Coach Philbin Press Conference And Transcript, 10/15

Posted Oct 15, 2012

Coach Philbin addresses the South Florida media.

(On what he wanted the team to take into the bye week following yesterday’s game) – “I think we’ve played better. I think that’s what the film tells you. There were some good efforts. There were some good plays. We obviously won a football game. We’re in a results driven business. We all know that. I’m not naïve to that fact. However, the film tells you we’ve played better. We’ve got to play better.”

(On if he hammers the negatives more than the positives with the bye week coming up) – “Not really. I think you’ve just got to be honest. We’re going to go into a team meeting here in 10 minutes and we usually show the entire team three really good plays from each unit of play and three plays that need correction. And we’re going to do that again today. We’re just going to be honest and realistic about, I’m not that smart where I can play mind games. We’re just going to show them what was real in the game.”

(On if the team’s struggles on the ground were a matter of blocking, execution or slamming the blocks) – “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. All of it, really. I’m not trying to be smart. Yeah, part of it, credit St. Louis. They had a very good game plan. They executed their plan well. We knew it was going to be tough sledding. We didn’t have a huge plan. We tried to shrink it down because we wanted to take advantage, they had some multiple looks and they have a good package and they play well. We thought we had a good plan going in. Obviously, we need to take a look at how we prepared the players for that, but, yeah, there was some execution issues. It’s got to be better.”

(On the adjustments in the second half with the short passes) – “Yeah, I thought Mike (Sherman) and the staff did a good job at halftime and got the players re-focused. (They) put together a good opening drive in the second half, obviously. The return by Marcus (Thigpen) was, kind of gave us a little bit of juice. We obviously came on. We lacked rhythm and consistency on offense. There’s no doubt about it.”

(On the difference in the way the team is finishing games) – “Hopefully, the chemistry is a little better, the resolve is a little stronger, the urgency to make a play is there. I think that’s hopefully what it is. I think it’s hard to put a tangible, ‘Hey, we did this differently.’ Our practice format hasn’t changed a whole lot. I think our guys, maybe, hopefully, have just watched the tape, learned from some of the prior mistakes and made some adjustments from there.”

(On allowing four 300-yard passers this year) – “We gave up some big plays, a 65-yard play, I think or something like that in the passing game. That’s not a good recipe there and we’ve got to do a better job. I think he completed about 67 percent of his passes, if I’m not mistaken and they had a lot of production. Let’s face it, they ran the ball well, especially in the first half and they got themselves in some good situations – it’s second-and-five, it’s second-and-four. That puts Kevin (Coyle) in a tough spot. It’s hard that you kind of have the upper hand a little bit on offense. Conversely, we didn’t have a lot of that. The first half, I think we had five offensive penalties or four and we had a couple negative plays, a couple sacks. We were struggling. Second-and-17 and that’s hard to function well.”

(On the running game struggling not just yesterday, but the past few weeks and if teams are stacking the box more) – “Correct. A little bit. A little bit, yeah. There’s some extra guys down. There’s been some line moves. There’s been some blitzes. Again, I give credit to our opponents. They’ve done a good job scheming our run game, but we have to find a way to get more consistency in the run game. We hit the one early run out of two-back. I think we had a nine-yard run or something, but we went back to it, but they played it better the next time. We clearly have to do a better job there.”

(On how he decided to choose Chris Clemons to handle the fake punt) – “(Special teams coordinator) Darren (Rizzi) and (assistant special teams coach) Dave Fipp, give them a lot of credit for the preparation during the course of the week. As you could see when you watched it, there wasn’t the second-level defender that we really weren’t blocking was only about five yards deep. You don’t want to alarm the other team by moving people around and shifting people around. So he’s our guys. He executed the play well.”

(On the reviews by referees going against the team a lot this year and how he handles reviews) – “Well, most of the ones yesterday we really didn’t have, they weren’t obviously, as you know, they weren’t challenges. They were looked at again. Just seems like they have a great explanation as to why it’s not going in our favor. We just tell the team, ‘Look, some of the officiating, obviously, if you grab a guy and hold the guy and throw the guy to the ground and an official calls holding on you for example, you have some control over the officiating in that regard.’ Some of this other stuff you really don’t and so just focus on, we just tell the players to focus on what they can control and don’t get caught up (and) perception is that a play goes against us from an officiating standpoint. That’s life in the NFL. Every team has to deal with it and ours is no different. Yeah, at some point, usually at some point, the field levels out. Hopefully.”

(On how the team reacted to the official reviews) – “I thought well, relatively well. Again, the thing that… We talked to the team before game about, ‘Let’s see if we can play a complete game.’ And I didn’t think we played a very good first half. We were winning at the half, but we didn’t play a very good first half. Then, we came out in the second half and, again, correct me if I’m wrong, but we got the return, we got the touchdown and then I think we were going to get a takeaway on the next possession, I believe. The thing was starting to swing the way we wanted to. I thought overall we handled that relatively well.”

(On the Rams taking Brian Hartline out of the game and Marlon Moore stepping up) – “He did a nice job. Glad to see him (play well). He’s a hard-working guy. Glad to see him have A, opportunity and B, take advantage of it. The touchdown pass obviously was huge. (He) caught a nice over route there. We made a nice catch. I’m happy for him.”

