Transcripts

Jay Ajayi – January 8, 2017 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Postgame – at Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (transcribed by the Pittsburgh Steelers)

Re: Feeling in this locker room right now:

It’s tough. We put in all that work. It’s really the fact that this team won’t be together and it won’t be the same. We won’t be able to reach that goal that we wanted to achieve. That’s tough. I do not know anyone that is just content with being in the playoffs. We wanted to win the whole thing. I know I did. It hurts.

Why was the running game not able to get going today?

The run game was tough. They stacked the box and we did not execute how we should have. It’s as simple as that.

What was the weather like?

It was cold. They had to play in the same weather as well. It does not matter.

After the time passes will you be able to consider this season a success?

From a team standpoint, it is not a success. Individually, maybe later on. As a team we did not achieve what we wanted to do.

Does this team understand what it takes to get here?

Yeah, we will be able to understand what this feeling is one of not moving on to the next round. A matter of taking this feeling and use it as motivation to never have this feeling again

 

Mike Pouncey – January 8, 2017 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Postgame – at Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (transcribed by the Pittsburgh Steelers)

Re: Stephen Ross says he likes direction of the team despite the loss:

No question. He sees the difference. He’s around all the time. He sees the direction this team is headed in and it’s headed in the right direction.

How tough was it to watch today instead of play?

I said before it was going to be tough to watch. I was excited to be out there. The atmosphere was unbelievable. I just wish these guys could have pulled it out. It was a tough loss for our football team.

Do you expect to be back here next year?

We will see. I don’t want to make any expectations at this time. Obviously we feel good about our football team.

What would make this team continue to be a playoff team?

We just need to keep doing what we did this year. We stuck together. We had a lot of team chemistry and we had guys play well that we did not expect to play well. That’s what happens when you are a team that turns the corner, guys step up and make plays.

 

Cameron Wake – January 8, 2017 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Postgame – at Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins DE Cameron Wake (transcribed by the Pittsburgh Steelers)

What do you think was the problem on defense with stopping Pittsburgh? Tackling, poor run fits in the run game, what do you think it was?

It sounds like a little bit of both. Obviously at this time of year, this level of football, the stakes will get magnified. So whether it is one guy, either gap or missed tackle missed communication or whatever it may be that can turn into a big play miss.

The two long touchdown passes to Antonio Brown, were you guy’s matter of fact about that because you did come back a little bit. How did you take that?

Matter of fact isn’t a phrase I use. You can’t come out and start slow. There is no pass on the back for fixing the problem after it already happened. You have to go out there and know this is the play you have to go and fix before it happens. Prevention is better than cure. That’s the way it works in this league and this time of year. I’m sure we changed some things and fixed some things but the bleeding had already started.

Matt Moore – January 8, 2017 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Postgame – at Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins QB Matt Moore (transcribed by the Pittsburgh Steelers)

Re: Experience of the day:

It was tough. We had a difficult time running the ball. Again, it kind of took us a little bit to get going early on. We eventually found some ways to move the passing game, which is good. But it was difficult for most of the day.

Tell us about the hit and how you were able to come back into the game

I just got popped. I just needed a second there. I got checked out. I felt fine. It was more of my jaw than anything else. I felt good. I came back in and I was fine. He got me pretty good.

Re: Scoring points before halftime

It’s hard to win when you turn the ball over. In the playoffs, you can’t have those mistakes and that’s on me. I have to hold on to the ball. Two fumbles and a pick, that’s not the recipe for success. It hurts. Especially the one before halftime. We are going down and getting a big play, DeVante Parker makes a big play. To have that happen, took the wind out of us a little bit. You just can’t do that against a good football team and in a big game.

Can you give us a little snap shot of how this season was and has turned around for the franchise?

Obviously, the frustrations are there from today, no doubt. How we started and what we did after the first five, I’m proud of these guys and proud to be on this team. I’m proud of Coach Gase and what he did. Holding it together and moving forward. With that said, we aren’t satisfied but proud to be a part of something like this with this team.

 

Ndamukong Suh – January 8, 2017 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Postgame – at Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh (transcribed by the Pittsburgh Steelers)

A frustrating game out there for you guys. What was Le’Veon Bell able to do and have success running the ball?

Honestly, just thinking back to the game, they started off passing the ball pretty well. Antonio Brown made a lot of plays, which obviously allowed our focus to move to the passing game. That was our focus and it switched to Le’Veon Bell, and he made plays. We weren’t filling gaps like we should have. That’s where it is.

Re: Pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and offense:

It was a good scheme. I think most of the passes, if I remember correctly, came in play action. So, obviously, you have the transition from running the pass, and our particular scheme and the way we attack, we want to be able to get through those things and get pressure. We weren’t doing that.

