Transcripts

Jordan Cameron – June 2, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tight End Jordan Cameron

(On if he was frustrated about not maximizing his receiving skills last season and if he thinks that will change under Head Coach Adam Gase) – “No, this is one of those questions we were talking about probably going to get asked. My mindset is all on this year. I have a whole new offense to learn. That’s in the past and right now I’m just focusing on getting this offense down and getting the details down in this position and this new scheme. So that’s my mindset right now. The past is the past and I’m not worried about it.”

(On if the message from Head Coach Adam Gase has been about maximizing the tight ends in the passing game and if that excites him) – “If you look at his offenses in the past, they use the tight end. But like I said, it’s one of those things right now (where) we’re not game planning and scheming. We’re not going to put everything in that we’re going to do for the tight ends. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re kind of in the basic stages right now so I’m hoping that would be the case. If that’s what this team needs, then that’s what I’ll do. But I have a very cliché mindset about all of this. I’m doing my job right now and that’s what I can control.”

(On if he’s gone back and watched film of Denver and Chicago tight ends and how Head Coach Adam Gase involved the tight ends there) – “(Head Coach Adam Gase) does a good job of putting them in spots to succeed. There are a lot of times you want to get coverage indicators and you put a tight end out wide and you see who’s guarding you. If it is a linebacker, you know it’s man to man. Stuff like that. So he does a good job of putting guys in positions to win and finding the mismatches.”

(On the importance of tempo in this offense) – “It’s very important. We’re stressing right now our tempo, our speed of this offense. Playing in this heat has to be a positive factor for us. We’re the ones conditioning in this every day and it’s one of those things that we have to use it to (our) advantage. The other teams don’t have the ability to train in this heat and it’s no joke. I think it’s one of those things that, if we’re in shape and we work on this tempo that he stresses so much, it will be definitely a thing for us that will help us in the future.”

(On his first meeting with Head Coach Adam Gase and if he said anything that made him feel good about his future in Miami) — “No. I mean I’m still here, so I think that says it all.”

(On how difficult it was for him to take a pay cut) – “It’s one of those things. It doesn’t feel good but at the same time I didn’t do much to deserve … Last year, if you want to talk about last year here’s what I’ll say about it. I didn’t do much to deserve a raise. I’ll tell you that much. For me, this year, having a year with (Head Coach) Adam Gase and knowing what he’s done with tight ends, I’m looking forward to it. I have a lot of work to do so I’m not going to say I’m going to be this guy (or) I’m going to be this player. I’m just going to do my job today and I’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.”

(On where he is at with his chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill) – “It’s always a work in progress. We get better every day. It’s one of those things (where) you have a new offense so we’re learning the timing of the routes. He’s learning the timing of the routes. That’s why these OTAss and these minicamps are so important. We have to go full speed and maximize each day and (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase keeps talking about emptying the tank and I think we’ve doing that. I think this offense has been driving and grinding the last two weeks.”

(On whether timing of the routes is a rhythmic, spacing or pacing thing) – “All of it. There is a lot going on with this offense, especially being (in this) scheme. There’s a lot so each route is different. Each route changes with an adjustment with the defense with the way the defensive end is playing. There are just little timing things that you can only work on full speed. You can’t do it in a walk-through. It’s not going to be the same. These things – the fact that we have these practices and we had a minicamp to start – are huge to just to get the foundation of the timing down. It’s like you said. The patience on a route is different than this route so we have to get the timing (down). And each player is different and each player has different footsteps so it’s a lot to work on.”

(On if the quarterback or tight end carries most of the burden) – “It’s definitely both of us. I mean if his timing’s on and mine is off, it looks bad on him but it’s my fault. It’s one of those things we both have to be on the same page and it’s just all about going full speed and maximizing and I keep saying (it), emptying the tank. That’s what we have to work on so we can do it during the week and it’s not going to be weird or strange on Sundays because we’ve been doing it the whole year.”

(On tempo and how much communication comes into play) – “That’s the name of the game – it’s communicating. That comes in preparation during the week and understanding where guys are and understanding where you are in this offense. I think we’re in that stage now where communication is huge. Everyone’s not 100 percent dialed in on the offense so we need to talk to each other about lining up and where this ball is going to go. So we talk about it and we have to make it translate to the field and that’s the stage we’re in now.”

(On if he’s seen anything from TE Thomas Duarte) – “He hasn’t been here. I think the UCLA guys are on some other schedule. I don’t know about those guys.”

(On if he feels he is a better blocker now than when he arrived in Miami) – “Definitely. I think that’s something that we’ve been, especially in these last couple of weeks, our (Tight Ends) Coach Shane Day has been doing a great job of pushing that and the technique. And just getting out there and being physical and aggressive and just having the right technique and everything. And not being sloppy with it.”

(On if he’s talked to Dan Campbell) – “Yeah, we talked I want to say a couple of weeks ago. He’s doing (well). He’s a great guy. I can’t say enough good things about him. As good as he is as a coach, he’s a better man and I think that says a lot about Dan (Campbell) and everyone loved him. He’ll do a great job in New Orleans.”

(On if it is too premature to see subtle differences with QB Ryan Tannehill in the new offense) – “I think it’s too premature to say that. You could tell he’s more vocal, I would say. His abilities, he has so much ability. He can run the ball. He can throw the ball. He can do a lot and he’s very smart. All of those things are very positive and he’s kind of stepping into that role and understanding how powerful he can be. I think he’s going to do some special things. Like we all do, we have a lot of work to do. He’s willing to put the work in so that’s what you want to see out of your starting quarterback.”

(On if was there something that was said to sway him to take a pay cut) – “I got a lot of phone calls regarding (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase and his ability to maximize guys and their potential and get everything out of them. One of my good friends is (TE) Julius Thomas, who played for him (in Denver). He called me immediately and said you have to play for this guy. It was one of those … it was kind of like a no brainer. I’ve had a lot of conversations about him and what he can do. It was kind of the things I heard about Coach Gase (that helped make my decision) and I think I made the right decision.”

(On Head Coach Adam Gase and how he has re-energized the building) – “(Gase is) a fresh face in the building and his energy and he’s young and he’s very vibrant and he gets players – which helps for us. He has so much confidence in his ability to call plays and set up an offense and that’s kind of contagious and I think (our) guys feed off that. When he’s calling a play, you just feel like, I don’t know, you can’t really describe it. He’s definitely a player’s coach and he gets it. He knows how to communicate to us and he’s very black and white, which is good. It’s been awesome so far. We’re in the beginning stages and we have a lot of work to do but I think we’ve definitely gotten off on the right foot.”

