Chris Grier – April 28, 2016 (on Laremy Tunsil) Download PDF version

Thursday, April 28, 2016

General Manager Chris Grier (on G/T Laremy Tunsil)

(Opening Statement) – “Just quickly, we’re excited to add Laremy (Tunsil) to our roster. It was a great opportunity for us. We’re very comfortable with all the information we have on the situation that you guys will probably address. I’ll just open it up for questions because, obviously, the draft is still going on (and) I have to get back upstairs.”

(On how long the Dolphins have known about the video) – “We had heard rumors, but we had done work. We had known about it. The video is two years old. So, from all the information we had, we were comfortable with it.”

(On how old the video is) – “Two years old.”

(On what makes him believe this move will be a positive one) – “We’ve done a lot of work. (Director of Team Security) Stu Weinstein – as you guys know – is one of the best security guys in the league, security directors. (We have) done a great job of researching (Laremy Tunsil’s) background. We spent time with him at the combine. Our area scout, Matt Winston, has done a great job in terms of researching him, spending some time with him at the pro day. This is a guy … He has done personality tests, all the stuff we do. This is a guy … He loves football at the end of the day. This is a guy who’s ultra-competitive (when) you watch him play. This is a different situation from that. This guy’s different. He’s built different.”

(On whether they believed Tunsil would be available at No. 13) – “No. This is a guy … He was No. 2 ranked on our board. We did not expect him to be there.”

(On how he anticipates using three quality tackles) – “This happened … Obviously, we weren’t expecting this, but it was an opportunity we had to take. (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase … We’ll play the five best players (on the offensive line). At the end of the day, injuries happen. We went through that last year, last season. But this guy is going to be, probably, one of our top five players playing.”

(On the time they spent with Tunsil and if they thought about trading up to select him)   – “You do that because you talk about other things that have happened in the past. You never want to assume that ‘Oh this guy is going to be the first pick in the draft,’ and you never spend any time with him. We did that with (San Diego Chargers first-round pick DE) Joey Bosa last weekend. We wanted to make sure you always spend time and do your research on players, so we were comfortable with where he was and taking him.”

(On his understanding of the circumstances surrounding the Tunsil video and if he thinks it was a one-time thing) – “We know the story behind (the video). We’d rather leave that for maybe the kid to address, but we know the story behind it and we’re comfortable with what it is.”

(On the personality and character traits he likes about Tunsil) – “He’s a smart kid. He’s very football intelligent. We talked to the coaches and the staff there and when you go watch this guy practice and play, he loves ball. This guy is one of those grinders. There’s no doubt that this guy loves football and football is very important to him. So for us, we are very comfortable. And once you talk to him and spend a little time with him … I mean the coaches upstairs, the scouts, the room was jacked we got him.”

(On if Tunsil loves football more than he loves drugs) – “Yes.”

(On if Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen Ross was consulted before the selection of Tunsil and if Ross had to sign off on it) – “He doesn’t have to sign off. We told him who we wanted to pick and he was all on board, and he was as excited as we were when we got him.”

(On if he sees Tunsil playing tackle right away, specifically left tackle) – “I’ll let the coaches figure that out, where he’s going to play. Like I said, they’ll put the five best guys on the field for us.”

(On if he made calls between the time the Tunsil video was released and selecting him or if he already had that information ahead of time) – “We had some information. But obviously once it happened, we called some people we know to check and just triple check and make sure. And obviously before you take anyone when a guy falls like that, we went back and we dug into the research again and just made sure.”

Adam Gase – April 28, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On his overall thoughts about the voluntary veterans minicamp) – “It was good work. It was good to see our guys in person. I thought everybody was flying around. They were playing fast. We had fewer mistakes than I expected, as far as mentally. Guys were on it. I think the last two weeks of having our meetings … They (the players) stayed in it. (They) just didn’t blow that off. They took it serious and came out here and it felt like the guys were on it.”

(On if there was a play or moment that stood out to him) – “Not really. There were quite a few good things that were happening. The best part about when you go through a camp like this is trying to just make sure guys stay on their feet. And I thought our guys did a good job of making sure … (It was) kind of our first time of practicing together, and understanding that they are still our teammates to make sure we protect each other. And play fast but at the same time, protect each other.”

(On having C Mike Pouncey and LB Koa Misi return to practice today) – “Anytime guys are out there, that’s what we are looking for. This being a voluntary minicamp, anytime they show up, that’s great.”

(On LB Jelani Jenkins and CB Jamar Taylor not practicing today) – “Jamar is here and I know where Jelani is at. They’re both fine, if you guys are worried about them.”

(On if he is excited about the NFL draft tonight and what is going through his mind) – “I don’t know. We have like 10 more hours (before the draft), it feels like. We’ll see. I don’t know. I’m going to transition here probably in the next couple of hours. We’ve been meeting on this since February, so we’ll be ready to go.”

