Dolphins: Year Tua

Should Miami Trade for Deshaun Watson

  • Yes. Deshaun is a star. Take the known entity.

    Votes: 68 70.8%
  • No. Build around Tua and forge a stronger overall team.

    Votes: 28 29.2%

  • Total voters
    96
  • Poll closed .

rymflaherty

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Listening to Simmons’ podcast yesterday previewing the NFL season a bit with House and Warren Sharp….it was nice to hear Sharp totally bullish on Tua, especially considering he’s the only opinion of the three that mattered to me.

The most infuriating thing of the past month or so, other than this recent Watson stuff, has been hearing so much of the national media gush over the Patriots and the Dolphins becoming a “they may be okay” after thought.
Maybe this should actually worry me, but it’s rare I have such a strong conviction in something predictive - but that’s how I feel about Miami being better than New England (assuming each team relatively healthy) and then destroying NE in week 1. The fact that it’s Jones starting now only strengthens that conviction.
Somehow, Miami beating NE and Washington beating the Chargers is what I feel most certain of in Week 1.

edit* listening to the Ringer Fantasy podcast right now, little fins related tid bit, figure I’ll just throw in this post…
Peter Schrager just gave up that when he reported a source had Waddle as the #1 receiver, even above Chase heading into the draft, the source was actually Brian Flores.
Not sure where Pitts fits into the equation, but if there was still any doubt…Waddle was the receiver they wanted all along.
 
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sodenj5

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Listening to Simmons’ podcast yesterday previewing the NFL season a bit with House and Warren Sharp….it was nice to hear Sharp totally bullish on Tua, especially considering he’s the only opinion of the three that mattered to me.

The most infuriating thing of the past month or so, other than this recent Watson stuff, has been hearing so much of the national media gush over the Patriots and the Dolphins becoming a “they may be okay” after thought.
Maybe this should actually worry me, but it’s rare I have such a strong conviction in something predictive - but that’s how I feel about Miami being better than New England (assuming each team relatively healthy) and then destroying NE in week 1. The fact that it’s Jones starting now only strengthens that conviction.
Somehow, Miami beating NE and Washington beating the Chargers is what I feel most certain of in Week 1.

edit* listening to the Ringer Fantasy podcast right now, little fins related tid bit, figure I’ll just throw in this post…
Peter Schrager just gave up that when he reported a source had Waddle as the #1 receiver, even above Chase heading into the draft, the source was actually Brian Flores.
Not sure where Pitts fits into the equation, but if there was still any doubt…Waddle was the receiver they wanted all along.
Regarding Waddle, everything I saw after the draft suggested they had their eye on Waddle for multiple years, probably in part because they scouted Tua so heavily prior to Waddle’s draft. Not surprising at all that they had him as their WR1, but nice to get some level of confirmation from within the organization. Like you said, not sure where Pitts factored in there, but trading up after trading down suggested they didn’t want to miss Waddle or Pitts.

Seeing Waddle so far, he has been as advertised. He looks dangerous, and he’s tough as hell. Very excited to see the offense with all of the weapons on the field at once.

What has me pre-irked is the thought of Tua struggling in Week 3 or 4 and the national storyline being that Deshaun Watson is still out there. They will beat Deshaun Watson into the ground until the trade deadline passes, I can guarantee it.

Looking forward to Week 1 vs the Pats. I could be wrong, but I was worried more about Cam and his legs more than Mac Jones. One thing everyone here can agree on: Roll Tide.
 

dwainw

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So what I hear you guys saying is: the division is up for gra---err, never mind.;)

I'm as bullish on this year's Dolphins as anyone, in part due to the regularly contributing experts in this thread, HOWEVER.....

1) This is shaping up to be a GOOD division. Even the Jets could be competitive, and certainly a thorn in the side of any of its division rivals.
2) The Patriots are the Patriots, and Belichik is who he is, etc. etc. Yeah, Miami finished ahead of them last year, which earned them both a whole lot of NUTHIN'. Until Miami wins the damn division, they have not gotten the better of the Patriots. [Edit: I'd love to be as confident as @sodenj5 about week 1, but I am not]
3) The Bills are the cream of this crop, and they currently possess the best QB. They are the team to beat.
4) Let's hope all the Watson talk was just media fodder. Not that the team was wrong to "kick the tires," or do their due diligence or whatever, but I hope to hell it was never all that serious. And I double hope to hell it didn't affect team chemistry or Tua's psyche or any other intangible. I have faith that it didn't until something suggests otherwise. From most reporting I'm seeing, the vibes on and around this team are still positive and gaining momentum.
5) All that said, the surging youth movement on this team coupled with a few integral savvy veterans (and a superstar) have me as (cautiously) optimistic as I've been since Marino's late prime, and you guys have laid it all out there in the last several pages as to why. That said, the Dolphins still need to earn their way to league and media-wide respect, and I'm OK with that. In fact, the more doubters, the better.
 

