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The Finsiders Blog
Andy Cohen: Opening The Mailbag
By on December 11, 2013 at 5:55 am

131210_AC_AMAndy Cohen In The Morning appears every Monday through Friday until the end of the season. 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. Who do you see as the team MVP at this point? @AnthonyFuda3

AC: A tough call. On offense you’ve got Charles Clay, who is really coming on strong. On defense you’ve got Olivier Vernon, Brent Grimes or Cameron Wake. At this exact point of the season, I’d give Vernon a slight edge over Wake. But that can change in a hurry. Vernon has 11.5 sacks and has been consistently good all year as has Grimes.

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Q. What are the keys Sunday to beating the Patriots? @blackredsoxfan

AC: The same keys that always come with playing the Patriots and that has everything to do with containing Tom Brady. You stop him, you beat the Patriots. You give him time in the pocket and he will dissect you, even with mega tight end Rob Gronkowski out of the equation. With all the injuries they have had, the Patriots are susceptible on defense. The Dolphins, in my humble opinion, have an excellent chance to win this game.

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Q. Would Charles Clay being doing this if Dustin Keller hadn’t gone down with a season-ending injury? @ Therealdnow

AC: Talk to the Dolphins and they’ll tell you that Charles Clay would have been prominent on their radar regardless of Keller’s status. But the truth is this: Keller’s injury created a large void and somebody had to step up. Clay has been the answer. I’m sure he would have had a productive season if Keller had stayed healthy, but not like this. Clay on offense and Olivier Vernon on defense are the two most pleasant surprises on this team.

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Q. Isn’t it time somebody noticed that Brian Hartline is one of the most dependable receivers in this league? @Cindyrodgers43

AC: Couldn’t agree more. Just look at Hartline’s consistency. Look at the tough catches he makes. Look at his downfield blocking. Not a bad fourth-round pick, don’t you think?

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Q. The way I see it, Andy, if Ryan Tannehill can just eliminate the one or two bad throws a game, he is going to become an elite quarterback. Is that how you see it? @bobbyrich999

AC: Hard to argue. You see so much you like out of Tannehill, especially over the past few games. But the critical mistakes must stop and he’ll be the first to tell you that.

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Q. Why don’t they ever use Dion Jordan? @ExplicitPolsky

AC: Actually he does play; he’s just a situational player because he happens to reside at one of the deepest positions on the team with current starters Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon having outstanding seasons. This doesn’t mean that a spot can’t be found for Jordan because there is always a need for more pass rushers; it’s just that there seems to be other priorities at this time. I like Jordan. I see big-time potential. I see the Dolphins utilizing him in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening this season, though with three regular season games left you never know.

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Q. Do you think the Ravens regret trading Bryant McKinnie to their now nearest playoff rival? @bum_spear

AC: Probably not since there wasn’t a place for McKinnie in the Ravens’ starting lineup. Having said that, there is no diminishing the significance of the McKinnie trade. While he no longer plays at a Pro Bowl level, he has clearly been a steadying influence on this re-shuffled offensive line.

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Q. Was the last pass a lateral or an illegal forward pass? @MDfin4life

AC: From everything I’m told, it was an illegal forward pass, but not by much. I believe if a touchdown was called it would have been negated following the replay review. Nonetheless, it will go down as one of the most bizarre game-ending plays you’ll ever see.

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Q. It always seems like we play New England tough in the first half and then fold in the second. What adjustments need to be made this week? @warriorboss2

AC: Maybe a flat tire for Brady on the way to the airport? Seriously, though, it’s probably as simple as the Dolphins winning the turnover battle.

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Q. I’ve never felt more confident than I do this week playing the Patriots. No Gronk and almost 400 yards given up to Jason Campbell last week.

AC: Not sure if that’s a question, but I understand your point. Given all the variables, it does seem like the ideal time for the Dolphins to finally prevail.

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Q. Do you think the Ravens will lose two of the next three? @jpapp21

AC: Very possible. Look at their schedule. They play at Detroit on Sunday, host New England in Game 15 and then finish the season at Cincinnati. They may just be underdogs in all three games. For the moment, the Dolphins need only to worry about themselves.

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Q. What has been the most uplifting story on this team? @Beckyann32

AC: An easy one. How could it not be the play of the offensive line after all the turmoil of this season? The fact that the line is respectable, despite all the changes, is downright remarkable. It says plenty about depth and resiliency.

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Q. What do you make of Joe Philbin being perfect on the season in red flag challenges? @bridgettmarks43

AC: The coach obviously has excellent eye sight.

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Q. Andy, tell us what’s going to happen Sunday against the Patriots. Are we going to make it three-in-a-row? @sallymorris16

AC: I retired from the prediction business earlier this season, but just for you Sally I’ll make an exception. I see the Dolphins winning this game, especially now with Gronk being injured. I’ll go with Dolphins, say 23-17.

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Q. So, Andy, picture this scenario: The Dolphins beat the Jets at home on the final Sunday of the season to make the playoffs. Can you think of anything sweeter than that? @robskyler24

AC: Probably, but it will take me a while.

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On Thursday, AC in the AM takes a look at the impact Joe Philbin has had on this team.

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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