The Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals 17-13 on Sunday, moving to 2-3 on the season. Head coach Joe Philbin met with the media on Monday to discuss the game. Here is the team provided transcript:
(On how good it feels to win a close game after losing two games in over time) - "Yeah, I'm happy for the guys. Our players worked hard. I thought our coaches came up with a good plan to prepare the players. Yeah, I was delighted for the team and everybody involved."
(On how much of a difference winning a close game helps improve the team's confidence) - "We'll find out next week. I think it's a good step. It's a step in the right direction. We made plays at a critical when we had to, to close the game out and that's a positive. Hopefully, we can build on that."
(On if it's a recipe for success to win the turnover battle and eliminating big plays) - "Yeah, we were on the plus side. Obviously, we still would love to go through a game and not have two giveaways like we did, both I believe in the first quarter of the game. Definitely, that was certainly a strength that we were able to come out on top in that measurement. For the most part, we tackled relatively well yesterday and that eliminated some of the big explosive plays that Cincinnati had been generating. In those two areas, that was good."
(On if the level of execution in the fourth quarter is where he wants it to be) - "It's still not there, but, hopefully, we saw progress yesterday. Again, we need to, we didn't really score any points in the fourth (quarter). We came out strong in the third quarter and scored 10 points, I believe, relatively quickly. We would like to get some points in the fourth quarter, score more in the fourth quarter. I think they scored their touchdown, early in the first minute of the fourth quarter. It's getting there, but it's not... Hopefully, it'll be better."
(On quarterback Ryan Tannehill's progress at this point) - "I think the film shows that he's getting better. I think his command was good yesterday. I thought his decision making was good, threw the ball accurately, thought he had poise and, if you watch the tape, he looked like a pretty good quarterback. I was pleased with how he played yesterday. I think there's some signs of development there."
(On the turnover when the punt his Reshad Jones if that was simply bad luck) - "I think Marcus (Thigpen) was waving and yelling, but in a loud stadium, sometimes... Obviously, we've got to do a better job. It was iffy whether Marcus, I don't know that he could have fielded it. But yeah, I think you could see on the film Marcus going like this (waiving his hands). He said he was communicating, but, obviously, Reshad didn't hear it. We've got to do a better job there."
(On making teams one dimensional on defense and to what extent that is happening) - "To a large degree, we're getting that done. They ripped off a 29-yard run, which was a good play call by them and good execution. We missed a couple tackles as is usually the case when you get an explosive run. Typically, there's some missed tackles involved. I think we're getting the run shutdown well and getting favorable down and distance where we can maybe tee it up and go after the quarterback a little bit. I think that's only going to help us as we move forward."
(On cornerback Sean Smith's play the past two weeks) - "Again, I think it relates more back to fundamentals. As we watched him play, I thought his fundamentals and his technique, his positioning both pre-snap (and) post-snap, during the course of the route, was probably as good as it's been. There's still a couple plays there he's got to play better, but I thought he played well yesterday."
(On if he's surprised by what wide receiver Brian Hartline has been able to accomplish so far this year) - "I don't know about surprised necessarily, but, again, we obviously had watched some of his tape, but until you really get your hands on a guy and work with somebody and kind of see it with your own eyes, you're a little bit unsure what you're getting. We're happy with the progress he's made and the plays that he's made and hopefully he's going to continue to do that and be productive throughout the course of the year."
(On cornerback Nolan Carroll's performance yesterday) - "I thought better. I thought he played better. I thought, overall, the secondary was better. Again, they're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I think, as a unit, they're overall effectiveness and technique, awareness and those type of things was as good as it's been. And I thought he was part of that."
(On defensive tackle Randy Starks and how critical he is to the run defense and if he's surprised by his athleticism) - "That's a loaded question (joking). He's been productive. He's been productive in both phases, rushing the quarterback, he's had some production in the rush, obviously he had an interception yesterday, which was a huge play in the ball game for us and he's been stout against the run. He's a hard guy to move. He's not easy to move. The thing I'm probably most pleased with is he's played well in both phases. Sometimes, you get a one dimensional player, but I think he's played well in both phases. He's been an important part of the defense."
