More comments from the week of practice, along with some perspective:
“All three days were really good. Great energy. Today was really competitive. I didn’t see any letdown.”
— Head Coach Adam Gase said Friday he likes what he saw at practice throughout the week, and that hopefully can translate into a winning performance against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Gase made it clear throughout the week he will be coaching to try to win the game just like any other week despite the fact there are no playoff implications.
“It’s even an honor to even be speaking about this. Think about, again, the story has been told a lot of times, but to start from where I started, to get to even where I am now, I cherish that.”
— Defensive end Cameron Wake will go into the regular season finale at Buffalo needing two sacks to reach the magical 100 mark for his career, and he admitted Friday just how significant that would be for him. Wake already is second in Dolphins history in sacks behind only Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, a remarkable achievement for someone who spent two seasons in the Canadian Football League after going undrafted before he played his first regular season down in the NFL.
“I learned a lot this year. I’m actually calling this year like a learning year. I just tried to put my head down and just remain positive.”
— Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren Rizzi made it a point to praise safety Maurice Smith for his professionalism this season while dealing with bouncing from the practice squad to the active roster, and Smith said Friday he appreciated Rizzi pointing that out. Smith has been trying to make a mark on special teams in the final weeks of the regular season, and he was impressive enough last week that he earned the boxing championship belt given after every game to the top special teams performer.
“I feel like our defensive ends — Cam (Wake) and Robert (Quinn) and (Andre) Branch and all of those guys — are threats to an offense. If you talk to a lot of guys we play after games, that’s all they talk about.”
— Defensive coordinator Matt Burke restated his position that sacks are not everything when it comes to measuring the success of the pass rush. Burke said the pass rush can affect offenses in different ways without a sack, with examples including forcing a hurried throw, causing the offense to keep extra players to block or even affecting the routes of receivers. All that said, the Dolphins are coming off their most productive sack game, as they dropped Jacksonville quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Blake Bortles six times last week.