Ask Mike – 2016 Season Week 14


from Wyo

Q – Last week both of us explained how to “easily” game plan against our D!
Now for the hard part.
Is there anything Vance Joseph can do to prevent Palmer from hitting a thousand or so crossing, seam, check down routes at 8 to 12 yards?
I have an idea but I’d like to hear yours first

The first thing we can do is find 2 new LB’s! OK, that can’t happen, so realistically, our safeties are going to have to try and help the LB’s, but that puts more pressure on the CB’s, as they will likely be working one on one with some talented WR’s, namely Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown. I think in the nickel packages, we have to be more disciplined with our LB’s, meaning we can’t afford to have them blitz, and be picked up, I’d almost prefer to have them crowd the field and do their best in coverage. I’ve seen Alonso try and shoot a gap so many times this year, only to have a RB exploit a different lane, or just run a quick route in the flat where the LB should be. In other words, let’s let the front 4 do their best, and drop the LB’s back in coverage, with help from the safeties.

David Johnson is the most dangerous Cardinal on offense. Not only is he an effective runner, but he’s an excellent receiver, with size and speed that make him a difficult cover for anyone. If we can somehow limit him, I think we can stay in this game. If Alonso can’t go, or even if he can go and is playing impaired by the cast, the LB’s have their work cut out for them with Johnson.

from Piggy

Q – Oinks Mike

So are you with me?  Is the 2017 offseason about getting better up front defensively?

After watching Baltimore in the 1st qtr of the game do whatever they want on offense – do you think this is our Achilles heal.

No pass rush and easy easy completions in the middle of the field seem to be our downfall – and we’ve seen it a lot during the season. 

Trotters Forever,

Sir Pigsgerald Oinkustus Bacon DeLa Chuleta, A/K/A The Sqiglilator

Defense will definitely be a priority, with the exception of OL and TE. Get one more competent O-lineman in the draft, and please, please, please a TE who is actually a threat to catch the ball downfield, and preferably, one with a little size, like 6’4” or taller. Alright, back to the defense. I think we have to aim for 2 starting LB’s, and they don’t both have to come from the draft. We can get 1 in the draft, and one in FA, but a lot will depend on whether we’re able to re-sign Alonso, and if we even want to. Like others have suggested, I’d like to see Alonso move to OLB, pick up a stud MLB who can solidify this unit, make tackles as well as cover (3 down LB). We can definitely use a young pass rushing DE, but at this point, it’s not a priority over LB.

I think at CB, we’re in good shape if Howard can show us he can play a couple of games and play well. Maxwell has changed my mind, and I think he’s back next year for sure. he can play, and is definitely good enough to start. Lippett will continue to develop, and McCain is OK as a the nickel or dime. I wouldn’t mind drafting another CB, but it’s not a priority. I wouldn’t be mad if we drafted another S either, Abdul-Quddus has played OK, but he’s not a difference maker. We need impact at LB, and besides Alonso, we don’t have it. Biggest need for sure is LB. Ideally, we got a top LB in this coming draft.

from New Age

Q -Hey!

Which unit needs a high draft pick the most and who is your guy for that spot? Or, which unit is holding us down the most at this point in the season? Pick whichever one you want to use. 


I think it’s clear that LB is our biggest need, and as I’ve previously mentioned, I think Alonso would be better at OLB, and we finally get a stud MLB. If we can get Vandy ILB Zach Cunningham, that would be great, but there are a couple of other guys that may fit as well. Alabama MLB Reuben Foster is a solid tackling machine and possibly, as good or better pro prospect than last year’s Bama ILB Reggie Ragland.

If we go OLB, I think Jabril Peppers is gone before we pick, so possibly Alabama’s Tim Williams, or UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley. In FA, I don’t really like the crop of ILB’s available, they’re either too old, not 4-3 fits, or not going to make an impact, but at OLB, SD Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram is a FA, ARZ Cardinals LB Chandler Jones, who was traded from NE, and another NE castoff Jamie Collins, who definitely seems to have attitude issues, and apparently, they have come up in Cleveland, where he’s been lackadaisical in pursuit at times, one glaring one was a TD that he just started jogging, and he had the angle to  make the play.  Maybe he just needs some motivation and possibly, he was taken aback by being traded from a SB contender to the worst NFL team. That’s 3 possibilities who would be a HUGE upgrade over what we currently have.

Draft a guy like Cunningham, Foster or Davis, get one of the above mentioned OLB’s in FA, move Alonso to the weak side, and all of a sudden we have a LB corps!

