Transcripts

Adam Gase – September 16, 2016 Download PDF version

Friday, September 16, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On whether DE Mario Williams is out of the concussion protocol) – “No, he’s not. He’s on whatever the next step is right now. Being able to get out there and do some stuff was the next step. We haven’t officially been told, ‘He has completed every step, as far as being able to play in this game.’ I’ll find out more once I get back in the building (following the press conference).”

(On RB Jay Ajayi) – “I think he has been really good. He has been really engaged in meetings. I know he has done a great job. I know (Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren) Rizzi brought it up to me that he has done a great job in special teams meetings. He has done a very good job at practice. We’re heading in the right direction in that area.”

(On whether RB Jay Ajayi will be available on Sunday) – “We haven’t made any final decisions yet, right now. We’ll have a better idea as far as exactly what we’re going to do Saturday night.”

(On having to address questions publicly about his coaching decisions as a first time head coach) – “I think it’s more times than not when (the media) ask me a question, I answer it for the most part. Some of the stuff that has come out as far as what happened with Jay (Ajayi), … When you go on the road, you have to declare guys out and say why they’re not there or why they didn’t make the trip. It is what it is. You’re not going to hide anything. I just don’t see the point of beating around the bush.”

(On if he tries to treat everybody the same or differently) – “I think our coaching staff tries to treat everybody the same. We have a certain way we want to go about our business. (There is) a pretty high percentage (of) guys (that) try to do that right thing. That’s our biggest thing. We don’t have a lot of rules. Our biggest thing is (to) make sure that you give us full effort during practice and on game day. Basically, just make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be at the right time. That’s all we’re really concerned about, and when we’re in this building give us the full attention. That’s all we’re asking for. We’re not here for a long time. There are not a lot of hours spent in the building, so I don’t think what we’re asking for is too much.”

(On RB Arian Foster getting most of the carries last week and if he looks for that continue) – “There were a couple of times where we were trying to get Damien (Williams) in there. We were supposed to do it on the series that we actually got the turnover and (Foster) ran onto the field. I think he felt like he could kind of feel the flow of the game. When you get an experienced guy that understands the flow of the game and he kind of saw that we were struggling a little bit and we weren’t getting first downs, I think he felt like, ‘Maybe I can contribute to getting that first, first down, and then we can get rolling.’ I think on one of the series – that last one where we got going – he basically kind of got himself out of there at the end and that’s how Damien ended up on that screen. We got rolling and I think he felt like, ‘Okay, we’re in good shape here so Damien can get a couple of snaps in there,’ and then (Foster) would be able to come back in. So I think he kind of felt the tempo of the game and felt responsible as far as, ‘I need to be in there to make sure if that number is called, that I can do something positive to try to get this thing going for us.’”

(On if he is encouraged about Sunday with WR DeVante Parker) – “It’s going to be … like, after practice today, we have to see where he’s at; and then tomorrow we’ll see where he is at in the morning, and then we’ll go through our walkthrough and we’ll see where he is at. When he gets off the plane, we have to see where he is at. It just changes so much when you have any kind of soft-tissue deal to where you almost have to wait until game day to make that decision.”

(On if he has any relationship with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and if he has ever met him) – “I met him one time. I saw him and Mike Lombardi at the Combine. That was the only time I’ve ever met him.”

(On if that meeting with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was recent) – “I think it was a couple of years ago.”

Adam Gase – September 15, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On the update on WR DeVante Parker) – “It’s going to have to be the whole week. We’re going to have to see him go through a full week of practice, see how he feels on Saturday. And then we’re probably going to triple-check this whole deal if he makes it through the week and on Sunday, just make sure we work him out before the game and make sure we don’t have any issues. If he feels good, then we’ll have the chance to go. If there’s something that’s lingering there, then we’ll have a different guy up.”

(On who picks up the snaps and slack there if DE Mario Williams does not play on Sunday) – “It’s just going to have to be a group effort. We’re going to have to have some plans in place as far as how we’re going to rotate and how many plays we’re going to expect from each guy. I think last week, when you lose two guys on the defensive line, it kind of throws everything off a little bit because you have a plan going in and you have that contingency plan; but I think what happened was it just was a little more than what we thought. Obviously if the offense, if we stay on the field a little more, they wouldn’t have had 80-plus snaps in that game. So that kind of threw a little wrench in the plan there. We’ll have a good plan in place as far as how we’re going to rotate those guys.”

(On DE Cameron Wake’s snap count) – “I think when you start getting in that 50 range, 50-plus range, that’s probably where we want to avoid that, for the most part. Hopefully, once again, if we do a better job of staying on the field for those guys, hopefully we can keep it between 50 and 60 total plays as far as the defense goes. When we put them in the situation that we did last week, it kind of put a lot of guys in a bad position. If we can keep him on the lower end of that and keep him fresh, we think that’s going to help through the duration of the season. That’s what we’re looking to do.”

