Dolphins Mailbag: Shula, Griese, Available Veterans, Training Camp, and More

Tackling various Miami Dolphins topics, including NFL veterans who could help, the rookies facing the biggest transitions and what made John Offerdahl special
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SHULA VS. BELICHICK

From Tua Tickets to Paradise (@HansMichaelHolt):

If Bill Belichick closes out his career with 7-9 to 9-7 teams w/o Brady but surpasses Shula in wins, do you still consider him the greatest coach of all time? Please rank these TV puppets: a) Alf; b) King Friday (Mr. Rogers); c) Kermit; d) Lamb Chop.

I'm going to start with the second question first and say I absolutely have to go with Kermit at No. 1, followed closely by Alf. Of course, that's because I'm not familiar with King Friday and somehow can't recall Lamb Chop right now even though the name rings a bell. I also would throw the Swedish chef and Animal in there. For the football question, I think it's playoffs from now on more than anything that would cement Belichick's place at the top, assuming we put him in there in the first place because of the six Super Bowls. Regardless, six Super Bowls is six Super Bowls and to suggest that Belichick wouldn't have won without Brady might be a stretch.

LOOKING OUT FOR VETERANS

From Ken Dasher (@kdash65):

If you could pick up any veteran free agent currently available to help the Dolphins this year, who would it be and why?

Interesting question and obviously financial considerations come into play here, but the two names that jump out to me are Melvin Ingram and Mitchell Schwartz. They're both established veterans who would bring leadership as well proven production at positions of need, though their health would have to check out and the price would have to be right.

THE NEW VAN NOY

From jorge boyd (@raga1922):

Hi Alain, who do you think is going to fill the Van Noy role this year for the Dolphins?

Hey Jorge, Van Noy was sort of the do-it-all edge defender last year who would sometimes blitz, sometimes drop into coverage and I think that's got Jaelan Phillips' name written all over it. And, yes, he absolutely has the skill set to be able to do all of that. And you could throw Andrew Van Ginkel into that mix as well.

GRIESE AND THE SUPER BOWL

From Mark Schoninger (@SchoningerMark):

Welcome back! If we put a peak level Bob Griese on any of the past 5 Super Bowl losers, would any of them have emerged victorious?

Thanks Mark. It's good to be back, even though it was a fantastic vacation. Interesting question that I will begin answering by saying that peak-level Bob Griese was more like a surgeon than a bombs-away passer like Dan Marino. So with that in mind, let's look back at the last five Super Bowls: SB LV, Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 9, zero chance Griese would have made a different; SB LIV, Kansas City 31, San Francisco 20, this is one where peak Griese could have made a difference because Jimmy Garoppolo just wasn't very good that day, particularly in the fourth quarter; SB LIII, New England 13, L.A. Rams 3, Jared Goff wasn't very good for the Rams, but that Pats defense (guided by Brian Flores) was awfully good; SB LII, Philadelphia 41, New England 33, sorry, but it's hard to believe that Griese would have done more than Brady on this day; SB LI, New England 34, Atlanta 28, no, Matt Ryan was fine that day and the Falcons lost not because of him but because of a horrendous sequence after they had put themselves in position to slam the door shut on Brady and the Pats. Long answer short, I'd say peak Griese might have helped the 49ers beat the Chiefs, but can't see how he would have changed the outcome for the other four.

DOLPHINS ROOKIES

From Dixon Tam (@DixonTam):

Which rookie on offense and which rookie on defense do you think will have the most difficulty adjusting to the NFL and what will they need to work on to have a successful season?

Hey Dixon, if I'm looking on offense, the obvious one is Liam Eichenberg, because even though he's said to be NFL-ready, he's about to discover that NFL defensive ends are different than college pass rushers, even the best ons. On defense, it would have to be Jevon Holland, and that's mostly because he not only has to make the jump to the NFL, he also didn't play in 2020 after opting out. As for what both players will need to do, it's the same for every rookie, study hard, pay attention to the vets and work their butt off.

DESHAUN WATSON WATCH

From Eduardo Mata (@lalomata10):

If Deshaun Watson gets out of his legal woes, could Miami offer a medium-risk trade for him?

Hi Eduardo, my belief is that if Watson's situation gets resolved, there will be a strong market for him because of his ability as a quarterback, so I'm not sure any team will be able to land him at "medium risk," even if the price to get him in a trade might not be as high as it once was.

DOLPHINS TRAINING CAMP

From Daniel Normandin (@bignrm70):

Le camp des Dolphins ouvre quand?

Salut Daniel. The translation here is: When does Dolphins camp begin? The Dolphins and every other team except for Dallas, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay will be reporting to training camp on Tuesday, July 27, with practice scheduled to begin the next day.

JOHN OFFERDAHL OBSERVATIONS

From César Mercado (@Csarmerc10):

When mentioning John Offerdahl, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you had to say three virtues of Offerdahl, what would they be and why?

Hi César, without thinking too long about it, the first thing that comes to mind is toughness. Offerdahl was a linebacker who never was afraid to throw his body around. As for three qualities, I already mentioned toughness, and I would add athleticism and instincts. It's that combination of traits that made him one of the best linebackers in Dolphins history.