(On what he learned about his team during this voluntary minicamp) – “I think the No. 1 thing I learned about is I feel like there are a lot of guys that want to win. Just watching them practice, they’re not talking about it. (But) just watching them go through what they need to go through – individual (and) team periods – and seeing how fast they play. The fact that they’ve picked up what we asked them to learn in the playbook, I mean actions speak louder than words. Right now I like where our guys are at. We’ve got three weeks of Phase 2 and then we’ll get into OTAs and that’s … Phase 2 being our next step, and we’ll see how much better we can get in the next three weeks.”

(On what he is looking for in the offensive line when there is no contact in practice this time of year) – “It’s tough. But the hardest thing to do in the NFL is to be a great pass protector and that’s why we are leaning on a lot of … (We’re) doing a lot of passing game things right now. It’s a tough position for them with no pads. Our d-line is coming off the ball. It’s a great experience for (the offensive line) because it’s almost unrealistic for these guys right now. Their footwork, their hand placement, just making sure they’re in the right position … That’s our biggest evaluation going on right now.”

(On if there are two or three guys that surprised him this week) – “I don’t know if anybody has surprised me, necessarily. I think just seeing guys practice live, it just gives you a better feel of who our guys really are.”

(On if there is a position group that he feels really good about after practicing this week) – “I guess I feel good about all of our positions. You’re always looking to add depth. You want competition, that’s the thing. You just don’t want to be thin. So when you go into (training) camp and you’re sitting there, you want to be able to make hard cuts. You want to make sure you go ‘Wow, I can’t believe we are going to let this guy go because he’s a good football player,’ and then somebody else comes and picks him up. You just want to create depth at every position.”

(On whether it is a priority to find a backup center either now or in training camp) – “That’s why we have so many guys that are always … If you ever watch our quarterback-center exchange, there’s four guys going, and you’re always looking for, ‘Who’s our next best guy?’ Then you’re looking for the third best guy. When a center goes down, it can be devastating to your team if you don’t have a backup plan. (General Manager) Chris (Grier) has done a great job of figuring out who our guys are that we can target. We have to keep giving them reps, throwing (in) some awkward situations where all of a sudden, maybe we get in camp, and we pull (Mike) Pouncey out of there and throw the next guy in there and say, ‘Hey, you got to go. There’s no time to react.’”

(On how he would describe his offense) – “I think it’s such a combination of so many different influences. For myself, having (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) here and getting back to some of the things that he did in Indy early on with Peyton (Manning) and Tom Moore and then some of the things he has learned in the West Coast (Offense). And (then having) my influences coming from (Mike) Martz and doing what we did in Denver and developing a different deal in Chicago. It’s just so many things combined. It’s hard to put your thumb on what exactly it is. I just know that we always look to be able to adapt from week-to-week and do what’s best for that game that marries up with our defense and special teams.”

(On the makeup of his ideal player) – “The guys that we’re looking for are those guys that (are) looking to win. They’re tough. They’re competitive. They’re selfless. They really have a love for this game. You want to find those guys that (think) there’s nothing else for them but this, and they just live and die by what happens with football. When you’re around guys like that – and the more guys you can get like that on your team – the better chance you’re going to have.”

(On how he identifies players with those ideal characteristics) – “It’s tough. You can do all the research you can. You talk to as many people, especially coming into the draft. You talk to every person you can. (If) you got a guy targeted in that school, talk to the equipment guys, trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, other players. (You) might grab some guy on campus. You try to find as many ways as you possibly can to figure out what kind of person that guy is. It’s hard to do, because you got to collect the information and sort through it. It’s a very hard thing to identify when you don’t know that person. When you get around somebody, you can figure it out really fast when you actually get in the heat of the moment.”

(On what scares him the most about this draft) – “I don’t know if anything scares me about the draft. I don’t have a good answer for that one. That’s the best answer I can give you right there.”

(On this being his first draft as a head coach) – “It’s football, man. This isn’t rocket science or anything. It’s football.”

(On whether first-, second- and third-round picks have to be immediate starters for a team) – “I think anytime you can … When you hit on those picks, that’s nice. We’ll see how this thing plays out. I can’t predict how this is going to shake out.”

(On whether the team can afford to draft depth players in the first three rounds) – “I don’t know. I’ll let you know when we get there.”

(On his involvement in the draft preparation) – “I was pretty involved. The staff was hired in January and we started draft meetings in February. I’ve heard about the same guys for it seems like forever now. I got a pretty good grip of it.”

(On if his involvement in the draft process this season will be the same as future seasons) – “Yes.”

(On possibly moving up in the draft) – “I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens when … What time does the draft start?” (Reporter: “Eight o’ clock”) “OK, so we’ll figure it out then.”

Adam Gase – April 27, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On if he gets a better feel when he’s out on the field re-routing guys on plays and getting into player’s faces) – “For me, it’s … I kind of got a little bored standing by the defense so I went over and bugged the quarterbacks a little bit. (It’s) just my way to jump in there and get something going … For myself to get involved in what’s going on with their routes versus air.”

(On C Mike Pouncey not being at voluntary minicamp today) – “Yeah, I know where he is. But he’s fine.”

(On if C Mike Pouncey not being at voluntary minicamp is excused) – “It’s voluntary.”