(On what type of role can he see RB Isaiah Pead playing once he’s fully healthy) – “He did a really good job on special teams. Just that value right there is important. I think we’re trying to find as many guys that can contribute in that area. We want to make sure that’s one of our strongest parts of our team. His ability to be able play multiple phases is obviously good for us. Anytime you’ve got running backs that can go into that role and fill in for some of the linebacker spots, that’s always helpful, especially with a guy with his type of speed and the physical-ness that he plays with. But at the same time, offensively we like him as a back. We like him when he has the ball in his hand. We feel like he makes a lot of plays and he’s able to protect and he’s able to catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s one of those guys that have a great skill set for what we do on offense and the special teams is very valuable. We’ve just got to keep getting through this week and see what we’re going to do.”

(On if setting up the run by passing is an approach he has used often) – “Yes. I think that’s probably been more my approach in the past than the other way around. I know last year was a little different for us. We kind of flip-flopped that. So it’s really about what are the players that you have (and) what are you trying to do as an overall team? Every week’s different. Like this week, it might be different than last week, and the week after that could be different than whatever we do this week. Our philosophy is we like to throw the ball. We like the skill guys that we have. We feel like a lot of the stuff that, when we get the ball in Jarvis’ (Landry) hand, he makes some plays. A lot of those throws are shorter throws that it’s almost like a run. The only difference is it’s a tally for an attempt instead of a carry. We feel like a lot of the throws that we do make are safe. We’re not really putting ourselves in position to where it could be any kind of turnover. It’s really kind of balancing out the run game.”

(On if he needs a third quarterback this week) – “We have a plan. We had one last week. I don’t have to tell you guys that one. But, I mean we’ve been working on it since training camp. You guys just didn’t notice.” (Laughter)

(On whether the team thinks about 2008 being the last time Miami won in New England) – “I think a lot of these guys are more focused on what’s going on now. I do remember that game though, because that was the ‘Wildcat’ game. I was in San Francisco, and we played New England the next week. So, I remember that very well.”

(On whether San Francisco incorporated the Wildcat offense into their game against New England in 2008) – “We had a little bit in there, but it was one of those things that (Mike) Martz had when he was in St. Louis – he’d do it with Marshall (Faulk) every once in a while – but it wasn’t zone-read stuff. It was really direct-snap stuff. I do remember that game. I know we were worried about (how) they might do it to us, because Matt Cassel was playing. We didn’t know if they’d incorporate some of that into their offense, because they were very flexible, and they did a lot of different things that year.”

(On his reaction at the time to seeing the ‘Wildcat’ for the first time) – “I think my biggest thought was the fact that it had been like eight years since they lost back-to-back games. We knew they were going to bring their A-game, for sure.”

(On whether WR Jarvis Landry will continue to field punts close to Miami’s goal line) – “I think every week we’re going to have a little different plan as far as going into the game (with) what we want to do, where we’re playing (and) what the situation is. We feel great about him anytime he goes back there. We feel like he can make a play. We feel like he’s going to make the right decision. That’s not taking anything away from Jakeem (Grant), but anytime we can get the ball in Jarvis’ hands – whether it be running the ball, passing the ball, punt return, kick return – we feel good about it. (It’s the) same thing with Jakeem. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a legitimate threat. We felt like for that game, that was a good situation for us to put him back there.”

(On the decision to have WR Jarvis Landry return punts) – “He has really been on us more than anything. He didn’t like he didn’t do anything in the preseason. He kept begging ‘Rizz’ (Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi) to go back there. We felt like we were doing a good job in practice. He was getting his reps that he needed to get. We didn’t really need to see him do it live.”

(On whether the Patriots having the ability to move receivers around presents challenges) – “It does, because they can move them around. We keep seeing different guys. It’s not like you’ve got the same guy in the same spot all the time where, if you are the nickel defender, you get used to how this guy releases, the routes he runs, maybe the patterns that they’re trying to go to him in certain big situations. But when you have guys that can play inside and outside, and they all know the offense really well, and they move everybody around, and you’re constantly getting a different guy, it makes it tough on the defense, especially whoever is playing inside. You have to be on it. You have to make sure that you understand, ‘What does this guy do well?’ Every time you go in there and a different guy keeps showing up, you have to really retrain your mind (to think) of, ‘Okay, this what I have to worry about with this player.’ That’s what makes them hard to defend. They all have very good knowledge of the offense, and (New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is) able to move all these guys around, because of that. On defense, you have to be on it. You better understand who you’re going against each time, and you’ve got to make adjustments.”

(On CB Bobby McCain bouncing back from last week’s game) – “That’s part of playing in this league. There’s going to be good plays; there’s going to be bad plays. The professionals bounce back. You go back to work on Wednesday and you figure out a way to clean up whatever happened to you on Sunday. That’s why it’s a long season. You can’t focus on what happened last week. You got to move on to the next one and be prepared, and next time your number is called, you make a play.”

