Branden Albert – November 7, 2016 Download PDF version

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tackle Branden Albert

(Over 500 yards rushing the last three games, 111 yards I think against the top ranked rushing defense. What kind of point of pride is that for you, and RB Jay Ajayi and the whole offense?) – “I think as an offensive line, we feel like we could’ve done better. But for the most part, for us to do what we’ve been doing is gratifying. We felt like we left a lot out there yesterday. We could’ve done better, but we’ll keep improving and keep going.”

(The second half, you guys really asserted yourselves. What was the difference, did you just wear them down?) – “No, I just think … I think they were on to us and what we were trying to do. They had a point to prove and I think we had to make some adjustments in the second half, and that’s what we did.”

(RB Jay Ajayi said that there was some trash talk in that first drive, and that him punching the wall was him letting out some frustration. What did you hear going on there?) – “They had a point to prove. They didn’t want us to make history on them. They had pride. Their pride was playing into it. They did a good job in the first half, but winning the game – that’s the most important part.”

(Were they kind of quiet in the fourth quarter?) – “No, they were still talking a little trash. It was an uphill battle yesterday. They came with their A-game; but all three phases played good together, and we all got it done.”

(Because of the style of RB Jay Ajayi … he’s a hard runner. Do you sense those defensive guys soften up over time?) – “I feel like the last … the first two games as the second half came, guys didn’t want to hit him. But I think yesterday those guys had a point to prove yesterday. They were playing yesterday; I’m not going to lie. So I give them the credit, but we got the ‘W’ and we still rushed for 100 and something yards. That’s all that matters.”

(How would you describe the confidence level of the team sitting at 4-4 with a three game winning streak?) – “I think we’re confident but we still know we got an uphill battle. We still got things we’ve got to do and we’ve got to keep preparing each and every week, not get comfortable and keep working.”

(How does the skill and talent of this offensive line group compare to some of the others you’ve been a part of throughout your career?) – “I think you’ve got four guys who can play left tackle. You’ve got probably the best center in football, in my eyes. I think there’s a lot of experience. You’ve got two young guys that just want to play football. You’ve got three guys that have been there. I think our talent and I think our experience is helping us out right now.”

(Looking ahead to this week, the running game travels in this league. It’s a tough one – 11 days out, West Coast…) – “Well, we’re going to see what type of team we really are. (We’ll) see what type of discipline we’ve got. We’ve got to stay grounded, stay humble and make sure we do the little things to keep us going.”

(How do you feel right now? We’re halfway through the season and it seems like you’re playing some of your best football.) – “Myself? I’ve just got the support of my teammates and we’re just doing good. I just feel good about how we are doing as a team. If I’m doing my job and helping this team win, that’s all that matters.”

(What’s the biggest challenge of this road swing, being gone so long and going so far?) – “We’re not on vacation. We are there for business. Guys have got to get that in their heads that we’re there for business. We are not there for pleasure.”

(To go up against a run defense that talented, and you guys still get RB Jay Ajayi over 100 yards. What does that say about your offense?) – “We did some of it and he did some of it yesterday. With the tight ends and receivers, it’s a whole collective thing with our offense. It speaks a lot about us, our attitude and what we’re trying to do; but we can be better, and we can achieve more.”

(How much do you enjoy the feeling … It seems like a lot of the onus has been put on the offensive line to make things go, and you guys have responded.) – “It feels good. It feels good that we’ve got the support of our coaches and the organization. I think that’s been lacking … the offensive line play has been lacking the last couple of years. Now we’re starting to get it done. It can’t be just three games; we’ve got to keep improving.”

(What kind of sense did you get from the fans and the crowd yesterday?) – “I feel like people are starting to believe in us. I think that we are starting to fill them seats back up. About four weeks ago, there was nobody in those seats, but I think we’re starting to make people believe in us.”