rymflaherty

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I really hope I turn out right on the week 1 thing, because after typing that earlier, I thought about what could cause that to not be the case, and the scenario I come up with is…Bill B’s D making Tua look awful and Jones being efficient while the Pats run for 200+ yards…so basically about the most torturous way possible to begin the season.
 

sodenj5

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I really hope I turn out right on the week 1 thing, because after typing that earlier, I thought about what could cause that to not be the case, and the scenario I come up with is…Bill B’s D making Tua look awful and Jones being efficient while the Pats run for 200+ yards…so basically about the most torturous way possible to begin the season.
While the Pats are certainly going to have a formidable defense this year, I think missing Gilmore is a big blow. Just like losing Xavien Howard would be a big blow for Miami.

I also think Flores knows what to expect. It’s no secret Miami’s offensive line is a weakness. I think you’re going to see a lot of different pressure looks to try and expose the line play and get after Tua. Lots of press man coverage to force Tua to throw into tight windows. Probably double Gesicki on third downs.
 
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I imagine Tua will be getting it out on quick crossers to Devonta to run wild. I'm guessing/hoping the Patriots can try to combat that by - this is familiar, but risky with him - trying to beat the shit out of him at the line.
 

sodenj5

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I imagine Tua will be getting it out on quick crossers to Devonta to run wild. I'm guessing/hoping the Patriots can try to combat that by - this is familiar, but risky with him - trying to beat the shit out of him at the line.
Assuming you mean Jaylen Waddle. That is probably what they will try to do. Waddle is pretty, pretty, pretty good at beating man coverage. Not only that but they’ll be sending him in motion and stacking him to give him cleaner releases. It’ll be an interesting back and forth to watch, for sure.

Waddle is a guy that can unlock a lot other things in the offense. The easy, lazy comparison is Tyreek Hill and what he does for KC. Even if he isn’t getting the ball, he’s taking the safety off Kelce or lightening the box for the RBs. It might not happen in Week 1, but a few balls over the top and teams will have no choice but to start respecting the speed. Add Will Fuller into the mix after Week 1 and Miami is going to spread some defenses.
 
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Assuming you mean Jaylen Waddle. That is probably what they will try to do. Waddle is pretty, pretty, pretty good at beating man coverage. Not only that but they’ll be sending him in motion and stacking him to give him cleaner releases. It’ll be an interesting back and forth to watch, for sure.

Waddle is a guy that can unlock a lot other things in the offense. The easy, lazy comparison is Tyreek Hill and what he does for KC. Even if he isn’t getting the ball, he’s taking the safety off Kelce or lightening the box for the RBs. It might not happen in Week 1, but a few balls over the top and teams will have no choice but to start respecting the speed. Add Will Fuller into the mix after Week 1 and Miami is going to spread some defenses.
Oh duh. Yes. Sorry. I'm still reeling from my "Cam thoroughly outplayed Cam" catastrophe.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Pats are going to run the ball 40 times if they can. Miami secondary is better than NE's WRs almost everywhere and Rowe can take out one of the TEs. But NE can pound and Miami has not shown they can consistently top indie the tackles rushing. Davis and Roberts and Wilkins will need to play big for Miami to win
 

Clears Cleaver

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Rowe in lieu of a true box player to man a TE? Would be cool to run the ball at that.
yeah, that's been a problem for the Dolphins. Rowe has been great in coverage against everyone but Kelce and Heller, but he is not good against the run. And they traded for Mckinney to be a run stuffer and then waived him, thinking that Roberts could handle that role. But...he's been banged up. the defense can be elite this year, especially with Holland and Needham improving and the Line improving, but they can be run on
 

Mystic Merlin

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Roberts is a big key to their run D, when he is right he is a force inside the box. If you can hide him a bit in coverage, it’s worth giving him first and second downs snaps. It took me a while to come around on him when he was in NE, but not all ILB can be Patrick Willis.
 

sodenj5

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yeah, that's been a problem for the Dolphins. Rowe has been great in coverage against everyone but Kelce and Heller, but he is not good against the run. And they traded for Mckinney to be a run stuffer and then waived him, thinking that Roberts could handle that role. But...he's been banged up. the defense can be elite this year, especially with Holland and Needham improving and the Line improving, but they can be run on
Can Rowe really take out one of our TEs?
Rowe is an elite (and that isn’t hyperbole) coverage safety. He has erased all but the very best TEs in the league from the game, and even in his “bad game” versus Waller last year, he was in good coverage but Waller is a freak of nature and beat him at the catch point several times. Asking any one human to cover Waller one on one is a big task. I would say Rowe covering Henry or Smith in man coverage is almost certainly what Miami will be asking him to do.

