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Andy Cohen: Opening The Mailbag
By on September 25, 2013 at 5:50 am

130925_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. Andy, can we beat the Saints? @John_F_Moore

AC: John, if you had asked me that at the start of the season, I would have said no way. The Saints are difficult enough at home, but nearly impossible to beat on Monday nights. Now? How can you count these Dolphins out? They clearly must play their best game of the season, on both sides of the ball, to have a chance. But if Ryan Tannehill and his receivers can connect on a few big plays, well, you never know. That’s how far this team has come in just three games.

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Q. AC, what do you think of the Dolphins extending Jeff Ireland’s contract? @travis_tco

AC: I like it. Stability is so important in the NFL. Look at the Browns and how they are now tearing apart what the previous regime did. The Dolphins are moving in the right direction; Ireland had an excellent offseason. He is a good man. The last thing this franchise needs is to start over yet again.

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Q. How bad are the Dolphins injuries and what possible effect can they have on the Dolphins-Saints game? @78skadoo

AC: The Dolphins do not give out specifics on injuries and only start listing the status of the injured a few days before each game. Having said that, I feel better about the secondary getting healthier than I do the defensive line. In fact, I would expect both rookie cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis to be active against the Saints. As for the defensive line, if Cameron Wake can’t play and if Paul Soliai is still out, this will have a big effect on the game. You can argue that they are the Dolphins two best defensive linemen.

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Q. Why does the media hate the Fins? @peck_richard

AC: I’m not sure where you are going here. Now that the Dolphins are 3-0, you are going to see more love toward the Dolphins than at any point in a long time. How could you not admire what they are accomplishing? How can you not be impressed with Tannehill? The media will come around. They like a good story.

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Q. Do you think the weakness of the defensive line is a big reason to get a Paul Soliai deal done assuming he recovers from his injury? @bigdaddydolphin

AC: The Dolphins clearly missed Soliai’s presence against the Falcons and there should be little doubt that he is the best run-stuffer among the linemen. I expect the Dolphins to re-sign either Soliai or Randy Starks, but I’m not sure there is enough cap room to sign both. We’ll see. For now, I just hope Soliai can return sooner than later.

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Q. Andy, why isn’t Dion Jordan getting more reps? He is making plays when he gets a chance and Sunday showed he deserves it. @kyhemi1

AC: He is getting more reps and will get more reps. Jordan played about 30 defensive snaps against the Falcons and now that it appears Wake may miss some time with a sprained knee, Jordan should play a lot more against the Saints. He is too talented and the Dolphins have too much invested in him not to be a regular contributor. He is a big defensive play waiting to happen.

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Q. Andy, why can’t we put a pass over the top? Gotta at least try. @Bob_Mattis

AC: Couldn’t agree more. I kept sitting in the press box last Sunday waiting for the Dolphins to go long at least one time to Mike Wallace. Granted, he was seeing a lot of double coverage but he’s one of those players where it holds true that if he’s covered, he’s open. If I had my way, the Dolphins would attempt a deep throw to Wallace no less than twice a game.

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Q. AC, are the Fish for real? @NolemanJason

AC: Well, NJ, my conclusion after three games is that they are indeed for real. You don’t beat Indy and Atlanta if you aren’t legit. You don’t go three games without giving up a fourth quarter touchdown if something special isn’t brewing. Now, the big question: How real is for real? The answer will come in this team’s ability to protect Tannehill. Give him time and the Dolphins can beat anyone on their schedule. Batter him with hits and he’s going to be one sore player.

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Q. Do you think we have a real chance of beating the Patriots in the AFC East? @66SamThompson

AC: No doubt about it. The Patriots are a flawed team right now and their schedule is about to get a lot more difficult. Having said that, Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and you can never look past that. Circle Oct. 27th on your calendar. That’s when they first meet up in Foxboro. That game will answer plenty of questions.

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Q. Is the offensive play-calling suspect at times? @Ajbizzle

AC: You can always second-guess the play-calling with 60 or so plays each game. What I always ask is this: Do they put the ball in the hands of the biggest playmakers? With the exception of wanting to see more of Mike Wallace, the answer is yes. I can tell you this: The winning touchdown pass to Dion Sims was a sweet play call as was the bubble screen to Wallace the week before in Indy.

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Q. Can this defense hold up without Wake? @TonyKrs

AC: Yes, to a certain degree. But let’s just hope it’s not for long.

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Q. If we lose the next two games, will we still be happy with a 3-2 start or are expectations raised already by going 3-0? @Pow766

AC: In the big picture, a 3-2 start still puts the Dolphins in a good spot with a schedule that, at least on paper, turns easier after the bye. But, yes, a 3-0 start has raised expectations and it should. The Dolphins are clearly good enough to win at least one of these next two games.

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Q. Andy, love your daily column. My question: Are we going to be OK at tight end? @Kingbunes

AC: Had serious concerns only a few weeks ago. But since Charles Clay stepped up his game and Dion Sims came up with that one-handed catch against the Falcons, I feel a lot better. Nobody on this roster can duplicate what Dustin Keller could do going deep down the middle of the field. But tight end by committee seems to be working out just fine.

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Q. Andy, we’ve had three comeback wins without being 100 percent healthy and without the best of execution. How good can this team become?

AC: Playoff good.

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On Thursday, AC in the AM takes a look at Dion Jordan and his relationship with Cameron Wake

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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