Adam Gase – December 14 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(How did QB Matt Moore look today?) – “Good. He did a good job. When you’ve got an experienced guy, you know he’s taking every week as though he could be playing. That’s what you get when you have a true pro as your backup. He knows exactly what he needs to be ready for every week and this week is no different. It’s just now he has a different role. He was on it and guys responded well to him.”

(How much rust do you really have to work off when you have not played in five years as a quarterback at that position?) – “That’s a tough one to answer. It’s rare to see really to have that much time in between starts because something usually happens and this organization has been fortunate as far as having the same guy behind center game after game, and this is an unusual situation for us. We’re on unchartered waters, but Matt’s (Moore) such a … He works so hard day-in and day-out to prepare himself just in case. I think it would have been easy for him to not be ready because nothing’s ever happened. But it was obvious that he went in that game and he knew what to do. He knew where to go with the ball. He made plays, especially in a critical situation and adverse conditions. That was not an easy situation.”

(With QB Matt Moore there on the sidelines with you, based just on his feedback, do you think you have a feel for what he likes? What he prefers?) – “I feel like I do have a pretty good feel for a lot of the things that he really does like. There are a few things I feel like I know that he does not like, which is good, because we want to do what he feels comfortable doing, and when people say, ‘Well, how much does the offense change?’ It doesn’t change from a schematic sense. It just might be a few different things that he likes a little better then what Ryan (Tannehill) did, or maybe there are a couple of things he didn’t like as much. So the communication he has with me on the sideline is very valuable, because now I can use that information moving forward.”

(Are you guys certain that you’re going with QB T.J. Yates as the backup quarterback this weekend?) – “Yes. Yes.”

(And what went into that decision as opposed to promoting QB Brandon Doughty?) – “I just felt like that was the right decision for us to make, and I wanted a guy that had kind of been in some situations where he’s had to play in a regular season game, and we’re still really … I don’t want to put Brandon (Doughty) in a bad situation to where all of a sudden now he’s thrust into this situation where we’re still kind of in the developmental stages of making sure that little tiny things that sometimes some people don’t really see, that we’re still developing. He’s got a great grasp of the offense. He’s done a good job as far as making sure he’s been ready every week. It’s more this is what I wanted to do moving forward here, at the end of the season, to make sure that Matt (Moore) has somebody with some experience behind him.”

(Also about center, are you in open competition or are you set with C/G Anthony Steen?) – “We work more than one guy every week. Right now, I don’t see anything changing. If something changes throughout the week, then it does; but you are always working guys and trying to make sure we’ve got the five guys we want out there for that game. We kind of make a determination at the end of the week.”

(With QB T.J. Yates, how quickly can he learn the offense and is there some carry over on what he’s done in the past?) – “There actually is. There are a couple systems that he’s been in that have been close formation-wise, and then there are a couple of systems he’s actually been in that have some of the same terminology. It’s more about what really sticks in his head. When we get to the game, I’m probably going to have to go through and just make sure there are certain things that will trigger really fast, and he can go play fast. There are probably a couple of things where it’s brand new to him that I would try to avoid.”

(What went into your decision on DE Dion Jordan and what do you think his future is here?) – “He just wasn’t ready.”

(Is it the knee or because of his play?) – “Because his body’s not ready to go. His whole … his game is explosion off the ball, being able to redirect, that burst that you want a guy that plays his position have, and it’s not all the way back. That’s just what it is. Some guys it comes back faster than other guys. We had a setback and had to start over, and we didn’t have enough time. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing as far as getting him better day-in and day-out. He’s done everything we’ve asked. He’s always here. He’s trying to figure out a way to just get his body back to where it was, and sometimes it takes a little longer than you think.”

(Did you see enough in terms of talent that you would like him back?) – “It was hard to tell. He wasn’t … He couldn’t move the way that he’s moved in the past. It’s going to take some time.”

(RB Jay Ajayi was huge for about a month there and he couldn’t be stopped. He’s come kind of back to earth a little bit now. What has to happen for him to re-gain, not 200 yards a game, but production to where everything is not on the passing game?) – “Coming off some of these injuries we’ve had upfront, some moving pieces, and we played some good defensive fronts, that’s the one thing that myself and coaches have been reminding him of. Just remember we have played some good teams, and we’ve played some really, really … And the teams that have been good on defense, it’s been the front seven that has been the strength of all of these teams that we’ve played. When we have some guys that have some limitations as far as ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert) is playing with one hand. (Laremy) Tunsil comes back from an injury and he’s not 100 percent. There are certain things … I mean we’re a shoelace away so many different times to where all of a sudden that 5-yard gain is going to be 25. I don’t want him to change anything he’s doing, because he’s doing exactly what we need him to do and he’s doing exactly the same thing he did when we had those big-time rushing numbers. He just can’t get frustrated thinking it’s something with him, where that’s why the running game can be special sometimes, because it takes the entire unit. It takes the front, it takes the tight ends, it takes the quarterback making sure he’s doing his job and making an out. It takes the wide receivers blocking down the field, and then it takes him just being patient and doing exactly what everybody knows he’s supposed to do. And he’s done that. We’ve been close quite a few times. Last game, there were a couple of them that were just so close to being explosive runs. I know everybody wants to get caught up with the numbers, but we’re kind of looking at each play individually and saying, ‘Okay, this was good. We’re close. We’ve just got to finish this a little better.’ So I’m not getting discouraged by numbers right now. I know if we keep giving him touches and giving him opportunities, and we get back in a rhythm and we get guys healthy as we finish this thing out, I think we’re going to start having the number production be better.”

(Is it correct that today was a little lighter practice than you would normally have?) – “Well, we did the same thing. I think we’ve done this a couple of weeks in a row now of doing this type of practice. We want to try to get as many guys out there as possible. Last week would have been … We would have probably had eight guys not practice.”

(So this is something that anybody really could have participated in?) – “Yes. I mean it gives us a chance to give guys looks and so they can get out there and actually do some things. We still have a couple of guys that are banged up. If we would go full practice, we wouldn’t be able to go. Last week, like ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert) and (Laremy) Tunsil wouldn’t have been able to participate because we were still kind of recovering from the game. It’s more important for us to have as many guys be able to see the looks, see pressures, kind of walkthrough some of the things that we’re doing. The good thing is the guys are moving faster. Some guys are moving faster than others. So it’s really more of we’ve been banged up for a while. We’re just trying to get guys out there and move them around and making sure they get as many of the looks as possible.”

(You’ve been saying it’s up to CB Xavien Howard to determine whether he’s ready to play. Has he told you anything about where he’s at?) – “I haven’t talked to him yet. But we’ll have a discussion here towards the end of the week. Things look good for him right now, as long as we don’t have any setbacks, which hopefully we don’t. He was moving around pretty good today. He was playing at a different speed than probably a lot of other guys, just because his body’s feeling better. He hasn’t played in a while, so he’s got a little less tread right now. It’s looking like we’ve got a good chance to get him up.”

(So you know QB Matt Moore likes to go down the field? He likes to look down the field. In 2011, he had 13 games and 14 fumbles because he was waiting [in the pocket]. Have you had a conversation with him about ‘Dude, get rid of the ball because a fumble is like an interception?’) – “Some of that is what you call. You understand, when you hear a call, you kind of know what you’re looking for. It’s that discussion you have leading up to the game of, ‘Here’s how we want to attack certain situations. Here are your opportunities when you are looking down the field, but then at the same time, here is where your outs have to be.’ That’s a long time you’re talking about. There is a lot of time and experience that have gone from the last time, 2011 until now. I feel like the way that he operates is different than what he did in the past. I feel like he does have a good clock. He does have the ability to feel the pressure, as far as things aren’t right getting the ball underneath. So it’s a different guy now after five years. When you’re young, you’re aggressive. You want to make the big play. You want to make the impact play. Sometimes the older you get, the more you realize sometimes checking it downs isn’t the worst thing in the world. All of a sudden, you get it ‘23’ (Jay Ajayi) and he gets you 12 yards on a check down. We got 15 the other day on a quick-game play that was a 3-yard throw. Matt – that’s experience. You get used to doing that, and he’s done it in practice, and I just feel like I’m not going to see anything different than what I’ve seen since training camp or really the offseason.”

(When RB Damien Williams finished the game, was that…) – “No, that was my fault. I did a bad job as far as, when we got that penalty, Jay (Ajayi) should’ve went back in. I should’ve got him back in there for that last, those last two plays. He should’ve been in there. That was bad on my part.”

(One of the moves you guys could have made would have been to put QB Ryan Tannehill on injured reserve. Have you gotten more information since Monday, are you more optimistic?) – “I have not. I have not gotten any information as far as a second opinion, or anything like that. Obviously being on the practice field, I haven’t had time to really talk about it. It’s just one of those things where they’ll grab me at some point tonight. We’re in no rush. We’ve got plenty of time. If we felt like there was a situation where IR is an option, then we’ll get there. But right now, we’re still gathering information, and figuring out timetables and seeing what happens. We have to play a game Saturday, then we’ll go back and talk about everything again, and see where we’re at. Right now, we’re taking things slow. I’m not going to rush him back, I know that. I’m not going to put his health at risk to try to hurry up and get him back for any game.”

(How much did C Mike Pouncey fight you, on him being on IR?) – “He was disappointed. We had been talking about him coming back for a long time, and he’s been really on me as far as, ‘I’m good, I’m good.’ It’s just … It’s one thing to be tough, and the willingness that he wants to be out there with his teammates. You appreciate that as a coach, because you know he means it. He does not … This is what he wants to do, period. If he could do this forever, he would. It’s just the information that I had, and the timetable we had, and how much time we have left in the season, I was not going to put him out there and take a chance of hurting a guy’s career.  Somebody that we feel like is very valuable to this organization, to take a chance of him playing one or two games and then something happens and now we don’t have him for a longer period of time, I wasn’t going to put him in that spot. He wasn’t happy about it because he’s a competitor. He wants to be out there. When you’re missing out on stuff, you just want to be one of the guys that contributes.”

