The Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals 17-13 on Sunday, moving to 2-3 on the season. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle met with the media on Monday to discuss the game. Here is the team provided transcript:
(On things the defense did to close out yesterday's game that they hadn't done in the past two games) - "I think we kept pressure on the quarterback at the end of the game. I think the guys went out there with a degree of confidence that stemmed from the way they were playing the entire game. I think there was a great belief that we were going to stop them, do whatever we had to do. We were able to make the big interception on the last play, but there was a series of plays during that, those three plays at the very end where I was impressed with Nolan Carroll when they tried to throw the comeback on him. At that point in the game, he was aggressive and knocked the ball away, right in front of their sideline. It was a culmination of things, even on the holding penalty earlier. What a tremendous played (Olivier) Vernon made coming back. He looked like a linebacker covering the guys down the slot, came back and tipped the ball away. There was a bunch of individuals that were making plays, even on the interception by Reshad (Jones). Randy Starks is right in the throwing lane with his hand up and I think that that had something to do with the trajectory of the ball coming off (Andy) Dalton's hand at that time. He had some push into the pocket and didn't give him a chance to have a great vision down the field. All those things come into play, but I was pleased that we were able to close it out."
(On cornerback Nolan Carroll) - "This was the first opportunity that he had to start and really had a full week of preparation with that mindset knowing going into it. I was very happy for him and proud of him the way he competed throughout the game. He did a lot of things, some that were seen by everybody in stands, but yet there was some things that, as we watched the tape, he really did well. He competed hard all day long and got his hands on some balls. There was one throw in the later part of the game as well that they threw across the field on like a quick out cut and, if the ball was catchable, he might have taken it the other way. He had a great break on the ball. I thought it was his best overall performance and hopefully he can build on that. There's a lot of things that we've got to keep improving on in the secondary, but, collectively, I think this was the best effort we've had."
(On defensive tackle Randy Stark's performance yesterday and on the season) - "Randy's having a terrific year. He really is. He's been a force against the run, but when you look at the production at the end of the game, it's a half sack yesterday, it's a batted pass, it's an interception, it's a couple of tackles, an assisted tackle. He is really solidified that spot in our defense. His productivity has been very, very good for a defensive linemen and keeps on winning the one-on-one battles and we're real pleased with him."
(On how much of Starks' success he attributed to him losing weight) - "I didn't see him prior to him losing weight. I just know what he's done since we've been here and I see all those guys upfront playing at a very, very high level. It's interesting when you watch. He makes a play where he slips a block, comes back flat down the line (and) trips the back up in the backfield. You see (Paul) Soliai doing the same things yesterday. If you watch that long run that breaks out, Koa Misi's chasing and catching him from behind late on the run, but the next guy in line who's booking down the field is big Paul. I don't know if he would have caught him, but he sure was trying and he was really moving. Those guys are really playing with effort, toughness, strength and they're a big reason why we're playing pretty good."
(On if turnovers are starting to come more in bunches now) - "I'm hoping so. It's been a couple weeks now where we've generated some takeaways. There were a few others in the game that were darn close, some that we thought we did have. We were hawking at the ball, we were stripping, we were trying to get the ball off them. On a couple of occasions, it did come out. We've got to keep building on it. Again, I think there's a confidence level with that right now that they're expecting good things to happen."
(On cornerback Sean Smith's performance over the past two games) - "I think Sean played another very, very consistent game against a very good player. The thing that has impressed me - he was even better in some of the technique things in this game than he was the week before. If he continues to do that, then I really think he can have the kind of season that I know he wants and we need him to have. He's played very well. He's put two good games back-to-back. He's tackled. He's done the things he needs to do in coverage. (He's) playing with awareness. You can see him communicating out on the field. Right from the very first play of the game, he's alerting people with certain things that we had talked about in the practices and, right out the box, he was on it. I've been pleased with his last couple of outings and hopefully he'll continue to build on those."
(On being a former secondary coach and if he's spend a lot of time working with the secondary on a day-to-day basis, particularly with Smith) - "The position coaches are doing a great job. He'll tell you, I get in his ear quite a bit about things like I will do with everybody. It's not just the defensive back position, but I have a tendency to gravitate towards those guys quite a bit. It's an area that we've got to play better in and he is playing better, so that's encouraging. The whole group, I thought, this was a very talented team we played offensively with as numerous and diverse a group of weapons as probably we've played all year. You went from the big tight end, who can really run and make plays, to one of the premier receivers in the league to a little a slot receiver that is as explosive as anybody we might play at times. There was a lot of different challenges we had as a group there yesterday and I thought that, for the better part of the game, we were able to meet those challenges."
(On his thoughts on the St. Louis Rams) - "Just starting to get on the tape right now. I don't spend any time at all on the next team, so this morning I've been looking at them and it's still too early. I'm just taking different segments and trying to get a general overall feel and then, tomorrow, we'll spend the entire day game planning them."
(On if he was impressed with defensive tackle Tony McDaniel's performance yesterday) - "I was very pleased. (Tony McDaniel) has a lot of ability. He really does. It's our jobs to get them to play up to their ability and (defensive line coach) Kacy (Rodgers) does a phenomenal job. (Tony McDaniel), after the long layoff, we were concerned. We had talked about it, ‘Let's keep a good on eye, see how he's doing.' He was factor in the game. He only played about 20 snaps in the game, but when he was in there, his presence was felt. He had a couple of tackles, some great pursuit on one of the screen plays, he ran it down. He recovered the fumble on the play down the field, just on sheer effort coming back. We can really build on that. I think we need him to have the best season he's ever had and, based on the first exposure we've had for him this year, it's very encouraging. I'm excited about it. I just want to also mention that, kudos to Kacy and Charlie Bullen, his assistant, because, last week, we changed our normal routine on Thursday, on Friday rather. We do a fumble recovery drill. This week, we decided we were going to work on catching the ball because we were dropping the linemen in certain things that we were doing. True story. Each position did a different ball type drill plus, what we sometimes try to (do) is try to change it up, so it doesn't get monotonous for them, and, sure enough, Charlie was whipping the ball at these d-linemen dropping on Friday. The balls are bouncing everywhere, but we joked about it because, sure enough, in the game, that ball was humming across the middle and Randy picks it off like, he looks like Jerry Rice out there catching it. It was a great job by those two guys."