(On Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick’s consistency as a head coach) – “Anytime you can win the division as much as he has – like you said in an age where there’s a lot of players transitioning and he has been there long enough to where, not only that, it has been retirements and bringing in new groups of draft classes and getting a free agent here and there as far as some of the bigger names, there haven’t been a ton of them but every once in a while, you’ll have a guy there a year or two, like (Darrelle) Revis going there and (Brandon) Browner the one year when they won the Super Bowl – it’s an impressive thing to do considering all the moving parts you have all around the league, whether it be coaches, front office, players. To be able to be consistent like that … (In) my short time in the NFL, it just seems like they’ve always been at the top since I’ve been in the league. That’s the challenge we have here is going up there and understanding to win against a team like that, we have to play very well. We have to play smart. We have to understand that they’re not going to give us anything. We have to go up there and figure out a way to put ourselves in position in the fourth quarter to give ourselves a chance to win.”

(On what he has seen from WR Justin Hunter and if he is ready to contribute on offense) – “Yes, if we get the right situation and he happens to be up. I think he is more ready than he was last week. It was a very quick transition for him. I think he has a better feel as far as what we’re doing on offense and terminology and things like that. Some of it is close to what he was doing in Tennessee, so that helps him a lot. And like I said before, Shawn (Jefferson) being his coach before (in Tennessee), he can translate a few things. He seems like when he goes in there in practice, he knows what to do. I don’t see him making a lot of mistakes. We’ve just got to keep getting him in there.”

(On the most impressive thing he saw from his safeties in Week 1) – “I think the fact that they tackled so well is really good for us because they’re limiting explosive plays. If a guy breaks through into the secondary, they get him down. Obviously, Reshad (Jones) does more than that. He really makes sure that they know that he’s there when he ends up making a tackle. The fact that both of those guys are around the ball so much and they cover up any kind of holes we have. They can really move from side to side and track the ball and actually finish the play. There’s a lot of guys out there that will be in position to make the play and they don’t. These two guys seem to make that play. I’ve seen it a lot in practice and then when you see it translate to the game, that’s very encouraging for us.”

(On if you can build out more for the safeties from what you saw in Week 1) – “I’m sure. The longer we go, the more we’re going to be able to kind of experiment with certain things. Right now, we’re so early in the season. We’re in Week 2. We’ve got a tough opponent we’re going against right here. You can’t just start changing everything up. We’re still in that stage of, ‘How are guys going to react in games? What can we get away with? What can’t we? Who is going to play up front? How long can they hold onto the ball?’ There’s a lot of things that go into the thought process of game-planning and seeing how much you actually can do with different kinds of positions.”

(On divisional games and the Jets playing the Bills tonight) – “We focus on what we have to do. One of the things on the offensive side, there were enough mistakes that we did for ourselves. It wasn’t about what they did. We have to clean some things up on that side of the ball. Special teams, (it’s) the same thing. In talking with (Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren) Rizzi, we had a long conversation that was the same thing. We were saying that we need to clean up the little details that we didn’t do right during the game. (On) defense, they’re just trying to build upon that performance as far as that was why they had success. They executed the plan that they had in place and the problem was that we left them on the field too long. We didn’t help them out in any of the other phases and it was almost like they were on their own. They did a good job. They set the tone for the team as far as, ‘We did it the right way. We made it hard and we executed (Defensive Coordinator Vance (Joseph)’s plan,’ and they had a good result. The other two phases, we have to follow in line on that.”

(On WR Justin Hunter’s athletic ability and if he’s still transitioning into being a wide receiver) – “I guess I don’t know enough about his past as far as what he’s looked like before. He looks smooth to me as a route runner. Any time I see him go up for a ball, it’s been impressive. The length and his ability to jump have been very impressive. When you get a new guy on the team and you’ve only been around him for 10 to 12 days, it’s hard to make a full evaluation on a guy.”

Branden Albert – September 15, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, September 15, 2016

T Branden Albert

(On if crowd noise affects his play on the field) – “For me, as a player that has been around the league for a long time, I usually don’t hear the crowd. I’m really concentrating on the task at hand, so I don’t really pay attention to the environment.”

(On if Sunday’s performance was a shot of confidence for the team) – “I would’ve rather won. That’s the confidence we need, a W. Just because we were in the game, you put up a good fight, that says a lot about the team. But a W is the only thing that counts. You can have a victory about certain things, but the big victory is getting that W.”

(On if the Patriots game a big game to him personally) – “Every game for me is important. I want to win every game and for the sake of the team and the organization, every game is important. But, we are playing in a division game, so it is important. We have to make sure we capitalize and go out there and play well and have the outcome be the outcome in our favor.”

(On fans feeling the Dolphins should win because QB Tom Brady and potentially TE Rob Gronkowski are not playing) – “I don’t know why people think (that) just because a certain player or a certain aspect is out of the game for them. They are a good team. They’re a well-coached team. They have one of the best coaches that has ever coached football. They will come with a game plan to try to beat us and we can’t go in there thinking that just because they don’t have certain things on their team that we are just going to automatically beat them. We take it as what it is. We go down there and they still have a hell of a defense. They still have a lot of their defensive guys and it’s going to be a hard game.”

