Behind Enemy Lines With Alain Poupart

We continue our interview with Dolphins Digest's Alain Poupart, learning more about Miami's special teams from a variety of angles and how they might impact the outcome of Sunday's game in this Insiders' exclusive!

ET:  The Dolphins are ranked last in field goal percentage. Is this the end of the line for Olindo Mare in Miami?

AP:  I would think so, unless the Dolphins can't find a better alternative. The other issue is that Mare remains tremendous at kicking off and he might be the best in the league at onside kicks. A lot of his misses also have been from long range. But the bottom line is Mare makes too much money ($1.3 base salary) to carry if he's not making a higher percentage of his field goals.

ET:  How have the Miami coverage teams fared this year?

AP: They actually have been pretty solid all season. The issues with special teams have been Donnie Jones being inconsistent punting the ball and Olindo Mare missing too many field goals. But the coverage teams have been pretty good, particularly on punt returns.

Miami's Wes Walker (83) in training camp with QB Daunte Culpepper (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
ET:  How about the returns teams?

AP: Wes Welker, as was the case last season, has been tremendous on punt returns and only so-so in kickoff average. The thing with Welker is he's more quick than fast, which makes him good at hitting holes quickly without being able to outrun too many defenders.

ET: The Colts have struggled against the run, but looking at the stats, it looks like Miami is struggling a bit when they try to run. What's been the problem?

AP: That's not totally accurate. The Dolphins actually ran the ball very well against the Jets Monday night, with Ronnie Brown gaining 110 yards on 18 carries. That was his first game back after missing three games because of a broken bone in his hand. The Dolphins ran the ball very well in the first quarter the previous week at Buffalo, but Sammy Morris had no success whatsoever after that point. Before that, the Dolphins played Jacksonville and New England, two teams
that are very good against the run.

ET. What matchup are you most concerned about that you think the Colts could exploit?

A. Oh, that's easy. The Dolphins secondary isn't very good to begin with, and now starting cornerback Andre' Goodman and backup cornerback Eddie Jackson have been put on IR after being hurt Monday night. Unless the Dolphins get in Peyton Manning's face on Sunday, he might throw for 500 yards.

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