(Jets QB Bryce Petty hasn’t played a lot of games for the Jets. Does he look like a guy that’s looking to take a shot down the field when it’s there?) – “A lot of times it’s, once again, it’s what you’re calling, what are your opportunities, what’s your time. You kind of get a feel for when you’re first playing with a coordinator and you’re trying to get a feel for each other, at first you’re not really sure when that opportunity is. You kind of get a feel in practice, but it’s not the same as when you get in a game. You can kind of tell when the time is when you do what to push the ball down the field. Sometimes you’re looking at matchups as well, then what the defense gives you, what the coverage dictates you can do. So I think when he gets those certain calls where he knows he has those opportunities and he gets the right coverage, he’s going to definitely take them. But if it’s not what their game plan is, if it’s not exactly the coverage they want, then he’s going to go underneath.”

(Does 1,000 yards still mean the same?) – “I think it does. It’s not an easy thing to do because you see running backs nowadays. You have two or three guys playing now. To have guys that just carry the load all season long and stay healthy for the entire season, I think it’s kind of rare. A thousand yards is still 1,000 yards. You’re seeing more guys that are more 13, in that 12-13 (hundred) range, and we kind of lose a little bit of respect for how tough that really is. And for these guys, the wear and tear that they go through during those games, it’s a tough position to play.”

(Who takes more pride in it, an offensive lineman or the tailback?) – “That’s hard to say. I think offensive linemen do take a lot of pride when they can turn around and say, ‘I have a 1,000-yard back behind me.’ And they know they’re a part of that. That’s the lone statistic … I think that and sacks are the two things they can always lean on as far as, ‘We’re a good line because we have a 1,000-yard back and we’re fifth in sacks.’ Or whatever it is. That’s their lone statistics they have. They don’t get a lot of love for anything else.”

(With C/G Anthony Steen, we know he has what sounds like a very bad ankle injury that he’s had all year, as well as the neck. How bad of shape is he in physically to be out there playing?) – “I think a lot of our guys are … When you play the line, every game you walk out of, if you’re 100 percent healthy, that’s unheard of. These guys are all banged up. I know the ankle for him, that was real. That was a problem for him and he kept trying to go. I’m sure he played a few games that were not the most comfortable thing for him to go through. When you’re a center and your neck is not right, and you don’t have the movement you want, that’s a problem too. I know there were a couple of games where he wished he had a little more movement in his neck; but he always seemed to recover in time for the game to where he felt good enough to be able to go. We have a lot of guys playing banged up, up front. It just shows the toughness and the willingness to try to help us win.”

(QB Matt Moore had a baby. Did he miss any time? Any meetings?) – “No, because they had lifting and then the next day was off. So he was on his own a little bit as far as what he could do preparation-wise. I don’t know if he had an iPad or anything in the hospital. I don’t want to assume anything. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.”

Matt Moore – December 14, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Quarterback Matt Moore

(Was it more nerve-wracking the birth of your child or coming in on Tuesday, 11 o’clock, ready to go?) – “Everything was good. Obviously, the baby, everybody is healthy, everybody is good and I’m here ready focused on the Jets.”

(What has your week been like? Describe the roller coaster. Is that the right term?) – “Yes, any time you have a kid, it probably throws a little wrench in there. But no, it’s been good. It’s been pretty normal. Monday, it was nice to have the day off and then kind of got rolling. It’s been really normal, to be honest with you.”

(Son or daughter? And what’s the birth weight?) – “The birth weight? That’s very specific. It’s a boy. He’s just under seven pounds.”

(What’s his name?) – “Wyatt.”

(Like Earp?) – “Just like Earp.”

(In the delivery room, were you thinking about football a little bit in the back of your mind? Be honest…) – “No, no. I was focused on my wife and the baby. You’re having a kid, it doesn’t happen all the time. So I was wearing that hat at the time.”

(This week doesn’t happen all the time either though. What’s it like for you?)  – “It’s an opportunity. I’m just focused on getting better and winning one game. So that’s where my head is at. I’ve done this before, so like I said, I’m just trying to jump in and have these guys and myself really not miss a beat. I’m just preparing for one game and one focus.”

(How much has the experience or just instincts of having done this before have you ready where you know you have a short week…?) – “Yes. I mean having … Like you said, just having that experience, knowing what to expect, knowing the schedule and how quickly things happen and what’s about to happen on Saturday with the game and everything. Having done it obviously makes it easier. Having been around for a while and obviously watching guys prepare and being with Ryan (Tannehill) for so long, that helps. Like I said, playing and being around for a while definitely helps.”

(When you saw that hit could you imagine that QB Ryan Tannehill didn’t tear everything in his knee?) – “I actually didn’t see it. I didn’t see the hit, but I saw his reaction and I knew it was tough. But after seeing it on tape, yes, it’s pretty crazy. So I don’t know where he’s at with everything, but he’s a tough guy. He’ll be back full force I’m sure.”

(The center/quarterback exchanges, where are you with that and do you feel comfortable in your communication now with C/G Anthony Steen?) – “Yes. There are no issues with any of that. We work on that. It’s something we do every day. As far as communication goes, that’s normal. It’s part of playing the position, so I have no issue there.”

(Head Coach Adam Gase said that you usually don’t have a problem with any plays and say, ‘Yes, let’s run it.’ You had no problem running it for QB Ryan Tannehill and you had no problem running them for yourself.) – “I can’t speak for Ryan. We’re different; but yes, because Gase will ask what do you like and what do you not like, whatever. The easiest answer is just call it and I’ll make it work or we’ll move on. But I have this fear of asking for something specific and having it not work out, so I just let him call it and we’ll make it work.”

(From your teammates to Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen today, the word ‘gunslinger’ keeps coming up. Do you embrace that?) – “I think you have to. I think it’s a compliment. It’s just how those guys see it and that’s fine. But like I said – I think Sunday I answered a question like this – but I’m trying to execute the offense and those guys can call it whatever they want to call it.”

(Is this the biggest start of your career? Beyond being the next start, is this the biggest start?) – “It’s the next start. (laughter) Sorry.”

(You haven’t started a game in five years. What’s this week like for you?) – “It’s exciting obviously. My routine during the week as the backup quarterback and now, there is really not much change other than obviously I’ve talked to (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase more. I’ve probably talked to (Quarterbacks Coach) Bo (Hardegree) a little more. But nothing crazy has changed. I’m obviously excited. It’s an opportunity to win another game and keep us going in the direction we’re going.”

(How much quality time with Wyatt do you figure you’ll have this week?) – “I’ve got to make time. That’s very important. I’m not sure how much, but it’ll get done.”

(The ‘gunslinger’ term, where does this come from where you’re not afraid to air it out? Where does that come from?) – “I don’t know. I think part of it is probably my college offense. We were playing for Mike Riley. We threw it down the field a bunch. So I think that’s just how I was brought up in competitive football. It has just kind of been my style and what I like to do; but again, we’re trying to execute what’s called and I’m going to do my best to do that. So that’s how I’d answer that question.”

(How would you kind of, like a big picture, how would you describe your whole career journey to this point?) – “It’s been good. I don’t know. I think I’ve filled my role the best I could and I’ve had opportunities to play and it’s gone well. There have been some tough times. There have been some good times, and this is another opportunity. I’m lucky I’m surrounded with a great team. I’ve got great guys on offense to work with, and like I said, I’m focused on the game plan, executing and moving forward that way.”

(Head Coach Adam Gase says he has plays for you, but he’s got to know you pretty well. You’re like in his back pocket the whole time right?) – “Yes, we’ve got a great relationship. We talk all the time, so yes. He knows. I don’t worry about that at all.”

(It’s been so long. Did you at any point think, and unfortunately it took an injury to get this opportunity, but did you at any point think, ‘Maybe I won’t get this chance again.’) – “I don’t really think that way. I think in this game, there’s always that chance. There’s always an opportunity. I think I was just always ready. I don’t know if I had thoughts of whether it would happen or not happen. But I just tried to stay ready for a situation like this, and here we are.”

(You’ve had a lot of opportunities to move on the last five years, does this reward your loyalty? Is this something that…?) – “It could’ve happened anywhere else too.”

(But this situation.) – “Sure. That I don’t know. I don’t know. I came back for whatever reasons I did, and this is my role on this team right now, and that’s just how I’m approaching it.”

(What has QB Ryan Tannehill said to you since the last few days?) – “ Just normal conversation. He was asking me – I saw him just now – he asked me how today went. He’s in there. I’m sure he’s in there grinding and finding ways to help offensively. But it’s been normal.”

Jarvis Landry – December 14, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry

(How has everything been going with QB Matt Moore back there now, and how fluid does the passing game look?) – “He’s only been back there for a day, but we have extreme confidence in him. The thing about Matt is he’s a pro. Since I’ve been here for the last three years, he’s trained, he’s practiced, like he was the starting quarterback. For us, it’s another opportunity for another guy to step up.”

(Do you personally reach out, maybe not so much to QB Matt [Moore] but at least to QB T.J. [Yates] to kind of help him acclimate or give him tips or anything?) – “Today was the first day, I don’t know if he signed today, or when he signed. Today was the first day getting an opportunity to see him, to see T.J.  But he’s been with the quarterback’s coach all day, so I haven’t really had much time to chat.”

(How much realistically does it change in preparation for an offense, whether there are limitations or not, and what you can do going in with a game plan with a new quarterback?) – “There are no limitations. There are no limitations, and again, I say Matt (Moore) has practiced like he was the starter. He’s taken all of those mental reps, and he’s taken some of those physical things too – reps as well. For us, it’s continuing to do the things that we do well, and win one game.”

