Transcripts

Adam Gase – March 2, 2017 Download PDF version

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Head Coach Adam Gase (transcribed by the Pro Football Writers Association)

(How did LT Branden Albert perform season) – “Branden had a good year. For what we were asking him to do it was probably a little bit different scheme. With the outside zone he was really good in protection. I think him getting injured and coming back and really playing hurt toward that back half of the season was very impressive. It showed great toughness and leadership, showing those other guys that you might not be 100 percent but you’ve got to play through the pain.”

(Laremy Tunsil ready for LT?) – “I feel really good about where he’s at right now. He did a good job going to a position he’s never played before. We’ll see how that transition goes. It’s going to be more about health, keeping whoever our five are healthy. If we do that, that whole group, whoever we end up putting in those pieces, we should have a good group there.”

(See from WR DeVante Parker this offseason, expectations next season) – “I think just consistency. That day in, day out. Coming in the office at the right time, making sure that you’re doing every little detail right. It’s one of those things that some of us that have been around some really good players take for granted. He’s just got to understand everything he does is important. It’s a trust level with everyone in the building. If you tell someone you’re going to be there at 11 o’clock to lift, be there. Don’t call in and ‘Hey, I’m not going to show up today.’ He’s done a good job at the end of the season and what he’s been doing it sounds like so far is he’s doing good with just staying with his regimen. And that’s how he had some success last year. He had three really good weeks in practice and everything he did during the day in meetings and that’s why he was able to have good games. That’s what we need from him, we just need that consistency.”

(What about WR Leonte Carroo) – “We’ve just got to keep bringing him along. When you’re trying to figure a guy out that’s not in your top three it’s always as easy as you’d think. The longer I’d been around him the more we’ve kind of figured out how we need to use him. He’s done a good job trying to figure out his role on special teams and where he really fits in with those receivers. With free agency it is where it is right now. We’ve got to figure out where’s he going to fit it? Do we still have (WR) Kenny (Stills)? Are we going to lose him? We’re not sure about that. So our group, our young guys have got to be ready to step up.”

(Where do you start in building the run defense) – “I’d like to say up front but we’ve got a pretty good front. So we’ve got to make sure we do a good job with our linebackers. We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got our safeties healthy and those guys have got to be huge contributors to what we’re going to do. We’ve got to get some more guys to help (LB) Kiko (Alonso) out. We’ve got to keep him healthy. I think that front four is pretty good as far as what we have right now. We need some consistency out of (DT) Jordan (Phillips), which I think we’re going to get this year. I like where our D-ends are at right now. Obviously, (DT Ndamukong) Suh, I don’t have to talk about him because he’s probably the best in the business. And if we can get a couple of more D-ends to help out what we already have that would be very helpful for us.”

(Comfortable with DT Jordan Phillips playing 45-50 snaps a game) – “That’s where he we need to get. He knows it. We talked about it before the end of last season that we need to get his reps up. Twenty five plays a game is not really going to do anything for us. We need his snaps to get up, we have shorten snaps on defense altogether and that starts with the offense holding onto the ball and the defense getting off the field on third down. If we can do that it’s going to be better for us as a whole team. So if we can get Jordan to that 45, 50 snaps per game, that’s what we’re looking for.”

(How do you feel about WR Kenny Stills returning) – “I don’t know. One day I feel good about it, one day I feel like crap about it. I hate free agency. You just want to get your guys back. Kenny and myself have a very close relationship. The worst thing about the NFL is sometimes that doesn’t matter. Sometimes the money is what guys are looking for. Kenny, obviously, he’d love to stay here but he’s going to stay for the right price and what’s comfortable for him and I don’t think anybody would blame him for that.”

(If Jay Ajayi will be their featured back in 2017) – “I think so. I think he was really that for us last year. We were trying to use all three of those guys because they’re different skill sets and they’re good. We do need more snaps on offense, which would entail him getting more carries. He did a great job off coming along last year. We really felt good with the run scheme we were doing, just sticking his foot in the ground and getting vertical and running through tackles. If he didn’t lead the league, he was up there in yards after contact. It was really a great thing to see, his development throughout the year. Hopefully we can go even further with the passing game. He did a do good job of improving in that area. Hopefully we can take an even bigger step.”

