NOTEBOOK: Miami Has Buffalo On The Brain; Other Notes

Posted Nov 12, 2012

Dolphins looking forward and not backward.

Quarterbacks, kickers and cornerbacks always talk about the importance of having a short memory after a bad pass, missed kick or blown coverage. Now the entire Miami Dolphins team is taking that approach. 

With Thursday night’s divisional showdown at the Buffalo Bills looming in just three days, the normal session watching film of yesterday’s 37-3 home loss to Tennessee was very abbreviated. There had to be a combined approach on this day involving a look ahead to what to expect from the Bills and a brief look back to make sure some lessons were learned.

“Today usually we go over the film and our practice would have been corrections of all the things we did wrong,” cornerback Sean Smith said. “But we ended up doing a little bit of both. We had to watch it because there were some things we definitely have to get taken care of, not only because we did them bad but because Buffalo does some similar things that the Titans do.”

There is a sign on the doors leading into the locker room that displays a 1-0 record, which is an emphasis on taking each game on its own merits rather than look too far ahead. That’s how Head Coach Joe Philbin likes to run things and it’s what helped Miami get to 4-3 after a 1-3 start.

So as frustrated as Philbin with the outcome against the Titans, he knew that he needed to use it as a different teaching tool than he normally would with a regular week of preparation. That was his message both after the game and today.

When you play like that, you need to make some corrections,” said Philbin, who is in his first year as a head coach. “We need to make improvements even though we’re in a short week, even though we’re in a semi-time crunch. We’re going to take a quick peak at this game and make sure we understand the things that hurt us in that particular game and that they don’t continue to hurt us as we move forward. We’ll take a quicker look at the Tennessee game maybe than we would have if we had played better.”

The late schedule today prompted a lot of the players to shower and change super fast following the walk-thru and not too many hung around to revisit the Titans game with the local media. Those that did, like Smith, cornerback Nolan Carroll, safety Chris Clemons, linebacker Austin Spitler, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and offensive tackles Jonathan Martin and Will Yeatman had Buffalo on their minds.

Clemons and Smith admitted they have put Tennessee behind them and are focused on the Bills and slowing down an offense that put up 31 points on the New England Patriots. That’s the part about this schedule the players seem to like.

“There’s no time to dwell on yesterday, which is a good thing actually,” Spitler said. “Most of the time today and Tuesday you’re kind of moping around and getting over the loss, but it’s good because we have a quick turnaround, we’re getting prepared for Buffalo and I think we’re going to have a good week.”

Philbin is banking on the performance against the Titans ending up as the exception and not the norm for his team down the stretch with seven games left in the regular season.

“Seriously, the great thing, I think, about the NFL that I love about it and makes my job exciting is you have to prove yourself every week,” he said.” You can’t assume that because we played our tails off, which I think we had, for eight weeks and really competed well that you are going to do it just because you have a home game at one o’clock when you haven’t been home in a month. I’m confident in the men we have, I believe in the character of the guys that we have. I’ve said that numerous times; that hasn’t changed. I’m confident we will play better. Obviously, we all know, those of us that were there yesterday, we have to play better.”


## Even though rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a rough outing, Philbin still sees a young man developing the right way. “Yeah I thought he handled it well,” Philbin said. “I think he was disappointed in himself, but not to the stage where the frustration was not going to allow him to perform. I don’t think it got ‘the best of him’ so to speak, or it took him out where he was disoriented. I’ve been around some players who have a couple bad things happen and they’re kind of out to lunch and you can’t get them back.”

## Tannehill also impressed Philbin with his tackling skills after he chased down Zach Brown following his third interception in the fourth quarter. “I was delighted,” Philbin said when asked if he was worried about risk of injury to Tannehill. “No he is a football player. If you heard me on the phone, I said ‘damn good tackle.’ You’re playing football. You’d better stop a guy from scoring a touchdown. I thought it was an excellent play actually.”

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