(As far as the nuances of the game as a receiver, just the ball placement, when he throws the ball, just the way the ball comes in, anything like that. Is that different at all? Does that take much preparation or change for you?) – “I get paid to catch the ball. I get paid to catch the ball regardless of who throws it, how it’s thrown, where it’s placed. It’s our job to make it right. Our receivers coach, Coach (Shawn) Jefferson, he puts that standard over our head. That doesn’t play a factor for us.”

(How much have you been looking forward to meaningful football here in December?) – “I think this whole … If you’re a Miami fan, you’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. Just being here, and to just to see how things have evolved, where we came from and where we have the position to be heading to, it’s amazing. It’s something that definitely makes you jump out of bed in the morning and come to work with a smile on your face.”

(Does it matter the elements when it comes to football at this time?) – “It does not. The elements does not matter. Just winning one game, that’s all that matters.”

(That’s good, because it’s going to be kind of cold and rainy.) – “Well, we’ll figure something out to stay dry, and to stay warm.”

(Do you know how many yards away from 1,000 you are?) – “I don’t.”

(You’re 77 yards away from 1,000 yards.) – “Well, as long as we get the win, I’m sure it will come. It’ll be in there somewhere. As long as we get the win, I’m fine with that.”

(Is that benchmark important to you?) – “Of course, but it’s one of those things I honestly don’t really pay too much attention to. I kind of already expect it, so I don’t really pay attention to it. It’s more of the victory, like I said, it’s more of the victory. Those personal things, they’ll come.”

(Talk about the fans getting used to, maybe this time of the year not seeing this team in the race. And obviously they are now. How much … They’re obviously following the standings. How much are you guys following the position, the standings, the tiebreakers, what you need to get into the playoffs?) – “Head Coach (Adam) Gase does a great job of re-gaining our focus, just to the task at hand. Not looking forward, not looking back, but looking at who we’re facing, the New York Jets. And that for us is key. It’s crucial for us that we approach each week like that, and try to go 1-0 instead of trying to think of where we will be placed. It’s not our … If we don’t win these games, it doesn’t matter. So for us, we want to go 1-0 every week.”

Darren Rizzi – December 14, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi

(There’s a lot of focus this week on backup quarterbacks. What about the challenge of grooming a backup long snapper? Can you talk about that?) – “I did not think that was going to be the first question, I have to be honest with you. Having a backup long snapper is interesting. You’re only going to carry one on the roster. It’s one of those jobs that you look … Every time you have a guy come through as a rookie, you kind of see what his background was – if he ever did it in high school, if he ever did it in college. Usually sometimes you can find some backups. For example, Mike Hull was a backup long snapper – surprise, surprise, right? Mike Hull. The more you can do … But Mike Hull was a snapper at Penn State. He was kind of their backup guy. He snapped in high school. Jason Taylor is a guy when I first got here was a backup snapper. He had done it in college and high school. So we’re always looking for those kind of guys. There have been years where we didn’t have anybody that did do it, so we trained a guy. So like Jason Trusnik a couple of years ago was our backup snapper. We started with him from scratch and just tried to teach him how to do it. We worked with guys like MarQueis Gray, who was a quarterback. Sometimes those guys who at least knew how to throw the ball can throw between their legs. A lot of times you’re looking for a guy that gets you out of a game, if you ever have an injury, knock on wood. I know it happened with the Eagles with (Special Teams Coordinator) Dave Fipp this past weekend. I knew he was going crazy. They were trying guys out on the sideline over there. You always have a plan. You’re always going to have a guy that you know is going to be the next guy in. In a rare situation, I think they were down to their third guy or something like that, which is crazy. All of the specialists, you have to have a plan for all of the guys you only have one of. You have one kicker, one punter, one snapper. You’re always having a backup holder; you’re always having a backup snapper, backup punter and backup kicker. You always have a contingency plan, but it’s certainly not easy, especially because most of the time that guy has never really done it a lot in games or ever in a game. A lot of times it’s a guy that has maybe just done it in practice and was ready to go as an emergency guy.”

(Is LB Mike Hull your [backup long snapper] right now?) – “Hull is our guy right now.”

(How much does LB Mike Hull practice [long snapping]?) – “We practice it every week. If we don’t get him into the actual team period – because now, as the season goes on, the team periods get shorter – so we’ll work with him on the side. Again, he’s a guy that’s done it at least through high school and college. He’s at least worked at it.”

(What did you tell K Andrew Franks both before and after his game-winning kick and how important was it for him to make that kick?) – “It was extremely important. It was a game-winner, so it was definitely important. Before the kick, I told him absolutely nothing. After the kick, I told him congratulations. (laughter) We prepare for those situations all the time. That’s not – in my opinion – that’s not the time for a pep talk. He trains himself and he trains his mind and body to put himself in those situations all the time. Certainly it was a little different with the rain. Ironically enough – because we kind of looked at the weather forecast – on Thursday at practice we did some wet ball drills with the snapper, holder and kicker. They worked on the side and it’s a little tough to do that in South Florida sometimes when it’s 80 degrees out, but we had some balls out and John Denney worked some wet ball drills with Matt (Darr) as a holder, so we actually simulated that situation. We didn’t do it with 1 second left, but we simulated the situation. Andrew, as I’ve said many, many times, is a very mentally tough guy. Again, I’ve always felt like, as a special teams coach, that’s the last time you want to start putting your arm around a guy. You just want to keep it business as usual. Heck, by the time I got to him, he already had 50 people congratulating him. I don’t even know if I saw him until I got into the locker room. I tried to get to him but he was getting mobbed so I kind of let him enjoy the moment. Good for him.”

(Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians went on the radio last night and mentioned something about an illegal snap count. I didn’t hear it myself, but I saw that Alex Marvez reported that you illegally shouted a snap signal that led to a botched extra point. Had you heard that before and is that accurate?) – “Someone brought it to my attention last night. I can tell you that we didn’t do anything illegal, so I’m a little bit taken back by it. Quite frankly, I’m a little bit offended by it. It’s really accusing of cheating, to be honest with you. I was a little bit offended by it. We certainly didn’t do anything illegal. We did our normal field goal block procedure, so I was a little bit taken back by it. Other than me making it rain when they had the ball, we didn’t do anything. (laughter) There was nothing that we did that was illegal. Seriously, we went through our normal procedure. The thing that is kind of ironic about the whole thing is, if I’m not mistaken, I watched them in pregame and they have a non-verbal snap count on their field goals. So I don’t know why a word or something would have set them off. To be honest with you, I don’t know which one of the three he was talking about, because they missed three (kicks). The very first one, they had three guys jump offsides and the play really should have gotten shut down by the officials. If you go back and watch the play, their long snapper, left guard and left tackle all moved, and they really should have shut the play down. I don’t know if that got their rhythm a little bit off. Then, obviously, their other two, they hit the upright on one and we returned the other one for 2 (points). I was a little bit taken back by it. I can tell you that none of our players did anything illegal. Nothing that we’ve ever coached is illegal. We don’t simulate a snap count, nothing like that. Do we have calls? Yes, of course we have defensive calls that we make and stuff like that. Every field goal block team does; but there was certainly nothing taught nor executed that was even close to illegal.”

(When you face a team the second time and the first time you took a kickoff to the house, do you expect to see totally different special teams on their part, as far as kickoff coverage? What normally happens in that situation?) – “There is only so much you can do in kick coverage, only because formationally you’re kind of limited in what you can do. You can only put six guys on one side, things like that. What some teams will do and the Jets do is they’ll motion guys in and they’ll have different lineups and try to hide people. I’m sure we’ll see a new look. Usually when you play these division games, you try to change things up, and everybody does it – offense, defense and special teams – and not give the same exact look that you’ve given before, because obviously when you’re going to practice, you’re going to practice against things you’ve seen. We really are anticipating a new look and anticipating for them to throw a new wrinkle in, if you will, in those situations. We’re going to be prepared like we are every week. They’ve done a decent amount – more than most – of pre-kick motions and shifts and things like that. We’ll be ready for all and any, for sure.”

(The blocked extra point, can you talk us through that?) – “First of all, it’s a great job by Jordan Phillips of penetrating the A-gap. We actually moved him last week into a new spot and good for him. He kind of got penetration there. They had a little problem there with their operation. They had a little bit of a high snap and a low kick; but at the end of the day, he blocks it, and then (Andre) Branch gets his hands on it first and then loses the ball and ironically knocks their holder down and the ball spits out and Walt (Aikens) scoops it up. The thing that I really liked was all of the guys out in front blocking. You saw Mike Thomas, you saw (Lafayette) Pitts, you saw Jason Jones, you saw (Tony) Lippett kind of giving him a convoy – if you will – down the sideline. Those are big plays and the ones that have happened this year in the NFL, the run-backs for 2 (points) off conversions, whether it’s a 2-point try by the offense or a blocked PAT, we try to watch all of those and learn from them and explain how important those can be. Obviously that was a big play in the game, so I was real happy with our guys on that.”

(You mentioned DT Jordan Phillips being moved along the front [of the field goal block team]. What led to that?) – “It’s just personnel every week. We just move our guys around. Like I was just saying, you try to give different wrinkles so we were kind of getting into a situation where we were lining them up in the same place a bunch of times. We just thought personnel-wise, we had a better matchup back there in the A-gap. He’s a big guy, obviously a big, tall guy, and does a great job of getting up off the ball. It all worked out for us.”

