Head coach Mike McDaniel, tackle Terron Armstead, offensive lineman Austin Jackson, safety Jevon Holland and wide receiver Tyreek Hill all met with the media yesterday as the team held its final joint practice of the week against Tampa Bay. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On what he saw from his team in the first joint practice with Tampa Bay)
"I was pumped about how they went about it. Like I kind of articulated before, there's adjustments that have to be made by techniques of the opposing players on both sides of the ball. What I saw were people that were prepared for that which means that them and their coaches have isolated, watched and digested from a position-specific element that, okay, we can do that. I also was pumped how they played for each other, I thought. There was some really good work and one of my favorite parts about it is that there's no score kept, so guys can really pay attention to the bottom line. Sometimes ironically – we get paid to win and you're trying to win every game, but lost in the black and white win and loss, are the opportunities to get better. In joint practices, that doesn't occur. It's just straight in front of you. So then that's what makes Day 2 so exciting for me, is to see how they handle those adjustments. That is such an evaluation and I know that good teams that I've been on, the collection of players make the necessary adjustments and that's really what we're working on for the whole season."
(On CB Xavien Howard's leadership)
"I had never met 'X' (Xavien Howard) before I got this job. We had played against him once or twice, but it didn't take me long being here to understand what he means to the rest of the players. There's something to be said about when you do something at an elite level, you get notoriety from it. And then you continue to do it, people don't really do that justice where they don't have the option to show up and (say), 'Maybe I don't feel like being good today.' So I think he possesses that. I think one of the interesting things is I think he plays off Tyreek (Hill) as well. Two great competitors that are prideful, that know that every day, they can't afford to be, 'Oh, I'm just not on,' because of the consequences and ramifications for the rest of the team and what we count on them to do on a day-in, day-out basis."
T TERRON ARMSTEAD
(On how the offensive line did against Tampa Bay's defense in joint practices)
"We did a lot of really good things. A lot of impressive work. That is a damn good d-line over there too. They have a championship caliber d-line. It was great to get those looks and styles of play that were different. We did a lot of really good things. We improved in communication. I'm really excited about that. Technique-wise, I saw a lot of guys implement things they were struggling with earlier in camp. I think Austin Jackson had a great two days. Rob Hunt too. We're all just trying to get better – our wins and losses – and minimize those losses as we keep progressing."
(On if joint practices are a good measuring stick)
"Yes, for sure, for sure. I think you just have to understand the goal of what you're trying to do. You are trying to see where you match up, where are your areas of improvement and your areas of strength. We're not scheming, so we're not going gameplan to gameplan. A lot of these plays wouldn't be great against that Tampa defense. A lot of the things they do wouldn't be great against the Miami offense. But we're out here going with what we do versus what you do. In a real game week setting, it will be a lot of stuff that you saw today that you wouldn't see in the gameplan."
OL AUSTIN JACKSON
(On T Terron Armstead's comments about him and how well he practiced this week)
"That's great. It's just reflective of who Terron is as a person. I met him the day he got into the facility. I sat down with him and talked about what we want from the upcoming year. I told him mentally what I was looking for and obviously a guy like that with his experience, I took everything he said to heart. It's good to hear that. We're working every day."
(On how he felt about his practice performance this week)
"I think I was able to transition the intensity and my execution over the course of two days. I had a good first day, finished off with a great second day. That's what I want to maintain. That's what I will maintain. I want to progress every game, every practice and see where that takes me."
S JEVON HOLLAND
(On going up against the Bucs in practice)
"It's been a great time. It's been a different dynamic than our practices. Our offense is really different from theirs, just like around the league, and that's how it is game-in and game-out throughout the season. So it was great, especially going against Tom Brady. I love Tom Brady, and he's obviously been in the league longer than I've been alive. (laughter) So going against that type of guy is always great for my mental to know that I'm trying to sharpen my tool against the sharpest sword."
(On what he remembers most about his first preseason game)
"I was mostly excited. We were playing the Bears for the preseason game. I was only (wearing number) 22 then, trying to get the drip right, trying to get the swag right. (laughter) I remember just running out to the field when all the fans were out there and just the energy and excitement from everybody, it was great. I felt energized, kind of like college, but it was almost like an 'Ah ha,' like an I-made-it-type moment. So it was nice."
WR TYREEK HILL
(On what responsibility he feels being a team leader)
"I want to be the guy that's always pointed out because I feel like I love a challenge no matter what. So if I do bad on something, if I mess up a play or something like that, I want to be that guy that Coach (McDaniel) calls out on film. Because if you think about it like this, if Coach is calling out like, the fifth, sixth receiver who's barely getting reps, he's going to feel some type of way. But if he's able to call me out and then call that guy out again, that guy is going be like, 'okay, he's calling out 'Reek' (Tyreek Hill) so I need to pick up my (game).' So I don't mind. I don't mind. I've been picked on, talked about, so it really doesn't bother me."
(On QB Tua Tagovailoa's swag)
"Man, just like when he throws a touchdown – I don't know if y'all can see it – when he's walking to the sideline he's like 'yeah, yeah, yeah!' I'm like, 'bro, okay, Tua, I see you, I see you, I see you.' And I didn't see much of that in OTAs because I barely knew him, but now I'm seeing him sling the ball around even like I said, when I mess up a play or when I don't get open, he'll come up to me like, '10, I need you to get open right there.' I'm like, 'dang, Tua, like chill.' (laughter)"