Isa Abdul-Quddus – September 15, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, September 15, 2016 

S Isa Abdul-Quddus

(On what is so challenging about what the Patriots do offensively) – “They try to get matchups. They try to take advantage of matchups to get linebackers on receivers and tight ends and stuff like that. We’ve just got to really be poised in our technique and make sure we do the right thing.”

(On QB Jimmy Garoppolo) – “He’s going to be really good. He has a lot of poise. He sticks in the pocket. He’s not afraid to take a hit. He’s pretty good.”

(On how he feels about the team’s ability as a secondary to produce turnovers) – “I think we’ve been doing pretty well as long as we play our technique. As long we are doing what we’re supposed to do, the ball will fall in our laps.”

(On why they have been so effective in getting interceptions) – “With our coaches, we always do a bunch of technique drills, so we try to make sure our techniques are as best as possible. But then our coaches always put us in great schemes and it makes it easy.”

(On how he would describe the secondary’s physical traits as a group) – “I feel like physically, we run around. We have a lot of speed on the field. We have a lot of length outside with the corners. Both of them are pretty tall and stuff like that. We fly around and hit.”

(On if it’s tough facing an unknown in QB Jimmy Garoppolo) – “It’s 50/50. It’s up in the air. You really don’t know until game day but you know that the Patriots have a certain way of doing things. We know how he’s been taught. So we try to learn from that.”

(On if he’s been through anything like this team not winning in New England since 2008) – “Last year (with Detroit,) we went to Green Bay and we won for the first time since 1991 or something like that.”

(On how aware was he about not winning since 1991 going into the Lions/Packers game last year) – “I don’t really try to think about it because it’s bad. It’s bad history. I want to think about good things and stuff like that but it always feels good to go into anybody’s stadium and get a win because it’s one of the toughest things to do in the league.”

Darren Rizzi – September 15, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi

(On the thought process of having WR Jarvis Landry handling punt returns closer to the goal line) – “It’s really going to be situational by game. I know I’ve actually been asked that question before or just after the game, and I think some people thought I was bluffing all preseason when I said that Jarvis Landry was going to be part of our return game. He is. The bottom line is he’s one of the best returners in the NFL. He has proven that over the last couple of years. We have him on the team in the 46 (game day available players). He can help us win football games, and that’s really just going to depend on game by game. I think this week he was back for three (punts). Some weeks it could be three. Some weeks it could five. Some weeks it could be one. I think it really depends on how the game plays out, where the ball is on the field, the situation – all those different things. Again, you guys know me pretty well, and I’ve said for years, I like to have as many options as we can. Jarvis (Landry) is one of those options. Fortunately for us, now we have a few: Jarvis (Landry), Jakeem (Grant), Kenyan (Drake), Kenny (Stills). Those guys are back there and, they’re all options. Damien Williams. It’s good to have guys that you can rely on to go back there and be a part of it. (With) Jarvis (Landry), again – I think we did the calculations in the offseason – I think if it wasn’t for one return that was called back, he would have led the NFL in punt returns last year. I think people lose sight of that. I always compare him to a guy like Antonio Brown, who’s a punt returner for the Steelers. I don’t know if he’s always back there every single one, but again to have those … I mentioned last week we have a package in where you can put both guys back there at the same time as well. So all of those different options we have. I think the more that we can do, the more we can give our opponent to work on, the better. We’ll be moving forward.”

(On how he thought WR Jakeem Grant did in such a tough environment last week) – “I thought he did great. I thought he really did well. I heard a couple of people say, ‘Wow, he got hit hard a couple of times.’ As a coach, I say, ‘Well, he held onto the football.’ You’re going to get hit hard in the NFL. There’s a lot of big people running around at high speeds. He’s a guy that – again, I’ve said this a bunch of times – he’s working at this thing. He’s still a work in progress, but I think everybody kind of saw what he did. His numbers are a little bit skewed, because two of his returns got called back for penalties, so he had a productive day. He fielded the ball well. Again, (it was) no different than he was out there yesterday after practice, fielding another extra 30 or 40 of them. This guy is really working at it, and there’s a lot to be said for that. It’s a guy that really wants to be out there. Again, I think what you saw him do on that kickoff return, there was one guy that was kind of free, and he made him miss (and) bounced to the outside. He has got that speed. He has got that elusiveness that will cause problems for other people, for sure. I’m really happy with his progress right now, and we got to continue to take care of the football. That’s (the) No. 1 priority.”

