We try to do a little exchange with the other bloggers on our network and Phin Phanatic took some time out of their busy, short-week schedule to answer a few of our questions. I returned the favor, so be sure to check back for my answers to his questions. Here’s our little Q & A:
BGO: With the Chads (Henne and Pennington) out this week, Tyler Thigpen gets the call against the Bears. He’s not the usual clipboard holder that many #3 QB’s are. What can the Bears expect from Thigpen?
PP: Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. Thigpen has not taken practice snaps with the first team all season. He is a very athletic QB but erratic as well. One drive he will look like a superstar and the next two he is tossing INT’s. Thigpen will only do what he is allowed to do by the coaches and I think that is where the problems could lie. This offense is very conservative and Thigpen is not. He can scramble and will not hesitate to use his feet if he sees an opportunity. But he will also throw passes that his ego says he can make. And can’t.
BGO: The Dolphins started a league-wide phenomenon a few years back with the Wildcat offense, but you don’t hear that much about it any more. With the third string quarterback set to start, will the Dolphins bring more Wildcat than usual?
PP: Yes, there will be plenty of Wild Cat this week. OC Dan Henning rolled it out the second Chad Pennington was in the game and used it again after Henne went down. He will use it as often as possible this week against the Bears in an effort to keep Peppers out of the back field.
BGO: It appears that starting left tackle Jake Long will miss Thursday night’s game. Who steps in for Long? Does this set up for a big game for Julius Peppers?
PP: If Long can’t go it will either be Lydon Murtha or Vernon Carey. Carey has played it before. This will set up a big opportunity for Peppers, but the legs of Thigpen could keep Peppers off balance.
BGO: I’ve heard early reports that the Dolphins leading pass rusher Cameron Wake will miss the game. Who will step in for him? How will the Dolphins bring pressure on Cutler?
PP: Early indications are that Wake will not miss the game this week. He apparently was sent home with an ice pack and a couple of aspirin. I look for him to play.
BGO: Do the Dolphins dare kick it to Devin Hester?
PP: The Dolphins have one of if not the worst special teams unit in the NFL on kicks and punts. They would be better to kick punts and kicks out of bounds than send them to Hester.
BGO: Who is one Dolphins player that Bears fan might not know yet but will definitely know after Thursday’s game?
PP: Dan Carpenter. Carpenter has been lights out on field goals and has only missed one in his last 20 or so attempts. The Dolphins offense can’t score so this sets up well for him to get his name mentioned again. Bears fans will remember him by games end because he could be the reason Miami wins.
BGO: What’s your prediction?
PP: I don’t like predicting games but this sets up as a defensive battle. The Dolphins love to bring pressure and the Bears seem to collapse under it. I like Jay Cutler in this one. If it comes down to a field goal, Miami wins it. I think the Bears will use the deep ball though and will win by 7.
Thanks to Brian from Phin Phanatic for the knowledge!