Press Conference Transcript - Practice 11/4


Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg

On whether Miami has gotten better at kickoff coverage since making a change at the special teams coach position:"The change that they made is… The same coach that's coaching now was there previously. So as far as the scheme change, there's been some scheme change. As you also know, there's been some personnel changes, and anytime that you're not having success, you're trying to find a way to have success. And so they've taken the appropriate actions to try to remedy the problems that they've had. And they've got good players. Things happen in special teams, as we all know, and I think that they've done a good job of trying to figure out what their problems were and addressing them."

On CB Lardarius Webb having a chance to return punts against Buffalo, and how he has looked doing so in practice:"[He] had one fair catch [against Buffalo] as I recall, and we had one defense-stay situation. So, there really wasn't any opportunity."

On whether Webb is comfortable in that role:"He appeared comfortable in the last game, yes."

On what specifically is bothering him about the return game right now:"We addressed this during the [bye week]. I mean, we looked harder at return games and all aspects of it – the blocking, the coaching, the returners in both phases. And the conclusions we made, generally speaking, were that yes, it's a lot of different factors are going on. And there are a lot of different things we need to do to get better. There are times when opportunities are there and we don't take advantage of them. That's the one thing we addressed that's so important, is when we do have the right kind of kick or punt, and we do have the right call made, and we do have the blocking, then we have to make those opportunities count. And that's not something we've done a real good job of. So, to answer your question in a nutshell, yeah, it is more than one thing that's going on, yes."

On what has been the difference with Dolphins K Dan Carpenter this year that he's had so much success:"He's done a really good job. He's a good player. I watched him, in fact, coming out [of college when] he was a bit unknown – from a big perspective – but not to those of us that are studying. There are a lot of people that liked him inside the business. And he's gone down there and he's done a very good job. He's an athlete; he was a guy that coming out of high school was an all-around athlete and going into college as he did. He can do a lot of different things, and you see him out there and he's got the poise of a football player. He's not – without being disparaging to soccer – he's not a guy that's just a kicker and is placed on a football field. This guy, you can see the way he handles himself and his abilities as a kicker are because he is a football player. He's a very good athlete, and he's used to the stage, and he has no problem being out there with the game on the line."

On Carpenter's ability to kick for distance:"He had a 54-yarder last week, so yeah, that's pretty healthy."

On whether CB Chris Carr will handle all the punt returns because of injuries, or if there could be some other options:"We have a number of guys back there that are practicing. I think you probably heard this answer before. (laughter) We'll see who shows up on Sunday."

On whether it's too soon to expect WR Donte' Stallworth to make an impact in the punt return game:"He's one of the guys that we're working, so we'll see on Sunday."

On how much of a factor Stallworth's speed can be:"Donte' is very fast, as you know. And we gave him a lot of reps in one of the preseason games – I don't recall which one it was – with expressed purpose of seeing if this is something he could do. And he demonstrated it to us at that point that he could be an option."

On whether it could be counter-productive to let go of a special teams coach midseason:"Well, that was an unfortunate circumstance that happened there. I have a lot of respect for John Bonamego, and he's been a guy in this league that has coached very well for a long time. And now, I'm not making decisions at that club, I'm just coaching my guys. So, I'm trying to take care of our guys."

On whether he's made any significant changes to the special teams phase of the game since the bye week:"Well, Sunday we'll look at the tape afterwards and we'll see what changed. I'm not even going to go there. That would be strategic [information]." *(laughter) *

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron

On how WR Donte' Stallworth fits into the offense: "Just like he did before he got hurt – he's part of the rotation, gives us tremendous speed, veteran player, proven production. We're looking forward to getting him back."

On Stallworth having a different skill set than the other receivers: "That's a good question, or a good statement actually. All these guys are different. Actually, we were talking about that in our meeting today. Anquan [Boldin] is different than [Derrick Mason], T.J. [Houshmandzadeh], Donte', and that's kind of what you're looking for – guys that bring a variety of talents. That's our job to continue to just blend those things together."