Darren Rizzi – June 2, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi

(On if anyone has a leg up in the kicking competition) – “From what we’ve done so far, it hasn’t been. It’s really not. I couldn’t say that one is ahead of the other. At this time of year, we’re really working on fundamentals. I mean (K) Marshall (Koehn) just got here with a brand new holder and two snappers. We’re trying to really work everybody in. It would be way too early for me to say that someone is ahead. I will say this, Marshall (Koehn), I think I said this earlier, has a real strong leg. He had a great career (at Iowa). He’s certainly in the mix and we’re going to look at both of those guys. (K Andrew) Franks had a real good day today, though. I think he just went 5-for-6 with a 52-yarder here with about 15 yards to spare. But they have a similar skill set. Marshall (Koehn) has a strong leg but Andrew (Franks) has come leaps and bounds. From this time last year until now, his improvement has been really dramatic. He’s always had the strength but he’s really ironed out his technique and those things, and that has been really impressive so far.”

(On the long-snapping competition) – “What we saw out of (LS) Ryan (DiSalvo) in college … In this day and age, it’s funny because the rules are completely different in college. In college, it’s hard to evaluate long snappers because they don’t block. Ninety-percent of them don’t block. The rules in college are different than the NFL. In the NFL, you can only release the end man on the line of scrimmage down the field where in college, you can release everybody. So that’s why you see all of those things in college – the rugby punts and the different formations. People always ask me why people in the NFL don’t do that. Well, it’s because the rules are different. My point is Ryan DiSalvo actually played for three years in a pro-style punting scheme, which is very rare in college these days. I could probably count on one hand the number of teams that use a pro punt formation. He happened to do that for three years so he’s a little bit ahead of the curve. What we saw out of him from a velocity standpoint and athletic ability standpoint and a blocking standpoint certainly was impressive. I went out there and worked him out myself out in San Jose. He had a good workout. I like his personality; I like his body type, his frame (and) all of that stuff. Again, he’s going to have a tough time beating out (LS) John (Denney), who has been a multiple Pro Bowler. I think John is older than me now. (laughter) I know he has as many kids too, by the way. But all kidding aside, it’s going to be a … Again, everybody we bring in here has a chance to make the team and that’s going to be a competitive situation, as well.”

(On how many players he has returning kicks right now in practice) – “What we’re doing right now, I think I mentioned this last time, we’re going to have multiple sets in the back. There are going to be teams this year that are going to hit the ball high and short. I just know that for a fact and we have to be ready to have that many guys back there. I don’t think the deep guy is always going to get the ball. For the guys that have followed us, we usually play a guy back and another guy a little bit shorter for the shorter kicks so we have to have as many people ready to field kicks as possible. As we move forward, that’s going to include the tight ends and some of the d-linemen and all of that on the high, short kicks. I just think with the new rule, a lot of people are going to try to take advantage of that. So we’re going to have as many people back there fielding JUGS balls and kickoff return balls as possible. I think there were only five guys that worked at the deep (position) yesterday and then we had the four or five other guys working short. We have to have as many guys that are able to do that (as possible). Again, depending on how the depth chart shakes out (and) who makes the team, I just want to make sure that we’re prepared for whoever is back there to be able to catch a kick. I don’t want it to be one of those things where we get to Game 1 and this guy has never been back there and we don’t have enough options.”

(On how quickly it takes him to realize if a guy has special return skills) – “That’s a great question. There are a couple of different facets to that. Number one, I think their college tapes. If you look at a rookie, for example, that has done it before, you can usually tell their skill set is pretty darn good. Kick return and punt return are two totally different animals. The majority of guys can field kickoffs but not everybody can field a punt. Fielding punts is a whole different can of worms. It’s one of those things where you have to get the ball in your hands first. It doesn’t matter how good you are if you don’t secure the ball. It sounds so fundamental and obvious but there are a lot of guys that struggle … that’s why you see some elite athletes that play in this league that don’t return punts because it requires a special skill set. A lot of guys can do kickoffs. A lot of guys can catch kickoffs. They’re easier to catch. It’s timing and all that stuff; you have more time. The second part of that is once you have the ball in your hand, can you make people miss and those types of things. You can look at an offensive player and if he’s a special guy on offense … let’s take (WR) Jarvis (Landry), for example. You watch Jarvis (Landry) in open field and now Jarvis can catch punts and kicks, now you have a guy that can be a dangerous weapon. The ball security part is going to be … there are a lot of guys who have come into this league that have tried to do punt returns and have not been successful. Then they find themselves out of the league because they can’t find themselves another knack. I could probably name five guys or six guys just off the top of my head. But there are guys that have special return ability when they get the ball in their hand but they have bad ball security and put the ball on the ground. So there are a lot of facets to that. Can you tell at practice? Yeah, I can tell at practice watching our guys on offense, for example, that get the ball in their hands. You can tell that (they can do it). But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be able to catch punts. Kickoffs, like I said, are a different animal. That’s why, and you’ve seen this before, (we) have many different guys back there returning kicks but not necessarily punts.”

(On what he saw in WR Jarvis Landry that identified he could return punts even though he did not return punts in college) – “When we drafted Jarvis (Landry) and through that whole draft (and) scouting process, we came to find out that he was the backup behind (WR) Odell Beckham (Jr.). So he actually went out and caught punts every day in practice and had that skill set for three years. He also, believe it or not, we tracked him back to high school and he did it in high school. So at least he had the skill set as a young player and he had a lot of return ability and a lot of big plays in high school. When he went to LSU, he caught punts a lot of times but he never did it in a game because he was always behind his buddy (Beckham Jr.). When he first got here, he at least had the fundamental part of it but he had never done it in live action. At least we felt like he had the skill set to do it. Obviously, the way his body control, his hands and all of that stuff certainly (helped him).”

