With three games left until an important offseason begins and with so many issues still to address, it's time for your Dolphins' questions and I assure you none of them will be sent upstairs to the replay booth for further review.
Q. The most remarkable statistic about Ryan Fitzpatrick is that this is his eighth team. I mean: What's not to like? Why have so many teams let him go? @Cindycrawley22
AC: I wholeheartedly agree. You would think with everything Fitzpatrick brings to a team that he would have found a more permanent football home long ago. I mean you look at him and he's not an imposing athlete and he doesn't have the greatest arm and maybe that's been difficult to overcome. But he is so smart, such an inspiring leader and sometimes wows us with a FitzMagic performance that it's hard to believe that he has bounced around as much as he has. I can tell you this with certainty: The Dolphins are fortunate to have him.
Q. Given this coaching staffs history so far this season with aggressive play calling, are you surprised that they continued to kick field goals rather than go for it on some of those fourth downs inside the red zone? @JeffHerman1
AC: Not terribly surprised. Every game takes on a different personality and this one from early on looked like it was going to go down to the wire. In games like this, you have to embrace every point, in this case every field goal. No doubt that a touchdown would have been huge for the Dolphins, probably game-deciding. But sometimes you need to tuck that aggression in your back pocket and take what you can get. On this day, it just didn't work out at the end.
Q. Andy, is there any compensation the Dolphins could give Cincinnati, in order to swap into the No. 1 pick for Joe Burrow or is that a pipe dream? @Phins4Ev
AC: Way too early to speculate about that. But I can tell you this: The Dolphins have accumulated plenty of draft capital, enough to pull off a bold move, and if they choose to embark on an all-out blitz for that No. 1 overall pick, they certainly have the means to pull it off, assuming they have a willing trade partner. See sometimes a team wants a player so badly that no offer can get it done. So there are a lot of moving parts here and until we know who picks when, it's very difficult to grasp what might happen.
Q. Tua at 4? @DannyKnox17
AC: Are you meeting for cocktails or is that a prediction? Come back in a couple of months and I'll have a better idea.
Q. I wonder the stakes for next season? They better not be high. I've come to learn the problem is expectations from both the fans and the management. We must give the Dolphins a few years if the new coaching staff seems to be headed in the right direction. @Asad_Hafeez_17
AC: The expectations for next season will be based I'm sure on what the Dolphins do this offseason to upgrade the team. Keep in mind that with a few prudent moves and a little bit of luck, you can turn things around in a hurry. Just take a look at what the San Francisco 49es have done. Having said that, I certainly understand your point.
Q. With the long list of players that are on IR, I was curious how many of them are with the team and still trying to learn during the rest of the season. I have seen Bobby McCain on the sidelines, but I wasn't sure if most of the others are also? – Robert Bennett
AC: The injured players are not often seen, but they are at the training facility every day, rehabbing, sometimes attending meetings and generally doing everything possible to contribute in some way. You can only learn so much from the sideline, but the truly dedicated players use that down time as a learning tool to better understand assignments and expectations.
Q. As a lifelong Dolphin fan, can you please explain to me whey we have presumably wasted a 2nd round pick in exchange for Josh Rosen and not give him a chance. Where was the talent evaluation in this move, and do you have similar concerns with the 2020 draft given the stockpile of picks? – Robert Leash
AC: I respectfully dispute your "not give him a chance" comment. Rosen has been a member of this team since last May. He has had plenty of opportunities both in practice and in games to demonstrate he deserves to play right away. You may recall he did start a few games earlier this season before the staff decided to go with Ryan Fitzpatrick. You can argue all you want the merits of acquiring Rosen, but your argument that he hasn't had a chance just doesn't cut it in this instance.
Q. Hey Andy, just wanted to say thanks for all you do for fin fans! – Martin Lovett
AC: Hey, Martin: I appreciate the kind words, but I am the fortunate one, getting to write about the team I grew up following.
Q. Hi, Andy. You always keep it real, thanks! Do you agree that we should use character, attitude and toughness as the major benchmark for selecting all future players? — Bob Fletcher
AC: Hi, Bob. Love those attributes. All are important. But I'll take elite talent first because until you have that, do the other qualities really matter? As for keeping it real, that's always been my objective.
Q. Good morning, AC. I am a little confused with the Tunsil trade. It's not very often a player of his talent level makes it that far down in the first round. (I know the picture hurt his draft position). Yet we traded away a solid performer in his prime in hopes of finding it again in the next draft. How did we benefit from that decision? – Jim Roberts
AC: Good morning, Jim: You are missing something important here. The Dolphins got two No. 1 picks and a No. 2 pick for Tunsil. That's hard to turn down, certainly for one player. In fact, when Tunsil was first told of the terms of this trade, he agreed he would have made the same deal if he were the Dolphins. Yes, it hurts to give up arguably the anchor of your offensive line. But with the prospect of getting three starters in return, it was simply too sweet to pass up.
Q. Thanks for all you do first. I'm a UK fan and this is key to me keeping up to date. If you were Chris Grier, who would you draft if we're outside the top 3 in the draft? – Alan Laws
AC: Take the quarterback you believe in. If he's already off the board or figures to be taken later, my next option is a left tackle or a pass rushing defense end. But I'd certainly come back to quarterback before the first round was over.
Q. Hi Andy. What a season, eh? So, presuming that Miami takes a quarterback in the draft, what are your thoughts about Fitzpatrick? Personally, I think he should be the team MVP. The energy and enthusiasm he brings turned the team around. He would be a perfect mentor for the new QB draftee, but what happens to Rosen? Carry three quarterbacks? Keep him, trade Fitz? — Rafi Derderian
AC: Hi, Rafi. First, I agree with you that Fitzpatrick deserves to the team's MVP. Secondly, I believe Fitzpatrick would be the perfect mentor for a young quarterback. With his experience? His resume? It would be a natural. Finally, I'm truthfully not sure what happens to Rosen. This is a decision, I imagine, that will be made early in the offseason.
Q. I feel like I've noticed incremental fundamental improvements each week. Am I dreaming? @AvgOutcast
AC: If you're dreaming then so am I.