On what he has seen from QB Joe Flacco since the game at Cincinnati in Week 2: "Just continued growth. We're all experiential learners to some degree. I think he's taken every experience he's had and tried to learn from it, grow from it. I think that's one constant – the thing we've talked about since the day Joe got here – he's open-minded, he's a competitor, but he learns. He learns from his experiences. I think that seems like a long time ago. He's continuing to grow. That's why it's fun for me. I know Jim Zorn feels that same way in this offense. He's just continuing to get better. You've got to maintain it because people are attacking him differently. That's one thing that's very clear that's been different than any other year in the last three years. There's a plan every game that starts with Joe Flacco. Before, it kind of started a couple other directions. Now it's, 'All right, this is for Joe Flacco,' and then they kind of work in from there."

On whether he has been pleased with the play of RT Marshal Yanda: "Marshal has been tremendous. There aren't many guys that can bounce out to right tackle and then play at the level that he's playing. Obviously, [there is] a lot of football left, but he's just another one of the good football players we have here."

On what specifically Yanda has improved on the most: "Marshal was really good in college. I remember… I wasn't here his rookie year, but he played as a rookie. He's been a good football player for a long time. He's like a lot of these guys. They come in the league, they get a feel for the league, they get a little bigger, they get a little stronger, and they start to understand the personnel matchups they have each week. I think that's where young linemen struggle a little bit is just all these different matchups with these veteran players. He just, again, a lot like Joe Flacco, is just growing. He's in his fourth year; Joe's in his third. [Yanda is] just continuing to grow as a professional. [He is] about as dependable of guy as you'll ever come across."* *

Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison

On whether he made changes during the bye week:"I don't know if you'd say we made changes. I think the one thing we always do during the bye week [is] we studied everything we've done up to this point, and we try to make sure that there were no tendencies. We judged every call that we had on a win or a loss to see what's happening with those calls, if they're the right calls. You always tweak things, and we tweak things week to week, whether it's a bye week or not. But, the biggest thing the bye has done for us is it allowed us to really self-start ourselves and really look at ourselves defensively. And, if there were changes that had to be made, then we did that."

On whether he has noticed any change in CB Fabian Washington since the Bills game:"No. No. Fabian's a pro. Fabian has played great football for us. In all the years that you've covered NFL football or any type of football, guys are going to have bad games. And, when you're out there on a corner and you're out there isolated in front of the whole world, sometimes that gets magnified. And now, all of a sudden, one becomes two, and you've got to have a short memory. I know he has tremendous pride; that entire secondary has tremendous pride. Anytime something like that happens, they're going to look at why it happened and then they're going to make their corrections. That's what all of our guys do."

On whether he looked at tackling while self-scouting:"Yeah, definitely. Anytime you don't play as good as you can play on defense, usually tackling is on top of the list. It isn't usually about calls; it isn't about what they did to you. It's usually about tackling. And, that's what separates defense from other sides of the football. You've got to be able to tackle, and I think our guys saw that."

On how coaches like Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning and Ravens senior offensive assistant Al Saunders are successful in the league when most teams want younger players and coaches:"Or a Greg Mattison? *(laughter) *I thought you were directing that at me. You know what happens is Dan Henning has coached – and I'm using him as an example – [he has been] a tremendous coach all the way through the college ranks. I remember playing against him at Boston College. And everywhere he's been he has a system. He tweaks that system just a little bit each game, but it's that system. And, you're going to get what you're going to get. He's been very successful doing that wherever he has been. And, I'm sure that's what will end up happening with anybody that's been in the league and has had success with what they're doing."

