Coach Philbin: We Have To Play Football

Posted Sep 28, 2013

Coach Joe Philbin holds his final press conference with reporters prior to Monday night's Dolphins-Saints contest in New Orleans.

(Opening statement) – “We wrapped up our preparations on the field at practice. I thought we had a good practice today. We finished ahead of schedule, which is always a good sign toward the end of the week. Obviously we are excited about the opportunity to play against an excellent football team in a tough environment.”

(On what the feeling he is getting about the player’s energy level today) – “I think it was good. One of the ways you can evaluate practice is by the length of it and if it is ahead of schedule and behind schedule. It’s not always a full-proof thing because we have a couple of drills in there like a two-minute drill that can take varying levels of time, those types of things. I think overall the practice was good. Guys were on task it seemed mentally and physically. I think it’s good.”

(On if finishing practice early means a crisp practice throughout) – “Yeah, we do our best to not repeat anything. It’s really incumbent on the teams that are putting on the guy who are putting on the look of New Orleans to do a great, great job. It’s important every single day, but on Friday you don’t want to spend extra time on the field unless you have to. Earlier in the week you aren’t necessarily as concerned about that.”

(On if the status of players listed as questionable or doubtful is a medical or coaching decision) – “Yeah it’s all of the above. The goal is to put together the 46 guys we feel like give us the best chance to win the football game, period. Then that’s what we have to do, that’s what we’re charged with and that’s what we do every week.”

(On how he will spend his day on Monday with the game at night) - “We’ll have some meetings during the day, and we’ll spend some time looking obviously at the tape. We’ll have some meetings with the players and just get ready for the game (to) coach the best game I possibly can.”

(On what he says to the players who have yet to experience a Monday night game environment) – “The nice thing about the preseason is you get to play a bunch of night games. We are used to checking into a hotel, not having a lot of meeting the night before the game because we have a long day, waking up, having some meetings mid-morning type things, having lunch, letting them go back to their room, relax and let them go play a football game. We have some of that, and we need to keep the thing we talked about is keeping our poise and composure. The field is the same length, and all of that stuff is going to be the same. We have to play football.”

(On if he’s seen Cam Wake’s play improve the play of the other defensive ends) - “Obviously he is an impactful player. He’s made a lot of productive plays over a period of time I’ve been here. I can’t think specifically necessarily, but he’s a guy offense’s pay attention to and devote, as we like to say, resources to negate his impact in the game. I’m sure there has been some. Nothing jumps out at my head right this second.”

(On how important special teams are in an important game such as this one) - “It’s huge. They have excellent specialists. We feel like our specialists have played very, very well up to this point in time. They have a good group of core players, as do we. They are very well coached. We well like our group is. It’s going to be a very good matchup in special teams. It could come down to some big plays in that area, no question.”

(On if he thinks Ryan Tannehill needs to run the ball or throw the ball out-of-bounds more) - “Not necessarily. No, you would rather have a guy comfortable standing in there and speed it up as opposed to someone who is always running out of there kind of seeing ghosts, if you will. I think this is a thing certainly there is an opportunity for teaching where you can point to a specific play or maybe, ‘Hey maybe you can pick up the first down yourself.’ I think that happens with quarterbacks regardless if they are second-year or ninth-year. I think that’s part of the teaching and development process. It’s better to have a guy willing to sit in there and function while some stuff is compressing around him as opposed to, ‘I thought I felt something. I’ve got to get out of here.’ ”

(On how important it is to get all tight ends involved in the offense) - “They (Michael Egnew and Dion Sims) are two young players. The only way to get experience is to go out there and play the game. We do the best we can to simulate it here in practice and provide opportunities for that, but at some point you’ve got to kind of let them go, let them get into the game, compete and make some plays, hopefully. They can make contributions. Noticeable ones are obviously in the pass game. They show up on the stats, but they need to perform in run-blocking and pass protection. There will definitely be opportunities for those two guys Monday night.”

(On if he will decide who is active for Monday’s game today) – “Yeah, and obviously we still have 56 hours to kickoff before we have to turn in that sheet or 54, something like that. My math, as usual, is not very good, but yeah we’ll have an idea but we’ll reserve the right to change our mind, as always.”
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