Dolphins at Saints: Interview with New Orleans Writer Andrew Juge

How will the Dolphins match up with the Saints on MNF?

Please welcome in Andrew Juge to provide some insight on the Miami Dolphins’ opponent this week. Andrew covers the New Orleans Saints for a blog called Saints Nation and he’s also a contributor at the Canal Street Chronicles.

Be sure to check out both of those sites for more coverage of Monday’s night’s game. My interview with Andrew is below:

Dolphins Gab: I get the sense this could be a statement game for the Saints in their attempt to cement themselves as a Super Bowl contender again after the disappointments of 2012. Do you feel the same?

Andrew Juge: Not necessarily. All games are important. I do think this is a must win of sorts because the Saints are at Chicago and at New England after this one. So winning this game to get to 4-0 is a must. If they lose this one and then drop the two tough road games, then it’s back to 3-3 and fighting for your playoff life. That way they can split, or even lose the next two, and still be in a good position. So this is an important game to set up that tough two week period. But no, I don’t feel like winning or losing this game cements anything. As you know the NFL is a week to week proposition. Things can change on a dime, one injury changes everything. It’s all about how you’re playing at the end of the season, not now. Granted, you have to get in the playoffs to have a shot.

DG: The Dolphins have struggled to protect Ryan Tannehill this season, conceding 14 sacks through three games. Does New Orleans have the ability to exploit this?

AJ: The Saints are 4th in the NFL on defense through three games, and a huge part of that has been the pass rushing. Rob Ryan’s scheme has been incredibly effective at getting to the quarterback. The top pass rushers are Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan, but the Saints have a bunch of other random guys that are good at that. Glenn Foster is dangerous, Tyrunn Walker gets good pressure, Akiem Hicks is capable, and Martez Wilson is a specialist. They have a bunch of guys that can get after it. But it’s more about the scheme than the individual guys, I’d say. Ryan just knows how to create pressure by causing confusion, particularly to a young quarterback. I think Tannehill will get hit at times. I’ve been impressed so far.

DG: Give me one player on the Saints who Dolphins fans probably haven’t heard of but will be introduced to quickly on Monday night?

AJ: Junior Galette is the edge rusher that will be fast around the edge. Watch out for Khiry Robinson too, an undrafted rookie runner that has really impressed. Kenny Stills the rookie receiver is really fast and can stretch the field, too. I guess that was three players. Oops.

Seriously, though, if you haven’t heard of Cameron Jordan yet, he’s the guy. By far the best player on this defense so far this year. He is really special and a complete defensive end.

DG: Have you bought into the Saints’ improved secondary yet? Why has it been so much better so far?

AJ: Not sure, more of a pass rush creates a false sense of “good coverage”. I haven’t fully bought into the ability of the back end guys. The draft pick Kenny Vaccaro has been a difference maker back there though. He just hits like Rodney Harrison used to. The Saints needed that guy that would give this defense a ferociousness and edge to them. Vaccaro is going to get flagged some this year. But he brings the pain and you live with the mistakes because he will scare receivers and create turnovers. They’re definitely not all world, but improved over last year. With the pass rush their job is easier, no question about that.

DG: If you were Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, how would you go about slowing down this lethal Saints passing attack?

AJ: Give the Saints a blitzing linebacker front and then drop them into bracket zone coverage at the last second. Brees has been picked off twice by that already this year, with a couple other dropped INTs. Sometimes you can get him to throw into those windows by fooling him. The Saints are running the ball really poorly so far, too, so stopping the run would help make the Saints one dimensional. They’ll still hurt you with Graham/Colston/Sproles in the passing game no matter what, but if you can negate the run game and make them one dimensional it’s one less thing to worry about.

DG: Finally, which team do you see winning on Monday night? Final score?

AJ: I think the Dolphins are going to be distracted by the hype of being 3-0 in such a big game on a big stage as such a young team and they’re coming into a bit of a buzzsaw. The Saints are playing great defense, shockingly, and they’re pissed about last year and they’re focused. I think the Saints win 38-17. The Saints are just too good on Monday Night Football at home. They are 9-2 with Brees at QB in those games (11-2 overall) beating some very good teams very badly over the years. I hope I’m right!

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9 Responses to “Dolphins at Saints: Interview with New Orleans Writer Andrew Juge”

  1. Dennis says:

    38-17????? GEEESH! NO RESPECT!

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