Jay Ajayi – November 7, 2016 Download PDF version

Monday, November 7, 2016

Running Back Jay Ajayi

(Obviously, the New York Jets game yesterday with the No. 1 [rushing] defense, but obviously you guys kind of ‘poo poo’d’ on that yourself personally. You had a decent game towards the end. Kind of wore them down.”– “Yes, we were going against a great challenge. We knew they were going to be good up front and so it was just kind of about staying persistent with the running game and trying to be steady throughout all four quarters.”

(How have you been handling all this recent success for yourself? I mean, 500-plus yards rushing…) – “Yes, I think I’ve just been the same me. And that’s kind of what I’ve been focusing just week in, week out – just come in ready to work (and) just being consistent making plays.”

(This started when the offensive line got healthy, the projected five starters suddenly started playing. Is the quality of blocks you got in front of you and also from the receivers down field as well, can you talk about that?) – “Yes, having those guys, the fab five out there, I feel confident every time behind those guys. I know they’re going to create creases and then it’s just about hitting it hard and breaking tackles.”

(To go up against a physical New York Jets defensive front like this and still go over 100 yards, what does it say about your guys’ rushing attack and the offensive linemen up there?) – “I think that we were able to go against a good front and we were able to rush for over 100 yards. I think that you have to respect that. I think we had a good day on the ground and we were able to do a lot of good things on offense.”

(After the first 200-yard game, we asked you, ‘Hey are you hopeful you might get a thousand?’ Now, you’re expecting to get a thousand yards right?) – “I mean we’re still taking it week by week. Hopefully that occurs in these next coming weeks, but it’s been good for the production that we’ve had on the ground. Myself, I’m definitely proud of what we’ve accomplished. At the same time though, we’re not sitting on any of that stuff and we’re just trying to just keep pushing forward.”

(What does it say about the faith the coaching staff and Head Coach Adam Gase have in the running game? It was a little bit of a rough first half and you just kept pounding away against the top-ranked rush defense.) – “Throughout the week (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase kind of made it clear that we are going against the No. 1 rush defense. At the same time though, it’s going to be a four-quarter game. He’s still going to trust the running game and allow us to still get in a rhythm because he told us it might not be how it’s been with the 200-yard games, where we’re having a lot of good runs early and we’ll just have to fight and just kind of chip away, and it became that kind of game yesterday. And we were able to do that.”

(Strength vs strength.) – “Yes, definitely.”

(What is the challenge of being on the field for say 70 or 80 percent of the time?) – “I don’t think it’s really a challenge. I think it’s just being out there and that’s the opportunity I’ve been given now, is to be out on the field a lot more. It’s just about preparation, making sure that you know what you’re doing out there, and then just executing the plays.”

(This team hasn’t had a whole lot of success going west. What was the deal with the San Diego game last year? What’d you learn from that? And how do you get over the hump going west?)  – “I think we’re a whole different team this year than we were last year. And I think that we’re excited about this opportunity to go out to California for a two-week period. We know the challenge of what’s in front of us, that it’s not going to be easy traveling coast-to-coast; but we’re excited about our opponent this weekend and it should be fun.”

(How would you say your body feels right now?) – “I feel good. I came in like I usually do and did some of my regeneration stuff. So it’s starting to feel better so that by Wednesday’s practice I’ll be good to go.”

Ndamukong Suh – November 6, 2016 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 6, 2016
Postgame – vs. N.Y. Jets

Miami Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh (transcribed by Jason D. Silver and Armando Gonzalez)

(Talking about your defense, you guys got put in tough situations in the red zone a number of times. You hold them to a field goal which you needed to, had the touchdown at the end, but how do you feel you guys played when you got put into trouble there?) – “It’s a team game so if something bad goes, we need to figure out a way when we’re up to make a positive play and at least hold them to a field goal if they’re in the red zone, and go from there. At the end of the day, our job is to get out of whatever situation we’re in, in particular on defense, and get our offense the ball back.”