(How his opinion of Ryan Tannehill has changed in the last year) – “I don’t know how much it’s changed. I think it’s really probably more perception for everyone else outside. I was able to just be with him that spring and see who he was and how he went about his business, his athletic ability and his ability to be accurate and throw down the field. It was really a matter of time of just showing it in a game. Which he did. We went through some rough times early in the season. I probably put it more on myself than him. It was us trying to figure each other out, all the guys on offense trying to figure each other out. As we got going and we kind of rolled a little bit last year, he really played well and did exactly what we needed him to do. Guys made plays when they had to, third downs there were some plays that he made there, and ad libbed a lot during the season. When he got hurt, I think that was an even bigger development for him. Just seeing him in meetings. I told him in the season, ‘You’re actually going to grow for the better because of this.’ He took a different mentality in our meetings. You saw him teaching, coaching a little more, and guys accepting it. That was probably a good thing for him, even though for all of us to watch him in a cast and on crutches. At the end of the day, it was probably good for him.”

(Concerned about Tannehill’s mobility?) – “No. He feels good about it. He feels good about the brace he’s going to wear. I’m not worried about it.”

(If he was surprised to lose Vance Joseph after just one year as defensive coordinator) – “Not really. We kind of, when we hired him, we knew that there was a possibility this could happen. I’ve known Vance for a long time. This was my eighth year kind of being around him. The relationship we’ve had, we worked together in 2008. And then being around him as a defensive coordinator, I was not going to be shocked. I knew there were some jobs open. He was a guy that people were going to want to talk to. I just kept thinking to myself, ‘It would be hard for a team to turn him down.’ When he gets in a room, his presence and the command he has around people, that would be a tough guy to walk away from and be like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hire him.’ Anybody would have been running to try to grab him up.”

(If Joseph’s presence in the room is his best asset) – “I think it’s one of his best assets. But I would say his football IQ and the things he does schematically are very good as well.”

(Why Mario Williams didn’t pan out in Miami) –  “I think it was, Mario went through a lot of things that we kind of kept in-house early in the season. It really was some personal things. It seemed like one thing after another that was going on with him, and he probably didn’t have as great a spring as he wanted to, and when he came back for training camp, at his age, I think it caught up to him a little bit. He was fighting to get in great shape and make sure [he was doing] the injury prevention type thing. It was one of those years that it just didn’t work out for him it didn’t work out for us. I know that he was trying to do everything he could to contribute. It just wasn’t his year for him with us and vice versa.”

(If he saw pass-catching tight end as a glaring need during his postseason evaluation) – “Not really. We liked where our guys were at. There were some things that I wanted to really try to do with Jordan [Cameron] at the beginning of the season. I couldn’t really click with him. I was trying to figure out what was best. I don’t know how many times I went back and watched Cleveland tape the year he had 80 catches to see what was I doing wrong, what did I have to try to do. We tried to emphasize that a little more as we got going. And when we lost him, I think Dion [Sims] did exactly what we needed him to do. I think we held him back a little bit and didn’t let him do some of the things that he probably could have done more of. We’ll see what goes on moving forward. I’ve got an idea of what we want to do. Obviously, I have to wait until March 9. I kind of know what you’re leaning toward here. There’s a good plan in place.”

(Is there a difference in Year 2 working with a QB?) – “Yeah. After that first year, you really feel more comfortable—especially as a player, to be able to go through things that you want to see more and what you want to do and the point of emphasis that you want to do during practice. Then when you head into games, you know exactly what you want called. I think Ryan is really comfortable with what he wants now and he’s not gonna be afraid to communicate it with me. I think even towards the end of last year he was really good at making sure I knew what he felt about what we were doing, and if I called something he didn’t like, he wasn’t afraid to let me know, which is good and bad. Quarterbacks that I’ve been around that are aggressive will let you know when they don’t like something, and that’s where I want him to be and I want him to feel like this is his and he can say whatever he wants when he needs to say it and I’m gonna be able to react to it. At the end of the day, he’s playing and I’m not. Our job is to put him in the best position possible along with the rest of our players.”

(Cam Wake’s role in 2017) – “We’d like to do, really, what we kind of wanted to do last year. We just kept getting in positions to where we were so far behind that the other team could just run it and we weren’t doing a good job of rotating him in there and making sure that he was getting the amount of snaps that he needed. Obviously we want him to be the starter. We would like him to really play the downs that are gonna matter. We’d like to have him in there more on pass-rush downs. If we could actually get a lead, that would be nice to let him rush the passer. We need to do some retooling on both sides of the ball to make sure that we’re giving our offense more plays and our defense less plays, and we actually need to play with a lead.”

