Coach Philbin: I Thought We Had Another Good Practice Today

Posted Jul 22, 2013

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin meets with reporters to discuss his objectives as he evaluates the team's 90 man roster during the first week of training camp. Make sure to watch for Philbin's comments on Brent Grimes, Brandon Gibson, Michael Egnew and others.

(Opening statement) – “I thought we had another good practice today. We added 2nd-and-long today. Yesterday we did normal down and distance. I thought our defense in practice has been doing a better job attacking the football in an effort to create turnovers. I thought overall it was a good job. I thought Matt Moore threw the ball well. I was with him a lot on the other side of the field. I think he is having a very good camp. He threw the ball well yesterday. He threw the ball well again today. It was a good practice.

(On what Brent Grimes has brought to the defense so far at practice) – “He’s very competitive. He is very quick. He has good understanding of the scheme. He’s been around for a while, so route concepts aren’t awful new to him. He’s decisive; he’s very decisive on the football field. Play speed is really what we like.”

(On Brandon Gibson playing inside receiver and the skillset required to move from outside to inside receiver) – “I think the number one job of the wide receiver is to create separation and space and get open. Whether you are doing it outside or inside, it doesn’t necessarily matter. You probably don’t quite see as much press inside I would say as a general rule, but that’s not always the case. I like the way he enters routes. When you have a guy inside in the slot, a lot of times we want him to attack the middle of the field. He has a good savvy…We talk about the route entry, and I was telling him when I commented to him in practice. I saw one of them. He has some very good instincts in route running.”

(On if tight end is an open competition) –“Absolutely it’s an open competition. Dion Sims caught about three or four passes over at the field I was at and at one or two periods. He looked like he had a very good day. We are getting guys looking at a lot of different combinations at this point in time, and it’s wide open.”

(On watching more of the younger players instead of the veteran starters) – “I know some of the guys on the other field a little better. I’ve been around not every single one of them, but a lot of them around a lot of them before. I have a better sense of how they respond in critical situations. I’ve watched them on tape a lot more. These other guys, not every single one again, but a lot of them I don’t have quite that feel for. I want to have a sense of what their tempo is, what their attitude is and their demeanor is when they are practicing.”

(On Lamar Miller’s improvement) – “(He) is very, very fundamentally sound. He is a guy where we talk to our team about ball security, (it’s) the first thing we did in the first meeting with the football team. There were a lot of good clips we showed the ball club yesterday of him in practice executing the fundamental of where we want to. I think his knowledge of the system has definitely increased. He appears to be a lot more comfortable in what he is doing. He doesn’t appear to be much indecision in his play. He’s doing a nice job.”

(On having a lot of second year players and the significant difference between their first and second year) – “I think it is play speed and decisiveness, as I mentioned with Ryan Tannehill yesterday. Now each player varies how much they may have played last year. Regardless, having that full cycle as an NFL player, having a full offseason program, a chance to watch cutups of the previous season when you may have been in there, you may not have but you may have been in the game plan meetings. I think they have a much better understanding and comfort level with the system that should allow them to get out here and compete faster and harder.

(On emphasizing fast start at practice) – “Once we get through most of the teaching phase, and I would say until that scrimmage night that we have, we are still in a real heavy teaching mode right now. Once we get done with that, we are going to institute some drills. We are going to start to practice, maybe. This is the opening possession of the game. We will set up the ball at a certain spot maybe at a difficult spot for the offense. Let’s say we had a kickoff return, and we had a penalty and we are starting on the 15. We will crank the crowd noise up and play a possession or two there. There are a number of scenarios at the end of the game to do a better job of, and we will kind of insert them into practice at different times just to create different tempo. As we know training camp at times can get tedious for the players, so we want to keep them off balance. Those are a couple of things we have tangibly that we can do here on the practice field that should give us a chance to translate that in the regular season.”

(On having flexibility on the defensive line) – “A lot (of flexibility). In practice so far we’ve been looking at a number of different combinations. We had Vaughn Martin out, so we’ve had him outside a little bit. We’ll move him inside a little bit. Jared Odrick, we’ll get him outside some as well to get him some looks there. As you know, and the big thing that will help is when we decide the 46 players that we are going to dress for the game and how they may contribute in different ways. If we have a one-hole player that doesn’t have a lot of flexibility, that puts you in a tougher position. The more jobs that they can master, the more valuable they become to us, no question. ”

(On how league mandated practice reductions and how difficult it has made it for coaches to evaluate players) – “It’s a little more difficult, but I don’t think it’s a lot more difficult. I think I coached in the league for nine years under one system, maybe eight, and this is my third year in a different system, if I have my years right. It’s not a whole lot different because of the cutbacks.”

(On if he favors players working out on their own with the league mandated cutbacks in practice) – “I don’t think that’s bad. I think it can help. With young players, though, I think I would rather have them in the building and let the coaches make sure we get all of the instruction right and correct before they just go out there and start learning on their own.”

(On the big-picture benefits on a one play, 80 yard drive) – “You get seven points awful quick, and your offense isn’t tired. I haven’t thought about that, to be honest with you.”

(On if the one play, 80 yard drive is something he likes very much) – “Sure, we’ll take them.”

(On what kind of improvements he would like to see from Michael Egnew) – “Consistency. He made a nice catch down the middle. He was on the other field for a vast majority, but I popped over there during scouting. He made a very nice catch down the middle of the field. I think he actually made two, and then he made another one. So consistency. We’ve seen a lot of flashes. We’ve seen him do a number of good things. In the passing game, we need to see a lot of consistency there, running game, just overall play. That’s a versatile position too in this offense. You have to do a lot of different thing. Run block, pass block, get open, create separation, catch the ball.”
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