The down side is he’s obviously lighter in the box area. He’s made strides as a run defender and is willing to “stick his face in the fan” but is never going to be Jamal Adams.

Elandon Roberts is definitely their thumper. Everyone assumed when he resigned that he was insurance for McKinney, because Roberts was coming off knee and shoulder injuries last season. Seems to have been the opposite. McKinney was Roberts insurance.

The other notable addition is Brennan Scarlett from Houston. He’s definitely going to be the edge setting Sam backer, and the early tape I’ve seen from Phillips suggests he can set a good edge as well.

I imagine if Henry is ready to go, NE will be using a lot of 12 personnel and forcing Miami to decide between using the extra linebacker or a third safety, and NE will adjust the playcalls accordingly.
 

rymflaherty

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A fun exercise is going back and looking at the box score from when these teams played in December…just take a look at the skill players Tua had to work with…
Spoiler alert, it wasn’t pretty - players who caught multiple passes were: Smythe, Bowden, Ford, Hollins and Laird.

I do wish Fuller was available to provide the full complement, but I can’t help but think there’s a chance this opener is similar to last years, only this time it’s the Patriots on their heels due to the Dolphins unveiling their new offensive attack.

I can’t help but be somewhat excited to see what happens when you replace the names I provided above with Gesicki, Parker, Waddle, Grant (or Williams, soon to be Fuller) and Gaskins.

(I am aware NE fans could also point to their upgrades and make a similar assessment, but I think it’s hard to find a discrepancy as vast as Miami’s, when you compare last years mash unit that finished the season versus what they are opening this year with.)
 

pdaj

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I'm just going to say it. I'm bullish on the Dolphins this season, despite my (and everyone else's) concerns about the offensive line. Why?

1) I'm confident that this OL unit will improve throughout the season to the point of being at least serviceable/average. This ties into my uber confidence in Flores and his staff.

2) I'm a strong believer in the offensive system being developed. I think the spread passing game is going to open up the running game and that the RB are also going to have an increased role in the passing game. The RB unit, while not dynamic, will be sneaky strong.

3) I'd bet significant money on Tua's considerable progress this season. The doubt about his arm, athleticism, or brain is total bullshit. All that matters? Health.

4) This defense is legit. They're better/deeper than last year's unit. Will they be susceptible to the run? We'll see.

All that said, I'm most concerned with Miami's difficult start to the schedule. I'd be happy with 2-3. Anything better? Elated.

It's weird to say, but I think that the opening game vs. the Pats and Mac Jones is one of the more winnable games. Miami needs to capitalize on facing a rookie QB, albeit a possible mature one. While I agree with the starting of Mac long-term, I think Cam may have made this first game more challenging. A strong performance from Tua will also help in quieting the noise.
 
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SMU_Sox

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I’m not a homer. I predicted the Pats would go either be 6-10 or 7-9 last year and because of the draft I tend to follow most teams and actually enjoy rooting for many more than just the Pats. I open with that because I’m skeptical of the fins this year. The OL situation to me is easy bottom 10 and probably bottom 5 in the league. I think with that like and lack of a decent running back the offense is going to be one dimensional. Luckily the Fins have some good pass catchers which will help mitigate the roster problems elsewhere on O. I’m skeptical of Tua like I am skeptical of all young QBs. Most fail. The problem with trying to predict the Fins offense is because the OL and Tua are question marks and you all don’t have an RB the outcomes could wildly fluctuate. I could see the OL eventually settling down and being below average but not a dumpster fire but I could also see the line be a total dumpster fire.

Austin Jackson has had a bad camp and Davis is what he is at this point and it isn’t good. The interior is just a bunch of question marks. Could be good bad or anywhere between the two points.

If the OL is just below average and Tua takes a second year leap the offense could be top half of the league. But there is downside risk there. A lot of it.

