Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Skylar Thompson, tackle Terron Armstead, linebacker Jerome Baker and cornerback Xavien Howard met with the media this week as the team faces off against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card round on Sunday, Jan. 15. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On how QB Skylar Thompson is handling the possibility of starting a playoff game this week)
"I'm not sure if anyone really understands the gravity of what he was able to accomplish, where he, himself, had started one game previous and then was injured, was out and then didn't have the routine. I mean, he's banking on reps that he's doing individually after practice in the indoor, every single day. Some scout team reps, and then a bunch of stuff from the preseason. So to jump in with a fully operated machine and do it – I'm very aware of the score. But you're talking about no turnovers, I think one sack, and I believe the offense had – I think we had more yards than this offense had against Buffalo earlier in the season when the team did win. And I believe the Jets statistically, I mean they're neck and neck but they're both two great defenses, and I think the Jets might even be ranked third or something. It was no easy test that the those who are weak would be exposed immediately. I think he'll look at it as – probably the way Skylar thinks, he hopes that's the worst game that he ever plays knowing that everyone has bad games, but you're trying to build you stuff you learned from, some stuff that he did pretty well, some stuff that I know that he can do a lot better. But the mental fortitude, the composure, that's something that should be praised because it's pretty impressive and not easy to do."
QB SKYLAR THOMPSON
(On his thoughts going into his first playoff game)
"The good thing for me, I feel like I got a pretty good feel for what a playoff game kind of would look like just last week. It was a win or go home type of situation for us, so getting to experience kind of what that felt like last week I think was helpful. This week is just going to be like any other week for me this entire season. It's preparing like I'm going to be the starter and getting reps where I can build some confidence throughout the week and build continuity with this offense to where when we go out there, we can play fast and play with confidence on Sunday."
(On what he observed on the sideline in Buffalo a few weeks ago)
"They're a very good defense and you can tell that they have a lot of veteran guys that have played a lot of football. They play fast. They're very disciplined. And they play hard. For me, it comes down to just executing and doing our job each and every play and not getting ahead of ourselves, not trying to press. Just take what the defense gives me and gives us and just take it as the game comes. It's going to be a great challenge for us. I got the experience of seeing it in person, what the atmosphere is going to look like, getting snowballs chucked at us, all that. It was awesome. (laughter)"
T TERRON ARMSTEAD
(On overcoming adversity in the offensive line room and what that says about that group)
"That we've got the right guys. We've got the right guys. This league is tough, man. It's a 100 percent injury rate, so more than likely there will be changes to the lineup in the course of a season. The importance is having that depth, staying ready, dual training, which is extremely difficult to do. We have guys that have done an exceptional job at many different spots. Even Rob Hunt having a Pro Bowl season at right guard switching out to right tackle last week. Those things should not be taken for granted. That's really difficult to do."
LB JEROME BAKER
(On what he expects the energy level to be on Sunday)
"It's just going to be high. Everything matters. The energy level is going to be high. The emotional toll it's going to take is going to be high. Everything is going to be high. It's the game that you just pray that you'll be a part of and now we've got the opportunity. It's going to be a good one and we've just got to execute and get it done Sunday."
CB XAVIEN HOWARD
(On how it feels to finally get back to the postseason)
"It feels great. Opportunities, you can't take them for granted. Like I said last Sunday, it's the second time I'm going to the playoffs in six or seven years. You can't take the chance for granted."