TUESDAY PODIUM TRANSCRIPTS: Week 8 vs. Dolphins
Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg, Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees & OLB Terrell Suggs
Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
What were you seeing with the punt coverage on Sunday? You guys gave up a big return early, and probably, too much yardage than you would have liked. (Luke Jones) "Clearly. We call it a punt team for a reason. It's really a classic example of the whole punt team breaking down in various ways, and it all fit together. We didn't do a good job blocking, we didn't do a good job covering – that's what it comes down to."
Is it difficult to prepare with much shorter time than you're used to? (Jerry Coleman) "You have to change the practices, and having done this a few times now, I think we have a better understanding of how to prepare for this. It's very much a mental week. Our guys have done a good job on the practice field of moving to the extent that we can, staying healthy, and still getting good mental work in. The other part of it is, the other team is doing exactly the same thing, so we don't have to play a team that has been off for two weeks. We're playing a team that had a game Sunday also, so that's the good part of it. We're doing the same thing, and we have to beat the team we're playing."
Miami gets one more practice than you. Is there any advantage in that? (Jerry Coleman) "We'll find out on Thursday night, I guess."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement:"Middle of a short week, and what it takes on a short week is preparation. The guys have worked hard. We're getting a lot of fairly new guys ready to play – so there's a little extra work both in the classroom and on the field – and the guys have done a great job. We have quite a challenge here; we looked at last year's game extensively and certainly have learned some things. They have a couple pass rushers that are very, very good, their defense plays fast and furious, and they're on a little win streak here. So, we have a great challenge and great opportunity."
When you're shuffling guys in as much as you have to on Sundays, how much of an extra challenge is that in situational football?* (Luke Jones)* "Well, it's all-encompassing. There are a lot of reasons, no excuses. Whoever is in there, we expect to play at a high level. They expect to play at a high level – [they're] proud guys. If we just keep in mind where we're at, and we get better every day, sometimes with bad situations, you come out the other end and you're in pretty good shape. So, that's our mindset. Hopefully we get some guys back – that'll help. That'll be important, because there's some good players there, but we don't know quite yet."
How much does that hinder things, not knowing who's going to be out there on Sunday?* (Jerry Coleman)* "This is part of life in this league – it really is. Game plan-wise, on occasion it will change quite a few things. So, we'll try to put the players in the very best position to win the ball game. We talked about this last week. Sometimes, just because you do something doesn't necessarily mean it's the wrong thing. Sometimes it is. You have to really look hard at those things and what other things you could have done to put those guys in a little better position to have success."
Do you think the offense's confidence has been shaken at all? (Childs Walker)"No, I don't. There's no time for that right now. Now, a few weeks back before the Oakland game, I was a little concerned. But, our guys … There is not a confidence problem with our guys. They think they're the best in the world, individually, and we have to put it together as an offensive unit."
What challenges do you see from DE Cameron Wake? (Ed Lee)"He has some length, he's fast, and his statistics are out of this world. He's a fine, fine player. So, we have some matchup things, and we talked about this earlier in the week: [If] we all win our individual matchups, things are going to be just fine. So, all those matchup situations we have going … [If] we win our matchups, things will be in order."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
S Eric Weddle said that him and S Tony Jefferson are not playing at the level that they expect of themselves. Do you agree with that? (Ed Lee)"I would leave it up to them. They should give you the perspective of how they think they are playing. If that is what they feel, that is what they feel. I am never, as a coach, going to give you a perspective on anything that I think as a player. Everybody has to do their job. I have to do my job. That is their opinion of them. They have high aspirations, and they are very accountable guys, I will say that. Whatever they say, they say."
From your perspective, what have you seen from S Eric Weddle and S Tony Jefferson? (Ed Lee)'"They run the show back there. It is basically Eric … I know there have been some tackles missed, and back there you just can't miss a tackle. When you miss a tackle back there, everybody in the ballpark knows it; everybody in the world knows it. If you miss one up front, nobody kind of knows it unless somebody gets it on the ground in the back. I'm happy with them. They are two good pros. We are struggling a little bit right now. I think we are pressing a little bit. We have to back to just letting it go and playing football and playing defense. I think we are all pressing – me included – sometimes. That is usually not a good thing. I'm sure that will be a storyline."
How do you rectify that? (Jerry Coleman)"We just have to keep practicing every day. We have to keep improving. We have to do a good job as coaches, and we have to really stress the fundamentals. [That is] one of the things I think, sometimes, that leaves you a little bit sometimes, and it is just doing things fundamentally right. It is being in the right gap, playing with the right technique, playing with your hands, doing whatever your technique is for what the defense calls for. Sometimes that gets away from you midway through the season or partway through the season. We just can't [let that happen]. We have to get back to doing it. We have to keep practicing every day. We have to harp on it every day. It is not rocket science. We just have to play better, we have to play our technique better, and everybody has to do it, and we have to coach better."
