The Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins will be going head-to-head in Week 6, and to get a feel of what fans on the other side the fence are thinking I was able to discuss some burning topics with Kevin Nogle, editor of Phinsider(SB Nation's Dolphins website). Check out how the Dolphins are going to try and slow down the Steelers' offense, if Adam Gase is on the hot seat and more.
Check out the interview below...
Arian Foster has been a thorn in the Steelers' side as a member of the Houston Texans. Although he was limited in the early portions of the week, what are the odds he plays Sunday, and how big of a difference does he make to the Miami offense?
He is officially listed as questionable, but I think he will be playing this week. Then again, I thought Branden Albert was going to play last week and that did not happen, so I'm not 100 percent on Foster. All the signs do seem to say he will be available, and that should help Miami's anemic offense. The team just does not commit to the run, so it is questionable how much of an impact he will have - especially given how little we have seen of Foster thus far into the season - but he should make things a little better for Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the offense. If the game plan features a heavy dose of Foster and Jay Ajayi out of the backfield, the Dolphins should be a little closer to the offense we all envisioned before this season started.
The Steelers offense is dynamic, and the emergence of Sammie Coates gives them another player defenses have to account for. In your estimation, how do the Dolphins plan on slowing down the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates and company?
Maybe the goal will be to allow them to run as much as humanly possible in the first half, then try to take advantage of them being worn out to mount a comeback. That might be a good strategy. Seriously, though, the Steelers offense against the Dolphins defense is a huge mis-match unless the Dolphins come out and play up to the Steelers' talent level. The secondary does not cover well, so Brown and Coates should be able to dominate. The run defense is the league's worst, which allows Bell to do whatever he wants. And Roethlisberger can just stand back there and be the puppet master, pulling the strings to the Pittsburgh offense. The Dolphins coaching staff called out Mario Williams this week, so the hope is he responds. The team also is talking about getting Cameron Wake more involved in the defense, so that could add to the team's ability to pressure Roethlisberger, but so far, there has not been a lot of confidence building play from the Miami defense against teams like the Browns and the Titans. Now, against an actual high-powered offense like the Steelers, this could be ugly for the Dolphins.
Fans are disgusted with the product the Dolphins are putting on the field, but how much blame is being placed on head coach Adam Gase? Is he officially on the hot seat?
No. Fans are calling for him to be fired, they are calling for Mike Tannenbaum to be fired, they are calling for Ryan Tannehill to be benched, basically, they are calling for anyone anywhere to be fired because this team is rough to watch right now. Gase is the head coach and Tannehill will be the quarterback through the rest of this year. Nothing is written about next year in Tannehill's case, and I think Tannenbaum has a good chance of being shown the door before free agency next year, but Gase is going to be given the chance to turn this team around. Most of the struggles the Dolphins have is based on the talent level of the team, which I believe is finally coming back to bite them after years of band-aids to hide the talent dearth left through the last few general managers the team has had - including the Tannenbaum decisions of the last couple of years. Fans are just frustrated and lashing out right now, but Gase does not seem to be on the hot seat in any terms that actually can impact his job.
Ryan Tannehill got paid handsomely for his services, and he hasn't had much to show the organization since then. What has Tannehill's main issue been which has kept him from entering the next level of QB play? Offensive line? Not enough talent around him?
Tannehill is an enigma despite this being his fifth year in the league. He is being hit so often right now, there are multiple examples of him being crushed before he has time to reach the end of a three-step drop. Tannehill has to improve his ability to sense pressure and to step up in the pocket. He also has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long, hoping a receiver eventually comes open, and it bites him way too often. The Miami receivers are not helping however, with multiple bad drops this year and way too many plays where no one ever creates separation, and Tannehill just cannot do anything. The jury is still out on Tannehill mostly because there are just way too many issues right now to say for sure any of them are because of the quarterback.
The Steelers are heavy favorites to win this Sunday, but they are prone to a let down game from time to time. What is your prediction for the game, and how do you see it playing out?
Hopefully Miami pulls off the upset by finally having their starting offensive line healthy and playing together for the first time, Arian Foster coming back and establishing the run game, the defense responding to criticism, and the team finally finding their rhythm. Most likely, this is going to be very ugly and the Dolphins will be on the wrong side of the final score. I'm guessing this is something like 30-13 Pittsburgh, but I am not even sure Miami can get to 13. I'll be rooting like crazy for Miami, but I am not feeling too positively about this contest.