The Miami Dolphins are in the middle of their Week 7 bye, sitting at 3&3 in a four way tie atop the AFC East. Wednesday, head coach Joe Philbin met with the media to discuss the team's victory over the St. Louis Rams last Sunday and what the team is doing during the bye. Here is the transcript from that press conference, as provided by the team.
(On how the crowd was at this past game) - "It was loud, especially in the fourth quarter. We've played a couple close games at home and it's always good to have the support of your fans, especially in the fourth quarter in a tight game. I think it made a difference in the last drive that St. Louis had. I've been pleased. It's a loud stadium. I've played in other stadiums and I think it's a great atmosphere. We're grateful to the support of our fans."
(On if he feels a need to get on the board quicker in games) - "We've kind of talked about that - you look at our third quarter scoring, it's pretty good. We've played relatively well coming out of the gate at halftime. I would agree. I think we do have to do a better job playing quote-un-quote downhill, getting an advantage and teeing off. We were talking in our defensive meetings. I think we have a defense that's built for playing with a lead. I think we can get after the pass a little bit. We're playing good third-down defense. Hopefully, we can do that. I think we do need to get off to quicker start. We've done all kinds of things. You've heard about the first 15 (plays). We've scripted plays. We've got ideas about how we want to attack a team, but it hasn't come to fruition like it has to. I think it would be real beneficial for us."
(On how he feels about the way safety's Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons have played) - "I think they're developing. I think they're playing well. They're making a good contribution. I think Chris' tackling has been improved since early in the season. I think he's done a nice job there. Reshad's been around the football a couple times. Obviously, we had the 65-yard play last week against us that's not acceptable. I think overall you can see there's some development. I think there's a good conceptual understanding of what we're trying to get done defensively. Those guys are an important part of the defense. They still have a long way to go, but I think they've both shown some progress."
(On what he has been most impressed about the way wide receiver Davone Bess has played in his system) - "He's a football player. I know that's kind of a broad-based term, but he's a guy that we feel like can make plays and needs to be on the field for us at this stage where we're at offensively. Whether he's inside, outside, we love his competitiveness. We just feel like we're a better team when he's out there. That's why you've seen him in maybe some different spots."
(On how important the tight end position is in his offense, particularly Anthony Fasano) - "We met about everybody. We kind of had a personnel meeting, obviously with the staff and talked about each player. Anthony's a guy that, I know when I first looked at, was fortunate to interview for the job, studied a little bit of film (and) was impressed with him. He's a guy I think that plays up to his potential. I think he's a guy that gets a lot out of his ability and he's a smart football player. I like what he's doing. I think he's made a good contribution."
(On if he's sticking around this weekend during the bye and if he has anything planned) - "Yeah... Not really, not much. Hopefully, I can be a regular guy and take my daughter to dance lessons or just hang out with my kids and family. I don't really have anything exotic planned."
(On if his wife saw his statement made yesterday about helping out at the community event) - "My statement on the radio? I haven't gotten any instructions, but I'm sure I will at some point in time. Like any good husband, I'm going to do whatever she tells me."
(On if teams have schemed against Brian Hartline the last couple of weeks) - "Sure. I'm sure they have. I think any staff that you go up against, they're going to do what they can to take away the best players, the most productive players on offense. Certainly, they'll have different ways of doing that. I think sometimes there's too many generalizations made, ‘They pressed every single play.' Typically, I don't really usually see that on film, the film that I watch. Even some of the comments that were made about we shutdown A.J. Green or Larry Fitzgerald, I think you have to do different things in this league. I don't know that you can do the same thing every single play. I give credit, some teams have done a better job of taking him away. No question. We have to do a better job of getting him the ball. There's never, I don't think it's all 100 percent one direction and zero the other."
(On how he can do a better job of getting Brian Hartline the ball) - "You don't want to force it, but I mean there (are) different ways. You can move him around and put him motion, different formations and challenge the defense in different ways. We'll take a look at all that stuff, but at the end of the day, this league as we know is an outcome oriented league. You have to win games. So while we don't like to have 195 yards of offense, that's not making us feel great about our production offensively, we did some good things and won a football game. That's important in this league."
(On his reaction to hearing that Miami is a finalist to host Super Bowl 50) - "I think it would be great. It's a great thing to be a part of. It's like any other game when you get there. It's a football game. It's a 60 minute game and you've got to play well and execute. But yeah I think it would be wonderful for the region."
(On how close or far away Jabar Gaffney is to contributing) - "We'll probably have a better handle next week after practice. You know the guy is a gamer. He's got production on film. He's been in games, he's played well in games, he's got a lot of catches in this league. So I don't think it's overly far away. We've just got to put him in more situations and see how he responds, see if he's really ready to play at the speed we need him to play at."
(On Kevin Burnett's switch from the 3-4 to the 4-3 defense) - "Kevin is another guy that I've played against a number of different times in the various places he has been and he's been a good football player in the league. Sometimes scheme is overrated. If a guy is a good football player, you should be able to a) utilize or fit the scheme around him, or b) sometimes good football players can play in any system. Whether it's a west coast offense, or a numbers teaching offense, I think good football players can fit anywhere. He certainly fits in that category, and he has certainly adjusted well. I think the scheme fits him well and he's been productive. We look for him to improve hopefully as our defense does in the second half."
(On the goal of the last practice before the bye) - "Survival. I told Coach O'Keefe, you know he's been coaching 30 plus years, I said you've never been through this. If you can make it through the last practice before a bye week, talk about a challenge. No, I thought we got a lot of good things done. We got some Jets work done, we got some special teams things done, we got a lot of fundamental work. So a lot of times you can't do some individual things in both special teams and on offense/defense. You're so concerned about, ‘have we covered this blitz? Have we run this route against this coverage?' You kind of lose the individual aspect. We did some one-on-ones, which was great, wide receivers against DBs and things along those lines, so it was a good practice. The guys were good."
(On whether Marlon Moore enhanced his value during Sunday's game) - "Yeah he played well. He did a good job, he did a good job in the game. We're still at the stage (where) we're kind of working through guys in practice and (seeing) how well a guy fits into a game plan and grasps the game plan. Performs in practice; the proof is in the pudding. We're not locked and loaded at that spot. We're going to go with guys that we feel give us the best chance, and some of that is based on how they practice."
(On the trust factor with Davone Bess, specifically fielding punts down by the goal line) - "He's a reliable football player. He's a guy who, obviously (Darren) Rizzi and Dave Fipp have a ton of confidence in, as do I. It's an easy decision. When the guy is out there playing, I just have a lot of faith in the guy, that he's going to give you everything he's got, that he's going to do the things the way you ask him to do it. Certainly he's not a perfect football player, nobody is. I think he's just a guy that the staff has a lot of confidence and a lot of respect in. It's a tough, tight situation and when we call on his number we feel good that he's going to give us everything he's got."