Transcripts

Jay Ajayi – May 31, 2016 Download PDF version

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Running Back Jay Ajayi

(On how the running back room will replace RB Lamar Miller) – “I can only speak for myself and my objective is to be the starter of the team. That’s what I’ve been doing day in and day out – working to be that starter. I can’t speak on everyone else’s opinion, but I know that I want to be that guy.”

(On how much he has to prove this season) – “I know what I want to accomplish. Everyone else has opinions on what I can do and if I’m worthy enough, and I know how good I am. I know how great I can be. That’s my mentality coming in, day in and day out – to work, so that when I step out on that field, I can produce the way I know that I can and be the great back that I know I can be.”

(On how he is a better player in Year 2 than as a rookie) – “I feel like as a rookie, I went through a lot of things that some rookies haven’t had to go through such as the short-term IR (injured reserve) and not being able to go right away. Then coming back and actually put in positions to be on the field and make plays for the team. I think I definitely got to learn a lot through those adversities. Being able to come out for my first game playing and have success, that really helped me with confidence out there on the field. Now going into Year 2, having gone through a bunch of that stuff, I definitely feel more comfortable out there on the field. I feel like the game has definitely slowed down a lot more for me. It’s now (about) working on the details, working on consistency. That’s really what I’m harping on – being a lot more consistent with my game.”

(On RB Kenyan Drake) – “He’s bigger than I expected. He’s a big guy. He’s fast. I think that he’s going to bring talent to the room as well. I’m excited to continue to see him grow and see what he can do when we start really rolling in training camp.”

(On RB Kenyan Drake’s size and whether he can be used as a receiver) – “I just know for (his) size, he’s bigger than what I expected him to be. For his role, that’s what (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase decides. From what I’ve seen so far, he has been doing a good job.”

(On working with Head Coach Adam Gase) – “It has been really good. We started in April working with him, and it has been really great learning all (of) his offense and all the little details. It has been really fun. He’s a coach that makes you excited to go out there and play for him. He makes practice fun. It has been (a) really good time going out there, grinding with the team and getting better as a unit. We still have a long ways to go as an offense and getting where we need to be, but we’ve been doing well so far. We need to continue improving each practice we step out there.”

(On how he defines a great running back) – “I’d definitely say there are guys in the league that have done it the right way and have shown greatness at the running back position. I look at the way they play – and their style of running – and I try to take different things from those guys and add it to my game. For me, I know that I want to be up there when it gets down to it at the end of the season and be a guy that people say, ‘He did a great job for his team. He ran hard. He scored a lot of touchdowns (and) made a lot of big plays for his team.’ That’s what I want to be. I don’t want to be a hindrance to this team. I want to be a contributor, a guy that makes big plays for this team and scores touchdowns.”

(On which running backs he compares his style to) – “Guys like Marshawn Lynch is a guy that ran hard every time he touched the ball and made huge plays for that team. Time in and time out when he was called upon, he did his job. Guys like that … ‘A.P.’ (Adrian Peterson) right now … He has been doing it for years. When I talk about consistency, he’s a guy that I look at who is very consistent. You can count on him every game. It’s things like that I try to take and put it to my game (while) at the same time being a unique runner – being myself and having an identity of my own – and trying to go out there on the field and make big plays.”

(On the confidence G/T Branden Albert has expressed about his play) – “It gives me a lot of confidence. I’m excited for this opportunity. That has always been my thing – when I get the opportunity, I have to make sure that I take it, because opportunities can be very limited in this league. Hearing (Branden Albert) say that I’m going to hit it makes me want to work harder. When I run, I run for my teammates. I try to make plays, try to break tackles and make people miss for my teammates, trying to gain yards, trying to score. It’s all for them. Whenever I get a good run – and I come to the sideline – my teammates pat my back like, ‘Keep running like that,’ that just makes me want to run even harder. I feel like I’m a very selfless guy, and I want to make big plays and be a great running back.”

(On G/T Branden Albert’s health this offseason) – “Definitely looking at him, he looks lighter. I know from speaking with him, he says he feels a lot better than he has been in the past, last year. I think health is going to be a big key for how well we do on our offensive line. It’s been really great to have a lot of those guys back healthy. I know last year they were going through a lot of adversity (and) playing hurt. Some guys were out a number of weeks. I think as healthy as we can be on our o-line, we’re going to be a pretty good offense. It has been really good to have all those guys back out there (with T) Ja’Wuan (James) being back healthy, ‘Pounce’ (C Mike Pouncey) finally getting back out there. ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert), he says he’s feeling good. It has been really great to have all those guys back on the o-line and seeing what our o-line should look like for the upcoming season.”

(On whether he believes one running back can carry the load in today’s NFL landscape) – “There are teams that do it one way and teams that do it another way. That would be up to (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase’s scheme (and) how he wants to get it done. I know that I can only focus on myself day in and day out and control what I can control, and that’s going to be my mentality and level of play. I’m constantly working on raising my game every practice, so (that) when my number is called – and (regardless of) how many times my number is called – I’m going to make big plays when that happens.”