It’s also obvious we need a quality player for depth on the O-line, because we’ve seen how negatively that affects our performance, and denies  us the ability to carry on with our normal game plan, so another OG or C, may be in the cards, but probably not with our 1st or 2nd pick.

from Herd

Q – I think this is my first ask Mike question. I see you guys always mentioning how in past years we always suck in December and I can’t disagree.  Different players, coaches, different uniforms, we’ve changed damn near everything. Is this the year we change that too?

Thanks for the question! You are now famous beyond your wildest dreams! You will be read worldwide!

Anyway, back to reality,  I think it’s possible that due to mitigating circumstances, we could possibly be in for a rough December. We already got shellacked by the Ravens to start December in the wrong direction, and the Arizona Cardinals are as good, or IMO, better than the Ravens. They have a much more balanced team. The Ravens feature a very good defense, but on offense, they only tore us apart, not the rest of the NFL. The Cardinals on the other had, have a very good dangerous offense, led by a veteran QB Carson Palmer, a top 3 RB in David Johnson. It doesn’t stop there, although a little older, WR Larry Fitzgerald is still a difficult cover and a star player, and Michael Floyd at 6’3” 220 is another tough cover. John Brown has the speed to go deep, so a tough trio of WR’s. Just to give you some perspective on how good David Johnson is, he has 1005 yards rushing, averaging 4.4 YPC, and also has 64 catches 704 yards. 1700 yards from scrimmage and we’re at game 13 this week. He also has 11 rushing TD’s, and 4 receiving TD’s, 15 TD’s in all. Crazy!

It’s not clear whether Jelani Jenkins will play Sunday, but as crazy as it sounds, I hope he’s healthy enough to play. He’s probably our best cover LB, which I realize isn’t saying much, but regardless, we could use him to help out. If Alonso and Jenkins are out, that leaves a combination of Mike Hull, Neville Hewitt, Spencer Paysinger and Zach Vigil. David Johnson will no doubt be drooling while savoring that matchup.

I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think it would be fair to blame Gase if the team fails this December. I didn’t love his game plan last week, and it didn’t appear that he was able to adjust in the 2nd half either, but there are games like that for every team. I expect us to be much more competitive this week, and I think we can beat the Cards, but we have to execute a good game plan, and get a better start than we have in weeks. We can’t fall too far behind early on the Cards, because then they will bury us. If our O-line is healthy, and Alonso and Jenkins can be effective with their injuries, I think we have a fair shot.

What I don’t want to see is another game where it looks like we don’t belong on the field with our opponent. Baltimore undressed us, so I’m hoping Gase and Joseph come up with a solid plan of attack, no matter who plays Sunday. If we win this Sunday, IMO, we’ve already changed because a big bounce back win this Sunday would be big one for this team, and its young HC.


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477 Responses to Ask Mike – 2016 Season Week 14

  1. finfanrob says:

    Brian in NY says:
    December 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Mike E. says:
    December 9, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    It looks like your boy is going to get his opportunity to prove you right. I hope he comes through, we’re going to need it.
    Let’s hope so. The dude was a gamer in college-Good football IQ and instincts. I hope that he can surprise us.

    have no idea who you two are talking about but wouldnt that be nice to discover and unknown star

  2. olddolphan says:

    FOR THOSE WHO DON’T go back a page, the weatherguys arfe now predicting an 80% chance of rain on Sunday. Wonder how those boys from “ARID-ZONA” are going to like “Swimming with the fish?” –I say, “Warm up the J-TRAIN!” Which team is the better “mudder?’

  3. finfanrob says:


    rain makes things defensive game i think that doesnt bold well for the fins, even with the overpaid suh.

    i dont get it, no team has ever won anything giving some one that kind of contract

  4. herdfan says:

    Some of you might remember the white doe I saw a few weeks ago, I kind of thought it was a good omen. Well, she is still alive and has survived hunting season here so far. Maybe the Dolphins can survive too.

  5. wyoming85 says:

    Ian Rapoport ‏@RapSheet 6h6 hours ago
    #Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (wrist) will play this week. #AZCardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu won’t, as he contemplates surgery.

  6. Mike E. says:


    Mike Hull – He was a LB at LB University, otherwise known as Penn State

  7. herdfan says:

    bookman11 says:
    December 9, 2016 at 10:51 pm (Edit)


    That is cool

    IKR, I thought so. I see deer everyday in my yard, in the road. I’m not anti hunting, in fact I’ve said I’d shoot the ones that demolish my flower beds every year. But I like seeing this girl survive against the odds.

