TB: Without question. Since the start of the season, Pro Bowlers CB Marcus Trufant, DE Patrick Kerney (second in votes for 2007 Defensive Player of the Year) and MLB Lofa Tatupu all have sported casts on their hands. Tatupu and Kerney didn't even play last week against the Eagles. Trufant is clearly not the same player he was last season, which in large part can be attributed to playing injured.
You can usually lose a player or two on defense and have enough depth to step in and step up without losing a beat but when three Pro Bowlers are taken out or hampered by injury, you're going to take a major blow to your defenses ability to be as effective as they would normally be.
Q: Who has been the Seahawks' best defender so far this season?
TB: LB Leroy Hill is extremely underrated around the NFL (playing under the shadows of Lofa Tatupu and Julius Peterson), but he's one of the best players on the defense. When schemed correctly (another problem with the defense), Hill is a ferocious threat to the quarterback and a tenacious tackler.
Q: How big of a loss is DE Patrick Kerney?
TB: As mentioned earlier, Kerney was second in votes for the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year. You can't lose that type of production without feeling the hit (so to speak). We have a lot of youth and talent at the DE position, but they are nowhere near the level that Kerney brings on each play.
Q: What kind of season has former Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare had?
TB: Mare has been pleasantly effective. He's 13-of-14 in field goals, one of them being a 51-yarder. Ironically, a position of concern heading into the 2008 season has been the only position that hasn't proven to be a concern.
Q: What do you see as the Dolphins' best way to attack the Seattle defense?
TB: Show up. (Laughs)
Seriously, though, I would go after CB Kelly Jennings who has played extremely poorly this year. Our secondary has become a liability for the most part. The Dolphins should have little problem exploiting the Seahawks' weaknesses on defense, managing chunks of yardage and big plays with surprising ease, especially as the defense wears down quickly due to the Seahawks' offense's love affair with three-and-outs.