On this Christmas morning, before you open the Ryan Fitzpatrick beard trimmer that you've always wanted, let's see what's on the minds of Dolphins fans and I assure you the answers won't dampen your holiday spirit.
Q. Merry Christmas, Andy. What's there to be merry about for Dolphins fans? @Cindyrawlings3
AC: Merry Christmas to you Cindy as well. There's plenty to be merry about. Three first-round picks in next year's draft. That should bring a smile to your face. A head coach in Brian Flores who has clearly shown this season he is the right man for this journey. Got to feel good about that. Or how about the nucleus of young players who have stepped up this season, clearly demonstrating they deserve to be part of this re-build. I can make a list. I can check it twice. But it won't change the fact that there are a lot of reasons for hope this Christmas morning.
Q. Andy, please tell Ryan Fitzpatrick how grateful Dolphins fans are for everything he has done this season. @bobrawlings6
AC: You just did.
Q. Who's your MVP of this team and why? @cretoman16
AC: I've got to go with Fitzpatrick because of his leadership, his drive and passion and the way he has consistently moved this offense despite all the changes around him. My runner-up is DeVante Parker.
Q. What position do you feel most comfortable about moving forward? @bobbysimons9
AC: Probably defensive tackle where Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux are young, talented and playing well. Certainly the Dolphins need more depth there, but to have two front-line players like Wilkins and Godchaux in the middle of the defensive line is a nice position to be in. I also feel a lot better about the talent and depth at wide receiver than I did when this season began.
Q. What's been the most impressive thing this season about Brian Flores? @Raulr78
AC: Hard to single out just one thing. But I would have to say his consistency. To remain as even-keeled as he has through the course of such a challenging season is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. He is the same coach every week. Learn. Move on. Get better. That's what he's about and his players have clearly embraced it.
Q. Hello Andy, Tua or not Tua? That is the question. Merry Christmas to you! @FCL52
AC: I'm smart, but not that smart.
Q. Congratulations on 40 Andy. I've talked about this forever, how about a proper picture memorial dedicated to D. Overstreet, L. Gordon and R. Chambers in the concourse? Should be a no-brainer. @Stephenacap
AC: For those who may not remember, those are three former Dolphins players that died way too young. I think your idea has plenty of merit and I will pass it on to the appropriate people within the organization.
Q. Do you see us trading up to take Burrow if for some weird reason the Bengals take Young at No. 1? @IH8URTWEETS
AC: With three first round picks, all options remain on the table. Having said that, it's hard to envision the Bengals not taking Burrow given their situation at quarterback. Doesn't mean they can't be tempted, though.
Q. Give me one player from the 1972 team that you believe would be as big a star in today's NFL? Fishforever88
AC: Great question. I'll go with wide receiver Paul Warfield. You should watch some old videos. It wasn't just the hands or the speed that set him apart, it was just how smooth he was play-after-play, catch after catch. At times, it was almost as if he was playing a different game at a different speed than everyone else. That would still translate well today.
Q. AC, What's Ryan Fitzpatrick really like underneath that bushy beard? @suzanneluvsports2
AC: He is as level headed, bright and insightful as any athlete I have ever covered. His weekly press conferences have been a treat and I haven't missed a single one. Ask him anything. Watch how he responds. I told him earlier this season he could write a great book on his eight-team NFL journey, and I truly believe that.
Q. Andy, congratulations on covering the Fins for 40 years. Well deserved. Now on to business: How much influence will coach Flores have on the draft? He seems like a coach that knows the kind of player he wants.
AC: I expect him to have a significant impact. Don't forget that Flores spent years in the Patriots' personnel department, scouting and evaluating. He will prove, I believe, to be a great asset to General Manager Chris Grier and, yes, he has a clear vision of the type of players he wants to coach.
Q. Love waking up to your column each morning. Give me the name of a player on this team who very few people know about but has a chance to be a nice player down the road? @sethdaman
AC: Love the fact you love waking up to my column. As for a player, write down the name Montre Hartage. He's an undrafted rookie cornerback out of Northwestern who has spent much of the season on the practice squad, but has been on the active roster for the past few games. I'm now sure what it is. But there's something about him that screams he's got a chance.
Q. Why are we so bad at tanking? @PShep28_
AC: Because the narrative about tanking was wrong from the outset. This is about a franchise hitting the re-set button, trimming excessive salaries, trading away current talent for future draft assets and positioning itself for sustained success. It was never about purposely trying to lose games, evidenced by how hard these coaches coach and the mindset these players take into every game. It's a credit to everyone involved that this team has gone 4-4 over its past eight games despite all of those changes and it's been fun watching this team evolve.
Q. I don't have a question for you, but I do want to say congratulations on completing the 40 years with the Miami Dolphins. That's an amazing accomplishment and I can't think of a better person for this job. I hope your 41st is even better. @TJBrackeen
AC: I'm humbled by your kind words and certainly share in your hope about next season.