Dolphins Mailbag: Eichenberg, Tua, Gesicki and Complaining After Wins

Tackling various topics after the Miami Dolphins season-opening victory against the New England Patriots
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Part 1 of the post-Week 1 All Dolphins mailbag:

Here we go: 

From Garrett Grimes (@GarrettJGrimes):

What are your thoughts on whether or not Eichenberg should stay at LT AND if Preston Williams should be placed on IR to make room for Fuller on the active roster? His foot injury seems to be a major issue, still. Thanks, young man!

Hey Garrett, thanks for the "young" comment (haven't been called that in a while). First with Eichenberg, that's a tricky call because I do think he did a solid job against New England but do we really want to give up on Jackson as a starter that quickly (and, no, I'm not removing Jesse Davis from the starting lineup). So I'd say not yet with that one. As for Williams, yeah, I do think it's a distinct possibility that Williams will end up on IR to give him more time to work his way back. But here's the thing, the Dolphins actually were at 52 players on Wednesday after Raekwon Davis was placed on IR, so there was no need for a move yet, though it's possible the Dolphins could sign a DT from outside the organization and then there's Adam Shaheen who might come off the COVID list this week. So it could happen.

From Mike Mangaras (@finfan_mike):

I got 1, Will Tua ever get the RESPECT he deserves? Or does he need to win a Super Bowl 1st?In all my years being a football fan /Dolphins fanatic, never seen a guy get so much doubt thrown at him.

Hey Mike, what I would tell you from my end is that in all my years covering the Dolphins (and it's more than 30), I've never seen a player for whom so many fans are this protective. I'm not also not sure what this "respect" is that you're talking about because from where I sit Tua has more than been given the benefit of the doubt based on the production we've seen. His record as a starter constantly is thrown out there by his defenders, such as his 2-0 record against New England, when the Dolphins won last December because they rushed for 250 yards and won Sunday because the defense held New England to one touchdown on four trips inside the 20. Period. Bottom line is that I don't know of a single writer (myself included) who hasn't written that Tua looks better than he did last year. But you'll have to deal with the reality that nobody is going to anoint him as a bona fide franchise quarterback yet because he simply has not shown enough to merit that title.

From Dixon Tam (@DixonTam):

What's the probability that Mike Geisicki will not be with the #Dolphins in 2022? Seems like team favors TEs that can block. As much as I like Geisicki, he's actually a really tall WR, rather than a TE. Hunter Long is being groomed to take his job, yes?

Hey Dixon, yeah, I kind of touched on that a bit when I examined the snaps for the opener and the fact Gesicki got only 21 snaps in the first game of the season tells you the plan called for a blocking emphasis at the position and made it difficult for me to envision the Dolphins shelling out big bucks to keep Gesicki beyond this year.

From Jordan Waldman (@JordanWaldman1):

Did it look like Wilkins was targeted in the run game? Looks like he was getting blown back in one-on-ones and spent a lot of time on the ground?

Hey Jordan, I honestly didn't see that, though he did get clearly moved out of the way on the first offensive play of the game when Damien Harris gained 35 yards on a run. Also remember that the Patriots averaged 3.2 yards per rushing attempt after that first run, so it's not like they were running at will against the Dolphins.

From StonedSports (@StonedSportTalk):

Why didn't they get the ball to Gesicki in Week 1?

As mentioned earlier, Gesicki got only 21 snaps, barely half as many as Durham Smythe, so that tells you the emphasis was on getting blocking from the position. In the passing game, the focus clearly was on getting the ball to Jaylen Waddle and DeVante Parker, which made perfect sense considering the weakness of the New England defense at this time clearly is the cornerbacks.

From Phinfanalyst (@Phinfanalyst):

Why did the Dolphins run so much zone in the first half vs NE?

Though it's not like Brian Flores and Josh Boyer are going to share their thinking with me or any other writer, logic says this was about breaking tendency (because the Dolphins are a heavy man team) and giving the rookie quarterback making his first NFL start something different than what might have been expected.

From Rob Reimer (@RobReimer76):

Hey Alain, How on earth did the PATS defense completely take our TEs out if our offensive passing game on Sunday?

Hey Rob, maybe it isn't so much the Pats taking the tight ends out of the passing game but more that the Dolphins wanted to focus on Parker and Waddle to take advantage of New England's suspect cornerbacks (beyond JC Jackson).

From Dan cottner (@DanCottner):

How well did Liam E, the LT play according to your eye vs PFF’s rating?

Hey Dan, I think Liam's performance was a whole better than the initial perception would have been when you consider the one really bad call on his first holding penalty and the fact he got tripped by Solomon Kindley on the sack he allowed.

From Chris Brooks (@seabrooxx):

Hi Alain...why do Dolphins fans cry even when they win?

His Chris, wow, let's end with a very dangerous question. Let me just say it's kind of the nature of being a fan to never be completely satisfied no matter how the team plays. And, let's be honest, the Dolphins were fortunate to pull out that win at Gillette Stadium, so I think it's fair, while being happy about the win, to understand the team will need to get a lot better in the coming weeks to keep winning games.