(On who helps him with replays up in the coach’s booths and if he can overrule him) – “Dave Fipp is the guy that I call on and rely on. We’re in communication in those situations. Yeah, I can overrule him I guess. I’m the head coach. I can overrule anybody. I would hope anyway. I don’t know. They may tell me to be quiet.”

(On whether the bye week presents enough time to make major changes) – “I told the staff, let’s find three or four things that maybe can make a difference in our production in the second half of the season. I don’t think we have to reinvent the wheel, I don’t think we have to scrap what we’re doing. I think we have to maybe make some adjustments and look at what are the three or four things from a deficiency (standpoint). Where are we deficient? What can we shore up in a quick period of time and get better at? Let’s not fix nine million things. We don’t have time for that stuff.”

(On whether he feels like, at 3-3, this is a new season) – “There’s 14 days in between games, so clearly it’s better to enter on a victory. While I’m not caught up in our record overall, what I’m caught up in today is, we have a lot of things to clean up on the St. Louis game. Let’s make sure we do that. Let’s use this week to improve, to get healthy. Every week with this team is a new hurdle for us, because now we have to go on the road and we have to win a division game. That’s going to be a huge challenge. That’s really all that matters right now.”

(On Ryan Tannehill’s fewer turnovers being a result of better decision making) – “He's making better decisions, there’s no question. You can’t look at the tape from yesterday and say, ‘Boy there’s three, what was the color of their jersey? Blue, black, dark blue? He’s not throwing the ball and there are a lot of those guys around.’ Which is good. I know that’s simplistic, but that’s a very good thing for a quarterback. He's usually throwing to the right guy. A couple of times he could have been a hair more accurate, but that’s probably going to happen in every game he plays. So I thought his decision making was good.”

(On the coaching staff not being afraid to play aggressive in late game situations) – “Well we talk about it a lot. We have a game management meeting every Saturday, me and the coordinators and Dave Fipp, who is upstairs. We talk about situations. We talked about the fake punt a lot. We talk about if we have a seven point lead in a four minute situation, what are we going to do? Are we going to go for it? The fourth and one in Arizona, we had talked about that the day before. We talked about it a lot. Mike (Sherman) knew exactly what he was going to do in that meeting if we got in that situation. Hopefully we prepare for some of that stuff. Some of it is gut, yeah. I thought we needed a play and we didn’t want to kick the ball back to them right then and there. So it worked, but it was well conceived by our special teams staff and our guys practiced it well. Again, if you’re going to practice this stuff, you can’t go 17 weeks and never use it. Do you believe in it or not? Let’s not do it if we don’t. And you have to have to have faith that the guys can execute it.”

(On whether he has a favorite game in Las Vegas) – “No. I’m not a gambler. I work too hard for my money. I’m not gambling it away.”

(On how many contingencies the coaches may go over in the Saturday meetings) – “I think on our sheet we have backed up, red zone, two minute, four minute, coin toss. You know all that stuff. Maybe a dozen different things. We’re going to look at how Dallas handled the last minute of their game. Everybody is on them I guess. I’m not saying they did the wrong things, but we’re going to study that because we may be in that situation. We’re going to look at St. Louis’ decision. Would we do the same thing they did at the end of the game? And there is no right or wrong answer. That’s kind of the… you guys (media) get to claim there’s a right or wrong answer, but in coaching, those things happen fast and you have to have a thought process as to how you want to do things.”

(On players playing through injuries and what example that sets for the team) – “I think we’ve got some guys that care in the locker room. It’s a good locker room. I told the guys, ‘you know look,’ at the end of the game, ‘there’s a lot of things that need to be corrected, but I don’t think that one of them is the heart and character of the team.’ I think we’ve got some good guys on the team, and I really believe that.”

(On whether Lamar Miller not getting much playing time against St. Louis was a result of not having confidence in his pass blocking ability) – “Not overly. I think what happened was (that) we only ran 48 plays that counted in the game. Usually we are up in the 70s, so I don’t think that Reggie ever got gassed enough to get another back in there enough. That’s probably what happened.”

(On the advantageous of not having any major injuries going into the bye week) – “We’re very fortunate. I think that, a) you have to credit the work ethic of the players in terms of their preparation for the season, and b) our strength and conditioning guys have done a good job. Darren (Krein) and Dave (Puloka) I think have done a good job in their area. Kevin (O’Neil) and the medical staff, you have to give them a lot of credit. Hopefully the guys are taking care of themselves away from the facility by not doing the things that lead to injury. We’re fortunate, but like anything else, it’s a collaborative effort. It’s not one thing. I think the players, obviously you have to give them the most credit and then the staff has done a good job as well. Those type of things.”

(On a play against St. Louis where the Rams did have anybody covering the gunners in a punt formation, and why he did not take advantage) – “I think the guys did a great job. The protection was excellent. At some point in time you may want to take a shot at throwing the ball. But I thought our execution was (good).”

(On whose decision it would be to take a shot in that situation) – “We would game plan. If this occurs, we will do this. We wouldn’t do it just (on the fly). Not unless it was in the plan.”
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