Dolphins Mailbag: Talking Tua, Gaskin, Great Interviews, a Target Number, and More

Answering fan questions about potential veteran additions before training camp, the battle for the running back starting job and whether Tua Tagovailoa's days might be numbered
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From Reza Hariri (@Therealrezpect1):

Any acorns you think Miami will sign between now and training camp? Duke Johnson, Melvin Ingram, Malik Hooker, Kawann Short , David DeCastro?

Hey Reza, I absolutely could see the Dolphins signing a veteran before the start of training camp; in fact, I'd say it's probably more likely than not. Off your list, though, I'd scratch off DeCastro because he revealed he needs ankle surgery and might retire and I'd scratch off Hooker because I'm pretty sure the Dolphins signed Jason McCourty to play safety. Short is a good player, but I'm pretty sure he's a much better fit in a 4-3 scheme and the Dolphins use a lot of three-lineman looks. I'm not sure Duke Johnson is much of an upgrade over what the Dolphins have at running back, which leaves Melvin Ingram as the most likely addition out of your group.

From jorge boyd (@raga 1922):

Hi Alain do you think Myles Gaskin will do better this year barring any injuries or does anyone in the RB group have a chance to take his starting role for the Dolphins?

Hi Jorge, barring injury, I strongly believe this is Gaskin's starting job to lose, though I would suspect the Dolphins would prefer using a rotation at running back rather than relying on a "feature" back. Gaskin actually had some really good moments in 2020 and generally was productive, so I'm curious to see whether he can take the next step and become maybe a tad more consistent.

From Ken Dasher (@kdash65):

Ok Alain, here's one for you. Of all the Dolphins players you have covered over the years, who was the one who you never knew what to expect from in an interview? Do you have any funny stories to go with that?

Hey Ken, man, you're going to be testing my memory here because I've been covering this team on a full-time basis for more than 30 years. Ricky Williams definitely is somebody who was unpredictable in his interviews because he was in a chatty mood, he easily was among the most interesting players the Dolphins have ever had. But there were other times when he simply had no use for the media, such as when a reporter asked him his thoughts of reaching the 10,000-yard milestone and Ricky simply got up from his stool and said, "OK, I'm done" before walking away. If we're talking interviews, I'd be remiss not to mention former guard/tackle Mark Dixon, who always provided great answers. He was so good, in fact, that the editor of a local paper told his beat writer to stop quoting Dixon every time he was doing a general piece on the team.

From Miami Dolphins Québec (@Dolphins_Quebec):

What's the magic number (record) to consider 2021 as a successful season?

Bonjour, mes amis. If we have to assign a magic number to gauge success, it's awfully difficult to go with anything less than what the Dolphins accomplished last year. In fact, you have to go higher because there's one more game. Even then, the goal should be the playoffs regardless of win total. But if we're going to use a number, I'd say it's got to be at least 11 wins.

From Joe Tregellas (JTrey65):

With a 17-game season now in place, do you think single-season records will begin to fall quickly in the next 5 years or will durability issues keep them out of reach?

Hey Joe, I wouldn't think durability issues would be such a major deal with one extra game when it comes to those who work in the passing game, so I absolutely would expect all sorts of passing and receiving records to start falling pretty soon.

From Kenneth Acevedo (@Kenneth76478093):

I’m hearing the Phins are still interested in Watson. If so, does this mean Tua’s days are numbered?

Hey Kenneth, nothing is going to happen with Watson as long as his legal situation and his status with the NFL in terms of a possible suspension aren't resolved. Even then, it's certainly possible the entire episode will end up turning some teams (including the Dolphins) away from him. As it relates to Tua, the idea of trading for Watson was never so much about giving up on him as it was exploring the possibility of landing a 25-year-old bona fide franchise quarterback. So, no, I don't believe for a second that Tua's days are numbered — unless the Chiefs decide to trade Patrick Mahomes or something like that.