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Saturday Dolphins Mailbag: Tua Timeline, Deiter Status, Zach And the Hall, and More

Tackling various issues on the minds of Miami Dolphins fans, including why the fan base is so focused on QB play and which running back will end up with the best numbers

Part 1 of the latest SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag:

From Jorge Boyd (@raga1922):

Hi Alain, this might be too technical, but how does the outside blocking scheme work and does Mike Gesicki have a better chance to block under this scheme?

Hey Jorge, in a nutshell, the outside zone scheme has the offensive linemen move more sideways than straight ahead on running plays, which forces defenders to run laterally and allows running backs to cut back. Without being an expert on the scheme itself, I would imagine it would make it easier on somebody like Gesicki because it might become more about technique and positioning than pure strength.

From Miami Dolphins Québec (@Dolphins_Quebec):

Why is the Dolphins fan base so focused on the QB play? Is it the search for the next Marino? Why is it so difficult to underline defensive and coaching success of the last two seasons?

Salut, there are a few reasons why the fan base is focused on QB play, and the first is that it’s so important to the success of a team. You have an elite QB, you’re automatically closer to being able to win a Super Bowl. More so than finding the next Marino, there was fascination with Tua Tagovailoa from the start because of his success at Alabama and being a high first-round pick, so that’s made him a focal point. And I do think that fans recognize that the defense was a big reason for the 19 wins the past two seasons, though many have a hard time giving Brian Flores any credit for the back-to-back winning seasons — in part because of his less-than-ideal relationship with Tua.

From Phinaholic (@dana_buice):

Hey my friend, if health is not a factor, which running back do you think will get the most carries this year, and which running back will get the most yards rushing?

Hey Dana, that’s a very good question because I’m not sure there’s a clear-cut answer. Because there’s a little bit of uncertainty regarding Raheem Mostert’s health status, I think I’ll go ahead and go with Chase Edmonds for both, most carries and most rushing yards.

From Chris Hyer, Ed.D. (@Chrishyer31):

With the Urlacher recent voice of support, does Zach Thomas make it to the Hall of Fame this year? Are coaches allowed to be in contact with players during this time period? What are most players doing before preseason? Anyone doing anything unique (travel or hobbies)? How do you think Fitzpatrick will be received as a commentator?

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Hey Chris, lot of questions, so rapid-fire answers. Urlacher’s support is not what’s going to push Thomas is; he’ll get in regardless. This year? Good shot. Unless I’m severely mistaken, coaches are not allowed to have contact during this down period. What players do varies, but we didn’t get much info on that during the last week of OTAs. Some players travel, others have camps, etc. Finally, Fitzpatrick should be great on television because he’s got a great sense of humor, he’s quick-witted and he’s sharp (not sure if you heard, but he went to Harvard).

From Ben Reiss (@BenReiss1):

Which veteran starters (not special teams starters) do you think might be at risk of being surprise cuts?

Hey Ben, yeah, I think there’s one name that jumps out here and that’s obviously Myles Gaskin after the Dolphins added Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel in the offseason. The only other starter who comes to mind here as a possibility would be Michael Deiter if the Dolphins keep Connor Williams at center.

From Hugo Castle (@CastleHugo):

I believe certain QBs need to be slow-cooked, example TH (Ryan Tannehill) … the pressure around Tua will not allow for this, right?

Hey Hugo, I don’t believe for a second it’s an issue of “pressure around Tua,” but instead the idea that you just can’t wait forever for a quarterback to develop. And I don’t think the Dolphins want (at least they shouldn’t) to wait six or seven years for Tua to become what Tannehill is right now.

From spaceship mirror (@spaceshipmirror):

What’s the story with Michael Deiter?

Well, Michael Deiter was born Sept. 3, 1996 in Curtice, Ohio, and attended high school in Genoa, Ohio … oh wait, that’s not what you mean, right? The story with Deiter, as I’m guessing you’re asking, is that he’s kind of a mystery man heading into training camp after being the starter at center last season. With Connor Williams working at center in the offseason, this certainly puts Deiter’s status in question heading into the 2022 season. Having said that, Deiter figures to have a role on the team, whether it’s continuing as the starting center or serving as a backup at guard and center.

From Waddle Truther (@Greekfreeek35):

Is Mike McDaniel the best coach in NFL history?

Ha! Is there any doubt? I will say this, he certainly made a big impression in his first offseason, way more so than a typical first-year coach in his first spring. That obviously speaks to his personality and how well he relates to players. We’ll have to wait and see on the other aspects of coaching, however, before we start throwing out superlatives.