(How’d you establish a ‘tough love’ voice as a rookie head coach?) – “I just felt like I was gonna do exactly what I’ve always done, and that’s just—The brutal honesty part, you try to stick with that. Just communicate with guys. Just don’t lie to players. That’s the first thing I learned when got in this profession: tell them the truth, tell them straight. Foxy (John Fox) always told me just don’t B.S. them. Tell them exactly what you want and hit them between the eyes, and they’ll respect that. They might not like it, but they’ll get over it.”

(Kenyan Drake’s rookie year) – “He had some good days and some bad days. He did a great job when we got him in the game. He made some plays. He’s a guy that we’re looking to lean on a little bit more next year. We’d like to find some ways to get him and Damien in, but at the same time not take away from Jay. We have three really talented players at the running back position that we’d like to find ways to get in the game. Kenyan’s somebody that we’re really interested in trying to find some good matchups for.”

(Secondary needs another veteran corner?) – “I think our secondary will take whatever help they can get right now. As many corners as you can get, and safeties—I think the way the league’s going right now, you better have guys that can play both post safety and come down and tackle and at corner you need as many as you can. You saw last year, it felt like somebody was out every week. The more corners we can get, the better. I like the guys we have right now. I love how they work. I love the way they’ve been trying to get better, but at the end of the day we just need more bodies.”

(Chris Grier’s role in the draft?) – “He’s the guy we really lean on to organize everything and then on draft day, he’s the guy that sets it up. We’re really leaning on his choice. We feel comfortable with the roles that we all have. I know a lot of people see three of us working together and always think, ‘How can that work?’ but we do a good job of communicating and everybody doing their job. I’d say Chris has got way more of an ego than he puts on. That’s a good thing. He does a great job with how we organize everything and really puts all that stuff together. He’s somebody that’s probably a voice of reason for me and Mike (Tannenbaum).”

(Some players weren’t invited to the Combine because off-field issues) – “No chance you’re getting me to answer this.”

Chris Grier – March 2, 2017 Download PDF version

Thursday, March 2, 2017

General Manager Chris Grier

(The biggest benefit of the Combine for you guys is what?) – “To begin to know the players as people. Right now, it’s a lot of video and from what we’ve studied at the campus visits and you get from talking to the coaches so this our … We get to spend time with the people face-to-face and the players and just trying to really get to know the core … Do they love football, the football intelligence and stuff. The workout stuff is fine but as (Bill) Parcells called it, the underwear Olympics. The tape is really who the player is. This part is just trying to get to know the player.”

(Do you recall anybody who after the Combine you said, ‘Alright now after meeting them and seeing them, he’s the guy?’) – “You know for us, just last year what was interesting was Xavien Howard. Like Xavien (Howard) for us here, didn’t have a great interview. It was one of those, it was at like 10:45 at night and so he’d already had like 20 interviews during the day, so he was wiped out and we were just like, let’s bring him back in and spend some more time and get to know him. And we brought him back in to Davie and he had a great interview. You know you could see he was energized. He wasn’t worn out through the whole process. This is a grind for these guys going through this for three days. So he did a great job for us and then we were fortunate to end up picking him in the second round.”

(Is there anything in particular you want to hear from those guys when you do the interviews? Any message? Something that really sticks in your mind?) – “For us, it’s really guys that love to compete and love football. I say nowadays with the money and the kids getting paid, you see a lot of these juniors leaving school early. And a lot of the times now you’re not sure if it’s the right reasons why they’re leaving. If it’s … They all want to get to that second contract first and stuff. But for us, that’s not important. We want to hear, ‘I love football. This is what I want to do.’ Maybe a guy accomplished everything he could in college at that point in time but for us, it’s really that and the football intelligence. We just have to keep building a smarter team, a team that – you know I hate to keep saying it but New England does a great job of finding those guys that are really smart and fit their scheme and program what they do and their beliefs. So that’s what we’re trying to keep building here.”

(Where do you stand with WR Kenny Stills?) – “With Kenny, we’re still talking to him. He’s earned the right to be a free agent. Kenny’s a very important part for us. We all feel that he contributed greatly to our success last year and hopefully we’ll get something done here. But like I said, with all these guys, you can’t be mad at them. He’s earned the right to get to free agency and hopefully we’ll get something done.”

(Obviously you guys have had conversations with him. The numbers aren’t close? Is that fair?) – “No, I wouldn’t say that. I would say we’ve been talking but in terms of numbers, you know I could throw (something like) ‘This guy is going to make 15 million’ out there. It takes one team but for right now, we’ve been talking. It’s been good dialogue back and forth.”

