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5 Questions with the Dolphins

This week ahead of the clash at home with the Dolphins, I've sat down emailed with Matt from The Phinsider to learn about all things Dolphins. My answers to his 5 questions are right here.

BGN - It looks as if the John Beck era is set to begin this weekend. What are your thoughts on him? Is it time and is this weekend the right

Phinsider - Needless to say, I'm very excited about John Beck. I'm not saying he isn't likely to struggle and I'm not expecting some kind of miracle from him or anything.  But what I'm excited to see is a glimpse of the future.  I'm very much looking forward to watching the progress of John and it begins on Sunday.  As for his abilities, he's a smart player who is accurate with his passes.  It's said that he's a great leader as well, but we're yet to see that in Miami obviously.  What I
think we'll see, though, are more frequent shots down the field because he has a strong arm and is much more accurate on deep balls than Cleo Lemon.

This change was really a long time coming.  It was needed because now is the time for John to get his feet wet.  It's expected that Beck will be this team's QB of the future.  If that's the case, the time is certainly now for him to gain experience and to begin to get the "rookie kinks" out.  I question why Beck didn't start last week at
home against Buffalo.  That would have been a much better scenario for him to start.  Now he has to go to Philly and then to Pittsburgh on Monday night the following week.  Not the easiest stretch, but might as well get thrown into the fire full force.  If nothing else, it'll be a good way to judge his character and resolve.

As an expert on the Dolphins and the AFC East, you're probably uniquely qualified to answer this. Do you see one of the following happening this year? Pats go 16-0. Miami goes 0-16.

Let's first talk about the Patriots.  They are certainly good enough to go undefeated.  There's no question about that.  And the thing with New England is how good they are in all phases of the game.  Their offense is probably one of the all-time best.  Their defense is very
good.  And their special teams are exceptional.  They got dangerous return men and are very good in kick coverage.  I think the best chance they have to lose is the 3 game stretch in which they play your Eagles at home, travel to Baltimore, and then return home to play Pittsburgh.  If they make it through those games, I think they go 16-0.  But even at 16-0, there's no guarantee they can finish the job. It'll be tough for an opponent to have to go into New England and win in January, but I wouldn't put it past Indianapolis or Pittsburgh.  If I had a gun to my head, I'd say the Pats falter once in the regular season.

As for Miami going 0-16, I don't see it happening.  I think their games at home against the Jets and Bengals are winnable.  In this day and age, I just think it's too hard to go 0-16.  I think having Beck in there at QB will invigorate this team and they will be able to pick up one win, maybe even a surprise win at Buffalo, who have certainly
played better.

On that note, it's no secret that the Dolphins are struggling. I'm not sure anyone had them as a playoff team this year, but I doubt anyone had them winless by the halfway point. Where do you place the blame for the Dolphins struggles?

Well, I personally place the blame on all of the previous regimes that have ran the Dolphins.  Did you know that not one  original Dolphin draft picks from 1998 to 2003 is on the active 53 man roster?  These are the guys who would be in the prime of their careers right now. Guys like Dave Wannstedt, Rick Spielman, and Nick Saban are partly to blame.  However, that doesn't excuse the terrible play of this team
under Cam Cameron.  They commit too many penalties and too many turnovers are simply aren't good enough to overcome them.  Their best player is done for the year (Ronnie Brown) and their defense is a victim of old age.  I like what the Dolphins did in the offseason by purging the roster of overpaid, underachieving veterans, but never in
my wildest dreams did I imagine the Dolphins sitting here at 0-9.  I'm beginning to accept the fact that this team simply has no playmakers
anymore.  Like I said, I think they'll squeak out one win somewhere, but I wouldn't be absolutely shocked if they went 0-16.

Against the run, the Dolphins' D is one of the worst in the leauge... but the stats show that against the pass they are one of the
best. What has caused that disparity?

Well, first of all, stats lie.  That disparity is simply due to the fact that teams are able to run against the Dolphins with so much success that they don't throw many passes.  Then they get a decent sized lead and look to run the clock out by keeping it on the ground. But with that said, Miami's pass defense has improved from last year. Cornerback Will Allen is playing surprisingly well.  In fact,'s
Dr. Z wrote that Allen was having a potential all-pro season.  I, personally, wouldn't go that far, but he has played well.  But don't let the stats fool you.  This secondary is banged up (top 3 safeties on IR) and isn't all that good.  I got a feeling Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown could really have big days on Sunday.

5) If you could steal one Eagle for your own team... who would it be?

That's a great question.  I think the best player on the Eagles is Brian Westbrook but the emergence of Ronnie Brown makes him irrelevant for this discussion.  Before his injury last year, I would have said Donovan McNabb.  But at this point, I'd have to say it would be Trent Cole.  The regression of the Dolphins' defense has been quite sad to witness.  I think it's an issue of age combined with a lack of depth. The pass rush has been a major disappointment this year.  A guy like Cole, who is only 25 and on the cusp of his prime, would be a very welcome site in aqua and orange.  And it's not only his pass rushing ability that impresses me.  It's also the fact that he's quite effective against the run as well (at least from what I've seen of him).  His 5 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles, along with his 9 sacks, prove that he's a young, play-making defensive end.  That's
something the Dolphins sorely need, especially with Jason Taylor aging as quickly as he is.

Much thanks to Matt for his thoughts on all things Dolphins. Be sure to check out The Phinsider for his thoughts on the upcoming game.

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