Coach Philbin: We’ve Just Got To Go Back To Work

Posted Oct 1, 2013

Coach Joe Philbin meets with the media to answer questions on the performance of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and other Dolphin players in Monday's contest in New Orleans.

(Opening statement) – “As I said last night, New Orleans clearly deserved to win the football game last evening. They played very well. We told the team there are a number of key areas we need to address starting immediately. First and foremost is the turnover margin. That’s something that has to get corrected, and I reminded them the last time the Dolphins won the division we had a plus 17 turnover margin for the season. That’s something we need to start heading toward. We talked about the sack differential. Again, these are not sustainable things. We are 3-1 at the present time, but some of these things aren’t going to lead to continued consistent success. We have to play better at the beginning of the game on defense. We have to play competitive at the beginning of the second half on offense. Those are some of the immediate things we are focused on, and obviously we’ve got to move onto Baltimore in a short week.”

(On some of the problems about giving up sacks) – “It’s a unit-wide issue, without a question. Every position has been impacted. There are times where the offensive line has gotten beat. There’s been times where the quarterback has held the ball too long or hasn’t moved swiftly enough in the pocket. There’s been times that our running back has missed a pickup. There’s been times where the tight ends have missed a pickup. It’s been widespread, and when you are in position that we are it’s been widespread. It hasn’t been one particular individual. With that being said, when we had good balance last night we protected pretty well. We got down by 25 points, it got a little bit challenging.”

(On if it was encouraging to see Lamar Miller and the running game in general to perform well in the first half) – “Absolutely,. I think I said last night, we weren’t playing perfect football, trust me, for the first 28 minutes of the first half. We were kind of playing the way we’ve kind of been playing. We were in a four-point game, we had the ball toward the end of the second quarter. We were moving a little bit. Maybe the last two weeks we had scored right before halftime. I was thinking that’s exactly what we were going to do. Then we got out of sorts. There aren’t many teams in football that are good 25-point down teams that I’m aware of or been a part of. Last night we were not a very good 25-point down football team.”

(On the no-huddle offense, why the team started with it and how it worked) – “We had some good production early. We wanted to change of the tempo sometime. Sometimes we will use it in spurts throughout the ballgame. I think it certainly has a place based on who you are playing and what personnel groupings we may be emphasizing. Sometimes we feel it may be better to mix personnel a lot, so that doesn’t make as much sense. It’s kind of specific to the gameplan.”

(On how he coaches a quarterback to have a short memory) - “We’ve just got to go back to work. I talked to the team about it’s easy to come into work after you win every game and things are going well. We talked to the team, we aren’t going to be riding the wave around here. We look for guys who have a consistent approach toward every single game and every day at work that they look to strive to improve. There’s no magic wand we are going to wave, but you’ve got to learn from mistakes, correct and then move forward.”

(On what Paul Soliai showed pregame and how he performed during the game) – “It was more than the pregame. He (Soliai) practiced well the days he practiced in. That gave us confidence that he would be ready to play. He did a nice job.”

(On Derrick Shelby, Jared Odrick and the other defensive linemen’s performances with Cam Wake out) – “Those guys did a good job. They stepped up. Derrick played well. Olivier Vernon had a sack and did some good things. We had some nice contributions from them.”

(On assessing the pass defense from last night’s game) - “It was not good enough, not even close. They executed well. I give them credit. They certainly executed well. We made it too easy on them. There’s no doubt about it. It has to be better. It wasn’t good enough.”

(On decision to use Daniel Thomas predominantly as the running back in the second half instead of Lamar Miller) - “It was a little more pass protection related than anything. As you’ve mentioned, we didn’t have a lot of rhythm and balance. We couldn’t afford to really at that stage of the game. It was nothing Lamar did or didn’t do.”

(On how well Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill are working together) - “I thought he had seven targets, if I’m not mistaken. I was second on the team. I thought he played well. There were a couple of opportunities. There was a close vertical throw. It was a competitive throw, a competitive effort and the guy made a good play on the ball. I thought he was doing well.”

(On how Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill are doing together and if they are still working to get on the same page) - “Sure, a little bit. It’s still only four games. They are working well together, communicating well together on the side. I think we have good communication when they get off the field (and) the quarterbacks and receivers getting on the same page. Obviously that’s a function of practice as well.”

(On if he expects Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill’s communication to get better) - “Yes. Absolutely.”

(On if Ryan Tannehill underthrew Mike Wallace on the attempt downfield in the second quarter) – “It was close. It was a competitive throw. We kind of classify things as a great throw, a competitive throw (or) a poor throw. I think it was a competitive throw. There’s always room for improvement.”

(On Ryan Tannehill leading the league in fumbles and how he corrects it) - “Well he has to go down and slide on the one he fumbled yesterday. His awareness in the pocket has to be better at times. He has good awareness, but there’s been times in games where he has to do a better job protecting the football. There’s no doubt about it. That’s not acceptable either. It’s like the pass defense wasn’t putting the ball on the ground. In that situation when we are moving the ball you can’t do that.”

(On how he emphasizes the turnover margin to the team) - “Again, that was the first point I made in the meeting. I told them, and I may have already said this once, but we are the only team in football that has a winning record and a minus turnover margin. We made it abundantly clear that’s not sustainable. We can’t do that. If you look at the season in quarters, quarter number one is over. We are the only team in the league that has been able to overcome a minus turnover margin in terms of having a winning record. That’s not going to fly. It’s probably not going to fly the next quarter, the quarter after that or the quarter after that.”

(On Jamar Taylor playing for the first time last night) - “The thing I liked about him is he didn’t have the big glazed look. He got in there, he competed and he’s going to learn some things from the tape, things he has to do better. But I thought it was a good start for him.”

(On a snapshot of his team at the quarter mark of the regular season) - “I like the group. I like the way they approach their business. It’s a very professional group. It’s a high-character group. We are not unlike a lot of other teams in the national football league in that we don’t have a big margin for error. I think that showed up last night. We are playing a good team, we have to play better. We have a lot of things we need to work on, but again I think that’s common place for four games into a season.”

(On how Dion Jordan played against the Saints) - “He did OK. He did some good things. He’s getting more comfortable, more repetition, more football shape so to speak and more familiarity with the techniques and fundamentals he needs to utilize on a consistent basis. There is some good signs.”

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