(On if WR DeVante Parker looks like a rookie or if he’s had a year of seasoning) – “Yeah it looks like he’s … That year, just being in the program and getting to play some games, he seems to be a quick study. I know he was well coached in college. We did a lot of homework on him when we were in Chicago. I think I’ve said it before, we were looking at him and WR Kevin (White) and WR Amari (Cooper). So you can tell, I mean he’s pretty sharp. He’s picking up what we’re doing really, really quickly. I’ve been really impressed with the fact that it seems like every day he comes in, he’s on it and he knows what to do. And he’s very attentive in the meetings.”

(On the potential and the youth of the wide receivers group) – “I think our whole team’s young. I don’t know how many, what do we got… 35 guys that are under 25 right now? It’s fun. I told them the other day the great thing about receivers is you get paid to run. I don’t think I’m going to have anybody complaining about their legs are tired or anything. They’re too young to complain right now. It’s fun to watch those guys work and (Wide Receivers Coach) Shawn Jefferson and (Assistant Wide Receivers Coach) Ben (Johnson) have done a great job and Shawn’s (Jefferson) got an obstacle course out there every day so he’ll keep them engaged for the most part. It’s going to be awhile before they get tired of doing individuals. Those guys have really brought an energy level that’s exciting to be around.”

(On the analysis that WR DeVante Parker had trouble selling his routes last year and if that’s something that he has noticed) – “I haven’t noticed that. I mean its two days out there working, so we’ll see. You always try to keep an eye on all those type of things with offensive line. Same thing on defense to see if guys are tipping off what they’re doing. We’ve got so far to go. Once we get into OTAs and you have a chance to go back and look at things in the summer heading into camp, then you at least have a game plan of ‘Okay, when you run this certain route you may be tipping off what you’re doing.’ So you make those corrections going into training camp and then you give them a few tools to use to help them expose something else that a defender might be looking at.”

(On what he thinks of the cornerback group aside from CB Byron Maxwell) – “I think the guys are competing right now. And that’s all we can ask for. I just always look back in (2011 with the Broncos), we come out of the draft and no one knew who CB Chris Harris was. Everybody knows who he is now. He’s a $2,000 undrafted college free agent and now he’s one of the best corners in the league. So you let these guys go out, they compete, and then you’re going to find somebody that’s scrappy and figures out a way to get it done. And that’s what we’re looking for. And that’s why we have that large group out there. Somebody is going to step up. It’s the NFL. That’s the way it is. We’ll find somebody to play. I mean they’re not going to cancel a game. I know that.”

(On if he has had any conversations with RB Jay Ajayi about his role amidst speculation the team may draft a running back this week) – “I don’t think he’s worried about it. I think he’s focused on what he’s trying to do right now. I mean he looks out there right now and he knows he’s a starter. We’re going out there (and) he’s getting better every day. He’s showing me a lot of great things. I like his skill set. I liked him coming out (of college). He’s impressed me more both days, from the first day to the second day. We’ll just keep learning and we’ll just keep giving him opportunities.”

(On what he likes about RB Daniel Thomas) – “For me, I had a different exposure with him last year. He came in on a tryout and he impressed everybody there. We signed him and he was actually having a really good camp and then he got hurt. Right now, I think he feels really comfortable because he’s coming into this thing and he knows the terminology. He knows what we expect out of him and he’s playing fast. When I see him in meetings, he’s really engaged in those things because he’s a step ahead of everybody in those things. He knows what we’re doing. He knows how I like calling a preseason game, at least. And I feel like I know his strengths of what he likes to do and when he gets his opportunity in the preseason, we’re going to try to use those to his advantage.”

(On his early impressions of QB Ryan Tannehill on the field) – “I guess I’m still trying to figure out a few things; but, I guess I didn’t realize how live his arm was. The more I watch him throw, it’s effortless. That ball travels down the field pretty good and he’s hit some big plays, and then just underneath having some touch. It’s been good to kind of just get out here and see things live. When you watch it on tape, you don’t get a great feel for on tape compared to when you see a guy throw live.”

(On how he sees TE Jordan Cameron’s pass-catching potential) – “I feel like he does a really good job. I mean he’s done well, at least today. I know yesterday we walked off there and I was like, ‘How many balls did you catch?’ And it wasn’t a great answer. We peppered him in the walkthrough, though. So I feel like he felt better about it. But he did a good job today and got more involved. We had a lot of third down situations going on today so he was really involved in that and made a lot of plays.”

(On General Manager Chris Grier) – “I feel like our personalities, we’re different; but, I feel like every day it’s my job to make sure he’s laughing. He’s very serious and he’s grinding right now because of the draft, trying to make sure he goes through all the scenarios. I know there are a lot of people looking at what we’re doing right now and he’s making sure that we’re prepared and making sure that we’re all on the same page. I mean the communication with him has been off the charts and it’s easy in my position to be around a guy like that, that’s constantly communicating. (He’s) making sure we’re all on the same page and between him and (Executive Vice President, Football Operations) Mike (Tannenbaum) and myself, I just feel like every night when we finish up, we’re all on the same page when we leave the building.”