(On CBS analyst Dan Fouts attributing the missed field goal to G/T Laremy Tunsil not lining up correctly) – “I did not hear that Dan Fouts blamed Laremy Tunsil. Let me just say this: the field goal was probably in multiple spots off. Our protection needs to be better there. The ball came out a little bit low. I think if you ask Andrew (Franks), he would tell you same the thing. The unique thing about the first week in the NFL – and this happens and we made this a big emphasis going in – is in the special teams area, you see a lot of – I don’t know what you want to call it – strange plays or blocks or whatever it is in the first couple of weeks of the season. There was, I don’t know if you guys were aware of this, there were 17 missed field goals and PATs in Week 1 of the season. Seventeen. I think four of those were blocked. Two in our game. One by us. One by them. But that’s one per game. The reason for that is because it’s very hard in the preseason to simulate what you’re going to get in live action. A lot of people don’t show what they’re going to show in the preseason games. It’s not a play that you want to practice live – no one does – for player safety. Because of that, you see a lot of blocks and missed opportunities early in the season. I think – again, you guys can go back and do the research on this – but I think six games came down to either a field goal to win the game or a field goal that could have won the game. Ours was one of them. I think three or four guys lined up for game winners and missed them. And there are other field goals that got missed in other games. I’m not going to have you sit here and list every single one. So, every one of those things is important. My point is it’s an emphasis we place strongly every week in the protection, in our film study, in our game planning, and we got to get better upfront. With that said, that ball … If you look at Andrew’s (Franks) other two kicks, they came out with much better elevation. He knows that, and we got to get that cleaned up on both sides – the protection part and the kick part, for sure.”

(On how important it is for a player on punt returns to be able to make that first guy miss) – “You know what it is? It’s a lot of fun for the guys blocking for him. You can never get a hat on every single guy on the field. That’s just the way it is. You can block as many as you can, and it’s great to know that if I’m busting my tail down the field – and I’m running 40 yards and blocking somebody – I know that guy with the ball in his hand can make people miss and make the guys that you can’t get a hat on, make those guys miss in the open field. It’s a great thing. We’ve had some great returners here in the past. That’s really always the first thing that I look at is, ‘Can we make the first guy miss and then have the blocking scheme do the rest?’ And that’s a huge thing. Jarvis (Landry) has done that in past. We’ve got other guys here in the past (that have) been able to do that. The thing about Jakeem (Grant) that’s really impressive is a lot of times you see smaller guys that are quick, but not fast. I think Jakeem (Grant) – if I’m not mistaken ran – a 10.3 (second) 100 meters in high school. He’s got both the elusiveness and the home run speed, if you will. He really could be the whole package. Again, he’s a work in progress. We got to get him better with decisions with the ball and things like that. For a little guy, those things are impressive for sure.”

Vance Joseph – September 15, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph

(On the challenges of facing the Patriots) – “I think the real challenge is if you watch four games, you see four different teams, so you’re not sure what you’re going to get. It’s a little bit different with the younger quarterback. It’s more stable as far as the game plans. But in the past, (if) you watch four games, it’s four different game plans, it’s four different targets. It’s a huge difference in game plans. That’s the biggest fear going into a game like this.”

(On what he saw from Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 1) – “I saw a guy who played with great poise. He wasn’t rattled by the pressure. (He was) a guy that was an accurate passer, who had some mobility to escape the rush. I saw a guy playing way beyond his years. I was impressed by him.”

(On what he has to do to rattle Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo and whether he will bring more pressure or rely on the front four this week) – “Not really. Last week, he picked the pressures up and the ball is out of his hand so quick. I’m not going to go into the game saying we got to bring more pressure and those things. We’re just going to play our game and see where it lies at the end.”

(On how S Isa Abdul-Quddus’ ability to go from sideline to sideline benefits the team) – “It has been a plus to us. When we signed Isa, we saw a guy on tape with great range, who was a great tackler. Where he has improved with us is in pass coverage, in the middle thirds and halves and quarters. He has improved a lot from the spring to now. We signed him, because he was a missile in the run game, a great tackler.”

(On S Isa Abdul-Quddus’ recognition in the run game) – “(He is a) very, very smart guy. (He has a) high football IQ. He can see it quick.”

(On how LB Donald Butler can help the team this week) – “Probably not this week, but going forward … He’s a veteran linebacker that can play linebacker. We didn’t want to sign a backup linebacker for (special) teams. He’s going to play linebacker for us eventually. He has been in here two or three days. As we go along and we get him caught up on the playbook, he’s going to play and help us (and) play actual defensive snaps. We’re excited about him.”

(On where LB Donald Butler fits best in the scheme) – “He’s going to play the Will ‘backer position, so we can have more depth there. He has been a guy that has played Mike. He has played inside linebacker in 3-4, so for us, he can play Mike or Will for us.”

(On how he is using the skill sets of S Michael Thomas and CB Bobby McCain) – “Michael played in our big sub package – more first, second down, run-pass package – in the nickel spot, because that spot it’s more run game on first, second down. He’s a better fit, obviously, in the run game, being a safety. Bobby played in our nickel package where it was all third downs, and it was pass or 2-minute. It’s a different package, and it’s a different skill set.”

(On CB Bobby McCain’s confidence) – “I think his confidence is fine. When the ball is inside of the 5-yard line, and he has got time on the clock and he has one or two timeouts, I’m stopping the run game. I’m hoping they throw the ball. Bobby is fine. That’s a tough play to make, but he’s fine.”

(On what gives him confidence at the defensive tackle position) – “Losing Earl (Mitchell), that hurts us. That’s a starting-type player for us. But Jordan (Phillips) is playing really well. (Julius) Warmsley, he’s going to get better as we go along. Chris Jones is back. He had a really good camp, so I’m confident in Chris’ ability. And having (Terrence) Fede back this week is going to help.”