(Sometimes you watch games where athletic guys line up 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and then jump the center and block the kick and it looks beautiful. Seahawks S Kam Chancellor has done it and Patriots LB Shea McClellin did it for New England. Why doesn’t that happen more? I know that you can’t touch the center. Why doesn’t that happen more? And more specifically, why doesn’t it happen here?) – “I’ll touch upon it a little bit on the first part of that. Every field goal protection scheme is a little bit different. I’ll start with like our field goal protection. We have a little different scheme inside – where some guys really stay low. You see that a lot of teams are doing that against teams that stay down and stay low. Our guys inside, (they) really work to a position where they strain and they’re up. My guess, my hypothesis if you will, my coaching hypothesis is that’s why no one has tried it against us, because our guys inside get a little bit higher and you can’t hit anybody. So if I go to jump and I make any contact, you’re going to get a flag. Really, our field goal block unit week to week, we kind of look for the best options that we can do. It’s a timing situation and it’s really, really difficult. Some teams will try to keep you off-balanced with their timing, so you really have to do a good job. The other day, the Patriots did a great job of timing up the Baltimore (kick). Now, if Baltimore did a double-cadence or something, New England is going to get a penalty there – or if they hit the snapper. As you jump – the thing that most people don’t realize is, when you get to that point, if the long snapper snaps the ball – if you’re over (the long snapper) as he snaps it, that’s a penalty – a pre-kick penalty – because you can’t cover the snapper. So that guy that’s jumping actually has to be more than a yard and a half off the line of scrimmage as the ball is being snapped, so the timing is very important. It’s the most important part. If the Ravens had held the ball for another half of second, he would have covered the snapper, they would have gotten a penalty and it wouldn’t have counted. So I know everyone talks about the Seattle one earlier in the year against the Cardinals where he brushed the center. You can’t leverage, you can’t gain any height advantage and you can’t land on anybody – your guys or their guys. It’s definitely a risk/reward. You’ve got to feel really, really good about it going into the game. We’ve discussed it. We discuss all the options every week. Everything is always on the table, so it really depends more about the field goal team you’re going against it, the timing and how good you feel about the person doing it. All of those things.”

(But you are confident it wouldn’t happen? Because it’s embarrassing when it happens to you.) – “I’m sure at some point somebody will try it against us. I think the reason we don’t see it a lot against us is because of our scheme. Our guys are a little bit higher than most. A lot of guys that go low in the middle there, in the A-gaps, in the past – like the Patriots have tried to do that same thing, I think it was with Jamie Collins a couple of years ago, but they did it in a different gap. They didn’t do it over the center. They jumped him through like the B- or C-gap, because we’re a little bit different there. So it really just depends. Nobody’s tried to jump our long snapper. No. 1: John Denney is a tall guy. So when he does rise up, you probably have a pretty good shot at getting a piece of him. No. 2: The way we play our guards.”

(I’m still not sure how S Walt Aikens did that, downing the ball at the 1-yard line, when he’s reaching out. It’s a pretty cool photo. In your experience, what percentage of time is that ball stopped inside the 2-yard line when there is a shot at it?) – “It’s something that we try … We work on it a lot. You see us at practice all the time. Walt has a very good knack of it. Walt played a tremendous game that day. He got our game ball on special teams. He was really all over the field. Walt in the past few years, if you look back at the film, has done that a few times. He’s a longer guy so certainly his long arms helped in that situation, keeping that ball out of the end zone. There was one earlier in the game that we missed. He kind of turned the wrong way and (Cardinals CB Patrick) Peterson was coming at him. It’s definitely a timing thing with the punter, where the ball lands. A lot of times, the punter doesn’t get enough credit for that too. Matt does a heck of a job of dropping it down and giving him a chance there. Again, we work on that. Two or three times a week, we work on those going-in punts because downing the ball there inside the 5(- yard line) obviously changes field position, especially in a weather game like that. We know how important that is. It really was a great play by Walt.”

(When you consider the degree of difficult for K Andrew Franks on that game-winner, it appeared that there was some pressure coming from the left, from around TE Dion Sims. Is that true? How close was it to being blocked or not close at all?) – “(Cardinals CB) Justin Bethel, I’m going to say this, is probably the best edge rusher in the league on field goals. He’s blocked a number of kicks. He’s obviously been a Pro Bowl player. He is the best guy, so that certainly was nerve-wracking for me, because of the weather. I was trying to … When you combine the fact that it was a weather game plus Justin Bethel. They had Justin Bethel and Patrick Peterson on their edge rush, two of the better players, special teams and athletes in the league. He was close. Dion Sims was our wing out there and he did the right thing. (It was a) great job by John (Denney), Matt (Darr) and Andrew getting the ball off in timely fashion in that weather. It’s a thing where, it probably at full speed is a little bit closer than it really is in reality. Justin Bethel, like I said, has done that a number of times. There definitely was pressure there. My degree of certainty in the weather there, there was no certainty. I look at what happened on their three kicks. I look at what happened really all day with the ball bouncing all over the place. When you talk about that end of the game situation, when we were talking through it, usually on a dry day when you get the ball on the 1-yard line, we might have played the end of the game a little bit differently. But because of the weather, we certainly were keeping that in mind.”

(Did you want to run out and tackle RB Damien Williams on that last play?) – “I did. (laughter) I did. I know (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) has addressed that one. It’s funny. I was talking to the official when Arizona called timeout to kind of ice Andrew (Franks). The official had walked over and he said, I heard him say to me and Adam, ‘You called that timeout with 3 or 4 seconds. We would have never let that go to 0.’ I think it looked a little more hairy than it was, getting down to 1 second. But yes, I did want to tackle Damien. I still want to tackle him. I think I’m going to go back in and tackle him now.” (laughter)

Vance Joseph – December 14, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph

(How many starters are you going to have back this week?) – “How many? We’re hoping to get Kiko (Alonso) back. We’re not sure about Jelani (Jenkins). We’re hoping ‘X’ (Xavien Howard) can hopefully play some this week. But we’re not sure until we get through practice today and tomorrow. We’re hopeful for those guys, but not sure.”

(With LB Mike Hull, how did he perform last week and what are the areas of growth you’d like see from him?) – “I thought Mike played fine. It’s tough when you’re making your first start and you’re the signal-caller. Most of his problems came with the signals. As far as playing football, he was fine. He was solid. He was where he should have been most of the night. His issues came … It was rainy. It was a wet day. He’s wearing the communicator. It was kind of muffled. That’s where he struggled. So outside of that, he was fine. He played well.”

(Now with LB Kiko Alonso, is there a concern about him out there playing not at 100 percent?) – “Absolutely. Especially versus the Jets, where they’re in four-wides a lot of times on first and second down. Our first game versus the Jets, Kiko played very well. That being said, he ran vertical with receivers the whole game. Obviously with a hamstring issue, that can hamper his performance, so we’ve got to be careful if he’s not right – how to play him, if we play him.”

(What goes into the decision to have CB Byron Maxwell shadow somebody? I know, I think earlier you talked about big-bodied receivers. What other factors might go into it?) – “It’s just that. It’s a matchup league. Obviously, Maxwell’s our most experienced corner, and he’s probably our strongest corner between (Tony) Lippett and Bobby (McCain) and those guys. So when you’re playing a guy like Brandon Marshall, who’s a big, physical target, it’s good to have a guy who can match that kind of strength, and that’s Byron (Maxwell) for us. So again this week, he will match his guy this week. Absolutely.”

(CB Tony Lippett’s done pretty well.) – “Yes.”

(But for CB Tony Lippett to take the next step to become a really good corner, what are a couple of things he’ll need to focus on?) – “It’s experience with ‘Lipp’ (Tony Lippett). ‘Lipp’ was a college wide receiver, so he’s played corner about two years of his life – so more experience obviously. He’s a tall corner, so controlling his body is a major issue; but as far as the kid’s work ethic and his engagement every day, he’s fine. He’s got great ball skills because he’s an ex-receiver, but more experience than anything.”

(The numbers of the run defense. I know you always want do better.) – “Absolutely.”

(Are you at the point where I’m not going to really worry about that? Or where are you with that?) – “I’m concerned about it all the time. It’s a weird deal, even this week. The Johnson kid (Cardinals RB David Johnson) had about 75 or 80 yards rushing. We gave up a 55-yard reverse and that’s happened twice this year, so I’m not overly concerned about the run defense because it’s been pretty good the last month and a half. Honestly, it has been. The numbers may not speak to that, but it has been good enough to win games. Obviously, run defense, if you’re really good, you like it. If you’re not, if you’re not good at it, you don’t worry yourself about it. You kind of contain it the best you can. In this league, you score points by throwing the football. So if we can maintain our pass defense, our third downs and our pass rush, we can win games.”

(How much cat and mouse is involved when you play a division team for the second time, in terms of you do what you do versus what you adjust to based on the first meeting?) – “A lot, because what you did well, they’re going to probably adjust to. So you’ve got to make adjustments. You can’t go to the same game, the same game plan. Not playing professionals and professionals coaches. You’ve got to make some, not major changes, but enough changes where you’re not having your guys vulnerable. When you play guys twice, especially playing them within a month and half, it’s always important to have some different wrinkles, especially early on, because what they’ve worked on, you want to show different and then go back to what you’re good at.”

(On some of the shallow crosses, I know it was raining and things like that, but coverage seemed a lot tighter. Were you pleased with the effort and what kind of went into that?) – “Well, it was a different coverage we played. We played more of a vision coverage. Obviously when it’s wet out like that, you don’t want to be playing too much tight match coverage. You want to play more vision coverage and drop in areas and make the QB throw it into areas. So that was … It was really a different coverage, but also, after the Baltimore week, I was going to play more vision to help those guys with the crosses. It kind of helped us that it was raining, also it was the plan.”

(So when you talk about vision coverage, can you explain?) – “Well, when you’re playing match zones, it’s zone but in your zone, I’m matching this guy across. When you’re playing vision zones, if you run by me, I’m not going to chase you. I’m going to watch the quarterback and just stay in my zone. So when it’s raining out, guys can’t cut as well, you want to play more vision and allow your guys to kind of not play guys, but play the quarterback’s eyes.”

(What was the impact from the defense of having Jason Jones back last week?) – “Huge. Huge. Energy, being an inside rusher, that helps. It helps to free up ‘Cam’ (Cameron Wake) and free up (Andre) Branch. When you’ve got those four vets out there rushing with (Ndamukong) Suh and Jason (Jones) inside, it forces one-on-ones on the edge because Jason’s (Jones) a really, really quick inside rusher. So it helps the edge rushers.”

