Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin met with the media today to discuss the team's game this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Here is the transcript of that press conference, as provided by the team:
(On why the team practiced indoors today) - "We had some guys get some IVs and everything. We practiced out in this environment quite a bit. We practiced outside as well today. We look at body weights. We take everything into consideration, but we just felt that was the right thing to do. We've done it a couple times before."
(On how far cornerback Nolan Carroll has come the last couple weeks) - "He made a nice contribution to the victory and played well. Hopefully, he can follow that up and display some consistency and keep improving. That'll be great."
(On how wide receiver Jabar Gaffney is coming along) - "He's making progress. He's making progress, yeah. Part of its getting through the terminology barrier. Part of its learning the concepts themselves. Football's football. It's not all that much different, but still there's a little bit. He's working hard at it, staying after practice. We'll see how he progresses."
(On if it's hard to throw Gaffney into the mix because he hasn't been with the team for that long) - "It can be, yeah. It can be a little bit more of a challenge if they haven't been around much. I think he's making good progress."
(On how much quarterback Ryan Tannehill's educational background played into the decision to draft him and how sharp he is) - "He seems very bright. I don't know that we looked that closely at his transcript. I don't recall that part of the evaluation process. You could tell he was a bright guy. When we went out to dinner that time, when I was a part of that, I'm sure the scouts went into greater detail. But he seems to be very bright."
(On running back Daniel Thomas having his second concussion this season and if that changes when he will allow him return) - "Whatever the league says we're going to do... Whatever the medical people tell me is what I'm going (to do). That's what I'm going to do."
(On the Rams having middle of the road statistics and yet they still are 3-2) - "I think they're ahead in the turnover margin I believe. They're not a highly penalized team. They're playing well. They're a well-coached team and they're certainly getting better as the year's gone on and it's evident on the film. The film from the game the other night that they played certainly was probably, I can't speak to their, certainly it was their best defensive performance of the year. They have good players. They're well-coached. They're probably getting accustomed to the system and how things work and all that, but they're a developing team and they're doing a nice job. I would say the turnover margin is probably one of the reasons."
(On Tannehill not getting rattled) - "It's a good quality to have. You talk to your players about one play at a time and don't let a bad play affect the next play. Sometimes, that's easier said than done with certain players, but he certainly seems to be able to do that. Obviously, I think Mike Sherman's done a great job with him and Zac Taylor has done a great job with him. Part of that's kind of how he is sometimes to a certain degree. That's one of the qualities we liked about him."
(On if he noticed Tannehill being poised back in training camp) - "Yeah, overall, he's kind of been that way the whole time. Early on, sometimes he's so controlled that you (say), ‘Come on, let's go, get going, get moving,' but he's kind of got things in brain clicking along. He knows how to function how he functions best and, like I said, he doesn't seem to let a lot of things bother him."
(On his use of tight ends this year as opposed to when he was in Green Bay and if he's getting out what he wants from that group) - "We're starting to. I think Anthony (Fasano's) done a really nice job. Obviously, Charles (Clay) made a couple plays last week. Those are the first... The big one down the seam is the first one I remember him making during the regular season. But all of its driven by, again, we're looking to get as many first downs as we can and score as many points. How we do that and who does it for us is there's no mandate from myself to Mike that the tight ends have to catch seven passes this week for us to win. I've never been around game plans like that. Maybe some guys do that and maybe that works for some people."
(On how important center Mike Pouncey's conditioning has been for him in this offense) - "Yeah, he's got a good (motor). He plays hard. He plays hard every snap. He's got a good bounce to his step. I think he likes football. I know that sounds simplistic as an answer, but sometimes there's guys, even at this level, there's been guys in the major college level that don't maybe enjoy the grind and enjoy all the parts of football and this guy seems to. He likes to go out and practice. He's competitive. Obviously, likes to play in the games and it shows. It's reflective in his play."
(On how much Pouncey's physical shape helps) - "Yeah, I can't really speak to what he was before, so I don't know that it's that much different or maybe it is better. But he's had a lot of juice. There's no question."
(On Lamar Miller's progress) - "He doesn't have a ton of evidence this year in games. He's got some, and I think he's doing well. He's coming along nicely. Again I think the running part come naturally to him. Part of the other thing, before you put a running back in the game and you're going to line him up in the backfield, you have to make sure his pass protection responsibilities are taken care of. That's probably as important as anything else. They just need to function; both run and pass, but I think he's developing. He's doing a nice job."
(On Coach Sherman vowing to improve the short yardage offense) - "I'm glad to hear that. Well we practiced some of it today. It's not funny, but when you're watching a player on second down, you're like screaming through the phones, ‘get the first down,' because nobody likes to get stuck in third and one. Again, a good third and one play is not unlike a good first and ten play or second and five play. There's usually good execution, good communication if there needs to be. There's good blocking or ball carrying or throwing or catching or protecting based on what the call is. It's not unlike other plays, it's just that, sometimes your run percentage is up, so you're not usually as unpredictable as you might be. So there's some of that in it, but it comes down to execution. We just have to a better job, but I'm confident we will."
(On how comfortable he is with Marcus Thigpen on punt returns and how he decides when to use Davone Bess in those situations) - "Well there's a thought process. When you watch the tape obviously sometimes the going in punts we use Davone, but Marcus has done a good job. We're totally confident in him. He's our returner and he's going to be out there. Sometimes when the ball is going in, at times we've used Davone, and we'll continue to make those decisions as we move forward. But we have a lot of confidence in Marcus."
(On Sam Bradford) - "He can make all the throws. His arm strength is excellent, he is an aware player. He knows when he is unprotected; he knows when he is hot and when he is not. Some quarterbacks hold on to the ball but he gets the ball out of his hand quick. He knows where pressures are coming from so he has good awareness there, but most of all the kid's got a big time arm. So anytime you play a guy with that kind of arm, you're worried about the deep ball. He's accurate enough where he can put it in a tight window, so we're going to have to play good pass defense and get good pressure on him."
(On Steven Jackson) - "We're going to have to do a great job tackling him. He's a big man obviously; he falls forward. Kevin (Coyle) made a presentation to the guys today before he started his meeting just showing how he's a physical player. He's big, he runs hard and he's tough. You can't just grab a hold of him or he will drag you along. So you've got to tackle this guy."