Because Hurricane Irma forced rescheduling of the Dolphins’ first game, Los Angeles Chargers first-year coach Anthony Lynn called Miami "the freshest team in the league” entering Sunday’s matchup between the teams in Southern California.
And in a Wednesday afternoon conference call with Miami reporters, he implied the Dolphins have another advantage because they didn’t play in week one, though he didn’t complain about it.
"You would like to see them play the first week, see what they’re doing," Lynn said, while sending well wishes to South Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. "Preseason you don’t show a lot.
“I was in that division [as a Jets and Bills assistant], with that team, and I understand that personnel. We played them last year. We have a pretty good idea of what we’re looking at. We don’t know exactly what we’re going to see. It’s the flow of the game."
Lynn, whose team lost 24-21 at Denver in their opener on Monday, said Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler "is proven. He has been around this league for a long time, can make every throw, has some escapability. He can make big plays and he can make them on schedule. That’s what makes him a little bit scary.
“He’s surrounded by a plethora of talent – wide receiver, running back, offensive line. They’ve got two first rounder [on the line]. They have talented skill [players]and they’re hard to stop but we’ll be ready. Jay Ajayi is doing what he’s always done. He’s a big back, instinctive, with power. A lot of times, if you don’t get those guys before they get going, it’s going to be a long day. It’s hard to stop him but we can definitely slow him down."
Defensively, "you look in the middle. [Ndamukong] Suh can push the pocket. [Jordan] Phillips can push the pocket and you’ve got pretty two edge rushers. So you don’t want to be behind the sticks. [Lawrence] Timmons, as he gets more familiar with that defense, he is just going to show up more. They have really good players on that defense."
With Cam Wake, his continued success "doesn’t surprise me,” Lynn said. “When he comes in this league as a free agent, he doesn’t take anything for granted. He brings it every single snap. That’s what I expect of him. That’s what I admire about him. We’re going to have to have a plan to contain him some."
Phillip Rivers threw four interceptions in the fourth quarter of Miami’s win in San Diego last November.
Asked if he spoke to Rivers about cutting down interceptions when Lynn took the job, Lynn said: "I addressed a lot of things when I first got here. Phillip is like a coach on the field. It’s not a cliché. It’s how I feel. He’s harder on himself than anybody else. He doesn’t need me to be hard on him… We have had some very productive conversations."
• Does the fact he worked in the AFC East, for the Bills and Jets, does that give either team an advantage? “It cancels itself out,” Lynn said. “I don’t think we have an advantage.”
• Lynn said Chargers edge rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa "will make it hard for an offensive line."
Dolphins players have been saying some of their teammates are the best in the league at their position. Is that true? We explore in this post from earlier today (and Hassan Whiteside is in there, too).