Tuesday, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin addressed the media following the end of the day's organized team activities. Obviously, the most newsworthy moment from his comments was the announcement that the Dolphins would be featured on this year's edition of the HBO and NFL Films production Hard Knocks.
Hard Knocks follows a team through training camp, with the 24-man production team being allowed access to the coaches and players, in the dorms, locker room, practice field, and everywhere. The Miami Dolphins' season of Hard Knocks will debut on August 7 on HBO, with a weekly episode every Tuesday after that through September 4. The NFL season begins on September 5.
However, that was not the only topic Philbin covered in his comments. Continue reading for the full transcript of Philbin's media availability:
Opening Statement - "Before I started I just wanted to make a statement, we are excited that NFL Films and HBO have chosen the Miami Dolphins to appear on Hard Knocks. I want you to know a couple of things about the decision. Number one it was a football decision, it was made by the football operations staff, our owner Steve (Ross) supported our decision, but in no way shape or form forced us to make this decision. I'm personally very excited about it, I shared my thoughts about it with our football team this morning. First and foremost, it's a football show. It's a show that is going to showcase our players, a great group of men that we have assembled here in Miami as they go through training camp. Second thing, I think it's a great opportunity for us to connect with our fans, for the people who aren't going to be able to come out here on a daily basis in a 110 degree heat index weather and watch our guys participate in training camp, I think it's an outstanding way for us to connect with them. The third thing is, it's a chance for us to show the new direction and identity of this football team. Where we are headed and at the same time also connect with our past, the great history, tradition and heritage that we have here in Miami. So I wanted you folks to be one of the first to know about this."
(On if he is concerned about the potential pitfalls of being on Hard Knocks) - "I'm not worried about the X's and O's part of it, that I think is secondary in football anyway. Half-jokingly I said to our team, the last time I checked they are going to have some cameras on Sunday afternoon. We have to get used to it, I told our staff the same thing. Our job really is to help these guys reach their potential. Teach them how to block, teach them how to catch, teach them how to tackle, teach them how to make good decisions and my feeling is that we are going to be able to do that whether there is one camera or fifty cameras. Talking to the people at NFL Films, they wanted access and trust, we are going to go out there an coach just like we have been coaching before. I don't think it's going to be a big deal. I am excited about it. As we know there's distractions in everything, it is what you make it. One thing I guarantee, I told the staff and I told the players, these players will follow the lead of the coaching staff. So if we make it a big deal; then it will be a big deal, but I don't think it will."
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(On when did you get the idea and the reaction of Mr. Ross) - "(Mr. Ross) really wanted to stay out of it for the most part and make it a football decision. He in no way influenced this decision, he was probably more worried, ‘Joe this is your first year as head coach and there's pressure and this and that'. Myself, I think it's a better time to do this as opposed to year two or year three or year four."
(On what side of his personality and his team's personality does he hope comes off on the show) - "Again, I think the number one thing, coaching from a philosophical standpoint is you have to be yourself. So I am not concerned about how I am perceived or look, I have to do what I feel is going to help these players reach their potential and this football team reach its potential. So I have given no thought to that whatsoever and I am not really concerned about that. You guys have been to practice, you have seen how this staff coaches on a daily basis, we are just going to be ourselves. We are in the business of improving individuals and helping them reach their potential and ultimately helping this team reach its potential and ultimately win games and championships. That's not going to change. That's what we do, that's what we do on a daily basis. Probably 20 years from now it will be a lot of fun to watch. I have never seen the show. So, that's the truth, that's the god's honest truth."
(On who approached who about the show) - "I am not really sure how it got to be, I wasn't necessarily auditioning for it, but the more I thought about it. Let's face it the easy answer is to say, no it's a huge distraction, they are going to have camera's everywhere, we are not going to be able to deal with all that stuff. That's the easy thing to say. But this program is not based on doing what is easy and we thought that it was in the best interest of the organization at this point in time to do it, so that is what we are doing."
(On the absence of Reggie Bush at today's practice) - "I don't want to comment, I will talk about anyone who was here and what they did, but I am not going to talk about guys who were not here."
(On if what he say in Daniel Thomas on film has matched up with what he has seen on the field) - "Obviously we like his potential very much, we like his size as a running back. As you guys are well aware, the versatility of that position and the move in football, probably if you have studied football, more one back offense than two back offense, so with that, when you put one individual back there as opposed to two, you want to have a feeling of comfort that, that guy is going to be able to do not only run the football but obviously pass protect. We think he's got nice size to do that, obviously that's going to be the blitz pickups, the adjustments all those things, the things that we are working on a daily basis as you saw today there were a couple times where we didn't handle the blitz very well. We turned a guy free in the ‘A' gap one time, can't do that. We had a four weak pressure one time and the quarterback didn't see it, that's not very good, you're going to get hit in the back of the head on that one and you are going to get hit in the chin on the other one. So we have some things that we have to clean up obviously, but Daniel's a guy we think has a good future and we are looking forward to working with him."