(What kind of view did you have of the DT Jordan Phillips interception and his ensuing run after that?) – “I had a great view of it. I was rushing inside and the ball was thrown and my man looked like a receiver and picked it out of the air. It looked like he wanted to be a hurdler for a second. I’m very proud of that kid. He’s come a long way since I was with him last year. (I’m) very proud. He’s got a lot more room to grow, obviously. (He’s) still young and it’s just a small bit of what he can do. (He’s) very athletic (and a) good kid.”

(You guys have fought back to 4-4 when it looked like this thing was spinning out of control. How’s this football team feel about themselves and you feel about what you can do going forward?) – “I think we understood where we were at. When we were what, (1-4) or whatever it was, we understood we were at home, which is a good situation, especially for how long we were (on the road) and we had a tough road ahead of us. (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase did a great job of understanding where our milestones were needed to hit to get to where we are right now. We hit them. We’ve got a lot more set for us. We just need to continue to keep grinding it out each and every single week.”

(Did this game play out the way you kind of expected it to play out all week long?) – “I think it was going to be, without question, a tough game. All division games are tough. But at the end of the day, there are places and times where during this game we could’ve finished this team and put them away. Unfortunately we didn’t, but we made breaks and we created plays and we got ourselves off the field and our offense did a great job of putting it in the end zone, making plays, and helping us as well.”

(Tell me about your last series. You get a big stop, a big tackle for a loss and then you get the sack and kind of end their day. Just the way you continue to play all season long how it determined this game.) – “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my defensive line. There’s no question that ‘J.J.’ (Jason Jones) did an excellent job allowing me to get a one-on-one finally, and as well as ‘Cam’ [Cameron Wake]. Obviously they’re going to pay attention to him after having two sacks. I got my opportunity and when I did, I’m without question going to make the most of it. It’s very rare (not to be double-teamed), but that’s what my job is to do make big plays and help us get off the field.”

(You showed a hint of a sack dance I think, did you give that any thought?)- “No, it was just a little bit of emotion. I’m usually not too emotional, but it felt good. (I was) definitely excited. Like I said, the d-line is a huge help for allowing me to get back there.”

(Any chance we’ll see that sport coat on eBay?) – “You never know, I appreciate you guys liking it. The guys in the locker room when I first got here tried to give me a little crap, but you guys matter and you guys like it, so I’m happy (laughter).”

Cameron Wake – November 6, 2016 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 6, 2016
Postgame – vs. N.Y. Jets

Miami Dolphins DE Cameron Wake (transcribed by Ted Leshinski)

(What did you think of RB Kenyan Drake’s kickoff return? Were you surprised? Had you seen any indications of that in training camp or in practice?) – “We knew he had it. But of all the times to do it, that was right on time. This game has had a lot of back and forth, a lot of ups and downs, but the guys found a way to win. That (kickoff return) was obviously a big part of that and I’m definitely happy he’s on our side.”

(Can a game like this help you guys keep building on the confidence you have from the two games before and catapult you on to the type of team that you want to be for the next half of the season?) – “I hope so. That (is the) recipe that we’ve been talking about, playing complementary football – offense doing their job, defense doing their job, special teams getting it done. The formula works. The guys have seen that for a few weeks now. Hopefully there was no doubt, but if there was, there shouldn’t be anymore. For guys to continue to go out and play, no matter what the situation is, there’s going to be some things that happen in the game that maybe didn’t go your way; but just keep fighting and find a way to win. I like the way that things are turning out.”

(The Jets had some success running the football early against you and you guys tightened that up and put some pressure on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick when he was in there. As a defensive front, do you feel like you’re getting better each and every week?) – “That’s the mentality. As a front, we have high expectations of ourselves – everybody, man to man. Each week we go in and, honestly, look at more of the plays that maybe we didn’t make then some of the ones we did. It’s a continuous strive for perfection. I think that’s been the goal from Day 1. So the more times we’re out there, the more we’re playing together, guys are finding a rhythm, playing off each other better, then we have success. So, again, that’s another part of the recipe that I talked about earlier. We just have to keep it going.”

