Loss leave Dolphins fans with many questions

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As Miami Dolphins fans watched their playoff hopes get squashed by the surging AFC East Champion Buffalo Bills, not only did the Dolphins miss the playoffs, but they also seem to have opened themselves up for some tough decisions ahead.

Following a 56-26 loss, Dolphins fans were left wondering if Miami’s first-round draft choice, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, is indeed the chosen one. Many fans have already seemed to have thrown in the towel, especially since the Dolphins hold the 3rd and 18th picks in this year’s NFL draft, which is likely to hold 3 quarterbacks that are worthy of a first-round selection.

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Miami Dolphins run for the playoffs

Lisa Johnson,
NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

With only 4 weeks left in the 2020 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins find themselves in the hunt to secure a playoff spot. According to the New York Times, the Dolphins have a 58% possibility of making it to the postseason.

The Dolphins will start this run against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. With Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes having another MVP type season, the Dolphins will send out first round pick rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who is 4-1 as the Dolphins starter.

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Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores “Yes, we are starting, “Tua”

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Late afternoon Tuesday, October 20th, 2020. Miami Dolphins fan received the news that Ryan Fitzpatrick would take a seat. News broke through team sources that Dolphins first-round pick, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, would get the start moving forward.

So it is official…it’s “Tua Time” here in Miami.

Fans’ reactions went from excitement to the not so excited crowd. Many fans questioning the timing of the decision. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has led the Dolphins to back-to-back wins. We started to hear early rumblings about playoffs or possibly winning the AFC East. So why now?

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Miami Dolphins are fine tuning the team before mandatory cut down

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

We are a few weeks shy of the start of the 2020 NFL season. The Miami Dolphins are spending these weeks finalizing their offense and their defense.

Since league rosters were preset to only 80 players rather than the maximum 90 players due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dolphins coaches have had to use this time carefully evaluating players.

With the mandatory cut down day looming September 5th, all NFL teams must have rosters set at 53, leaving teams with extra talent to make decisions based on the extended training camps.

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2020 Miami Dolphins Training Camp: Opening Week

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As we kick off the start of the 2020 Dolphins training camp, many questions remain for fans. The Miami Dolphins have yet to officially announce if fans will even be allowed to attend regular-season games or if there will only be a limited capacity.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores answered questions, via Zoom, from the local media to address questions surrounding the season and the team.  And of course, the health of their first-round draft pick, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, was at the top of everyone’s list.

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Miami Dolphins lay the foundation on day one of the 2020 NFL Draft

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Coming into the 2020 NFL Draft with three picks in the first round, the Miami Dolphins were poised to make some noise. There were rumors swirling all day about the Dolphins moving up to secure a quarterback or offensive lineman. But, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier held fast.

The Miami Dolphins didn’t flinch and grabbed Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. Despite his season ending hip injury he suffered in November 2019, Tagovailoa has been on the Dolphins radar all year.  Grier said the team felt comfortable with his health. Coach Brian Flores then added that Tagovailoa was the guy they felt at the end of the day would be the best fit for the Dolphins.

After landing their quarterback, the Dolphins went back to work.  Having a left handed quarterback meant that Miami would need a right tackle to protect his blind side. With the 18th pick Miami went with USC tackle Austin Jackson.  Interesting fact, in the summer of 2019 Jackson donated bone marrow to his younger sister. Which already speaks volumes of the young man.

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Dolphins GM Chris Grier talks draft.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303

As the 2020 senior bowl comes to a close, the Miami Dolphins took full advantage of being able to speak and watch several draft prospects as they prepare for the 2020 NFL draft.

With the Dolphins holding 3 picks in the first round, the pressure is on Dolphins GM Chris Grier and this staff to deliver. After 10 years of mediocracy, Dolphins fans have voiced their displeasure to owner Stephen Ross, who all but admitted that this year was about stripping and rebuilding a winning franchise.

We had a chance to speak with Chris Grier in between day 2 practices at Ladd Pebble Stadium. I was one of many looking for answers to exactly what positions the Dolphins could be scouting. And if you know anything about Chris Grier, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to play poker with him.

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The new Ryan Tannehill?

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When Ryan Tannehill was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2012 draft, fans were very excited. Then, after a few years, that excitement started to wear off as most thought Tannehill wasn’t living up to his promise.

Fast forward to 2019 and he is on a new team and playing fantastic football. The questions become; was the problem in Miami Tannehill’s ability, was it coaching, and what does the future hold for him?

Tannehill played for Miami for 7 seasons but missed 2017 due to injury. In that time, his best years came in 2014 and 2015 when he threw for over 4,000 yards a season. He was a consistently average quarterback, dependable, but not the star many thought he could be, leading the team to the playoffs just one time.

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Panthers fire Rivera – Who’s next?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

In news that shocked me this week, the Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons.If a guy can coach a team to 5-7 while their star quarterback (Cam Newton) has been out since week 2, is any coach safe in this league?

It seems as if once one team fires their head coach before the season ends, a couple of others decide to follow suit. Who else could be on the head coach chopping block before the end of the year?

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Week 11 AFC East matchup: Dolphins vs Bills preview

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

The Miami Dolphins are riding a two-game winning streak and about to face there in-division rival, the Buffalo Bills.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who has always stayed committed to saying this team is being coached and rebuilt to win. There is no “tank” in this man’s mind what-so-ever. Never has been.

Being around Coach Flores after several games told me, without question, that all the tank talk was media-driven. He has made it clear time and time again that his goal is to win here…eventually. He knows how this process works, and right now you are seeing this first hand.

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