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Dolphins Tuesday Mailbag: What's the Biggest Reason for the Running Game Issues?

Other topics include the Miami Dolphins offensive line, why Albert Wilson over Mack Hollins, potential 2022 free agent targets, and many more

Part 1 of the post-Giants, pre-bye SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag:

From Jeff Golden (@Goldenjeff72):

There is a narrative that the offensive line is young and they need a veteran presence and better coaching. Could the same not be said about the offensive line coach, who is also a rookie and should be given time to develop as a coach?

Hey Jeff, that’s a fair point on the surface, but maybe it’s not a great idea to have a coach who needs on-the-job training overseeing a unit that really could have used somebody with a lot of NFL experience.

From jorge boyd (@raga1922):

Hi Alain, how good is Brandon Jones in the Dolphins defense and do you think he has been missed in the two games they have played without him, what injury does he have?

Hey Jorge, I do think Brandon Jones is a good player, particularly with his ability to blitz and tackle. That said, look at the results of the past two games and the Dolphins held Carolina and the Giants to 10 and nine points. So it’s hard to say they’ve really missed him — and that’s in part because Eric Rowe has been very good.

From Chris Davis (@KyLouFinFan):

Thank you. Do you think the turnaround is due to better playing, better coaching, schedule, luck, something else or a combination? If it’s number 1 or 2 that’s got to be a legit target for criticism, doesn’t it?

Hey Chris, it’s a whole bunch of things mixed together and I’m going to dive into it sometime this week. I’ve already dug up some pretty interesting numbers and nuggets.

From Reza Hariri (Therealrezpect1):

I like Gaskin & Ahmed, but I think a lot of our run game problems are due to their inability to break tackles and going down on first contact. There were some holes yesterday that should have gained more yards. Not all on the O-line ….Thoughts?

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Hey Reza, I’m with you. Got myself into a Twitter debate the other night because some fans won’t let go of this notion that the O-line is the worst in the history of the NFL, which is a laughable stance. And, without question, the running game problems have to include not only a lack of push and holes up front but the backs’ inability to make anything happen on their own. Every running back on the Dolphins roster entered the NFL as a rookie free agent or seventh-round pick and there’s a reason for that.

From MichaelAnthony (@mcapri27):

With Tua being a lefty, what can Miami do in FA to lock up the RT position? We can’t draft someone, we need to spend $ on one. Is there anyone available?

Hey Michael, this is a question that’s been asked before, but the problem is that high-end tackles don’t become free often (almost never actually) because teams make sure to re-sign those guys. So while right now we’re looking at Terron Armstead or Orlando Brown (though he wants to play LT) as high-end tackles scheduled to become UFAs, the likelihood is that they’re not going anywhere. Trent Brown of the Patriots is an intriguing pending UFA, but again is New England going to let him go?

From John Fiorino (@jtwin17):

Do you feel that Lindsay fits better with this offensive line than Gaskin? What plans does the team have with Doaks since they seem to protect him each week on the practice squad?

Hey John, I think Lindsay does fit better because he’s much quicker to the hole than Gaskin (or Salvon Ahmed, for that matter). That’s why I can see Lindsay and Gaskin splitting carries once Lindsay’s ankle gets better. As for Doaks, looks to me like the Dolphins are using this as a redshirt year for Doaks, who’s got some physicality to his game but also needs work in the passing game.

From Tuddle Army (@TuddleOnRadio):

Why is Albert Wilson starting ahead of Mack Hollins?

Hi Tuddle, I’m not so much concerned about starting because those calls always come down to what packages the Dolphins want to use at the start of a game, but I am a bit surprised that Wilson is getting more snaps than Hollins, who just does everything he’s asked as a wide receiver. Wilson certainly does have more ability to avoid tacklers, which he showed against the Giants, so maybe that plays a role in him getting more snaps and maybe the Dolphins also don’t want to overuse Hollins because of his importance on special teams.

From Jeff Welt (@funnyesquire):

The players get time off during the bye, but do you? Hopefully you get some time off.

Hey Jeff, yes, I will get some time off. Not sure how much, but I will get some time off. — though before I finish answering all the questions I got this week. The real time off comes in the offseason.