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Andy Cohen: Opening The Mailbag

Posted By Andy Cohen On May 14, 2014 @ 5:55 am In Football | 6 Comments

1acam_Fans [1]Andy 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 [2]

Have a question for A.C.? Submit your questions to Andy Cohen on Twitter at @ACohenFins [2]

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Q. OK, Andy, the draft is done, you’ve seen what the Dolphins did. Are you optimistic? @RobbieM23

AC: I’m optimistic, but I’m also realistic. We won’t be able to know for sure about these players until training camp and into the season. But Dennis Hickey did address some important needs, especially on the offensive line. I really like second-round pick Jarvis Landry. He is a special player and could add some spice to this offense right away [3].

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Q. Your thoughts on the comments that Mike Pouncey and Don Jones made through twitter, the ones I’m sure they regretted making? @PabloG333

AC: Yes, they regretted making them. Everyone, including me, has to be held accountable for what they say on social media. You want to have a public voice? Then you have to adhere to the consequences that come with it. You say something inappropriate; then you own it. My advice to athletes: Be smart, be careful and be accurate. Before you send a thought, think about how it might be construed and don’t make light of serious situations.

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Q. What do you think of the Dolphins drafting 5 FCS players? Is it a risk or is it good scouting by Dennis Hickey? @FinsAlex

AC: Both. There is always a risk, especially for a player from a small school who did not regularly play elite competition. But Hickey clearly did his homework. He has a strong conviction on all five players [4] and he emphasized after the draft that he wasn’t scouting schools; he was scouting players. Go through the Dolphins all-time roster, you’ll see plenty of examples of small school players who made large impacts. Have you heard of Mark Duper?

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Q. In Dennis Hickey’s first draft, did he impress you what he did with the offensive line? @CourtneyNJ11

AC: Again, we won’t know the upside of these players until we see more of them, but he clearly made offensive line a priority. The No. 1 pick, tackle Ja’Wuan James, was a must pick because the Dolphins had a huge hole at right tackle. I liked how Hickey traded to early in the third round to get Billy Turner of North Dakota State. He obviously has a strong conviction on this player [5] and did not want to lose him. The pieces on the offensive line are coming together, a nice mixture of veterans and youth.

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Q. What does the addition of Jarvis Landry mean for our receiving corps? @Molverizer

AC: As I previously stated, I really like this pick. While his size and speed do not impress you, his ball skills are off the charts and I’m not sure any current Dolphins player has better hands. I think you’ll see Landry in the slot quite a bit [6] – he seems perfectly suited for that. But I also expect the Dolphins to move him around quite a bit. This young man clearly has the “it” factor.

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Q. If Dennis Hickey were a poker player, he’d play the man just as much as he plays the game. I think he really likes to get to know his players. Your thoughts? @dazmania1

AC: Interesting analogy. I can tell you if he were a poker player, he’d never give away his hand. Very shrewd man. But, yes, you are correct. Hickey really likes to get to know his players and those he is considering drafting. The one-on-one contact, he has told me, is as important in the evaluation process as anything. He wants to see the hunger and passion.

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Q.  C’mon Andy, I’m tired of all this talk about the draft. Isn’t it all meaningless until Ryan Tannehill shows us he can take his game to another level in his third season?  Vivianblue6

AC: You are correct. It always comes to the quarterback [7] and this needs to be the year that Tannehill eliminates some of the problems he has had in his first two seasons. Having said that, what the Dolphins have done in free agency and the draft is give Tannehill a better chance of succeeding by re-building the offensive line, bringing in a running back like Knowshon Marino and drafting a couple of young receivers.

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Q. Andy, I keep reading reports that the Dolphins “reached” on several of their draft picks. In other words, they may have been available in a later round. Your thoughts? @bobbyshaw616

AC: I have trouble with the “reach” theory. If you have a conviction on a player, and you truly believe he’s going to help your team, then why risk losing him by gambling and waiting? How do you know, for instance, that first-round pick Ja’Wuan James wouldn’t have been taken on the next pick? Sure, it’s easy to second-guess and believe everything the mock drafts tell us. But the bottom line is this: Can the guy play? If he can play, the round he was taken becomes insignificant [8].

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Q. Andy, do you have a gut feeling on any of the later round picks? @Paulrodgers444

AC: I hear some positive things about the linebacker from Montana (Jordan Tripp) the Dolphins selected in the fifth round. He excels against the run and is extremely quick. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the practice field.

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Q. How are we going to stop the run this season if we didn’t make a major move in that area in the draft? @rochellesimon21

AC: This is a major concern of mine as well. I think Tripp (see above question) has a chance to help right away. But I also think it’s possible the Dolphins will bring in another linebacker or two in the next few months. I hear there may be some position shuffling among the returning players, but I can’t get that confirmed as of yet. I do know that what we saw last season can’t continue into this season. Fortunately, the coaches are aware of that as well.

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Q. Andy, give me your early projection on what the offensive line could look like on opening day? @warriorman735

AC: A lot can change and probably will change, but here’s how I see it at this very early date: Left tackle: Branden Albert; Left guard: Billy Turner; Center: Mike Pouncey; Right tackle: Ja’Wuan James; Right guard: Shelley Smith. If you are counting, that’s four new starters.

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Q. Is the coaching staff looking at many of last year’s draftees like redshirts, given how much time they missed last season? @TCoughlin

AC: I’m sure they are. I for one certainly expected more out of the 2013 class, but I’m equally interested to see how some of these players react in their second season. I am most interested in Dion Jordan. He needs to show us that he was worth the third overall pick in the draft [9].

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Q. How are we going to turn around the pass protection failures of last year and is it the key to our championship run? @Doublea01

AC: The offensive line is crucial, but I will always believe the key to any title run is the quarterback. I expect much better pass protection this season with the possibility of four new starters. That’s how you turn it around.

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Q. Andy, I’m having draft withdrawal. Is it too early to ask you who the Dolphins might take next May? @bridgettm21

AC: I’m sure somebody is already putting together a 2015 mock draft, but I’ve got no interest in seeing it for a while. Let’s just hope that the Dolphins are picking late in the first round of the 2015 draft. Wouldn’t that be nice?

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Click here for more A.C. In The A.M. Columns [10]


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[3] He is a special player and could add some spice to this offense right away: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/photo-gallery/PHOTO-GALLERY-Jarvis-Landry/64639f9d-f884-44f1-a9d2-5d9391152505

[4] He has a strong conviction on all five players: http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/CRUNCHING-THE-NUMBERS%E2%80%88The-Dolphins%E2%80%99-2014-Draft/b9dd40ec-0eb8-4e08-8120-69d022263c48

[5] He obviously has a strong conviction on this player: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/audio/New-OL-Billy-Turner-Discusses-His-Abilities/afa4bc64-836f-4739-a844-40d47f78a048

[6] I think you’ll see Landry in the slot quite a bit: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/audio/Nat-Moore-Reviews-WR-Jarvis-Landry/c0853c84-ef11-4825-846a-324605f01d3a

[7] It always comes to the quarterback: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/1-on-1-With-Ryan-Tannehill/e3621891-724a-4363-addf-172f03475f34

[8] If he can play, the round he was taken becomes insignificant: http://www.thefinsiders.com/blog/2014/congemi-evaluates-2014-dolphins-draft-class?_ga=1.63550694.859221590.1399820208

[9] He needs to show us that he was worth the third overall pick in the draft: http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Hickey-Reviews-His-Day-3-Selections/154f0eae-e502-45d9-80b7-a9e7f714d175

[10] Click here for more A.C. In The A.M. Columns: http://www.thefinsiders.com/tag/andy-cohen

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