The Miami Dolphins came out of last week's game against the Indianapolis Colts with a lot of questions, and just a week to try to find some answers. Yesterday, head coach Joe Philbin met with the media to discuss some of those questions - and if he has gotten into the Gangnam Style fad.
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin met with the media yesterday. Here's the team provided transcript from the press conference:
(On Jake Locker starting for the Titans) - "I was in the defensive install meeting today and Kevin (Coyle) spent some extra time looking at both of them (quarterbacks), looking at him in particular. As I said, he had a fantastic game against Detroit and he's certainly developing. (It) looks like he's taking excellent strides in his second year. As I said yesterday, the guy can make all the throws and he's got mobility, he can extend plays. We're going to have to do an excellent job. Our pass rush discipline's going to be huge against this guy. It looks like he's developing into a nice pro quarterback."
(On if it benefits going against athletic quarterbacks in back-to-back weeks or if it worries him) - "Well, based on last week... (joking). I don't know that there's a real benefit. Again, it's just going to come down to us executing. I think we have a good plan in place regardless of who plays quarterback, but the proof will be how well we execute it come Sunday."
(On facing a mobile quarterback and how to balance the pass rush) - "Obviously, edge pressure, you want guys if they can beat an offensive tackle with speed, certainly you don't want to prohibit them from doing that, but, at the same point, you just can't get run-pass, clearly you just can't take off and just start running and get pushed past the quarterback all day and then let him step up and escape. Those type of things. It's a balance. It creates a problem for you no doubt."
(On how tough a decision it was to put Richard Marshall on Injured Reserve) - "From a medical standpoint, they thought that was the best thing to do."
(On how Marshall being played on the IR impacts the depth at cornerback) - "We have to step up and play well. Some guys have already and so I think he... played four games and missed four? Does that sound right? We've been functioning the last month without him and we're just going to have to continue to do that."
(On one area of the team that has exceeded his expectations and one area that he'd like to see some improvement) - "The thing I shared with the team from an improvement standpoint is our run production on both sides of the ball has kind of dropped off from where it was if you looked at the quarter pole and now where we are today. So I think that's something that we addressed to the whole ball unit and we need to do a better job there. Exceed? I don't know that anything's necessarily exceeded my expectations so far. I'm not in the tank about any one specific thing, but we expect our guys to play well. As I said to our team, I think I told you guys yesterday, we've had some really good film, we've had some average film and we've had some bad film. And that's why we're 4-4."
(On how he would assess the team's pass protection) - "I don't know, probably a B-minus. Decent, but not where we would like it to be. You have a fourth-and-15 play to the win game (and) you've got to protect your quarterback, give yourselves a chance to win the game. That's one play. I think it's maybe slightly above average, but hopefully it's going to get better."
(On why the pass protection is better this season than last) - "I don't really have a good perspective to answer that question. I really can't give you a good on that."
(On the best defense against speed, in particular someone like Chris Johnson) - "Just pursuit, good gap responsibility, leveraging the football. There's a force player on every defense that Kevin calls if a run goes to somebody. Fitting the run game properly. Having perimeter force on him. Good pursuit. Good fundamental tackling, wrapping your arms, accelerating your feet on contact. All the basic principles that we teach I think."
(On if one missed step against a player with great speed costs the team more) - "I think our front seven's got to do a great job kind of corralling this guy (Chris Johnson). The film will tell you that if you give him an opportunity to get on a safety or a corner with a lot of space to operate, it's tough. He's got finishing speed and he's elusive. You're making it real hard on a guy. I think our front seven (has) got to do a great job this week."
(On how often he talks to Stephen Ross during the season) - "A couple times a week usually."
(On what Ross wants to know and hear) - "I don't know that he wants to hear (anything in particular). (I) talk to him about the team. (I) talked to talk to him about the game plan coming up, the opponent coming up (and) how I envision the game unfolding to the best of my knowledge. Mostly about that stuff."
