Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and linebackers Jerome Baker and Jaelan Phillips met with the media today as the team practiced before Sunday's game vs. Buffalo. Check out the top quotes from their media availabilities.
HEAD COACH MIKE McDANIEL
(On his first impression of Buffalo QB Josh Allen from 2020 and how he's grown since then)
"Well, it goes further than that. I saw his growth in Wyoming. That's what was really cool was it was an example of young in his career, the guy is a giant with a giant arm. But he had kind of like a stigma about accuracy or something that, I think each year in his college career, he drastically improved. You can tell – which was a big deal to me with him coming out because you learn a lot, not by hearing, but by seeing. And what you could see was a guy diligently working at his craft, who's however old he is. So fast forward to the league and I think we've all been witnesses to he's steadily become one of the best players in the National Football League. (You could) easily argue he's the best one. And it's not because he's God's gift. It's because he's unbelievably talented. But it's because you can tell more than that, it's because he works at his craft. He's developing every time he's on the field. He's a really, really good player that you'll never, I don't think, see him stopped necessarily. It's about minimizing and containing all together."
(On QB Tua Tagovailoa being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week)
"Yeah, how about that? Yeah, it's awesome. It's a team award to me, but an award that he tremendously deserves because when you're around the guy and you see him work amongst noise and you see him – who doesn't appreciate an earned achievement? I think he's done a great job handling all the stuff that he can control and not worrying about the stuff that he can't. And I think our entire team felt a little ownership too, because they all have his back. And if as an organization we'd allow it, you'd hear a ton more rants from players because they see him work each and every day. And like I said, whenever I talked to you guys last, I don't think his teammates were totally surprised. They were just excited."
QB TUA TAGOVAILOA
(On his reaction to winning AFC Offensive Player of the Week)
"It was cool. That's my first one, but I've said this in many other interviews that individual success is only done within team success. If we never won that game, if the defense never did what they did, if our offense didn't go out and put points on the board; none of that would have been possible. So I amend that to our team."
(On what makes a home-field advantage at Hard Rock Stadium)
"Well, I would say the crowd for one and then I would say the atmosphere. Like our first game, I would say that was probably the most people that I've seen in our stadium and it got really loud for the opposing team's offense and that's probably the loudest that I've heard since I got here with the Miami Dolphins fans at Hard Rock (Stadium). I think that plays a big key with how they operate within their offense."
(On the challenge of facing Buffalo this week)
"We understand that they're a really good team. That's no secret. Everyone knows that they're really good team. They're tough defensively, they're explosive offensively. So I wouldn't say that we have a measuring stick for how good that these guys are because when you look at it, their opening game, they beat the Super Bowl champions of last year. And they didn't just beat them; it was by a lot. And the next team they played, a really good team; they beat them by a lot. So for us, we're just looking at playing the way we play and playing the way we've played for the past two weeks and we'll go out there, they'll get our best and we'll get theirs."
LB JEROME BAKER
(On how the team responded in the second half last week)
"I think as a team, we all knew that the first half wasn't us. It wasn't just our head coach, it was the leaders on our team, our captains – just everybody. We all knew we had to lock it in. In years past, we all have been in tough games and we came back and gave teams a challenge. We knew we had it in us and it worked out for us in the second half and we got it done."
LB JAELAN PHILLIPS
(On facing Buffalo QB Josh Allen)
"I mean it's a war. Every time you go out there, every single play is a battle. When you have an offense that is as dynamic as the Bills are, they can really take the top off at any time. You have to prepare for everything and you have to bring your A-game when you come, so you better believe we'll be playing hard."