Joe Philbin press conference - Tuesday

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin met with the media yesterday following the team's practice. Here's a transcript of that press conference.

(Opening statement) - "I thought we had a good start to the week of preparation. It's going to be a good opponent that we are playing up there. We are going to have to play extremely well. I thought we got off to a good start today."

(On what he's seen from Jelani Jenkins in recent weeks that has led to an expanded role) - "He's a bright kid. He's versatile. He understands the defense well. He's picked up the system quickly. He's very athletic. He's got some good instincts in regards to pass coverage whether it is zone or man and how to dissect pass concepts on the move quickly. He's done a good job. He's done a good job in practice and did well in the game."

(On if his team will take swagger into the Buffalo game and if swagger is important) - "It's important that the players believe in one another. It's important that they believe in the coaching staff. That's really what I'm most concerned about as we get ready for this game. Swagger, I'll have to go into the dictionary. I'm not exactly sure (laughing)."

(On how much he knows about Buffalo and how much he changes now that he is playing him for the second time) - "Again, I think that was, I'm trying to guess, week 6, so that was eight or nine weeks ago we played them. They may have a different quarterback then when we played last time, so we have a good sample of plays on them. We've seen what they've done. Their program, Coach (Doug) Marrone is in his first year. It's a new staff, we probably don't know as much about them as we did our last division opponent that we just played last week. Again, as I've told the team, this is going to be our 15th game. We kind of do what we do. We'll obviously have a wrinkle or two here or there, but I don' think there will be a ton of surprises in the game."

(On if he is flattered to hear his named mentioned as a coach of the year candidate) - "Number one, I haven't heard any of that. Again, we are all concentrating as a team and an organization. This is important. We talked about the fourth quarter and playing well in December. These guys have been hard at it since July 21st. We need to finish this season strong."

(On if he is shaking his head at the same media members proclaiming him as a coach of the year candidate who were criticizing him just a month ago) -"Again everybody has their opinions, and they are entitled to them. We just have to keep working and keep getting better as a team."

(On today's practice seeming shorter than normal) - "The guys did a good job. They were into it. They were quick. We talked to the team all the time about the scout team guys who put on the Buffalo look, for example, this week. They're really the key to the practice, and if you can get those guys moving at a good pace it really helps. They do a lot of things on the first sound as an offensive unit. They aren't a team that spends a lot of time at the line of scrimmage. That probably helped maybe shave a couple of minutes. I thought the pace was very good."

(On how pleased with Marcus Thigpen and his versatility) - "We really like his versatility a lot. He is a guy who can fill-in at a number of different spots. Those kind of guys are valuable throughout the course of a game. We've utilized him at certain points in various roles already, but if injuries were to hit at certain positions he could fit in at a lot of spots. As you are filling out the roster, as you well know we only get 46 spots for a gameday it's a big benefit to have a player like that."

(On how special it is to be playing with something on the line right now and if he can detect it from his players) - "I think our chemistry is very, very good as a football team right now. These guys like to compete. They come into work every day and give excellent effort. Football, I tell the guys when we gather up in July and when we start September 4th or whatever with the group that you move forward with is that it's special. It's special to be an NFL football player, to coach in this league, and the 2013 team is only going to be together. Next year is going to be a whole different story. There are going to be a lot of different guys in there for a variety of reasons. You want to take advantage of the opportunities you have. It's a good group of guys. I think we enjoy coaching these guys, and they enjoy playing. That's fun. That's what it is all about."

(On if there has been anything that has surprised him about Bryant McKinnie) - "He's very quiet, he's very professional in the building, he's quite he goes about his business, he's attentive in meetings, he's been on time for every single thing, every obligation. He's paying attention, he's been very professional in all of his duties. I don't know if that should be a surprise but if you're never around a player you don't really know."

(On his thoughts about Sam Brenner and how Bryant McKinnie helps him) - "He helps shield him sometimes there's a big difference, if you ever watch the film it's like, ‘do we have a left guard in there,' (laughing). No, they've worked well together."

(On what he credits Mike Wallace improving statistically) - "He's continued to come out on the practice field and work on his game. You always hope a player, regardless of how many years they've been in the league, you want them to come out and approach their job like the glass is half full and you want to learn more you want to be better and I think he's done that. I think it's also a new team that he's still getting acclimated to, a new quarterback and those type of things. I think he just kept working at it and usually things turn around and usually things even out at the end of the day."

(On if he sees the chemistry improving between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace) - "Yes, I think they'll keep working on it, yes."

(On if it was encouraging to see Brent Grimes and Nolan Carroll playing today) - "Yes, I think that's part of our jobs as coaches to get players ready to play in games. Certainly it's a credit to a guy like Jimmy Wilson who goes out there and starts playing corner back and he hasn't played, Will Davis has been here for a while but hasn't really gotten a significant amount of play time. Michael Thomas the new superstar (laughing), his story is well documented but that's what our job is and you go forward with the guys that you have and they stepped up nice."

(On how he would evaluate the return game) - "I think the word you just used at the end, close, I think we've been close. I think there's still a lot of room for improvement, I think we have to finish blocks better, I've been a little disappointed. I don't have the numbers in front of me but we've started backed up too many times. We've had too many penalties and we've got to get that cleaned up."

(On why he didn't play Don Jones instead of Michael Thomas) - "We've been working him primarily at safety. (Michael) Thomas has had more experience playing inside in the preseason."

(On what he's learned about this team in their cold weather games) - "I mean we talked to them a little bit today about it. I don't know, I know we can get a prediction from the US weather service, how accurate that'll be, who knows. I think it comes down to when the ball is kicked off its blocking and tackling and executing football. I think guys kind of forget about the weather unless it's extreme. In Pittsburgh, I don't think it was extreme in Pittsburgh. It was snowing hard for a little bit but after that, the snow stopped. The guys were enjoying playing the game of football and they were in a real tight hard fought football game. I think there's a lot of talk pregame, but usually it gets down to the fundamentals once the game starts."

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