(On whether the returning starters will pick up his system quickly because of their experience) – “I said this yesterday, and the thing that people don’t understand about NFL players is since they’ve been playing football, you have no idea how many playbooks these guys have learned over time. This is kind of what they do. This is their profession. So, when you bring in a new playbook, the terminology changes, but nobody is running anything groundbreaking. And a lot of these guys have run all these same routes, they’ve used the same blocking schemes, they’ve played the same coverages, they’ve played the same front. It’s just a few different things that we do here and there. It’s not necessarily anything that’s out of this world. It’s just different terminology for them.”

(On motivating the players with intensity) – “I think it started more in Denver, when I was the wideout coach there. I had a group between Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Lloyd (and) Brandon Stokley. Those guys, they never stopped. I think they rubbed off on me. Once we got (CB Aqib) Talib and Chris Harris and those guys going, it was just a nonstop battle. It was fun. It made practice feel like it was so short, because it was just constantly … Everybody was talking, but everybody was working hard. When you have that kind of atmosphere, you love being out there, you love competing. Just get as many guys like that as possible on the field.”

(On whether keeping up the intensity is easier for a younger coach) – “I don’t know. I’ve never been old yet.” (laughter)

(On whether he relates to players because of his young age) – “I don’t know. I watch some of our other coaches that have been doing this a little longer than I have, and I’ve seen their interaction with players. Some guys are the same as what my personality is. The guy that I learned under a lot was Coach (Mike) Martz, and probably, people didn’t realize how much he talked in practice. He talked about as much trash as I’ve ever seen – as far as a coach goes – to defensive players.  I think being around him, that kind of fueled my fire a little bit too to know that, ‘Hey, a coach can talk a little junk to opposing players.’”

Ryan Tannehill – April 27, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

(On what intrigues him about the offense) – “A lot of things. I think just the mindset of Coach Gase and the way he wants to attack the field; the multitude of things we can do – whether it’s on the ball, in the huddle, moving guys around, creating matchups – he focuses a lot on that. And that’s what this game is; it’s a game of matchups. So I’m excited for that – to be able to get on the ball, work with him, get us in a good play and create those matchups where we can have an advantage.”

(On if it feels different with a new coach and system) – “Well, it’s always exciting this time of year. We’re excited to be out on the field and excited to work together. It’s a little strange not having OTAs before you jump into a minicamp. It’s my first experience with that. But yeah, there is a lot of excitement and a lot of buzz. Guys are soaking up the information in the meeting rooms a lot. They’re really challenging us with what they’re throwing in and making us learn. Guys are jumping in and retaining the information and coming out and playing well.”

(On who he was throwing to in the offseason and how often they were doing that) – “We threw twice a week. We had a bunch of guys here. Most of our receivers and a few of our tight ends were here working from the end of February/early March until we started (the offseason program). (We) had a lot of guys here, got a lot of work in and I think its showing now.”

(On if they were throwing more than they had in previous offseasons) – “It was the same. We had a good turnout, though; a lot of guys (were) here. That’s the great thing about being in South Florida. You have a lot of guys in the area that are here for the offseason, or a good part of the offseason, and you can get everyone together and work.

(On if he is bothered by DT Ndamukong Suh not attending the voluntary minicamp) – “No, no. This is a voluntary camp. We’re out here getting better and I’m sure he’s working to get better doing his own thing so no hard feelings. It’s the way things go sometimes and we’re all working in our own way to get better.”

(On if it would help if DT Ndamukong Suh was present for the voluntary minicamp) – “I don’t know. I don’t know. I think that he has done things a certain way throughout his whole career and he has a process that he goes through both mentally and physically. Sometimes you have to go through your own process to feel fully prepared in your own way and I think that’s what he’s doing.”

(On what he expects from himself in his fifth season) – “(I expect) to be better. Just improve. Obviously, I want to compete for a championship, be in the playoffs and ultimately win a Super Bowl. (I’m going) to take it one step at a time and win games.”

(On if it is unfair to expect the offense to click right away) – “It’s tough. There’s a learning curve. It’s a real thing to have a learning curve but that’s what we’re here for right now. We want to speed that thing up and get it going when we get around to camp. (We want to) progress quickly through camp and be ready to go Week 1. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the 10th year of the offense or the first year, you have to be able to go out and perform Week 1. And that’s what we look to do”

(On if he has baby-proofed his house) – “Not yet. (laughter) We’ve got a few months. I don’t think he’ll be moving around until after the football season so I have a few months for that.”

(On if he is excited that his family is expecting its first baby) – “I’m excited. It’s an exciting process. You can feel him kick now and move around. My wife has had a great pregnancy – no sickness and no side effects. It’s really been great.”

(On when the baby is due) – “July.”

(On the perfect timing of the baby) – “Yes. I’ll be around to see the birth and have some time with the baby and then off to (training) camp to focus for a month and hopefully he’s sleeping by then.”

