Dolphins Q&A: Will Miami look at the QBs in the offseason? Will coach Mike McDaniel give up calling the plays?

Here’s the latest installment of our Miami Dolphins Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel writers David Furones and Chris Perkins answer readers’ questions.

Q: I’m not saying they will, but do you think the Dolphins will look at quarterbacks this offseason? I can’t go into 2023 with this same injury prone qb room. – @Jay7kilo On twitter

A: I think the Dolphins will look for a veteran backup quarterback. We know that the plan is for Tua Tagovailoa to start in 2023. The Dolphins have declared it publicly and emphatically. The question, considering Tagovailoa’s history of concussions, including the one he sustained in Alabama when he dislocated his hip, is whether he wants a veteran backup and to what extent he pursues that player. To a lesser extent, you also need to consider whether a substitute like, say, Baker Mayfield (I’m just using a name as an example), who might have immediate ambitions to start, would be a distraction to Tagovailoa or make him uncomfortable.

But on the subject of a veteran backup, I didn’t get a chance to ask Teddy Bridgewater, the South Florida native who was injured for much of the season, about his hopes/plans for next season. I guess the Dolphins want someone more reliable health-wise.

I also have a feeling the Dolphins want an upgrade on rookie Skylar Thompson, who did an admirable job. He wasn’t very good, but he gave you a chance to win in the fourth quarter.

I don’t think the Dolphins will draft a quarterback this year. It would not make sense. Right now, the Dolphins have one second-round pick, two third-round picks, one sixth-round pick and one seventh-round pick. Second- and third-round picks should go to players who could be immediate starters or rotation players at corner and offensive line, and lower-round picks won’t give you what you want in a backup quarterback (and already have the kind of talent that is available in those lower rounds with Thompson).

Look for the Dolphins to sign a veteran backup quarterback to put between Tagovailoa and Thompson.

Q: You have to be satisfied with the season. You were out 5.5 games, and we still made the playoffs. Within one 4th quarter possession of 9 losses is all you can ask for. You have to be optimistic about the future. @cjb8511 On twitter

A: Yes, I might be okay with that, but with a caveat. You can only be optimistic about the future if you trust the people in charge, starting with general manager Chris Grier through coach Mike McDaniel and the coaching staff. It was a successful season because the Dolphins made it to the playoffs. That is the first step. Now they must decide how to build on this success, and that’s an ambitious task that includes player acquisition (draft/free agency), salary cap management, playing style and on-field decisions.

I’m not going to trash the franchise for past moves. That is a waste of time and a lot of negative energy. I prefer to look ahead. It’s a new era and they deserve an open perspective, up to a point. The Dolphins have three straight winning seasons and a playoff berth, and they’ve used that runway to get the plane airborne. Let’s see if the pilot and co-pilot (Grier/McDaniel or McDaniel/Grier, whichever way you look at it) are good navigators. Here’s hoping it’s not a flight to nowhere.

Q: If you could be promoted to one position, what would it be? – @lefty5555 On twitter

A: Corner. This position, one of the most crucial positions in the NFL, took a huge hit for the Dolphins this season. Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard was not the same due to health issues. I think Howard is back to playing at the highest level next season, if he’s healthy. But he turns 30 in July. Combine that with the absence of Byron Jones (he’s looking unlikely to return at this point) and Nik Needham’s Achilles injury, and he’s got a troubling situation.

Rookie cornerback Kader Kohou was an excellent find, and someone the Dolphins can count on for 2023, but the cornerback has gone from a position of strength to a position that needs to be addressed immediately.

Yeah, there are concerns at right tackle (protecting Tagovailoa’s blindside), left guard, tight end and a couple of other places. But in a league that relies heavily on passing, the Dolphins must address the cornerback situation.

Q: Given the difficulties they had getting the plays on time, is McDaniel going to stop calling the plays and have an OC handle that? Let’s dive in!@njm1124 On twitter

A: Let’s dive in! I love the deep dive with dolphins reference! I have briefly considered whether McDaniel should consider splitting some duties. Yeah, he has to consider that from the Dolphins standpoint they have to consider everything.

