Brad: I liked Ryan Tannehill's development as a QB last year. What have you seen about him this year, so far, that suggests he is becoming even better?
Kevin: His decision making is probably the number one thing. Last year, it seemed like he would lock on to the receiver he thought should be open, and then try to wait for him to actually get open. This year, he is scanning the field, and making the right decision. It's very nice to see, and he is doing it incredible well.
He's been working on his footwork, and that, along with the decision making, it improving his accuracy. It's too early in the season to say he will keep it up throughout the entire year, but so far, things look good. He was interception free throughout the preseason, and only ended up with a pick on a batted pass last week. It wasn't the best decision, which allowed the linebacker to deflect the pass, but it was just unlucky for Tannehill that the ball bounced straight back to a safety. Things are looking good for Tannehill.
The other thing that points to things moving in the right direction is the obvious leadership role Tannehill has taken this year. He set up all of the offseason workouts for the players, making sure to get Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson involved as early as possible. He also had this moment in the game on Sunday, keeping the team from getting a 15 yard penalty when Rishard Matthews and a Browns player started getting into a shoving match.
Brad: What kind of coach is Joe Philbin? He seems sort of an enigma.
Kevin: He kind of is. He's definitely of the Bill Belichick tell the media nothing mentality. For example, last week, long snapper John Denney missed a practice because his wife was having a baby. When asked why Denney wasn't at practice, Philbin gave his now standard, "I'll be happy to talk about any player that was at practice." I mean, how is saying a player was out for the birth of their child going to give anyone a competitive advantage? Philbin is very, very detail oriented. He's incredibly smart, and he is very honest in what he does say, but he is not afraid to stiff arm the media if it's not something he wants to discuss.
Philbin is a little different than he was last year. In his first year as a head coach, he was clearly trying to establish himself as the leader of the team, and make the team his. This year, he is a little more relaxed and he is allowing the players to have a little more say. He's not afraid of taking chances or changing things that aren't working, such as when he told offensive coordinator Mike Sherman to simply abandon the run in the second half of the Browns game, and simply let Tannehill throw on every play, since Cleveland was clearly dominating in run defense.
Coach Philbin is a hard man to read, but I think he has the team moving in the right direction after a decade of floundering.
Brad: Is Mike Wallace the big-baby-poo-poo-face-diva that everyone keeps suggesting he is? Or, is this recent tiff just overblown?
Kevin: I think it was more overblown than it needed to be. Wallace was frustrated, and he was right to be. He wanted to have a big game in his Dolphins debut and against a former division rival. Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden has played Wallace extremely well since coming into the league, and I think Wallace wanted to end that as well. Obviously, a one catch for 15 yards performance was not what he was looking to come away with on Sunday. I think he simply did not want to talk to anyone until he calmed down, and he unfortunately made it sound like he was blaming the coach. The whole situation seems to be over and done, so I'm not really worried about it.
Of course, if Wallace isn't able to get that ball this week, it may be a situation that returns, and then we'll have to see what happens.
Brad: Have the new players like Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe made a big impact on defense so far?
Kevin: Yes, though it hasn't been by dominating the game, or anything. Both Wheeler and Ellerbe have been impressive, and seem to always be in the right place. When the Dolphins put Ellerbe on Jordan Cameron last week, he was able to control a weapon that had been doing damage to the Dolphins. That's a great thing to learn for the Dolphins as they get ready to face the 800 tight ends the Colts seem to have at Andrew Luck's disposal.
Another addition who gets forgotten is cornerback Brent Grimes. I really think he may be the steal of the free agency period. He's been amazing in training camp and the preseason, and he is essentially shutting down his match up. I would suspect him to be on Reggie Wayne most of the day, which could be a great test, but Grimes is definitely someone who signed as a free agent and is making an impact with the Dolphins.
Brad: The new logo? The colors? You like?
Kevin: I do. I love the white on white uniform combination. It's so simple and clean. I think the logo is sleek and simple. I really like the new look, and the fact that the team went back toward the aqua of the 1960-1980s Dolphins, rather than the teal we seemed to move toward in the 1997 logo change. The timing was right, and the cartoon Jimmy Johnson logo had to go. I think they did it right. I know there are plenty of fans who still have reservations about it, but some more Ws will quickly help change that.
Follow Kevin at @ThePhinsider