Head coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, offensive lineman Robert Hunt and running back Raheem Mostert all met with the media today as the team held another training camp practice. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On yesterday's practice)
"Yesterday was a classic example of the conflict, at least for me emotionally, as a head coach – and I was very clear with this with the team – I was very pumped with how the offense and in particular Tua (Tagovailoa), came out in practice. I let it known early and often to the defense that I didn't think they were performing to the standard. I think it was probably the most successful red zone period that we've had, certainly being here, offensively versus the defense. But after bringing that to the defense's attention, we got into some situational periods and man did they answer the bell. And in those periods, we turned the ball over way too much, which was a great learning lesson for Tua. We hadn't been in a couple of those situations yet. So we got to talk about it and learn from it. So overall, I had half the practice that I was pumped at the offense, half of the practice I was pumped at the defense and simultaneously being mad at the other side of the ball. All of which is either a blip on the radar or something that is some of the best stuff that can happen to you. So especially on the practice field, you try to have players put themselves in scenarios as close to a game as a possible, and let it rip and play what they see. Then you re-evaluate it or you coach them up on it. Then the next day, you want to see improvement. And the next time we're in those situations in practice, I want to see improvement. And in games, I'm expecting improvement with the offense. And hopefully the defense is able to reproduce that same production against an opponent. But yeah, it's almost like it makes you, as a head coach, you just feel completely bipolar at times. You're like, 'I'm happy and I'm sad.'"
(On what he's most looking forward to about his first home game as head coach on Saturday)
"As I've explained before, I didn't really know the fanbase. This was one of the two divisions I had never coached in in the league, so everything since I've been here, I've just been like, 'Wow, this Miami Dolphins fan base is phenomenal.' Just hearing the feedback, seeing the fans out at practice, I know there's going to be a lot of energy and people are excited about seeing their players and their team. So I'm kind of – I guess I would say the thing I'm most excited about is that connection between a fanbase that really supports and is invested into the team and a team that really wants to do right by the fanbase. That should be fun, and I look forward to that this weekend and the rest of the season."
QB TUA TAGOVAILOA
(On the improvements made from yesterday to today's practice)
"Yeah, I think everybody got better from yesterday. I think yesterday seemed one-sided in the first half, if you will, from the first two team periods. Then I would say the defense started to pick up their morale and they brought it yesterday as well. I think today was a really good back and forth with the offense making plays and then the defense making plays and continuing to go back and forth with that."
(On what he saw out of the offense in the preseason opener at Tampa Bay)
"I think it was really good. I think Skylar (Thompson) did a great job with his operation being that he's a rookie, that's his first time in an NFL start. You've got to give credit to him. It's not easy to go in there, understand where everyone needs to go, understanding how to manage the situation, the game clock, the down-and-distance. I thought Skylar did a really good job."
(On how good S Jevon Holland is)
"Really good. Oh my gosh. He's made tremendous plays. For me, trying to read off of my read keys, he's made tremendous plays. And not just today, but throughout the entire camp. The plays that he's made is only getting me better, getting our route distribution better and our timing better offensively."
OL ROBERT HUNT
(On how genuine Head Coach Mike McDaniel is)
"Right, that's a beautiful word. I definitely think he is. He cares about this. He cares about it, man. You can tell all the guys that he's hired here, too, care about it. It's a great thing to have on your team … when he's passionate about what his job and how it looks and how it feels."
(On the one specific thing the offensive line can improve on)
"I don't think it will ever be perfect, but just little details, man. I think we've been getting on people. I think we've been physical. I think we've been playing well. I think it's an uphill trend, just the little details. The little details that are going to, on offense, it's got to be 11-for-11 – not just o-line, it has to be receivers, it has to be everybody. So just details, small details, and that will make the whole ship go."
RB RAHEEM MOSTERT
On how much confidence helps as a player)
"You can have your highs and your lows but when you gain your confidence and you understand … it's like anything you do in life. Whether you're a reporter, a businessman or somebody that owns or operates some type of business or entrepreneur, you want that confidence because that confidence is infectious. It spreads throughout everyone. That just shows that you're a better person in regards to whatever you're doing in your life. Especially for players, when you start building that – I didn't build that confidence until I got my first touch in 2018 being a running back. After that, the confidence just went through the roof."
(On where the running game is at right now)
"I would say we're on track. It's still fresh. A new line and stuff like that. We've still got some pieces that we have to work out but all in all, the run game is getting up there. We've just got to continue to make those connections in the blocking scheme and everything else that comes with the run game – the running backs and even the quarterback has to do proper footwork. A lot goes into it but we're picking up speed and we're doing well so far."