Joe Wedra, a blogger and contributor for RussellStreetReport.com, a Baltimore Ravens website and Route4Sports asked the questions and I provided the answers.
Joe Wedra: Let's start with Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace's relationship. What have you heard about their ongoing chemistry and what do you expect from the pair?
Antwan Staley: I've been to the camp practices a few times and the scrimmage and I can tell you that their relationship is improving on the field. They have been using Mike Wallace in a lot of different ways something that you didn't see with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's catching balls over the middle, running option routes and makes the intermediate catches. I expect Wallace to have 60-70 catches in this offense. Tannehill has been OK as far has his camp. Some days he's been really good and others he's been feeling the pressure put on by the Dolphins front seven. My expectations of Ryan Tannehill in 2013 are about 23 TDs and 10 INTs. I expect him to become a top 15 QB in the NFL.
Wedra: What about Lamar Miller? Who is he and what are the expectations on how he will be used?
Staley: Lamar Miller is former University of Miami RB that was taken in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Miller sled in the draft because of injury concerns as he was once regarded as a first round pick. Miller played some in his rookie year back-in up Reggie Bush, but he did average 4.9 yards per carry last year. That was higher average than Bush last season and the Dolphins' organization is confidently behind him. He's lightning quick with track speed and he's maybe faster than Mike Wallace. If Miller is healthy, I expect him to have a 1,200 yard season for the fins.
Wedra: The Dolphins acquired Dannell Ellerbe in the offseason from the Ravens. Do you expect him to start right away?
Staley: He's looked fast in the practices I've seen and he and the other new Dolphins' LB Philip Wheeler have been all over the place. They will be an upgrade from Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby. Both have been blitzing all over the place, which has forced Tannehill to through the ball before he wanted to on occasions. The defense has dominated in camp as well in the scrimmage last Monday night. I Expect Ellerbe to be the QB for the Dolphin defense and I expect this defense to be a top 5 defense in 2013.
Wedra: What is the biggest storyline for us to look for in the preseason games?
Staley: The biggest story in Dolphins camp has been the offensive line. Starting right guard John Jerry injured his knee in camp and no one knows when he will return. Because of the injury to Jerry, the Dolphins have had to reshuffle the offensive line. Rookie third round pick Dallas Thomas was promoted to left guard. Pro Bowl left guard Richie Incognito was moved to right guard. Second year player Josh Samuda started working at center And Mike Pouncey, supposedly the unit’s anchor at center, was moved to right guard. The line has been shaky at times during practices and could be the single thing that could hold this team back in 2013.
Wedra: The team plays Dallas in the POFHOF game. Do you see this as an advantage or dis-advantage and why?
Staley: This is an advantage because you have a lot of new players (Dustin Keller, Wallace, Ellerbe, Wheeler,) that need to learn the system. As I talked about above, they're questions about the O-Line. The preseason game will give time for the offensive line to gel and come together. It will also give a chance for Head Coach Joe Philbin to see if he needs to make any changes and adjustments. The Dolphins will play in five preseason games, so these games will get the players more snaps and reps, so that's a good thing.
Wedra: One final question, give me your projection for this years team and where you expect them to be.
Staley: I believe the Dolphins will win either 9-7 or 10-6 and finish with one of the wild cards. This team is much improved from the one that won 7 games last season. Tannehill in his second year knows he's the starter and he looks more comfortable. The offense finally has weapons other than Mike Hartline. The defense with the additions of Dion Jordan, Brent Grimes and Wheeler and Ellerbe will make an already good defense that much better. The Dolphins will win a lot of games because of their defense and there's no reason they can't win at least nine games.
You can find Joe Wedra on Twitter @JoeWedra and find myself at @blackredsoxfan.