(On how this Sunday's game is going to unfold) - "I told the team I think we are going to be in a lot of close games the second half of the year. I really believe that. Again I don't know if it is going to be as close as last weeks or not, but I would guess that we are going to be in a lot of close games."
(On how Jimmy Wilson has played at the nickel corner spot) - "I think he has played well. Obviously I don't know that our secondary played up to anybody's expectations last week. Hopefully not their own. With that said, there has definitely been progress. No question about it. I thought the week before we played very, very well. We have to eliminate the peaks and valleys, there's no question. He's not the only player on the team who needs to do that, but I thought he has developed nicely. I thought his coverage has improved and I think he's done some good things as a pressure player in our package as well."
(On whether he anticipates that Wilson will be the nickel corner the rest of the year) - "As of right now."
(On what he has seen from his young defensive linemen, specifically Kheeston Randall and Derrick Shelby) - "They have played in about a dozen plays, 10, 15 typically in a normal game. Shelby is a real fundamentally sound kid. (He's) kind of technique sound, you like the way he plays the game. He plays with good leverage. They're not out of place, and they don't look out of place on film. There are not a lot of pictures of them getting really blown off the line of scrimmage or way out of their gap or responsibility. They haven't made a ton of plays yet, but hopefully that will come with more experience. On the film they look like they belong."
(On how much the coaching staff likes to work unpredictability into the game plans) - "Yeah I think you're always looking at that. You're studying yourself so you're trying to get a snapshot of what you are on film and then perhaps projecting a little bit what that means to the opposition and their staff and what they're thinking of you guys, how they may attack you. And we in the red zone meeting last night and we were studying ourselves first and then watching the film of Tennessee and kind of marrying the two together. You know, if we line up like this, this is what we've done, how is that going to impact their call? To the best degree you can. We're really more concerned about getting all-purpose plays that are good against everything as opposed to let's take a shot at this one picture we saw and have a perfect play."
(On whether there is something specific he is looking for from the CB position) - "I think you guys mentioned we are obviously kind of thin at that position, no question about it. So we're just looking to take a look at some guys to see if, a) they fit in, b) how well they fit in, c) are they quick learners and can they adjust to the system. Can they make a contribution? It's no more than that really."
(On how long he thinks it takes for a guy to step in and grasp the system) - "As long as they need. It depends on the necessity. Again, I think players are different. An experienced guy might be able to come in and contribute in a week or two and another guy it might take him awhile. I think it's really (determined) on an individual basis."
(On whether he expects a higher sense of urgency from the Titans after their loss last week) - "Watching the film, when you look at the film you watch more than just their most recent game. You kind of get a snap shot of how this team plays, and I think this team plays hard. I think I was home that one night late, and I think I caught the end of their Thursday night game against Pittsburgh live when I watched it, and it looked like they were playing their tails off. So we're more concerned about how our own guys play the game, but I expect them to play well."
(On how Jabar Gaffney has begun to compliment the other receivers) - "I think he is making progress. Without, again, being too simplistic, I think he moves like a wide receiver. I don't know that he is a speed burner who is going to go out for the track team, but the guy moves. He runs routes pretty smooth and he understands how to get open. He's seen some coverages in his day and I think he can kind of settle in a spot. He kind of has a good awareness on the field as a route runner. That's important. Some of those are hard to teach, so I see him developing no question."
(On whether he is the defined number 3 receiver, or if he will split time with Marlon Moore) - "I see both guys contributing. Yeah I mean you have to be careful about the snap count overall, but I see both of those guys having a role."
(On when he learned about the Gangnam Style dance) - "I'm still learning about it. Yeah that's a new phenomenon that I'm not real up on. I'm getting educated."
(On whether they told him about it in the locker room) - "They may have. But (with) my hearing, I didn't hear it real well. It took me until about the middle of the week until I got a grip on it."
(On whether he will do the dance for the media if the team makes the playoffs) - "Whatever you guys want."