(It seemed like he showed up quite a bit as well, didn’t he?) – “Absolutely. Running game. Pass game. He’s a guy that has been solid for us all year, when healthy, especially as an inside rusher. But first, second down, he’s an edge and that can play the run game also for us. He did a fine job.”

(Did you guys study some Baylor [film] of Jets QB Bryce Petty?) – “We have not. We’ve got him on tape from preseason. He’s got two starts now, so we’re studying what he’s done right now, even its 75-80 snaps. That’s what he’s good at, and that’s what we think he’s good at, so that’s what we’re studying. Not the Baylor stuff. It’s so different.”

(What do you see from Jets QB Bryce Petty?) – “He’s got a strong arm. He’s athletic. He’s no stiff back there, so that’s a concern; but he’s got a strong arm and he’s aggressive. Most young guys playing, you know playing right now – he’s got four games to play or whatever he has to play – he should be aggressive. Show them want you can do and he’s trying to do that.”

(Are you at the point with this defense where you expect big plays as opposed to hoping for them, whether it’s a sack or an interception or a fumble recovery?) – “Absolutely. I expect us to play well every week. The players tell me I’m crazy and I feel that way sometimes. After those wins, I’m never satisfied. I always find something that goes wrong, but that’s my makeup. I’m never satisfied, but this defense can be good. So that’s my standard for them. That’s my expectation for this defense. We can be a dominant group.”

(When you lose your starting quarterback, as a defense, does that kind of change your mindset like it’s on us now?) – “Not really, because every game (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) and I talk about how to win this game. So whoever’s playing quarterback, whether it’s Ryan (Tannehill) or whether it’s Matt (Moore), it’s always a conversation of how to win this game. I think Matt’s (Moore) going to do a fine job obviously, but we have not discussed that yet, honestly. From my perspective, if we play well, it helps us win – whoever’s playing quarterback. Right? If we can hold them to minimal points, it helps us win.”

(What did you guys see in the three weeks where you had DE Dion Jordan out there on the field and what ultimately was lacking?) – “Well, Dion (Jordan) showed us that he’s a good athlete, obviously. He’s a big body who can help us in the future. But he’s lacking health. We tried to get him back out there and move him around a little bit, but he just wasn’t ready physically, and the time ran out. Dion (Jordan) has to go back and just rehab and get himself healthy. He’s a young player. He’s got a bright future, if healthy. So that’s what we didn’t see. We didn’t see the kid healthy enough to play.”

(LB Mike Hull, going back to him. What did you see as far him and his ability to try to see where the run is coming from and fit the run? Because he looked really good.) – “Yes. Mike’s a Penn State inside linebacker, so he’s been coached his whole life to be a linebacker. So I wasn’t surprised that Mike (Hull) played well. Obviously, being his first start, certain things came up that shouldn’t have, like a couple of his drops and again the communicator. But as far as playing football, Mike’s (Hull) a good football player, so I wasn’t surprised he played well.”

Clyde Christensen – December 14, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen

(Before we get to QB Matt Moore, I’d like to ask you a running back question. League wide, you have got guys who were picked in the fifth round, Bears RB Jordan Howard, RB Jay Ajayi, you have RB Robert Kelley in Washington, and you have what’s happening in Green Bay. It just seems like a lot of places in the league, these guys are coming out of nowhere. What do you see happening? What does it say about the position?) – “It’s just … It’s a little bit hard to judge, especially coming out of these colleges now that it’s not like the olden days where everyone was in the I-formation. You could evaluate a tailback. Now they’re coming out of spread offenses. Jay comes out of Boise. So I think it’s a little bit harder evaluation. You’re going to have more guys who just kind of hit from some of those different rounds. Maybe you don’t get as much information on them evaluating them. So I think it says there are a lot of good running backs out there who maybe play for teams that don’t run the ball as much. There’s not enough evidence to go quite as high drafting them and stuff. So that would be my guess at it. It’s inexact like every other position. But it is one of those positions (where) sometimes they mature later. Sometimes some of the ones who you think are going to be so good have carried it so many times in college that their bodies are beat up a little bit. I think all of those things play into it a little bit. I think the biggest thing is just the spread and everyone being in the (shot)gun. It’s not like it used to. When I first came in the league, you’d watch a tailback and they all ran Power O and they all had a fullback in front of them and they all got their 25 carries a game, and you compared them to each other. It’s a lot different comparing them now. It’s a lot harder.”

(Do you tailor a game plan specifically to QB Matt Moore or do you keep things the same as they were under QB Ryan Tannehill?) – “I think probably both. You’re going to tweak it, but for the most part, it’s going to be what it is. There are some things these quarterbacks like. Friday, when he sits down with (Head Coach) Adam Gase, he’ll probably talk about likes and dislikes on the game plan. But, I think the game plan was kind of done the same and we haven’t changed a whole bunch there. Just by the end of the week, we’ll kind of fall into, “Hey, here’s what he’s really comfortable with and here’s what he’s not.” But you kind of know that. We’ve had him. We went through this whole install. This whole year has been about figuring out what guys do well, what guys don’t do well, what things guys are comfortable with, what things guys aren’t comfortable with. So it really is probably a benefit that we are new, that we did evaluate the whole thing in that lens of, “Hey, what can these guys do? What are they comfortable with?” I don’t think you’ll see any massive changes.”

(What do you like most about QB Matt Moore?) – “I’ve always, since the day I walked in here, just loved how he played the game. I think he wears it on his sleeve. He loves football, he loves flinging it around, he loves the position. I think he was one of the guys who I really liked the first time I came in the building and just started watching the tape. I think, remember there was kind of talk whether we were going to re-sign him, whether we could re-sign him. I thought he was really an important guy. I just like him. I like the way he plays the game. I like that he goes out and tries to win football games. He doesn’t play scared. He doesn’t play hesitant. I like the way guys respond to him. He’s one of those guys that’s kind of a Pied Piper in the locker room that guys are attracted to and that guys enjoy being around, and he’s a live wire. He’s not unlike our head coach. He’s a cut-it-loose and let’s go try and win a football game guy. I don’t see any chance that he’s not ready to play this football game and go throw himself around a little bit and try to win a game up in New York.”

(Head Coach Adam Gase said that Matt Moore likes everything as far as sitting down with him and getting to know the types of things he likes. Has that been your experience with him?) – “That has. That’s what you kind of like. Just, ‘Hey, you dial it up and I’ll make it work.’ That’s a great characteristic to have, that you’re not scared. Some guys have demons from their junior year in high school. They threw an interception on this concept and, ‘Don’t call that.’ (laughter) I actually accuse Gase of that a little bit. He’s got a few back there in the past that he’s got to still exorcise. We’ve all got our demons, I guess. But (Matt Moore) doesn’t. This guy is just, ‘Hey, you dial it up and I’ll make it work.’ So he’s really, he’s great that way.”

(Did he show up a little bleary-eyed today? He’s had a big week.) – “You know what’s amazing? In fact, I was teasing a couple of the other guys who have pregnant wives. He was no drama. All of a sudden, I saw him at 11 and he had the baby. It’s kind of like everything … There was no drama to it. He just went in, had the baby, back in the office, had his notebook at 11 o’clock. So we were actually challenging a couple, we have a couple coaches with wives who are pregnant. I said, ’Hey, learn from him. Let’s go no drama. Do it on the right day. We don’t need to miss any meetings. Don’t do it during the red zone meeting or something like that. Everyone’s got to be on the same page on this, including the wives and doctors.’ (laughter) He actually was no drama. He really did. He showed up at 11 with his notebook. He goes, ‘We had it already. We’re done.’ And on with the game plan.”

(11 o’clock yesterday morning?) – “Yes, (we met at) 11 o’clock yesterday morning. Don’t hold me … Approximately, yes. But I remember … That’s beautiful. Off day, has his baby quick and easy (on Monday) and back in the routine. So that’s great stuff.”

(A lot of the players after the game Sunday, the receivers specifically, mentioned if QB Matt Moore was going to be the guy, the term they kept using was, ‘gunslinger.’ Does that make you nervous? He’s a guy that is known as a gunslinger. He’s not going to run. He’s just going to fling it.) – “It’s the best term you can use with (Head Coach Adam) Gase. I probably get a little bit more nervous than Coach Gase does, but no. By ‘gunslinger,’ I just think that there isn’t fear. He doesn’t play scared. I would say this too, from my standpoint, what (Ryan) Tannehill did, I would say I admire the guy. It’s amazing what he did. It’s amazing. It’s a hard position to play, especially when you come into a program that’s maybe not going to the playoffs. There is some transition and different coaches and stuff. I’d go on record saying that one of the things that was attractive to me in this job was Tannehill. His resiliency and stuff like that. I know you didn’t ask about him, but I just want to take the opportunity there because I wanted to make sure I said about what he does physically. It’s hard. It’s a hard job. It’s a hard job in all cities, but it’s a tough job. The guy’s a tough guy. I admire him. I admire how he’ll handle this injury the same way and go from there. But back to the question, the ‘gunslinger,’ no, I think that’s a compliment. I think it’s kind of a compliment that you’re not tip-toeing around scared. You don’t have to take a guy … There are some guys you have to go, right now you’d be clammed up and going, ‘Hey, we can’t do this. We can’t do that.’ And you’d have to be overly cautious, and this guy is not that. We said from the very beginning, I thought he was one of the top backups in the league – one of the backups that literally could start for a team, that he could go to a lot of places and start. He’s better than a lot starters in this league. That’s what you’re kind of looking for – the guy who has won games. He’s been on stretches where he’s won streaks of games. That’s an important guy. He’s a little bit like your insurance, right? You send that insurance premium in all the time, and you’re thinking, ‘Gosh, it’s a waste of money.’ Then all of a sudden you need it. Then it looks awful darn smart. I do think that’s why you do exactly … This is a situation where you want a quality backup who can go in and win games and lead the charge and lead the troops into New York City and try and win a football game. I think we’re really fortunate to have him and ‘gunslinger,’ I think he is. We’ve laughed. He’s not afraid to let one fly down the field. He’ll take some changes and he’ll do a great job.”