But McDaniel should still be the caller. Look, this is his offense. He is the brain behind the system. He should control the offense from that standpoint, for sure.

McDaniel was head coach for the first time this season, and he was calling plays for the first time. Yes, there were some difficult points. That was to be expected. Very few people have a smooth ride in their first year at a new job or in a new role. I like McDaniel and his offense.

My biggest concern is that McDaniel got too enamored with the passes to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and forgot about the running game and tight end Mike Gesicki. Sometimes coaches (including Joe Philbin and Adam Gase, both expert coaches) believe their own hype about the passing game, that they can fix things in the air.

Run the ball. He plays defense. Use special equipment for field position. They can help make your passing game more effective. In other words, do what the 49ers and many other teams are doing. San Francisco’s success doesn’t start with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, it starts with a system that involves the running game, defense and special teams. I hope that McDaniel, who just arrived from San Francisco, follows that model. But I digress.

The Dolphins need to build a more balanced offense for a number of reasons, chief among the reasons being that once teams seemed to understand the Dolphins’ offense, starting with McDaniel’s old team, San Francisco, we didn’t see the right adjustments.

But then again, McDaniel was a rookie. And he showed up. He’ll be better next season, including play calls and plays on time.

Q: Is it better to move Hunt to RT permanently and find 2 guards in the offseason?@liquidave On twitter

A: interesting idea. Rob Hunt, who was drafted at tackle, played well at right guard. The Dolphins intentionally selected and developed the versatility of the offensive line. Give them credit. So, yes, trading Hunt to right tackle is an option. But Hunt is a better guard than tackle, so the preference would be to find a right tackle, which could be expensive. It’s probably easier to find two decent shooting guards than it is to find one decent right tackle.

Of course, the Dolphins also have to make plans for Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead to only play about 12 games due to recurring injuries, but that’s a different topic for another day.

Q: This regime, namely Grier, has in the past seemed to dislike drafting high rb. Do you think that with McDaniels on board that changes? Would they prioritize TE in the draft with the departure of Giesicki?@rondadon09 On twitter

A: I hope McDaniel is okay with running the ball. Period. If you know me, you know I like defense and the running game. So, I’m fine with drafting a tall running back. My philosophy is to recruit a good running back and take him down. Really. Do the Derrick Henry thing. It helps your quarterback tremendously. But the Derrick Henrys are not easy to find.

Another way to look at it is that McDaniel was part of the running game creativity in San Francisco when he used wide receiver Deebo Samuel and was seventh in the league in rushing. I would like to see more emphasis on the running game. You don’t necessarily need to draft a tall running back, and you wouldn’t this year for a number of reasons, but the Dolphins need to run the ball more effectively.

As far as prioritizing a tight end in the draft, the Dolphins aren’t looking for a receiving tight end (they just inexplicably ignored Mike Gesicki), so no, I’m guessing the tight end won’t be a priority in the draft. Right now, I think cornerback and offensive line are the priorities in the draft.

I have a question?

Email david furonesor label @ChrisPerk either @DavidFurones_ On twitter.

Previously answered:

How will two regular season meetings against the Bills factor into the playoff game?

Can Tua dress up for the joker game?

Should Tua consider retiring after the latest concussion scare?

Is Bradley Chubb contributing?

Why is the running game absent?

How impactful can the defensive front be?

Are Miami assistants in line for head coaching jobs at the end of the season?

How will the defense fare on the trip to the West Coast?

Can the struggling defense be fixed? Also, questions from Emmanuel Ogbah and Jason Sanders

Should he have bought Mike Gesicki in the trade negotiations? Why so many sanctions?

Is 8-3 with a 5-game winning streak in Miami’s future? Brandon Shell clinging to RT job?

Why not use Mike Gesicki as WR?

Why has the defense taken a step back? Liam Eichenberg concerns? Talk about trades with Panthers?

Should we be sold on this line OR; What about Mike Gesicki?

Is Christian Wilkins next for a multi-year extension?


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