Defensively I have some issues with the front 7 against the run. Specifically I think the ILBs are a weakness overall. I love the corners - what a fantastic group they have but I’m not sold on the safeties. Better to suck against the run than the pass and better to be weak at LB and safety and strong at corner and edge vs the other way around but still worth noting. Defensive performance fluctuates more than offense so don’t be surprised if they take a step back instead of forward this year.

I could see the Fins anywhere from winning the division if Buffalo regresses to missing the playoffs and not being competitive. Skeptical doesn’t mean I think they are going to be bad it’s just I’m not sure where this team will end up. I feel the same way about the Pats for other reasons. Where we probably agree is that Luckiestman’s team (Jets) will likely finish at the bottom of the barrel. Good luck Fins fans, very curious here to see how Tua and the OL do as I think how they go the season goes.
 

sodenj5

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I’m not a homer. I predicted the Pats would go either be 6-10 or 7-9 last year and because of the draft I tend to follow most teams and actually enjoy rooting for many more than just the Pats. I open with that because I’m skeptical of the fins this year. The OL situation to me is easy bottom 10 and probably bottom 5 in the league. I think with that like and lack of a decent running back the offense is going to be one dimensional. Luckily the Fins have some good pass catchers which will help mitigate the roster problems elsewhere on O. I’m skeptical of Tua like I am skeptical of all young QBs. Most fail. The problem with trying to predict the Fins offense is because the OL and Tua are question marks and you all don’t have an RB the outcomes could wildly fluctuate. I could see the OL eventually settling down and being below average but not a dumpster fire but I could also see the line be a total dumpster fire.

Austin Jackson has had a bad camp and Davis is what he is at this point and it isn’t good. The interior is just a bunch of question marks. Could be good bad or anywhere between the two points.

If the OL is just below average and Tua takes a second year leap the offense could be top half of the league. But there is downside risk there. A lot of it.

Defensively I have some issues with the front 7 against the run. Specifically I think the ILBs are a weakness overall. I love the corners - what a fantastic group they have but I’m not sold on the safeties. Better to suck against the run than the pass and better to be weak at LB and safety and strong at corner and edge vs the other way around but still worth noting. Defensive performance fluctuates more than offense so don’t be surprised if they take a step back instead of forward this year.

I could see the Fins anywhere from winning the division if Buffalo regresses to missing the playoffs and not being competitive. Skeptical doesn’t mean I think they are going to be bad it’s just I’m not sure where this team will end up. I feel the same way about the Pats for other reasons. Where we probably agree is that Luckiestman’s team (Jets) will likely finish at the bottom of the barrel. Good luck Fins fans, very curious here to see how Tua and the OL do as I think how they go the season goes.
These are all very valid points and criticisms. What gives a lot of us hope is the previous 2 seasons, Miami has significantly outperformed expectations both years Flores has been the coach. Their end result has been greater than the underlying talent suggests. This is a sign of good coaching and we’re trusting Flores and co. to mask some of the obvious deficiencies. You can’t mask 5 bad offensive linemen, so we’re in agreement that some of those guys will need to step up.

Also, on Miami’s roster construction, if you’re in a division with Buffalo and in the same conference as the Chiefs, your defense should be built to stop the pass. Will Miami have issues stopping the run versus the Pats and Ravens? Probably. But finding a run stuffing LB on the waiver wire or in free agency is a lot easier than finding a good coverage safety or good CB2.
 

pdaj

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These are all very valid points and criticisms. What gives a lot of us hope is the previous 2 seasons, Miami has significantly outperformed expectations both years Flores has been the coach. Their end result has been greater than the underlying talent suggests. This is a sign of good coaching and we’re trusting Flores and co. to mask some of the obvious deficiencies. You can’t mask 5 bad offensive linemen, so we’re in agreement that some of those guys will need to step up.

Also, on Miami’s roster construction, if you’re in a division with Buffalo and in the same conference as the Chiefs, your defense should be built to stop the pass.
Will Miami have issues stopping the run versus the Pats and Ravens? Probably. But finding a run stuffing LB on the waiver wire or in free agency is a lot easier than finding a good coverage safety or good CB2.
The bolded are my exact thoughts. I couldn't have said it any better.

My current perspective is very much impacted by my trust in Flores and the coaching staff. The Dolphins won 5 games ... while "tanking." Flores' teams, like BB's squads, get progressively better as the season goes on. If they can survive the initial onslaught, stay healthy, and make the OL work, this is a playoff contender.
 

rymflaherty

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The line is certainly my biggest concern.
Admittedly, I’m probably not as concerned about that group as I should be, but I think it’s because they had an equally bad line last year, with virtually no skill players, and still won 10 games and averaged nearly 4 yards a rush.
My hope would be that they settle on a five and they are able to stay (mostly) healthy, as I do believe communication, continuity and properly executing a scheme can mask the lack of individual talent some.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Is Hunter Long healthy? Shaheen is definitely a Tua red zone guy.

