Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tight end Mike Gesicki, safety Jevon Holland and linebacker Jaelan Phillips met with the media today as the team faces off against Detroit on Sunday, Oct. 30. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On if he's surprised how good WR Tyreek Hill and WR Jaylen Waddle have been this season)
"I think their acceptance of the burden that is high expectations. A lot of people feel as though it's a gift, or it's so cool. What if you wanted to be a star player? Well, star players have to really put the most on their shoulders with their given preparation each week. They can't afford to have to just take a game off. And then when pressure situations happen, they have to perform. I think their commitment and yearning for wanting to be in conversations for duos and stuff and all of those things, that has been the most surprising on the field. And with that, they've also been extremely coachable. I don't think we've seen nearly the best from them in terms of, I don't know about numbers, but you talk about them being able to make plays that other people can't and I don't think we've totally seen all that even yet. I think they would agree with that and that's been surprising, because you just don't know until you know. They are great athletes, but more than that, they're committed teammates and they have a lot of commitment from a ton of people in that locker room that are doing all of the right things so that they can have that production. So it's cool for the whole team."
(On WR Tyreek Hill praising his scheme and him as a play-caller)
"He just does that just so you can get more targets – smart business play. (laughter) I think it's adapting to really the circumstances. You're trying to solve a puzzle, and that's ever evolving. And that's different defensive presentations and what the guys are good at. But also, I think it's always funny when players talk about scheme. They are part of the scheme. The only reason the scheme is existing is because they're executing it, and somebody has to learn it. And we – if you guys haven't noticed, we motion a ton. We have a ton of different formations that can give defenses – the intent is, they'd have to speak on if they actually do, but the intent is to give trouble to the defense. Well, that can be trouble for an offense if you let it. I think they're coming into their own, really, as professionals too, understanding how you have to approach that, how they have to commit for the scheme to look anything like it like it does and then just how to go about their business and the impact they have on their other teammates and how they prepare. But they are as part of the scheme as anybody."
QB TUA TAGOVAILOA
(On what he sees from the Lions on film)
"Obviously, they've got their first-round draft pick (Aidan Hutchinson) who's really looking comfortable, kind of fitting into their defensive scheme. We've seen some things that they do really well and we're trying to nitpick on things that they don't to try to give us in an advantage in this game. But they really – Jeff Okudah, a really good corner. He does a lot of good things, and you can see a lot of the traits that he has, you see them in really good corners. He's really good getting his hands on receivers. He's really good with sort of keeping track with fast guys or lanky guys once he gets his hands on them. So we'll have to work our matchups, and then also, they're a really good disguise team."
(On how the offense goes from gaining yards to scoring points)
"I think we've got to finish drives. At the end of the day, we've got to finish drives. I mean, we can march down the field to the 10-yard line and kick field goals every time, or we can march to the 30 (-yard line) and kick field goals every time, but I mean, that doesn't matter if we're not able to finish and put the ball in the end zone. So that's something that we definitely got to hone-in on and we've got to get better with as far as communicating, executing and things like that."
(On the protection he got Sunday night against Pittsburgh)
"Oh, I loved it. It was great. I think (Head Coach) Mike (McDaniel) schemed it up really well, too, only because we were getting the ball out quick. It was kind of hard, I think, for their d-line to get a feel with their rush patterns and then also get a feel of where the spot was for the quarterback. We were moving spots in the back there and not just catching the ball and dropping back. So I thought they did really well."
TE MIKE GESICKI
(On the challenge the Lions present this week)
"I think they've been one play away in a couple games. You don't want to just focus on records and all that kind of stuff because it's come down to the wire for them in several games. I think they play extremely hard. They're well coached. They play physical. They're tough. So there's a lot of good things that they're doing week in and week out."
S JEVON HOLLAND
(On having S Brandon Jones watching film with the team today despite being placed on injured reserve)
"Yeah, he was in the meeting with us and it's tough seeing them go out there fly around, and then unfortunately he's sitting next to me hurt. But he's come to terms with it. He's ready to attack it just like Nik (Needham) is and just like Trill (Williams) did. It's nice to see that he has a positive mindset and is attacking it forward. But it's tough, for sure."
LB JAELAN PHILLIPS
(On what was different about the defense in the Steelers game)
"I don't think there's necessarily anything different. I just think it's we capitalized on momentum. Obviously we came out there and did what we had to do, but the offense scored points. I think like I said, just capitalizing on the momentum and just playing hard, playing for each other."