Back in its infancy, before forced facebook sign-ins and other things, this blog would hold regular live events.
There were would be live blogs on game days.
There were be live blogs for question and answer periods.
There would be more interactive stuff.
That has gone away but I am trying to find a way to recapture that exchange here rather than do it on my twitter feed. And as I am not and never will be on facebook, it is impossible for me to go into the comments section and converse with you good people directly.
So I'm going to try something different this afternoon.
If you'd like, let's meet up here at 2 p.m.
You type in your comment, criticism, question or kudo via your facebook sign-in in the comments section. I will answer on the blog itself. I will address you by your by name, and do the best I can to discuss with you whatever topic it is you bring up. To get your answer all you have to do is refresh the blog to show my latest answer.
Obviously, if nobody shows up, this exercise will be an epic fail never again to be repeated. If it works out, if there's a market for this out there (so to speak) we might do it again and even perhaps revive the live game blog.
Today will be the test.
Speak with you at 2 p.m.
By the way, if you cannot be here at 2 p.m., leave your comment now and I'll address that first ...
ARMANDO'S LIVE BLOG RESPONSES:
Hi everyone, thanks for stopping in and participating. Again, you just refresh this page to get your answers. I'll type as quickly as I can. Just keep refreshing and they should appear fairly quickly. And feel free to chime on on other people's questions or comments within the comments section itself.
Hi Brian, I see Ryan Tannehill as a work in progress. Again. He is learning a new system. He has a lot on his plate. It doesn't seem to be all there for him right now and he's got a tough defense to deal with in practice. He has to be faster. Faster on his drop. Faster on his read. Faster to find a secondary receiver. Faster. Faster. Faster. Not there yet.
Gines, thanks for being here ... When I said his personality is interesting I obviously didn't want to get into specifics. Ryan is fine. He's not a freak. He's not an idiot. He's not weird. But he is sometimes aloof. He has so much stuff going on that he isn't necessarily one of the guys. That probably shouldn't be important. Brett Favre in his late 30s and with two or three kids, wasn't one of the guys on the Packers, Jets or Vikings but was still a good player.
But Ryan Tannehill isn't to be confused with Brett Favre. I think Adam Gase wants to bring more leadership out of him. Give him a louder voice among teammates. It will be interesting to see how that works because, interestingly, Ryan now has a baby. Another important issue to take up his time.
Hey Jay, thanks for checking in. If you have a question in the future, we will probably be doing this again. Thanks for your readership loyalty.
Luke, very good question. The short answer is I'm more concerned with the cornerback spot that is wide open than the OL. Why? The Dolphins have viable answers at OL. Laremy Tunsil isn't ready yet ... but he will be. You can tell he's going to be pretty good. Branden Albert is not a worry. We KNOW Ja'Wuan James can handle his business at RT. We know Mike Pouncey is very good. Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas fighting it out for RG? I think that's a solid competition if Thomas doesn't win at LG. As to CB, who is the person that will hold down the fort? The Dolphins are selling us this idea that a rookie who has never played, indeed, never practiced with pads in the NFL is going to be starting at Seattle on Sept. 11. Really? That's the answer? Xavien Howard would have to be a star to be able to go from the PUP list to the starting unit and perform up to standards for that to be true. Maybe he is. But obviously no one has seen that yet.
Randall, I can say that I see zero to suggest that Ja'Wuan Howard is feeling any fallout from the dislocated toe that sidelined him last year. Having said that, he looks bigger, but I haven't seen the kind of mauling push you typically want from a RT. Maybe he's just not going to be that kind of guy. He's a technician and he's made for a zone blocking attack. That could be more than good enough.
Debbie ... What you said.
Bob, my brother, that's like four different questions in one paragraph. You should be a reporter! So I've never said the defense is weak. Last year when it was poor against the run and gave up too many points, I thought one of the big problems was the scheme, the players' confidence in the scheme, the desire to play for certain coaches, etc...Not the case any more, far as I can tell. As for my gut feeling about the offense ... Right NOW, no, I don't see a lot of improvement. The practices now look more or less like they did this time last year. But knowing this is a new deal for everyone, and Adam Gase is doing a lot of experimenting and there's like five weeks to go before the opener (is that right?) and the O won't be facing a defense that sees them in practice everyday and knows what's coming, I think there will be improvement over what you're hearing about. I also think this offense will be better than last year's Dolphins dysfunctional offense.