(On how much he worries about the mental challenges a rookie faces in handling a full workload) – “I do. I think any special teams coach would say the same thing. It requires a special mindset. You have to have a mindset. It can’t be one of those things where you take it … it’s not a half-hearted thing. You’re jumping in the deep end (with) both feet first and you are going. It’s one of the reasons I really do like the preseason. Preseason has its pros and cons and one of the biggest pros for me is when you are working with a young returner, those four games are great. You get a guy back there and you get him opportunities because you don’t want that first time to be in Game 1 of the regular season. You can try to simulate it as much as you want at practice but you can’t. It’s never going to be the way it is during a game. So those preseason games are good opportunities for those guys. To answer your question, there’s no doubt. There’s always going to be that concern with … because in the punt game, even when a guy has done punt returns in college, it’s a completely different game. They’re not getting rugby punts and balls coming end over end and all these different wacky formations. It’s a completely different play than they’re used to. It’s not something they’ve done before. They may say ‘I’m a punt returner,’ but the way the game is played in college is not the way it is played in the NFL.”

(On if he is getting a competitive vibe amongst the returners) – “It is. I even see it sitting in this room in meetings. We’re going through the return stuff and it’s definitely a competitive battle, no doubt. I think there are guys that know (it’s going to be competitive). I don’t know if you guys were out there that one practice, but (WR) Jarvis (Landry) was actually back there one day with (WR) Jakeem Grant and he’s kind of coaching him up and doing different things with him. I was over there doing something else and they were working on a return drill and Jarvis has been taking ownership over that, as well. (Jarvis) knows that it’s going to benefit the team the more options we have. So no doubt, it has been more competitive. We have more options and we’re trying to work those guys. It’s a delicate balance because this time of year, when you only have so much time on the field, you take a guy like (RB) Kenyan Drake and you’re trying to get him ready at all different facets – punt protection, kickoff coverage, blocking, tackling –things he hasn’t done a lot of. At the same time, you want to get him his return work so (we’re) trying to find that delicate balance between the return stuff and the core teams is also interesting, as well.”

(On what he saw from LB Neville Hewitt to advocate for him making the team last year) – “I actually remember clearly, we did what we call a cover drill. It’s a really good open-field drill and I remember the first time we did it with (LB) Neville (Hewitt) last year, he made like three really good plays. He has exceptional feet for his size. You could tell that he had played defensive back before. For a bigger guy, you could tell that he was a safety at one point. He really is very good in the open field. He doesn’t lose his balance. He has very good body control. He’s very aggressive. He’s a guy that doesn’t say a whole lot. (He) takes it all in. He’s a sponge. He absorbs a lot and just watching his progression last year in training camp was impressive because he really didn’t have a big learning curve, especially physically. Now everybody has a mental learning curve but he was kind of right there from Day 1 with the veterans and he kind of looked like he belonged right from the beginning, right from that first drill. That kind of opened my eyes initially and then we kind of … baptism by fire a little bit. We kept throwing stuff at him and he’s a guy that made a lot of plays in the preseason games. If you remember back, he made a lot of tackles. I remember one tackle he made on kickoff team. He split a double team and made a play inside the 20 (yard line). He just happens… he’s just always making plays. He’s just always showing up on the film. He’s one of those guys that you keep getting him chances and he kept making opportunities. I mean kept making the most of the opportunities. So he was a guy that was a really pleasant surprise and ended up, I think, being in the top three or four (in) reps last year on special teams.”

(On what he has seen the past couple weeks from WR Jakeem Grant and RB Kenyan Drake as returners) – “ (WR) Jakeem’s (Grant) a little bit ahead of where I thought he’d be as a punt returner. He’s worked at it. You could tell that he really took that serious in his preparation for the NFL draft. He had probably heard it from many, many teams, including us, that if you’re going to make it in the NFL, this is a skill set you are going to have to have. So you could tell he really worked at it coming in. And then (RB) Kenyan (Drake) again, we actually had Kenyan returning punts a little bit. We’re trying to work on him more as a kick returner. We started to get him into the punt return stuff and he was a lot better early on than I thought he’d be, as well. So I think they’re a little bit ahead of probably where I thought they’d be at this point. I think again, watching those guys on the offensive side of the ball too has been impressive, as well – watching those guys work.”

(On DE Dion Jordan and what skills he brought to the special teams unit) – “I’m going to leave that one alone. I apologize. I did work with Dion (Jordan). I think I know the whole process right now but until the guy is in the building, I’m just going to kind of leave that one alone until he’s here. If and when he comes back, I’ll be happy to talk about anything but he did play a lot of special teams and all of that but I’m just going to leave that one alone until he gets back in the building. I’m just going to respect the process and all that stuff. I apologize but I just think that’s the best way to handle that one.”

Kenny Stills – June 1, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wide Receiver Kenny Stills

(On what he notices that’s different about the offense under Head Coach Adam Gase) – “Just all the opportunities out there to make plays. We’ve had a couple of OTA practices and the veteran minicamp and just all the opportunities out there to go out there and make plays and we’ve got to capitalize on it.”

(On his thoughts about the first time going into a contract year) – “I’m not really thinking about a contract year. It’s another year for me. I was disappointed with the way things went for myself individually last year, and as a team last year, and all I can do is try and better every year. That’s been my focus this offseason and going into this next season.”

(On if he’s looking forward to more opportunities) – “(I’m) definitely looking forward to more opportunities but the main goal is to win. Regardless of what we’re doing as individuals, we want to win. (If the) offense puts points on the board (and) we go out there and win games, we’re happy.”

(On how good he thinks the receiving corps can be) – “There’s no cap on what this receiving corps can do. We just come in and work every day. We’re pushing each other. We’re a young group. We’re hungry and that’s exciting for us and that should be exciting for everyone else.”

(On why he was disappointed about last season) – “Honestly, there’s not too much to talk about with last year. It’s last year. It’s over with. But just knowing that I have high expectations for myself and higher expectations (for the team), and that’s it.”

(On if he was surprised when WR Leonte Carroo was drafted in the third round) – “No. I mean you understand what’s going on with the team. It’s not something for me to really worry about. I feel like the more guys, the better. And it’s just going to make our group better.”

(On WR Leonte Carroo) – “He’s great. He’s smart. I mean he’s paying attention (and) he’s knowing his stuff. He’s out there making plays today. Like I said, the better our group is, the better we’re going to be as a receiving corps and as an offense. So I’m happy to have him. I hope he shows out every day.”

(On his thoughts about WR Jakeem Grant as a receiver and if he can see him contributing on offense) – “Yeah. He’s a playmaker. He’s a playmaker. You can put him anywhere. He’s going to provide mismatches for the defense. We’re an exciting group right now. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re just going to keep pushing each other and working hard and hopefully we can put the best thing on the field when the season comes.”

(On if he is concerned about not getting as many opportunities with so many quality receivers on the team) – “No. We want to win. We want to win and if that takes eight guys, ten guys, two guys, whatever it takes. Winning is what we’re after.”