(On his first thoughts when he saw Head Coach Adam Gase diverting routes and running around with the players) – “It’s cool. He’s a hands-on coach. You see him … when I’m throwing, he’s rushing me and making me move around the pocket and just creating those habits. He’s giving receivers leverages. He’s hands on. He wants to have a hand in the offense and that’s important because when the guys see the head guy out there running around and breaking a sweat, moving, doing things to make us better, it creates even more of a level of respect.”

(On how active Head Coach Adam Gase is throughout the building) – “He’s around. We see him all the time. He does the offensive installs. He pops over to the defense. You talk to him, he’s around. He’s easy to communicate with and relate to so I think we’re off to a great start here.”

(On if he can take his career to higher levels with the guidance of Head Coach Adam Gase) – “I think so. I believe in myself and my preparation and the offense that we’re putting in, the guys that are around me. I think that it’s a process. We’ll all come together. I’ll play better. The guys around me will play better. And we’ll ultimately win a lot of games.”

(On the primary objective for him and his teammates at this minicamp) – “Right now we are learning the system, competing and just learning the ins and outs and the details of what we are doing. We’re taking it from paper inside and putting it into action out here. It’s a process. The bullets are flying. Things are moving fast and you have to be able to translate it from inside to on the field.”

(On if anything has surprised him thus far about Head Coach Adam Gase) – “He’s not nearly as good at golf as I thought he would be. (laughter) Tell him I said that. Actually, don’t tell him I said that because I think he would beat me.”

(On what has impressed him about Head Coach Adam Gase) – “I’m just impressed all around with him – the way he goes about things, the way he thinks of the game, the way he is progressive in the offense and challenging us. I just think he’s really in tune with his players and how we need to be challenged each and every day.”

Jay Ajayi – April 27, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Running Back Jay Ajayi

(On whether becoming a starter is his goal this season) – “Absolutely. With Lamar (Miller) moving on to the Texans, it gave us a chance to compete for his position. That’s basically what I’m here to do is compete to be that guy, to be a starter.”

(On how excited he is heading into this offseason) – “I’ve been excited since I found out that Lamar (Miller) was going to be moving on and that the position would be available. I’ve just been pushing myself through this offseason to prepare myself to have a great sophomore season. I was able to get a lot of opportunities last year when I finally started playing, and I felt comfortable. Now, I’m ready to elevate my game to a new level this season.”

(On whether he has thought about the Dolphins possibly drafting a running back) – “I’m not worried about that stuff. That’s out of my control. I can only control my mentality every day and my work ethic. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

(On what he would like to improve upon this offseason) – “(I) definitely (want to) try to lose some weight so I can be a little bit more shiftier this season. (I am) just trying to prepare myself mentally to be able to take that role up as a starter. I think that I’ve been doing a great job so far, and it’s just about constantly progressing all the way up to the season.”

(On how much weight he would like to lose) – “I played last year around 228 (pounds), close to 230. This year I want to be closer to 220 – 218 to 222 – around that range.”

(On working with Head Coach Adam Gase) – “I (felt) really good about Coach Gase from the first day that we talked (about) how he’s such a young guy who’s really excited about being here. He’s excited about working with me and the rest of the team.  He made us feel very comfortable from the first day. We’re excited about this new offense that he’s implementing. It has been really great to get out on the field and actually be able to work with him now day in and day out.”

(On Head Coach Adam Gase running around with the team during practice) – “He’ll be fine. He’s young, and he has been doing a great job of keeping our intensity levels up while we’re out there in practice.”

(On whether he will sacrifice any strength with weight loss) – “No, because I’m working with (Team Nutritionist) Mary Ellen (Bingham) on nutrition and all that. Really, it was just cutting out a lot of the junk food and (about) trying to eat (well), cook more at home to (the point) where I feel healthier. I’m still working out really strong with the physical training coaches – (Head Strength and Conditioning) Coach (Dave) Puloka and all of them. So, I feel strong. I don’t feel like I’m losing any strength. So, that was really (about) cutting out the bad diet in my dieting.”

(On what food he misses while dieting) – “It’s the junk food. I don’t eat at McDonald’s anymore. (laughter) You’re not supposed to eat there anyway. You get a cheat meal every now and then, but it’s more about cooking at home and trying to watch my fast food intake.”

(On Head Coach Adam Gase commenting that he is a shifty running back and if that is how he sees himself going into the season) – “Definitely.  I know that I can be a powerful runner (who) prides himself on breaking tackles and stuff. But I wanted to add another arsenal to my game of being quick, being able to make those quick cuts, getting that one cut and getting down the field fast. That’s kind of through my training in the offseason. That’s what I was working on: to try and be a little bit shiftier so I can make more people miss and also break tackles as well to create more yards on the field.   “

(On whether he has proven that a prior knee injury is not a concern) – “To be honest, that injury occurred my freshman year of college, and I didn’t miss a game after that. So, those concerns were from whoever was putting that out there. I was never concerned about it and I feel great. I was able to play last year at a high level and I’m playing right now at a high level. That’s what I’m focused (on): continuing to come out here on the practice field and put some good work out there and prepare myself for this season.”

(On whether he has set specific goals for this year) – “No, not yet. I’m – right now – working out here, learning this new offense and trying to contribute on this field here while we’re practicing, make big plays and set myself up for a great season this year.”