(On G/T Branden Albert) – “I think overall, when you have a guy like ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert), he has been playing in this league … Probably since I was in high school he has been in the league, and he has been playing at a high level. His leadership (and) those qualities are definitely needed out there (with) his strength in the pass game and the run game. He is one of the premier left tackles. He didn’t make it to the Pro Bowl by accident last year. We always want a guy like that out there on the field helping anchor down that left side.”

(On how he maximizes yardage as a running back) – “I definitely believe that … I pride myself on not trying to be brought down by one guy. Sometimes, the play isn’t always blocked up as best as it should be, and I feel like that’s when the really great running backs showcase their abilities whether it’s making guys miss, breaking and tackling and getting those yards back or making a big play out of it. I think that throughout my career – just from college up until a little bit last year – trying to break those tackles and make plays sometimes out of nothing, I definitely pride myself of being able to do that.”

Branden Albert – May 31, 2016 Download PDF version

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tackle Branden Albert

(On how he follows up on last season and carries it over to this year) – “Basically, towards the end of the season, I started coming back to the form I (had) before my injury happened. I started playing like the elite player I was playing before my injury. Now I just have to carry (it over to this year). Right now, I’m in the best shape I’ve been in in a long time. It’s the lightest I’ve been since I left Kansas City. As of right now, I’m just trying to keep continuing to get my body together and learning the offense and just continuing to work.”

(On how much lighter he is) – “I’m probably like 313 (pounds) right now.”

(On why he made the change to get lighter) – “Basically, I am getting kind of older. For the sake of my health and my joints and my knees, I just feel better. Right now I’m at a point that I’m strong enough to be lighter (I wanted to be lighter) just for longevity in my career.”

(On what he was thinking when G/T Laremy Tunsil dropped in the draft and if he knew much about him in college) – “I really didn’t pay attention to the draft. But watching the offensive tackles, I would try to pay attention and I just knew he was a great young player. When we got him I was like ‘It’s going to be a benefit for the offensive line.’ Well. the more the merrier, to be honest with you. It wasn’t … I know some people called me like ‘What’s going on?’ I (told them) ‘I’m the left tackle of this team.’ I wasn’t worried about anything. I’m trying to bring him along the best we can. The faster he moves along and the faster that his progress comes, and we get the five best offensive linemen on the field, we’re going to be the best offensive line we can be. That’s going to help this team out.”

(On how good the offensive line can be with the health of him and T Ja’Wuan James and the addition of G/T Laremy Tunsil) – “We can be pretty good but we have to put the work in. We have to listen to (Offensive Line) Coach (Chris) Foerster and other coaches: (Offensive Quality Control) Coach Kup (Chris Kuper) and (Assistant Offensive Line) Coach Wash(burn). And we have to stay healthy. That’s been our main problem. The big three: Ja’Wuan, C Mike (Pouncey and I). We probably played five games together in the last two years. We have to stay healthy somehow. A little bit of luck. A little bit of prayer. A little bit of extra work. Once all of us stay together healthy, I think we will be a pretty good offensive line.”

(On how much of an issue the health of the offensive line has been in the past) – “I think that’s been a key issue – all of us staying healthy at once. I went down. (C) Mike (Pouncey) was hurt at the beginning (of the season) two years ago. Then he came back and two games later, I get hurt. Last year, I finally come back. Mike (Pouncey), Ja’Wuan (James and I are) playing and I hurt my hamstring. Then I come back and Ja’Wuan (James) hurts his toe. Then towards the end of the season, all of us were banged up. But once we all stay healthy, we stay cohesive, and we find the right the five, I believe we could be a heck of an offensive line.”

(On if he likes the depth now up front) – “We have a lot of depth. Last year showed that we didn’t have (any) depth. Guys (were) forced to be put in bad situations and put in tough spots and try to make the best out of it. Some guys, at the time, were not equipped because they weren’t raised to be in a different position. They were rotating through certain positions and then, all of a sudden, you need to play right tackle. Well, the whole year they didn’t practice right tackle. So this year we have a lot of depth in a lot of areas (and) a lot of veteran players, so it’s going to be good for us.”

(On RB Jay Ajayi) – “I think he’s going to hit the holes. That’s his thing. He’s going to hit the holes. We’re going to open up the holes for him and he’s going to hit it. I’m not worried about him tiptoeing through the hole. He’s going to put his head down, find the hole and he’s going to get through there. We need someone else to step up in the running game too and run the ball. It’s our job to open up the holes and it’s his job to hit them. And I believe he will.”

(On if making the Pro Bowl had any special meaning) – “Of course. I battled through a real bad injury, which at the age that I was at going through that injury, a lot of people would have quit. Through all of that last year and people saying this and that about me – In the media and on Instagram and Twitter – (they) always have a remark about I can’t stay healthy and try to say I played half the season. I played 14 of 16 games and nobody gave me my credit coming back a week before the first game coming off an ACL, MCL and PCL injury. So of course it was gratifying. I’m happy about it but I would rather get wins and get my Pro Bowls at the same time.”

(On if he notices the injury anymore) – “Nope. That’s why I lost weight. In fact, right now I don’t feel it. I don’t notice it. (I’m) moving a lot better. I’m running around. I want to take my knee brace off but I’m not allowed to.”