(On if he can develop better chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill in his second season with the team and where their chemistry is at right now) — “(We) definitely can create better chemistry. I’ve been here all offseason working together with him and it’s just one of those things. It takes time and so the more we continue to work at it, the better we’ll get. That’s our goal. Just to work, work, work and things will show up there on the field.”

(On if Head Coach Gase has talked to him about trying to acquire him while Gase was in Chicago) – “He said something to me about it but it was the same thing he told you guys, I guess. It’s just one of those things. It’s cool to hear and it’s great that we’re connecting now and hopefully it leads to good things.”

(On why he thinks Head Coach Adam Gase believes he’s a good fit for this offense) – “Just with all the different things all the receivers can do in this offense and the way we move around. It takes a smart, good route-running, fast (receiver). There’s a lot of things that come into being a receiver in this offense and I think he believes that I can do that. I believe I can do all those things and so that’s why he seems to think I’m a good fit.”

(On what specific skill he thinks he brings to the offense) – “I mean that’s not something that I really think about. It’s something for you guys to talk about. Everyone says I run fast. I run fast. I mean we’ve got fast guys on this offense. I can do anything that you need a receiver to do and so I’m just trying to get better. I want to improve on my stuff from last year and kind of show people that I can be one of the guys that makes plays in this offense.”

(On his yards per catch average and how significant that is for him) – “It’s not that significant. It’s something that people write up stats talk about. Obviously, I like to make big plays. I’d love to continue to do that but that’s not something I’m worried about.”

(On losing a lot of talent in the off season and if he was surprised that those guys left) – “I don’t think that’s something you really think about but I’m happy for guys to go out there and make some money. They’re my teammates, they’re my friends, (so) you’re happy for them and I wish them the best. We’ve got guys here that can step in and fill those shoes.”

(On how the cornerbacks are using their size and if he’s noticed a difference with them) – “I wouldn’t say I notice a difference but they’re doing a great job. Big, long corners can disrupt you at the line of scrimmage and so we’re getting really good work and it’s just going to make all of us better.”

(On if he’s changing the way he prepares for the season) – “You’re always trying to make changes. Obviously, if you’re disappointed in what happened the year before, or even if you had a great year the year before, you’re always trying to find that extra two percent to get better. So I’ve changed a little bit and I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m happy with how I feel and I have a huge chip on my shoulder to go out there and really show what I can do.”

(On what he is focusing on) – “Just every little detail that I can. (I’m) really coming in here and focusing on these plays. I’m the second-oldest guy in the room, so leading this group and knowing my responsibilities. (I’m) just being the leader that I can be, (knowing) that I’m the second oldest guy in the room now.”

(On if it’s the players or Head Coach Adam Gase emphasizing that last year was last year and the team is focused on this year) – “I think it’s both. I really think it’s both. We can’t do anything about last year and so all we can do is focus on what’s ahead of us. We’re doing a great job with that right now. There’s a great energy in this building. We’re all excited about where we can go and we just have to continue to put the work in and great things will happen out there on the field.”

(On where he feels the development is right now with installing the offense) – “Personally, I’ve been on top of it. As a team, I think we’re doing a great job. Like you said, we’ve only had a couple of practices and it’s a lot of stuff and we’re moving fast; but, I like where we’re at. All we can do is continue to just build on what we have right now and hopefully catch a solid wave into training camp.”

Griff Whalen – June 1, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wide Receiver Griff Whalen

(On how he sees himself fitting in as a receiver on this team) – “(Head) Coach (Adam) Gase has been great working with all of us and I think he has a clear picture of how he can use different guys that best utilizes their skill set. So there’s a lot of great competition. We have a pretty good room right now. So that’s really good. We’re pushing each other and just making each other get better every day.”

(On why he picked Miami) – “Quite a few reasons. Just weighing things (such as) how I think I can fit in schematically with offenses, opportunities roster-wise and (Offensive Coordinator) Coach Clyde Christensen coming down here. (It) felt like it was a good fit.”

(On how much his opinion changed when he saw the team draft two receivers) – “It really doesn’t make a difference. We’ve got, like you guys said, we’ve got (WR) Jarvis (Landry), we’ve got (WR) DeVante (Parker) and after that it’s competition. They’re going to play who they think can help us the most and there are a lot of different roles to fill. Guys can do different things. Special teams is a big factor. So the more competition the better that room is going to be.”

(On how much it helps that he’s been through this before) – “Yeah, it helps a lot. On two sides – one, just physically having done it and having reps and experience with it – but mentally too. Just having gone through it and now knowing that you can’t just sit there and count roster spots every day and try to keep track of that stuff. You just have to focus on taking one day at a time and making the most out of each practice.”

(On if he’s still doing the plant diet and how long he has done that) – “Yes I am. It’s been a little over two years now. For me it was … growing up I didn’t know anything about like nutrition or eating healthy or anything like that. Through college and then the first couple of years after I graduated, I’m kind of that underdog role. I’m looking for anything I can do to give myself an advantage. Whether it’s training, diet, anything like that. So it was just kind of through a long process of researching nutrition and learning how important that is to training. It doesn’t matter how hard you train, there’s a certain limit to how much you can do on the field or in the weight room. After a point, nutrition plays a huge part in how quickly you can recover, how hard you can push yourself the next day, back-to-back days and stuff like that. I feel like it’s helped me tremendously and given me a big edge, in that regard.”

(On a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner) – “Breakfast is like an oatmeal, fruit, and whatever else I want to throw into it. And then lunch and dinner, a rice and bean kind of dish is pretty typical. Lots of veggies. A salad. I make a lot of smoothies because I can just throw greens and fruit and stuff in there. But rice and beans or lentils, stuff like that is pretty common for me.”

(On if it’s hard to not lose weight) – “It hasn’t been actually. When I started, I was a little heavier than I wanted to be. I probably lost about five pounds. (I) went from like 195 to 190 (pounds) and that probably was over the course of a month or two. I’ve been 190 (pounds) since then, consistently. I would have thought the same thing and I remember recently hearing about a former player, David Carter, who did the same kind of thing. He was actually able to gain more weight and get stronger on a plant-based diet, which was interesting for me to hear because I would have thought the same thing – that it was better for lean guys and losing weight or whatever. But that kind of proved otherwise. So, no, it hasn’t been hard to maintain my weight.”

(On if he craves anything two years later) – “I really don’t, which surprises me. I mean I grew up eating sugar, cereal, candy, ice cream, you name it. So it surprises me and it’s been kind of cool to learn. I still love learning more about this stuff and reading up on it. I’ve actually learned a bit about that and they think it has to do with the microbes that are in your intestine and gut that those actually send signals to your brain, which is kind of crazy. So after you go several weeks or a month without eating something, you kind of change that microbe make-up in your body so you don’t get the cravings you used to get the same way, if you can get past that point.”

(On how his diet has changed over the last couple years and if he’s talked to other players about this) – “Yeah, it comes up all the time. When we sit down at lunch, it’s hard to not notice that all I’ve got is veggies on my plate. So yeah, it comes up all the time and guys are genuinely interested. ‘Why do you do that?’ And I kind of explain. I don’t go out of my way to try and convince anybody that that’s what they should be doing but I explain some of the research I’ve come across and how I felt doing it. But yeah, it comes up pretty frequently and I pretty much hear like ‘Oh, that’s really cool but I could never do that.’ I hear that all the time.”

(On if he has talked to DE Cameron Wake about his diet) – “I haven’t talk to him about it. We were in (the lunch room) with Mary Ellen (Bingham), our nutritionist, (and we were) kind of talking about the similar stuff we do. But I haven’t had a big conversation about it.”

(On when the last time he has had meat) – “The last time, you know the first thing I did was about a month of seafood. So I kept salmon in (my diet) and stuff for a while – for about a month I think – and then (I) cut that out. That was a little over two years ago in April when I did that.”

(On how he treats himself) – “It’s mostly with like maybe a pastry or a dessert – something like that. I already found right up the street here on University (Drive), there’s a vegan bakery that’s got some pretty good stuff. I don’t generally do dessert with a bunch of meals so that would be something I would do.

(On where he is playing in the offense and how much special teams plays a role in making the team) – “Yeah, inside and outside. Formationally, we move all over the place – motions and shifts and stuff – which is great. That’s something I’m pretty used to doing. I was mostly a slot guy in Indy but I was kind of surprised to figure out after, I think it was after my first two years, it was almost an even 50-50 of outside snaps and inside snaps, just because of how we end up formationally.  I think I’ll be all over the place (here) and then special teams, I feel comfortable helping out wherever they think I can – whether that’s returning or blocking for returns, covering kicks and punts. I have some experience doing all of that and I’m pretty comfortable with it.”

(On how much it benefits him to know some of this offense from his time in Indianapolis) – “I actually wouldn’t say that I do. It has a lot of similarity to what we did (in Indianapolis) – a lot of similar concepts – but all the terminology is new for me. So I don’t have any real experience with it. (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) has a lot (of experience with it), obviously from when Peyton (Manning) was in Indy. But this is new for me too. It’s great that it’s a similar kind of structure but (it’s) still all new terminology that we’re getting used to.”

(On if he thought that he would be in Indianapolis for a while and if he’s surprised that he’s with Miami now) – “I never really knew. I was always, especially the first couple of years, kind of that bubble guy. The first couple of years, who knew? I could have been gone any day. That’s just the way that works. I was just doing my best to take it one day at a time. I feel like you’re not really able to think long-term like that, or like I want to play eight, ten years in this city. That would have been great, I guess; but just the way it worked out, I felt good about this opportunity down here.”

(On his impressions about QB Ryan Tannehill) – “Really good. I didn’t know a lot about him coming in. We played against him a couple of times but us both being on offense, I didn’t get to watch him a lot or anything that week. But yeah, I’ve been really impressed. His grasp of the offense is really impressive this early on. It has been good to have that leadership in the huddle – getting everybody lined up and stuff as everybody’s trying to get a handle on the new offense. His skill set is really impressive too. He seems to see the field really well (and he) has the arm strength and everything. (He’s a) good athlete, obviously, playing receiver at one point. I’ve been really impressed.”

Neville Hewitt – June 1, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Linebacker Neville Hewitt

(On what he learned from his rookie season and what he wants to work on) – “After getting a few starts (and) getting playing time my rookie season, I realized … Obviously, something I wanted to work on this offseason is working on getting off of blocks. That’s something that our position coach – (Linebackers) Coach (Matt) Burke – has been working on with me. (I am) pretty much working on being a linebacker, working on the steps, not hopping – the little things.”

(On how last season went for him) – “For an undrafted guy, it was … I think for most people here, it was a roller coaster. That’s life; there’s adversity. Everybody has to go through it at some point. I just took every game – every week – one week at a time and tried to learn something from a loss or even a win, because it was a long season.”

(On whether he surprised himself with how he played as a rookie) – “I didn’t surprise myself. I just did my best. At the end of the day, I could look back in the mirror and know I gave all I could (and) let the chips fall where they may.”

(On when he knew he was going to make the 53-man roster last season) – “What’s that time, the deadline? (laughter) It’s like 4 o’clock or something like that? I think it was like 3:50-something, and they had cut like two people, and I was like, ‘Well, they’re both at my position, so I’m probably still going to be on the team.’ Once 4 o’clock hit, I still wasn’t satisfied or anything like that, because I heard stories about (how) you still have to wait to Tuesday. I was like, ‘Hopefully my phone doesn’t ring.” (laughter)

(On whether his responsibilities will be different in this defense compared to the past) – “You still have a lot going on right now. It’s still OTAs. You still have training camp, so nobody’s role is really defined at this point. All of us right now are just learning. We’re learning the plays and trying to clean things up before training camp comes.”

(On the linebacker group) – “You really don’t know until you put pads on. Right now, I feel like you can see the athleticism in the room. I think players have a better understanding of the scheme and the concepts of things, so everything makes more sense.”

(On how the Wide 9 defense is different for the linebackers) – “What I’ve noticed is our d-ends, they’re getting off the ball. I guess it looks like sometimes they’re … They’re getting back there a lot more than I’ve seen them get back there last year. For a linebacker, when I’ve been out there recently, I’ve barely been touched. Like I said, football is not football until you put pads on, especially for a linebacker.”

(On whether he was in contact with DE Cameron Wake during his rehab) – “I talked to Cam a little bit. I’ve watched him and … When I came back to train here before everybody came back, I saw Cam and I see his work ethic – and I saw that last year – so it doesn’t surprise me. He’s somebody I look up to, as far as someone that comes to work and they grind and they do everything the right way.”

