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Andy Cohen: Opening The Mailbag
By on September 11, 2013 at 5:50 am

130911_AC_AMAndy Cohen In The Morning appears every Monday through Friday until the end of the season, except for the bye week. The column is posted each day at 6 a.m.

Have a question for A.C.? Submit your questions to Andy Cohen on Twitter at @ACohenFins. Andy will answer questions every other Wednesday throughout the season.

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Q. Do you think that the Miami Dolphins will make it a point to target Mike Wallace when we play the Colts? @courtsflooring

AC: Without a doubt. Don’t be misled by one catch against the Browns. Mike Wallace is a huge part of this offense. We all have a tendency to over-react after one game, but give this a chance to play out. I believe Wallace will average between eight and 10 targets a game moving forward. Hopefully there are a lot of touchdowns in there as well.

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Q. Do you think Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill have chemistry? @mattclayton78

AC: Definitely not the chemistry of Tannehill and Brian Hartline because they have been together for two years. But Tannehill and Wallace worked plenty together both in the offseason and in training camp. We began to see it in the preseason. I really don’t believe that chemistry will be an issue.

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Q. The running game was less than impressive. What do you think was the cause and what do we need to do to improve? @freddyghilino

AC: I wish I knew the exact cause. My thinking is that it was a combination of three factors: The offensive line failing to do its job, the backs failing to break tackles and the Browns having a solid front seven. History tells us that both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas have ability. One thing’s for sure: This needs to change in a hurry.

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Q. How important will play-action be with a struggling running game? @Pow766

AC: That’s the problem. As long as the running game struggles, play-action passes can’t be nearly as effective. There’s got to be a rushing threat for the fake handoff to work. Another reason why getting this fixed is imperative.

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Q. Andy, do you really think the RBs can improve in this 4 game stretch with this offensive line? @KicoLares

AC: Improve? Over what? Less than a yard a carry? Of course they will improve over that. The true question is how much they can improve? As I said earlier, I think it’s way too early to form any conclusions. Yes, a performance like that one against Cleveland warrants concern. But let’s see what happens against Indy. Teams are going to have to respect the Dolphins passing attack, which has to open up things for the running game. You would think?

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Q. Honestly, I see next week in Indianapolis as a must-win too if this team wants to smell playoffs. Agree? @finfan21

AC: Wouldn’t say a must win; I’d say an important win. Cleveland was a must win. I believed that going in and I never wavered. It’s hard to win two straight on the road in this league. If the Dolphins manage to do that, they would have made an undeniable early season statement. But a must win? Close, not quite.

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Q. Mike Sherman needs to get more creative. No rollouts. No play-action. He’s not helping either the right tackle or the offensive line. @SflBigDog

AC: I believe deep down the Dolphins knew they were a better team than Cleveland and did not have to empty the playbook. I’ve spoken to Mike Sherman enough to know that he can be very creative and there are plays built into this offense that will take some of the heat off the offensive line. I expect to see some of those plays against Indy.

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Q. Andy, you predicted 23-10 Miami over Cleveland. Great job with the prediction. @bribrown013

AC: No, I’m not opening a handicapping service and I probably won’t predict scores for every game. And I can’t tell you exactly why I picked that exact score other than two factors: I knew the Dolphins defense would pretty much stop the Browns offense and I figured Caleb Sturgis would have a good day. Thus 23-10. But, in truth, it was all luck. Well, mostly luck.

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Q. Am I crazy to suggest that if the Dolphins escape from these opening five games with a 3-2 record that they are in pretty good position? @kingbunes

AC: If you are crazy, then so am I. Considering the next four games are against Indy, Atlanta, New Orleans and Baltimore, a 3-2 record sets up nicely heading into the bye week. A 4-1 record would be even better. Hey, why not be greedy?

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Q. Andy, is our defense as good as I think it is? @jcofromsoflo

AC: Could very well be. I can tell you this: it has been a long time since I have covered a Dolphins D this formidable from top to bottom. I mean the front seven is as good as any in the league and it’s obvious that there is an upgrade at cornerback as well. Having said that, the Cleveland Browns won’t lead the league in any offensive categories. Indy will be a better test and the following two games – Atlanta and New Orleans – will be the supreme tests. That’s when we will know for sure.

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Q. Why did Koa Misi get a contract extension and not Randy Starks? @ numbskullgop

AC: Because Misi’s contract negotiations went smoother. I believe strongly the Dolphins want to re-sign Starks and he wants to re-sign with them. I know the two sides have exchanged proposals. But it’s obvious that the numbers currently don’t work for Starks and they did work for Misi. Stay tuned.

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Q. OK, Andy. You were so good picking the Browns game, let’s see what you can do with the Colts. Bring it on! @travis_tco

AC: OK, I’ll go for it. But this is it for a few weeks and once I totally botch this pick, you probably won’t ask me for another one anyway. I don’t see any reason why the Dolphins can’t beat the Colts, any reason why this defense can’t slow down Luck and Co. Let’s go with: Dolphins 20, Colts 14. Just be prepared to deposit that pick in your computer’s trash bin.

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On Thursday: A.C. in the A.M. takes a look at two former Dolphins who keep giving

Click here for more A.C. In The A.M. Columns


Please Note:
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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