The New York Giants and Miami Dolphins get the national Monday Night Football spotlight this week. In an effort to learn more about the Dolphins, this week's Q&A is with Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider.
Ed: You wrote about this a bit already. Can Dan Campbell stick as head coach of the Dolphins? What are your thoughts on him thus far?
Kevin: I think he has done well for being thrust into the position with no warning, jumping from tight ends coach to head coach. I think he has brought to an underachieving team a sense of ownership and is trying to get physicality and aggression into a team that was built for finesse. I think Campbell has a shot at keeping the job next year, with a chance to build his own coaching staff and building the team in his image, but it will come down to how he does over the next few weeks. He is currently 4-4 as a head coach, having taken over a 1-3 team. If the Dolphins somehow make it to 9-7 or even 8-8 this year, I think he definitely gets a consideration - but that would take a 4-0 or 3-1 run over the end of the season. That's a tough chore for anyone at this point. I think Campbell gets an interview and consideration if he has the Dolphins looking better over the next couple of games, but it may simply come down to what other coaching candidates Miami sees as available.
Ed: Jarvis Landry or Odell Beckham? You can only have one. Which player would you take?
Kevin: Ouch. Great question, and I don't think there is a wrong answer. Beckham is obviously an amazing talent, and he is a home-run hitter any time he has the ball in his hands. I think Landry is the exact same, though he plays as a slot player more than Beckham. I guess I will take Landry, just because he is already a fan favorite down in Miami, and I love watching the guy every week. If you told me the two players were swapped and now Beckham was in Miami and Landry in New York, I would not complain.
Ed: You can put one player off the Giants roster into your lineup other than Beckham. Who would it be? Why?
Kevin: With the Dolphins' need along the offensive line, I would probably look to grab a guard from the Giants. John Jerry would immediately be able to get back into the lineup, playing next to Mike Pouncey again, but I think I would probably grab Justin Pugh instead. I think he has the ability to move around the offensive line, giving Miami a little more flexibility. Potentially, I could look at Ereck Flowers or Landon Collins as well, and would probably be happy with the move. JPP could slide in as a replacement for Cameron Wake right now as well.
Ed: You are game planning against the Dolphins. How would you attack them, offensively and defensively?
Kevin: Run the ball, run the ball some more, and when you get into 3rd-and-long, run the ball again. The defense has done nothing this year to prove they can stop the run, and, until they do, attack them hard on the ground. When you do throw it, stay away from Reshad Jones, who is playing incredible football right now. Brent Grimes is either dealing with an injury or age is starting to catch up to him, so he is a step off, and will likely be on Beckham, which could be ugly for Miami.
For your defense, it is all about getting pressure on Ryan Tannehill. With the offensive line unable to effectively block for an entire 60 minute game, Tannehill starts to rush his decision making, and he does not feel pressure well. Get the team into a long-yardage situation and get after Tannehill.
Ed: Who are a few young players with the Dolphins we may not know much about but should be paying attention to on Monday?
Kevin: Reshad Jones may not be a "young" player in terms of someone who is new to the team, but he is someone people do not immediately know. He's currently 6th in the Pro Bowl voting for strong safeties, but is tied for eighth in the league in interceptions, leads the league in interception returns for a touchdown, and is ahead of every other strong safety in the league in tackles by at least 21 tackles, with his 107 tackles putting him fourth in the league and the only non-linebacker in the top ten. He is a dominating safety that no one knows about yet.
For actual young players who might be able to have an impact on the game, cornerback Bobby McCain, a fifth round draft pick this year, has moved into the starting lineup and is starting to play really well. He will make mistakes at times and can be exploited, because he is a rookie, but he could make some good plays. On offense, rookie running back Jay Ajayi is starting to be involved more as he returns from broken ribs he suffered in the preseason. He is not threatening Lamar Miller for carries, but he is definitely getting his own opportunity to come into the game and make an impression.
Thanks to Kevin for the insight. Play nice when you visit The Phinsider.