The Dolphins coordinators and assistant coaches met with the media on Tuesday for a Q&A of a variety of topics. We'll hear about the beauty of the team game, Tua Tagovailoa's growth in Year 2, some thoughts from the Titans game and much more.
Co-OC George Godsey on the offense's efficiency on third down:
"Well, you know last game, it was pretty noticeable that you pointed that out because we had been good on third down. Our yards to attain the first down has been a lot lower than it was on Sunday. We had quite a bit of third-and-eight-plusses and we weren't able to convert those. Thus, we weren't able to stay on the field and we weren't able to run it more. A lot of these questions that are asked revolve around staying on the field and staying on track getting first downs. When you're third-and-long, it's hard and we showed that on Sunday. The more manageable we can get, the more we can attain those and hang onto the ball and really turn those drives into points."
Co-OC Eric Studesville on the team game:
"The beauty of this game is that it takes 11 people to be coordinated to have success on one play at a time. That's why you play this game. That's why you get involved in it. It's because it's the team concept that's important to you. It's all of us that are involved in that, coaches from the diagram and creation of the plays and the teaching of what we're doing all the way down to the players and the execution. It doesn't rely strictly on one person for the execution, the success or the production. It's a group effort."
Quarterbacks Coach Charlie Frye on Tua Tagovailoa's second season:
"He's shown growth in the way he's played this year. As a young quarterback, the more reps you get, the more experience that you get, the more you're going to be able to take from the learning moments and the things that happen in that game. We go over those corrections the next day in meetings and then you try to apply it for next week's game. You get into the overall picture for the growth and development in the offseason."
Offensive Line Coach Lemuel Jeanpierre on the unit's improvement this season:
"We've got to keep working our fundamentals and techniques. The thing about being in the trenches in general is there is always going to be work. The big thing is we've got to continue to work on our consistency like you're saying and just be intentional about everything we're doing, every play, one step at a time. You get to see the mental toughness in these guys, and the drive and the finish and things like that... In general, the understanding and the knowledge of those things have been getting better. And then we have been getting better, like you said yourself, and we must be consistent especially in the trenches going against these types of defenses, and these athletes upfront."
Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman on if his standard has been met this season:
"Obviously not. To be quite honest, we've never met my standards, but obviously this year even a little bit more so of not being where we need to be. We need to be better in everything. We need to coach it better. We need to execute better. When we have opportunities, we need to take advantage of those opportunities. A lot to work on."
Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer on run defense:
"Some of it could be a little bit scheme-related, where we're trying to create negative plays. Some of it is them staying ahead of the chains and staying on track and not being able to really get them into situations where they need to throw the ball … Then some of it is just fundamentals and techniques."
Linebackers Coach Anthony Campanile on Jerome Baker's ability to fill multiple roles:
"He's been called upon to do a bunch of different things and he's excelled in a lot of ways. He's continuously improved over the course of the season, whether it's the run game, the pass coverage and pass rush. I think people recognize that about him. I'm certainly do. In terms of being around somebody every day -- incredibly coachable, humble personality. I think it's guys like that who usually continue to get better."
Defensive Line Coach Austin Clark on Christian Wilkins' multiple skillset:
"Credit to Christian, his versatility and how he's developed there has definitely helped us as a defense. He can fill multiple roles and I would say his willingness to do whatever role is asked of him is what's awesome. He never second-guesses anything we're asking him to do. He goes full speed and he's had a real focus on technique and fundamentals. I think that's where he's made his biggest strides."
Defensive Backs Coach Gerald Alexander on quickly getting over a tough loss, preparing for a game after elimination:
Regardless of the circumstances, when you look at the opportunity that it is to play in the NFL, you can never take any of these weeks for granted. There's a lot of work that gets put in for these 17 guaranteed opportunities that we have to go out there on the field together and compete. Whether it reveals character about an individual, I don't put a lot of stock into that. Every game you definitely learn from and it exposes anybody – strengths, weaknesses, things like that. It's just another opportunity for us to do this together. Unfortunately, we didn't do what we wanted to do this season. But we have one more opportunity to go out there together because we know at this point it's the finale."
Cornerbacks Coach Charles Burks on Nik Needham's play this year:
"I think Nik has done a really good job, especially with providing flexibility with the defense. He's lined up at the perimeter, lined up at the slot, lined up at the safety, and has been productive. He actually started at safety in a game. anytime you have a defensive player that provides you that type of flexibility it's always a good thing. Especially a guy who works as hard as Nik, who prepares as well as Nik. I'm really happy for him."