Q. Describe your mindset as you approach this challenge over the final three games.
TB: My mindset is that we continue to play hard and continue to do the little things that separate winning and losing. We need to continue to play smart and we need to continue to win games with our play in the fourth quarter.
Q. Is there any awkwardness because of how this all transpired?
TB: There is an awkwardness anytime something like that transpires. Once that is over, we have to realize this is a business and we have a job to do and we just need to go about that job to the best of our abilities. Nothing really should surprise you as far as this league is concerned.
Q. What is your basic coaching philosophy and who helped shape it?
TB: My coaching philosophy was shaped by Coach (Joe) Gibbs and Coach (Bill) Parcells. My philosophy is to be smart and tough, but don’t out think yourself. Don’t let anybody outwork you, but don’t make it harder than it has to be for the players.
Q. Has it been a dream of yours to be a head coach in the NFL?
TB: No, it’s been a dream of mine to be a coach in the NFL. As long as you are coaching good people and you are coaching football everything is great. Whether it is as a head coach, a coordinator or a position coach, I enjoy the game. I love the game. I enjoy the strategy part of it.
Q. Do you feel you can do enough over these last games to show that you deserve consideration to remove the “interim” tag?
TB: It’s not about me. It’s about trying to win games. I’m not auditioning and 60 other guys (the players) aren’t. We have football games to win. It’s part of the business. I don’t make those kind of decisions, nor do I worry about them. I just want to get this team ready to play.
Q. What do you expect from these players over the final games of the season?
TB: I expect them to play hard. I expect them to play fast. I expect them to play with a lot of pride. That’s what we started here. We are a resilient team. We are a tough team, and I don’t see that changing.
Q. Can you tell us what you said to the team in your first meeting?
TB: We paid respects to Coach Sparano. He’s done a lot for those guys and he’s done a lot for me. I told them they should pay their respects to him. I encouraged them to reach out to him. The message after that: It’s like body blows. You have to take them and move on. We take body blows all the time. When somebody gets hurt like a
Q. Have you thought about what it’s going to be like standing on the sideline coaching your first NFL game in Buffalo?
TB: It’s football. The games don’t change much. We aren’t going to do much they haven’t seen and they won’t do much we haven’t seen. It’s competitive and I’m just looking forward to the competition. The football part doesn’t bother me.
Q. Talk about the challenge of going to Buffalo and facing the Bills after beating them so decisively only a few weeks ago?
TB: It will be tough. Those guys have a lot of pride. It is a division game. We expect them this game to be extremely tough. In the first game we got some breaks early, we got some turnovers and it made it pretty easy. I don’t think it will be the same type of game this time. We just have to impose our will and come out with a victory.
Q. How much have you called upon the leadership of this team to help you during this transition?
TB: I met with the captains this week and we addressed the Coach Sparano situation. You always need captains to lead by example. That won’t change.
Q. How do you keep the same hunger and passion this team has played with in recent weeks?
TB: These guys have a lot of pride. It is a tough bunch. You just don’t walk over this team. They play well together. You just have to make sure we do all the little things to help us win games.
Q. Finally, is there a message you would like to convey to Dolphins fans everywhere as this season winds down?
TB: Just continue to root for the Dolphins. It’s not about me; it’s about the team. Just continue to stay with us and hopefully we will win games and make them proud.