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Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin Training Camp Comments - 8/12/12

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin met with the media yesterday after the team completed practice. The team provided a transcript of his comments:

(Opening statement) - "Before we get started, I wanted just to let you guys know I have not spoken with Chad Johnson yet. However, I do plan to meet with him in the relatively near future. Today, I've been focused on the football team, the 89 other players that are here today in meetings and practice. At this point and until I speak with Chad directly, it would be premature for me to make any comments about the situation, so I'm going to leave all comments that regard to Chad and the particular situation at that."

(On practicing in the rain today) - "It's good practice for us. You need to do it. It's great having an indoor facility right next to our practice field. Obviously, we're very very fortunate to have that. Yeah, it was good for us to get out there. I thought we did some good things out there with the ball, but you could see a couple passes kind of skidded through the hands and those type of things. Living down here, probably, we may get caught in those situations again, so I'm glad we were able to get some work in. We think we did the blitz period in it, a little bit of special teams. I thought it was good work."

(On what the plan is for the quarterback reps in practice with David Garrard being out) - "Our plan right now is to, we've got to, this is one of our, to me, is the biggest week we have in training camp from a practice standpoint, four days in a row. We've got a lot of things we want to accomplish, a lot of situations we want to cover and so we're going to kind of let things play out. The good news is for Ryan (Tannehill), Matt (Moore) and Pat (Devlin) is they're going to get a lot, we're still as you saw today, we're still doing some two-sided drills. There's a bunch of reputations out there, so all of the quarterbacks are getting plenty of work right now. Then, as the week progresses, we're going to kind of make a decision. Our plan all along was to hopefully get all three of those quarterbacks reps with the first group in the preseason. Again, we haven't quite crossed that bridge yet, but I envision, I think Ryan had, I'm trying to think, Matt had in the 20-range or Ryan had in the 40-range I think the other day. Pat had a good number too. We'll figure all that out as the week progresses."

(On if he's going to get quarterback Ryan Tannehill reps with the first-team offense in the game against the Panthers on Friday) - "Sure. In one of these games, we're definitely going to try to, sure. Absolutely."

(On if Garrard's injury changes the timeline to determine a starting quarterback) - "Not necessarily. Again, to reiterate my position on that, which is obviously a point of interest. I think I've stated in the past that, in an ideal situation, you'd probably like to have when you have a quarterback competition going on in training camp, you'd probably like to have your starter potentially named after your second preseason game. The plan right now is that our first-team would play the most snaps against Atlanta. That would lead you to believe if things are right or the situation dictates that you can have your starter by then, that would probably be the best scenario because the practice reps you'd get at a higher percentage. We're probably not going to do a lot of two-group things next week. Again, I'm going to remain flexible. We're going to look at the film. We're going to evaluate the position and see what's going to be best for the football team to win games. I could stand up here and I do believe, I think that could be the scenario that unfolds. However, it may not. We're just going to have to kind of, again, be flexible, do the best thing for the team and make a decision when that time comes."

(On how much he took away from the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in regards to the quarterback competition) - "There's some good tape on there. It wasn't probably on either side a high percentage of pressure from either side, it was probably more coverage. I mean we saw some blitzes. They certainly gave us a couple, but not a ton. (It's) part of the evaluation of the quarterbacks that's helpful. That's why we do so much of it in our own practices is just to get a feel how they respond. The blitz-pressure plays can be real momentum changers in a ball game on either side of the ball. Before we put a quarterback out there, you better have a level of confidence that he's prepared for those situations, has some kind of what we like to say, has a toolbox, some answers, some resources that he can go to in those critical situations to either protect himself or get the ball out quick or a combination of those."

(On the approach to Garrard's injury and the impact it has on naming a starter) - "When we get information, we're going to make a decision when we have enough information on everybody, kind of time it out then."

(On if Tannehill practices better this week if there is a chance for him to start) - "I wouldn't rule that out. I wouldn't rule that out."

(On wide receiver Roberto Wallace being listed as a fourth-teamer on the depth chart last week and if it's indicative of his play in training camp) - "He's doing some good things. As I think we've said before, we're kind of, we're waiting for some guys to maybe take a hold of that position and really solidify their spot on the ball club. Again, some guys took advantage, (Julius) Pruitt had five or six catches, Roberto had a nice day. (B.J.) Cunningham didn't gain a lot of yards, but made a couple of nice catches. That's just some of the younger guys that stepped up and did some things. (Marlon) Moore didn't have a lot of opportunities, but we thought, watching the film, he did some good things as well. The depth chart, I told the guys whenever we released it last Monday or whatever day we did, not to put a whole lot of stock into the depth chart."