(On who told him he can’t take his knee brace off) – “The training staff. I have to listen to what the training staff says.”

(On if quitting football ever crossed his mind) – “(Yes), at the beginning. In the third month of my rehab, I still wasn’t walking. Maybe at the fifth month of my rehab, I still wasn’t running. I said ‘How am I going to play in the first game and I’m not running yet at six months (after the injury)?’. But I was determined and I had the support of my teammates and my family. It was rough but I made it through.”

Ryan Tannehill – May 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

(On how he would describe Head Coach Adam Gase as a teacher) – “He’s an excellent teacher. That’s one of the things I noticed about him from Day 1, when we were going through the installs right here in this room. He’s very efficient. He’s clear. He makes it to where it’s easy to understand. Everyone in the room can understand exactly what he’s saying and what he expects. I definitely think that’s one of his strongest attributes is his teaching ability.”

(On if he’s seen Head Coach Adam Gase get mad yet) – “He hasn’t blown a gasket or anything like that. Obviously, if things don’t go well, he’s not feeling good at practice. I think he’s kept his composure, and he hasn’t erupted or anything like that. It’s always a possibility if things aren’t going well, but right now we’re in a learning phase. We’re in a teaching phase. Things weren’t as clean as we’d like them to be today. We had some mess-ups (and) had some plays that didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, but it’s Day 3 of OTAs. We’re learning. We’re getting better (and) progressing each and every day. We want it to happen quickly, and I think that’s what we’re pushing for each and every day. But at the same time, you have to give guys a chance to learn it. If we’re still making that same mistake next week, then we have a problem. But (this is the) first go around this week of some of the things we were doing today. The defense put some stuff in today that we hadn’t seen so far. It was a good challenge. It was a good challenge for both sides of the ball.”

(On why he was doing push-ups at practice and if it was self-induced) – “I missed a target, so it was self-induced. Twenty push-ups.”

(On how different he will be as a quarterback with more freedom at the line of scrimmage) – “I’m still the same quarterback. Obviously, having that freedom to get the offense in a good play … We do a lot of things differently now. Being able to be on the line of scrimmage (and) adjust – whether its protections, routes, a whole new play … There’s a lot of freedom in what we do. I think that’s going to make us always on the attack. We’re not going to have to sit on our heels and feel like the defense is coming after us, and we have to figure out a way to make it work. We can put pressure on the defense by getting in a good play and always keeping the heat on the defense.”

(On the importance of tempo and creating mismatches) – “Tempo is important. That’s one of the reasons we’re on the line. We want to keep the pressure on the defense. Sometimes we’re going to get on the ball and snap the ball quickly and snap the ball with 30 seconds left on the play clock. Sometimes we’re going to get on the ball, use a cadence, use a hard count, see what the defense is in, adjust the play and go from there. Just because you’re on the ball doesn’t mean you’re going as fast as you can all the way down the field. We’re going to mix it up. We’re going to be moving quickly at times and then at other times we’re going to get quickly to the line and make the adjustment. Creating matchups, that’s the NFL. You want to get yourself in good matchups across the board whether it’s (the) run game or (the) pass game. I think we have a talented group of receivers, tight ends and backs that are going to create mismatches. That’s going to be fun for us to be able to move those guys around to create those mismatches.”

(On how frustrating last year was for WR DeVante Parker and how liberating it is for him now that he’s healthy) – “I think it was really frustrating, especially early on, just dealing with the foot injury and having a repeat of it. Just getting that confidence back … I think you saw – the last six to eight games of the year – his confidence start to build. He made more and more plays it seemed like as the weeks went on. He got more comfortable and more confident and was attacking the football. He’s starting at that point now. We can build from where he is at now, and the sky is the limit for him.”

(On his expectations for WR DeVante Parker this year) – “I expect big things out of him. I expect him to be a heck of a football player (and) a guy that other teams fear, because he can make big plays down the field (and) inside. He’s a big-bodied guy. He’s a guy that we’re going to want to use in the red zone and we’re going to want to use him on third downs and to stretch the field, as well.”

(On if he’s jaded or excited about learning another new offense) – “I’m excited. I’m excited about what this offense entails. It entails a lot of fun stuff for a quarterback to be able to direct traffic, keep pressure on the defense – like I said – and get us in a good play. To me, that’s exciting. That’s something you come to work and you’re excited about putting your team in the best possible situation. I think this is an exciting offense to be in – regardless of what position you’re in – because of how we’re going to attack defenses, Coach Gase and what he brings to the table (and) his aggressive style and always wanting to keep the heat on the defense.”

(On why this is different than previous offenses) – “We’re going to have tempo in this offense, as well. With (former Offensive Coordinator) Bill’s (Lazor) offense, we wanted to create tempo, and we were kind of locked in. What he called is what we ran. With this offense, we’re going to mix things up. We’re going to move quickly at times, snap the ball quickly. At other times, we’re going to get up to the line quickly and take our time. At other times we’re going to huddle and be like a standard offense. Just the variability and the versatility that this offense has and the different things that we can do to create the drives that we want to create down the field.”