(On how much he had seen of Randy Starks before he became the coach here) - "I remember him in Tennessee. I remember we played him a couple of times in Tennessee. I always thought that he was a good player that you had to be concerned about when you were game planning. You had to figure out you know did your guard match up against him or how you were going to handle him. He has had a nice career."
(On whether there is something the offense is not doing on short yardage situations that is leading to their struggles) - "The simple answer is that we're not knocking guys off the ball well. You have to have better awareness sometimes of what schematically is going on. Sometimes we have to run with better pad level. Like everything in football, we wish it was just one little thing that we could correct that one time and we would be off to the races. But as typically happens is sometimes it's a little bit here, one time it's there, one time we didn't get off on the snap count as a unit collectively very well. It's a little bit of everything."
(On what he said to Jorvorskie Lane after he fumbled against the Bengals) - "You remind him of the significance of the football. Ball security is a backs number one job. But he took accountability for what happened. That part, he was good about."
(On the play where Charles Clay was forced out of bounds in the fourth quarter) - "I think again that falls back on me probably not preparing the play well enough. Ideally, on the positive side, the kid is trying to get a first down to end the game. On the negative side, our defense bailed us out but we left 38 seconds on the clock that shouldn't have been there. That's part of coaching. That's as much my job as it is his, so we have to do a better job, no doubt."
(On whether Clay should have known to stay in bounds) - "You can't assume anything. You can't assume anything. That falls on me. I have to do a better job."
(On whether that is one of the detail oriented things that a team needs to do to win close games) - "Yeah. We have to do a better job in that situation no doubt about it. That's not good, sound football and one thing we talk about is being a good, sound football team. That was not one of those (plays). I thought it was an excellent play call by Mike (Sherman). It was well designed, but that's not the result we were looking for."
(On how he would evaluate Clay's performance because it seemed like he played very up and down) - "Just like you said. Perfect evaluation. I was glad to see him make a play. I was glad to see him catch the ball down the middle of the field. I thought he did some good things, but obviously there were some things he has to do better. I like that he made a play though."
(On an area on offense and an area on defense where he has seen the most improvement) - "Offensively, I think that the tipped passes, and overall our protection is better from when we opened the season, overall. Certainly there are shots where it hasn't been great. I think our pass defense is coming around a little bit. I would say those two areas right now."
(On whether he thinks Sean Smith's great play over the last two weeks has been because of the challenges he has faced in Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green) - "That could be part of it. Obviously the guys in our locker room we think are competitive guys. They like a challenge, they want to be great, they want to make a difference in a ball game, and hopefully they rise to the challenge so to speak. That's part of the competitive nature that you're looking for from guys on the football team. That could be part of it."
(On Ryan Tannehill's ability to throw on the run and whether he saw that from him at Texas A&M) - "A little bit, yeah. He throws the ball very well on the move whether it is a pre-designed movement pass or it's a step up, shuffle in the pocket and escape throw. He does throw the ball on the run very well. He displayed good awareness in the pocket yesterday and we had pretty good protection on a couple of those where there was nobody immediately open and then you saw what you mentioned. So he did a pretty good job."
(On whether Tannehill's chemistry with the receivers is growing as demonstrated by the pass to Hartline on a scramble) - "Yeah you know you always try to practice that scramble drill where the quarterback escapes. Defensively you say we want to plaster the guy and stay on it and offensively you want to give the quarterback an option. It depends what side of the ball you're coaching on. That's part of it. Part of it is practicing it and getting into that situation a couple of times and working on it."
(On whether Jabar Gaffney is almost ready, and whether it is the playbook, conditioning that is holding him back) - "It's probably a little of both. We're just trying to get a little better feel for where he is at, and we'll see how much progress he can make this week."
(On what he thinks of Jared Odrick's beard) - "I'll have to take a closer look at it. I haven't noticed a whole lot. Does it need to get cleaned up a bit? (Nods from the media). If you say so then that's what we'll do."