(When you played the Jets the first time, they were the No. 1 rush defense. They’ve had a precipitous drop. They’re 17th now. What do you see the difference? What are they struggling with now that they didn’t back then?) – “Yes, good question. They’ve had some injuries. They’ve played some teams that rush the ball well. The funny thing, they were 16th in the league on third down and now they’re eighth. They’ve improved third down. Sometimes it’s what people are trying to do to you. So I don’t know the answer on that. They gave us all we wanted in that first game. I think we were no turnovers and still hanging on with an onside kick at the end. So they’re formidable. They’re big guys. Sometimes it’s just circumstances. Sometimes it’s who you’re playing. Nothing jumps off the tape that, ‘Boy, they’ve changed this. Now they’re giving up runs.’ It’s kind of funny how that thing goes. We couldn’t run it at all and all of a sudden we’re rushing for 200. Nothing really changed. But, it’s just kind of this league and then all of sudden something gets going or someone gets going on you, and it just kind of snowballs. I don’t have a good clean answer for you on that.”

(What’s been your experience with quarterbacks with sprained knees? How long does it take?) – “I’ve got no idea. The one thing I do know is that there are some guys who are just great rehabbers. I think (Ryan Tannehill) will be that. Peyton (Manning) was that, (Andrew) Luck was. Reggie (Wayne) was that. They’re fast healers. I’ve seen … I always used the example that I’ve seen … You ought to be a pain in the trainer’s neck. I’ve seen quarterbacks who had to have a trainer spend a night at their house, and they’re kind of on the ding-a-ling-a-ling and you’re down treating the thing. The guys who are professional at everything, are professional rehabbers. That’s what this guy will be, and I’ve seen it. And some guys aren’t. Some guys are slow healers, and you can’t find them in the training (room). The ones that are great healers are the ones that are all over it. They spare no expense. I’ve got some great stories for you along those lines but it’s just amazing how they rehab and how they attack it. That’s what those guys who you’ll see are just consistently playing. They just kind of refuse to be hurt, if you will. I’ll be shocked if Ryan’s (Tannehill) not exactly out of that vein, and just attack the rehab, like they attack everything else.”

(How about QB T.J. Yates as opposed to QB Brandon Doughty?) – “It wasn’t as opposed to. It’s both. We did want to get an experienced guy in here. There hasn’t been a depth chart that’s come out for the ballgame yet. We’ll get them all prepared. We’ll get a look at them and we’ll see how they all pick it up. We were hoping that we could redshirt Brandon. We think he needs some … But we may or may not have that luxury. We’ll just see how this thing goes. I don’t think anything is kind of written in stone. There is still a long ways to go, as was my experience last year right. We went into Game 16 with an Uber driver and a guy from some semi-pro team in Coney Island, was selling Coney Island hot dogs. (laughter) There is a long, long ways to go, and a lot of curveballs still. After last year, a lot of things can happen. You just keep rolling. As I’ve said to you guys all the time, that’s what makes this job kind of fun. It’s never the same each week, and you still find a way to win a football game.”

(What have you seen from QB Brandon Doughty during practice, that hints that there’s development and he’s ready to play in an NFL football game?) – “(I’ve seen) him picking up the system, him progressing, him being in it for 16-18 weeks now. (There is) just a comfort level with things, him working with those players, throwing to those receivers and stuff. I think we’re not discouraged with Brandon. That would be a misinterpretation. The point was we need to get another guy in here so we … Again, that we have two healthy guys and how we end up doing it by the end of the week, we’ll have to wait and see. But again, the short week makes it a little more complicated, and Ryan’s (Tannehill) injury makes it a little more complicated. How long it is, and all of those things none of us have answers to those questions yet. Brandon’s developing, Brandon’s coming along. It’s hard to say he can do this. Until you get in a game, you don’t know what he’ll do. Some guys come in, and the lights come on and they come alive, and they’re way better. And you’re shocked. You’re like ‘Man, I didn’t see this at practice.’ And some guys are great at practice, and you stick them in a game, and they lay an egg and you’re surprised that way. We won’t know until we stick him in a game. I think that’s part of the reason you do take a little insurance and get a veteran guy who’s been in football games. That’s not a negative reflection on Brandon in any way – not in any way. If you would get that impression, you’d be incorrect.”

(What’s your level of concern starting a guy who hasn’t prepared to start in five years?) – “You know what? Very minimal, because we went and got a veteran guy, because it’s Matt Moore. Almost none. I’m more worried probably about the backup position than I am the starting position. I just feel really, really comfortable with this guy. This guy has worked hard. The pros … I’d be really worried if it was a guy who … It’s hard to concentrate when you’re not sure, you don’t think you’re going to play. You go 13 weeks and you haven’t played at all, it’s hard to keep practicing. It’s hard to keep studying. It’s hard to keep doing … And this guy’s been excellent at that stuff. You’ve seen him out there after practice, getting his throws. You see him working through the scripts every day. You see him taking receivers out there on Tuesdays and throwing some. So I’m really, really … I’m more concerned, we’re more concerned, probably with the backup than we are him. He’s going to come in and do a great job. I don’t have any doubt about that.”

(How would you assess C/G Anthony Steen’s last game and is he first-team center this week?) – “We’ll continue on the way we’re going. We felt like we have to smooth out some of the operation things. We’ve had some trouble with the operation thing. It was not an easy day to be a center in there, both because of what they do defensively, the weather, all those things. What we do at the end of this week, I don’t know. We’ll keep working (Kraig) Urbik in there some. We’ll keep giving some guys the reps. Then, like every week, by the end of the week, by Thursday or Friday, we’ll make the decision. ‘Hey, here’s the direction we’re going on this thing.’ And we’ll go with it, and again, you’re still one snap from either of them playing, so you still prepare two and have a third ready for an emergency. So I don’t think anything’s really changed that way; but we do have to get better with our operation. We have to get better with our timing. We have to get better with our calls. We have to get cleaner with that stuff. It’s a little bit of a concern. Now you have a new quarterback in there, and all of that communication, and then going on the road complicates it all, because you are going to have a little bit of noise issues.”

(WR Kenny Stills has been pretty good at making adjustments on the deep ball. What has been your experience with him and can you talk about how good he is making those adjustments?) – “I think the hard thing to find in this league is big-play guys. I think, whatever he’s in, the top five or six in yards per catch, so I think he’s been … He’s made some big, big plays. He gets behind people. He’s made his plays and so that’s a hard guy to find, and we’re much better when we get those big plays out of him and DeVante (Parker) and then Jarvis (Landry) makes his in the way only Jarvis can make them. If we can get all three of those guys – as I’ve said before – if we can get all three of those guys hitting on all cylinders every single Sunday at the same time, we have something pretty darn special. But he continues to run by people. He’s made some awful big plays. The one thing I think about him is you’re happy for him because of all the people since I’ve been here, you just saw him every single day in the offseason. The guy put everything he had into this year and worked as hard as anyone on this team. I probably saw more than anyone and then he had a mishap, had a hiccup in the opening game, and you’re sick to your stomach, because the guy had worked and worked and worked and just had such a great offseason. So it is fun to see him kind of get the dividends from that hard work, because as a coach, you’re always about, you sell, ‘Hey, you prepare, you work hard and things will go well for you.’ That’s what coaching is kind of about. That’s what we sell. So it’s really kind of fun and good to see him, because he worked his tail off. I mean, I can’t tell you how hard that guy worked this offseason to give himself a chance to have a great year.”

(In the big picture, does anything change for the offensive line now that C Mike Pouncey has been put on injured reserve and there’s no longer that specter of uncertainty? Is he coming back? Is he not coming back?) – “I don’t think so. I really don’t. I really don’t because we started off the season in the same boat. No one knows how long he’s out for. No one knew if it was a couple weeks, half the season or the whole season. So I really don’t think so. I really think this team’s been really good at just being resilient and whoever goes in there has to get the job done – whoever that is. We preach it from … I think I told you guys the first time I met with you, that it’ll probably take the 53 (players) plus another 15 or 20. That’s the case. That’s the case in the NFL. If you’re practice squad today, you may be starting Game 16 trying to get the last playoff spot. You may be starting a playoff game. That’s the nature of this league and that’s why you have to do a great job personnel-wise and have the right guys on the practice squad. And that’s why you have to have the right system as far as practicing them, that when they come up, they can just … You don’t miss a beat. That’s why it’s really, really important, which we’re learning this year. It feels like everyone in the league is kind of in the same boat. That between the injuries and all the different things, you’ve got some odd lineups and it’s just ever changing and stays fluid. The ones that can manage that, keep winning, and the ones that can’t, implode, and it falls apart. So knock on wood, so far our guys have just stepped in and gone. I don’t have any reason to think we won’t just do that again for these next three weeks.”

Branden Albert – December 12, 2016 Download PDF version

Monday, December 12, 2016

Tackle Branden Albert

(Any injury to anybody is obviously going to hurt any team. But to lose your star, starting quarterback, what are the emotions right now for you guys?) – “Yes, it’s tough, especially him being the quarterback. I personally know what he’s going to have to go through to come back. It’s tough, but playing football things happen sometimes. You’ve just got to make sure that you support him as a teammate, and make sure that you’re there the best you can.”

(It seems like even now you guys are emotional. Just talking to us right now, it’s hitting you guys pretty hard.) – “Yes, because you know that Ryan (Tannehill), I don’t think he’s missed any games. He’s always there for us, and he’s always available and he always put it on the line. I feel bad for him.”

(Do you all appreciate what a leader he is for the offense? Is he underappreciated by a lot of people outside of the locker room?) – “Yes, because of his toughness, and all of the stuff that he’s been through in his career, outside of football. He’s still out here fighting with us every Sunday. You just got to give him his credit.”