On what it will take for rookie DT Terrence Cody and DE Paul Kruger to get more playing time:"I think it's just practicing and one thing: Both those two young men through the off week – we didn't practice, but as we came back here – have really had great energy. And I'll use Paul as an example more because you see him more. He had a great day at practice yesterday, and you can see he feels a lot more comfortable. When you're a young guy, you can never play as good as you can at positions where you have to have great technique because you're always thinking and you're always trying to say, 'OK. Can I do this? Can I do that?' And, pretty soon, that all becomes second nature to him, and that's what has happened with those two guys."

On whether an ILB could move outside and help the pass rush now that LBs Brendon Ayanbadejo and Tavares Gooden are back:"We've always talked about Jameel [McClain]. [He] has pass rush ability, and the thing [is] he's always the next guy to go in. Some of the guys have never done it, and there's a knack to that, too. You can't just be a fast guy and say, 'Ok, I'm going to run, and I'm going to be a pass rusher.' But, we already have that in Jameel. He's one, for sure, that we're [looking at]. It allows us to be a little more flexible with playing our guys in different positions a little bit."

On what he has seen from Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall on tape:"I see a typical, big-time wide receiver that has great, great speed and great size. He shows the ability to go for the football. He's not one of those guys that's going to be timid. And, he's got to rank right up there with all the top, elite wide receivers that we play against. The thing he has that some of the other ones don't is the God-given size. He still can run with it, and he's got great strength."

On whether the defense will have to double Marshall:"I don't think you have to double him, because if you double him, they've got another guy by the name of [Davone] Bess who's pretty darn good. I don't think you go into that ball game and say, 'We're going to double him on every play.' But, I know we do have to be proactive toward their top receivers during passing situations."

On what he saw from Gooden in practice yesterday:"One thing I saw in Tavares that really excited me is he brought great enthusiasm to the practice. He loves to play the game. He's had problems with nagging injuries throughout his career so far. But, he came out here yesterday, and I tell you what, you could sense him being there right away. And I was happy to see that. He's a Raven, and he just plays with such… He loves the game so much. It looked like he was moving around really well. We didn't do a lot of hitting, but he looked like, in the things we did do, he wasn't timid at all. So, we're excited about him."

On what he's seen from Miami's offensive line:"They've done a great job. Their system protects [Chad] Henne also because the ball gets out very, very quick. And, the other thing they do a great deal of that you'll see is they max protect. They max protect a great deal. They'll keep their tight end and their back to the same side and turn everything. They're going to have seven-man protection a great deal. And so, they're whole system is geared toward allowing him to feel comfortable. If it's not, the ball is out quick."

On how he grades the pass rush over the first seven games:"My grade on the pass rush is probably the same grade that our players would've had. I thought we have made some strides, even though we haven't got the reward. We haven't gotten the 'in everybody's eyes, OK, you're at 20-some sacks or, OK, you're at this.' But, if you watch the tape really close, there's a number of [instances] when we were very, very close to getting the sack. There was a couple in the last game where the guy stepped up right at the last second or Terrell [Suggs] would've stripped it. He did exactly what we wanted him to do. And, the biggest thing we've got to do now is finish it. We have to get the reward for the work they've done on it – we've got to get more sacks. The other thing is we've faced a number of very, very mobile quarterbacks. You've got to be careful of just turning your guys loose against them and playing coverages where their man [is] behind him, because if that quarterback takes off, you're in big trouble. 'Fitz' [Bills QB Ryan Fitzpartick], for example, he had 100 yards rushing in 10 carries – scrambles. So, you can go ahead and just go crazy trying to go get him with the four-man rush. [But] now, he's going to take off and run, and you're going to get hurt that way. So, I think we've got to finish it, to answer your question."

On how he grades the run defense and whether he thinks it has been successful:"No, I don't think our run defense is up to where it has been in the past, where it should be. The thing about it, though, is we're playing a lot more run in the seven-man front and we're not loading it up. And, I think that goes back to what you mentioned before. I think if we would've done a better job of tackling, I think you would've seen our run defense be where it's had to be. Guys are getting four yards and five yards where they should only be getting two and three yards. That's something we've addressed."

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