Dolphins Mailbag: The Missing Piece, Fuller vs. Waddle, and More

Miami Dolphins fans have questions and we try to provide answers
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From Rick_in_Texas (@Rick_in_TX):

Based upon all the recent additions/subtractions - If you had to identify "the" missing piece in our current roster, what would it be?

This is the point where I'm probably going to get killed for writing this, but the missing piece right now is a franchise quarterback. The hope is that Tua Tagovailoa can become that guy, but he wasn't that last season and he still needs to show he can get there. Beyond that, the other missing piece would be a Vince Wilfork type of run stuffer for the middle of the defensive line.

From Chris Roney (@ChrisRoney0):

Which Miami WR catches more 20+ yd receptions this season, Will Fuller or Jaylen Waddle?

Because Waddle's game was more versatile than what Fuller showed during his time with the Houston Texans, it says here that Waddle will have more long receptions. Besides, Fuller will miss the first game to complete his NFL suspension and he's also not shown the ability to complete a full season in the NFL yet, whereas this is something we don't quite know about Waddle.

From Mark Schoninger (@SchoningerMark):

What does it do to team morale when a player earns a nice contract via performance, attitude and hard work, then gets cut in the middle of the contract?

The knee-jerk reaction would be to say that it's detrimental , but the reality is every player in the NFL understands the business aspect of the sport. It also might be a bigger factor if there were a lot of players on the roster who had played a long time with Bobby McCain (since I'm assuming that's who you're talking about), but there's been so much turnover that doesn't apply.

From Gerry (gerardolifetree):

How is Miami Dolphins defense competing versus Buffalo Bills offense in 2021?

Hopefully better than in the 2020 season finale. ... LOL. The Dolphins just have to be better across the board against the Bills because they were awful in the final three quarters of that game, and that includes Xavien Howard. Getting more pressure on Josh Allen also would help, and hopefully Jaelan Phillips can help in that department.

From Brett Nesbit (@brett_nesbit):

Could Michael Deiter end up playing center and being effective?

Well, Deiter served as the backup center last year, though his only playing time on offense came at guard, where he played well. The reality is that since regular season practices are closed to the public and there was no preseason, it's difficult to gauge how Deiter looked at center. Could he be effective at center? Why not?

From Mark Ricci (@mdricci):

What specific changes do you foresee to the offensive scheme and approach, with all the additions this offseason?

I honestly wouldn't expect a ton of changes in the scheme, except for probably more quick passing, whether it be quick slants or bubble screens, which is where the addition of speedy guys like Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller V would come in.

From Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina):

Early matchups to watch vs Giants? 

We save the best for last. Full disclosure: Patricia is the talented editor/publisher of Giants Country on the SI NFL network. Patricia and I will be diving into the Dolphins-Giants matchup when the time comes during the regular season. Here's one early matchup I like in this game, even though it's not a head-to-head matchup per se: Jaylen Waddle vs. Kadarius Toney. The two first-round picks might have been the two most explosive offensive players in the 2021 NFL draft as two guys who can create big plays several different ways.