Read the transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on Monday, November 14, 2022.
(There were a lot of fans asking last night about LB Trey Flowers. I know a month ago you'd said you weren't sure if he'd be able to come back like the DE Emmanuel Ogbah injury. Is it possible he might return or would you expect him to be out for the year?) – "Yeah, there's no change. I think I can quote MacGruber on this, okay, and that's 'Never ever say never ever.' (laughter) But yeah, no change."
(So out at least for the foreseeable future?) – "Yeah."
(And then obviously K Jason Sanders has a very good body of work over five NFL years. He's struggled this year. Have you and General Manager Chris Grier and Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman decided if you will bring in kickers just to take a look or is Jason Sanders your kicker unquestionably moving forward?) – "He's given me no reason to believe that he won't get the things corrected. So we're always doing that regardless, with regard to every position to make sure that you are up to speed on your contingency plans because you're only one soft tissue (injury) away, especially at those positions. But I have no reason to think – first and foremost, Jason (Sanders) holds himself to a high degree of scrutiny and has high demands of himself so he expects more. But it'd be one thing if he'd given me any reason to think that he can't get it corrected. So until he proves otherwise, we're feeling good about where we're at with him."
(We've reported the news on DE Emmanuel Ogbah, but to hear it from you and just whatever you can elaborate on his injury?) – "It was very unfortunate for him. For the individual, it sucks because he is one of the type of veteran players that didn't take his investment by the organization lightly and it just seems he's just had hiccup after hiccup. Just unfortunate luck this season, so with regard to health and his injury occurred on a play that really fired me up. He really set the edge on the right tackle and stayed in for a play because he just felt weird. So it's very unfortunate. I feel terrible for him. That's the hard part of being invested and being along on the journey with some of these guys, but we're just going to have to have what's occurred all season at every position, which is to have guys step up and account for his production and his missing voice in the locker room."
(Update on DB Keion Crossen?) – "Haven't talked to (Head Athletic Trainer) Kyle (Johnston) about him specifically today. I do not have an update on it. But I guess I can further update you guys on Wednesday. (laughter) Just be patient. Just be patient. (laughter)"
(When you see receivers blocking downfield like we've seen this season and specifically yesterday, what does that tell you about their desire and their responsibility, how seriously they take it?) – "It tells me that they're trying to win football games and they get it. It tells me that they are being coached right. It tells me that they're that they're approaching the game the right way. If you're shortsighted, you can think, 'Okay, I'm a receiver. I get paid to catch footballs.' And that's a very shortsighted investment because you're also, as a receiver, depending on a lot of people to do the right things for you to get receptions. Yeah, you've got to sauce people up and do cool receiver stuff, but you also have to have a line executing appropriately. And you have to have a quarterback executing appropriately. And that's all easier on both those parties when you're able to run the ball. And in this league, if you want to run the ball with success, it's not negotiable. You've got to have receivers play that way. I saw some guys make some impact plays and get involved, and if you're trying to play good offense at a high level and you have the aspirations to be a really good group in the league, you better run block. It changes the energy and the mentality of a football team when that's the case. I'm glad you mentioned that because it's not happenstance. Not only did we get our first explosive touchdowns … But it's not a coincidence. You're breaking these long touchdowns because guys are committing to the process and having the desire and determination not to have the person that they're in phase with be a part of the tackle. It's cool football."
(Yesterday in the locker room, when you were talking to the team, you kind of challenged the players, so to speak. You used a phrase – "make 2022 one of those years you remember forever." What constitutes a year that you would remember forever?) – "When you go through things, when you're fully invested. Contrary to popular belief, you can't really control ultimate outcomes. You can't – I'm not worried about that. I've learned a life lesson in my experience, that you get out exactly what you put in. You'll make 2022 memorable if you and a collection of other individuals decide to invest as much as they've ever invested in their craft because in that experience, there's highs, lows, there's relationships. But ultimately, I know this for a fact, you get the most out of whatever you got. And you'll remember that. So I make it less tangible, or a proclamation about 'we will do X.' If it's more about – if you reflect on some of the things that you've done in team sports, some of the guys speak on it candidly, guys that have won stuff and guys that have gone to the playoffs, gone and done stuff in the playoffs; the common denominator is that players decided to put team first and individual stuff second and you invest and you go through hardship and you go through triumph, and you become closer as a team and it kind of defines you as a human being as well. So that's all. It's the 100 percent investment, which so far I've been very happy with. But it's long-distance running. It's not a sprint. So we still have a lot of the race to go."
(OL Austin Jackson was active but didn't play. Do you see that as a plan going forward or was it more so just he was available if someone got hurt and maybe he could start on the other side of the bye?) – "We were hoping not to play him because we felt that good about him being able to really – we felt like if we could get through this game, we just loved his progress and he could not have a setback, we would be out of the woods as best we can control with that stuff. So he was there for an emergency and we were hoping not to have to play him and we were fortunate not to."