(Do you guys have a number in mind for WR Kenny Stills or that still kind of in flux? Have you given him something and you’re waiting for a response?) – “We’ve been talking, like I said, back and forth. I don’t think there’s any real numbers. We’ve talked back and forth and we kind of know what the agent wants and what we think. But with any negotiation, everyone’s going to ask for the moon and the team’s going to come in and try to low ball them (laughing). But again, it’s just bartering back and forth.”

(What about DE Andre Branch? Where do things stand with him?) – “It’s the same. Andre, we’ve been in communication with his agent. We’ve talking back and forth and again, (the agent) just wanted to see where the market was. So we’re just dealing with it right now but we want Andre back. He did a nice job for us so hopefully we’ll get something done there.”

(Does it seem likely that he’ll test his worth on the free agent market March 9?) – “I think you’d have to ask him that. Like I said, we’ve been talking and like I said,, we’ve been going back and forth a little bit; but the agent, and you know, it’s their job. They want to see what the market is.”

(How would you describe the organizational depth at the defensive end position at this time?) – “I think extending Cam (Cameron Wake) was good and Terrence Fede is a good piece for us there on the back end. We need to add pieces there, obviously. It’s a position that we’ll have to address in the draft and free agency.”

(What do you think of the most important attributes, especially as you consider scheme and culture for your organization, evaluating defensive ends?) – “For us, we always talk about the prototypes. But like, Cam Wake, is not a prototype player, and he’s an elite player in this league. For us again, it’s the production, the athletic ability, the passion. Does the guy compete? Play hard? The ability to play against the run also is important. But nowadays, defensive ends, all the guys that are getting paid are these guys that can rush the passer. We’re no different than every team in looking for those qualities.”

(How would you describe the depth of players who are able to affect the quarterback in this draft?) – “I think it’s a good draft in terms of defensive ends. There are a lot of guys that have come out that have been productive players, a lot of guys that are one-year producers; but I think in terms of athletic ability, size and potential down the road as well, it’s a good class.”

(Can you explain your rationale for making the move at left tackle, putting G/T Laremy Tunsil in there and moving on T Branden Albert?) – “Yes. ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert) did a great job for us while he was here. He’s a true pro. I think he did a great job mentoring Laremy last year at guard; but for us, we just felt it was time to let Laremy go to left tackle. He’s played that his whole life and for us, I know Laremy was very excited for the move to left tackle and for us, we think he’ll be a very good player there.”

(The last few years you guys haven’t spent to get to the cap and obviously you have the rollover and you kept it. Do you think you’ll spend to the cap this year and do you think that maybe if you had last year, you would have had a little more depth down the stretch when you guys were running out of bodies?) – “Like I said, last year I think that our guys, the pro scouts (Director, Pro Personnel) Anthony Hunt, (Director, Player Personnel) Joe Schoen and the rest, (Pro Scouts) Max Gruder and Chris Rossetti did a great job in terms of finding those guys, like the (Donald) Butler’s that came in for us at linebacker. But I don’t think spending to the cap every year is what you have to do to be successful. I mean you look at some of the teams that are winning, they’re not spending (to the cap). Here, for so long, we always, you know (signed) the big fish, go out and spend all the money on everybody and for us, we’re just trying to build the team the right way and trying to spread it out now with us. I don’t think … We have no set plan in terms of how much we’re going to spend but we’re just working right now on our plan of who we’re going to target in free agency.”

(We all saw stories about QB Ryan Tannehill and his knee. Is there anything official you can tell us about whether he will require surgery and whether he will be available for the offseason program?) – “Ryan (Tannehill) has done a tremendous job working. He’ll be there in April when he starts with his teammates. He’s fine. He’s good. I saw him the other day and he’s working out. He’s doing great, so he’ll be healthy. He’s ready to go and I know he’s excited for next year.”

(You got more ammunition with the compensatory picks. Just how big is that in helping through this draft and then were you a little bit, were you expecting to get all you got?) – “We kind of talked about it a little bit because we knew losing ‘O.V.’ (Olivier Vernon), Lamar (Miller) and Rishard (Matthews) and the guys that we lost, that we were getting those compensatory picks. We had a good idea we were going to get the third rounder. We weren’t sure if it was going to be a fourth, fifth or whatever. So we made some moves last year. We kind of knew we were having picks coming. But for us, this year, it’s huge for us. The two fifth (roundres) and then obviously the third (compensatory pick is) the first one in the third (round). Those will be valuable picks for us.”