(On how much the personnel additions made to the offense this offseason helps take the unit to the next level) – “It’s huge. We’ve been sacked a lot here in the past few years, so to see them take a big step and have a guy like (G/T Laremy) Tunsil fall to us in the first round was huge for us. I’m completely impressed by what he’s done so far, his athleticism. You look at him … The first day in the weight room working out, the first day I saw him here in person, I kind of looked over (and) I didn’t realize he was here yet. I looked over, and I was like ‘Wow! That looks like an offensive lineman.’ He’s athletic. He’s big. (He has) long arms. He’s what you want to see in an offensive lineman. I’m really excited to have him. (G/T Jermon) Bushrod is a veteran guy who has been around and played a lot of football. He’s definitely going to help us. And then the skill guys we added, as well. We have talent. A fun guy that you’re going to see is (WR) Jakeem (Grant). He’s small, but we call him ‘Mighty Mouse.’ He’s making plays all over the field. He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever seen. He has that low center of gravity. He’s able to be really, really shifty coming in and out of his cuts. He makes a lot of plays so far.”

(On the younger receivers and if there is an extra learning curve or extra kinks the team has to work out in the coming weeks) – “We’re still learning right now. We’re putting in new things each and every day. Things we maybe went through once against air, now we’re going against a defense with it. There’s definitely still a lot of learning going on. Each and every play is a learning experience for everyone that’s on the field. We’re going to continue to work (on) our timing, our relationships on the field, whether it’s being in the right spot, the adjustments we make. All of those things we’re going to continue to get better as OTAs go on and as camp goes on. Hopefully, we’ll be at 100 percent once Week 1 hits.”

(On directing traffic and then the importance of communication and how the team is working to build that communication) – “Communication is huge. That’s where it all starts. It starts with the quarterback making the call and then it goes to the receivers communicating what they have, the offensive line communicating what their calls are and who they’re blocking. And then when you start making checks, the defense is moving around and making adjustments. It all starts with communication. You have to know what to do, but then you have to communicate so you’re all on the same page.”

(On if we will see him doing push-ups during games) – “I don’t think so.” (laughter)

(On how he would evaluate this week) – “Today was definitely the day with the most (improvement), I’ll put it that way. As you get deeper into the installs – and the defense gets deeper into the installs – there’s more on our plates, so there’s going to be a few more mistakes, I think, (with) these Day 3 (and) Day 4 (practices). We have to learn from it. We have to move quickly. We have to watch the tape, see where we messed up and not make that same mistake again. I definitely say we’re getting better every day. I see guys already learning from the mistakes they made in Day 1, and we’re not seeing those same mistakes. There’s a bunch of routes today that I looked at, and we didn’t run them that way in Day 1 and Day 2, but we got them right today. There’s a lot of positive things out there, as well, and things that we can build on.”

(On WR Leonte Carroo and what he can bring to the offense) – “I’m excited. I’m excited to see him work. He kind of got dinged up (his) first day here, so (I) haven’t got to see a lot of what he can do so far. But I like his personality. I think he’s a strong, physical guy that’s going to be a weapon for us. He’s going to be able to have some run-after-catch (yards), be physical with the corners (and) be physical down the field. It’s always good to have a strong body type that can combat (the) quickness of a guy like Jakeem (Grant). You have a ying and a yang there.”

(On making this his offense) – “It’s an important thing, for sure. It’s fun for me to be able to dive in and take ownership of the offense (and) being able to learn it like a coach. That’s ultimately what I want to do: I want to be a guy on the field that anyone on the field can come to and ask a question, and I have the answers. (I am) still in that learning process, but trying to get through that as quickly as I can so that I am that guy that everyone can look to on the field and ask me a question and know exactly what they have. That’s part of being a leader is knowing what everyone needs and be available for them when they need help.”

DeVante Parker – May 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wide Receiver DeVante Parker

(On how he feels now that he is healthy) – “It feels great. Now that I’m back healthy again, I’m able to come out and play with my team and able to get better every day.”

(On how much his injury put him behind) – “It put me behind a lot having an issue (I) dealt with in college a little bit, too and it’s  coming back here (to Miami) and (I) dealt with it again. It was a struggle, but (I) bounced back from it, and (I am) just ready and looking forward to this season now.”

(On what he took from last season and can build on in his second NFL season) – “I’d say just learning from the veterans like Greg Jennings last year. Learning from him and just being able to compete (are) things he taught me, and (I’m) just working on it this year.”

(On his route detail and where it is at now compared to when he entered the league) – “I feel like my route detail is getting a lot better, but we still have things we need to work on a little bit. (I’m) just coming out to practice every day and just (trying to) get better on everything.”

(On watching his film from last year and what he liked about himself and still needs to work on) – “I always attack the ball all the time, and I need to work on just coming out of my route and finishing it at all times, no matter what.”

(On how competing against CB Byron Maxwell in practice is helping him improve) – “It’s great going against him. He’s very tall (and) long, just like me. He knows how to play the ball well. We make each other better.”

(On why he feels this will be a better year for him than last season) – “I’m not injured. I’m healthy this year now. I just have to come out and stay healthy. I have to come out and make plays.”

(On if he has any goals for himself this year) – “I don’t have goals for myself. I just want to win games.”

