Friday, October 11, 2013
Miami Dolphins bye-week mailbag
By James Walker
The Miami Dolphins are 3-2 heading into their bye. Let's see what is on the mind of Dolphins fans.
JulianMTZ0325 via Twitter writes: Is there any chance Miami could make a solid trade before the table deadline?
James Walker: I don't see it, Julian. The two positions the Dolphins could upgrade are offensive tackle and running back. Two offensive tackles were moved last week, and I don't see much left on the trade market. As far as running backs, Maurice Jones-Drew would be intriguing. He's a good player stuck on an awful Jacksonville Jaguars team, and I think he would be a nice short-term fit for the Dolphins. However, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland doesn't like trading draft picks, and Jones-Drew would come at a cost. Jones-Drew also is looking for a new contract, and the Dolphins may not want to inherit those problems.
CurtisWKinsley via Twitter writes: Any news on when starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson might return?
Walker: I talked to Patterson a few days ago in the locker room, and it's still wait and see, Curtis. Patterson has a groin injury, which is tricky. If you try to come back too soon, it's easy to re-injure. Patterson had a setback earlier this season trying to rush it in practice. He needs to rest until it's close to 100 percent.
Dave from Ft. Lauderdale writes: Do you think Mike Gillislee will get some carries?
Walker: The Dolphins are 28th in rushing, but I don't think Gillislee is the answer. He's a rookie who has yet to earn the trust of the coaching staff. The problem with Miami is the offensive line is not creating enough holes, and tailbacks Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas are eluding tacklers. Both areas must improve for Miami's running game to get up to par.
Chuck from Franklin, Va. writes: Looking at Miami's schedule after the bye, is an 11 win season a reasonable prediction?
Walker: Whoa! Whoa! Slow down, Chuck. Yes, the schedule gets easier in the second half of the season. But 11 wins is still too much for this Dolphins team. Miami has a lot of holes that need to be fixed. I predicted 8-8 at the beginning of the season, and I may be willing to go up one more win to 9-7. But let's see what happens week to week.
AOliver917 via Twitter writes: Will Nate Garner be inserted at RG or LT for Buffalo game?
Walker: The Dolphins have not decided what, if any, changes will be made to the offensive line. That's what the bye week is for. Miami head coach Joe Philbin said he plans to stick with his guys for what it's worth. It sounds like the same five starters will be in place after the bye. One suggestion that I have is to add Garner and/or backup Danny Watkins to the rotation. They don't have to be starters. But playing one or both of these backups about 10 plays a game keeps fresh legs on the offensive line and provides the starters a chance to rest. That could improve the run and pass blocking.
FScoops via Twitter writes: Why doesn't Miami use more two tight-end sets?
Walker: Interesting question, FScoops. The Dolphins feel their strongest formation is three wide receivers, and I agree. Miami has four players with at least 20 receptions. Slot receiver Brandon Gibson has been a nice find and I think you keep him on the field as much as possible. Replacing Gibson's reps with another tight end such as rookie Dion Sims or Michael Egnew wouldn't be a smart decision.
SteveyFranchise via Twitter writes: Why isn't Charles Clay seeing more snaps from the backfield?
Walker: The Dolphins certainly have that in their playbook. That was the case with Clay in training camp and early in the preseason. However, Dustin Keller's season-ending knee injury changed Miami's plans. The Dolphins need Clay more as a pass receiver, and he has stepped up so far. Clay has 23 receptions for 297 yards and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing). He's more effective for Miami catching passes than blocking.
For future Dolphins questions, feel free to follow and message me via Twitter @JamesWalkerNFL.