(You had two more sacks this week. You’ve got to be feeling good about your health and the way that you’re playing?) – “It feels good. It feels good. Hopefully, again, the situation (being healthy) is always the most important and the coaches have been working with me closely in getting out there and playing at times as needed, and when I’m out there I’m doing my best to get my job done. And today, getting after the quarterback was one of the main things we had as a priority on our list. I think guys did a pretty good job with (that).”

(You go out to San Diego next week. You’re going to stay out there for the week and then play the Rams. How do you keep that from being a distraction or not to be something that takes away from your preparation in getting ready for two games that, like any other game, are very important to you?) – “I think it starts with the preparation from the guys on the inside. We live in Miami and nobody is foreign to that. There’s all kind of things that are possible (distractions). There’s South Beach, there’s Fort Lauderdale, blah, blah, blah. The reality is you have a job to do. Miami is not a vacation spot for us. Maybe for other people who are down here and we’re playing football and doing our job. (It’s the) same thing in L.A. When we go out there, I’m sure they have the same kind of things we have here in Miami, and we’ve got to focus on our job at hand and get after your opponent. I like to think that especially since we’re here in South Florida, when all the things that could be had are here, I couldn’t imagine L.A. has any more. Again, we’ve got to focus on our job the same way we did this week. So I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue.”

(Obviously you had a 1-4 start. We’ve seen on the field what’s been the key to the team’s turnaround. What behind the scenes has spurred the complete turnaround of this team?) – “I’ve been speaking about this – its consistency. Early on in the season, things didn’t necessarily go the way we wanted. We had spurts, quarters where the offense played lights out and then the defense wet the bed, so to speak, and vice versa. But that’s not going to get you wins at the end of the day. Being able to play complementary football, fighting to the end of the game, 60 minutes, four quarters, whatever it may be – playing together, hand in hand – that’s something we didn’t necessarily have in our favor the first few games. But now that formula that I spoke about, that’s the key to our success and we just got to keep going.”

(Do you feel like all of your goals are still ahead of you?) – “Sure.”

(How has the team’s confidence changed? QB Ryan Tannehill was at the podium a minute ago and said ‘I knew we were going to find a way even after we were down late.’ How has the team’s confidence evolved during the three-game winning streak?) – “I’d like to think that experience creates that. When you go out there and you keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting, and you make a play, it shows you that, ‘Hey, the game’s not over until it’s over.’ You don’t ever want to have a situation where you put your head down and say, ‘Oh shucks.’ If the ball’s still in play and the clock’s still running, you still have an opportunity. Whether it’s the play from RB Kenyan Drake or a lot of other plays that we’ve had, it’s still out there and you just have to keep fighting and find a way to win no matter what. And to be honest, I felt the same way. I never, from kickoff, thought we were going to lose that game. I think guys played that way and it showed.”

(When do you start looking at standings and playoff math?) – “I don’t. It doesn’t matter. If me or anybody says, ‘Well, playoffs are possible, so I’m going to play harder,’ what sense does that make? It doesn’t make a difference. I’m going to go out there and play as hard as possible no matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter what the standings are or not. It has nothing to do with it. Beating the guy across from me and winning this down, that’s my focus. All that stuff, you guys can calculate. That’s not for me.”

Jordan Phillips – November 6, 2016 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 6, 2016
Postgame – vs. N.Y. Jets

Miami Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips (transcribed by Armando Gonzalez)

(Learning from guys like the veterans on this team it’s got to be great for you as a young player.) – “It’s the best situation I could’ve been put into. I feel like we have possibly three Hall of Famers in our room and it’s an honor to play with them and I just try to play at their level.”

