Here were some of the comments from Wednesday that stood out, along with some perspective:
“They’ve improved as the year has gone on. I do feel like those guys are trending in the right direction. Those guys play as hard as you can ask guys to play.”
— Head Coach Adam Gase likes what the future holds for linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker, who have shown steady improvement throughout their first NFL season (it’s technically McMillan’s second year but he spent all of 2017 on IR). In particular, Gase mentioned McMillan’s leadership ability and Baker’s ability to make plays because of his speed. The two young players figure to be key components of the Dolphins defense in 2019 and beyond.
“It’s a big game for us. It’s a division game in Buffalo, a chance to finish the season 8-8. It’s a big opportunity for us and we want to finish the season strong.”
— Quarterback Ryan Tannehill echoed his coach’s comments in pointing out the Dolphins have a lot of motivation as they head into their regular season finale against the Bills. A victory at Buffalo would, among other things, give the Dolphins a 5-1 record in division games. That would be the Dolphins’ best mark in AFC East games since the NFL divisional realignment in 2002. The Dolphins have been 4-2 four times (in 2003, 2008, 2009 and 2016).
“The weather doesn’t bother me at all. I just like to compete, whatever the weather says.”
— Wide receiver Danny Amendola has plenty of experience playing in cold-weather games from his time with the New England Patriots and that could come in handy for him this Sunday in Buffalo. The early forecast calls for a high of 31 degrees with a low of 26. That actually would be warmer than the 22-degree temperature at kickoff when the Dolphins played at Buffalo on Dec. 17 last season.
“I’m going to be my hardest critic. I’m going to continue to focus on what I need to do to get better and … I’m going to continue to put all the pieces together.”
— Rookie tight end Mike Gesicki acknowledged there’s been a learning curve coming from college football to the NFL, but he said the biggest adjustment might be dealing with bigger, faster, more mature players on a regular basis than anything mental. Gesicki expressed satisfaction with his progress, though he understands there’s more growth to come.