1) Zach Thomas has expressed frustration about the Dolphins current record. It sounds as if he may have given up hope. Have others been vocally critical of the team or the record?
Alain Poupart: Do you mean Zach Thomas or Jason Taylor? Actually, they've both expressed frustration about what's going on. But I'm not sure anybody has been vocally critical of the team. The veterans on the team expressed disappointment at Chris Chambers being traded because he was well liked, but they also understand where the team is sitting right now. So the basic answer is what you're hearing out of the Dolphins locker room these days is pretty much what you'd expect to hear.
2) Jason Taylor has been kind of quiet recently, but he always seems to have a career day against the Patriots. What is going on with Taylor and what do you expect out of him on Sunday?
AP: Taylor was remarkably quiet the first four games of the season, but he had two sacks against Houston in Week 5, then had a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery on the same play against Cleveland, so maybe he's starting to come around. The truth is, though, he hasn't been the dominating force he was last season and that is just one reason the Dolphins defense has slipped so much.
3) Trent Green took another shot to he head causing yet another concussion. Do you expect Green to return and if not, how will the Dolphins fare without him?
AP: My immediate reaction after Green was injured against Houston was that he would retire, and I still think it's going to happen -- although I'm thinking now it's an issue of no doctor wanting to clear Green rather than him not wanting to play anymore. Green was pretty forceful on Wednesday in saying he wanted to come back, but he's still waiting for medical clearance and we just don't know when -- if ever -- that will happen. In his absence, the Dolphins are going with Cleo Lemon for a few weeks until they turn the offense over to second-round pick John Beck. The Dolphins haven't said that publicly -- they're using the week-by-week mantra -- but that's my gut feeling and that of just about everybody who covers the team. Lemon is decent as a backup, but you can see when he's out there why he's a backup. As for Beck, we would expect him to make some passes but also make the typical rookie mistakes.
4) The San Diego Chargers jettisoned their coaching staff last season with Cam Cameron getting the Miami job while Wade Phillips getting the Dallas job. With the Cowboys 5-1 and the Dolphins 0-6, what do you think has been the difference between Phillips success and Camerons struggles?
AP: If you expect me to dump on Cameron here, it's not going to happen. I'm not saying he hasn't made some tactical mistakes because he has, but come on, the talent difference between the two teams is sizable. Phillips inherited a team on the rise and ready to win now, while Cameron inherited a team with problems on offense and a defense that was ready to crumble.
5) Do you think there is any leftover sentiment from Cameron about that loss in San Diego last year?
AP: There has to be, although I'm not sure Cameron would admit it because he's so analytical about everything. But to lose a playoff game when you have the best team in the league because of a few bad mistakes like the Chargers did has to gnaw at anybody on the coaching staff. No question about it. But Cameron has bigger fish to fry (no pun intended) these days than worry about last year's playoffs.
Prediction for this game?
AP: To borrow from Clubber Lang, Paaaaiiiiinnnn!!! All logic says this could be a blowout of epic proportions because of the combination of the Patriots' red-hot passing game and the Dolphins' putrid pass defense. The only reason to think this could be a close game is that the Dolphins traditionally always have been tough on Tom Brady. Still, just can't see it happening here. So make it, Patriots, 38-13.
Prediction for the rest of the Dolphins season?
AP: Again, paaaaiiiiinnnnn!!!! This is a team that obviously isn't going to win a lot of games. The defense figures to get at least a little bit better at some point and the offense has started to click in recent weeks thanks to the emergence of Ronnie Brown and the improvement of the offensive line. So let's make it 3-13 on the season for the Dolphins.
Top 3 teams in the NFL?
AP: You want me to say New England No. 1, don't you? Just for that, I'm going to go with Indy at No. 1, Patriots at No. 2 and Steelers at No. 3. It's obviously a toss-up between the Colts and Patriots, but while I like the Pats' defense better, I think Indy's running game is better.
Over/ Under: Pats vs Dolphins