Shaheen is definitely out. it is unclear that Jackson will miss the game. Miami only recalled one player to the active roster (CB Perry) when they announced this, so maybe Jackson will be eligible. Still, the the lack of depth on the o-line might again become an issue
 

rymflaherty

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Not sure if Long is ready to contribute, but I believe he’s healthy. He was in the majority of that third pre-season game. Had an awful drop on a deep pass.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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These are all very valid points and criticisms. What gives a lot of us hope is the previous 2 seasons, Miami has significantly outperformed expectations both years Flores has been the coach. Their end result has been greater than the underlying talent suggests. This is a sign of good coaching and we’re trusting Flores and co. to mask some of the obvious deficiencies. You can’t mask 5 bad offensive linemen, so we’re in agreement that some of those guys will need to step up.

Also, on Miami’s roster construction, if you’re in a division with Buffalo and in the same conference as the Chiefs, your defense should be built to stop the pass. Will Miami have issues stopping the run versus the Pats and Ravens? Probably. But finding a run stuffing LB on the waiver wire or in free agency is a lot easier than finding a good coverage safety or good CB2.
So, isnt it also possible that the talent on the team exceeded expectations, and the Dolphins were simply playing to their talent level, not above it because of Flores?

Gaskins got half a season of starts, as did Gesecki, who came in with high expectations. Fitzpatrick is a perfecty acceptable fringe starter. There was plenty of expectations for Tua based on his talent level. Eric Rowe had a career renaissance moving from corner to safety, something Patriots fans know all too well with McCourty (and thinking of his size and play style, seems like a no-brainer with hindsight.) You had one of the best 1-2 corner combos in the league with Howard and Jones.

I mean, with the secondary you had, it should come as no surprise that the front 7 was able to generate some sacks.

So, I guess it feels to me like there was enough talent on the Dolphins to pull off 6 wins. I dont look at last years roster and think Flores was the difference between 2 wins and 6.
 

rymflaherty

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Well, I haven’t changed my sentiment, I’m predicting Miami 27-13.

At this point, I’ll be pretty devastated if they lose the game. I get that the line is a weakness, but a weakness doesn’t have to be crippling if you are aware it’s a a weakness. I really believe that Miami is going to come out in an offense that has New England on their heels…like the WildCat game all over again. I really expect to see an rpo game, multiple motions and looks, receivers lining up everywhere and a creative short passing game to help offset what the line may lack.
So yeah…if they are just lining up and running Gaskins up the middle, relying on the Defense, instead of something like Waddle motioning into the backfield and then Grant running a Jet motion into some sort of screen…I’ll also be pretty bummed.

I really hope I’m right.
 

johnmd20

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Well, I haven’t changed my sentiment, I’m predicting Miami 27-13.

At this point, I’ll be pretty devastated if they lose the game. I get that the line is a weakness, but a weakness doesn’t have to be crippling if you are aware it’s a a weakness. I really believe that Miami is going to come out in an offense that has New England on their heels…like the WildCat game all over again. I really expect to see an rpo game, multiple motions and looks, receivers lining up everywhere and a creative short passing game to help offset what the line may lack.
So yeah…if they are just lining up and running Gaskins up the middle, relying on the Defense, instead of something like Waddle motioning into the backfield and then Grant running a Jet motion into some sort of screen…I’ll also be pretty bummed.

I really hope I’m right.
Pats are a 3 point favorite. Being devastated feels like a little bit of an overreaction. It is Game 1.
 

sodenj5

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Well, I haven’t changed my sentiment, I’m predicting Miami 27-13.

At this point, I’ll be pretty devastated if they lose the game. I get that the line is a weakness, but a weakness doesn’t have to be crippling if you are aware it’s a a weakness. I really believe that Miami is going to come out in an offense that has New England on their heels…like the WildCat game all over again. I really expect to see an rpo game, multiple motions and looks, receivers lining up everywhere and a creative short passing game to help offset what the line may lack.
So yeah…if they are just lining up and running Gaskins up the middle, relying on the Defense, instead of something like Waddle motioning into the backfield and then Grant running a Jet motion into some sort of screen…I’ll also be pretty bummed.

I really hope I’m right.
What we saw in the preseason gives me a ton of optimism that Godsey and Studesville know what they’re doing. I think you’re going to see a lot of what Tua did really well at Alabama.
 

