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Coach Philbin: We Got Off To A Good Start

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Coach Joe Philbin meets with reporters and answers questions on Andrew Luck and other key players on the Colts team that the Dolphins will see on Sunday.


(Opening statement) – “It was good to get onto the practice field today. Obviously we have a lot of work to do. We need to make a lot of improvements from the game we played Sunday and this Sunday. We are going to play an excellent football team on the road again. I thought we got off to a good start.”

(On challenges of facing Colts quarterback Andrew Luck) - “He’s a very good football player. He played very well in his initial season in the National Football League. He’s off to a good start again. He’s an accurate passer. He can extend the play. He can scramble. He’s very, very good. We’re going to have our hands full.”

(On practicing on Tuesdays during game week instead of Thursdays) - “Well, when the schedule came out I knew we had a 10 day window between the last preseason game and the first game, and I thought that was the best way to proceed. Then we also have a Monday night game during the fourth week. Anyway the (inaudible) best way to keep a rhythm would be to go with a later day off in the week. We are giving it a whirl.”

(On how the players have responded to having Thursdays off) – “I thought the feedback was generally positive.”

(On when there is time for coaches to gameplan with Tuesday no longer being an off day) - “We had a long day yesterday. We also had a lot of time to study Indianapolis. Throughout the course of the preseason there is some down time in the preseason schedule. We also took a lot of time last spring and studied them. We had plenty of time to watch the one game they played on tape yesterday.”

(On if there will be time to plan for opponents in upcoming weeks with Tuesday a practice day) - “We’ll see. We are going to play it by ear.”

(On the challenges Colts wide receivers Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton bring) - “Reggie (Wayne) is still playing at an extremely high level. They also have added some excellent speed. (Darrius) Heyward-Bey seems to be playing better than he ever has. So it’s a good crop. T.Y. Hilton is very, very fast. They have some good weapons, some good young tight ends, as well. Certainly they’ve got some good weapons at the quarterback’s disposal, and they are well-coached on offense. So we are going to have our hands full on defense.”

(On similar qualities between Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill) - “Again, I don’t look at it in terms of comparing quarterbacks. As I’ve stated before, (Luck) is playing very well. He knows how to play the position. He knows the offense well, and he’s playing at a high level.”

(On the thinking of having four quarterbacks on the roster and practice squad combined) - “We make changes often times throughout the course of the season to the practice squad, and these moves we thought were in the best interests of the team at this point in time.”

(On if adding Austin Davis to the practice squad was related to Pat Devlin’s ankle injury) - “I wouldn’t read anything into that.”

(On Randy Starks tweeting about his gesture being a joke, and if Starks had relayed that to him) - “Any discussions I might have had with Randy would stay internal. They are of personal nature.”

(On Cleveland’s tight ends playing well and the cause of it) - “Yes, there’s always a little bit of everything. They had a couple of good calls against some our defenses. As well as we played on defense, it’s hard to have the right call against every single play. They ran 81 plays, something like that. We are going to get caught in some defenses that might not be the best defense against that particular route. We thought very highly of (Browns tight end Jordan Cameron) and thought he was a good player. He played well in the game. At times it was man-to-man coverage. At times they caught us in a fire-zone, he was open and the quarterback did a good job of finding him. He played well. There is no question about it.

(On if he is able to look back at the gamefilm when the team played the Colts last season) - “Sure, absolutely. Both staffs came on at the same time. I want to say it was our eighth game of the year, if I’m not mistaken the eighth or ninth. I was right in the middle there somewhere. So absolutely. We’ve taken a good look at that game.”

(On what he saw from Will Davis at practice today) - “He moved around. He moved around well.”

(On what he said to Lamar Miller after having a rough game in his first start) - “Get back to work. There’s no magic formula. There is not easy way to fix problems. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and go to work.”

(On how the speed package on defense was presented to the coaching staff) - “(Kevin Coyle) and the staff, it is a collaborative effort over there. We have some excellent staff over there. They contribute. They all pitch in and contribute. I think it was a collective effort. We got it off the ground. We’ll see how much we use it as we move forward.”