(On his communication with QB Ryan Tannehill) – “If I just stick with my technique at all times and have that defender beat, Ryan (Tannehill) knows where to put the ball, and I have to be in that spot to go up and make a play.”

(On what it is like to play in an offense knowing that there are multiple options on every play) – “It’s very exciting to have that. The ball can go anywhere at any point in time, you just have to be ready for it. You never know when it’s your time to get it, but when it is, you have to be ready.”

(On where he is being utilized in the offense) – “(The coaches) are moving us all over, everywhere, in and out; so you have to know every position.”

(On if he feels comfortable playing the slot) – “Oh, yeah. Very comfortable.”

(On how excited he is to play multiple positions) – “It’s very exciting. Teams can’t cover you when you move around. If you’re in one spot, it’s an advantage for them.”

(On WR Jakeem Grant) – “He’s very fast. I heard he ran like a 4.1-something (40-yard dash). That’s tremendous. He’s good, and he’s going to get better.”

(On if WR Jakeem Grant told him that he ran a 4.1 40-yard dash) – “Yeah, he did.” (laughter)

(On what he did in his offseason) – “I was going back and forth – going home and coming here – and catching balls with Ryan (Tannehill) and the rest of the receiver group.”

(On if he went on any trips or did anything exciting) – “Nope. Nothing exciting.”

Jelani Jenkins – May 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Linebacker Jelani Jenkins

(On how nice it is to start OTAs and practice) – “Oh it’s exciting. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time and I think everybody’s just gelling. We’re just having a good time running around and getting used to communicating with different people. We haven’t had a chance to communicate with (people) full speed. It’s fun and it’s exciting to see the offense and what they’re doing. It’s just exciting to compete, in general.”

(On LB Kiko Alonso) – “Things are really well. I think (him and I) have done a good job of talking outside of football and just hanging out. Just to hang out and just to get to know each other and how we react to different things, I think is going to really help out on the field. I think we have a really good friendship already and you can tell out there, just in the first three days, that we’re clicking really well. It’s going to be fun.”

(On how long it takes for a linebacker to gain chemistry with another linebacker) – “I guess it depends on the combination but it’s not too difficult. We sit in the same meeting rooms and a lot of times, whoever the Mike is – the middle linebacker – they kind of make most of the calls. We just play off of him. It doesn’t take too long. Like I said, we try to do a lot of things off the field to just grow our friendship outside of football.”

(On what gives him confidence that this year will be another step forward for him) – “I think with experience, you just get the chance to play faster. That’s what we all want to do. I think what gives me confidence, mostly, is this scheme. I think it works well for, not just me, but a lot of guys. I think that we’ll be able to make a lot of plays and play fast. I have confidence in our coaches. I have confidence in the players we have around me, and (in) year four for me, I have confidence in myself. All of that together makes (for) a pretty good year.”

(On if he feels like he’s back to where he was) – “Yeah, I think so. Like I said, mentally I feel like I’m a step further just being my fourth year in the league – having the whole offseason not injured and not coming off the surgery and being able to really just focus on getting strength work (and) preparing better for the season. I feel good about where I’m at right now.”

(On hanging out with LB Kiko Alonso and if relationships matter just at his position group or amongst all teammates) – “I think it’s all teammates but me and LB Kiko (Alonso), we’ve been playing some Call of Duty. We’ve actually gone out to eat a little bit. He lives right near me. He lives by the beach. We just hang out. We have a lot of time off with this phase, so we get a chance to just kick it. It’s not just Kiko (Alonso). (I hang out with) LB Koa (Misi), LB Spencer (Paysinger), the rookies, (LB Zach) Vigil, all of them. So I think we have a really close group and I think that’s going to transfer to the field.”

(On who is better at Call of Duty?) — “I’m the best. I think they know that.” (laughter)

(On his impressions of Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph in the last couple of months) – “VJ (Vance Joseph) is brilliant. That’s the one thing I can say. He’s brilliant and he’s passionate and you can feel it. I think he commands the defense and when he’s in front of the room, everyone’s listening. He has a great track record and he obviously knows what he’s talking about. I think we’re learning a lot and understanding just the why behind why we do things. I think he’s definitely the right guy for the job.”

(On if anyone has stood out to him during this first week of OTAs) – “Yeah, a lot of guys. I think that whole offense is moving pretty (well) these last couple of days. It’s exciting to see what they’re going to do. I think the Pro Bowl d-line that we have; they’re going to cause some destruction. I think just all over the field, guys are just hungry. I like our receiving corps. I think WR DeVante (Parker) is going to make a big step forward this year. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. I could go down the list of guys. I don’t want to just single one person out.”

(On his thoughts on the defensive line) – “I think they’re doing (well). They’re doing pretty (well). They’re playing fast. There’s not a lot that we can do now with(out) pads on, but they’re obviously ready to go.”

(On what his motivation was behind finishing he degree) – “Football doesn’t last long. I mean I was taught that at a young age so that was my motivation. It was never an option not to go back for me. When I decided to leave early, I was always planning on coming back and finishing as soon as possible. I tried to eat away at it every year, every offseason, and finally got it done. I’m excited about it.”