(On whether he has been focusing on his hands) – “Yes, definitely.  Just seeing Coach Gase’s offenses and seeing that he likes to throw the ball a lot and knowing that we’re going to have to be weapons out of the backfield, it’s definitely something that myself and the other running backs … We understand that we’re going to need to know how to run good routes, know how to catch the ball out of the backfield and be able to do that when we’re called upon. That’s really what we’re working on besides everything else about being a running back.”

(On whether he has nervous curiosity about whether the Dolphins will draft a running back) – “Not really, because at the same time, I can’t do anything about it. I’m just here working on myself. If the Dolphins do that, then that’s what they do. But, I’m really just worried about myself and controlling my work ethic – my mentality – out here on the field, which is to be the starter this fall.”

(On whether it is weird to think he was drafted a year ago) – “It’s weird. It has been fun for me though just because I have a lot of guys I went to school with at Boise State, because I left a year early, that I came in with at Boise State, and now they’re going through this draft process. It has been really fun to go back and watch those guys. They’re working hard. They’re chasing their NFL dream, and I’m there to give them any advice that they need and be a good friend to those guys.”

Adam Gase – April 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On how his day went) — “It was good. It was fun to get out there. Feels like forever. Obviously, for myself it’s been since January, late December. I know the coaches were itching to get out, having two weeks of meetings. And then getting an opportunity to do this, it’s just a good feeling to get outside, especially in this weather.”

(On what he feels is the biggest difference now that he is the head coach) – “I don’t know, I kind of went through my same routine I always did. I went over and talked a little smack to the defense and let them know how many times we were going to throw over their heads. The thing that was a little different for me was (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) was running a lot of the drills with the offense during individual. So it was fun to be able to be kind of be bouncing back and forth and seeing what’s going on with special teams and not working with the quarterbacks on some of those drills. It was a fun experience just kind of seeing everybody coach and get to observe what was going on.”

(On if he feels adding an extra minicamp because he is a new coach will help) – “I think so. I think it gets a lot of the anxiety out. For our players, they understand how we want to do things. The tempo is what we’re really trying to make sure we do a good job of, just in between periods and where we’re going, what we want to do. If you can get that done before you hit OTAs, it just makes OTAs a lot smoother.”

(On what he can share about some of the missing personnel) – “It’s a voluntary camp and the good thing is, I know where everybody is at. That’s just what it is with the Players Association and the league and the deal that they’ve worked out. This is voluntary. I learned very early and when this thing went down, there is no reason to get upset about guys not being here – it’s voluntary. We all know that right from the get go and we’re appreciative of the guys that have shown up and that are working hard and that are with us. These guys are here to get better and we’re here to help.”

(On whether the players who didn’t show up gave him advance notice of their absence) – “Yeah, we knew who was going to be here and who wasn’t going to be here.”

(On if everyone on offense has the entire playbook or if it’s given in small parts) – “We install it a little bit at a time. Those two weeks before this were nice to have. We were able to kind of give them a little bit of a pre-install to what we were going to do here. And then once we started with this minicamp, we kind of condense that and say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to focus on in these camps.’ We try to be smart because you don’t want to run certain things in these types of camps. You don’t want pile ups. You don’t want situations where DBs and wide receivers can get tangled up. So we’re really smart about what we’re actually practicing.”

(On if it would be an issue to him if S Reshad Jones’ absence lingers beyond the spring) – “It’s voluntary. Every day I’m coming in this thing and when guys show up, we’re going to help them and we’re going to help them get better. But right now it’s a voluntary camp. It’s a voluntary program, so guys can come and go as they please.”

(On if he would be more upset if S Reshad Jones missed one of the mandatory camps) – “I’m not going to get upset about anything right now. It’s the first day of voluntary vet mini-camp. So we’ll see how everything goes once we get to June.”

(On if he feels that it helps or hurts with him being a new coach and the new players) – “I never worry. It’s the NFL. These guys learn things very quickly. I mean you don’t need a lot of time. When you’re a veteran player, you jump right back in. A lot of times it’s just change in terminology. These guys are sharp. That’s what NFL players get paid to do and that’s to learn playbooks.”

(On his feelings of having DE Cameron Wake on the field and how his recovering is progressing) – “We’re day to day. He’s just going to keep grinding and figure out every day we come in and we see what he can do and if he’s sore and where he’s at for that particular day. He’s working close with the trainers and the sports science group to make sure that we get him as close to 100 percent (as possible). The big goal for me is that I just want him ready to go for training camp. The offseason – this is a great time to make sure that he is as close to 100 percent heading into training camp as possible.”

(On if the timing is hard having veteran mini-camp at the same time as preparing for the draft) – “I was a part of it last year. We did this same schedule in Chicago with our first year being in that situation. And I feel like our time was managed well leading up to this. (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Mike (Tannenbaum) have done a great job of making sure we finish with what we needed to do with the coaching staff. And then for me, it’s just going to be a quick transition. When we get done Thursday, it’s a shorter day, and then I’m going to roll right into some draft things.”