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(On Jimmy Wilson's adjustment) - "I like what he is doing. As I have said to some of the guys on the staff, he kind of moves like a football player. He has got pretty good acceleration, looks like he has relatively good instincts, so he shows up around the action quite a bit in pretty quick time, so I like that about him. To the degree that we can tell, obviously we can't sit here and say what kind of a tackler he is right now, hopefully it's a good one. But I like the progress he is making."
(On what Vontae Davis is missing by being limited in practice and not being on the field) - "I will say this, and I will probably say it Week 2 and Week 10 and Week 17, this is a coaching staff that believes in the value of practice and repetition. We don't believe in killing the players, we don't believe in driving them into the dirt, but there is value in repetition. We only spend the time out here that we feel we need to, we think we are doing things of value, whether it is formation recognition, whether it pressures and blitzes they got to go through. We did a half line drill in pass concepts, pass defense verses a trips side and a pass defense verses a balanced side, so all those reps they are all valuable. The recognition is valuable, the anticipation is valuable, communication with your teammates is valuable, so there is a lot of things he is missing and obviously that's part of football, but I would always rather have a player out there than not."
(On Richard Marshall) - "I really like what he is doing. I like the progress he is making as well. (I) like his attitude. (He has a) business-like approach on the field. There is not a lot of chatter; there is not a lot of talk. There is a lot of action and work. I think he has a good future. I like the contributions he is making so far."
(On Reshad Jones and safety position) - "That is obviously a critical position. Down the middle in almost every sport is huge. In baseball, you have your catcher and pitcher. On offense, you have your quarterback and center and on defense your middle linebacker typically and your safety all play an important role in your communication and the overall effectiveness in this particular case of the defense. I think we are seeing some signs. I know Kevin (Coyle) when he met with these guys on day number one talked about communication on one of the areas that we need to improve and want to get better as a unit, not Reshad Jones are anyone in particular. I think they are making progress there. I think Reshad had a couple of picks today. He is off to a good start."
(On his vision for Jared Odrick) - "Just like anybody else, we are looking to put the right people in the right places where we feature them. They have a level of comfort where they "fit" from a schematic perspective. He's a guy that I think has a lot of ability. He has flashed some good things over the course of his career, especially last year. Obviously after the first year where he had a major injury. We are excited about him. We like him in the run game like any other player in our front to be stout at the point of attack, disengage and make tackles. In the pass game, we would like him to disrupt the rhythm of the pass game, hit the quarterback, tip passes, sack the quarterback, cause fumbles. He is not unlike the other members of the defense in that regard."
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(On Clyde Gates) - "He is making progress. He has limited experience, so he's got a ways to go from a repetition standpoint and getting the adjustments that need to be made on each particular route based on the leverage of the defender, based on the particular coverage call that's made on defense. I think the more experience he gets in that, the faster he is going to play. I think playing receiver in this league, (you have) to have good play speed, not necessarily run a 40-yard dash at 4.39 seconds. I think you have to have the ability to minimize your hesitation as a receiver and play fast and decisively. That is huge. I think that is one thing that we are working on a day by day basis to improve with him."
(On what he likes about Mike Pouncey) - "I like his quickness number one. He plays quick; he gets off the ball at the snap count. There are some centers in the league that are maybe stouter, bigger individuals and certainly that's good too, but we like the way he moves. We like his ability to get to the second level at times. He is pretty athletic. I think he can sustain a block at the linebacker level which is important in any run game. It doesn't matter what run game you use. You have to have guys that stay engaged with linebackers. That doesn't particularly mean the zone scheme. He is good there and he has good awareness in the middle too, be it changing up the protection calls or twist game, those types of things. I think he is a pretty aware football player."
(On if Gary Guyton has the chance to start) - "I like for it to be as challenging (as possible). There were no discussions about playing for depth with Gary Guyton. Every player we get, we want to provide an opportunity to reach their potential, whether that means the starter or the second string or third string. That remains to be seen. I like what I see so far. We have had a lot of quality work; we are tempering our evaluations to a certain degree until we get to the padded work. We like what we see so far."
(On quarterbacks progressing in system) - "Today I think Kevin (Coyle)...again we are advancing from a schematic standpoint every day. Today we did the redzone. In the redzone we typically have empty blitzes where you are sending the house so to speak. Usually that means an extra guy is coming. There might be one free guy that you don't have accounted for in the blocking scheme. That leads to your play time as a quarterback and your awareness outside on the perimeter has to be enhanced a little bit. I think there were a couple of pictures where that wasn't real good today, but I think overall that room...those four guys are very professional in their jobs and the approach to their job. I think they are supportive of one another which I think is important. I think they all have exhibited at certain times pretty good leadership traits. Is every pass as accurate as it needs to be? No. Is the timing of every play where we want it? Absolutely not, but I think overall we are making good progress at that position."