(On if Head Coach Adam Gase challenged him before practice by talking trash) – “Yeah, (he) and (Linebackers) Coach (Matt) Burke, they always go back and forth talking trash. He’s always laughing when they get us with a good play and the linebackers are out in space or something like that. We just have some healthy competition going back and forth between offense and defense. It makes us all better at the end of the day.”

(On DT Ndamukong Suh’s presence and if it matters to him if Suh is present for OTAs and offseason workouts) – “We definitely feel his presence when he’s here. We have all the confidence in the world that, Game 1, he’s going to be ready to go, whatever he does. There’s no mal-intent. We’re excited when he’s here. When he’s not here, we know he’s doing his thing.”

(On how he would compare his graduation to some of his accomplishments) – “Graduation was big. That was something I’ll never forget – long-lasting. It took a long time to do it and it took a lot of hard work. I’d say that’s up there with just getting drafted. In general, that was a big accomplishment. But getting that degree, which I finally saw, it came in the mail like a day ago, that’s a pretty big accomplishment in my book. I put that almost number one.”

(On where he’s going to put the degree) – “I’m going to hang it up at home back in my permanent house, back where my mom (is), back in Maryland.”

Andre Branch – May 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Defensive End Andre Branch

(On how he feels in South Florida with the warm weather) – “It feels good. I came from Jacksonville, and I played at Clemson, so I know all about humidity. So it’s nothing to me. I’m going to always have sweats on and long sleeves to cover the sun.”

(On the challenges that linemen face in OTAs without pads and contact) – “That’s the toughest part. I think the no-contact part is the toughest. We’re grown men going against each other, battling at the end of the day. Even though it’s your teammate (you’re facing), you’re still trying to get better. But you don’t want to be too physical, because you can get practices taken away. You have to be smart – be very smart and cautious.”

(On his early thoughts about the defense) – “I just handle my job. We have a lot of great players on offense, defense and special teams. It’s early – like you said – but at the same time, we have a lot of great players in those positions that can help us. I just focus on myself and trust the coaches will put me in the right position.”

(On what he looks to accomplish in OTAs) – “Just to get better each and every day. That’s my main focus – to get better each and every day. The first practice is always going to be a little bit rusty, but then we’re back to football. (I’m) just happy to be back out here, going against the guys.”

(On if sees a chance to prove himself with DE Cameron Wake not practicing today) – “I just focus on being better than yesterday. That’s my main thing – just be better than I was yesterday and keep going. That’s my mindset day in and day out.”

(On what part of his game he is trying to improve) – “Everything. I know this defense, for the ends, we’re going to rush. I love that. No matter if it’s run, pass, or whatever it is. We’re going to rush. We’re going to rush the passer. You just focus on that each and every day and just keep getting better and keep putting things in your toolbox.”

(On G/T Laremy Tunsil) – “The young kid has been real open-minded. He asks questions, so he’s willing to learn. He didn’t come in here bigheaded by any means. (He is a) great player. I saw a little bit of film on him already. I haven’t gone against him yet, but I see him asking questions so that’s always a plus.”

(On how important endurance is with the emphasis to rush up field on every snap) – “I don’t think with me … When it comes to conditioning, that’s always been a good part about my game. I don’t get tired easily. With this group, with our d-line coaches, (Asst. Defensive Line Coach/Pass Rush Specialist Jim) Washburn and (Defensive Line) Coach T(errell Williams). We’re going to be in shape. That’s not even an excuse anymore.”

(On talent versus leadership) – “You have to have leadership because, at the end of the day, (a leader is) somebody that people are going to look on to lead them. There are plenty of players that are very, very talented, but just aren’t leaders. But they’re stars in this game. You can learn from them just by their (game) tape. But there are also students of the game and players that you just want to follow because they’ve been playing at a high level, so that is always a plus. For me, it’s stupid not to look at Cam (Wake) and Mario (Williams). They’ve been playing at a high level for a long time.”

(On playing with DE Cameron Wake, DE Mario Williams and DT Ndamukong Suh and how it improves his game) – “I learn things daily. I teach them some things, because they’ve been sticking with what they know. It works for them. Mario (Williams) has been in this league for 11 years so why switch it up? But at the same time, you learn things. If you’re a student and you want to be better then you learn from those guys.”

Adam Gase – May 26, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On what type of student QB Ryan Tannehill is) – “Very good. Very sharp. His intelligence is off the charts, which I feel like has been pretty well documented. He has done everything we’ve asked him to do. He spent a lot of time on things outside this building. It just shows in the way he’s able to call plays in the huddle and how aggressive he has been as far as learning the offense.”

(On how he can see QB Ryan Tannehill syncing with the offensive system) – “Anytime he starts getting certain plays and certain situations. We’re not really … In this offense, you’re not really locked in on what the play call is. For him to have the ability to know what to get to – that kind of flexibility – being able to do that as a quarterback is very valuable.”

(On the first three days of OTAs) – “(It was) probably a little sloppy, which is to be expected when you come off of Phase II. But (I) saw some improvement, especially in the second day. Today, we probably took a little bit of a step back. Guys looked a little sluggish – (a) little tired – but (it is) a little bit to be expected for the increase of intensity over the last two days. And then probably the body is not used to going through what they went through today.”