For the record, Mark, I've never once second-guessed the Dolphins not re-signing Lamar Miller. If he gains 2,000 yards for Houston this year, I will not second-guess losing him. The reason is I do not believe in paying big bucks to running backs. I believe you use them up and let them go and draft a new one. Now, the Dolphins didn't actually draft a new one, they signed a retread. And history says Arian Foster, who has been often hurt, will get hurt at some point. Hopefully not, for everyone's sake. I have no idea if that moment comes, when it will be.
Steve and Stacy, awesome, coming in tag team fashion! Yes, last year there was much hype about the defensive line being great. And then the preseason happened and Cam Wake tweaked a hamstring and wasn't right the first three games. And Ndamukong Suh, learning a new system and apparently not loving it or believing in the DC, wasn't himself. And OV also had some lingering issue that didn't get right until later in the season. The point is the well laid plans got sideways. This year, there are similar plans, but the Dolphins believe they have UPGRADED with Mario Williams over Olivier Vernon. It is clear Jason Jones and Andre Branch are upgrades. Let me put it this way: Chris McCain, who gets a lot of play from fans, is running third team and has told me all he can do is compete and if he doesn't make this team, he's playing to make sure he makes another team.
As to the offense ... Gase was not happy after Saturday night. The offense got lit up by the D. But the O is still very much in the experimental stage. It is very much figuring out what works for certain guys. It is not a finished product and shouldn't be judged as such.
Hey Jeff, Uncle Mando would love to tell you the 2016 Dolphins are like the '15 Panthers but I'd just be making up stuff. Who knows? I do know this ... Those Panthers had an MVP QB in Cam Newton. That's all I'm going to say about that.
As for Jelani, he's just solid. Doesn't miss practice. Doesn't miss assignment. Doesn't misstep. Solid.
Nick, I have to be honest with you ... the speed or practice is not vastly different. There is way, way more interaction with coaches. Way more demand placed on the players from this bunch. I didn't see that nearly enough last year. But these players are professionals and they're trying to deliver what is being asked. I just think ultimately, more will be required of them both in practice and beyond than in the past. But speed of practice, crispness ... so far not necessarily night and day.
Ah, Robert my man, I held the live blog after lunch so you're hitting me up with the dinner question. Honestly, dude, I have no freakin' clue. I do know that in New York I'll be looking to get some good Italian. Folks, please leave suggestions where I might do that in your opinion...
Zach, I've been asking that same question over and over, louder and louder. Look, this Adam Gase offense is supposed to be TE friendly. And Jordan Cameron has had success with Cleveland. But I don't see it a bunch in practice so far. Yes, there's a catch here and there. Yes, there was a red zone TD today. But consistency? I haven't seen it.
And backup Dion Sims continues to suggest he's going to make some sort of career leap and ... hasn't.
I don't know if it's chemistry. I don't know if guys are still getting kinks of the new offense worked out. Or maybe it is the personnel just isn't what is advertised.
Duryea, Brandon Doughty is mentally very sharp. You can see it in how he practices. He has an inate ability to improvise and do what he thinks should be done. The guy is not a robot. And it mostly works for him. But I also see a ball that floats a little bit. I don't see a ton of velocity on that pitch. Can he improve that? Yes, with time. Will that make him an NFL starter? Not this year.
Thomas, if this OL isn't good then I don't know what the answer is. They have four former first-round picks potentially starting on this line. The other guy will be a third rounder. WTH!!!!! I look for the Dolphins to start to settle in on a starting unit after the Giants opener. Then we'll see how the chemistry comes along.
Steven, I think it's good that Ajayi saw Arian Foster do well in practice those days he was out. He spent all spring as the starter. Now he should understand that position is not promised to him. He's running hard. He better keep doing that.
Robin, Duarte can catch the FB. That seems to be a given with him. But the Dolphins want a complete TE who can block as well as catch and that needs a lot of work yet. He is running fourth team right now. I'm not saying he's getting cut. But he certainly has not already made the team. He has to get much better the next four weeks.
Harvey, you are absolutely correct. There's no excuse for that error to exist. First I noticed it. It is imported to that space by Stats, Inc. I'll see who I have to contact to get that corrected ASAP.
