Coach Philbin: Our Guys Made Plays To Win The Game

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Head Coach Joe Philbin speaks with reporters to give his thoughts on Sunday's big win over the Patriots after reviewing the game film of the contest.

“I thought our team made some plays in the fourth quarter. It was a tough, competitive football game. New England is an excellent football team as we all know, and they are very well coached. I thought our guys made the plays we had to win the game.”

(On relationship with Pat Riley) - “I’m only really met him one time and visited with him one time. He’s very, very classy individual. Obviously he’s accomplished a tremendous amount in sports. He’s very, very impressive to meet and speak to. I wish him well this season.”

(On the play of the secondary during the last couple of drives with two starters injured) - “Yeah as I said yesterday you have 46 guys and that’s what you have to go into a game with. Before the game to the best of your ability you carve out a role for each player and how they are going to contribute in a game. Things changed, so that was kind of where we were at the end of the ballgame, guys playing new positions and a new guy playing. Certainly they weren’t flawless or perfect. There is a lot of room for improvement, but I thought they stepped in, contributed and it wasn’t too big for them. We were able to function. As I’ve said before, you can’t have five different game plans, if this guy and that guy is in. We can’t tie the coordinators hands like that. For the most part, Kevin (Coyle) was able to call the things we needed to, and those guys executed.”

(On if it is normal for the coaches to put extra work in with a player like the secondary coaches did with Michael Thomas this past week) - “I don’t know how typical that is, but it happens. It’s certainly probably not the first time it has happened or the last, but again I thought our staff did a good job. We’ve got a guy coming off the plane, and you get him acclimated to the system as quickly as you possibly can. Let’s face it, (Michael Thomas) is a bright young man. He’s eager. I think like most of us if you are going to work for a new employer you want to make a good impression. He was a willing learner, and things worked out.”

(On if contribution at multiple positions a sign of good fortune or wisdom that the team has selected the right players) – “I think everything. I don’t think anything is in isolation. It’s a good group of players. I think our staff has done a good job adjusting on the run. It’s part of coaching in the National Football League. It’s part of the personnel department of the National Football League. Things aren’t static. It’s not like on September 3rd you have your roster and it’s never changing. Coaches, personnel people, everybody has to adjust and work through the course of the season. I don’t think it’s one thing. I think it speaks to everything.”

(On what did the tape show on the fourth down interception and if he jumped into his pool) – “We had pretty good coverage. Mike Thomas stepped in front of the ball and made a nice play on the ball. I walked into the pool. I wouldn’t say I jumped into the pool. But I was in the pool, yes (laughing).”

(On if he cannonballed into the pool) - “No, there was no cannonball (laughing).”

(On if the botched field goal was a fake call) – “We got set, and the ball got snapped too early. Brandon (Fields) wasn’t even looking, as you watched things. Beyond that, I’m not really going to comment. We’ve got to execute better. That could have come back to really haunt us.”

(On the process of how the team came across Michael Thomas before claiming him) – “The personnel staff, I have to give credit to those guys. Again we always work together. It’s just not one. It’s one team, and we’ve got to work together from both a personnel and coaching side. This was a prospect they had identified that they felt could contribute to the team. Certainly our guys looked at him and felt like it was in our best interest to do it.”

(On decision to go for it on 4th down late in the fourth quarter) – “We knew we had to score points against these guys. We felt like, I believe it was a 3rd-and-16. I wasn’t really prepared to go for it on 4th-and-15. But when it got to a manageable situation, I want to say it was a three point game, right? So we felt like, ‘Look, if we don’t make it, we have to hold them to a field goal knowing they were going to get good field position. Not that we couldn’t get a takeaway or something else, but at worse we could hold them to a field goal and have an opportunity. So really it came down to that. If it was 4th-and-16, we probably would have to punt, use our timeouts and that type of thing.”

(On if it was an easy decision to go for it on 4th down late) – “I was talking to Mike (Sherman) and said, ‘Look, if we cut it in half or we get it into manageable, get our call ready and let’s get going’.”

(On taking timeouts on the final defensive possession) – “A couple of things, we watched the Cleveland game (from) last week. New England sometimes, I know it sounds a little crazy, but sometimes it’s not bad to take a timeout on defense against a team like that that gets in such a rhythm offensively. That was part of it. Part of it was I want to say one was on a fourth down. They might have both been, I don’t have my stuff in front of me. One was on a fourth down play, I’m pretty sure. So often times we’ve done it in the past where we maybe want to take a look at it formationally how they line up and then get off to the side. The third thing was, as you guys have mentioned, we had a lot of young guys in there. I think it would be helpful for them to get a sense, even though those timeouts are brief, ‘Hey, here’s the call. If they do this, they make this check. If they do that, they do that,’ those type of things. I think all of those things we took into consideration.”

(On if there is a concern about secondary depth being exposed with possible injuries) – “Again, it’s early in the week. We’ll see how things go. Again, I thought those guys stepped up and played well. They weren’t perfect, but they were completing some passes before that as well. Again, their quarterback played very well. We’ll just have to take it day-by-day.”

(On why Jamar Taylor was not active yesterday) – “We always make decisions on the 46 guys we think are going to give us the best chance to win.”

(On how he likes the phrase control your own destiny regarding the playoff race) – “I’m not sure I know what context you are referring to.”

(On controlling own destiny in winning out would put the team in the playoffs) – “We’re focused on the Buffalo Bills. We’ve already talked about it. We’ve talk to the team. This is a good football team. All we have to do is throw on the tape of our last game against them. We are going to have to improve and play better.”

(On an update on Richie Incognito’s status) – “I have no comment on that at this time, and I’ll be glad to answer any questions in relation to the Bills.”

(On the play of Rishard Matthews yesterday) – “He made some big catches and had a big one too in the first half when he got out-of-bounds and saved some time. He made a nice contribution. I thought his route-running was good. He really reached out and really plucked that one you are talking about in the first half. In the second half he did a nice job in a similar concept of a route, keeping his feet in-bounds and those types of things. I thought he did a good job.”

(On if that was Ryan Tannehill’s best game from start to finish) – “I haven’t really sat back and done comparisons. We watched it as a staff this morning, I thought our protection, I know we gave up too many sacks, but I thought the pocket was very, very good. I thought he was able to set his feet for the vast majority of the time and follow through. I thought the offensive line, in that area, did a really, really nice job. Obviously we can’t get sacked four times in a game. I’m not dismissing that. I thought he played well. I thought he played a good game. I really haven’t had time to reflect on a comparative.”

(On the evolution of Ryan Tannehill in recent weeks) – “He’s played well. I mean again, he’s one person on an 11-man unit, but I think he’s making good decisions. Usually when you make good decisions, that’s the number one criteria at that position. I thought he threw the ball accurately yesterday. That’s another real, real important (criteria). You guys know how I feel about quarterback play. The third thing was he made some plays. You have to make plays in this league, and he did. I think he is playing well.”

(On if Ryan Tannehill has improved a lot from a month ago) – “He’s playing well. I don’t necessarily have the benefit of the time to sit around to compare to a month-and-a-half ago. I like the way he’s been playing the game. I like the way his play speed is at this point in time. We are going to need to continue to have that and more.”
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins