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Coach Philbin: The Crowd Was A Huge Part Of The Win

Posted Sep 22, 2013

Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin addresses the media following the win over the Falcons.



Obviously it was a hotly contested football game. Atlanta is a very good football team. We knew that going in. [Falcons Head Coach] Mike Smith and his staff do a great, great job. We made enough plays to win the game. It certainly wasn’t classic or text book. We told the guys at halftime that the team that had the most faith and confidence in one another had the best chance to win. We made some plays when we had to. At the end of the first half, those three points were big. The last drive was huge.

(on their work with the two-minute drill) – “It was a huge drive. We had to have it there. There was no other alternative. We had to use our two time outs. It was at that point in the game. We had to step up and make plays. I thought our protection was better on that drive. The quarterback [Ryan Tannehill] threw the ball well. We caught the ball well on that drive and we were able to get the ball in the end zone. That, and I think those three points at the end of the half were huge. We knew that Matt Ryan [QB] does a great, great job in the two minute. He had tremendous protection a year ago in the two-minute offense so the clock was in our favor in those two scenarios.

(on what today’s win says about the team) – “We’ve got a bunch of hard working guys in there that are high character individuals. They’ve been very professional and hopefully we can continue to get better, to improve.”

(on the run defense) – “We close out the half and the game very, very well. Obviously we didn’t start the game well. We deferred to them 80 yards to score a touchdown. We started the second half and gave them the ball at the 14-yard line. There’s a bunch of things to work on. Our run defense is not where it needs to be. They controlled the whole tempo of the football game, which was one of the things we really felt going in was going to be important.”

(on their performance despite injuries) – “We talked last night that we may have to get contributions from guys who are sitting in these chairs who don’t necessarily think they’re going to have a big role in the football game. That’s exactly what happened. Guys stepped up, guys like [Jason] Trusnik [LB], [Jonathan] Freeney [LB], and [Dion] Jordan [DE] played more, [Vaughn] Martin [DE] played more, [Derrick] Shelby [DE] played more on the defensive side of the ball. Those guys did a nice job.”

(on the play of TE Dion Sims) – “Mike [Sherman, offensive coordinator] and the staff really deserve a lot of the credit. I want to say it was 42 or 43 seconds left [:43] somewhere around there. We had great field position. I thought it was a good move by Atlanta to call time out there to save some clock for themselves. It was kind of an action pass. We figured if it wasn’t good we’d still have a down or two to get a good play off.”

(on the play of QB Ryan Tannehill during the last drive) – “He was kind of getting grabbed and held and it was a make up for the sack-fumble he had on the first play of the second half.”

(on protecting the quarterback) – “He had five sacks. It’s getting repetitive, you’re probably tired of hearing me say it, but the starting point in any passing game is protection. It’s tough for any defense to cover guys all across the field – it’s 53⅓ yards wide, I believe, and 120 yards long when you count the end zones – and if you can’t protect the quarterback, or if you get pressure on the quarterback, you help your pass coverage a lot and we have to do better.”

(on grading the pass protection) – “How we did on the last drive? [Overall.] Not very good. Not good. You want me to give a grade scale? A, B, C, D…it just wasn’t very good. The last grade was a B-plus.”

(on the play of QB Ryan Tannehill so far this season) – “It’s important. We talk all the time about how quarterbacks have to make great decisions. They have to throw the ball accurately and they have to make plays at critical times in the game. Obviously, that drive, as I mentioned before, we had to have points on that drive, and he was able to do that. Just as the gentleman who just exited [Chairman of the Board and Managing General Partner Stephen Ross] just said, you can’t do it by yourself. We caught the ball well, we gave him good protection, and he had a chance to do his job.”

(on playing before 70,660 in attendance) – “The crowd was outstanding. They were a huge part of the win. We’re going to need them every single week. They were fantastic. I think it was a thrill for our guys to play in front of a crowd like that.”

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