(When you first got here were you thinking it might be a while before you get a chance to make these kinds of impacts with all the guys that are already here?)- “No, they brought me here for a reason; it was just a matter of time before I got my chance.”

(The hurdle was it premeditated or did it just come to you in the moment?)- “I thought he was going to go low on me so I just jumped and luckily I didn’t get flipped.”

Byron Maxwell – November 6, 2016 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 6, 2016
Postgame – vs. N.Y. Jets

Miami Dolphins Cornerback Byron Maxwell (transcribed by Sara Perez)

(We saw the chippiness between you and WR Brandon Marshall and then WR Jarvis Landry and CB Buster Skrine, did you guys get a taste for it early on?) – “Yes, you could definitely feel it in pregame, that it was going to be a tough game. We had a lot of mistakes out there. We could have played a lot better and did some things better. It could have had a way better mood outcome, relaxed win for us.”

(Was that fun?) – “Oh yes, it was a lot of fun. We were playing some ball, playing football. It was physical. It was football. You know (Jets WR Brandon Marshall) is going to get the rock. You know he’s going to get the ball thrown to him, so I was just ready to go.”

(Obviously, you were shadowing Jets WR Brandon Marshall all over the field, so that says a lot about this team’s confidence in you, right?) – “Yes. I do whatever the coaches ask of me. They said follow him, so I followed him. It helps out because you can just figure out what routes he runs. It’s kind of easier.”

(What were the best lines that you and Jets WR Brandon Marshall shared with each other?) – “I don’t really say anything. I don’t say anything. I don’t. He was talking. I’m here. I’m focused. I’m locked in. What you say doesn’t matter, to be honest with you. It’s like, ‘Alright, let’s go.’ Nothing is going to change. I’m going to still be here.”

(You say you were locked in, so does that mean you were not paying attention to what Jets WR Brandon Marshall was saying?) – “No, it doesn’t matter what he says. He can say what he wants to say, but I’m going to still be here. I’m still going to do my technique. I’m going to still do what the coaches ask of me. You can talk all you want. You’re really just blowing hot air, but whatever though.”

Bobby McCain – November 6, 2016 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 6, 2016
Postgame – vs. N.Y. Jets

Miami Dolphins Cornerback Bobby McCain (transcribed by David Norwood II)

(You’re basically all you’re focusing on [with the interception] is, “Don’t drop it. Make sure you get your feet in.”?) – “Most definitely. It’s, ‘Don’t drop the ball. Make sure you get your feet in.’ It’s one of the biggest plays of the game at the time, so going out we kind of knew what was coming. But then at the end of the day, it was a great call, and we made a play to get off the field.”

(Were you surprised when you saw there were no Jets receivers anywhere around and the ball just float in your palms?) – “Yes, I definitely was. I was kind of nervous. I was like, ‘Hold on, is somebody coming from behind me?’ But at the end of the day, I caught the ball, made a play and got us off the field.”

(In this game after you had to leave the game for a little while, were you concerned that you weren’t going to [return]?) –”They had to take protocol. They had to take precautions. The NFL does a great job with that. But I was fine, came in here, passed all the tests, and I got up and played ball.”

Ryan Tannehill – November 6, 2016 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 6, 2016
Postgame – vs. N.Y. Jets

Miami Dolphins Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (transcribed by Sara Perez)

(Can you describe the emotions? It seemed like a little bit of highs and lows for you guys. What was it like on the sidelines?) – “It was good. I thought we had good energy on the sidelines. Obviously, there were some frustrating points in the game. We didn’t make plays when we should have. Defense came up huge in the second half, so a lot of exciting there. (We) had some exciting plays by them. Obviously, the kickoff return there at the end was huge. There were some highs and lows, but I feel like we kept our good energy on the sideline, and we just knew we were going to find a way to win.”