Silverdude2167

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Well, I haven’t changed my sentiment, I’m predicting Miami 27-13.

At this point, I’ll be pretty devastated if they lose the game. I get that the line is a weakness, but a weakness doesn’t have to be crippling if you are aware it’s a a weakness. I really believe that Miami is going to come out in an offense that has New England on their heels…like the WildCat game all over again. I really expect to see an rpo game, multiple motions and looks, receivers lining up everywhere and a creative short passing game to help offset what the line may lack.
So yeah…if they are just lining up and running Gaskins up the middle, relying on the Defense, instead of something like Waddle motioning into the backfield and then Grant running a Jet motion into some sort of screen…I’ll also be pretty bummed.

I really hope I’m right.
This will be an interesting test of one of the core truths in the NFL. If your lines are bad nothing else matters.

So let's see how this goes, 27-13, is a bold pick for a game most think is a coinflip...hope you are wrong.
 

streeter88

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It’s a thread for Dolphins fans. He’s allowed to be as optimistic as he wants. Although your core truth has merit, there has been a fair amount of discussion about whether good coaching can minimize the negative impact of flawed units. Let’s see what happens.

FTR, I am excited for the battle of the Bama QBs, and I hope McCorkle wins it, both today and ongoing. Other than that, I wish Tua well - been awhile since Miami has had a good QB.
 

pdaj

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Well, I haven’t changed my sentiment, I’m predicting Miami 27-13.

At this point, I’ll be pretty devastated if they lose the game. I get that the line is a weakness, but a weakness doesn’t have to be crippling if you are aware it’s a a weakness. I really believe that Miami is going to come out in an offense that has New England on their heels…like the WildCat game all over again. I really expect to see an rpo game, multiple motions and looks, receivers lining up everywhere and a creative short passing game to help offset what the line may lack.
So yeah…if they are just lining up and running Gaskins up the middle, relying on the Defense, instead of something like Waddle motioning into the backfield and then Grant running a Jet motion into some sort of screen…I’ll also be pretty bummed.

I really hope I’m right.
Pats are a 3 point favorite. Being devastated feels like a little bit of an overreaction. It is Game 1.
Logically, looking at Game 1 as the primary indicator for how successful your team will be in a given season is problematic; but, man, is it challenging to avoid this thinking as a fan. Especially with how long the off-season is nowadays. There's just so much discussion, analysis, and build-up leading into the first NFL Sunday.

All that said, I wouldn't be devastated with a Dolphins' loss today, but I would be very disappointed. I think that today is one of the more "winnable" of the first five games. I view the starting of Mac Jones as part of that. YES, I get New England's excitement for the kid … but when you boast one of the better defensive unit's in the league, you're expected to make a QB struggle in his very first pro game/start. It'll be interesting to see how much this game being in New England operates as a bit of a neutralizer.

Regardless of today's outcome, I want to see Tua play fast and confident, make quick/smart decisions, and connect on several attempts down the field. Lastly, when in the red zone, finish! In order words, there should be obvious improvement from last season, similar to the glimpses showcased during preseason.
 

tims4wins

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Logically, looking at Game 1 as the primary indicator for how successful your team will be in a given season is problematic; but, man, is it challenging to avoid this thinking as a fan. Especially with how long the off-season is nowadays. There's just so much discussion, analysis, and build-up leading into the first NFL Sunday.

All that said, I wouldn't be devastated with a Dolphins' loss today, but I would be very disappointed. I think that today is one of the more "winnable" of the first five games. I view the starting of Mac Jones as part of that. YES, I get New England's excitement for the kid … but when you boast one of the better defensive unit's in the league, you're expected to make a QB struggle in his very first pro game/start. It'll be interesting to see how much this game being in New England operates as a bit of a neutralizer.

Regardless of today's outcome, I want to see Tua play fast and confident, make quick/smart decisions, and connect on several attempts down the field. Lastly, when in the red zone, finish! In order words, there should be obvious improvement from last season, similar to the glimpses showcased during preseason.
Yeah just limiting this to Pats-Dolphins, think back to 2014 when the Dolphins dominated the Pats in the 2nd half in the opener. The Pats went on to win it all. And then last year, the Pats mostly controlled the game in week 1, only to have their season go much worse the rest of the way while the Phins went 10-6 and won in New England in week 15. Week 1 is the most meaningless week in the NFL. Everyone is in a rush to judge teams, they overreact, etc. Even look at week 2 of 2019, Pats 43 at Miami 0. And then in week 17 Miami beat a 12-3 Pats team in New England.
 

sodenj5

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I’m literally hoping for a competitive showing so that I don’t need to hear any Deshaun Watson chatter 24/7 and I don’t have to hear “Mac Jones is the best Alabama QB in the AFC East” for the next decade.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I want to pop in here before it becomes a shitshow, which I think is likely with either outcome, to say that this thread is a great way for me to keep up with a division rival. Definitely some great curated insight and analysis. I know way more about the Dolphin's players, strengths and weaknesses than say the Bills.

