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Coach Philbin: We'll Be In Good Shape When The Game Starts

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Coach Joe Philbin meets with the media for the last time before Thursday's game against the Bengals and discusses Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton as well as other challenges presented by the Bengals roster.



(Opening statement) – “We’ve had two good days of practice. I thought the focus and concentration of the team has been very good. They’re not going to get the physical reps, in regards to the volume of reps that we would typically get for a game, neither is our opponent. I think we’ll be in good shape when the game starts.”

(On how much more he expects to get out of Rishard Matthews with Brandon Gibson’s injury) - “I like what he did in the game when he came in. I think I’ve said a number of times he’s a very competitive guy, he has good physical strength and plucks the ball out of the air well. He likes to play, he likes to compete, I think he’ll do fine.”

(On if Marcus Thigpen is an option to play out wide at receiver) - “Well we’ve used him a little bit this year. Anybody that is on the roster, if they can help us we’ll use them.”

(On what Rishard Matthews does well as a receiver) – “He does a good job, in the middle of the field he attacks vertically well. He’s got good ability to get out of cuts quickly and he catches the ball.”

(On how difficult it is to learn the slot wide receiver position, and how much chemistry with the quarterback is necessary) - “Timing and anticipation in the passing game are two important qualities in the passing game. Rishard (Matthews) and Ryan Tannehill came in here together, he’s been getting a lot of reps in practice at it, for a long period of time not just this week. I think he’ll be fine, I think he’ll function well in there. Certainly rhythm between a quarterback and receiver is important.”

(On if he’s comfortable with the amount of snaps Dion Jordan is getting) – “I think he’s progressing well. He’s been out on the practice field on a consistent basis. He’s developing his fundamentals relevant to his position, fitting into the scheme well. I think he’s done a good job.”

(On what he thinks he’s doing the best) - “He’s done a good job rushing the quarterback. He’s done a good job, we used him in coverage a couple times the other day, he did a good job there. He can do a couple different things that we think are beneficial.” (On what has been the issue with Caleb Sturgis) - “I have a lot of confidence in him. I think not unlike any other position, there are some things fundamentally that he has to do better relative to his position. I have a great deal of faith in him. I’ve said many times, for a young player he’s got the right mindset, the right work ethic and I’m very confident in him.”

(On what does Caleb Sturgis have to do better) - “Aside from kick the ball through the uprights, kick the ball through the uprights.”

(On if he will change his rotations due to having two games in close proximity) - “We took that into consideration even last week in regards to our practice schedule with the amount of time we were on the field, the amount of reps that we devoted last week. We also took into consideration this week, and we’ll have to gauge that. Certainly we have a plan in place prior to every game, target a number of snaps for players. Sometimes you have to adjust with how the flow of the game is, if you’re playing a lot more snaps than you anticipated on one side of the ball those numbers can change. We’ll certainly have a plan for that.”

(On what can be done to teach Ryan Tannehill to protect the ball better) - “Some of that’s awareness. Again, the play last Sunday he was hit in the back of the head by a guy he thought was blocked. It’s kind of hard to fault the quarterback there. He was getting ready to throw the ball but there’s been a couple of occasions where he has to do a better job feeling the rush and keeping the ball closer to his body not as far extended away.”

(On if there is any organizational pressure to play Dion Jordan due to his draft ranking) - “Well I think I’ve said before, players earn playing time based on their performance and what they do in the building, in the weight room, in the training room, on the practice field, on the game field so beyond that everybody has to earn their playing time on the field.”

(On what he’s seen on film from Andy Dalton) - “I think he distributes the ball very well. They have a number of good players on offense and he gets them the football. He’s a guy that I think plays decisively. There’s not a lot of hesitation in his play so he gets the ball out quick. He’s been accurate, I want to say he’s been 65% or 66% completion, he’s doing a nice job.”

(On what concerns him the most about the Bengals defense, aside from Geno Atkins) - “It’s a very athletic front four. The two defensive ends are great length, they’re both athletic guys. (Domata) Peko is a very, very good inside defensive tackle. They’re front four is outstanding. They’re well coached, they have a good pressure package. It’s a good defense, they’re in the top 10 in total defense, they’re in the top 10 in scoring defense, I believe they’re fifth in scoring so it’s a good defense.”

(On how Tyson Clabo has handled the series of events over the past week) - “He’s a true professional. Comes into work every single day wanting to get better and wants to improve.”

(On what has been the difference with the running game, before and after the bye week) - “I think two things. I do think we‘ve broken a couple more tackles by the running backs, I think that’s been a real positive. I think we’ve eliminated, aside from the first play in the game in New England last week, we haven’t had as much penetration in the backfield that caused the back to get off course and potentially have negative yardage plays. Those are the two biggest things in my mind.”

(On what is Daniel Thomas doing differently, or is it a different package being used that make him more productive) - “I think he’s just running the ball better, a little bit more decisively. I saw him break a tackle, he almost popped that fourth and one, he almost stepped out of there and went the distance with that. It’s nothing schematically we’ve been doing differently.”

(On how big the draw play is in the team offense and if it’s being used) - “It’s always been a part of it. I can’t say we’ve had a ton of snaps with draws. We have quarterback draws, we have a draw to the single back, we actually have two back draws. We haven’t had a ton of them. We can argue the validity of it versus a real strong pass rush at a later date.”

(On if facing strong pass rushers is the reason why the draw play hasn’t been used) - “No.”

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