  8. D,
    Have to admit leaving Wilson out was a major oversight on my part. Definitely would insert him at #3 on my top 32.

  9. Mike E. says:

    I can just picture Herd at our last Fest, shooting Bill’s fans as they walk by. lol

  10. Mike E. says:

    It would be nice if Xavien Howard is able to play. Put him on Larry Fitzgerald. I like the odds of Howard covering Fitzgerald better than good ol’ Bobby McCain

  11. 81Howie says:

    last night I watched Bo’s audible show, they where talking about how the Fins dont chace receivers around and what ever side Fitz lines up on then that guy on that side has to cover him.

    • Mike E. says:

      Like I just said to Brian, Fitzgerald plays most of his snaps in the slot. Having McCain on Fitzgerald scares the hell out of me.

  12. 81Howie says:

    Morning Update
    Old 27-17 MIA
    Howie 30-24 MIA
    Rock 38-12 ARI
    Piggy 35-14 MIA
    B’man 35-31 MIA
    MikeE 27-26 MIA
    Bold 27-21 ARI
    Herd 33-27 MIA
    BriNY 29-23 MIA
    N/A 31-17 ARI
    Naples 20-17MIA
    Toba 31-24 MIA
    Real 34-14 ARI
    Stang 21-20 MIA

  13. Mike E. says:


    I guess that makes sense, they want their perimeter corners staying on the outside, but Xavien Howard is the wild card, I’m thinking because he hasn’t started, they may be willing to put him in the slot, although covering Larry Fitzgerald would be a tough task

  14. 81Howie says:

    I have no answer… Weve been horrible across the middle since the days of Channing Crowder or since Zach Thomas moved on. I am surprised we havent been beat up there all season but you know its coming again tomorrow.
    Best score allot of points this time, at least thirty…
    GO PHINS!!!

  15. Tim Knight says:

    McCain has the quickness to play inside. It’s not like that’s an area where there are going to be jump balls so Fitzgerald’s size shouldn’t be a big factor. Now getting him to the ground after a catch is another story.

  16. stangerx says:

    Starting to think Pouncey is out for the year….gonna be interesting at LB though.

    Miami Dolphins Injury Report

    (C) Kraig Urbik (Knee)
    (CB) Xavien Howard (Knee)
    (DT) Earl Mitchell (Back)
    (G) Anthony Steen (Shoulder/Foot)
    (LB) Spencer Paysinger (Ankle)
    (RB) Kenyan Drake (Knee)
    (S) Isa Abdul-QudduS (Neck)
    (T) Branden Albert (Wrist)
    (WR) DeVante Parker (Back)

    (DE) Mario Williams (Ankle) — Did Not Participate In Practice
    (LB) Jelani Jenkins (Knee/Hand) — Did Not Participate In Practice
    (LB) Kiko Alonso (Hand/Hamstring) — Did Not Participate In Practice

    (C) Mike Pouncey (Hip) — Did Not Participate In Practice

    • Tim Knight says:

      They have Urbik listed as a C and Steen as a G when it’s the other way around.

      I wonder if Pouncey’s hip is going to be an ongoing issue for him?

      • stangerx says:

        Highly doubt we see Pouncey again this year. The big sign of that was when he got on the plane to see a specialist. Seemed the local docs weren’t good enough. Something long-term there.

      • Tim Knight says:

        Yeah not looking good for Pouncey. That sucks!

  17. The Flying Pig says:

    Pouncey’s contract is ripe for a restructure

  18. Mike E. says:


    It’s not just quickness, it’s talent and athletic ability. It’s also not necessarily jump balls, but Fitzgerald is going to grab a pass over McCain every time. If Fitz has even has just a half step on a slant, he can lead Fitzgerald a bit and throw it higher and McCain won’t be able to defend that.

    • Tim Knight says:

      We’ll see. It’s not like McCain can’t jump. McCain is also a very good athlete. At the combine he lead all corners in like 6 categories. I worry more about him tackling Fitzgerald than being able to play the ball. Also in the slot it’s not all man to man. There are other defenders in the area. We’ll mix up coverages.

      • Tim Knight says:

        Here’s the thing, if we don’t pressure the QB it doesn’t really matter, guys are going to get open.

  19. stangerx says:

    Least the fantasy guys on yahoo are predicting that David Johnson runs all over us. No average about it. Each of the five rate him as the #1 RB pick right now. Guessing they know about our LB situation.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Makes sense. But anyone who has David Johnson in FF is starting him every week. The guy is a dual threat as a rusher and receiver – over a 1,000 yards rushing, 700 receiving and 15 combined TDs 11/4.