I like Flores a lot, so it pains me just a little bit to root for horrific results for him.
 

pdaj

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Yeah just limiting this to Pats-Dolphins, think back to 2014 when the Dolphins dominated the Pats in the 2nd half in the opener. The Pats went on to win it all. And then last year, the Pats mostly controlled the game in week 1, only to have their season go much worse the rest of the way while the Phins went 10-6 and won in New England in week 15. Week 1 is the most meaningless week in the NFL. Everyone is in a rush to judge teams, they overreact, etc. Even look at week 2 of 2019, Pats 43 at Miami 0. And then in week 17 Miami beat a 12-3 Pats team in New England.
Stop with the logic! It's hurting my head!

(Haha, seriously, though, thank you for the great examples here to maintain proper perspective, regardless of today's outcome.)

I’m literally hoping for a competitive showing so that I don’t need to hear any Deshaun Watson chatter 24/7 and I don’t have to hear “Mac Jones is the best Alabama QB in the AFC East” for the next decade.
A-freakin'-men.

I want to pop in here before it becomes a shitshow, which I think is likely with either outcome, to say that this thread is a great way for me to keep up with a division rival. Definitely some great curated insight and analysis. I know way more about the Dolphin's players, strengths and weaknesses than say the Bills.

I like Flores a lot, so it pains me just a little bit to root for horrific results for him.
Thanks for popping in and being respectful, Mo! I always appreciate it when the majority of the Pats' fans on this site do so.

Now let's enjoy some football!
 

tims4wins

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Stop with the logic! It's hurting my head!

(Haha, seriously, though, thank you for the great examples here to maintain proper perspective, regardless of today's outcome.)
I think I've actually written this in this thread already, but this feels like one of those rare (at least for Pats fans) games where both teams fanbases feel like their team should win, and one fanbase is going to be pretty disappointed in the result. But the good news is both teams can (and likely will) have decent or better seasons whatever the result of today is.
 

rymflaherty

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Pats are a 3 point favorite. Being devastated feels like a little bit of an overreaction. It is Game 1.
It would only be devastating based on the expectations I’ve build in my own head and the conviction I have for it.
it’s also based on knowing if NE wins it means the Defense was beaten by a QB making their first start and that Tua likely played poor…neither of those those would bode well for the season.

I saw an aggregation of picks from various sites, and I think about 95% of people picked New England, so I’m aware what the majority thinks.
Maybe it is in my best interests to spend the next couple hours trying to calm my expectations…or having a drink.
 

Gash Prex

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What’s this part about?

“Fins writers are limited in how we are allowed to report this so team doesn't extradite us to Newfoundland.”
 

sodenj5

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What’s this part about?

“Fins writers are limited in how we are allowed to report this so team doesn't extradite us to Newfoundland.”
They aren’t allowed to report specifics on practices such as formation groupings and lineups. He’s just saying they couldn’t say Eichenberg was going to start today or they risk repercussions from the team.
 

dwainw

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I'm really trying to temper expectations for mental self-preservation purposes, but I'm still cautiously optimistic. How much will New England's running game dictate the flow and strategy of the game? Could be a real grind. A Bills loss would take a bit of the edge off.

Edit: Bills game ain't over. Dammit.
Double edit: Whew.
 

sodenj5

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Dub.

Offense at times looked very promising. There were protection issues, but NE has a legitimately very good defensive front. Waddle is going to be very good. Tua with the WTF moment on that spinning INT, but otherwise looked very good. Also DeVante Parker was eating on those RPO slants. He’s too big and fast to box out when the ball is coming out in one second flat.

Defense were on their heels at times but absolutely put the clamps on in the red zone. Huge takeaway at the end by Howard when it looked like NE was moving in for the kill. Run defense got better as the game went on and Miami looks like they dodged a bullet with Raekwon Davis.

Mac Jones looks like his game was tailor made to fit in the NE system. He’s going to be good for them and showed a ton of toughness. He also had an early wtf moment, but largely looked like he knew where he wanted to go with the ball.
 