(Did you say anything specifically to QB Ryan Tannehill after the hit?) – “No, I just was like … I just felt bad for him. I just know I’ve been there before, especially when something that unexpected happens. Then when you get the news that it is what it is, especially the competitor that he is. I know how it feels.”

(Have you lost a starting quarterback in your NFL career?) – “No, I don’t think I have. I don’t think I have.”

(Is QB Ryan Tannehill as resilient as anybody you’ve seen? He takes a hit.) – “Yes, I think so. He just keeps on ticking. For that to happen, you realize that there was something really wrong with him. Like I said, you just feel bad for him.”

(When it happened to you, you said that you would be back right away. Is there any doubt that QB Ryan Tannehill…) – “Yes, yes, yes, there is no question that he will be back and will be back in form, because he’s that type of guy, he’s that type of competitor, and he has that type of drive.”

(How big was the pass to WR Kenny Stills and getting the win yesterday with QB Matt Moore once he took over?) – “It was big. I think it was a confidence boost for Matt that he could get the job done and I think for our team. Kenny came up with a big play yesterday, and allowed us to win the game.”

(From training camp or the preseason action you’ve had with QB Matt Moore, with him going with the ones on the o-line, what makes him different? He’s certainly not as mobile as QB Ryan Tannehill, but what other changes may be tough for you guys?) – “There’s not a lot of difference, but it’s just two styles of quarterbacks. That’s all. There’s not a big … Ryan is probably more athletic, but Matt can get the job done too.”

(Are you going to advise QB Ryan Tannehill on ‘This is what you’re going to go through? I’ve been there, done that.’) – “Of course, because I think it’s only right, especially being there, and just letting him know that there’s going to be trying times. There are going to be days where it seems like things aren’t going right for him, but he’ll come out of that.”

(Is the rehab that he’s going to face as tough mentally as it is physically?) – “I think it’s more mentally tough than physically, because of the little things that you go through on an everyday basis you take granted, they are taken away from you. But he’ll be fine.”

(You came out for a couple plays, was it just because of the footing or what?) – “No, no, no. I just had a little knock on my hand a little, but I was fine.”

(Because, you weren’t going to stay out?) – “No, I’m never going to stay out.”

(How would you describe QB Matt Moore’s personality?) – “Real professional. He’s a guy that he’s going to be somebody that’s ready to step up. A guy that has … You can tell that he’s a quarterback. He’s real comfortable doing what he’s doing, even though he’s a backup.”

(I haven’t watched QB Matt Moore play a lot. Is it true that his arm strength and downfield throwing is part of what he does well?) – “You have to understand that I don’t … Honestly, I really don’t pay attention to stuff like that. I really don’t, I don’t. Because, all the guys that are skill players, to me, are fast. A lot of people say that Jarvis (Landry) isn’t fast. I feel like Jarvis is fast. So, I honestly don’t know. I just block. I try to do my best. I can’t criticize somebody on how they pass the ball or how far they throw the ball.”

(What would it say about this team with all of the body blows you’ve taken to get to those 10 wins, 11 wins to make the playoffs?) – “It will be big for us. I think it will be big for us because we do have a lot of key injuries, but I think this team is pretty resilient. We’ve got a real good coaching staff. I think we’re just going to show what type of guys, the next-man-up mentality we have.”

(How much does the team have to re-orient itself without QB Ryan Tannehill?) – “We’re going to have to re-gather, re-focus and probably regain the fact that our starting quarterback is gone. Things happen in football. You’ve just got to have that next-man-up mentality.”

(But it is a different team though?) – “I don’t know. We only can see. I can’t say. We only can see on Sundays, or Saturday when we play.”

(It’s going to be a short week this week.) – “It is a short week. It is a short week.”

(Time to start running the ball again?) – “I don’t know, it’s not my call. I always want to run the ball. I don’t want to pass block all the time.”

(When was the last time you practiced with QB Matt Moore in a practice?) – “To be honest with you, it’s been a long time. Like I said, Matt is a pro. He can get the job done.”

(When you say a long time, meaning training camp, preseason?) – “Probably training camp, probably. Like I said, I believe he can get the job done.”

Adam Gase – December 12, 2016 Download PDF version

Monday, December 12, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(Do you have a final diagnosis or an official diagnosis on QB Ryan Tannehill’s knee?) – “Yes. Right now it’s a … The information we have is an ACL/MCL sprain. We’re still going through that process, but we’ll know more as the week goes on.”

(Do you have any idea how long he would be sidelined?) – “Not yet.”

(You said sprain with a p, right?) – “Yes.”

(So this qualifies as good news?) – “Better than what we thought yesterday.”

(Are you definitive that it’s not a tear, though?) – “Yes.”

(What was your reaction when you got that news?) – “Mine was I called him (Ryan Tannehill) first just to see how he was doing, if he was feeling better, because that was a tough one for him to swallow yesterday. He handled yesterday about as well as you could. He got in about four fights in the locker room trying to get out to the field to watch the end of the game. He was better than what he was earlier and then now he’s already back in here and trying to figure out what the next part of the process is for himself.”

(Just to be clear, is there any chance he plays again this year?) – “I don’t know. I don’t know. I have to find the timetable. We just have to go through all the details of everything. We’re just making sure we’re taking all the right steps.”

(There won’t be any roster moves?) – “I haven’t even thought about it yet.”

(So he’s back in the building? QB Ryan Tannehill is?) – “Yes.”

(And what about QB Matt Moore? There was a report that his wife’s having the baby today?) – “Yes.”

(So what is QB Matt Moore’s status?) – “He’s not in the building, I know that. I might be a little behind on what’s going on. I don’t want to make any reports or say I don’t know anything.”

(Is there a sense of relief when you got that MRI back from QB Ryan Tannehill? – “I was happy for him. That’s a hard injury to come back from and rehab. It’s just a long, long process, and whatever we find out going forward with what his injury is, I don’t know the timetable right now. Any time you get hurt it’s never easy and there’s always a tough rehab, mentally, especially at this part of the season. Every guy wants to be out there trying to contribute as much as possible. It’s hard to sit on the sidelines and watch. There are a lot of guys that are in that position right now. I think we had five, maybe four or five of the seven guys that were inactive yesterday. They’re hurt. It’s tough for anybody to not be out there contributing.”

(Surgery? It’s your understanding is not going to be necessary for QB Ryan Tannehill?) – “Unless something changes, it doesn’t look like that’s what is going to be happening.”

(It’s kind of miraculous. We were expecting the worst today.) – “I don’t know what to tell you. That surprised me you guys were thinking something bad would happen (laughter).”

(Your obligatory weekly C Mike Pouncey question. Do you anticipate him being able to practice this week?) – “He won’t practice this week. He’ll be out. I’ll give you an early one on that one.”

(LB Kiko Alonso. Are you optimistic about him?) – “We’re going to have to go through all of the right steps, especially on a short week. We really pulled back last week and tried to let that hamstring calm down. But I do think we have a better chance this week than we did last week.”

(Although nothing bad ever happens around here, who would your next quarterback have been yesterday?) – “I still got that one I can keep a secret (laughter). I’ve got some options though.”

(Is it TE MarQueis Gray? Is he throwing a pass this year?) – “I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. The good thing is we do have a couple of options because you get in a situation where your two quarterbacks … This has only happened to me one other time, where I’m down to one guy. Just having those other options available, we have two guys that can obviously … MarQueis, he’s played quarterback before. Jarvis obviously, he knows our offense well enough to where he can go in there and do some stuff. We have options with those two guys as far as finishing a game. (It’s) not ideal for sure. We’d have to be really smart with what we have for those guys to be ready to go.”

(Is it a same assumption that QB Brandon Doughty gets moved up from the practice squad this week?) – “I’m not sure what we’re going to do quite yet. We’re going to get together probably after this and finalize what we want to do.”

(Can you compare this situation to the last time you had an in-season starting quarterback injury?) – “It wasn’t as late. It wasn’t a situation like we’re in right now. Last year, against Arizona, Jay (Cutler) pulled his hamstring and Jimmy (Clausen) came up and we had David Fales already on the roster, so he bumped up. That was just kind of the natural progression of everything. Jay (Cutler) missed one game. This is a different situation. It’s not going to be one game. It will be longer than that. I don’t know the exact timetable, but it is going to be longer than that.”

(How big yesterday was QB Matt Moore getting a big pass to WR Kenny Stills late and being able to pull out a win after it was a little conservative when he first checked in?) – “One, we had a lead. I was trying to be smart with what we did. The rain started coming down. It was like right when he went in, it starting coming down pretty good. I just was making sure the quarterback-center thing was good. We were good with cadence. Sometimes when you haven’t played a ton with a quarterback, you’re trying to make sure the line is good with the cadence. All of those type of things. There was a lot going through my head to make sure everybody was good. I wish it would have happened for me a little quicker than what it did. I had a couple of chances to make some plays there. It wasn’t quite exactly what we wanted, but when we need that last drive there was no hesitation from me as far as, ‘Alright, here we go.’ We knew how we wanted to attack it. We talked about that situation on Friday. It’s funny that it came up. It seems like that seems to happen quite a bit around here, where we keep talking about these end of game situations and we seem to get in them. Matt knew exactly what I was doing as far as the play calling goes, and he was on it.”

(Can you break down the differences in QB Ryan Tannehill’s game and QB Matt Moore’s game and what the means for you?) – “It’s hard for me. I don’t have a lot of experience with Matt (Moore). I’ve called, what 20 plays for him? Not including yesterday. I’ve watched him in the past. I think he was a free agent at some point and I watched him when I was in Denver. I know Matt (Moore) will do whatever we need him to do to win a game. He has a lot of ability, as far as being a down-the-field passer. I don’t think he ever gives himself credit for the fact that he sees coverage well. He can throw the ball underneath. He can throw the intermediate ball. I like the fact that he’s not afraid to scramble outside the pocket and kind of play a little looser than a lot of coaches like. I like it. I like calling plays for him because you never know what you’re going to experience in that play and I kind of like that. I like that about him. He’s aggressive. It was fun when we were going through preseason to kind of see how he would develop in this offense.”

