Dolphins Mailbag: Raiders Game Plan, Respect for Coaches, Receiver Room, Much More

What's the best plan for the Dolphins offense against the Las Vegas Raiders?
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From Jeff Golden (@Goldenjeff72):

Mon Homme, today I heard an opinion that Austin J was helped by having a veteran like Flowers next to him … but how important was it last year also for the O-line having a veteran QB helping out? Frustratedly yours …Jeff

First off, for those wondering, "mon homme" means "my man." Hey Jeff, having experience anywhere always helps because the more a player has seen in the NFL, the more quickly he can recognize what’s coming. That said, I don’t think anybody would argue that a veteran QB will be able to see what the defense is doing quicker and more consistently than a relatively young QB. That said, what happened against Buffalo in terms of the poor pass protection was a team effort and, yes, it’s probably fair to say the quarterbacks were not completely without blame.

From rob hellenbrand (@dolfanrob1):

You've covered the Dolphins for quite a while. I wondered how much respect the team has had for its various head coaches over the years from your perspective. Did they just roll their eyes at some coaches? Did some start out respected and then they later lost the locker room?

Hey Rob, this is a fun question. There’s absolutely no question that the respect factor varies from coach to coach. For example, I’m not convinced that Cam Cameron ever had the respect of his players; Nick Saban lost it when he started treating his players like college players (though everybody respected his football acumen); Adam Gase had it his first year but eventually lost it; everybody respected Don Shula; Dave Wannstedt probably had it early on but then it faded. It’s really hard to keep a locker room for many years, which is what made Shula so special.

From jorge boyd (@raga1922):

Hi Alain, the Raiders play cover 3 on defense, yet they saw the Bills tape. Will that change their defense for this game or will they only rush 4 and keep their cover 3?

Hi Jorge, the thing is the Raiders’ pass rush has been really good this year without having to rush more than four very often, so I don’t see why they would change anything.

From Hugo Castle (@CastleHugo):

Will Jacoby finish the first series?!?

Hey Hugo, all I have to say is, ouch! That’s harsh. Yes, Jacoby Brissett will last the first series and I’m going to predict he’ll last the whole game and the pass protection will be a lot better than it was last week.

From Joe Tregellas (@JTrey65):

What’s the game plan? Attack the linebackers with lots of TE action?

Hey Joe, from where I sit, the game plan needs to be to stick with the running game a bit more than the Dolphins did in the first two games, go back to quick passing and maybe some screens to give the Raiders pass rushers something to think about and maybe max-protect here and there to help out the offensive line.

From ChrisDavis (@KyLouFinFan):

Hey Alain. Thanks so much for the good work. Flores always says everything is on the table to improve. Think that includes ditching the 2 OCs or any other coaches? Hey Chris, first off thanks for the kind words.

I would tell you that I would be extremely shocked to see any changes on the coaching staff during the season. After the season, though, everything will be fair game if things don’t go well over the next 15 games.

From Riley Skalik (@Riley_Skalik):

How big an impact do you think a full Allegiant Stadium will have on the Dolphins? Will feel a lot different then last year’s game.

Hey Riley, you’re absolutely right that the game will have a totally different feel and I think it will help the Raiders a bit, but it’s not going to be what determines the outcome in the final analysis.

From Jake (@JakeMc945):

What WR is the odd man out with Fuller returning? My guess is Grant. Waddle & Williams can return punts.

Hey Jake, here’s what I would tell you here: If Grant was going to be the odd man out because the Dolphins easily could use other players as returners, then it would be fair to question why Grant was kept on the 53 in the first place. But I don’t see that scenario; instead, I see either Preston Williams or Albert Wilson as the odd man out and inactive against the Raiders.

From E-Rod (@phinfan2003):

In the event Brissett gets hurt, do you think Flores trusts Sinnett to be competent enough to play in a regular season game?

Hey E-Rod, I think the answer to that came when the Dolphins promoted Sinnett to the active roster instead of just elevating him from the practice squad until they had to expose him to waivers if they were to do it a third time. This isn’t to suggest that Sinnett would be given the offense for multiple weeks, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him starting a game in the event of a Brissett injury.