Dolphins Mailbag: The Tight End Dilemma, the Opening Stretch, Phillips' Potential, Tua, and More

Miami Dolphins fans have questions and we have answers
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From jorge boyd (@raga1922): I have a question for you, will Waddle and Fuller run the same routes or is Fuller incapable of running the slot routes?

First off, Fuller was an outside receiver for the Texans, but Fuller was used in different ways at Notre Dame, so don't think it's fair to pigeonhole him as purely a down-the-field guy. That said, not sure he's got the short-area quickness and burst that Waddle has (few players do), so Waddle most definitely figures to be the slot guy.

From A-Rod the phinphan (@TheGreatPhinsby):

Do you have a favorite rookie yet?

Well, Jevon Holland was born in Canada, just like me, so he absolutely has a leg up right there. Just kidding (maybe). The media was not allowed to watch the rookie minicamp, so it's not like we were able to get a glimpse at them this weekend. I'm actually not sure I have a favorite yet because I think the Dolphins have several rookies I'm excited about, specifically their top three picks — Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, Holland. 

From E-Rod (@phinfan2003):

With all of the offseason acquisitions at TE, who is most in danger of losing their job?

That's a very good question. With third-round pick Hunter Long, the Dolphins have four bona fide tight ends, and that's not counting free agent acquisition Cethan Carter, who will make the team as a tight end/fullback/special-teamer. The three besides Long are Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen. Based on past contributions, it's Shaheen who's the most vulnerable, but the contract situations also have to factor in because Shaheen got a two-year contract extension last year and Smythe and Gesicki will be free agents next offseason. Something has to give. If I have to make a prediction here, let's say it wouldn't shock me if the Dolphins traded either Smythe or Gesicki.

From Tua Tickets to Paradise (@HansMichaelHolt):

Jaelan Phillips level of success will fall somewhere between Dion Jordan and Jason Taylor? How do you see his translation to the NFL going for him?

Well, yeah, it's pretty easy to fall between Jordan and Taylor (LOL). I see his transition going very well because he's very versatile and I have confidence that the Dolphins coaches will deploy him in such a way that he can make an impact either as a pass rusher or even in coverage.

From Eugenio Tallone (@Ertallone):

Hi Alain, greetings from Argentina. Which would be the record you imagine of the Dolphins with a great Tua, a bad Tua, the same Tua of last year and the Tua you expect for this season? Thanks

I think the range for the Dolphins record based on Tua's performance could be anything from 6-11 to, let's say, 12-5. As for what I expect, I think Tua will be better because of the added experience, more playmakers around him and another year removed from the hip injury. How much better? That, I'm not sure.

RELATED: Diving Into the Tua Disrespect

From Eduardo Mata (lalomata10):

How manageable are the first five games on the schedule? From my point of view, a record of at least 3-2 will be vital. The RB room with Gaskin, Doaks, Brown, Salvon?

Manageable? Everything is manageable. But, yes, that's a very tough five-game opening stretch. The games against Buffalo and at Tampa Bay obviously are really demanding, but New England, Las Vegas and Indianapolis are no gimmes, especially if Carson Wentz finds his game again with the Colts. Going 3-2 would be really nice, but I'm not sure I'd classify it as "vital," particularly with the new 17-game schedule. As for the RB room, there's some young talent there, but I still maintain the Dolphins should have taken a running back at some point in the second round this year or last. If you look at the advanced stats and things like broken tackles or yards after contact, you'll see what I mean.