Read the full postgame transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.
(transcribed by the Baltimore Ravens)
(on facing a 21-point deficit) "We've been talking about it. We just had a game where we were able to have the lead the whole game. So, the night before, I told the guys that I was really hoping that we would get some adversity in this game, and I wanted to see how we respond to a deficit. Apparently, they took me way too literal. I called them out, it's something we all kind of expected. They're investing more than they ever have. They're really all in. And it was way disappointing. So, when you're down, the tendency is to kind of hang your head. I just challenge them to say, 'Who cares what the score is?' It's about how we play football together. This is an opportunity. It's a tough one, but it doesn't even matter. Let's go and get something out of this game to feel good about in the second half, and we will worry about the score sometime in the fourth quarter. Let's just string some stuff together on both sides of the ball. They had a spirited effort. Talk about what it takes to be able to do something like that. It's an entire team with the right type of people. Everyone echoing the same type of messages. All the credit goes to Baltimore for putting us in that bind. And then we had a lot of players make a lot of plays to get out of it. So that was very encouraging."
(on if doubt ever crept in his mind) "I didn't have time to doubt anything. I was kind of absorbed in what happened in the first half. So, then, I just didn't care about the outcome of the game. At halftime, it was a huge opportunity for us to show who we are and play good football for each other. The whole process I was worried about us playing good football. Once we got within two scores, I felt pretty solid about it; the way the NFL game is played when you have momentum swings like that. I've been on the opposite end of leads given up. So, you feel really confident once you start coming back. A lot of the time that falls short because you don't have complementary football. I think the last four offensive drives we had were touchdowns. I think in that span there were three points given up. That's complementary football when your team needs to do it the most. A lot of guys, it doesn't happen without a complete effort by everyone to press forward and guys care about the Dolphin product. So, it was a pretty exciting moment."
(on what a game like this does for QB Tua Tagovailoa and his teammates confidence) "Now, maybe Tua will listen to me. What I mean by that is, I've said it to you guys before. It's awesome to be critical of yourself. That's good. He has a high standard for himself. But after the first game, I just wanted to see the guy enjoy playing football and understand that, yes, we want to make the perfect read and the perfect throw every time. But, who cares if you just get better at one thing. You're going to be pretty good at the end of the season, let's just press forward. Well, the absolute worst thing could have happened at the beginning of the game for him where he gets a contested ball, that's not really his fault. I know Tyreek [Hill] will say he should catch that; the first interception. And then he starts pressing and throws it up for a second interception. So, you want to talk about everything we talk about; how coachable the guy is, this is huge, because he stopped worrying about the last play. He went and played and took his responsibilities seriously to his teammates about, 'Hey, I'm going to lead this team confidently.' It is what you get into sports for. It is as cool for the coaching staff and him that it was coming to life. I think it was a moment that he will never forget. That hopefully he can use moving forward. We basically had to play perfect complementary football to come back from a deficit like that, and this is a really good team. So, I couldn't be happier with him, and his teammates know. His teammates learned a lot about him, and I think he learned something about himself."
(on if he was surprised about WR Tyreek Hill coming back) "No, I'm never surprised with anything Tyreek. By the way, he came out with a cramp, I think. He was still running fast. Oh, he's crazy."
(on QB Lamar Jackson's performance after last game) "Credit to them. Both sides of the ball knew what happened in the last game. They both knew there would be different preparations. Our defense knew that they couldn't surprise the guys. To his credit, he took advantage. He definitely rectified and can put to bed these issues he had last year. Everyone gets frustrated when that happens. But we knew as an organization, you don't get to be where the Baltimore Ravens are as an organization. How well coached they are, and as an organization in general without getting that fix. So, we knew it wasn't going to be the same formula. Some situations did come up where we audibled to some of the pressures and they took advantage of it. Good for them. That's to their credit. They did a great job with that, and I was happy that the guys got this learning experience. Fortunately, you can end up winning the game as well. But, I know my guys learned a lot from this game, which we need to move forward."
(on if he made an effort to use WR Jaylen Waddle early) "It wasn't early, it was just involved. I didn't know how Jaylen [Waddle] was going to respond in that first game. I didn't want to get greedy and overuse him. This game, I was a lot less worried about that. We basically have a lot of good, talented, skilled position players. So, we will always try to utilize all the dudes. It was good to get him going early, because we are pretty different when he's making plays. I didn't realize it was 19 targets. Yes, we were trying to utilize him, I guess. Good for him, and good for all the guys."