Coach Philbin: Our Young Receivers Have Flashed Playmaking Ability At Times

Posted Jul 29, 2013

Head Coach Joe Philbin meets with reporters to answer questions about the team's young receivers that are competing for roster spots during training camp. Also, watch as Philbin comments on Dion Jordan and Lamar Miller as well as stating his goal for the team's turnover margin in 2013.

(Opening Statement) – “We talked as a team this morning, obviously, about the scrimmage, what we are looking to get out of it. First and foremost, we want to provide the opportunity for each one of these players who have worked extremely hard, give them an opportunity to compete for a position on the squad. So we are going to get a look at everybody in a variety of different roles, a variety of situations from a football standpoint. We are looking for our coaching staff to kind of step back. We will have a game-like format in terms of our pregame, in terms of our coaches in the coach’s box and how we will operate that Sunday in Canton. (We) are looking for guys who can communicate. Part of the thing we are looking for is who can communicate on the field, collectively without the coaching staff making calls and adjustments that sometimes happens at practice. I know our players are excited about it, and I know as an organization we are excited about going over to Sun Life Stadium. I’m sure our fans are excited as well.”

(On what he has seen from Dion Sims at his first week of practice) – “I think considering everything, you know the demands of that position are extensive in terms of blocking, both run and pass, route running. I think he’s handled those things well, and I’m excited to see him play tonight.”

(On Reshad Jones becoming a special player) –“You are always looking for players to develop. He had a good year last year, good production, and we are looking for him to take another step forward in his development. It’s all about individuals reaching their full potential, and this season, tonight, is important for him as will be the rest of training camp and the season beyond. I think he has good upside.”

(On what he sees from Lamar Miller) –“He has good instincts as a runner I think, number one. He has very good athletic ability. He’s got really good speed. He can pass protect. We feel like he has an ability to pass protect. It took him a little while to get the responsibilities down, get his adjustments down, last year. I think at the end of the year he was very sound in his pass protection. We think he has good hands, and he can catch the football. He has the skillset that you are looking for. Now we’ve got to see how he performs when he gets more carries in a game than, as we mentioned, then he’s used to.”

(On emphasis of having Dion Jordan shadow an All-Pro defensive end like Cam Wake) – “Well, he’s playing both sides. He is learning the defensive end position right now in base packages and in sub packages. Obviously, the best teachers we have on the team are the example the players set. I can sit up here and talk all day long about how we want our defensive ends to play. Kacy Rodgers can be in the classroom and do the same thing, which he will. He’ll do a great job of that, but the best example is players doing it on tape. What does your film say on tape? It’s great to have good role models who practice hard and perform well.”

(On the emphasis of putting a rookie like Dion Jordan next to Cam Wake in the locker room) – “Cam is a professional. We made a point in our exit meeting from the mandatory minicamps. We showed some clips of practice of all of our players doing some things well. One illustration we showed was Cam Wake in a quote, it wasn’t a meaningless rep, but a rep in June really busting his tail in a blitz period giving everything he had. You saw great get-off, great speed, great move to the quarterback. Those examples are really priceless of a guy that does the things (that) prepares himself physically, prepares himself mentally and then goes out and performs well. Again, that’s a great role model to have.”

(On what he sees from the younger wide receivers, such as Jasper Collins, Marvin McNutt, Jeff Fuller, Chad Bumphis, trying to make the team) – “I think all of those guys have flashed playmaking ability at times. Those three guys that you mentioned first are a little different from a size perspective. We like the size of those guys. They are bigger receiver types. They have good length. They get down the field. They have good speed and playmaking ability. Bumphis is really coming along a little bit. He is kind of a craftier receiver, not as big as those other guys but he has found a way to get open versus various coverages, and he’s caught the ball better. Junior (Jasper) Collins is a young guy we think has similar skills, more probably like a Chad than those other guys. He’s quick, he understands coverages. He has good hands and catches the ball with his hands. I think it is a good crop of young guys I think we need to get further evaluation on.”

(On the wide receiver depth and if it is a concern) – “As I said before, we are always looking to improve whether within or from with-out. So this is an important training camp. Some of the guys (mentioned earlier), those are the guys who need to step up their level of performance (and) level of consistency. We are going to provide them a bunch of opportunities to do that. We are not afraid, as an organization, to do whatever we have to do to improve the ball-club at any position.”

(On defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle preaching turnovers and the need to create more this season) – “If you ask me why we were 7-9 last year, I would say minus 10. That’s the starting point. That’s the starting point of everything. It’s the starting point of our offense, and it’s the starting point of our defense. I would say it is very, very important.”

(On if he has noticed a difference since the league-mandated cutback from two-a-days three years ago) – “I think what happens is it is more toward the end. We don’t really kill this guys in terms of requirement of time in pads, but I do think toward the end of a season I think it is natural. You don’t want to put too much emphasis of time on the practice field. You look to cut corners a little bit, and the first thing that usually goes in the individual period where it is fundamentals and so forth. We’ve got to be careful as a staff, we have to do a good job not to do that, because you always have to worry about Kevin (Coyle) wants to see, “I’ve got to see this blitz in two-on-two and against empty,” and Mike (Sherman) wants to see it against this front and this coverage. So we are always battling. They want more time, yet they don’t want the players out on the field. They want to have their cake and eat it. That’s part of my job figuring out how much time you want to be out there on the field, what’s the best use of our time, not wear the players out but get the fundamentals corrected that are so, so vital to the program.”

(On where he learned about managing players cautiously with practice as the season progresses) –“I tell the players all the time, we do our best. I try to put myself in their shoes, if I can in terms of what makes sense of the requirements we are asking with the restrictions we have and the limitations that all 32 teams have. What makes sense for us in Miami, where we are, in how we practice…again, we aren’t perfect, but we will make adjustments as we made a little one today. We kind of give it thought and try to do the best we can.”

(On if there is an ideal turnover margin number he is aiming for this season) – “Let’s flip it (the minus 10 turnover margin from last season) for one year. There is no specific number, but you want to be at least plus-one in every game. That means plus 16, I thinks that’s a great starting point to be. If you can win the turnover battle in every game, you’ve got a great chance of winning football games in this league.”

(On having quarterback Pat Devlin taking snaps with the second-team unit and if it is a move to get him experience with the veterans) –“Absolutely. aYou’ve got it right, the nail on the head.”

(On what it means to him to see Dion Jordan excited while practicing with special teams) – “Football is important to him. He’s a team player. You are going to have 162 snaps, roughly, in a NFL game. Every single one of them is important to us. We spend time on every single one. We prepare our players the best we possibly can for each snap. We want guys who want to bust their tail every single snap.”
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