(On how DE Cameron Wake looks after injury) – “He’s Cam.” (laughter)

(On the 2015 rookie class’ progression) – “You can see a lot of guys have a lot more confidence than they did last year. I know for me, I second-guessed myself a lot starting off the year. I knew the play, I knew what was going on, but I still was hesitant. Now, I can see a lot of guys not doing that.”

(On whether the 2015 rookie class will have a big role on the team this season) – “You look at the defense now (and) you see the guys out there – most of the guys. You have the older guys up front and you have a lot of the young guys in the back end. I think everybody is going to play a part doing their role.”

Billy Turner – June 1, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Guard Billy Turner

(On if there are more challenges with a new offensive line coach) – “Of course. It’s like learning a new language. Any time you get a new coaching staff – no matter the position, or whatever guy comes in – (they have) their own techniques that they like to coach and (have) their own things that they like to do and their own little niches and what not. Of course there is going to be a challenge with that – breaking old habits and learning new plays and new techniques.”

(On if he thought drafting of G/T Laremy Tunsil would affect him and his status as a starter) – “To be completely honest, I was happy with the draft because I think we got better as a football team. As far as drafting a(n offensive) lineman in the first round, that doesn’t do anything but make us better as an entire team and a better offense. I’m not thinking about where I’m going to be playing the first Sunday of the year – if I’m going to be starting, if I’m going to be sitting – because what month is it? It’s June 1st today. We have the whole summer and all of training camp to be working on our techniques and whatnot to get better.”

(On what position he envisions himself playing) – “That’s a tough question, because ever since I’ve been here – my rookie year – I’ve been at both guards and both tackles. I’ve done everything but play center, essentially. The same thing has been happening the past month or so that we’ve been here. I’ve been playing guard and I’ve been playing tackle. The thing that I’m more focused on right now is developing good habits at guard – that is what I played last year – but also developing good habits at tackle. I played tackle in college so being able to get back into that mindset and get my feet right and my hands right at tackle is also going to be really important for me.”

(On if he would prefer to have one position that he can focus on) – “Everyone would. It’s not like I’m a quarterback, and I’m going to sit there and do the same thing every day. But when it comes down to it playing offensive line, you go from guard to tackle (and) it is a little different, but if you really look at the fundamentals and the techniques that (Offensive Line) Coach Foerster coaches, you’re really using the same steps. It’s the same footwork and the same kind of repetitive things. You always want to have quick hands, and you want to have quick feet, get both feet in the ground and get your hands up and ready to play. At the same time, it would be nice to have a singular position, but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter, especially at this point, because you’re learning the same things at both positions.”

(On how he would evaluate his performance last season) – “Last year, it was a little frustrating for me. Essentially, I treated last year kind of like my rookie year. My first year I was here, unfortunately, I got hurt and broke my foot. But I was able to come into training camp and get better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t starting at the beginning of the year. But as you can see watching any NFL team, the amount of different lineups they have throughout the season at offensive line can be two through all the way up to 40 different lineups. That’s just the way the NFL works at that position. I was happy I got to play and got to start. And as the season moved on and progressed, I was able to get better and work on certain things and lose some of my bad habits.”

(On if he has been taking first-team snaps at right guard) – “I’ve been all over the place. I’ve been at right guard with the first group, and I’ve been at right tackle (with the first group). I’ve been at right guard with the second group and I’ve been at right tackle (with the second group). I’ve been on … During (the voluntary veterans) minicamp, I was on both sides of the ball, and I think I’m a little more on the right side as OTAs are shaping out and moving along here. But I think it’s pretty split 50-50. I’ve been at guard and tackle with both groups.”

(On the offensive line’s potential if the unit stays healthy) – “I think anyone that knows football and knows our offensive line knows that we have the potential to be the best offensive line in football. If you look at our offensive line and just go down the list (of) how many first-round picks we have and how many guys we have that are perennial Pro Bowl players – and how many guys that are on the cusp of being perennial Pro Bowlers – we have a lot of guys. I think we have a lot of attitude on the offensive line, which is definitely going to help us out this year.”

(On RB Jay Ajayi) – “The first thing that I noticed last year with Jay Ajayi was his agility, but not only that. Whenever Jay Ajayi is in the game and gets the ball in his hands, he’s running the rock hard. As an offensive lineman and as an offense, you appreciate that 100 percent. Whenever a guy comes in, and he doesn’t pitter-patter in the backfield and he just gets that ball, puts his head down and tries to get as many yards as possible, you’re going to be running down the field to help that guy up and to get him back in the huddle to do the same thing next play. He’s a tough runner and the offensive line loves that.”

(On DE Cameron Wake and if he looks like the old Cameron Wake) – “Yes, of course. Cam Wake, he’s not really a normal human. For those of you that have seen Cam Wake play football … The last couple years playing with him and being able to practice with him, he’s the same guy on and off the field. Being able to have him back out there not only (creates) good habits for me, (but) to be able to go (against) someone that’s that caliber of player is definitely helpful.”

(On how much time he spends in the weight room and if he feels stronger this season) – “Yeah. I’m one of those guys that likes to stay in the weight room. I’m in the weight room a lot. They try to tell me to get out, but that’s how I was raised. I was raised with a weight room in my basement, and my dad has always been a guy that has worked out, so I’m always a guy that’s trying to get stronger.”

(On what he has seen from G/T Laremy Tunsil) – “Athleticism and aggressiveness. He’s a big, strong, powerful guy as you could see when he played at Ole Miss. He’s bringing the same things that he did there to our offensive linemen. Any time you’re able to get an offensive lineman high in the draft – not only that but to get someone as athletic as he is – it’s always going to be helpful for you.”

(On if G/T Laremy Tunsil has been coming to him in the meeting rooms) – “He’s kind of like (T) Ja’Wuan (James and I) were in our rookie year. He’s asking questions and asking some of the older guys some different techniques to use out there. Kind of just like me when I was (in) my rookie year, I went from tackle to guard – the same kind of thing that he’s doing. It’s not always an easy transition when you’re used to being out on the edge and having space and (transition) to get(ting) in close with guys on both sides of you. It’s definitely, I think, going to be helpful for him to play guard and tackle, because you’re able to develop better habits (like) getting your hands up quicker, working on tighter, more exclusive footwork and whatnot. You can’t step too wide, because you have a tackle out there, and you can’t step too tight, because you have a center in there. He’s been able to develop some good habits. And like I said, (he has) been like Ja’Wuan (James and I), asking the older guys (questions).”