(This is the bye week for you all. I know you get some time off. Do you have plans to visit a high school game? Have you had a chance to try a Publix sub? I'm just curious some of the things that you planned for the bye.) – "Yeah, I have – I'm still working on the phrase or how to coin a phrase, but it's half regen, half dad. I don't know, I'm not creative enough right now. I emptied the tank this this first half the season, so all my wit's gone. But I think it's important. Just philosophically, how I see going about business, you're competing against people all the time within your own personal – within your building structure, within the people in your position group and around the league. To separate yourself in how you go about stuff, it's the intentionality and being deliberate, but the thing is to do that the right way, it's an exhausting process. It is to – deliberate practice is a brain drain. And in order to do it the appropriate way, you have to have deliberate rest as well. So I'm a leader by example. I'm going to show these guys how to rest my butt off, and then when I'm not asleep, I'll be daddying and husbanding. I'll have some honey-dos. I'll do my chores, because I won't want to be in the doghouse. I might kind of, at the end of the week, just kind of skirt some of those honey-dos, just knowing that there won't be ramifications because I'll be back at work. (laughter) But until then, I'm alright."
(FB Alec Ingold played easily his highest number of snaps yesterday, on the day when the running game had it's best outing of the season.) – "Correlation or causation? (laughter)"
(What say you?) – "I don't think it's a coincidence. We knew going into the game that we were going to have him on the field a lot. He provides a very physical presence and is adjusting to playing. He's played fullback before, but what that means and how we're utilizing his skillset is a little different than he's been used before in his career – a little more versatile. He's got a lot more running. He's not as much close quarters stuff. I thought he did a tremendous job, and he's starting to come into his own in that regard. So, he stepped up to the plate when we needed him to, and he's a tone setter for our football team that we count on, week-in and week-out, to help establish a physical style of play. I was happy to see him be put in some advantageous situations, and he took advantage of them yesterday."
(The physicality of RB Jeff Wilson Jr.'s run style, was that something that you think this offense was missing for the first eight weeks of the season?) – "I think that it's something that benefits the offense. I'm not sure if I would say necessarily missing, but it definitely adds another dimension. I guess we weren't necessarily lacking it, but with a guy like him that brings energy every time he touches the ball, I think that is infectious. I think it does help the team. Whether or not I don't think necessarily we were missing it, but I think it does change a little – there's residual effects to other eligibles, not just the running back room and not just the offense. There's residuals to the whole team as well. I think he electrifies the defense, too, because when you're on the sidelines and you see someone punishing defenders and straining and doing everything they can for each and every yard, it makes every eligible better. I think him and Raheem (Mostert) play off of each other extremely well. They always have. And I thought you saw some pretty cool stuff from Raheem, too, playing off of Jeff's energy."
(So it's one of those things that it's not necessarily quantifiable? Like there's no stat that's going to say, "This is what we're getting with Jeff Wilson as much as…") – "You're exactly right. I was trying – it's made me so happy, because I couldn't articulate it. I really couldn't, but when we were talking about it, I was like, 'Just wait, guys. Just wait.' I was very excited, because I knew we could benefit from something that wasn't necessarily that we were missing but he could add something that could do more than whatever his stats are. Whatever the Jeff – we've got a case of the Wilson-itis, I think, maybe. The whole team benefits from it, and ironically – or is it ironic? Is it correlation or causation? But Cedrick Wilson Jr. also had his most physical game. So maybe the Wilsons are just long-lost brothers that rubbed off on each other, I don't know. (laughter) But I think that it is something that our game can continue to grow in all aspects. I think it was the most physical that we've played on both sides of the ball. I think Jeff Wilson contributed to that, but I think we're all just kind of growing in how we play our style of football. There's a lot of people putting some more physical stuff on tape that it's only going to help the Dolphins."
(Going back to your daddy duty this week, I saw your shoes yesterday had a picture of your daughter on them. I was curious kind of the behind the scenes of how that came to be and just how special it was to have that picture with your daughter?) – "So she can't really talk, but she's a savant of painting and she designed – no. (laughter) That was gifted to me. That was a surprise on Saturday. I have people on top of people – yes, I was surprised on Saturday. I'm getting my haircut on Friday by Steve, you guys might know him, and then he's like, 'I've got a present for you on Saturday.' I said, 'Cool.' I didn't expect that. Salute to Service, which is very meaningful to me and I very much appreciate it, but then to have a picture of myself and my daughter, it was just like, what world am I in? This is unbelievable. So then I went down the hall and checked with my regulatory advisors to make sure that I would not be violating any NFL rules, and I think I passed all tests so then I put them on. It was a really cool thing to be able to support an unbelievable cause for people that sacrifice really everything they have, in a selfless manner, for our way of life. And then to have that on top of a painted picture of my daughter, who when I saw her on the sidelines before the game, they were talking about them. So I pointed and she goes, 'Ayla,' which is her name, so she recognized herself on a shoe and I almost just broke down crying before the game. So that was pretty cool. I felt very fortunate to be a part of it. Those shoes are – I took them from the game home and I'll probably be wearing them doing dad duty all week while I take out the trash."