(With linebacker as a need position, how does Koa Misi possibly fit into the future?) — “Koa (Misi) right now is coming off a significant neck surgery, so we just have to see where it is; but right now he’s in our plans and we’ll see. He’s got a checkup again in May. So it will be probably the first time we’ll really know where he’ll stand in terms of his football career going forward.”

(How enthusiastic could you and the organization be about possibly extending LB Kiko Alonso and how do you feel he schematically fits into this defense?) – “When we made the trade for Kiko, we felt really good about him. He’s a player that we had liked when he came out of college. He had the good rookie year in Buffalo and for us, he’s an important piece. I think for the community, as you can see if you follow him on Twitter, he’s on Telemundo and everything doing great. He’s an important piece and we’ll start talking to him and his agent here soon about trying to do something to extend him in the future.”

(Is LB Kiko Alonso likely a middle linebacker if all things were in the best situation?) – “I think Kiko’s flexibility is the best thing about him. He can play Mike, Sam, Will, he can play all those. For us, he allows us to just pick the best players. So if he ends up at middle linebacker again next year, he’ll be surrounded by good players on the outside. But if he moves to Will, which is what he played there in Buffalo, then either one. So with us, right now, it’s really not an issue.”

(How is S Isa Abdul-Quddus recovering after his surgery?) – “Isa is doing good. He’s going through the rehab process. (He’s a) great kid. Right now he’s just still working, working with our doctors, and we’ll just see what happens here over the next couple of months.”

(Is it a potentially career threatening situation with Isa Abdul-Quddus?) – “Right now they’re still trying to work through it because it was a significant shoulder injury he had. So right now we’re just still dealing with the doctors working through it.”

(Can you explain a little bit about how you guys operate, you and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum and Head Coach Adam Gase with regards to the draft? Is there one guy who’s kind of the point man for that and how do you guys make decisions when you’re in the room?) – “With the draft it’s, in terms of that, I’m in charge. I work with the scouts, set the board, set the value and then Mike  is in all of the meetings. He sits in with us and then after Mike, Adam and I will always go through and talk about the day and we’ll go through how we see the board. But you know Adam looks at the players that I tell him to look at because he doesn’t have time to look at all the players. The one great thing about Adam is he’s like, ‘Listen, whoever you want to look at, whoever you want me to look at, just tell me.’ And he’s like, ‘Whatever you believe in, I trust you,’ and he said we did great last year and let’s go. But the one good thing like I said, I don’t want to come out with like ‘I’m running it,’ because the three of us really do. It’s really a great relationship we have and that we all trust each other. You know Mike is great in terms of … Mike is like ‘Hey, go ahead. Do it.’ And Adam’s like, ‘Great,’ but it’s still, everything I do I’m talking with them through everything.”

(So if there’s a log jam or something like that, are you the guy that has the tiebreaking vote or who has the final call?) – “Yes, at the end of the day. But there’s really not a log jam or anything. We’ve talked through every scenario. Even last year when Laremy (Tunsil) came up, it was like, we’re sitting there and (Owner) Steve (Ross) is like, ‘Do we take this guy?’ And I said ‘Yes, I would.’ I said, ‘We’ve done our work on him.’ And then (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Mike (Tannenbaum) said, ‘Yes, I would.’ Then (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) was like typing and didn’t even look up and was like, ‘Take him.’ (laughter) Again, you have all those discussions before the draft so that really draft day is easy, you just kind of listen to the board.”

(I know you want to have the flexibility for when things like that happen that are unexpected. But do you go in with kind of an order of what positions you want to take of this is what we need in the first round, this is what we need in the second, position-wise?) – “I think you always have to be aware of your needs in terms of building your team. But especially in the first two rounds, I think you always have to take the best player. The opportunity for Laremy Tunsil that falls, that wasn’t our No. 1 need, we had ‘B.A.’ but we’re like, ‘We can’t pass on this guy falling to 13.’ You have to set your board and what you believe but you’ll always work around in terms of needs, depending on like we’re down at 22 now, you’re just waiting to see who falls to you.”

(Two things on the Combine. One, some players aren’t allowed to be here because of stuff in their past. What do you think about that rule? Is it fair? Is it good?) – “Unfortunately, it’s a league rule. It’s a league issue and so we just have to abide by what they say. At the end of the day, I think every team will do their homework on the players after school or hometown, in terms of that. But again, it’s a privilege to play in the NFL and so the league has chosen this rule as a way to try and steer behavior in the right way.”

