, and stay in your gaps, and don’t over pursue.


I also think if we jump on the Jets, they will roll over, so we had best get a good start on them, score a couple of TD’s early, and force Geno to throw, and then maybe this week, our pass will realize that they’re really good again, and not disappear.  That has to be the gameplan.  Not that we can’t win other ways, but I think this is the easiest route to a victory.


My friend Tony (The Jet fan) called me Saturday night and asked me if I wanted to watch the game with him.  I said sure, we usually watch a game together, and Tony is a good guy, but this games means little for him, and everything to me, so I think it might be good.  If the Jets are spanking us, he will be brutal, so if the Dolphins are killing them, I will do the same.  I really hope we take them out easily, and we just have a few beers in a nice relaxed setting.  I don’t want to have to chew my nails down to the nubs!



And now for the cheerleader of the week . . .



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