Coach Philbin: All Three Phases Contributed To The Win

Posted Nov 18, 2013

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin answers questions from reporters about the state of the team on the day after the Dolphins' 20-16 win over San Diego. Hear Philbin's comments on how the offensive line stepped up on Sunday to overcome several shakeups inside of the unit in recent weeks.

(Opening statement) – “Like I said last night, all three phases contributed to the win yesterday. We have a very good Carolina team coming in here. They are playing a game tonight. We need to have a great week of preparation.”

(On if the investigators talking to every player would be disruptive) - “Again, they are in charge of the review process. I believe they have released a statement. As we said from day one, we are going to fully corporate. I’m going to let the statement they release stand by, and I’m here to talk about obviously football.”

(On what the mood of the locker room today) - “Well the players, they are here to lift. We have no meetings today. They are going to lift in three different kinds of groups. I’ve been watching the tape and have been in coaches’ meetings.”

(On if it will be a strange week logistically) – “We are sticking to the schedule. We’ll be fine.”

(On his advice to players and coaches to handle this week) - “Again, I’m here to talk about football. We know the review is here. They’ve released a statement. Until the thing is complete, take a look at that statement. That’s what we are going to be talking about for the week.”

(On if practice schedule is altered with Carolina playing tonight) – “We are going to practice tomorrow and have Thursday off just like you mentioned. With nine games in, there is a bunch of film we already have. Certainly there will be some wrinkles and things we may have to tweak a bit once we study the tape.”

(On evaluation of offensive line with different personnel playing yesterday) – “I thought they hung in there. I thought they competed hard. There is still work to be done, a lot of improvement we can still make. But I thought the effort was good. I thought they communicated pretty well for the most part. We didn’t have a lot of mental mistakes and mental errors. I thought it was good.”

(On if he has glanced at the standings) - “I haven’t had a chance.”

(On what he thinks of the team’s playoff chances) - “We are really focused on (Carolina). I think I told the team in the locker room this might be as hot of a football team there is in the league coming in here based on what happens tonight. They didn’t get off to a great start, but they’ve been playing extremely well. We’ve got to take care of business. We got a very good team. We are playing at home, so we are going to be focused on that.”

(On what it is like late in the season being in the playoff hunt compared to being on a team that is not) - “Like you mentioned, it is most important to remember that you are professional. When the schedule comes out, you know you have 16 regular season opportunities to go out there and perform at a high level. As a player and a coach, I think you have an obligation to the organization; you have an obligation to one another that you perform whatever duties, whatever roles, whatever your task is you perform to the best of your capabilities. The great organizations, the great teams, the great professionals, they do that regardless of the circumstances.”

(On if there is a little more spring in the step when the team is in a playoff spot) - “I think it’s all based on the individual. Everybody is different.”

(On if Mike Pouncey is back with the team) – “As I said, the players will be in the building today at three different times, so we’ll see.”

(On starting Sam Brenner instead of Dallas Thomas, Danny Watkins or other offensive linemen) - “We’ve been keeping our eyes on Sam (Brenner) for a long time. Dallas Thomas gets most of his work as an offensive tackle. That’s where a vast majority of his practice reps go. Brenner gets the vast majority of his at guard, and he’s been progressing very well. As you mentioned, the only real other factor we felt like that would give us the best chance to win. There’s really nothing more than that.”

(On if Nate Garner had gotten any reps at center last week before Mike Pouncey’s illness) – “(Nate Garner) gets reps all the time at center. That’s not a new thing, so he has to prep all the time at center. In my time here, he’s played a game and played well at tackle, he’s played a game and played well at guard, and he’s played a game and played well at center. We are very fortunate to have a guy like Nate Garner.”

(On what he learned about his team yesterday) - “I told them the same thing that I told them after the Tampa Bay game last week. I think I’ve said to you guys, you either believe in each other and believe and have confidence in one another or you don’t. The NFL is such that you can’t fluctuate week-to-week based on outcomes all the time. That’s an up-and-down road. Yeah, I felt confident this was the type of game it was going to be. I think I said to you guys early last week that if the Chargers play kind of like they had been playing and if we played kind of like we had been playing it will probably go down to the fourth quarter and who makes more plays and it will be a tight game. We watched the film. I thought the effort by our players was good. I thought they hustled and gave good effort. We still have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of things we have to do better. But I’m not surprised they came out and played hard.”

(On what did the tape show on the rushing defense particularly on the long run) - “We kind of over-pursued on one hand and over-pursued on the other. They did a good job blocking at the point of attack. We actually had a blitz called into that particular formation they had. The (running) back hit the crease right at the perfect spot. It was a nice run. It was well-executed by them. We clearly have to do a better job. We have to get off blocks. Our pursuit angles weren’t very good, and that’s why we had a 51-yard (run).”

(On how did Nate Garner stack up compared to the normal performance from the center position) - “He played well. He did a good job. The big thing we want from our centers is the communication phase, let’s get the scheme set whether it is run or pass, what guard am I working with, which way we are sliding, those types of things. I thought he was point on. He was very poised. He was good on the sidelines with the guys. I thought he did a good job.”

(On if Charles Clay performance has exceeded his expectations) - “Like I said, he’s a guy that has been working hard since day one of training camp. It’s always good. You always would like to see players working hard and getting rewarded with performing well on the field. I don’t have it in front of me, but he took an eight-yard pass and turned it into a 39-yard pass. Those help, those make things a little bit easier in a game when you can get players to step up and make those types of plays. It’s always beneficial.”

(On if fourth quarter is as simple as making plays or not making plays) - “It seems to be. As you watch the film, again I don’t know if I shared this with you last week or not but we’ve been in more four (points) or less games than just about anybody in football since the beginning of last year. Why we end up in that spot you could debate, ‘We didn’t execute particularly well in this quarter or that quarter,’ or our opponent could say the same thing. The facts of the matter are we are in a bunch of close games. Every snap is important. Every possession is important. Minimizing mistakes is important. Playing penalty free is important. You just look at the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay. We get an unnecessary roughness call. We field a punt on the 5-yard line. Those things come back to haunt you in the fourth quarter. Certainly we weren’t perfect last night in the fourth quarter, but we made a couple of plays.”

(On if he has noticed Tyson Clabo playing better the past three weeks) - “He’s doing well. The matchups have been good. His pass sets have been better I think. The guy is a pro. He’s been at it a long time. He’s not going to radically change his fundamentals or techniques at this stage of his career, but I think he’s been a little more detailed in his preparation and it’s paid off on the field.”
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