Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, running back Jeff Wilson Jr., wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and linebacker Bradley Chubb met with the media today as the team faces off against Cleveland on Sunday, Nov. 13. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On the on-field moment that he knew WR Tyreek Hill was different)
There was a particular route that I think we came up with in 2013. Trivia fact – it was Leonard Hankerson against the Chargers. That's a deeper outbreaking route that not all that many people can run, because the timing of the play and to push it that deep, you don't always have protection for it. So I've been running that – it kind of got steam and ran it the most when we had Julio Jones, who was unbelievable at the route. And then seeing Tyreek (Hill) in, I think it was probably OTA 4, if my training camp install schedule is correct in my brain, when he ran that. I just had a lot of deliberate reps at viewing that (route) ran at an exceptional speed, depth, intent, and it was like, 'Whoa.' I've been fortunate to be around Andre Johnson in his prime, Julio Jones in his prime, Josh Gordon, Pierre Garcon, leading the league in receiving. All these great, great players, and he is different. We knew then in OTAs that yeah, this is a different deal."
(On what he attributes to the improvement on the offensive line)
"It's down to the bones, deliberate work, and intent on defensive specific techniques and how we execute our fundamentals and details. It's one of my favorite parts of the whole coaching staff is that my offensive coordinator, Frank Smith, has deep O-line coaching roots and was a center himself. I think he spearheaded that charge and really led in a moment that, there was a young group that was a little uncertain of themselves. That along with (Offensive Line Coach) Matt Applebaum and (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Lemuel (Jeanpierre) and (Offensive Assistant) Mike Person, there's no quick and easy way to have success in the National Football League. That's why I like the game so much, is because when you see success or improvement, I should say more than anything, people are too talented and people work too hard. There's no shortcut around it. They're sweating after practice. Practice ends and I try to give players a nice schedule that they can get out of the building. But the linemen aren't afforded that because they are out there working after practice, and it's to all their credit, collectively. And then everybody else getting used to it, you're starting to see the skill position players be a little more productive in their areas. The running backs running in space better. It's a trickle-down effect that they can really dictate."
(On the challenge of facing the Browns this week)
"The theme of the NFL is this, it is a challenge. There's so many things at stake every week, so every week is a challenge. This one in particular is a lot greater than people realize. This Cleveland Browns team is no joke. They are a good football team. One of the only – I mean, their record is their record. Whatever this means is that I think they can beat any football team in the National Football League on any week, and you can't say that about every team. So they are (a challenge), and it starts with their edges. I know (Defensive Coordinator) Joe Woods and (Defensive Line Coach) Chris Kiffin from San Francisco, and I can see their elements of coaching on tape. They strain, they go after it. I can promise you this; we comb, tape week-in, week-out, and we are definitely not sleeping on this team. This is a good football team that if you aren't detailed and technically sound, they will expose you in a harmful way."
QB TUA TAGOVAILOA
(On his comfort level in the offense right now)
"I think Coach Mike does a great job putting us in great situations offensively. He has a lot of, people would say window dressing. He doesn't like that term, because it's just a part of our offense with the movement, shifting, motioning. It's a part of what we do. So I think it's a lot of credit to what our head coach has done within installs and things like that to help put us in those situations. We can say that I go out there and throw, Tyreek (Hill) and (Jaylen) Waddle and all these other guys catch and run. (McDaniel) continues to give other people praise, but he doesn't get as much praise as I think he should, and a lot of that is because of him."
(On what concepts of Head Coach Mike McDaniel's the most)
"I think the thing that Coach Mike has helped us offensively with is he's kind of tailored the offense towards what we do best. If you look on film, he tries to tailor it to what Tyreek (Hill) runs the best, what Jaylen (Waddle) likes running, what I like throwing, what I'm good at throwing and things like that, whereas you watch their film from when they were with the 49ers, they did things a little different because of what those guys were good at and what they liked. So I really think it's just things that are tailored to our strengths, and then he builds off of that. So not much of, 'Why are we doing it like this?' Or 'Why are we doing it like that?' It's more so, 'How do you see that play if they get this or if they get that? How do you see him running it and where do you think I should go with the ball on this?' Just more of that kind of conversation."
RB JEFF WILSON JR.
(On what he's noticed since joining the Dolphins)
"It's just the culture here, man. Everybody, like I said, everybody is on one accord, on one page. Even on the field or even on the side, some teams you just see a lot of side chatter, a lot of this or that – everybody is focused and locked in. Even with the fun, you can still tell that everybody is still on the plan and on the goal of getting to where we want to go. I mean, I just feel like that's kind of cool and unique to have fun and be able to work at a high level at the same time."
(On if there is any change in Head Coach Mike McDaniel from his time in San Francisco to now as Dolphins head coach)
"Mike has been the same person since I've seen him in 2018 at the University of North Texas when he came down and worked me out. He's still that same guy, and for him to be that, man, that speaks volumes to him. We live in a day and age where everybody changes when you get different statuses and stuff like that. So just to see him still be that same guy, it's tremendous and I'm still happy for him. I can't wait to see where it takes us."
WR JAYLEN WADDLE
(On playing against former Dolphins QB Jacoby Brissett this week)
Yeah, I'm excited to watch Jacoby play. I've been watching him play all season. He's been playing great so it's going to be good. Jacoby's real funny so I'm excited to just chop it up. I know he's got some jokes for us, for sure.
LB BRADLEY CHUBB
(On Cleveland's one-two punch at running back)
"Yeah, for sure. They've got two great running backs. I feel like Nick (Chubb) is in a league of his own, does a lot of great things. He's one of those people that he gets stronger as the game goes on. And as you hit him more and more, he just keeps churning those legs and keep doing what he does. And Kareem Hunt is kind of more of the same. Like real electric, could do a lot of things. Like I said, once you hit him, he kind of bounces off and gains acceleration off stuff like that. So it's going to be a good challenge for us and we're excited about it."