(On how DE Jason Jones’ role would be affected without DE Mario Williams) – “On base downs, his role won’t change much, Jason’s. On third sub downs, we may have to adjust to not having Mario. We’ll see.”

(On the little difference between strong and free safety) – “Most teams are playing shell defense – which is cover 2, cover 4 – so you want both guys to have great range. You want both guys to be open-field tacklers. When you play single high, you don’t want to have to say, ‘You’re always down.’ That’s a dead giveaway. If you’re Seattle, Kam (Chancellor) is always down. That’s what they do. That’s the way the thing is built. Earl (Thomas) is always the middle safety. For our scheme, we want two guys who have the same skill sets, so we can hide who’s down or hide who’s back.”

(On whether the team wants to play DE Cam Wake when the game is on the line) – “Absolutely. Last week, it was a little different, losing Mario (Williams). He (Wake) played more snaps than he should’ve played, probably, and towards the end, he was a little gassed. It kind of went against our game plan last week losing Mario. But absolutely, if it’s a critical play in the game, Cam is going to be out there. It’s not like Cam is going to be a backup player. Cam is a specialty player. If the game is on the line, Cam is going to be on the field.”

(On whether he wants DE Cam Wake to play fewer than 29 snaps) – “No, not fewer than that. He played more base snaps than we wanted (him) to. It was run game stuff, at the end of the game. He played more snaps in the third quarter on base downs, and towards the end he was a little gassed. He played most of his snaps in that small segment and towards the end, he wasn’t able to give us what we wanted, because Mario (Williams) got hurt about the middle of the third quarter, so he took over for Mario. Towards the end, he was gassed.”

(On the overall defensive effort in Week 1) – “(The) effort was great. Not finishing the game is disappointing for us, but the effort was great. We had a good plan. Guys tackled well. Not finishing is disappointing.”

(On if fatigue was part of not finishing well) – “I wouldn’t say that. We’re in shape. We played about 80, 81 snaps that were grade-able. But if you make one play, in both 2-minutes – before the half and at the end of the game – you win the ball game. For us, (we are) happy with the effort, but disappointed in how we finished both halves.”

(On what he could have done differently on the final series versus Seattle) – “Probably brought more pressure. I was thinking, ‘Bring more pressure,’ but you’re up (and) a field goal won’t beat you, so you’re thinking, ‘Hold on. Make them drive the length of the field and not bring a pressure where someone becomes vulnerable and you lose the game in one play.’ That was my mindset. But (I would) probably bring more pressure from my perspective as a play caller.”

Clyde Christensen – September 15, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen

(On why he didn’t go with a quarterback sneak on the fourth-and-1 play in Seattle and how much time he spends with Head Coach Adam Gase on fourth-and-1 play possibilities) – “(Gase) has been the same with the team ever since the beginning. He was going to be aggressive and every chance he had to go for it, he was going for it. We treat it like any other situation. We have a game plan for it. (As for the reason we ran the play we did) over the sneak, sometimes we would sneak it and sometimes we wouldn’t there. We just didn’t get it blocked. We needed to secure the edges a little bit and we didn’t. That would probably be the only thing we change – that they come hard off those edges. Good defense. We’ve got to make it.”

(On why it is so tough to win at New England) – “I think it’s a lot of things. We were laughing today, this is the first time I’ve gone up there in September. The sun checks out on November 1st and never comes back. I’ve been up (there) in December and January mostly, so I’m looking forward to hopefully (seeing) the sun out there. A) They are a good football team. B) It’s hard to win any game on the road, and they’re really good. All of a sudden you go up there and a lot of times it’s the elements. They’re just a good team. They’re hard to beat. It’s hard to beat any team on the road and especially one of the upper-echelon teams. I haven’t felt there has been anything mystical or anything. If you go up there and you take care of business, you have a chance and the ball moves. If you don’t, it doesn’t. Nothing special.”

(On Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph commenting that you play the Patriots four times and you see four different teams and if they’re the same way on offense) – “(It’s the) same thing (on offense). They’re a game-plan defense. They’re going to game plan you. If their game plan is to play Cover 2, they’ll play it, and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, and they’re going to go with it. They do a great job that way that you go into the game and you better have a good system, because you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. They have some themes. They like to cover you man. They like to do those things. They like to get those ‘backers on your backs, but where they come from and which of those two big ‘backers are coming, you don’t know. You have to play ball and the system has to take care of some things and you have to be able to adjust, which I think is their game plan. You’re not 100 percent sure you’re preparing for what they’re going to do, because you don’t know what they’re going to do. You just prepare to play football – play a good football team – and now you have to adjust on the sideline and your system has to take care of some of those things.”

