Saturday Miami Dolphins Mailbag: Sanders Situation, Keys Against Steelers, Concussion Topic, And More
Part 1 of the pre-Steelers SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag game, which for the first time features questions submitted via email (email@example.com):
From Craig M (@Dolfan2334):
Alain, can you explain that the Dolphins are favored by 7 on Sunday night, especially how the team has played the last three games? Does a recently concussed Tua really make a big difference? Seems to me the pressure is on Tua & McDaniel on Sunday night to stop the bleeding.
Hey Craig, I think the point spread is a little high considering there’s only a one game difference between the Dolphins (3-3) and Steelers (2-4). That said, the Dolphins have had a different starting and ending quarterback in their last three losses and now they’re getting Tua back. It’s also a statement about the Steelers possibly not being a very good team right now, especially with TJ Watt out of the lineup. As for the pressure, it is present for each team in each match. I don’t buy this idea of a “must have” victory in October, although obviously you want to get things back on track as soon as possible.
From Tommy to Hialeah (@Dolphinfan201):
Are you heartbroken Flo won’t talk to you guys that are on the beat?
Hey Tommy, ah! Let’s just say it wasn’t a major surprise that the Dolphins writers’ request to speak with Flo this week wasn’t granted. Even if that were the case, there’s no way Flo is going to address sensitive issues like her leaving Miami, her relationship with Tua, her accusations of offering to tank me, etc.
From Herman Cueva Zuniga (@hermancueva7):
What are your three keys to the Dolphins beating the Steelers?
Hey Herman, I don’t do game keys like so many outlets do because to me they’re pretty much the same every time. And that always starts with winning the battle for turnover, which is often the biggest determining factor. And protecting the quarterback is always key to a passing-focused offense, and that’s overkill this week with Tua returning from injury. Finally, you can add avoid giving up the big play on defense.
FOR EVEN MORE COVERAGE ON THE MIAMI DOLPHINS, CHECK OUT THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED MIAMI DOLPHINS PAGE ON SI.COM
From Jorge Fernandez (@jfdad):
Hopefully Ingold plays less and they put more Gesicki. Sorry, I was high on him, but between lost passes and holding penalties. Put Mike over. He makes games.
Hey Jorge, well Gesicki always gets more snaps than Ingold and they play different positions so I’m not sure it’s that simple because Ingold plays less which means Gesicki plays more. Ingold will always have some sort of role due to his blocking ability, and Gesicki’s snaps will fluctuate depending on the opponent and the circumstances of the game.
Simple, who wins, why and what are the main confrontations that will determine the game from YOUR point of view?
Scroll to continue
Hey there, well, I already made my prediction for the match with all the reasons, but the end result was a 23-20 prediction. The three key matchups are the Steelers pass rush against the Dolphins offensive line; the Steelers wide receivers against the Dolphins secondaries; and Steelers special teams vs. Dolphins special teams.
From Dave (@angryvet59):
Lately, after a punt, Miami seems to be deep in its territory. Good bettors or just bad luck?
Hey Dave, it’s a combination of factors, including good work from opposing punters and special teams, a bit of bad luck on the rebounds inside the 10-yard line, and another factor let the offense opponent get a few first tries to end up wandering midfield.
From Jason Mitchell (@Mr_Ivorian):
Hi Alain, I know you’ll get lots of Tua’s and questions about the D, so how about this 1) Do you think Miami will go back to their retro uniform/logo soon? 2) What is the best and worst uniform in the NFL? (I think the raiders win and the Jags suck) Thanks as always.
Hey Jason, I like the change of pace on the questions. Regarding the first question, while I know there is a section of fans who love retro uniforms, I haven’t heard anything suggesting that they go for them. The best uniform would be the Chargers if not for the white helmets, so I’ll nod to the Tennessee Titans, who had the worst uniforms in the league IMO before changing to their current look, which I find extremely cool. At worst, hmm, I’m thinking of the New York Giants, which I find extraordinarily bland. I have to point out, though, that I’m no fashion guru (you can ask my wife LOL).
Hi Alain, can you explain the lack of outrage at the Steelers when they had three players who had CONFIRMED concussions in full practice after only 3 days when I’m still hearing from personalities in the media slamming the Dolphins to bring Tua back too soon after ‘only three weeks’? Why the huge disconnect?
Hey there, first let’s get the facts straight: Pickett was the only one of three Steelers players to suffer his concussion in Week 6. Tight end Pat Freiermuth and cornerback Levi Wallace didn’t played against Tampa Bay because of their concussion. Second, not all concussions are the same, and the optics of Tua’s injury in Cincinnati were so incredibly bad that they drew extra attention. And then you bring up the issue of Tua faltering after being pushed to the ground by Matt Milano four days before Cincinnati’s injury, and that’s what caused some media to sound the alarm. I’m also not sure why Dolphins fans are getting upset about this, because it’s not some sort of vendetta or campaign against Miami that people are worried about Tua’s return, but rather concern for him as a than anyone. I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
From Michael McDonald:
This is the first time I’ve asked a question. I have enjoyed reading your dolphin information for a few years. The Dolphins (players and coaches) naturally took the high road when it came to the issue of concussion spotters, even though it seemed to be applied unfairly in Bridgewater’s case. Do you feel there is movement behind the scenes to make the system fairer? Do you see the Dolphins bringing a kicker to compete with Jason Sanders?
Hey Michael, thanks for the kind words, but “a few years”? Where the hell have you been??!??! I laugh. The concussion/spotter issue is tricky because on the one hand everyone is on board with trying to protect the players, but on the other hand it’s not ideal that a single spotter can decide that it detects signs of ataxia and eliminates a player from a game. I don’t know if I would use the term “unfairly” when it comes to Bridgewater, as it could have been someone being overly cautious the week after Tua’s injury. But I would absolutely expect the new rules to be changed to not give an observer that kind of power. As for Sanders, I hear what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t expect the Dolphins to move there partly because they signed him not long ago to a long-term contract and cutting it in 2022 would actually cost the team. ceiling space, by overthecap.com.
From Count Gottfried:
Hi Alain, was it a slip that McDaniel said something about Tua throwing right handed or just a joke? You would think he was stronger with his “natural” hand. Did we ever say why Tua’s father taught him to throw with his left hand? Musical questions: what happened to the group Klaatu? By the way, which one do you prefer? Beginning of Genesis or Gentle Giant? Thanks in advance for answering!
Hey Earl welcome aboard the mail train and thanks for the rock prog question. Always love those. And I’ll start with that. I like Gentle Giant but I LOVE early Genesis – ‘Selling England By The Pound’ and ‘A Trick of the Tail’ are must-watches for me. Never heard of Klaatu, to be honest. As for Tua’s question, yes, I’m pretty sure McDaniel was joking. He throws little jokes like that quite regularly. As to why Tua started pitching as a southpaw, he talked about it at the 2020 combine when me and most of the Dolphins beat writers were on his podium in Indianapolis, but I can’t find the transcript and I don’t remember exactly what he said.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest dolphin news and analysis throughout the year. Also, you can follow me on Twitter at @PoupartNFL, and that’s where you can ask questions for regular All Dolphins mailbags. You can also ask questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.