Coach Philbin: Tannehill Is More Comfortable In His Role

Posted Sep 16, 2013

Coach Philbin meets with reporters to discuss the strong play by Ryan Tannehill, Charles Clay, Brent Grimes and others in the Dolphins big win on Sunday in Indianapolis.

(Opening statement) – “I thought yesterday was really a good team win. I think all three phases contributed to the victory. After watching the tape, it’s evident we have a lot of work to do. There are a lot of areas we need to improve upon. That will be our focus. We have an excellent football team coming in here this weekend, and we need to make the corrections and get back to work.”

(On Charles Clay in the passing game and what he showing now that he needed to work on from last year) - “He’s just playing faster. His play speed is better. I think he’s just more comfortable in his role. He’s gotten more repetition at it, so you hope the practice reps transfer to the game field. That’s certainly been the cause”

(On if Charles Clay performance could be considered as true of a hybrid performance) - “I don’t know if he will be compared to Jim Brown or anything (laughs). He did a good job. He did the things we asked him to do. He’s a smart player, but he’s obviously got things to work on. I think he made a nice contribution.”

(On if his job allows him to enjoy the moment) – “Absolutely, yeah. It was fun being in the locker room after the game. It was great. Then we got on the plane, and I walked through the plane. Ninety percent of the players have their iPads out. We were watching it as a staff. As you could imagine, there was a lot of positives on the film, then there is a lot of plays, things we have to correct, fix and go back to work on. It’s fun. It’s part of the process as well.”

(On how the offensive line did Sunday) - “A couple of (the sacks), again it wasn’t always the offensive line that attributed to those five sacks, but certainly they were a part of some of them. We need to do better. I told the team, we can’t have five or four sacks a game. It’s not a good way to function in the National Football League. The starting point of any pass offense here, I can’t speak for any other team, starting point of the pass offense is protection. It needs to be better.”

(On Brent Grimes and if he’s all the way back from his injury from last year) – “He’s played well. He’s very competitive. He knows the scheme. He’s fit into the scheme well. He prepares well. He plays with good production in the games.”

(On if he has a team that has finished a game with zero penalties) - “We told the team Tuesday when we started that we wanted to play clean and fast. We wanted to play within the rules. We had 10 penalties there a year ago. We felt that hurt us. It was a big part of the game. We knew we had to do a good job communicating, being disciplined and playing within the rules. I have to take my hat off to the players. They did a great job in that area.”

(On if there ever was a team in the past he coached with no penalties) - “I can’t recall. I couldn’t name a game. I’m guessing, I’ve been (coaching) for so long, but I can’t off the top of my head.” (On the defense playing better in the second half than the first half in both games this season, and if it is adjustments or figuring things out) - “I think it’s a little bit of both, and you have to give credit to Indianapolis. They did a good job. They came out with some unbalanced and multiple tackles, those type of things, and that can be a little unsettling early in the game. But I thought our players really kept their poise. Kevin (Coyle) and the staff did a great job at halftime. It wasn’t any magical…we weren’t drawing up new stuff in the sand, but we got the guys refocused. That’s a credit to our defensive staff.”

(On how much time at halftime the coaches have to make adjustments with players) - “We map it out. Really with the players, it’s about five minutes. So you can’t invent a whole new playbook.”

(On the success of the run game compared to Week 1) - “I thought we did a better job of eliminating penetration. One of the ways that you can diminish the production of your run game is if you have a lot of penetration, negative yardage plays. We didn’t have as many of those the other day, and when you throw the film on our linemen were doing a better job of eliminating penetration. Our running backs were able to get to their landmark, and these guys have skill. They were able to hit the hole with some speed and tempo. That enabled us to run the ball effectively.”

(On what Ryan Tannehill is doing better this season compared to last year) - “I think his play speed is a little bit better. That shouldn’t come as a surprised. We’ve talked a lot about 1,000 reps that he has in the bank in regards to his NFL experience. You are in your second year of a system. You’ve got some more experience, and he’s a very good student of the game. I think he’s seeing things on the field maybe a hair quicker.”

(On if having Mike Wallace and other wide receivers is helping Ryan Tannehill this season) - “Yes, the more weapons you have the better, I think, for a quarterback. No question.”

(On what he wants Ryan Tannehill to do on plays like the one where he was sacked after holding onto the ball for too long) - “No, I want him to get rid of the ball.”

(On how he assess the play of Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler so far) - “I think they are obviously guys who are new to us this year. I think their play speed is very, very good. They’ve been aggressive. Their blitzing has been good. There is certainly room for improvement with both, but I thought they are off to a good start.”

(On how encouraged he is with Nolan Carroll) - “We talked to the team the night before the game. I said in the team meeting that somebody that we are maybe not counting on today in this minute to play a lot is going to have to play a lot in a ballgame. That was an example right there, and (Nolan) did a good job. And Jimmy Wilson did as well. He had an expanded role. He played well too.” (On how he sees the excitement of the community getting behind the team) – “We have a loyal, dedicated fan base. There’s a long tradition of support in Miami Dolphins here in South Florida for a long, long time. We are excited about that, and obviously our focus has to be getting our players to improve this week as we set to host an excellent football team.”

(On how encouraging it is to win two road games to start the season after winning only two each of the past two seasons) – “It’s not easy to win on the road in the National Football League. We weren’t surprised at the type of game we were in. We thought it was a game that would kind of be like that, so to speak. We knew we were going to have to make some plays in the fourth quarter. We probably will have to do that at home as well as on the road.”

(On the defense giving up 448 yards to Indianapolis and if it mattered with the Colts scoring only two touchdowns) – “I think you brought up a better point. Defense is about more points than yards. Certainly there are areas to clean up on defense, no doubt about it.”

(On Dimitri Patterson not playing this past weekend) – “Yes, it was a coaching decision.”

(On if the decision not to play Dimitri Patterson was made the day of the game) – “That’s when we decided. We ultimately decide the playtime at the game.”

(On how important handling success is going forward) – “It’s a challenge anytime. Again that’s why we talk to the guys about having to stay true to the film. The film tells us from yesterday’s game that we did a lot of good things. The film also says that there’s major areas of improvement that need to be addressed and addressed quickly, and that’s what we will do. But I think our guys are level-headed and they know film is the biggest barometer of success. We have to stay true to the tape.”

(On how long it took Brent Grimes to be a leader of the secondary) – “He’s fit in really since he’s gotten here. He’s got a passion for the game. He loves football. He practices hard. He’s the kind of guy who likes to come into the building. Those are the kind of guys we like. He’s fit in here really since we’ve gotten here.”

(On time out management at the end of the first half to allow Caleb Sturgis to kick a field goal as time expired) – “We talked about it. They were moving the ball very, very well, so we wanted to get another opportunity, even though we were getting the ball in the second half. We were talking about this as a staff. We knew the kind of game we were going to be in. Mike (Sherman) knew. Kevin (Coyle) knew. Everybody knew this is what we were going to do. We felt like because they had 300 yards of offense in the first half we needed another possession. The players weren’t surprised by it and neither were the staff. It was good execution, and Caleb kicked a nice ball, twice I guess.”

(On what Atlanta has done best consistently over the last four of five years) – “They are extremely well-coached. You look at them every year. Their penalties are way down there. Their take-away, give-away margin is very, very good. Coach (Mike) Smith does an excellent job and their staff as well. And they have good players in all three phases of the game. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us. There is no doubt about it. They are a very good football team.”
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