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AC In The AM: Opening The Mailbag

Posted Jul 8, 2016

It's time to open the mailbag and answer fans' questions in this column. I won't sidestep you and I won't stiff-arm you. So bring them on.

(Andy Cohen In the Morning – AC in the AM – will begin appearing Monday through Friday throughout the season once training camp begins on July 29. You can also follow AC in the AM by Twitter at @acohenfins).

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Q. Do you think we will see many personnel additions in training camp or is this basically the roster we will take into the season? @barbarastarr23

AC: There is always movement and I know the Dolphins constantly look for ways to upgrade their roster. But I expect most of the tinkering to be done on the bottom part of the roster. By and large, though, the team we see now is the one that will begin the season in Seattle.

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Q. Andy, if you were a player, what would you be doing over the next three weeks or so off? @bobbysimons44

AC: Interesting question. I would be resting my body, yet staying in decent shape. I would be smart about everything I do, but I would definitely take a long, deep breath, enjoy time with my family, maybe find a shady spot on the beach and slowly begin focusing on the rigors of training camp. I might even throw down a milkshake or two to remember what it tastes like. And if I went out late at night, I’d be using a car service to take me home.

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Q. Andy, one Dolphins player you’d like to have dinner with one-on-one? @solomonjoney 

AC: Another interesting question: I’d probably pick Ndamukong Suh, partially because we only see the intense side of him at practice and in the locker room and partially because I’d love to see what he can consume in one sitting. Hopefully, he would pick up the check.

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Q. I know it’s early, but tell me which area of the team holds the key to upsetting Seattle in the season opener? @vivianrodlin33

AC: Can I have two or three areas? Sorry, just being greedy. I’d have to say the offensive line. If the line can protect Ryan Tannehill against that Seattle pass rush and provide some lanes for a rushing attack, the Dolphins will have a real shot. It would also produce first downs, thus keeping Russell Wilson on the sideline.

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Q. Do you see Miami signing Arian Foster to help add experience in the backfield? @efj_1287 

AC: A lot depends on the way Jay Ajayi performs early in training camp. I don’t expect the Dolphins to look for another back unless the situation mandates it. They are also high on rookie Kenyan Drake.

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Q. Andy, over/under wins? @hippousmc

AC: My expectations are that this team has the talent to win double-digit games. But I’ll leave the over/under numbers to the guys in Vegas.

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Q. Do you think the passing of the Great Muhammad Ali will have any influence/motivation to fellow Louisville native DeVante Parker? @CharlesAbdulMc1 

AC: Without diminishing the impact Ali had on so many lives, Parker has all the motivation he needs for this season, given the injuries of his rookie season coupled with the desire to be a crucial part of this passing game.

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Q. Who are the starting cornerbacks? @TheLeftoversSPD 

AC: Well, the first one is easy; that’s Byron Maxwell, acquired in the trade with the Eagles. It gets tricky after that. I’m inclined to believe that No. 2 pick Xavien Howard will get every opportunity to win that second starting job. But I wouldn’t count out a player like Tony Lippett, who has shown major improvement from his first to second season.

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Q. It’s now or never for Ryan Tannehill with the additions to the offensive line and the exciting group of receivers. Wouldn’t you agree? @Owlizee

AC: I wouldn’t go that far, but I would say this is a crucial time in Tannehill’s development and we may be on the verge of seeing the true upside of this fifth-year player.

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Q. How likely is Jay Ajayi to see 1,000 rushing yards this fall? Could Ajayi and Drake total 2,000? @EJFootball

AC: Whoa, slow down a little. I’m not sure this offense is built for 2,000 yards rushing, though it’s a nice thought. I do believe Ajayi has the tools to easily surpass 1,000 yards, which really isn’t that monumental an accomplishment over 16 games. What I’m looking for is balance from the rushing attack, anything to take some of the heat off Tannehill and the passing game.

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Q. Andy, what position battle will you be watching most closely early in training camp? @FinsAlex 

AC: Clearly offensive guard. This has been an area of concern for much of the past two seasons and I’m anxious to see the impact No. 1 pick Laremy Tunsil can make. Right now there are five or six players in the mix for two starting guard spots. It is too close to call, but you’ve got to believe Tunsil will be in the thick of things.

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Q. Can this secondary close out games when they are up by a few points? @Kilofoxtrot923

AC: Sure hope so, but right now there are no guarantees. As training camp begins, the secondary is one of the most unsettled areas of the team. There are questions at both cornerback and safety as well as nickel back. I didn’t even mention depth yet. Yes, there is a feeling of genuine optimism about this secondary, but you can’t form any conclusions until you begin to see it unfold.

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Q. Andy, tell me one sure thing about training camp? @marilynseymore 

AC: It’s going to be hot. That’s about as sure as I can be.

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by our columnists and bloggers represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.