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Andy Cohen: Opening The Mailbag
By on June 25, 2014 at 5:55 am

1acam_FansAndy Cohen In The Morning will continue to run during the offseason, but only as events dictate. Be sure to follow Andy Cohen on Twitter at @ACohenFins

Have a question for A.C.? Submit your questions to Andy Cohen on Twitter at @ACohenFins

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Q. What now with the loss of Mike Pouncey for three months? @barbwire16

AC: This one hurts. Sam Brenner is generally considered the backup, though I wouldn’t count out Nate Garner, the man for all positions. You also know that Dennis Hickey will explore all outside alternatives. Three months from the date of surgery is Sept. 23. If Pouncey stays with the three-month timetable, then he’ll be back for much of the season. Let’s hope he’s a quick healer.

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Q. Andy, I’ve been reading a lot of good things bout draft picks Ja’Wuan James and Jarvis Landry. How do you rate this pair? @miamiU12

AC: Both are going to be very good players for a long time. James is already penciled in as the starting right tackle and, barring something unforeseen, I don’t believe he will relinquish it in training camp. While stiff raw and inconsistent in some areas, the upside is huge and the maturity level is impressive. Landry is a playmaker who will give this offense a much-needed spark. His long-term potential is off-the-charts.

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Q. Andy, is this the year Ryan Tannehill takes his game to another level? @mariodolphin66

AC: : I sure hope so. If you are looking for indicators, I saw a few important ones in minicamp. Tannehill is clearly embracing his role as a leader on this team. He is taking charge of the offense, which is good to see. This year will tell us a lot. I remain cautiously optimistic that Tannehill can find that next level.

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Q. Which rookie could have the biggest impact this season? @JohnnnieJH

AC: Well, I’ve already mentioned how much I like Landry. But the most realistic answer to your question is first-round pick Ja’Wuan James. He has been working as the starting right tackle since he arrived and there’s no reason to believe that will change. James has all the tools to be a 10-year contributor on the line.

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Q. Every year we seem to read positive thoughts about the coming year. Is there any reason to believe that this year will end differently? @bigdaddydolphin

AC: Well, I can tell you this. This is the most talent and the deepest the Dolphins have been since Joe Philbin arrived. There are a lot of questions that still must be answered in a positive manner – who is going to play center? — but you have to be encouraged at this point, especially with a creative new offense that is designed to cause confusion. Still, as it always does, it all depends on Tannehill.

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Q. It looks like Knowshon Moreno never plays a down. What’s the alternative? @AJwoods82

AC: Slow down a little. We’re talking arthroscopic knee surgery here, not reconstructive knee surgery. There is no reason to believe that he won’t return sometime in training camp, plenty of time to get ready for the season.  He is still in the prime of his career and brings a versatile skill set the other backs don’t possess. If for some reason he doesn’t play? Then you are looking at the same backs as last season.

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Q. What is your take on the Koa Misi experiment at middle linebacker? @Marcorodgers333

AC: I think it has a real chance to be productive. Misi seems to be fitting well on the inside and he certainly has many of the tangibles you are looking for. But this is one of the big questions I was referring to earlier. Misi must produce, just as the other returning linebackers must produce. The rushing defense can’t struggle the way it did last season.

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Q. What’s the one thing you like the most about Bill Lazor’s offense? @wandamurph212

AC: I love how he is taking advantage of the various skill sets of each player. For instance, the days of Mike Wallace lining up at the same position each down seem to be over. You’ll see Wallace in motion. You’ll see Wallace in the slot. You’ll even see Wallace lined up in the backfield. I see the same for someone like Charles Clay. One thing for sure: This offense won’t be predictable.

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Q. Andy, at this point, what’s your greatest concern about this team? @mindydolfan21

AC: It’s probably the offensive line. The loss of Mike Pouncey for three months has to hurt. Regardless, the coaches need to settle on a starting OL as soon as possible for consistency sake. Then let them work and grow together. It’s tough going into a season with five new starters on the OL.

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Q. Are we going to get the type of pass rush we need this season? @Barkley999

AC: I feel good about the pass rush. Both Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon are in the prime of their careers and, based on what I saw in offseason workouts, they could both dominate once again. Then add a more fit Dion Jordan into the mix and you’ve got some intriguing possibilities. The DL may just be the deepest area of the team.

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Q. Can Jamar Taylor make a big enough leap in 2014 to challenge for a starting spot alongside Brent Grimes? @az_dolfan

AC: Most definitely. I see three candidates for that spot: Taylor, fellow second-year player Will Davis and free agent Cortland Finnegan. Taylor took most of the first-team snaps in minicamp and that certainly could be an indicator. The light switch has clearly gone on with Taylor. He has a legitimate shot to play a major role on this defense.

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Q. Andy, give it up. Is this the year we break out of the 7-9 and 8-8 blues? @mariagomez434

AC: OK, I will go out on a limb. The Dolphins will not finish with a 7-9 or 8-8 record. Other than that, we’ll have to wait to see how training camp unfolds before getting any more specific than that.

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Q. Andy, if you were an NFL player, how would you spend this next month before training camp? @rozziejr616

AC: Probably in a big hot tub with the playbook nearby.

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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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