Euclis20

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Dub.

Offense at times looked very promising. There were protection issues, but NE has a legitimately very good defensive front. Waddle is going to be very good. Tua with the WTF moment on that spinning INT, but otherwise looked very good. Also DeVante Parker was eating on those RPO slants. He’s too big and fast to box out when the ball is coming out in one second flat.

Defense were on their heels at times but absolutely put the clamps on in the red zone. Huge takeaway at the end by Howard when it looked like NE was moving in for the kill. Run defense got better as the game went on and Miami looks like they dodged a bullet with Raekwon Davis.

Mac Jones looks like his game was tailor made to fit in the NE system. He’s going to be good for them and showed a ton of toughness. He also had an early wtf moment, but largely looked like he knew where he wanted to go with the ball.
Understatement. Take away the first run of the game and the Dolphins absolutely dominated the Pat's running game (just 3.1 yards per carry and two fumbles).
 

pdaj

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I had to watch this while working today, which wasn't ideal, but I have some initial thoughts:

1A) I was impressed with Mac Jones and the Patriots' offense. Mac looked comfortable, stood tall in the pocket, made great decisions, and delivered catchable passes. His skillset combined with New England's offensive line is going to be a problem for opposing teams.

1B) As a Miami fan, I'm incredibly jealous of the offensive line unit for the Patriots.

2) I thought that the "low tackle" flag call on Elandon Roberts was utter BS. To have that zebra call make a 4th down/punt situation into the red zone /eventual TD score was infuriating, at the time.

3) BB/McDaniels, like last year's opener, managed to grind out many time-consuming drives today. It's hard for an opponent's offense to get into rhythm when they're primarily spectators.

4) I'm not sure another HC/DC plays BB's bend-but-don't-break style of defense better than Flores. It's hard to put together such long drives without eventually being called for a penalty or committing a turnover. That arguably was the story today.

5) Tua showed glimpses today, but I am far from convinced after today's performance. That interception throw was inexcusable. Sure, perhaps if he connects with Wilson on that TD score, things would "feel" a little better, but I think that he clearly needs more time. He's a semi-rookie at this point. Based on this one game, Mac looks more comfortable in his team's offense, and that's a bit disappointing.

6) Final thoughts: A) Winning on the road is hard. B) A win's a win. Take it and run! C) I expect the offense to look a lot better in Miami a week from now.
 

sodenj5

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I had to watch this while working today, which wasn't ideal, but I have some initial thoughts:

1A) I was impressed with Mac Jones and the Patriots' offense. Mac looked comfortable, stood tall in the pocket, made great decisions, and delivered catchable passes. His skillset combined with New England's offensive line is going to be a problem for opposing teams.

1B) As a Miami fan, I'm incredibly jealous of the offensive line unit for the Patriots.

2) I thought that the "low tackle" flag call on Elandon Roberts was utter BS. To have that zebra call make a 4th down/punt situation into the red zone /eventual TD score was infuriating, at the time.

3) BB/McDaniels, like last year's opener, managed to grind out many time-consuming drives today. It's hard for an opponent's offense to get into rhythm when they're primarily spectators.

4) I'm not sure another HC/DC plays BB's bend-but-don't-break style of defense better than Flores. It's hard to put together such long drives without eventually being called for a penalty or committing a turnover. That arguably was the story today.

5) Tua showed glimpses today, but I am far from convinced after today's performance. That interception throw was inexcusable. Sure, perhaps if he connects with Wilson on that TD score, things would "feel" a little better, but I think that he clearly needs more time. He's a semi-rookie at this point. Based on this one game, Mac looks more comfortable in his team's offense, and that's a bit disappointing.

6) Final thoughts: A) Winning on the road is hard. B) A win's a win. Take it and run! C) I expect the offense to look a lot better in Miami a week from now.
Regarding Tua’s INT, I do think he was trying to throw it away but was rolling to his right and got hammered and didn’t get enough on it. Either way, he should have probably eaten the sack and kicked the ball away with the lead in the road. He has a history of hero ball at Alabama and you want him to improvise when the play breaks down to an extent, but have to be better there.

That being said, there were some very bright spots for Tua. He was running the RPO with a ton of confidence and efficiency. It was nice to see him push the ball downfield to both Waddle and Parker. He looked mobile and quick. Obviously you can’t declare him a Pro Bowl QB based off that game, but that’s a difficult defense to go against on the road.

Excited to see what it all looks like with Will Fuller in another big game vs. Buffalo next week.