(On whether he was “getting after them” today) – “Our coaches do a good job of staying after our guys. Sometimes I like to see how we’re going to react as a group – who’s going to take control, who’s going to say what. I feel like our defense does a good job right now. You can see some of the veteran guys … We got a lot of veteran players – especially in that defensive line – that can grab ahold of what they’re doing. And if guys are a little bit out of line, they can say what they need to say to get them going.”

(On whether any players on the defensive line stood out to him in particular) – “No, not really. I think as a group, I can just tell that sometimes they’re a little bit … If things get out of disarray a little bit, they regroup really quick.

(On his confidence level that DE Cam Wake will be ready for training camp) – “Really high. He has been doing some things in the OTA practices that makes me feel like he’s right on track. It’s probably us holding him back more than him saying, ‘I can’t do something.’ I think we’re just being cautious and want to make sure that he’s as close to 100 percent as possible when we hit training camp.”

(On whether QB Ryan Tannehill being able to play “free” will help him acclimate to the offense) – “I think so. Anytime that you know that you’re responsible for what’s going on, that helps – really all players – they feel like it’s not the coaching staff’s (offense), it’s theirs. That’s what we’re looking for. We want those guys to understand that the ownership is on them. How far we can take this thing – our offense – it’s on them. It’s how much they can learn. It’s how much they can retain. And then when the bullets are flying, can they make the adjustments they need to make when a defense is doing something that, maybe, we haven’t quite seen.”

(On whether the rookies have stood out to him during OTAs) – “I think they’re trying to feel their way (around). It’s tough to really – after three days – to say someone has stood out.”

(On whether he has seen improvement from WR DeVante Parker) – “That’s hard to say. You’re talking about three (days of) OTAs. He’s doing a good job as far as knowing what to do. He’s battling (CB Byron) Maxwell a lot it seems like. He has had some snaps where he has won, and he has had some snaps where he has lost. He’s feeling his way through. When you’re learning a new offense and trying to get the details of the routes down and you’re being challenged by a guy that’s practicing really well right now, it can be a challenge for a young player.”

(On his expectations for DT Jordan Phillips’ second year) – “We’re looking for him to make a big step this year. We’re looking for him to (do) whatever he did last year (and) build off of that and improve. We’re looking for that from a lot of our guys. We have a young team. Whatever snaps they got last year, those were valuable, and they can’t let those go to waste. Now moving forward, they have to build on that and make sure that they’ve learned from last year and improve this year.”

(On what strengths DT Jordan Phillips brings to the table) – “I think for a man his size, he’s pretty quick. He’s powerful. Our biggest thing with him is being able to keep him on the field and get him going and be productive on a consistent basis. Every time – week in and week out – he becomes a guy that whoever’s in there with him, that group is disruptive.”

(On moving G/T Laremy Tunsil around on the offensive line) – “We’re moving a lot of guys around on that front, as far as the offensive line goes. We’re really just looking for movement skills. This is such a tough time for both the offensive line and the defensive line, because with no pads on, it almost feels a little unrealistic for them. Things are happening really fast. Defensive linemen can get through some of those creases a little quicker with no pads. (G/T Laremy Tunsil) and the rest of those guys have done a good job of understanding what we’re doing (and) what we’re trying to accomplish. I do feel like he’s getting a little better grasp of what we’re doing offensively. Every day is a learning experience for him. It’s brand new to him.”

(On what he has seen from CB Byron Maxwell) – “He has done a good job. He has challenged the wideouts. I know, offensively, he makes our guys better, because they know they’re going to get a tough matchup every time that they go out there. He hasn’t disappointed me one bit. He has been out there. He has challenged the ball. He has done a great job of getting his hands on balls, and it makes it tough on not only the receivers, but the quarterback, because that window is tight. When he’s covering a guy, it’s going to be a tight throw.”

(On how LB Kiko Alonso is moving on the practice field) – “He looks good to me. He seems like he’s around the ball a lot. I haven’t seen anything where I’m alarmed by (it). I feel like he’s really moving – especially side-to-side – and his change of direction has been really good.”

(On whether CB Byron Maxwell’s ability to takeoff has surprised the receivers) – “I don’t know if it has surprised them. I know for myself, I’m not surprised by it, because unfortunately I’ve probably been a part of throwing a lot of incompletions on him. He’s exactly what I’ve seen in the past. We’ve gone against him three or four times and he looks the same guy I’ve seen.”

(On his plans to revamp the offense) – “It’s hard for me to talk about what’s going on here in the past. I just know what we’re doing as far as our offensive strategy and our scheme. We’re putting those things in. The No. 1 thing we always like to do is make sure we put ourselves in third-and-manageable positions. That has always been something that has been friendly to the quarterback. It has been friendly to the entire team, because when you get those third-down conversions and they’re manageable, (it) keeps the defense off the field and (you) put yourself in good position as far as getting on the other side of the field, getting in the red zone and then taking those third-and-shorts and being able to score in the red zone as well.”