(On how he feels about two new acquisitions: DT Chris Jones and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who is recovering from an injury) – “We’re still working through to see how far we can bring (Ekpre-Olomu) around, as far as where his injury was. Once again, these injuries, it’s time. We’ve got to figure out what’s going on with him. And then when we’re claiming guys, we’re trying to get better. And we feel like Chris was a guy we were interested in and our scouts and our personnel guys were really excited about the fact that we had a chance to get him. We’ll see how he fits in the group.”

(On CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu) – “I know he was a high guy on a lot of people’s draft boards and unfortunately he got injured and we’ll just see how that one progresses.”

(On LB Kiko Alonso’s play and if he can return to his 2013 form) – “I would say it’s tough for me to predict anything. I mean, it’s been one day. We’ve had eight meetings. Time will tell. We have a long ways to go and we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the offseason.”

(On some of the things he tries to focus on the practice field) – “I try to get into the rhythm for myself, for one. Coaches, they all have their individual responsibilities. I’m trying to kind of see where my place is a little bit, as far as (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) has such a great handle of what’s going on in the offense. I know I’m going to be calling plays. I kind of might be spying on the defense a little bit to see what we can take advantage on that from an offensive perspective and just kind of being around the o-line and d-line. Those are two positions you don’t get to spend a lot of time on them when you’re an offensive coordinator. You’re working with the quarterbacks a lot times. So I really enjoy going down there and watching (Offensive Line Coach) Chris (Foerster) coach and watching (Defensive Line Coach) Terrell (Williams) coach the d-line. It’s just kind of … for me to be able to observe a lot of these guys that I haven’t been able to watch in the past.”

(On if his mind starts racing on day one when he has a guy like WR Jarvis Landry on his team) – “It’s pretty early for me to get too crazy with what we want to do with him. But, I mean right now we’re installing our base stuff and just trying to get guys used to that up-tempo style on the ball. We’ll start working on where everybody fits in but we’re a ways away from that.”

(On how beneficial it is to a look at the players on the field as opposed to the film) – “It’s a completely different ball game. When you get out on the field, you start seeing things and … you might not actually see it on a game tape. I wasn’t here last year for practice. So I mean you see a guy rep after rep, then practice after practice, and you get a really good feel for what that guy can do and what he can’t do. This is like the first opportunity to see a few things where I might not have seen in a game situation. So this is a great opportunity for our coaching staff to really get into that evaluation stage to figure out what guys can and can’t do.”

(On what he likes about RB Jay Ajayi) – “When I watched him coming out of college and then now I see him in person, I guess I never realized how shifty he was, and today was a great example. Just seeing him stick his foot in the ground and change direction, you didn’t see him do that a lot in college. Just being able to see him move around, it was very impressive for me to see him in person. The way he cut in some of the run game schemes … I mean I’m really excited to see what we can do going forward.”

(On CB Byron Maxwell) – “There’s been a lot of talking going on between me and him. He’s got my number right now so I told him we’re going to try to go at him as much as possible. But, you know as long as he is and as physical as he is at the line of scrimmage, I’m just glad he’s on our side. It’s great to see, when I went down there in individual, just to see him smile and having fun. (He) really looks like he’s ready to go and enjoys the defense that he’s playing in under (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph). He’s a guy that we’re expecting to really excel in our scheme.”

(On if that was a walkie-talkie in his hand during practice) – “Yeah.”

(On who was on the other end of the walkie-talkie) – “I hope the quarterbacks. We like to start kind of that game-type mentality; and, for the quarterbacks, getting used to hearing my voice. I mean that’s just something – the way that I call plays and the way that they can hear it and kind of understand – that I probably talk too much. And I’ll give them tips and things about what to look for. So it’s just getting used to hearing me on the other end.”

(On if he likes what he has to work with on the roster heading into the NFL draft) – “I like what we have already on the roster. I’m excited to see what we can build going forward and then what we can add. And I’m excited to see what takes place coming up here in the draft. (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and (Executive Vice President, Football Operations) Mike (Tannenbaum) have done a great job in kind of getting that board set and Chris (Grier) and the scouts have really worked hard to make sure that we have everything covered. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.”

(On what CB Jamar Taylor needs to do to become a starter or play in the cornerback rotation) – “He’s no different than every other guy. When we had our first team meeting, the statement was, ‘It didn’t matter who you were before this.’ You’re getting a fresh start. Everybody’s walking in the building (with a) clean slate. So if you were lazy and didn’t try hard last year, you could be the hardest-working guy walking through the door and I won’t know any different. We’re encouraging guys to just come out here and give us everything they have and see how it shakes out for them.”

Andre Branch – April 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Defensive End Andre Branch

(On his first impressions of the defense) – “We are an attack defense. We have a lot of great players. It was the first day out and a lot of people had some cobwebs. We knocked them off. It was good to be back on the field, though.”

(On if it was a good experience the first day out there) – “(It was an) amazing experience. I just pay attention to me and getting better each and every day and then we just go from there.”

(On his experience playing at both defensive end spots and if it will be good to lock in on one) – “It’s great. Whatever they want me to do, that’s what I am going to focus on and just keep getting better each and every day.”

