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Dolphins rise and fall with Ryan Tannehill

Would you slap John Henderson across the face?


Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, I heard that after the season Jim Harbaugh can be traded. Has this ever happened before and what do you think of this situation?

Jon Gruden was traded by the Raiders to the Bucs. I'm OK with trading a coach, as long as it's for draft picks, not money. The Gruden trade included money. I don't like that.

Andrew from Fort Collins, CO

How do you adapt to the change of weather?

First, I get a sinus infection. I've done that already. If it's in the spring, I get warm and happy. If it's in the fall, I get cold and sad.

Don from Swaledale, WA

I feel compelled to answer your question, why do I love football? It's the 1.5 hours of commercials with 1.5 hours of little yellow flags in between the commercials.

Vic to league: Listen to the fans.

Zach from Glen Ellyn, IL

As a huge Packers fan, I'd like to see the Packers go 14-2, go into the postseason and, hopefully, finish things off with a Super Bowl ring. What are your thoughts about this?

I'd like to see them go into December with the division title on the line and then get hot. I resist expectations beyond that.

Sean from Boulder, CO

To Jerry from Kent, WA: I think you asked the wrong question. How do these organizational higher-ups get away with lying about topics the general public knows is true? Too much faith in those with the answers can lead to a life of denial. I would trust the media before an organizational name anytime, anyplace.

For all its flaws and failings, the media has been a very good watchdog for a very long time.

Matt from Inver Grove Heights, MN

Just saw Spofford's "What You Might Have Missed" on the play of Burnett in the Vikings game. I think we are starting to see what you had commented on during training camp as the strong point of this defense, the secondary. What is the next step the defense needs to take on their road back to respectability that they are on now?

Stop the run again. It's the fundamental ingredient to defensive success.

Jeff from Aliso Viejo, CA

Next year it will be Ndamukong Suh, so we can finally switch to the 4-3.

He would make a lot of money in free agency.

Ben from Denver, CO

Vic, I just visited and one of the top headlines is the media criticizing Manziel for being seen laughing at one point on the sidelines during Sunday's game. As a media man who sees the click-through stats, has it really come to this? Is the average football reader interested in this dramatic nonsense, or can we chalk this up to slow-news-day-Tuesday?

The average football reader loves that kind of stuff. It hasn't come to this, it's always been like this. The difference is the media is more aggressive now than it was when I began covering football.

C.J. from Edinboro, PA

Vic, surely you know it's "in the grasp." If he was in the grass, it would already be a sack.

Isn't that the point?

Paul from De Pere, WI

Vic, how much will the Packers' knowledge of Joe Philbin help the Packers on Sunday?

Not much. Joe has an offensive coordinator who was previously with the Eagles. The Dolphins offense has an Eagles look to it.

Matt from Champlin, MN

Well, Vic, after questioning whether my source was correct on how long HGH stays in one's system, I decided to do a little searching. I haven't found a definitive answer. How long does HGH stay in a player's system? Do they have ample time to clean up before a test?

I don't know. I think it's until the head begins to shrink.

Matt from Champlin, MN

Vic, HGH stays in the system about a day. Anyone smart enough to play for Brian Billick won't have to worry about the new tests any more than they worry about the current ones.

Then why bother testing? Just watch the helmet size.

Andy from Washington, WI

Vic, tell me about Miami. I don't know anything about them.

It's a young, ascending team that rises and falls with its young, developing quarterback. When he's on his game, the Dolphins are a playoff contender. In the Dolphins' two wins, Ryan Tannehill has a 94.4 passer rating. In the two losses, 72.1. Passer rating difference will be a big deal this Sunday. Click here for the week six dope sheet, which has more information on the matchup.

Jonas from Fort Collins, CO

Before that it was Albert Haynesworth. What a disaster that could have been. The free agents we should want are the ones that never get to free agency, guys like Rodgers, Matthews, Shields and Nelson. The problem is other teams are smart enough to re-sign those guys.

The best "free agents" are the ones you re-sign. You are absolutely correct, teams are doing a much better job these days at using the tags to retain their core players. Reggie White would've never made it to free agency in today's league.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, I was impartial to the Jairus Byrd craze until you posted that stupid music video and then I just wanted Byrd, Byrd, Byrd out of my head for good. A season-ending injury can happen to a drafted player just as easily as it can to a free agent. What matters is how much cap space you have invested in the player, and that's typically going to be less for a drafted player. Am I learning something from you or what?

When you spend big for a player, an injury to that player becomes more severe. It's all about the cap. Good franchises protect their future. They fear the consequences of reckless spending.

Joseph from Silvis, IL

Vic, do you have any stories of John Henderson from when you were with the Jags? I saw a video of him once where he kept telling someone on the staff to slap him on the face before he left the locker room. I thought it was pretty funny.

John is the biggest and most powerful looking player I have ever covered. In his prime, he was dominant. John was also a funny, quirky guy, and he developed a pregame ritual in which he had a member of the training staff, a fellow named Joe Sheehan, slap John across the face right before he went out for the start of the game. The first time Joe slapped John, it wasn't hard enough for John's tastes. "Harder," he said. So Joe cracked John across the face harder and John let out a blood-curdling yell. The Jaguars eventually shot video of the ritual and played it on the stadium video boards before kickoff. I once asked Joe, "What if John wigs out on you?" Joe said, "Don't think I haven't thought about that." So, what about you? Would you do it? Would you slap Henderson across the face?

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