Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, tackle Terron Armstead, safety Jevon Holland and linebacker Jaelan Phillips met with the media yesterday as the team faces off against Houston on Sunday, Nov. 27. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On what he is thankful for this Thanksgiving)
"I'm always pretty thankful for things, but right now I'm seeping with it. I do have an issue about being long-winded. I'm going to try to be as tight as possible. And also, I don't want to get too emotional up here today. But right when you say it, 'what are you most thankful for?' Immediately (I go to) my wife and daughter. Especially since she's two now. I didn't really know that aspect of concrete support, family and fulfillment. People can't do anything by themselves. Anything at all. And while I'm able to fully invest in people in the organization and do my job, which is incredibly important to me, I'd have no chance without my wife. This parent thing is legit. And I'm sure there's some like 'just wait!' And I know. But right now she's two and thinks I'm awesome and wants to hang out with me. Then I'm so thankful for everything good or bad, and everything in between, that happened in my life to give me the opportunity to be here. Then again, I'd probably (talk for) 45 minutes if I don't … all aspects that I'm very, very aware of that. I can't do my job for the team, for the players for the people in the building, for the fan base, for the organization, if you don't have the right type of people deciding to go along the ride with you. I think it's idiotic for people in positions such as myself to be delusional enough to think that it has, that they're bigger than they are. It has stuff to do with you, but you are only as good as everyone that is involved in the process. It's fulfilling of a half of season. It's fulfilling as an offseason. I'm so fulfilled and thankful. And then on top of that, all of this happens, and I'm with a fan base that is as hungry but as appreciative as you could possibly have. I didn't have any idea about the Dolphins fan base really having been in six NFL divisions, but this being one of two that I hadn't been. And then the time, emotion, investment. There are scars and there are residuals for that. All I've seen are people that want to get excited. I've seen – okay, because you get vulnerable when you get excited. But to be able to do this job for this team for all these people, and then on top of that, have an informed, intelligent, passionate community, fan base, that really appreciates where you're at, but more than that, you can see people. You're able to – the outcome of games can affect people's lives. It does. And it's cool that we have a home-field environment that is outstanding. It's just really cool to see people want and be able to be excited about something that they love. I'm a softie for that. You guys remember that's where my roots start and I'll never really stray from that empathetic situation."
(On how he approaches roster decisions alongside General Manager Chris Grier)
"I think we both look at it like this – we have points of emphasis or expertise that the team relies on us for, but we also know how interwoven we are for anything that happens within the organization, player decisions, all of that. But the biggest and most important thing is that we respect, regard, trust and rely on each other. So I wouldn't say it's like anything we do, there's a steadfast procedure and (say), 'Hey, no you do.' It's assumed that everything we do that we're on the same page. If we're not, we have this brilliant formula of just talking. (laughter) I'm not sure. I can't speak on any of the relationships that people have outside of the relationship they have with me. But from the beginning when he was interviewing me, this is something that when someone is interviewing you and is part of the decision to hire you, I don't take that lightly. We do everything as a team in that regard, and the assumption is that we're on the same page with everything, and the second there's – That's the great thing is the second there's anything like, 'Hey, maybe he might not know this,' or, 'just to keep you up to date,' or whatever, I think we both view that as our responsibility to the organization, knowing that (in) a healthy organization, the people that are put in positions of authority have to be on the same page. It's like if you're running a run play, the quarterback and running back better know that's going to the right, or it doesn't matter what the right guard's block is. So I think that's kind of how we approach it, and it's a cool, deliberate and well-intentioned process. You always hope that you have a situation like that. You never know if you're going to be afforded that, but I feel so, so fortunate and lucky, because it is very easy, relatively to a lot of people's experiences, very easy to do my job, and hopefully I make his job easier as well."
QB TUA TAGOVAILOA
(On the level of trust he has with his receivers and how that helps his anticipation)
"I would say that's what we've been working on the entire OTAs and camp. That's what we've been working on – anticipation. If you look at our offense, that's really what our offense is based off of. Anticipating and trusting that guys are going to be in the right spots, that they're going to get to the right depth. Me taking the right drop to correlate with how deep they're going in their route or when they're breaking in, when they're breaking out, when the ball should come out. That's all an accumulation of all of that. And we've worked on that, like, numerous times. And that's not just OTAs and training camp. That's also the times we had leading up to training camp that we had to ourselves. We would all go out on our own and work on things like that and talk through them. So for us offensively, that's nothing new for us."
(On the importance of staying locked in coming off the bye and with Thanksgiving this week)
"Yeah, it's most definitely really important for us to stay locked in. We understand that we've had a bye and now Thanksgiving is coming up. Guys have family members coming in town. And you can get lost with not doing things that you would normally do on a weekly basis where maybe I'll take this day off because it's Thanksgiving and guys aren't studying. I don't think that's the case for our guys. I know a lot of our guys were itching to come back. I mean, I was itching to come back. I had no idea what to do with myself last week, so I was trying to go to Panthers game, trying to do something to get my mind off of it. But it's hard because you don't want to go on a on a hot streak and then you go through bye. I almost wish we didn't. But yeah, games like this, we understand that it's going to be tough. We've looked at the film. We understand that Houston's record doesn't say a lot for them, but they play really hard. They play together as a team. We understand that this is going to be a tough one for us. So we got to be ready and prepared for them."
WR JAYLEN WADDLE
(On if he was excited to return from the bye week)
"Yeah, definitely. I was excited just to come back and get around the guys again. It was a little break, but I think we needed it just to get away from the game. I'm excited to be back. I think we all are."
T TERRON ARMSTEAD
(On if having guys in and out of the lineup early in the season helps provide more depth now)
"That's a great thing. That's a beautiful thing. Having depth, having guys come in and get experience, get some playing time, live action will only be beneficial for us moving forward."
S JEVON HOLLAND
(On if the defense can build off their performance against Cleveland)
"Yeah, I mean we're ready for the next challenge. This is a good team coming up. They've got a hell of a running back (in Dameon Pierce). It's going to be exciting to go from a good back to a good back, back-to-back like that."
LB JAELAN PHILLIPS
(On the importance of this week's game against Houston)
"It's extremely important. I always talk about how we just take it one day at a time and really dive into the process. You can't overlook any team in the NFL. Everybody is super talented. There's a reason they're in the NFL. Everybody is coached well. Everybody has the ability to make big plays, so you definitely have to bring your A-game every single week."