(On the team being 30th in the NFL in yards and 29th in points and how to improve that) – “You play better. You catch the ball. You convert some third downs. We were horrendous on third down and all of a sudden that game gets shorter. It was a good one-score game for most of the game, so you play a little bit close to the vest. We all know how hard it is to go in there and play (at Seattle). They’re a darn good defense and a darn hard place to play. I think all of those things … I don’t know if the statistics mean a whole bunch after Week 1. I wish we had won the game. If we had won the game, we’d still be 30th in offense, but we would have had a win under our belt also. I don’t put a ton of weight on statistics at this point, but the bottom line is we didn’t play well enough to win offensively. We didn’t convert third downs. We didn’t get our defense off the field. We can’t wait to go on a drive with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter and not get it done before then. We had our opportunities, and we just didn’t take advantage of them.”

(On what the issues were on third down) – “One: they are a good team. Two: First and second down wasn’t good enough to keep the third down shorter. And a couple we just screwed up. A couple we just messed up and didn’t make a catch (or) didn’t make a throw. And then some of it is a credit to them that they’re a darn good third-down defense.”

(On what he thought about C/G Anthony Steen in his first NFL action) – “I thought Anthony Steen was really, really impressive. I would say that the best compliment I could tell you about him was that I didn’t notice him. I didn’t think of him as any factor in the game and then all of a sudden you watch the game and you go, ‘Gosh, the kid played really, really well.’ But during the game, the best compliment was that (he) was never a factor. There was a lot of ID. That was a lot of pressure on him. That was about as hard of a first start as you could have (with) good players, hard place, new offense – all those things – not getting all of the first-team starters snaps in the offseason, etc. And the kid played extremely well. He was really a bright spot for the day.”

(On what WR Leonte Carroo did last week to give him confidence and how he did at Seattle in place of injured WR DeVante Parker) – “To answer the first question, he (Leonte Carroo) kind of got in there by default. We didn’t have much choice. You’re only going to dress four, and he was our guy. Jakeem (Grant) is really a specialist right now. He’s learning, and he wasn’t really an option offensively, yet. I think he will be down the road. We felt like (Carroo) had gotten the most deposits in throughout the camp, so we stuck him in there. The second part of the question is he played really well. It was not too big for him. He makes a big catch on the drive that we did score. He physically mixed it up with a physical team. They take pride in having energy and hitting and all 11 guys hitting, and (Carroo) mixed it up in there with some awful good players. It may have worked to his advantage that he didn’t know how good they were. He just went in, and it was another football game to him. He was another guy that was extremely impressive. He didn’t do everything right, but he did play hard and the game was not too big for him.”

(On if he feels the offense is maximizing yardage in the run game and if not, what they can do to improve that) – “It’s the same thing. To make a big statement after one game is hard to do. But it’s the same thing – we had our chances. We had our chances a couple of times. They had that extra guy in the box. The biggest thing we can do for our run game is to throw the ball a little bit better too and complete some of those early. (That would) give us a chance to call some of those runs against less men in the box. That would be the best thing that we could do for them. Everyone kind of took a turn, but we were okay. The first half we ran the ball pretty darn well. I think it was just a combination of things. I don’t think anything jumped out as being the one factor that hurt us running the football. I thought the first half we ran the ball efficiently at times, and the best thing we could have done was to be a little more efficient in the passing game and help the running game. The passing game is where we really broke down. We didn’t throw the ball efficiently like we set out to do, and that puts a ton of pressure on our run game, especially with that bunch. That’s a hard bunch to block. We all know that they play the run; they stack the box. If you can’t complete some balls, it’s a long day running the football. I thought they did a decent job in the run game.”

(On if it is important to throw the football at times to open up the running game) – “Sure. I think we would all be unanimous on that. Absolutely. I think the drive that you saw that the ball did move, we hit a couple of play-action passes and then all of a sudden the ball … This league is hard to go 3 yards and a cloud of dust. It’s hard to do it for 15-straight snaps, especially there against those guys. You need a couple of 20-yard plays, and all of a sudden there we threw two play-action passes and the ball moved 40 yards. Then all of a sudden you get a little momentum, and maybe you get them on their heels a little bit and that opens up some other things also. So, sure, absolutely. We’ve all seen teams where you struggle throwing the football and then all of a sudden that’s hard sledding. Now you’re in third-and-longs all the time, and you’re having to bang up in against extra men in the box, so no. We’ll be more efficient throwing the ball. We have to be more efficient throwing the ball.”

(On how going to Seattle without RB Jay Ajayi changed things for him) – “It really wasn’t much of a factor. It probably sounds like coach talk, but whoever’s up there we’re going to coach them up and play. That’s kind of that next man up mentality. Whatever happened, happened, and he wasn’t there. We didn’t worry about who wasn’t there. We worried about who was there. We took plenty enough guys to win that football game, and we didn’t get it done.”

(On if RB Jay Ajayi is fully involved this week) – “Yes. Yes, he is. He practiced well yesterday. We’ll get some guys back, hopefully. We’ve got a couple of guys still on the bubble, and hopefully we catch a break with some of them and get back towards full strength. Again, we just have to have a mentality that whoever gets off the plane up there and puts on a uniform has to go win a game.”

