Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, safety Brandon Jones and offensive lineman Robert Hunt met with the media today as the team faces off against Pittsburgh on Sunday, Oct. 23. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On if he is going through the week anticipating that QB Tua Tagovailoa will be the starting quarterback)
"The plan is for him to approach the game as the starter. So he'll be able to get those reps in on Wednesday. I felt really good about how he was able to get back on the field. What's unique about his whole process was that his last really full week of practice was the week of the Buffalo Bills game, because when you have a Thursday night game, you're walking-through. So you're talking about your last full-speed practice. So last week was a big week to get through the protocol, see all the specialists, get all the information and then get him back moving around. So, he responded really well and was his exuberant self. We'll be excited to see him practice on Wednesday, and I know the team will be as well."
(On what having QB Tua Tagovailoa back does for the team)
"He's a captain. He's a captain for a reason, and as I've told you guys from the onset, I think he's a very, very good player at that position. So very good players, they definitely give people a boost – not because of what other people aren't but more just because he is who he is. So he's a strong fabric of this team, and that's exciting when you get to go play with one of your brothers, which is why the team will be excited, and it will be exciting."
DT CHRISTIAN WILKINS
(On DT Raekwon Davis getting his first full sack of his career)
"I was happy for him. Raekwon (Davis) has working really hard and just to see his growth in Year 3 and becoming – well, not his physical growth, you can't get much bigger (laughter) – but just his growth as a player and as a pro is definitely good to see and I'm glad he's able to enjoy some success out there and get his first full sack."
(On the Dolphins honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Perfect Season this weekend)
"That's obviously a special team and they stand alone on their own. To go undefeated, win at all, I definitely got a lot of respect for those guys and our predecessors and the things they were able to accomplish because that's not an easy task. I've got a lot of respect for that team. They deserve all the honor, praise and recognition that they'll be getting this Sunday and hopefully we can represent them well and hold it down for those guys because I got a lot of respect for the history of the game and especially within the organization. I think that's awesome they'll be recognized and we'll do some things for them."
DT RAEKWON DAVIS
(On if the 3-3 record would feel different if the team was on a winning streak)
"That's not really our focus. We're just trying to get everybody better and just continue doing a good job and try to push everybody to be their best version of themselves."
S BRANDON JONES
(On what the message has been from CB Xavien Howard and other leaders in the defensive backs room)
"Be aggressive. Trust your technique. Our coaches put us in the best positions possible. Even when we go from certain stuff that we do, how we treat bunches in man coverage, simple stuff like that and the way that it shows up in the game, literally the exact same way we practice it, we just have to – 'X's' (Xavien Howard) biggest point was just being able to execute and make plays. Like I said, it's hard and the plays come, and when they do come, we just have to be able to execute and make them."
(On how well CB Noah Igbinoghene and CB Justin Bethel played stepping into defensive roles yesterday)
"Yes, they played well. I wasn't surprised. I see the way they prepare. With circumstances, it's easy to check out, especially if you're not getting the reps (and) getting opportunities that you want, but I didn't see any drop off. They got in the game, they executed, they played well. Noah (Igbinoghene) had some good pass breakups. Justin (Bethel) came in and had some really good plays. Yes, they did a really good job of handling their business."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN ROBERT HUNT
(On the possibility of QB Tua Tagovailoa returning this week)
"Tua is Tua. Tua is our leader. He's the guy who has been running the show and we'll be excited to get him back. But exactly what you said – if not and it's somebody else back there, we still got to do our job and try to play a game and win a game."