(On if he was excited about the speed package) - “Yes, again the more you can keep a coaching staff in the meeting room attempting to figure out what you are doing, who’s doing what. It takes time. Then coaches get tired and crabby and don’t want to go to practice (laughin). It’s a good package. Again, it’s not rocket science but I think it has a place. It can help us.”

(On Andrew Luck being an elusive quarterback and how to best sack him) - “He does a good job. Sometimes he, a) gets away, or b) he throws the ball relatively accurately when somebody is on his body. He does a nice job of that. We do have to get him down. I do think the thing is if you can keep your feet and wrap, the good form tackles are always the best now knowing sometimes you are engaged with a blocker, and you usually don’t have a ton of unobstructed runs at a quarterback. But the good tackling fundamentals, the wrapping of your arms, accelerating your feet, those still apply in taking a quarterback down.”

(On if breaking tackles and yards after contact something that can be taught to running backs) - “We definitely drill it. We do some sideline drills where run-after-the-catch, I don’t know if you guys probably have seen us do that, lowering the shoulder, dipping the pads, those types of things in conjunction. Sometimes they are ball-security drills. I think those are things you can definitely emphasis, and it will definitely show up on film.”

(On if breaking tackles and yards after contact are part of the game that could improve for the running backs) - “Absolutely, no question about it.”

(On giving up his red challenge flag with two minutes left before the half) - “There is no challenges in the last two minutes of the half. Is that it?”

(On if that’s a precaution so he doesn’t throw it and lose a timeout) - “You can’t challenge in the last two minutes of the half. Mr. Joe Cimino takes it away from me. He doesn’t trust me (laughs).”

(On what sort of talent is on Indianapolis’ defense) - “They are well-coached. Greg Manusky does a very good job with their defense. They have a multiple package. They are stout up front. They are athletic, and they played well. They played well the other day. They played well in the preseason, too. They have a good blitz package. Sometimes they will drop eight, nine guys. They mix it up well. It will be a good challenge for our offense.” v (On the punt return for a touchdown negated by a penalty and what the tape showed) - “We had a penalty. It was a legit call, and it was a good call.”

(On Mike Sherman saying it would have been okay with him to throw it every play based on the way the Browns were lining up on defense, and if he ever remembers ever having that ability to do so) - “I can’t remember, but the great Hayden Fry used to say, ‘Scratch where it itches.’ You know what I mean? If they are giving you some portion of the game, you should probably emphasize that until they take it away. It’s part of the fun of coaching, the adjustments in a chess match that takes place in the course of a game.”

(On what exactly they were showing him that encouraged the team to throw almost every play) - “Sometimes they overload and bring an extra player in the box. It makes it awful difficult when you aren’t having a lot of success already to run the football.”

(On concerns of players banged up in the game won’t have the Tuesday off with the current schedule) -“Sure, there’s no doubt about it. There’s definitely concern there. Had we gone to the game and Kevin O’Neal and our doctors say, ‘There are nine guys that’s not going to be able to practice until Thursday or Friday,’ or something. You would have to give it some thought to how the best way to prepare your team. It’s all about preparing your team and giving them the best chance to perform to their potential Sunday. This is in my opinion, the best way to do it. That’s why we are doing it.”

(On the advantages on the rest at the end of the week) -“Again, I think I said it before. I feel like we stumbled on this last year. I’ll be very honest with you. We had 10 days between Buffalo and Seattle. It was Thanksgiving, so I wanted players to have Thanksgiving off. We went Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and off Thursday. Friday the players said they felt good. They felt energized. We talked to some people in the offseason in regard to performance and timing of things. We just felt like this was the best way to go.”

(On any grumblings from the community relations staff with Tuesdays being the day usually set aside for player events) - “Oh no. We’ll adjust that. We definitely want the players to be involved in the community events, no question about it.”

(On the player’s personal schedules with Tuesday being a practice day) - “I was going to say a joke, but I’ll leave that out (laughs). No, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. That’s part of the thing that you can’t be afraid to do what you feel is the best thing for the football team. That, in my opinion, is the best thing this week.”
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