(On his relationship with QB Ryan Tannehill at this point and how often they meet) – “There is a time restriction. We’re only allowed to be (meeting), basically, when we have our meetings in the morning. Once practice is over, that’s it. It’s really on the players to make sure that they’re taking time outside of the building on their own to get either caught up or ahead of the game, which they’re able to do, because we do try to get a little bit ahead in our meetings and give them the information a couple days in advance so that they can mentally get ahead of it. As far as our meetings go, we meet a lot offensively together. And then when we break up to individual, between myself and (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) and (Quarterbacks Coach) Bo (Hardegree), we’re able to rotate who’s going where. We try to spread ourselves out, so we’re touching all of the position groups on offense.”

(On whether the installation of the offense is where he would like it to be at this point) – “We’re on the same schedule that we’ve been doing basically since 2013. Nothing is really different for us.”

(On the thought process that goes into shifting guys on the offensive line) – “Because when you go into a game and you have seven guys active, you better have a whole bunch of guys that know how to play a lot of different positions. If you’re going to do it, this is the time to do it. I know there will be a time when we’ll say, ‘Alright, here’s our starting five.’ And we have to make sure these guys are on the same page. But right now, it’s about getting all these guys work, experience, moving them around, getting them used to the cadences, play calls, changes, (running) game. There’s a lot of things going on, and you have to be flexible.”

(On DE Mario Williams being in the backfield a lot today) – “That’s how it has been his whole career, for the most part. It doesn’t surprise me.”

Mario Williams – May 25, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Defensive End Mario Williams

(On the process of learning Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph’s defense) – “It’s fairly easy, but it’s difficult. By that, I mean he’s really relying on the guys up front to turn it loose and get after it, which is what most of us (are) accustomed to doing. The difficult part is changing old habits in general, especially with the new acquisitions and stuff that we have. We’re players who have done different things in the past as far as schemes and stuff like that, but it’s exciting to cut it loose, turn loose.”

(On what the Dolphins want him to accomplish as a defensive lineman and how that is different from other teams he has played with) – “At the end of the day (with) whatever scheme that defensive coordinators have or whatnot, you have to take it and adjust to it and run with it. It could be anything. It varies not just (for) myself, but my teammates. They’ve been other places and experienced other things. I think the biggest focal point and (what is) exciting for us is knowing that (we can) cut it loose. It’s almost like saying, ‘Go! Every time, just go. We’re going to put you in the best position for you to get after it and everything else is going to trickle downhill from there.’ I think we take it on our shoulders as d-linemen and most of us are vets across the board. We’re going to go as far as the d-line goes on defense.”

(On whether the emphasis of getting after the quarterback has translated into the team adding more depth along the defensive line) – “I don’t know. I can’t really say that correlates, because I think we’re definitely focused and emphasizing being in tip-top shape come the season, for sure. But at the same time, yes, if you can get guys that are full go and have different repertoires – I guess (you) can say – as far as how they play and their playing style … (There are) power guys, agile guys, guys who move a lot as far as getting off the ball, getting up the field. It is a good thing to have guys you can roll in and mix it up a little bit, so the offense isn’t seeing the same thing. It keeps them on their heels a little bit.”

(On his motivation this season) – “I think the most motivation that I have – and that I want to show – is to this organization. Fans are everything, don’t get me wrong, but (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph) believes in me. I think the biggest thing is showing them that, ‘You’re right,’ and that I’m definitely going to do everything I can to impact (the defense). I believe in (Joseph’s) word and what he’s putting together as a defense for us to be able to cut it loose and play to our abilities.”

(On DE Cam Wake) – “Until now … Obviously, it’s not like (it was) a day-to-day basis (relationship), but I know him. I’ve spoken to him before in the past but being in two different regions, it was one thing. But being around him, he’s a great guy to be around. He’s 100 percent all the time (with) his work ethic (and) how he goes about his business walking down the hallway or in the meeting rooms or when we’re on the field. You can tell with years and experience, you can tell the guys who are students of the game and I feel that is him all the way.”

(On what it will be like to play with DE Cam Wake) – “I think it’s going to be great. His ability and over the years with his career, he’s definitely caused a lot of havoc. I think being able to play alongside of him, it’s going to make it, I guess you could say a little bit easier. This is the NFL, but it’s going to make it a little bit easier for the guys across the front, the guys in the back end (and) the whole defense.”

(On whether he still has everything in his arsenal to be a big-time pass rusher) – “I think first and foremost, at the end of the day you have to believe in yourself and believe in your ability. It’s not about saying you’re over-confident or anything like that. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, then you’re not going to be good at it at all. And by all means, I know that with what we have surrounding (the) defense and what the coaching staff is implementing, it gives (you) the opportunity to go out and show that (and) show what you believe is reality. I look forward to it.”

(On whether he is put in a better position in this defense compared to last season) – “The only thing I can really say – looking forward and everything – is that this defense that (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph) is putting in is definitely (an) attitude defense. With the guys that we have – and like I said, it starts up front – it’s going to be highly weighted to our attitude, and cutting it loose is definitely going to be a part of it. I’m just fortunate to have the opportunity to do it, even at this age. It’s not something (where) you’re trying to do other things schematically and things that you’ve made a name on … Doing that and (having) an opportunity to do it is very fortunate.”

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