(On what the Wide 9 is) – “Go get the quarterback. That’s what it is – go get the quarterback. That’s exactly what it is.”

(On how much he has played in the Wide 9 system) – “I’ve never played in that system. Ever. There are a lot of things that go into certain defenses and certain schemes but this one, it fits into the strengths of the players that we have.”

(On why the Wide 9 fits into the strengths of the players) – “Because we have a lot of (players) that can rush the passer and that’s what they want us to do.”

(On how he would describe the tone that Head Coach Adam Gase is setting) – “Very positive. (He has a) ton of energy. I mean he’s young. He wants us to be the best players that we want to be and he’s the type of coach that you want to win for.”

(On seeing DE Cam Wake getting some work in six months after his injury) – “That’s awesome. He’s definitely a vet in this league. He’s been playing at a high level for a very long time and he just shows by example. He leads by example. He’s the type of player that you follow.”

(On if he’s had a relationship with any Dolphins before he joined the team) – “CB Byron Maxwell – we played at Clemson with each other. I knew T Branden Albert before coming here. He’s another ACC guy. Other than that, everybody is pretty much new but I’m getting pretty acclimated.”

(On what this experience is like to start over with a new team and coaching staff) – “It feels good. I’m a Dolphin now and (I’m) just going forward from here.”

(On being used to the Florida heat and humidity) – “Always, so it’s not a big deal to me.”

(On how the heat is going to get a lot worse) – “Way, way worse than this. You’ll see me out here with sweatpants and sleeves on, though. I can’t fight that heat.”

(On if it is different to have an April minicamp with a new head coach) – “I’ve had a new coach (before) but I don’t remember doing (a minicamp) this early. It was different but it’s good to get that work in.”

Kiko Alonso – April 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Linebacker Kiko Alonso

(On what the process has been like playing for his third team in three years) – “Like you said, I went through this process last year. Football is football. You just come here, get to know everybody and play some ball.”

(On the scheme’s similarities to his rookie season in Buffalo) – “It’s similar. Like I said, football is football. You go out there and run around and hit some people.”

(On his comfort level in Miami) – “I feel really comfortable.”

(On why he feels really comfortable in Miami) – “My body feels great, and I feel great.”

(On how he would describe himself as a player) – “Versatile. I just like to run around and hit people, in a nutshell.”

(On how he would describe his NFL career) – “That’s a good question. I don’t know. I think it is yet to be said. All I’m worried about is getting better and using this time to get better and learn the defense.”

(On how often he has called plays in the past) – “I’ve been calling (plays) my whole football career.”

(On if there is a great comfort level about calling plays) – “Yeah.”

(On what stands out to him about Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph’s defense thus far) – “It’s aggressive.”

(On what makes the defense aggressive) – “The scheme. The scheme and the players.”

(On his first impressions of Head Coach Adam Gase) – “(He’s a) great guy. It looks like he wants to get better every day. (He is) always looking for ways to get better, and I think that’s what makes a great coach and a great team.”

(On if this is a fresh start for him) – “Yeah. At the end of the day, it’s football.”

(On if he has physically regained everything from before his injury) – “Yeah.”

(On if he felt that he was not 100 percent back from his injury last season) – “I don’t like to fall back on that. I just didn’t have a good year, and that’s just how it was. I just have to get better.”

(On if he has watched tape from his rookie year to try and get back to that type of play) – “Occasionally I go back and look. I just like to watch (tape from) back then, last year, other players around the league – any way that can help me in my development.”

(On if the player who was named PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year is still in him) – “He is still there.”

(On if he is feeling much better now than he did at this time last year) – “I would say so. Usually coming off an injury, the more time, the better.”

(On if he feels he can go full speed with no limitations) – “Absolutely.”

(On if he feels comfortable with what has been installed and whether it will suit his skill set) – “One hundred percent.”

(On if there was a time he felt he was going to be able to build on his rookie year) – “That is the ultimate goal – to keep getting better. At the end of the day, we are just trying to get better. Today, the day is not over. We have to go have meetings, watch film, watch what we did good today, watch what we did bad and try to improve on it.”

(On what first stood out to him about Head Coach Adam Gase) – “Just his desire to try and get better (and) try to find ways to get better.”

(On Head Coach Adam Gase’s youth and enthusiasm and if it occurs to him that Gase is the youngest head coach in the NFL) – “It doesn’t occur (to me). I think it doesn’t matter. I think age is just a number.”

(On if he stays in touch with DE Dion Jordan) – “Yeah.”

(On how DE Dion Jordan is doing and if he thinks Jordan will be back) – “We’ll see. That’s not up to me. I’d love for him to be here. He’s a great football player.”

(On if he thinks DE Dion Jordan will apply for reinstatement) – “That’s between you guys and Dion Jordan.”

(On what he does really well when he is at his best) – “I like to think at the linebacker position that I can do it all. I think to be a great linebacker now – in this day and age – you have to do it all. You have to be able to stop the run. You have to be able to play in coverage. You have to be able to play man-to-man.”

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