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Andy Cohen: Tackling Questions From Fans
By on July 31, 2013 at 5:45 am

130731_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.

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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. Can the ‘Phins make the playoffs this year? What needs to be accomplished for this to happen? @mpatrickfh

AC: Sure they can make the playoffs. Every year there is a team that comes off a losing record to make the postseason. The Dolphins certainly have the pieces in place for that. What needs to happen? As I have said numerous times, Ryan Tannehill must show significant improvement over his rookie season. If he demonstrates that, everything else should fall into place.

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Q. How is Tannehill looking so far. Do you think he will take the next step? @miamiU12

AC: It is really hard to judge Tannehill’s progress based on practice sessions. From what I’ve seen, he seems to have improved his game in many areas. But until we see him against an opponent other than his teammates, until we have a chance to gauge his consistency, we really won’t know for sure.

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Q. How good could Lamar Miller’s breakout season be? @richardbaker

AC: I believe Miller has a real chance to be special. What that means in terms of yards is difficult to predict. But this is a player with explosive ability that you just can’t teach. He needs to show he can protect Tannehill from blitzers and he needs to demonstrate the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. The coaching staff is looking for the complete package from Miller. I like what I’ve seen so far.

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Q. Thanks for your reporting thru the years. What’s your win prediction for this season? @OilCool13

AC: So you are trying to pin me down and we haven’t hit the first of August yet? Well, I will tell you this: I see no reason why the Dolphins can’t win 10 games, even with a brutal early season schedule. If they win 10 games, they will be right in the thick of the playoff chase.

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Q. Will the defense fix the takeaway problem that’s plagued us the past few years? @freddyghilino

AC: I wish I had a crystal ball. I can tell you this, if they don’t improve, it won’t be because of a lack of effort. The coaches have spent an enormous amount of time preaching takeaways at practice and so many of the drills they have implemented all concentrate on that area. The Dolphins had 16 takeaways last year. I’m looking for at least 25 this season.

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Q. Who is the one player that nobody is talking about that will have a major impact. 

@rgkopp

AC: Back to my crystal ball. Actually, this one is pretty easy. Safety Rashad Jones is coming off a four interception season and has the look of a player about to take his game to another level. Boy, wouldn’t that mean a lot for the Dolphins to have an impact player at safety. When is the last time they had one of those? Louis Oliver? Uh, not quite.

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Q. What areas do you feel you have seen Tannehill improve the most from last year’s camp to this year’s camp? @DolphinPride72

AC: The confidence level is what stands out most to me. Ryan was far too tentative last season, especially in camp. He hesitated too long on his throws, for instance. But now there is very little, if any, hesitation. He is sure about his assignments and sure about where he wants to go with the football. I really believe this will translate into more productivity on game day.

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Q. I think Dustin Keller is going to be a monster weapon this season. Will it open up the entire field? @finfanct

AC: I look for this to be one of the biggest upgrades on the team. Keller is different than any TE the Dolphins have had in a while. He has big-play potential and can really stretch the middle of the field. I think before too long he will evolve into one of Tannehill’s favorite targets.

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Q. Who is the best player on the Dolphins for a fantasy football team? @therealDnow

AC: Wow, there are some interesting choices. Certainly you want to look at Mike Wallace early on. Should have a big year with some impressive numbers. But I would also strongly consider Dustin Keller at tight end and Lamar Miller at running back. Ryan Tannehill? Too many unknowns at this point.

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Q. Andy, anything really troubling you these days? @gophins1974

AC: I’d be a lot happier right now if Armon Binns hadn’t blown out his knee. He looked to me like he was solidly entrenched as the No. 4 receiver. Now the Dolphins must find depth in what had been the deepest position on the team. I’d also like to see five starters emerge on the offensive line so they can spend the preseason working together.

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Q. Which player has impressed you most and which player has disappointed you most so far in training camp? @phinfan2003

AC: Impressed me most? I’ve got say Olivier Vernon. He has made a quantum leap from his first season and appears like he’s ready to become an elite pass rusher. Disappointed with? I keep waiting for tight end Michael Egnew to show some consistency, but he is far too up and down. He had better step it up over the next three or four weeks.

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Coming Thursday in the A.C. in the A.M. – The mission to get more takeaways on defense

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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DolphinStyle says:

I enjoy the new column, Andy. And, I’ve been warming up to the new logo and uniform. Now, I may actually enjoy the “throwback” uniform games. I’m mostly in agreement with your A part of this Q&A column. For the fantasy football question, I’d pick the Dolphin defense. Granted, the question was asking for a player. But, I think the D will be a beast this season. I’m thrilled with the current coaching staff. I think we meet the Pats head on this season. Barring significant injuries, I fully expect this team to reach the playoffs. I think Tannehill will be greater than a “manager” at the QB position. With a great defense, it only takes good QB management to get it done. The prospectus on offense is getting a lot of attention. But, the O-line will have as much to do with the offensive success as Ryan Tannehill’s progress. And, I’m more comfortable with Tannehill than I am with the O-line right now. NFL players will be less surprised about Dolphin success this year than the NFL fans. 4 1/2 days til kickoff. Can’t wait!