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Saturday Dolphins Mailbag: Best Dolphins DB Ever, Different Tua Views, Why the Skepticism About the Team, and More

Tackling various issues on the minds of Miami Dolphins fans, from the coaching staff to a favorite long shot to make the roster, and the running back room

Part 1 of this week's SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag:

From Reza Hariri (@Therealrezpect1):

Who is your favorite Dolphins DB ever? If you had to name a long shot to make the team, who would it be and who would be a surprising cut?

Hey Reza, good questions all. I’ll start with my favorite DB, and maybe I’m going to show recency bias with my choice as my favorite on the field because I think I’d go with Xavien Howard, with Brent Grimes a close second. I just love the way they’re basically wide receivers once the ball is in the air. My favorite DB overall might be Sam Madison, who was a great player in his own right and a great guy on top of it (still is and, no, I’m not sucking up to him because he’s on the current coaching staff). A long shot who could make the team might be CB Quincy Wilson, a former second-round pick whose career hasn’t quite panned out yet. Asking for a surprising cut is tougher because I’m not sure what would qualify as a surprising cut in your eyes. If we’re using as a factor name recognition, I think I’d look at the tight end room and maybe Cethan Carter or Adam Shaheen because I have a hard time seeing the Dolphins keeping five tight ends again.

From Phinaholic (@dana_buice):

My friend you have predicted & Las Vegas agrees Miami will be around 500. I see a team that will be able to run & pass at above average levels. I see a team that will be elite in pass defense & average in run defense. Where are the Fins deficient? What will be their downfall?

Hey Dana, I don’t think it’s as simple as pointing out deficiencies. And it just might work out that the Dolphins actually are better than they were last year and still might end up with the same record or even not quite as good. There’s absolutely reason for optimism for fans, but it’s also fair for Vegas and media members to be skeptical about their ceiling because of how badly the Dolphins came up short in their big test of the last two years, against the Bills in 2020 and against the Titans last season.

The Naked Isaiah (@Jefflintz):

I just saw video of Solomon Kindley. He looks thinner, which is a good sign. Will he be able to transition to zone blocking and make the team?

Hey Jeff, given the additions on the offensive line, I see Kindley as somebody who’s got a major battle on his hands to make the active roster, particularly since he’s not particularly well suited for the outside zone scheme.

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From jorge Boyd (@raga1922):

Hi Alain, today is kind of a controversial question. Why do other people say that Tua looks stronger this offseason, why does your opinion differ from others, what do you think they are seeing that your are not?

Hey Jorge, it’s not a controversial question. It’s very valid actually. I just don’t know what to tell you, though. If I thought there was a significant difference in any way, shape or form, I absolutely would tell you. Having said that, sure, Tua does look a bit stronger, but we’ve also had one look at him in practice so far this offseason and there was nothing worth reporting that day. I saw somebody write or tweet that there was a clear difference in arm strength, and I was shaking my head in disbelief at that comment because I just have no idea what my esteemed colleague saw to make him say that. I’m also not going to say or write something just because it’s what I think fans want to read. Just not in my nature. I will point out, in case you weren’t aware, that I did write that I expect Tua’s numbers to take an upward swing in 2022 and for his passer rating to jump to the high 90s. I'll also tell you that Tua absolutely can complete deep passes, unlike some fans have suggested, though that's not where he's going to make his money.

From CanesForLife (@JodyTipps):

Alain, what are you hearing about ZaQuandre Wright? From a pure talent standpoint, he may be the best in our RB room (imo). I think he didn't get drafted because of his rather circuitous route to the NFL.

Hey Jody, first off, I would have to disagree with you about a circuitous route being the reason White went undrafted. It’s too early in the process to have some kind of impression on him, but understand he’s a very long shot to make the roster after the additions to Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel, plus Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed returning.

From Dante (@GhostofMarino):

Hi Alain, the team is still littered with young players at key positions that need to take large steps forward for the wins to accumulate. Do you feel this coaching is better prepared to develop them?

Hey Dante, that certainly would be the hope, but the fact remains we’re dealing with a first-year head coach, so there's a bit of an unknown there. As with everything involved with the Dolphins, there’s absolutely reason for optimism, particularly here because there are some experienced coaches on the offensive staff.

From ChrisDavis (@KyLouFinFan):

In all your years covering the Fins what’s your analysis/prediction you’re most proud of (it’s OK to be proud sometimes) something you really thought about, were in the distinct minority and nailed? Thanks.

Hey Chris, I can’t (unfortunately) remember anything like that in writing, but I absolutely did tell a fellow reporter after Chad Pennington’s first practice with the team in August of 2008 that the Dolphins were going to make the playoffs that season after going 1-15 the year before.