Read the transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022.
(I guess talking about football is just hard this weekend, but with CB Byron Jones, you obviously have a decision to make. If he stays on PUP, he's out for the first four weeks. Do you anticipate him coming off in the next 48 hours?) – "There's like so many things going on, especially when you have a competitive roster like we do. So we've kind of had it pinpointed, but it's a fluid situation that has to do with him and a lot of other players. (I'm) looking forward to having some clarity here in the near future, but nothing's taken me off where I've been for a while."
(Getting down to the final 53, based on yesterday's performance, do you find it difficult cutting down that roster?) – "Absolutely. It's one of the things that you know, being in the business for a while, that you hope to have these tough decisions. Yesterday did make it tougher. There were some guys that on both sides of the ball that maybe hadn't got as many opportunities, and for the most part, there were guys that – most players put their best foot forward yesterday. So that is a good problem to have. But it is a problem that that only benefits the Miami Dolphins. So we're leaving no stone unturned and making sure that we make the best decisions. (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and I have talked at length. I mean, we've been talking for the last couple of weeks, specifically on these roster decisions. We talked at length yesterday before the game to make sure we're on the same page and everyone got ample opportunity. Then (we) talked again today and met today (for) a good amount of time. We'll meet tomorrow morning and as long as it takes. But yeah, it is – the more good players you have, the more difficult that is. But that's something that we embrace, because we know we're on the right track."
(I talked to WR Preston Williams and RB Sony Michel last night about what they think about their roster prospects, and they said, "I don't know. I did the best I could." Could you talk about the difficulty at those two positions, wide receiver and running back? It seems like you've got some good options.) – "No, in particular, those two groups have not only – from the onset, we knew we were going to have more NFL players than roster spots available. That we knew from the onset. But what was also really, really enjoyable as a coach to observe is you always hope that you have the right type of people in a competitive room that channel that competitive onslaught in the right direction. And so what that affords you is players getting better as a result of the competition. I think in both groups, you've seen that. You've seen multiple playmakers, really from top to bottom, in both groups. That's what's super rare is you have at your final 53 decision time, every player in the position group has been on the field making plays. So that does not make it easy. They've known that the whole time, which is why – what I'm proud about and what I'm happy about is each and every player in those two groups I see as an NFL player. So you know, the one thing that you can rest easy at night is I feel like they'll all have opportunities, regardless of which ones make it, in the National Football League, because they've taken their game to another level and put it on tape."
(On QB Skylar Thompson and making a case for a third quarterback?) – "He's made it tough, hasn't he? No, I think those type of players that are able to, as rookies, come in and contribute, are always really exciting, and it's more rare that you see a quarterback doing that. It's more than just his quarterback rating and his completion percentage. He has owned the responsibility of the quarterback in terms of all the other players on the field with him. He's made them better by helping them get aligned, and we've had very few procedural issues. And so I think in preseason football, there are a lot of quarterbacks that get opportunities. It's rare that a guy can be a seventh-round draft pick and people outside of the organization actually know his name. I think he's opened eyes with the way he's played, and it's made that situation very tricky, in terms of whether or not you can try to have him on practice squad or keep him on the 53 (-man roster). But you know, much like a lot of players, I think he – especially one of the things I was most happy with in this past game is pretty much all the participants can hold their head high and stand on what they've done in the preseason, with the closing of it being last night. And he should hold his head high and hopefully rest easy because he has done quite literally everything you can to be a part of this team."
(I know you said last night, it didn't take long to see the impact that Jason Jenkins made on everybody. After a night to kind of reflect, is there anything that stands out from speaking to people just about him today that you can speak on?) – "Especially in moments like that you're – it's hard to speak from anywhere, at least for me, from anything but the heart. It was just another testament of who he was as a person that there's numerous people that unexpectedly were thanking me for what I was just doing – speaking to what I thought was right and just kind of being 100 percent transparent as I try my best to do. But I think it's even more telling how many people have reached out and said how much they appreciate that, which doesn't surprise me but it just kind of doubles down. We should all be that fortunate to leave a legacy like that. There's – it definitely hasn't gone away, and I don't think it will for a long, long time. And that's probably the biggest takeaway I have is that I can only hope to leave a legacy like he did with people that I work with."
(Now that preseason games are over, can you share with us some goals that you had for preseason that you guys accomplished?) – I think we got better every game. I think on both sides of the ball, there's a trick in the National Football League that you kind of have to excel at to do well and have your dreams realized. And that's to focus on the controllables. And to not, whether you do something well or you do something poor, to just focus on the process, and getting better with ignoring the noise and not getting caught up in things that don't really matter. What matters is getting better and I think guys really focused on that. And that's the only way – whether it was the first quarter of the fourth quarter last night, I thought guys – we were making plays on both sides of the ball because of technique, not because of scheme. And that, there's no short cut to that. That harnessed the goal that I had from the beginning, which was that we focus on what actually matters. And that's getting better at what we do, learning from everything and finding.. – there were a ton of examples in this game and over the whole preseason of people turning what in the short-term seems bad or seems as adversity, using that to be the sail that helps them get better. I thought that was on display last night."
(There are reports that LB Trey Flowers has agreed to join the dolphins. So I don't know if you can confirm that, but we also understand that he at least tried out. So, what did you see from the tryout?) – "Well, that is a process that I can confirm that I will confirm when it's confirmable, which it's not right now. (laughter) Oh, it's a one-time deal and was an excessive use of confirm. But what I saw was a guy that's in shape that's ready to play. He's a consummate professional with a lot of versatility to his game and length. His style of football is conducive to the style we play. His versatility is attractive. So hopefully we'll get something done here in the near future, but it's definitely in the works."
(After Tuesday, it'll be 12 days until the season starts again. I wanted to know during your down time, do you plan on heading to like any local college games or high school games between that break?) – "I feel like balance is important. It's one thing I've learned in my career. I started off – I saw maybe early to mid-on in my career that sometimes you're your best version of yourself if you properly balance yourself. So when there is some downtime, which will be one or two days in the next couple of weeks, I will not be going to football games. I will be daddy-ing and maybe bearing the fruits of all these training camp swim lessons that my daughter Ayla's had, because I am a swim survivor not like a swim enthusiast. I can make it to the side of the pool but there is no stroke that I've really perfected. So it will be awesome to see my daughter comfortable in the pool and I'll be jumping on that.
(On T Greg Little's performance at left tackle yesterday) – "I thought he did a great job. I was proud of him. You wouldn't have thought that he was progressing through an injury. I thought that he – you can't hide from the tape. And what I saw was a guy that while he hasn't been getting physical reps, he's been getting mental reps and watching his teammates perform the desired tasks and learning from them because he came back and played at a level that was higher than when he left, which is something that I never lose sight of and is a big deal to me. I was happy for him he was able to do it."