(Offensively, you knew it was going to be tough going against that defense, especially running the football, but you guys kind of just stayed with it and stayed with it. When you went into this game, is that how you expected things to be?) – “We didn’t really know. We knew coming in that they were a good run defense, but so was Pittsburgh and so was Buffalo. We expected to come in and be able to run the ball. Obviously, we knew it was going to be tough – it’s not going to be easy – they have a really good front. We just kind of stuck with it. We didn’t have a lot of big runs, but we just kept sticking with it trying to make something happen. At the end of the game when we needed to get some first downs, we were able to do that.”

(Did it seem like in the fourth quarter that they were tired? I saw a couple of their guys calling out – calling out to the game – going to the sideline. Did it look like they were getting fatigued in the game?) – “I’m not sure. I’d have to ask the o-linemen. I think they did a pretty good job of playing us tough up front. I think at the end of the game, we finally got some movement and got Jay (Ajayi) free up to the safety. That’s what you want to do is get a big running back up to the safeties. We just kind of kept sticking with it, and when we needed a play, we made it happen.”

(You’ve always said that you try to take every game one at a time, but you have won three in a row now. You’ve come out of that 1-4 hole. Do you feel like you have momentum?) – “Yes, we have some momentum. I think we’re playing some good football right now. Obviously, today wasn’t as clean as we’d like it offensively, but we’re on the right track. We just have to keep progressing, keep getting better, keep pushing ourselves each and every day during practice and keep building on what we’ve done. Obviously, (there is) a lot of football in front of us, tough road trip coming up here in the next couple weeks. It’s going to be fun to see how we handle that road trip like a business trip and go out and play to win two games.”

(How about the change of emotions with the dropped snap, they go ahead, then all of a sudden the kick return, you go back 30 seconds, two touchdowns and you fall behind then you get right back on top?) – “That was wild. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a swing like that – I don’t think – at the end of a football game. Big credit to our kickoff return team just finding a way to make it work. I think Jakeem (Grant) on the one before ran around forever, and I think that played into effect of them getting a little tired on their coverage team. And the obviously, Kenyan (Drake) did a great job and the block team did a great job of giving him a crease. You have a fast guy (and a) crease like that, he’s going to take it to the house.”

(Grinding out a game like this where it was a dogfight for most of the way – you fall behind, you come back – what does that do for your football team – offense, defense, special teams, everybody?) – “When you face adversity and you find a way to persevere, I think it gives you a lot of confidence. The past couple weeks we’ve been down in games and there’s been no panic, there’s been no tremors on the sideline of, ‘Okay, here we go,’ or ‘What are we going to do now?’ It’s, ‘We’re going to be able to find a way to win the game.’ When you have that attitude, that mindset – whether it’s offense or defense – as a team if you have that mindset, you’re going to win a lot of games.”

(Were you aware that DT Jordan Phillips had soft hands and could jump like that?) – “I don’t know about the jump, but I knew he could catch. We’ve done some things last year where we put a d-linemen or an offensive linemen in to catch a punt or something, and he always looks athletic when he’s catching the football. I knew he could catch. I don’t know about the hurdle though; that was pretty impressive.”

(RB Kenyan Drake was just telling us that after the kick return touchdown he came back in here and actually threw up he was just so spent. Did you know that, and what did you say to him after he made that big play?) – “No, I didn’t know that at all, but that was a huge play for us. I congratulated him and told him, ‘Nice job.’ We needed that. It was a huge play. Whether (it is) a touchdown or a good return, when you get something like that – a big play on special teams, whether it’s early in the game or late in the game – it really does a lot for giving momentum on your side of the football. When you do that to go ahead and take the lead at the end of the football game, it’s huge.”

(You’ve won three games in a row in different ways. Does that lead you to believe that this is going to be the type of football team you’re going to be from here throughout?) – “I just want to be the type of football team that finds a way to win. I think at the end of the day, this team is willing to do whatever it takes to win, and you play to win the game, so I am more than happy to be a part of that.”

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