(Do you feel limited at all with what you can do going forward with QB Matt Moore as opposed to QB Ryan Tannehill?) – “No. Nope.”

(QB Matt Moore is right next to you [on the sidelines] the whole time. You’ve gotten comfortable with him?) – “Absolutely. Like I said yesterday, I’m glad he’s here, because I think he’s the only backup quarterback with a winning record. It’s nice to always know going into that; you just have no questions about him going in there. He knows what to do on the game plan. You know the other guys respect him. Guys know that he knows what he’s doing. When he walks in there, there’s no nervousness by him. It’s more ‘Give me the call and let’s roll.’”

(QB Matt Moore has a gunslinger reputation. Have you seen that in practice?) – “Yes. That doesn’t bother me one bit. I want a guy that wants to go out there and be aggressive and try to win the game.”

(Has a final determination been made on the roster status of DE Dion Jordan?) – “No. You guys can wait for that one. (laughter)”

(How much practice has QB Matt Moore seriously had since…?) – “Well, he does all the scout team stuff and the way we practice is very competitive, so he’s actually out there trying to beat our first-team defense. The problem was we’re trying to get Ryan (Tannehill) ready to go all the time, and he doesn’t get a lot of reps with the ones. He does kind of his own thing on Fridays. He goes through the game plan with our quarterbacks coach Bo (Hardegree). When we do routes versus air, he does throw to Kenny (Stills) and Jarvis (Landry). He gets in there with those guys sometimes. But when you’re a guy of his experience, that’s the least of my worries.”

(What did it say to you that QB Ryan Tannehill really wanted to back there on the sideline at the end of the game after he got injured?) – “When I turned around and saw him. I don’t know. I didn’t get to talk to him. I turned around, I saw him behind me and I was surprised.”

(No, I meant what did that say to you? What does that tell you of Ryan’s…?) – “That’s what he is. He’s a team guy. He just cares about his teammates and wants to do whatever he can to help win. He probably wanted to be there to make sure Matt (Moore) was good. That’s who he is.”

(A sprain as opposed to a tear, I don’t know if that’s an element of luck in there or not. But did you shake your head at QB Ryan Tannehill’s resiliency? He seems to be as tough as any.) – “I don’t know if I’ve been around anybody tougher than him. The guy has taken a lot shots since I’ve been here, unfortunately. He just keeps bouncing back. I think the mental part of it is really what’s been impressive. He takes … It’ll mess you up every once in a while when you start taking some of those shots. It can kind of get it in your head. It doesn’t seem to bother him. Of course you think a little bit more maybe, ‘Get out of the way.’”

(Does the game on Saturday – it’s not a Thursday night so you don’t have as much of a crunch – but especially getting QB Matt Moore up to speed?) – “It’s not. Once again, it’s not like we’re pulling a guy off the street here and starting him. He’s been here since the spring. He knows everything we’re doing. It’s really not that big of a deal for us, as far as the game plan. I’m not going to change anything. I feel comfortable with him going out there and executing our offense.”

(Do you think it factors at all that he actually will be playing against the coach that he played for last time in N.Y. Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles?) – “I don’t think so. I don’t see that being an issue.”

(Does the fact that QB Ryan Tannehill most likely will not need surgery, obviously, the next few weeks are a question mark, but the offseason … He’ll be available the whole offseason? Is that your understanding?) – “I hope so. I’d be shocked if he couldn’t do anything in the offseason.”

(The advantage that you’ll have him…)  – “It’s going to be … It’s just another year in the system. The more he does this offense, the better he’s going to be. It’s telling throughout the season that he’s made improvements. Everybody has. Guys really worked hard to make sure they stayed on what we were doing and each week we get a little better. There are a couple of things we need to do a little bit better, but we’re improving.”

(The hit on QB Ryan Tannehill, not that a flag would bring back his health, but did you think that it should’ve been penalized?) – “That’s not for me to say but, playing Calais (Campbell) as many times, he’s never been a guy that I would say is a dirty player. I’d be shocked to say that he did that intentionally. I think the direction we were heading on the protection and kind of how he had to slant, I think he was kind of leaning in when he was getting blocked. I think it was just kind of one of those football things. I don’t think he meant anything intentional by it.”

(Just even from a low hit, not a dirty hit, but a low hit standpoint, it’s…) – “I don’t know if he could’ve caught himself. As a big man going fast, the direction he was heading, that would’ve been very tough.”

(What do you do to get to know QB Matt Moore’s game? I can’t remember how you phrased it earlier, can you only call so many plays for him? What do you do? Can you do anything to…?) – “Not really. Just practice and talk. If you don’t like something, tell me. The only problem with Matt is he’ll always say he likes everything. I’ll be like, ‘You alright with this?’ ‘Yeah, call it.’ (laughter) That makes it easy.”

(When he’s next to you on the sidelines, does the game permit, maybe during timeouts or stoppages, to say what he’s looking at from the sideline to get an idea of what he’ll see when he’s under center?) – “He does a great job. He’s always talking to me about what he thinks for Ryan. It’s not really for him. So he does a really … He’s very helpful for me. To where, if we get kind of in a jam and I’m stuck between two things, he’ll be really quick to be like, ‘No, go with this one, because he likes this a lot.’ So he’s on it on the sidelines as far as really to help Ryan out, being kind of the guy on the sideline that could speak for him at the time.”

(Have you been around a quarterback as agreeable as QB Matt Moore?) – “That’s a bad question. (laughter) Can I pass on that?”

(So it might be a little different when he’s in there as opposed to when QB Ryan Tannehill is? What he likes for Ryan and what he likes for himself?) – “Yes. Absolutely. But that’ll come through the conversation throughout the week. The one thing that I have, in my experience with quarterbacks have been is, they won’t be afraid at least to tell you going into preparation into a game of, ‘Maybe this and this, I didn’t get a good rep of that week.’ You’ll get it out before you even hit Sunday, or Saturday in this case.”

(RB Damien Williams running around back there at the end of the game with 1 second left, what’s going through your mind at that time?) – “That I should’ve never ran that play to begin with. But I didn’t anticipate what happened happening. I was trying to get to the other hash, which looking back on it, (it was) probably not worth it.”

(Why didn’t you guys run the ball as well yesterday as you have in many weeks?) – “Number two defense in the NFL. They’re pretty good”

(You played the No. 1 defense the week before and you ran average.) – “’93,’ (Calais Campbell) is a tough guy to go against. He’s very disruptive.”

(Personality-wise, between QB Matt Moore and QB Ryan Tannehill, for us when Matt is up there, the presser is very kind of entertaining – the California cool personality. Ryan is a little more serious. He jokes around. But what do you see in their personalities and how might it translate to the players?) – “I mean everybody is different as far as the way that they are in front of you guys, how they are in the classroom, meetings, around other players. It’s hard for me to get into detail in all of this. They’re a little bit different, but at the end of the day they’re the same as far as they’re competitive, they’re hard workers (and) they do everything they can to help the team. Those are the kind of guys we like being around.”

(How confident are you on CB Xavien Howard’s availability for this week?) – “Better than last week. That’s the best I can give you. Until we start practicing, it’s hard for me to say he’s going or he’s not. We want him to feel good. We want him to say, ‘I’m ready to go.’ So last week wasn’t the week.’

(Did you get the QB Ryan Tannehill news this morning?) – “No, last night.”

(So was there a period last night where you figured he was going to be out? Or what was your mind through yesterday afternoon…) – “It’s like I told you guys yesterday, when we left the stadium, it didn’t look good. I didn’t … I waited ‘til (the) doc called me, whatever … I was watching the Sunday night game. He called me and told me. I talked to (Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike) Tannenbaum and (General Manager Chris) Grier. That’s kind of where I was, and I talked to Ryan.”

(What were the first words out of your mouth?) – “I was just trying to get the details. I don’t remember every little thing of the conversation. I was just kind of, ‘What does that mean? Where do we go from there?’”

(You were obviously happy.) – “Yes, I was happy for him that you don’t have to … That’s a tough injury to go through. You see a lot of guys go through those ACL injuries where they … They come back fast, but they always say you’re not the same, and you have to go through another year and it’s a lot of work.”

(You have said from early in the season that QB Ryan Tannehill was the clear cut No. 1 coming out of camp and everything. If he were able to come back in the late regular season or mid-playoffs, does he go right back to No. 1? Does it depend on how QB Matt Moore plays the next couple of games?) – “Ryan, he’s the starting quarterback. So whenever he’s healthy, he’s the starting quarterback.”

(With RB Kenyan Dranke and the punt return with Jarvis Landry, what happened there? And is Drake okay?) – “Drake’s okay. It was  freak, kind of what happened with him getting … really running into Jarvis. At the end of the day, we have to make sure we do a better job of understanding our situation of this is a field position game. We just have to make sure we have the ball. I know Jarvis is always going to look to make a play. And he understood the situation as far as what was going on. I think he got a little surprised. I don’t know if he didn’t see him or was a little surprised it was one of our own guys that jarred him there. So, at the end of the day, we just want to make sure we have the ball at the end of that possession.”

(What have you seen from QB Brandon Doughty?) – “Improvement. He’s done a … It takes a second sometimes when you’re a young player to really get a grip on the playbook. He’s done a good job of making sure he’s ready to go every week. He’s been preparing like he’s going to play. You can tell because the amount of time. When you see these guys still hanging around after our meetings are done at night, and they’re working as a group and going through their steps to get ready for the game, when you’re on the practice squad, what are you really getting ready for? You don’t think you’re going to be up. And he always took it serious to, ‘Maybe I’m going to get called up.’ He constantly was being the guy ready to go. So we’ll kind of see what we do going forward and what’s the best move for us.”

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