With the run defense, there were a couple big plays and I noticed both times it was against your sub package. Are teams trying to exploit you and maybe you are a little bit lighter up front? Is there anything you are seeing? (Luke Jones)"It really wasn't that. One time we are in a zone with just a four-man front and we just simply … Two guys kind of got out of their gap and did not play it, and the ball broke. Then on the second one – on the touchdown – we actually ran a blitz. What it was … That is why I say I think we are pressing sometimes. One of the guys tried to kind of go a little farther than what he has to go on the blitz in the gap, and he went a little farther than he needed to, and all off a sudden they hit that gap. Those are one of those, where, sometimes, if they run it the other way it doesn't show up. But they ran it right where we made a mistake. And we made a mistake. One of them was a pressure, and it was right into it, and the other one was a regular base front. You are right – they are both in sub – but they were also in three-wideout [formations]. They weren't in big personnel either."
In training camp, there was a lot of talk from the outside and some people around here about this could be a historic defense. Do you think that feeds into what you are saying about guys trying to live up to it? (Peter Schmuck)"I don't know. Until you prove anything … I said this clear back in training camp, the very first time I got up here and somebody asked me a question. [I said] you aren't anything until you prove you are something. That is hype. How many guys have I seen in college that they go, 'This guy is going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate?' Let him be one first. Just let him be. I think a little bit … We have high expectations – I do, they do, we all do. And we are working our butt off to try to live up to those expectations. We do every year, though. It is not like we thought this year … Every year, every coach enters the same thing. There isn't a coach in this league that doesn't want to be first or the best. There isn't a defensive player that doesn't want to be the best at his position. If they don't, they sure as heck are in the wrong profession. Yes, that is a little bit of it, but we just have to play. We just have to relax and play. I have to call the game, too. Every game is not going to be a perfect call. And quit trying to make a perfect call. Sometimes you do that; sometimes it is not the perfect call. We are all guilty of it. We have to relax; we have to play. It does not really matter what anyone thinks about us. I remember two years ago we were destitute and a terrible defense. About midway through the season, we ended up being the second-best defense the second half of the year and ended up in the Top 10. Can we do that again? I certainly hope so, and that is what we are striving for."
What have you seen from Dolphins QB Matt Moore? He is a backup quarterback, but he has been in the league a long time. (Luke Jones)"Savvy. That is the best way I can put it. The guy … They kept him there for a reason. I know they changed and went to [Jay] Cutler after [Ryan] Tannehill was out, but that is also because Adam [Gase] also had a history with Jay Cutler. So that is part of the reason that I think he went that direction, and not because [Matt] Moore couldn't do it. Last week proves it, doesn't it? What are they down, 14? They go 17 unanswered points to win the game. He comes in the game in the third quarter, doesn't bat an eye, runs the offense, takes them down the field, and they win the game. What else are you going to say about the guy? The guy is savvy, he is poised, and he has been around the league, what 10 years? They are all good quarterbacks. They are all good quarterbacks. I watched one last night on TV [Carson Wentz] that looked pretty darn good in his second year, so they are all good. [Kirk] Cousins looked equally as good. They are just all good."
What was your take on CB Jaylen Hill's regular season debut, especially playing slot cornerback? (Ed Lee)"He did a nice job. It was nice to see him back there. You have to love that kid – just love that kid. He is a workaholic, no nonsense, doesn't say anything. He just comes to work every day. You know what the thing was that you guys don't see about somebody like that is … We all know the story that he was a tryout and all that kind of stuff and made it. It is obviously that hard work that got him to where he is. But it is equally … It is not like all of a sudden, 'Well, I made it and now I made it.' He is still working like heck in the classroom. The whole time that he was hurt, he would sit there about three people over from me writing down everything that we said knowing that he couldn't come back for several weeks. It wasn't like he was going to play in the next game. That tells you about the kid, the person [and] why he is going to be a good pro. It was great to see him get out there and play. It is going to help us depth-wise and be able to some roll some guys a bit – maybe even move some guys around to different spots, possibly."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On if it was a good week of work and if they had enough time to prepare:"Yeah, we had enough time. We had enough time. We'll be alright. We'll be fine."
On if guys have been trying too hard to live up to the preseason hype that this could be a historic defense:"Hype, huh? Shots fired. But no, we had Brandon [Williams] out a couple of times; we lost Brent Urban. But we still can be historic. We still can be magical. So, [forget] hype. You know what I'm saying? We know who we are, and we know what we're about."
On what gives him so much confidence:"It's just who we are. It's just who we are."
On if it has been a shock to the system to not stop the run well the last few weeks:"You want to be good. You want to dominate everywhere, every facet of the game. Now, we've just got to tighten the screws a little bit. We just have to stop the leakage. But like I said, we're not hitting the panic button just yet. We're going to be alright."
On what he can put his finger on to say it will help shore up the run defense:"I don't know. It isn't one thing; it's just kind of everywhere. Like I said, we've just got to stop the leakage with all of us, playing together as a unit."
On if getting back out on the field quickly helps from an emotional standpoint:"For us competitors, anytime we line up, it feels good. So, in between times when you get to do it, you've just got to be a professional, you've got to handle your business. So yeah, I think emotionally we'll be ready. There is no stadium like M&T [Bank Stadium], so we're going to have some fun."
On facing Dolphins QB Matt Moore as opposed to QB Jay Cutler:"As you've seen the past couple of weeks, it really doesn't matter who's under center. They've got to play; we've got to play. We've got to play ball, they've got to play ball, and we'll see them Thursday night."