(On his philosophy about dealing with distractions) - "We had a team meeting like we always do and today, we said, ‘Look, we've got a lot of work to do.' I laid out the whole week for them, which we've kind of been doing. We've been kind of segmenting things there - kind of four day blocks so to speak. We kind of looked at this Carolina week in and of itself and I reminded them that April 10th, our first team meeting, I put up in my presentation to them on April 10th, I said, ‘Guys, I'd love to stand up here and tell you that we're never going to have a problem here in Miami.' Do we want high character guys? Yes, 31 other head coaches are going to say the same thing, but I specifically told them on April 10th, ‘There will be problems that arise and you have to deal with them honestly, openly and directly. You've got to learn from mistakes and move on and you can't hide from the problem. We don't certainly keep things hidden. We try to be open and upfront with the players as well. That's (what) we think is the right way to do it."

(On if he will meet with Chad tonight) - "In the near future. I don't have a definite time, but sooner as opposed to later."

(On if the first team offense was stunned without David Garrard or Chad Johnson) - "I think it was business as usual. I think there were some good signs at practice. We moved into the bubble and did a third and fourth down period and then we kind of just put the ball down on the 30 (yard line) and move; we had some crowd noise in there. But I don't think it was a big deal."

(On his assessment of Jonathan Martin after Friday's game) - "I think he is a quick study. Fundamentally, I think he is really attempting to do the things we are asking him to do. I said to him today on the field a little bit, I think (Michael) Bennett's a pretty good pass rusher, the kid from Tampa Bay. He's got a lot of ability. So he saw a lot of different things even though they didn't blitz a whole lot. He saw some games, he saw a good bit of twist in there; that was good for him to see. He saw some speed on the outside, whether he tried to beat high (when) Bennett came inside on him a couple of times and tried to beat him immediately quick with an inside move, which again are all good things. I thought he was competitive. He wasn't perfect; he had a couple of false start penalties. He kind of gets it, and when you tell him something he is going to be diligent and he's going to attempt to do the things you want him to do in the way that you'd like him to do it. I'm excited about him, I think he's going to do well."

(On players like Gary Guyton, Jason Trusnik, and Austin Spitler seeing extended playing time on Friday) - "One thing I said to the team that I was disappointed in when I watched the film was the guys that you mentioned, Trusnik, Guyton, Spitler, they were running around playing football faster than our first guys were. Not just linebackers, I mean just the whole feel of the defensive film from the first group to the second group was better with the second group; they looked more like a defense. They were running around, hitting guys harder, taking better angles to the ball, I mean they tackled better. Again, football's not that complicated. If you watched the film, those guys looked like a defense more (than the first team). We didn't really look like a defense, and I believe the defensive guys are disappointed as well as the staff."

(On if the league has contacted the team regarding the Chad Johnson incident) - "Again, we have other people... my focus has been on coaching the ball club, getting in meetings and getting us prepared to have a good practice. I'm going upstairs to watch the practice tape now, and obviously we are going to deal with this at the appropriate time. We're not going to waste time, but we kind of have other people that handle league matters. That's not my position to get involved with league matters."

(On how much of the Chad Johnson issue is about football and how much is about the image of the franchise) - "We're all in this thing together; everything is interconnected. My actions are important (in terms of) what I do on a daily basis. Everybody who steps a foot in this door, the Harvey's, the equipment guys, we're all held to a high standard and fortunate to be a part of what I consider a great organization. Everybody is held to a high standard, so I think that everything is intertwined."

(On Randy Starks and Paul Soliai as stabilizing forces in the middle of the defense) - "You heard us talk about being good down the middle, on both sides of the ball , and some part of good defense; obviously you have to be good on the perimeter because you don't want the ball to get to the edge, but also you don't want to be soft in the middle. Those guys are physical guys, they're strong and can hold the point of attack and keep they're pads flat. The thing that they've also shown an ability to do is not just take up space, but also get off a block and make a play. You know, again we need to see probably more of it from both those guys and I'm looking forward to seeing it this week in Carolina."