Re: Take away any of the success from this season:

No, I don’t think it takes anything away. I think we have been playing good game. Especially, on defense and not to give away too may points. No matter what kind of situation that we are in. We just have to get back to the drawing table. Understand that things will be different as every single season is different every year is different. Get prepared and get focused on what we have and get back to work.

 

Adam Gase – January 8, 2017 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Postgame – at Pittsburgh

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase (transcribed by the Pittsburgh Steelers)

Did you feel that your bigger struggle today was on offense or defense?

It was both phases. After we go back and watch it, we can probably pinpoint a couple things in particular. They were able to run the ball. We couldn’t. It was opposite of what we wanted to do. We turned the ball over, and we knew we couldn’t do that. Those were the two really critical factors that we had to make sure that we wanted. We didn’t do it.

Why couldn’t you stop the Steelers offense?

It was a tough offense. We knew what we were getting into. We came in and knew what we had to do, and didn’t do it. Bell is a tough guy to slow down. Once he gets rolling and starts feeling like he knows where he can hit it, he does such a good job of being patient. When we got our hands on him, we couldn’t bring him down. It just wasn’t a good day for us.

What did you see or not see from your offense today?

We might have had a couple opportunities occasionally and we just didn’t take advantage of them. They played very well on their side of the ball. They hit us with a couple pressures that we picked up in practice, but we didn’t fit it up as well as we wanted to. They had too much penetration where we couldn’t get anything going in the running game.

Re: Turnovers contributing heavily to the loss:

It looked like we were at least going to have a shot there near the half. Then we turned it over, which hurt us. But I felt that we could maybe get going there in the third quarter. We just couldn’t put enough together to get points.

What did you say to your team in the locker room after the game?

I told them to remember this feeling because you’re going to want it again. It’s going to start all over again at some point. What you do the year before is not going to matter. You’re going to be 0-0 again. Don’t forget this feeling. You want to get back to this spot and try to make some noise.

What were you not able to do to run the ball today that you were able to do last time you played the Steelers?

It’s probably something we’re going to have to look at when we watch this film and try to figure out where we went sideways. The first thing I can say is that they had a little more penetration. We didn’t execute as well as I’m sure all of us wanted to. We’ll look at it schematically to see if there was anything we weren’t doing quite right compared to what they were doing. That’s going to take a minute to go back and look at everything.

 

Cameron Wake – January 6, 2017 Download PDF version

Friday, January 6, 2017

Defensive End Cameron Wake

(What’s your excitement level heading into your first playoff game?) – “100 percent.”

(Have a lot of guys been coming up to you? There’s been a lot of talk in the locker room this week about this being your first playoff game. Have you heard a lot from your teammates?) – “No more than normal I don’t think. I think it is common knowledge now at this point. But to me, the ‘You’re welcome’ – if that’s the way to say it – came weeks and weeks ago. It comes Friday night when guys are getting sleep. It comes on that last drive when guys are selling out. All of that stuff with guys congratulating me – I say the same thing to them – I say thank you for doing everything possible to get us to where we are right now.”

(There’s a ‘Do it for Cam’ sort of mentality in the locker room from a lot of these young players who realize it’s not their birthright to get to the playoffs. Is that humbling?) – “It’s humbling; but do it for yourself. But if that’s the motivation, I’ll take it. Again, it’s hard to get in this position. It’s hard to win in this league; and any guy who’s a part of it, my hat is off to them. Do it for whatever your reason is, just do it.”

(Do you guys notice … You’re a guy who likes a chip on his shoulder. But do you notice all of the disrespect that the team has gotten this year? I mean people don’t even give you a one percent chance to make it out of the AFC East.) – “I don’t pay attention to it. I don’t know. Week-in and week-out, I’m sure there are people who wouldn’t believe that we are where we are. If we’ve gotten to this point and along the way nobody believed in us, why would I start caring now when I didn’t last week, the week before, the week before that, the week before that, along the way ‘You’re going to lose. The Dolphins are going to lose.’ I don’t care. I care about the guys who are going to put on the helmets, who are going to go out there and fight and put us in the point. I guess they’ve been wrong, so I’m not going to start listening now.”

(Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph had an interesting comment this week that you might have heard about. He said that ‘Cam is an underdog in his mind.’ What do you think about that concept?) – “I think that probably has some merit to that.”

(Why are you an underdog in your own mind?) – “Well, it’s just starting from the beginning. I wasn’t the sought after guy, I wasn’t the front page story. I wasn’t drafted. I was kind of in the back door – kick the door down – way to get in to where I am. There was no silver spoon. There was nothing handed to me. Even to this day, I had to fight and work for everything that I have. I take that motivation with me every time I step on the field. Where I got to is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, as the saying goes. But it continues to fuel me. There’s no end. There’s no complacency. There’s no satisfaction. Everything that I’ve gotten, I want more and more and more. I’d like to think that this helped me be successful.”