(On if RB Arian Foster’s play count was where he wanted) – “I wish we had more snaps, and we could have counted his plays a little closer. We didn’t have enough offensive snaps and get our defense off the field, so he did play quite a few (of our offensive) snaps. He didn’t want to come out. The biggest thing was sometimes these guys are warriors, and he certainly is one, and he did not want to come out. (There were) even a couple times where we tried to rest him a little bit, and he just felt like he was in the flow and wanted to be in there and wanted to be playing. That was the biggest factor – that he didn’t want to come out. We gave him a little rest yesterday, which will be probably throughout the year that we’ll have to take good care of him. He’s a veteran guy. He doesn’t need 50 snaps every single practice. We just have to keep him fine-tuned. The biggest thing is to keep him healthy and fresh.”

(On if RB Jay Ajayi is his next guy up after RB Arian Foster not practicing yesterday) – “He was not. Those guys will compete. (Isaiah) Pead got some snaps yesterday, so they all kind of got some snaps yesterday. I don’t know what it will shake out at the end of this week. A lot of it will depend on health and some of it will depend on performance.”

(On how much of an emphasis has been placed on playing better complementary football this week) – “A ton.  I think that (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase … We felt like the defense really played well. We have to get that thing started (on offense) before the fourth quarter. Absolutely. There was a huge amount of emphasis. When you’re as dismal as we were on third down, that’s stress on everybody. That’s stress on your run game; that’s stress on everybody. That’s stress on the defense. That’s stress on the kicking game; that’s stress on everybody. We always want to get our job done efficiently.”

Ryan Tannehill – September 14, 2016 (Conference Call) Download PDF version

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

QB Ryan Tannehill Conference Call with New England Media

(On how the process has been working with Head Coach Adam Gase) – “It’s been great. Ever since he came in the spring, I think it’s been a learning experience, just getting to know him personally, getting to know the offense and just how each other works. Every day we learn something about each other, and we learn something about the offense and we’re just constantly building on that. Moving forward, (we’re just trying to) open lines of communication and trying to be clear with what we see (and) what we’re thinking. That way, we can be on the same page come game day.”

(On coaching staff continuity and how much of a challenge that has been for him when it comes to his overall development) – “Well, it’s always tough. Anytime there’s a shakeup, there’s change. There’s a learning curve and an adaptation periods. Obviously you’d love to play for the same guy for your whole career but that’s the cards we were dealt and the situation we’re in. We’re just trying to make the best of it and hopefully we can build this relationship and both be here for a long time.”

(On if there are any commonalities in the games when the team plays in Foxborough) – “Yes. I think it just comes down to taking care of the football and playing for a full 60 minutes. I think we’ve had a couple of games up there where we’ve played a good first half and been in the lead and then come out in the second half and not execute, turn the ball over and given up points. I think it just comes down to executing for a full 60 minutes. You’re going to get a well-coached team, a disciplined team up there. They’re not going to make too many mistakes and give you points. So you have to take care of the football and not give them any cheap ones and make the plays that are there and play for a full 60 minutes.”

(On some of his initial thoughts on the Patriots defense) – “They’re pretty consistent; year in and year out it just seems like they are consistent. (They are) primarily a man coverage team. They’re going to play their man and be good at it. They’re going to try to mix up their pressures up front with the ‘backers. They have two really stout linebackers that create mismatch problems for a lot of teams and protection. You get those guys on a back and it’s tough for backs to hold up against them. They’re just so big, physical and talented. They do a good job of creating those mismatches and forcing the quarterback to get the ball out. It makes it tough to get open guys down the field. They’re always going to do that and there’s always something that they haven’t shown on tape that they’re going to try to take away from you. Whatever they think you do best, they’re going to try to take it away and really shake you up with certain looks and catch you off guard with certain looks when they drop out or play maybe a coverage that they don’t play a whole lot of. You game plan for a certain coverage, you call plays for a certain coverage, then they come out and play something else. You just always have to be on your toes as a quarterback (and) as an offense (and) be able to adapt to what’s going on in the game and just take care of the football.”

(On working with former NFL QB Jeff Christensen and if he has crossed paths with Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo) – “No. I haven’t met Jimmy (Garoppolo). Not yet anyways. I just starting working with Jeff (Christensen) this offseason. So I spent the offseason kind of working with him and his style of coaching, his style of footwork and throwing the football. I had a great time working with him and learning from him. I know Jimmy (Garoppolo) has been working with him for a while now. But no, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet (Garappolo) yet.”

(On former NFL QB Jeff Christensen following the same elements of Tom Brady’s game and if he’s picked up on that or if he has talked about it with him and if has tried to incorporate any of that in his own game) – “I think one of the things Jeff (Christensen) teaches is a quick release (and) getting the ball out fast. And that’s one of Tom’s (Brady) greatest attributes – he does a good job of always being ready to throw and then when he does decide to throw it, he gets it out fast and accurately. I think that’s one reason that he’s been able to play so long at such a high level is he gets the ball out fast and obviously he’s put it in the right spot, as well. (There are) definitely things you can learn from that.”

(On his thoughts on what has happened to QB Tom Brady off the field) – “It’s a tough situation; but, honestly, I’m just focused on what we’re doing here and trying to find a way to beat the Patriots.”

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