(On if getting reps against the Wide 9 defense is helpful) – “Definitely. We obviously have a different defense than we’ve had the past couple of years. Any time you’re able to go against different defensive fronts, as far as a 5-(technique) or a head-up guy versus a Wide 9, you’re just going to create good habits for yourself. Not only that, you’re going to be able to put those things in the memory bank as the season progresses. You have 16 games and then playoffs after that, so any time you’re able to go against different fronts and different alignments, it’s going to be helpful.”

(On how different it is for an offensive lineman to face a Wide 9 defense and what are those differences) – “Every offensive lineman has different things when it comes to wide guys and tight guys. I think for me, it’s (being) able to keep my set tighter and not drifting out so much, because any time you have a wide guy, he’s only trying to do one thing – get you away from your help inside and create that space and that gap in between the two guys. Any time he’s out that wide, he’s either going to go outside, and if you drift out there, you’re going to take away his outside move right away. If you think about that, he really only has one option and that’s to come back inside.”

Adam Gase – June 1, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On DE Cameron Wake’s progress) – “I think it’s close to the most that he has done. Like I said, we’ve been taking it slow, but the hardest thing for us is trying to keep him out, as far as doing too much. He’s pushing it to where he wants to make sure that he’s feeling good every day. He has been doing a good job as far as really pushing himself in individual (drills) and when he does get in the training room (and) the weight room, to see how far or where he’s at, at the moment. Today is another good day for him – another stepping stone for him.”

(On how DE Cameron Wake feels physically the day after he takes the field) – “He has been good. That’s why – for us – we feel like things are on track. But I do think it’s more us holding him back than him.”

(On his impressions of the rookies so far) – “It’s hard. We’re five (practices) in. We can copy and paste last week’s answer for the most part if you want to.” (laughter)

(On WR Kenny Stills) – “Kenny fits into what we do for the most part. He has position flexibility, which we love as an offensive staff. Being able to play inside and outside, the speed he has, the ball skills he has – we want to keep developing him and giving him as many opportunities (as we can). Especially when he gets a chance to go against (Byron) Maxwell, that’s a great measuring stick for him. We’ve gone at him a lot in practices, just trying to make sure that his confidence is growing and that he has a great feel for the offense.”

(On how the team will know when DE Cameron Wake can be full-go) – “I was just short of my M.D. at Michigan State (laughter), but I’m going to lean on the strength and conditioning (coaches) and the trainers and those people in our building to give me any red flags that come up. For the most part, he has been good. No alarms have been sounded quite yet.”

(On how WR Griff Whalen fits into the receiving corps) – “He’s competing. When you get to that spot – basically after the first two guys – if you’re not contributing somehow on special teams and you can’t play multiple positions, it’s going to be tough to make the team. That’s why we like the variety of guys we have that are competing in special teams that can play inside (and) outside. Position flex(ibility) is key.”

(On WR Jakeem Grant’s speed) – “It’s impressive. I know a lot of defensive guys have made comments about how quick and how fast he is. It’s almost like we have to temple him down a little bit, because … You guys probably saw today (that) when we do some routes versus air, he can get a little bit out of control. It’s learning how to run certain routes at the right tempo. It’s almost like the illusion you’re running full speed, but you’re not really, and you’re under control and you can stop on a dime. That’s where we need to get him.”

(On whether he calls WR Jakeem Grant “Mighty Mouse” as teammates do) – “I will not call him that.” (laughter)

(On what he would like to see from QB Ryan Tannehill in the red zone) – “You put the quarterback in bad positions sometimes as a play-caller, and you’re looking for the touchdown. You keep thinking, ‘Touchdown. Touchdown. Touchdown.’ Sometimes, you need to think of, ‘How can I create a third-and-manageable situation with a quarterback where it can become a run-pass option?’ You get a little greedy sometimes in the red zone, because you want the touchdown so bad. Sometimes, you have to understand (that) you have to score through the goal line. If you can keep your quarterback third-and-4 or less, it gives them options. It makes it easier on them. But when you’re third-and-9 from the 18 (yard line) or third-and-12 from the 20 (yard line), it’s hard. You’re limited on what you can call. As a play caller, you have to do a great job (of making) sure you put him in position to have success. That’s one of the things we’re trying to work on. When the throws are there and it’s a tight window – because it’s going to be tighter down there – we have to make the throws, and we have to make the catch.”

(On what G Billy Turner has to do to reach the next level) – “I think he has to keep doing what he’s been doing, and that’s working hard, getting stronger in the weight room, understanding what to do as far as the scheme, which he has been doing. We’re moving guys all over the place right now. I think his position flexibility has been outstanding. I think he’s on a great track right now, as far as he keeps showing up every day, doing the right thing, working to get harder. He doesn’t say much, and I appreciate guys who just put their head down and work.”

(On whether G Billy Turner is getting time at guard and tackle) – “We’re working those guys. Unless you can’t play center, we’re trying everybody. We want to make sure we have options. Like I said before, (there are) seven guys up on game day. We better be able to be flexible.”

(On what he has seen from LB Neville Hewitt) – “It’s a growing experience for him. I know the speed was something we were very impressed with coming in. Now, it’s more about … We have to get him out there. We have to keep him out there. Availability is the No. 1 priority right now with a lot of our players. If you can’t practice, it’s hard to evaluate. As far as his skill set goes, it’s there; and we have to keep bringing him along.”

(On what he would like to see from TE Dion Sims) – “I think it does come down to consistency. I know that’s kind of a repeat line right there, but he has the skill set that you want. There are not a lot of tight ends that you can say (are) an in-line blocker, can play the move position, can catch the ball, can run routes, has good speed and can do a good job in both pass protection and the run game. He has all that ability. It’s about doing it week-in, week-out for the entire season.”

(On DE Dion Jordan applying for reinstatement) – “You can copy and paste again. (laughter) You can use (General Manager) Chris’ (Grier) answer this time instead of mine. I’ll worry about that when it comes around.”

(On how RB Jay Ajayi is progressing as a pass catcher and route runner) – “He has done a good job in both areas. I feel like the routes are something (that is) a little bit new for him, as far as what he did in college. But the improvement we’re seeing every day is what we’re looking for. It’s just giving (him) that opportunity. The last period we did, there’s a lot of reps right there to where every little detail is important for him, because it might be the first time he has actually done it. We want him to keep improving. That’s going to be the key. It’s all about getting the next eight practices in, so when we hit training camp, everybody has a great feel of the offense. And then we can go out there and we can raise that level that we’re at right now.”