(What has this season been like for you? The Dolphins are in the playoffs, your fifth Pro Bowl birth, candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, coming off an Achilles at 34 and a couple of days.) – “It’s been fun. It’s been fun. It’s been everything that I’ve expected it to be. From the moment the injury happened, I knew that the opportunity was there to be standing where I am in front of you right now. Again, that goes kind of back to what you were saying about people: I guarantee you that not only team-wide Dolphins, but Cameron Wake – there are people who wrote me off back then. The same people who don’t know the Dolphins are the same people who don’t know me. And here we are, and here I am.”

(We talked about this in September but the Dolphins’ plan that they had about trying to conserve your energy, keeping you healthy late in the season by not starting you initially, and obviously that changed with the Pittsburgh game. You spoke of that time in September of understanding the reasoning behind it. That said, is it satisfying to have shown over the last three months that you are still a high-level starter, not just a high-level pass rusher in the NFL but still a high-level starter?) – “I would hope that, that was never a question. Again, like I said, the plans were the plans and who knows if that going forward continues to be the plan. That sounds like a great plan. ‘Up by 30, go in to pass rush, everybody win, yay.’ But again, this is football. It doesn’t always work out that way, and we had to make some adjustments. If I’m still having to prove that I can be a starter, then that’s a whole other conversation. Again, as I spoke before, we’ve sat down many times, the coaches, trainers and figured out a plan that works best for the team and myself included, and here we are. I’ve enjoyed the road. Of course I’d rather not be so (many) high blood pressure-type of games that we’ve been in; but again this is the NFL, and that’s sometimes what it’s going to be.”

(Considering all of the adversity that you have been through, what does it mean to you to be named Defensive Player of the Year for the team?) – “I didn’t know that was the case.”

(The Don Shula Leadership Award.) – “I was about to say, I didn’t know.”

(It was your third time winning.) – “Well, it’s hard to put into words because again, we spoke about people on the outside. When something like that comes from inside, those are the people who really do know. There’s no BS’ing another player; you can’t snow the snowman – all those phrases. Another player knows when you’re faking it. Another player knows when you’re really giving all you have. Another player knows the real deal. So when those are the people who are making those decisions, voting – whether it be Pro Bowl or leadership awards or any kind of accolade – to me those are the most important. Those are the most honored and the most cherished because of the sincerity, because of the authenticity of it. Popularity votes and people on the outside, that’s one thing. But coming from the guys who are in the huddle with you, who go through all of the trials and tribulations of football with you, it takes that to another level so I really do appreciate that.”

Ryan Tannehill – January 6, 2017 Download PDF version

Friday, January 6, 2017

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

(Your thoughts on being back at practice, although it’s on a limited basis. But you came back out there?) – “It’s exciting to be back out there. I’ve put in a lot of work to try to get myself ready to go. Taking the first step and getting back out there is huge.”

(How confident do you feel that if there is a game next week, you’ll have a good chance [to play]?) – “I don’t know. (We’re) still working through that. (I’m) excited to get back out there today; but at this point, just taking it day-by-day still, and we’ll see what happens next week.”

(What have doctors told you about any risk to the MCL or the ACL for that matter, if you happen to play in the next three or four weeks? Is there a serious risk?) – “That’s something we’re working through, just figuring out where my knee is at structurally, and we’re being smart with it. If there’s a huge risk of doing further damage, then (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) has made it clear that he’s not going to let me go back out there. That’s what we’re working through right now is working with the doctors, communicating how I feel, doing the tests on it to see what they feel, marrying those up and seeing where we go from there.”

(Odds of surgery – have you been given any indication if it’s likely this offseason?) – “We don’t know. We’re still working through that.”

(How comfortable did you feel out there?) – “I felt good. Obviously, it has been a while, so a little different. But it’s just good to be back out there and competing with the guys.”

(What were some of the things you were able to do today?) – “I just took a few reps on the scout team. Nothing crazy, but (I) was able to take a few reps, so that was fun.”

(How would you describe your mobility in general at this time?) – “It’s getting better every day. That’s what we’re working for is to be able to move, protect myself, be able to move in the pocket, evade the rush and things like that. That’s what we’re working through. Range of motion, strength and everything can make that possible.”

(What are the chances you think of New England – if you all should win this week – for you? Do you give yourself a real chance of being ready for that game?) – “I don’t know. I’m doing everything I can to get out there as soon as possible, as soon as they clear me to go. Right now, it’s tough to say. Just doing everything I can to make it happen as soon as possible.”

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