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Andy Cohen: Tackling Questions From Fans
By on August 13, 2013 at 5:45 am

130813_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.

I will be periodically answering fans questions in this column. I won’t sidestep you and I won’t stiff-arm you. So bring them on. I want to know what you’re thinking and I’ll try my best to tell you what I’m thinking. Just one question per person and please try to be brief. If you have a question send it to @ACohenFins. I’ll take care of the rest.

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Q. Will we have an improved offensive line this year? @Tom-Navarro

AC: It’s still too early to tell. I feel very good about center Mike Pouncey, right tackle Tyson Clabo and left guard Richie Incognito. All three should be solid. Left tackle remains a concern until Jonathan Martin proves he can get it done on a consistent basis. The next two preseason games will tell a lot. Right guard depends on how quickly John Jerry gets back from a knee injury and how free agent Josh Samuda progresses. Improved? I sure hope so.

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Q. I can’t help but think Ryan Tannehill needs to pull the trigger faster. What do you think? @freddyghilino

AC: I agree, but I need to temper that with the fact that I do not watch the same game tapes the coaches do and it is possible that Tannehill did not throw the ball because his receivers weren’t open. Maybe it was a smart move, a mature move. Still, with someone like Mike Wallace, when he is covered he is open.

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Q. Andy, have we seen enough yet to properly judge Tannehill? @finfan71

AC: Definitely not. I believe the next two preseason games will tell us a lot and I fully expect Tannehill to play at least a half in each of those games. He has had an up-and-down training camp and it is imperative over these next few games that he shows a level of consistency that is mandatory at his position.

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Q. We have a lot of talent and depth at running back. Who do you see being the odd man out? @warriorboss2

AC: That’s a tough call. Injuries could have a lot to do with it. But if everyone remains healthy, I believe the last spot will come down to Mike Gillislee and Jonas Gray. Again, the next two preseason games will be crucial for all the running backs on the roster because nobody has yet to demonstrate he deserves to be the starter.

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Q. What were your thoughts on Jonathan Martin’s performance against Jacksonville? @SpaceKat69

AC: Much improved. But I want to see the same improvement against a much better Houston defensive line this Saturday night.

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Q. How do you think Will Davis did against Jacksonville and does he get a lot of playing time early on as either the nickel or dime back? @DolphinPride72

AC: Davis had an excellent interception against Jacksonville and it is clear that he has better ball skills than either Vontae Davis or Sean Smith. I believe he will play a lot this season and if his penchant for takeaways continues, he’ll be an important part of this defense.

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Q. How is Ryan Tannehill’s work ethic? @numbskullgop

AC: This is clearly one of his strengths and a reason why the Dolphins were attracted to him in the first place. Tannehill is a gym rat playing quarterback. He lives and breathes football and, to his credit, he approaches this challenge as a 12-month job.

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Q. Is Dan Carpenter in trouble and what is his trade value? @schmidt _robby

AC: My gut feeling is that if everything remains equal that Caleb Sturgis will get the job based on both his rookie salary and the fact that the Dolphins used a fifth-round pick to get him. If this is the way it plays out, I am sure the Dolphins will attempt to trade Carpenter. His value depends on how many teams need a placekicker in late August/early September.

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Q. Why don’t the coaches give Ryan Tannehill more playing time in preseason games? @rosspb

AC: Keep in mind there are still three preseason games left and you don’t want to play him too much too early. Having said that, Tannehill needs a lot more work and I expect that he will play a half against Houston and probably into the third quarter the following week against Tampa Bay. I’m guessing that the starters will only make a cameo appearance in the last preseason game against New Orleans.

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Q.  Which undrafted defensive lineman has the best chance of making the 53-man roster? @phinfan2003

AC: The answer to that is clearly Derrick Shelby. This is a player with a huge upside that includes excellent pass rushing skills. He played a lot in the first two preseason games – two sacks against Dallas —  and, if his progress continues, I can not see him being left off the 53-man roster.

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Q. Who do you think the No. 4 receiver will be when the season kicks off in Cleveland? @JoshSalmon

AC: Despite missing time in training camp with an injury, Rishard Matthews has done a lot of good things. But so has free agent Chad Bumphis, who reminds me a lot of Davone Bess and whose ability to return punts will only add to his value. Right now, I’d give a slight edge to Bumphis to be the No. 4 receiver.

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Q. What are the chances of the Dolphins trading for a left tackle before the season starts? @Alexzanderrrr

AC: Very slim. First of all, no other NFL team is going to trade a quality left tackle, certainly not so close to the season. The Dolphins are committed to Jonathan Martin and I see them staying that course unless his performance deteriorates, which I doubt it will.

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Q. Is Daniel Thomas in trouble? Gillislee and Gray seem like the better back-ups. @BigBennyFl

AC: As long as Thomas stays healthy, I believe he has a spot on this team. This is his third season and the Dolphins have a lot of time invested in him. I still believe that Thomas has a chance to be an every down back, but he’s got to pick up his game and show that he can consistently get it done.

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Q. You spoke recently about some of the players on the Dolphins who should be good fantasy players, but you didn’t mention the defense? Why not? @rgkopp

AC: My bad. In fact, I believe the Dolphins D would be an excellent late-round selection in fantasy football. They have many more playmakers than a year ago and their front seven could be as good as any in the league. I see takeaways and touchdowns for this defense, which means big fantasy points.

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Q. Andy, tell us what you really believe about this year’s team? @therealdnow

AC: I really believe the talent is in place to contend for the AFC East title and a spot in the playoffs. I really believe this defense will be one of the best in the league. And, finally, I really believe that all of it will come down to Ryan Tannehill and taking the next step as a quarterback.

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On Wednesday, A.C. in the A.M. takes a close look at the offensive line.

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


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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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