(Fans will be allowed to watch the bench press. Will that have any effect on the players? Make them nervous, make them more hyped do you think? Any difference at all?) – “The good thing is I think you’ll see the competitive nature of guys come out. You’ll have a guy that’s like, ‘I don’t want to bench.’ They’re like, ‘Oh why didn’t you bench? Were you nervous people are watching?’ and then of course you have the guys who love being in front of the camera and they’ll jump up in there and they may bench three times but they won’t care. They’ll feel good about it that they went up and competed so it’s good the fans get to see a glimpse of what goes on here at the Combine.”

(Where do things stand with S Reshad Jones? I know obviously he missed the spring because of his contract and that was with two years left. Now with one year left, do you anticipate him missing time again this spring?)  – “No, I don’t think so. He’s had a great rehab. He looks like he never missed a day. I wish I had his genetics. My wife would really be happy. (laughter) But with him, we anticipate him being there. He and (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase developed a really good relationship. Reshad and I, coming out of college, I went and spent the day with him before the draft. So he and I have a really good relationship because it was a great story. We went down there and they sent me down to spend some time with him and we spent all day hanging out at Georgia and I told him, ‘Where do you think you’re going?’ He said, ‘I’m going second round.’ I was like, ‘You’ll be a fifth-round pick.’ And he’ll tell you the story. He didn’t believe me and I was like, ‘Listen, there are just things out there that you do and it’s what you put on film. And I think you’re second-round talent but you’re not going to go (there).’ And so I call him up on draft day and I go, ‘Hey, remember?’ and he goes, ‘Yeah.’ And he had a chip on his shoulder ready to prove everyone wrong. So he and I have a good relationship because I never lied to him. He and I talked but he’ll be here. I think he loves being here. I think he and Coach Gase have a great relationship.”

(Do you expect to get S Reshad Jones’ contract done before the start of the season?) – “I think we’re working towards it right now. We’re talking with his agent and they’re going back and forth. Obviously, with the (Kansas City Chiefs S) Eric Berry deal getting done, that may help speed things up here too.”

(Same question about Jarvis. WR Jarvis Landry, do you anticipate getting anything done?) – “We’re talking to his agent a little bit but we haven’t (gotten anything done) right now. Right now he’s still another year out and so we’re just trying to make sure we can take care of these other guys; but Jarvis is a very important piece obviously. He’s big in South Florida and has an unbelievable passion and love for the game, so he’[s an important part for us. Hopefully we’ll get something done here in the near future.”

(Any decision yet on picking up the fifth-year option for T Ja’Wuan James?) – “We’ve been talking about it but nothing officially has been decided yet.”

(The offseason philosophy as far as one big fish or a few medium fish – forgive the terminology – do you have a preference or does the organization have a philosophy?)  – “I think it’s about being able to take advantage of the opportunities that come. We’re fortunate to live in Miami and now we have a little bit of buzz. We have a head coach that a lot of players around the league like and have heard. So having the flexibility, if it’s a big fish to get him, but you’re still trying to build the team and you want to take care of your own as well. For us, we just want to take care of our guys first and we’ll build. But we’ll definitely be active. To what level right now, we still haven’t decided.”

(Did I read your dad Bobby Grier is part of the team now? Is that correct?) – “(Laughter) He’s a consultant. He’s retired. You know how it is, once he got here. Actually, my dad coached (Head Coach) Adam Gase’s dad at Eastern Michigan for a year, which they didn’t know that until Adam took the job and we were talking. But yes, he does some consultant work for us on the side.”

(Is Bobby Grier down in Davie or is he…?) – “He’s come down before. He bops in and out. Nothing scheduled. But he bops in and out. He comes in for some meetings and stuff.”

(How’s that working with your dad?) – “It’s good. I get to be in charge for the first time. (laughter) I said for all those years … But it’s been fun working with him. The last time we were together was at New England years ago, so it’s been fun.”

(Improving the run defense, is there a priority for a 4-3? Do you start at middle linebacker? Do you start trying to be strong up the middle? How do you address this?) – “I think it’s really at all levels. We need better play of the linebacker group and the front four would probably tell you they need to play better as well. Again, we’ll probably do some things schematically that may help too, as well, so yes. Again, competing, doing your assignments right, there are times and the players will tell you that fits weren’t right so it opens up things. Again, it’s just us being smarter, more competitive and making sure that we can get this thing fixed going forward.”

(So you aren’t necessarily looking at it as the No. 1 thing is find a middle linebacker?) – “No, we have a lot of needs on defense right now, as you know. That’s one of them;  but we’re still trying to … We have a lot of things on defense we need to fix.”

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