(On the depth of the pass rush) – “You’re upset about this? (laughter) We’re excited. The more for us, the better. (It is the) same thing with corner(backs). I’ll hit somebody off on that one, right? The more flexibility we have at corner and more guys we have at pass rusher, that’s what we’re looking for.”

(On whether the pass rushers are the deepest position group going into camp) – “Probably. We’ll just see how it goes.”

(On whether WR DeVante Parker did not practice due to injury) – “No, we’re just being smart.”

(On LB Koa Misi’s incident) – “We had a discussion about it. I think it was more me talking than him. But, it has been handled.”

Earl Mitchell – May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Defensive Tackle Earl Mitchell

(On if Head Coach Adam Gase knows that he plays fullback) – “I’m pretty sure the word has gotten around. That would be cool. But who knows?”

(On if he knows how Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph wants to use the defensive tackles in terms of rest and rotation) – “It’s difficult to say right now. We’re all getting the feel for everything and seeing how everything is going to turn out. But right now, (we are) just trying to figure out an established rotation. I guess (that’s) what is key. From a practice standpoint, we’re all just trying to get reps in right now. We have a lot of defensive tackles, a lot of defensive linemen in right now (and we’re) just trying to get as many reps (and) just trying to see where everybody’s at.”

(On his thoughts about the new additions to the defensive line) – “We have some older guys here. It makes the competition that much better all around. We have older guys teaching younger guys and we have younger guys pushing the older guys so it’s a really good atmosphere, especially in our room.”

(On what kind of leadership role he has taken this year) – “(I’m) definitely just trying to push the younger guys here. (DT Ndamukong) Suh (and I), we have some younger guys here and we’re doing whatever we can to try to put some knowledge on them and show them how it’s done. And just overall, (we’re) just trying to do it the right way and just lead by example.”

(On DT Jordan Phillips) – “Jordan’s definitely working hard. He wants to step up and do his part. All I can do is just commend him on his work. He’s doing what he can to make this team better and obviously that makes us better. I’m all for it.”

(On if the unit is still upset about last year) – “We’re not focused on that. We’re moving forward. I think all of the guys here (are) really excited about what we can be. Obviously we have the talent there, but you just have to figure it out and just make sure everybody’s on the same page.”

(On if he has communicated with DE Dion Jordan recently) – “I haven’t had too many words with him. I just hope he’s doing well. That’s my message to get to him. Hopefully everything works out with him in a positive aspect. That’s pretty much all I have to say about him.”

(On if it would be alright if DE Dion Jordan returned to the locker room) – “Definitely. There’s no hard feelings. All you can do is just wish positive for another man.”

(On if being a starter makes a difference to him at this point in his career) – “Obviously, it’s a competition. Whenever there’s a competition, you feel like you want to win. You never want to just look at it like that. That’s the worst thing you can do. Whatever I can do to push him, whatever he can do to push me, we’re both welcoming that atmosphere. I really think it’s a positive thing, at the end of the day, just pushing one another. We’re getting better, we’re communicating, we’re talking and when you’re on the field, you’re going to be on the field with each other. It’s not like there’s not a chance that me and him aren’t going to be on the field together at one point. But it makes it better – the competition.”

(On DE Mario Williams) – “Obviously he brings another veteran presence. He’s a great pass rusher, a great player and he has a lot of knowledge of the game. It’s really good for the locker room too. They get to see him being a veteran. He’s coming (in and) working hard every day and all (of) the young guys get to see what it’s like to play at a high level and practice and come in and do the stuff that’s necessary to be productive.”

(On DE Cameron Wake) – “I see a guy that’s doing everything he can to just make this team better. He’s still working (on rehab), but he’s working with the guys. He’s coming in during the workouts. You really wouldn’t be able to tell (that he is coming off a serious injury). I think he’s doing okay.”

(On the depth at defensive tackle) – “We have some guys that you have film on them, you can see their body of work and I think we have a good nucleus of guys, especially inside. I’m excited about the guys we have.”

(On departures in free agency such as RB Lamar Miller, DE Olivier Vernon and CB Brent Grimes and if he wonders how the team will replace those guys) – “This league is all about competition and you have to trust those guys upstairs that they can replace those guys. Obviously those are great players and you’re going to miss their contribution. But at the same time you can trust the guys upstairs that they’re going to be able to replace those guys with quality guys. I’m excited about the additions that we have. You never know what the additions (and) their impact can make on this team.”

(On Head Coach Adam Gase talking trash to the team and if he picks sides and talks more to the defense) – “He definitely picks a side. (laughter) It’s all good though. It’s different to have a head coach … it’s like if he gets the best of you one day, he swears he had that planned out. But I can tell (he picks sides), and it’s good. It just makes the atmosphere better. It’s fun.”

(On if he knew it was Head Coach Adam Gase talking trash the first time he heard it) – “It’s actually a couple of them. You have the wide receivers coach, he’s talking trash. He’s taking trash to us and it’s like ‘Who is that?’ You think (they are) players at first. But it’s making us better. I like it. I’m all for it.”

(On if he talks trash back) – “No, that’s not my style. I just play.”

(On what makes him confident that the defensive line will be better than last year) – “It’s hard to tell right now. But what I can say is that we have (Defensive Line Coach Terrell) Williams, we have (Assistant Defensive Line Coach/Pass Rush Specialist Jim) Washburn, who’s helping us out a tremendous amount in comparison to last year. We’re learning a whole lot more early on. And (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph), he’s pretty adamant about us having this attack-style defense. I just want to commend Coach Washburn. He’s helping us out and teaching us so much. I think that’s going to be big. It’s going to be key for us, just having that communication and just learning everything early on, what they want us to do.”

(On the biggest difference between a Wide 9 defense and what he has been playing his whole life) – “It gives us the opportunity to attack upfield. It turns everything back (inside), especially in the run game. It takes that read away from the inside guys too. You don’t have to read down the line of scrimmage. You can just attack and not necessarily worry about losing your contain on the outside because when you have guys on the outside, it turns everything back inside. It makes it easier for you to attack and not worry about if anything’s going to get on the outside.”

(On the absences of DT Ndamukong Suh and S Reshad Jones during voluntary workouts) – “We’re focused on the guys that are here. They’re doing their thing and everybody knows what they’re capable of. Everybody trusts them around here. I’m not concerned about them. When they are here, it is great because they have so much knowledge they can bestow on all the young guys. It’s always good when they’re around.”

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