The Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals 17-13 on Sunday, moving to 2-3 on the year. The win kept the Dolphins just one game out of the AFC East division lead. On Monday, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman met with the media to discuss the game. Here is the team provided transcript of the press conference:
(On what he sees from Ryan Tannehill) - "I think his decision making has definitely improved over the last couple of weeks. Each game we go into and come out of less and less of us being critical of his decisions. He's made some very good decisions here as of late. The other thing I would say would be, push in the pocket. He had the tendency to leave the pocket with depth. Now he's stepping up in the pocket and finding throws to make. He had a great throw to (Davone) Bess on a scramble in the game. He's created some plays with his feet by pushing up in the pocket. Yeah I would say those two areas, push in the pocket and decision making have definitely improved."
(On the up and down play of Charles Clay) - "It certainly appears to be that way a little bit. He did make some good catches. We definitely have to clarify our situation. That could have been disastrous. You end up punting with 1:54 and you should have punted with 1:20. But he made some nice plays, he did some good things and he keeps getting better. Hopefully that will just continue and he will learn from his mistake in the game."
(On that play where Clay ran out of bounds) - "He caught the ball about three yards inside the hash mark, and what he should have done is turn it up. The play before that Reggie was near the boundary and he just went down, the same thing with him. I didn't want to throw the ball down the field. Ryan, if he (Clay) wasn't going to be open then he was going to take a sack and use up the time. If he was wide open then he was going to take it, if not Ryan was just going to run it or take the sack and then that would eat up the time on the clock, but that didn't happen."
(On whether he expected that Brian Hartline would be this productive) - "Considering the fact that he missed training camp, OTAs, and didn't get with us until the preseason and had been really absent the entire time, that was more of my concern. Based on last year's tapes, I thought he did everything he was asked to do, so I had a lot of respect for him coming in to the season. The physical setback that he had with the surgery and what he went through, I thought may take him a little bit longer to get on track."
(On whether he noticed Cincinnati respecting his big play ability and not letting him run vertical) - "They pretty much played how they play. They had some respect for him going into the game obviously given what he did the week before. I don't think they changed a whole heck of a lot."
(On whether the number of short catches Hartline had in week two against the Raiders was due to them respecting his speed) - "Possibly. I don't know if they knew enough about him at that point to say that. That could possibly be, but again I think that was a function of their coverages as well. I think they want to stop the run game so they added another defender to (the box). They were hurting a little bit at that position so they kept him up."
(On what area of the offense has improved most from Week One) - "I would have to say our quarterback position is the most dramatic improvement on the offensive side of the ball. He just keeps getting better and better. Very seldom does he make the same mistake twice. You tell him that you need to do this and he does it. So I think that his maturation throughout the course of the NFL season, going into Week Six, he has taken steps every single week. He will continue to do that throughout the course of the season and the course of his career. So I would think that's the single biggest jump this season."
(On the right side of the offensive line) - "I think Jonathan Martin, for a rookie, is playing above our expectations at this point. He's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he is excellent with his hands, (and) he takes pretty good pass sets for the most part. Those two ends that they were rushing the quarterback the other day were great ends. They have great length, particularly (Robert) Geathers, the guy he was playing against, has really good length. So sometimes you have to give him a stab in the chest and power rush him a little bit. So I think he's exceeding our expectations. John Jerry, and I have to give Coach Turner and lot of credit for this, being on John about losing his weight. He's lost about 30-35 pounds since the summer time and I think that's really added to his game. Both players aren't perfect. They still have a ways to go, but I think we're getting there."
(On some of the things they did as an offense to close out the game against the Bengals) - "Well I don't feel like we did close out the game because we turned the ball over to the defense. If we had finished the game with the football, I know the defense got the pick and we ended up on the field, but I feel like we didn't close out the game yesterday. I hate the fact that we had to turn the ball over there on third and eight. So I don't feel like we did, honestly. The biggest thing is that we didn't turn the ball over in the fourth quarter and allow them an opportunity to score points. That may be a difference."
(On what he can do to improve the short yardage offense) - "Yeah that's certainly been a bone of contention with me and with our offense. We have to be much better there. I think it's a matter of repetition in practice. I think there's no excuse for us not to be able to get a yard. We knew the play going in that we were going to run, we didn't get it on fourth and one. We did come back on third and one and got it. I think it's a matter of me putting them in those situations in practice, live contact situations where it's full-bore. It's a little bit different when it's full speed and the defense can tackle as opposed to just playing on your feet and reacting to the play on defense. We have to liven that period up a little bit, but I've got a plan that will hopefully enact a good short yardage situation and hopefully we can get better that way. But it definitely needs improvement. The last couple of weeks we've been stalled in those positions and they kill drives. We've had great opportunities. We had great field position on the one that we don't take advantage of. The defense gave us great field position and then we go third and one, fourth and one and we're done. That's unacceptable, but we'll get that fixed, I promise you."
(On whether he has scrambling rules with Ryan Tannehill on when to slide and such) - "He understands and he has been coached that in college for the most part. He understands his value to the team and how he needs to be able to play the next play for us. So he's very much in tune with that. He took a couple of hits but they were in the pocket. He didn't take any hits on scrambles, and he's smart enough to go down. But because of your question I will remind him even more."
(On his ability to throw on the run and whether he saw that at Texas A&M) - "It's also something that we practice here. When a play breaks down in practice we don't stop. We keep working and I think they know, the receivers, when you have a quarterback who you know will extend the play with his feet and his arm, you have a tendency to really work harder and try to get open. That's been the case a couple of times, and he's a very accurate thrower on the run. Sometimes those throws aren't the easiest when you're running away from a 295 pound defensive end chasing you down. To make that accuracy is not the easiest thing. But I thought he did a great job of not only pushing the pocket, escaping the rush, but then finding the receiver and making some big plays. I thought it was his best game."