Chris, I think Adam Gase is really smart. I think he's willing to suppress his ego in terms of his offense for the benefit of his players. In other words, it's not about what he loves and the plays he'd like to feature. It's about the plays the athletes can best execute. I think he has the attention of his players. I believe they recognize he's a leader. I think he's brought together a pretty solid staff, none of which come to this NFL team because they coached with Gase in high school (don't get me started). I think he's 38 years old and is going to get his butt pounded by Belichick and Bowles and Gailey and maybe even Rex once or twice but eventually it won't be an issue.
Ah, Christopher, thank you for coming here and asking about Tommy Vigorito. No.
Robert, appreciate the FB question ... They let Miller go because money. Money, money, money, money, money. The guy got like $7.5 million per year from Houston. Would you pay $7.5 million per year for Lamar? Love the kid. He's all about the U and all that.
But $7.5 million?
Christopher, James Burgess has got to make a ton of special teams plays starting Friday night to stick around. He's fourth on the depth chart right now. I know he's young. I know about potential. But production. Immediately. On special teams. Gotta do it.
Andy, the offensive players see Gase as one of the team ... but not one of them. It's hard to explain. When there was an interception to end a practice last week, the offense did push ups. Gase did push ups with them. One of them. He taunts and teases players. He talks smack. One of them. But when he's in front of the team ... not one of them. Defensive guys want him to be on their side, too. They want him to be one of them. And he's said he's going to try. But ... well, he's not one of them. He's their coach.
AenonJessica ... Yes, I get that's two of you but is Aenon Greek? Seriously....Anyway, my sense is defenses are less technical than offenses and this is perhaps the most simplistic Dolphins defense we've had in a long time -- maybe since Dave Wannstedt. DL ... chase the QB and the ball. LB chase the ball. CBs play press or off man. It really isn't rocket science. And so they aren't thinking that much but rather playing. The offense right now is thinking. And thinking. And thinking.
Jeff, I would suggest you begin by reaching out to the people within this community first. Then go to social media. Is there not a San Diego Dolphins bar you can call? Anyone? Help Jeff out.
Mark, I think the Dolphins just weren't sold on Lamar early enough to pay him to get him relatively cheaply -- like $4 million. And once he got on the market, forget about it. Part of using up your own RB is putting a price on him that makes the team comfortable and the player feel valued. That never happened. As to holding their whatever ... What you think of Daniel Thomas?
Rohan, I've talked to Gase and he's told me how he wants to beat Vance Joseph and how he remembers reasons Joseph has beaten him based on the performance of their units. It actually is one of the reasons Joseph got hired. Gase figures if Joseph can figure out and give his offense trouble, he could do that to other teams around the NFL.
Coy, the Wide 9, while mostly a pass-rush intense approach messes up the running game in that it forces RBs to chop step and be indecisive. Younger RBs will go crazy. More experienced or smarter backs will take what they can get without overthinking.
Randall, Hull is third team because J-M Johnson has just shown great intelligence and no delay in making decisions and an ability to be athletic and explosive. Put it this way, Kiko got a rest day I think last week. The defense didn't slow down.
Awesome, Nick! Thank you. I love family style because, well, I can eat like a family. Haha.
Coy, in my opinion what this offense is missing is time. Just give them time, buddy. Rome was not built in seven training camp practices. Give them time.
Jeff ... Balls. Leadership.
Robert, Clyde is the nicest coach I've talked to in a long time. Salt of the Earth.
Yeah, Mark, you are right about $6.5 rather than $7.5. I should know better than to just rely on memory. Anyway, I wouldn't pay him that, either. Again, you get drafted. I use you up like a mule. I let you go and get a new mule to ride. It sounds unfeeling. It is. But that's how I feel. There are simply too many good RBs in the NFL draft every year -- history is the judge -- to pay that kind of money for somebody who is not Adrian Peterson. As for Drake, the history troubles. It seems the Dolphins forged a stable of oft-injured RBs together expecting the law of averages to help them out. So far ... not good.
Robert, any reporter who thinks he's one of the guys ... 1. Isn't doing his job. 2. Is an idiot.
Mike, the third receiver is Kenny Stills. And the Dolphins are expecting big things from him this year because he's really improved his work ethic over last year. Now, does that translate to 50 catches for 775 yards? I don't know.
That's going to be it for now, folks. I thought this went well. Let me know if you think it is worth repeating on a regular basis...