The Miami Dolphins were taken apart by the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck able to move the ball at will. Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle met with the media yesterday. Here's a look at the team provided transcript from the press conference:
(On the defense allowing 13 of 19 third down conversions) - "It's obviously very disappointing and that's been one of our strengths throughout the year. We've been consistently getting better in that area. For a number of different reasons, we didn't get it done yesterday. I think it was a combination of things. They made some plays against us. I wish I had a few calls back in the game. I'll be the first one to take blame for a good portion of it. I think the combination of them executing and us not executing the defenses that we normally, we didn't do anything different. We tried a lot of things as the game went on to try to change it up. We rushed them, we covered them, we spied the quarterback, we blitzed them. It wasn't like, I went back after the game, wanted to see exactly what we called in what instances and tried to determine if there was a pattern or a trend. I don't think it was that. It was just one of those games that they made some plays and we didn't and we've got to do better. We've got to rush the passer better, we've got to cover better and I've got to do a better job of getting them in position to make the plays."
(On the team's struggles blitzing Andrew Luck) - "We hit him 11 or 12 times when we actually got to him, but we didn't sack him only (but) one time. He made a couple of throws as he was going down to the ground. He made a couple of throws running away from the line of scrimmage. The long touchdown, if you go back and really look at the play, he just threw it up there. He never even saw Sean Smith overlapping the play and really laid it up there where we might have had a chance to make the play. We didn't make the play. But to his credit, he's very good in the pocket. He's got great poise for a young player. As you watch him on tape, you see things that he does that you see a lot of veteran players in the league not do. In other words, when the rush is coming in his face, he's not fazed by it. He doesn't change his way, his demeanor. He'll have a great pocket presence to slide and keep a play alive and we lost the edge a few times and he kept the plays going. I was really impressed with him. Even talking with some of their coaches prior to the game, they were concerned that he does it too much trying to extend plays and they're worried about that fact. Certainly, yesterday, he made those."
(On if yesterday's performance was a big step back for the secondary) - "No, I don't think it's a big step back. It's a disappointment for all of us and that's what we talked about today in the unit meeting with everybody, not just the secondary. We've been building something here since Coach (Joe) Philbin has come here and our first meetings with the players in April. One game is not going to set us back and I mean that and I told the players that. I said we've got a body of work where we were making a lot of progress and the secondary is one area where we have made a lot of progress. I don't know if there's anybody that has played the game or coached the game that hasn't had a game where you come off and say, ‘How did that happen?' Well, this is one of them and, I've got to be honest with you, I'm disappointed. I've never seen us get in a situation where we had a team in third-and-long and weren't able to cash in. That's always been something we've been pretty good at throughout the season here. Certainly, I don't negate the fact that these guys, when you see them come to work every day the way they do, the way they prepare. It's a bump in the road for us and a big one and we've got to get it turned around right away. Certainly, one game out of eight where we did not perform at the level of our standards, it's not anybody else's standards, it's ours, is very disappointing. And we're going to take that and energize ourselves as we get prepared for this next one. We're going to come out and play a heck of a game come Sunday."
(On the pass defense in the first half of the season) - "Well, rankings, you can twist rankings and statistics a lot of different ways and obviously we're giving up way too many yards. Yesterday, we gave up way too many big plays in the game. You can also look at the fact that I think we're somewhere around six or seven in the league in terms of completion percentages against us. I think that there's been some positives in that sense. We've also had 45 passes-a-game thrown against us. By far the number one attempts in the league are against us. Tampa Bay is the only other team that has over 40 and they're like at 41 and then everybody else is below that. But it's a combination of we've got to do a better job in the coverage and we also have to continue to do a good job in the rush game (and) against the running game. I think, when you make teams throw the ball as much as we are, usually good things are going to happen sooner or later. It didn't yesterday unfortunately for us. But the bottom line is, even with that being said, we were in the game with an opportunity to win the game at the end and we didn't. The biggest disappointment... We had two scenarios that happened in the game - the one at the end of the first half where we had them third-and-long and they converted to kick the field goal was a big play in the game. Prior to that, I should say the third-and-nine in the red zone. It's another area that we've been particularly effective in this season. I think right now Chicago's the only team that is ahead of us in red zone defense in terms of touchdowns per attempts in the red zone per series in the red zone and that's a good thing. But we gave up one on third-and-nine. We had them right where we wanted them. They gained nothing the first two plays and we gave up a touchdown there. We gave up the one right there before the end of the half and then we had them third-and-12 backed up and that play where they dumped the ball off and we missed a tackle (and) they converted and then eventually went down and kicked the winning field goal. That play was a big swing because, had we stopped them there, they're going to be punting right around their end zone or out of their end zone and we would have had a chance hopefully to get the ball in good field position at that point, but we didn't and they went on to continue the drive and score the winning field goal. Like I said, we've got our work cut out for us, but these guys have gotten better and I believe in these guys and we're going to go out there and take the second half of the season. We look at it, we're eight games in and honestly my wife had to remind me of this on the phone last night because I wasn't feeling to good, but she said, ‘You know you guys have lost three games by three points, each of them.' And I hadn't even thought of that to be quite honest with you. That hadn't even crossed my mind. When she said that, it kind of dawned on me that, yeah, we're making progress, but we're not where we want to be and we can be better. I think the players know that and we're not going to accept anything less."
(On if this Sunday against the Titans if the team will copy what the Bears did against them yesterday) - "Well, I'll tell you what, the Bears did a heck of a job. They started fast. Yeah, we liked to do that, start fast. Actually, the first play of the game was a nice conversion for Tennessee and (Charles) Tillman came from behind and stripped the guy after they gained about 18 yards or so. It didn't look good initially for the Bears, but they certainly swarmed on defense and they're playing great defense. We'll look at them and anybody else that we can get a good thought from and implement it into our package."
(On how it affects preparation not knowing who the Titans starting quarterback will be) - "Not a whole lot. They're kind of a system team. They're going to run their offense. I don't think the one quarterback changes things dramatically. So we'll see. I think we'll know a little bit more as the week goes on because I don't think the young guy (Jake Locker) has practiced yet and if he's out there practicing, getting reps, there's a good chance he'll play. If not, they made hold him off until after the bye week. They have a bye week after we play them."
(On how much of a difference it has made with Richard Marshall being out) - "It certainly (has) not helped us. You've got a veteran player there who gives us that veteran competitiveness and leadership in the secondary, both on the outside and also in the nickel. Jimmy (Wilson's) role has expanded. Jimmy's played well at times. I think I mentioned to you guys last week how impressed I was with how he covered the slot for the Jets (slot receiver Jeremy Kerley) who's a good player too. And yesterday, he struggled at times. But like I said, there's not a guy that's played the game and the best one's in this game that haven't had a game where you got beat and you made mistakes. We just seemed to have too many guys at one time do it and we're going to get it fixed. We're going to do everything we can to get it fixed."