Coach Sherman: I Had Tremendous Confidence In Ryan

Posted Nov 18, 2013

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman speaks with reporters on Monday afternoon. Watch as he breaks down the Dolphins' performance against the Chargers, including spot light on the running game, the offensive line and more.

(On what he saw in the running game) – “I believe we had four runs that had positive runs that the defense jumped offsides on, so we really had a better run game even still if you added those runs on. And I think four of those were runs by Lamar Miller, so we had to take those off as well. What was happening early in the game was we were attacking and taking some shots downfield with Mike (Wallace), and we didn’t necessarily hit them all the time but they had several in coverage up there and gave us a two-shell. It allowed us an opportunity to get the numbers right where we were able to run the football. That’s what happened."

(On what he saw out of Sam Brenner at practice to start him) - “One thing is he is there every day. We just don’t have a lot of numbers in that group. The other thing is I’ve been watching him since (training) camp. He’s just made a lot of improvements. He hasn’t really snapped the ball a whole heck-of-a-lot. Jim Turner has been working him at center. He’s played some guard as well. He’s slowly but quietly gone about his work and his business and just continues to get better. He still has a ways to go. He’s a young player, but I think he does have some promise.”

(On how he graded Sam Brenner’s performance yesterday) - “He did some good things. I thought he pulled around on some of our power plays (and) did a nice job. He got beat on a pass protection one time, but overall I thought for someone who came in on Sunday morning and told he was going to start, I think he did pretty good.”

(On why is the offensive line such an issue this season) - “It’s always been a big deal to me. When I’ve been asked that question in the past, I’ve always said it’s a work in progress because an offensive line is really a building block in an offense until that is in place and you can run the ball and pass protect. Those guys have to be at the forefront of what you are going to build. They are a very instrumental part of an offense. They quietly go about their business, and you don’t hear them when you are having success. Certainly when you are struggling, it’s usually a lot of times it starts with those guys. So I do think we continue to be a work in progress, and we will continue to be until we get things solidified in there. Obviously we’ve had some changes. Whenever you change that group up there are always struggles with communication, and just being able to be with the same group of guys certainly helps a lot. That hasn’t been the case as of late.”

(On Daniel Thomas having an increased workload and if he and Lamar Miller are essentially co-starters) - “Pretty much. When I’ve been asked that question, that’s what I’ve said all along. I look at both of those guys as starters, and you kind of just go with the hot hand. I thought during the course of the game I thought they both ran well. Lamar (Miller) had some runs taken away from him because of penalties, some were ours and some were there’s. I thought Daniel (Thomas) ran very physical. He didn’t practice much last week. He missed some time, but he came out ready to go. When he was in there, he took full advantage of his opportunities. Sometimes it’s just a matter of opportunities when you are in there. It just happened to come up where he had some very well-blocked plays, but he certainly had some great after contact runs which I thought since I’ve been here the best we’ve been on runs after contact whether it be a pass, a catch or a run.”

(On if the NFL investigator will work around the team’s schedule) - “No one has told me anything about that other than when I’m going to talk to them. That’s sometime tomorrow.”

(On how to keep the players’ focus with all that is going on) - “Hopefully most of what the players have to do will be taken care of today and get that knocked out. I’m hopeful that’s happening, but I’m not really sure. I can’t comment on that because I really don’t know, but I’m hopeful. I think that is how it is going to get worked out. I think that’s what we would try to do.”

(On mindset in throwing on final offensive drive) - “I thought, sometimes you’re aggressive and it works, sometimes your aggressive and it doesn’t. I thought we had to be aggressive there, we couldn’t punt in that situation. I didn’t want to run the ball three times, I think they anticipated that’s what we would do. I felt like we had to get the ball out of that part of the field. At the very least, get better field position, work the clock and get a great punt from our great punter. We certainly couldn’t punt the ball from back there. I didn’t want to go with a heavy personnel group and bang out three runs and then put and give it to the defense. We should have been able to finish the game on offense in my mind but that didn’t happen. We did use time off the clock, we did change the field position which I think was beneficial. I just thought we had to be aggressive at that time, I had tremendous confidence in Ryan (Tannehill) in those situations, he’s very poised. He doesn’t panic, neither do our players. They seem to handle those pressure situations very well, it’s those non pressure situations they’re not handling well (laughing). Under pressure they seem like they respond. Our two minute offense, a couple weeks ago we were backed up and we took it the length of the field. Last week we didn’t do so well, but this week in a critical situation at the end of a game I though they did what they had to do. Protected and were able to get the ball out, we really should have been able to finish the game on offense, but unfortunately we didn’t and the defense rose to the occasion and finished the game off.”

(On if there is anything that could be done to improve the deep ball dynamic between Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill and if they are working on it after practice) - “They’ve done that and part of it, Mike’s (Wallace) still feeling, still resting and working with his leg issue. I thought Mike (Wallace) had a tremendous ball game. He ran hard, and he ran his routes very disciplined. He was open on a number of occasion and sometimes it was protection issues and we didn’t get him the ball, other times we just didn’t get him the ball, but I thought Mike (Wallace) had a tremendous impact in that ball game, because he changed how they played us and allowed us an opportunity to control the game with some runs and what not. He started the game with a catch and a first down where he broke some tackles. It kind of set a tempo for us, I thought, in that ball game. (Brian) Hartline had one, obviously the running backs have theirs, (Charles) Clay had his for the touchdown, I thought the first one was Mike’s (Wallace) and I thought that kind of set the tempo for the game. I think there’s familiarity that the two of them just have to an understanding with how that’s going to work. We certainly underthrew him on a touchdown pass that we can’t do. If they had scored at the end that could have been the ball game, we needed those points, we didn’t get them so that’s something that’s been a point of emphasis and it will continue to be. We have to get them on the same page. They are two willing participants and they want it to work, I think it’s just a matter of two guys getting used to each other. It just takes a little bit of time.”

(On how Nate Garner performed at center) - “Nate really had only one mistake in communication. Mike Pouncey has been a stalwart in there. For him to go in there and do what he had to do, just phenomenal. I thought he did an excellent job. Along the same lines, I have to take my hat off to (Ryan) Tannehill as well. I don’t think there’s many quarterbacks in this league that, when they wake up on Sunday morning and the guy they’ve been taking snaps with since they’ve played in this league all of a sudden isn’t playing, he doesn’t bat an eyelash (he says) ‘Ok let’s go, no big deal.’ I think that’s a credit to him and that’s kind of the way he looks at things, he doesn’t sweat things very much. It’s a credit to him and there’s things that he has to work on and get better at but one thing about him, he doesn’t get flustered or concerned about things like that. (He says) ‘Ok, who’s up lets go.’ I do think Nate (Garner) did a fine job stepping in, in the absence of a very good player. Those are big shoes to fill when you’re filling Mike Pouncey’s shoes.”
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