Coach Philbin: I Like The Character Of This Football Team

Posted Jun 13, 2013

Head Coach Joe Philbin meets with the South Florida media following the conclusion of the squad's 2013 Mini Camp and touches on a number of subjects including Lamar Miller, Dion Jordan and other members of the 2013 roster.

(On whether he brought his practice structure with him from Green Bay or he started it here) – “We just have a checklist of situations that we want to cover, so it’s just like you said. When we started the minicamp on Tuesday, in the first team meeting on Tuesday we talked about what we wanted to get accomplished. The first thing is we wanted to build off the schematic things that we had done leading up to this point in time. The second thing was, since we weren’t adding a lot of new things we wanted our players to play faster, and the third thing was we wanted to expose them to as many game-like situations as possible.”

(On the end of the scrimmage being a wide open competition) – “I told the team at the end, as you just mentioned we scripted 90-95 percent of it, but the end we couldn’t have scripted it better ourselves if we had planned it. Obviously we had planned the score to be a certain situation and the time to be a certain situation, but it was excellent. There were a lot of good things on both sides and we practice a situation where in a two-point play with the game on the line the defense takes a look at the formation and calls a timeout. We got that accomplished, so I thought it was an excellent practice for the last mandatory minicamp. Having said that, I haven’t watched one lick of tape on it, but I thought it was good.”

(On what he has seen from Tyson Clabo thus far and what he expects going forward) – “He is very resourceful; he is very efficient as a football player. He is instinctive, he is knowledgeable and he knows what works for him. He has been in the league long enough to know what style of play works for him. I think he is an excellent locker room guy, and he likes football. I think he is passionate about his teammates and about the game, so I like what I see from him.”

(On his message to the team the last time before training camp) – “We’re going to have a meeting later, so it was quick. Basically what I told them is just, hey we all know sometimes the last practice of the offseason program is a semi-pulling teeth exercise, and I thought the guys really responded and competed well.”

(On whether he has a message for the team for the next month) – “Obviously we are going to talk about a) we are going to review what we accomplished during the offseason program, and then we are going to talk about the responsibility and accountability of being a Miami Dolphin 365 days a year. That’s basically the message.”

(On whether everybody got the desired number of snap counts during the offseason program) – “It’s hard to say right now how much we monitor that. We meet as a staff on a daily basis. I think guys got a lot of exposure to the system. The big thing we wanted to see is kind of two-fold. You know get our systems taught, some of the new ideas that we liked, and test some of those out to see if they are worthy to carry into the season. I think we accomplished that, and then look at some different guys in some different situations. That’s what today was. I just went to the depth chart and I had an aqua and I had a white. I didn’t want guys that had been working together to be in the same group. I wanted to kind of put everybody in a pot and stir it up, and then get the coaches out of the way and let them play football.”

(On whether Jorvorksie Lane received snaps at practice today) – “I’d have to go back. Like I said, we didn’t sit down and say I want Jorvorksie to get eight snaps or 15 snaps for that matter. And as you know, we are not a ton of two-back formation all the time, so if that’s the case he is not going to get a lot of work.”

(On what kind of growth he has seen from Olivier Vernon this offseason) – “I think a little more natural fit in the scheme…a little better understanding. We’ve been moving the line a little bit more than we have in the past as an experiment and I think he’s caught on to okay, where is my gap. Do I have to go down to the B gap or go all the way down to the A gap, and the corresponding technique that goes with those things. I think his pass responsibilities in the system that he has to use, I think he is better at. I think he is just a little more comfortable, a little more confident. He is playing a little faster.”

(On how Vernon’s versatility affects his playing style) – “Well you’ve seen him. The good thing about him is he can put his hand on the ground and he can function. You can put him in a two-point stance and he can function and then as he grows as a player you can maybe move him around to a couple different spots and that creates what we call targeting issues for the offense and identification issues. So, I like what we see from him, no question.”

(On the areas where the team improved) – “I think our two-minute is better. I think our pressure package is better on defense. I do think we are throwing the ball a little better vertically down the field. We didn’t always convert, we didn’t always catch every single one, but I think we are putting the ball in a better spot I believe.”

(On the areas the team needs to improve) – “Everything. Just overall execution. Again, it’s hard to get a tremendous feel for where you are in the running game on either side of the ball. So I think that is something that we need to pay close attention to when it gets closer to camp.”

(On his impressions of Lamar Miller) – “He is very smart. I think he has really progressed from a mental standpoint as a professional in his second season. He has very good hands. We like a lot of the things he is doing in pass protection. Again, we have to temper our enthusiasm based on how he does in pads, but I think is understanding of how he fits in the protection scheme is very good. We use that term, ‘closing the distance.’ He has done an excellent job in that regard in the spring, so we’ll have to see how that carries over to the fall.”

(On how ready he is for the break) – “I’m certainly ready for it, but I love coming to work. Practicing football is fun. It was a long time before these guys showed up. Getting on the field is fun and as I told the guys the ending to today’s practice couldn’t have been better or more competitive. Watching guys develop and improve, that’s why you get in the business. I’m anxious to get away a little bit, but I’ll also be looking forward to coming back.”

(On his thoughts of Evan Rodriguez) – “Well you hope he is an intelligent guy. Obviously it is a little too early to tell, but he moves well. The athleticism that we thought we saw in college and we thought we saw with Chicago, you can see that in the brief period of time he has been here. What we have to do is get him to the point where he knows what he is doing so we can fully evaluate how quick he is, how athletic he is and howreactive he is as a football player.”

(On what Phillip Wheeler has shown him so far) – “All the play speed things that we saw on tape are evident. Pursuit to the football is excellent. He is very decisive. I think he has anopportunity to be a pressure player. I think he is a good blitzer. He likes to play the game; you can tell that on film.

(On whether he thinks the players got off a little easy because the weather forced practice into the Bubble) – “Probably so. I mean it’s hard to predict. If you went by our predictions as to whether we would be inside or outside, I hope we fair better. We weren’t too sure what things would happen with the weather. There’s no question it is going to be hotter. It’s something that we’re cognoscente of as a staff and we’ve got to do a better job of keeping the players hydrated, they’ve got to do a good job of that, and we’ve got to do a better job with the practice schedule.”

(On whether he has a vacation planned) – “Nothing special. I’m just going to spend time with my family.”

(On the purpose of the rule that prevents Dion Jordan from attending practices) – “Hopefully it’s for guys to graduate college. Again, I wasn’t part of any of them, and nobody has asked my opinion on them, but I hope it’s because we want young men to get their education. That would be great. And everybody abides by the rule, so I am fine with it. At the end of the day, we plan on having that player for a long time, and we’ll get through that.”

(On Nolan Carroll’s role in the defense) – “I think he has been very, very good. He is a competitor. He played a lot of football for us last here, and I expect he is going to play a lot of football for us this year. I’m looking forward to the same type of attitude. I see him in the building, he likes coming in the building, he likes going out on the field, and so this guy is a competitor. He is smart, he is tough, so it will be fun watching him during camp.”

(On whether he sees the team progressing in his likeness) – “As of right now, yeah. I like the character of the men that we have on the football team. We’ve got a ton of work to do, but I think we have good men. When you have men who care about that, that’s a good place to start. But we have a lot of areas, virtually every area, that we need a lot of improvement in, and I’m confident that they will come back ready to go on July 20th.”

(On whether he likes the skill set of the team) – “We’ve got some good athletes, no question.”
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