  20. Brian in NY says:

    I don’t think Howard has any experience in the slot. You can’t just throw him in there.

  21. Brian in NY says:

    My gut says we go 2-2 to finish the season at 9-7.

  22. Tim Knight says:

    Stanger, Johnson leads the Cards in catches over 20 yards with 11 and he’s a RB. Fitzgerald is next with 7. We have to focus on at least slowing down Johnson first or it could be a long day if he gets going.

  23. 81Howie says:

    Gameday Eve Update
    Old 27-17 MIA
    Howie 30-24 MIA
    Rock 38-12 ARI
    Piggy 35-14 MIA
    B’man 35-31 MIA
    MikeE 27-26 MIA
    Bold 27-21 ARI
    Herd 33-27 MIA
    BriNY 29-23 MIA
    N/A 31-17 ARI
    Naples 20-17MIA
    Toba 31-24 MIA
    Real 34-14 ARI
    Stang 21-20 MIA

  24. Mike E. says:

    I have Ajayi and Johnson both going tomorrow.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Wow! That’s two real good backs. Let’s hope Ajayi goes over 1,000 yards tomorrow, he needs 92 yards for 1,000. I hope we stuff the shit out of DJ though. LOL

      • Mike E. says:

        I have the Dolphins defense, and the Cardinals defense, guess which one I picked

      • Tim Knight says:

        I have the Cards DEF too and they have been so so for the last weeks. I don’t play this week I have a #1 seed bye so I don’t have to deal with it yet.

  25. herdfan says:

    Tim Knight says:
    December 10, 2016 at 5:43 pm (Edit)
    Oh, that’s a weird way to abbrev it. That usually means not available. LOL

    Well I think it means not applicable. Stop being so judgy. Lol

  26. 81Howie says:

    Not Available 🙂
    Nah, Herd got it. His name is just a bit to long for a nice even list

    • Tim Knight says:

      “n/a or N/A is a common abbreviation in tables and lists for not applicable, not available, or no answer. It is used to indicate when information in a certain table cell is not provided, either because it does not apply to a particular case in question or because the answer is not available.”

      Are we really doing this?

      NewAge, whoa… 6 characters, the same as Naples and one more than 6 others. LOL

  27. Tim Knight says:

    Bookman, what about this one?
    Richard: Hi Betty, how are you?
    Betty: Good Dick, how are you?

  28. herdfan says:

    Book man:
    Agree about the Margaret/Peggy thing. My mom’s sister was named Elizabeth and she was called Betty so that one seems normal.

  29. Mike E. says:

    I’m going with the Dolphins defense. Time for a good game from the D

  30. bookman11 says:

    So I was in downtown Appleton today and I saw the bus is dropping off the Seattle Seahawks at their hotel for the game against the Packers as I was driving by

  31. 81Howie says:

    I’m a weather guy so when a reading doesnt come in it gets listed as N/A
    Not Available

  32. 81Howie says:

    Lets try it Update
    Old 27-17 MIA
    Howie 30-24 MIA
    Rock 38-12 ARI
    Piggy 35-14 MIA
    B’man 35-31 MIA
    MikeE 27-26 MIA
    Bold 27-21 ARI
    Herd 33-27 MIA
    BriNY 29-23 MIA
    NewAge 31-17 ARI
    Naples 20-17MIA
    Toba 31-24 MIA
    Real 34-14 ARI
    Stang 21-20 MIA

  33. Tim Knight says:

    All good Herd. 🙂

  34. herdfan says:

    Thats cool Bookman. I’m assuming that Appleton is reasonably close to Green Bay.

  35. 81Howie says:

    Updated Update
    Old 27-17 MIA
    Howie 30-24 MIA
    Rock 38-12 ARI
    Piggy 35-14 MIA
    B’man 35-31 MIA
    MikeE 27-26 MIA
    Bold 27-21 ARI
    Herd 33-27 MIA
    BriNY 29-23 MIA
    N/A 31-17 ARI
    Naples 20-17MIA
    Toba 31-24 MIA
    Real 34-14 ARI
    Stang 21-20 MIA
    T/K 23-16 MIA

  36. herdfan says:

    Bookman, who did you say you have in the survivor thing tomorrow? I remember you and Manitoba have the same team, but that’s about all I remember. I may have been drinking. lol

  37. bookman11 says:

    It just started snowing here were supposed to get like 6 inches between now and tomorrow night should be a snowy game when the Packers play the Seahawks tomorrow on TV

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