Head Coach Philbin press conference transcripts

(Opening statement) – “I think like I said yesterday, I thought we had an excellent team win at home. I thought the atmosphere at Sun Life Stadium was outstanding. The fans were great. I thought we made enough plays at all three phases of the game to win the game. It a very good football team in Atlanta. They’ve won a lot of football games the last five years. I think Mike Smith and his staff do a great job as also their players do. We have a lot of things to improve, a lot of things to work on as we get ready to play another very, very good team in New Orleans.”


(On if he felt Sunday’s game was an all hands-on-deck approach with the shuffling of the defensive line) – “Our guys kind of just stepped right up. The next guy went into the ball game. Give credit to the coaches to having those guys ready to go in a variety of places. A guy like (Jason) Trusnik steps in and plays a couple of different positions, and we just keep rolling. Yeah, those guys pitched in nice.”


(On the contributions from players the team drafted in yesterday’s game) – “We got some good young players on the roster, no question about it. It’s good to see those guys contribute to a team win.”


(On what Dion Jordan and Derrick Shelby showed in extended play yesterday) – “Derrick kind of does what he does in practice. He does things very technically sound. He keeps his pads flat. He’s very instinctive as a football player. That showed up on film. Dion (Jordan) played his most extensive action of the year. He’s making progress.”


(On if there is any general concern about the injuries on defense) – “We’ll have to see as the week unfolds.”


(On if playing on Monday Night this week gives extra benefit to injured players) – “Yeah, I have to think so. It gives us an extra 38 hours, something like that. My math is probably bad. 32 (hours) maybe.”


(On what it says about the depth of the defense playing so well with starters missing) – “Those 46 guys, you dress 46 guys and every team deals with this throughout the course of a NFL season. Those guys have to be ready. You never know when your jersey number will be called upon. It’s a credit to be ready and step up and contribute.”


(On the defense bending but not breaking for a second consecutive game) – “They did a nice job. Obviously we have to start the game better on both sides of the ball. They came into our stadium in our home opener, took the ball and went 80 yards and forced us into a three-and-out our first possession on offense. We need to start the game better, but the only other touchdown I believe they took possession on our 12-yard line if I’m not mistaken. Our guys gave up some yards, as you mentioned, but forced them into some field goals as well.”


(On at what point does he accept big plays as a characteristic of the team) – “Again, we know in most NFL games that you are going to have to step up in the fourth quarter and make plays. Again, I think the issue with yesterday’s game was we were minus-two in the turnover margin for quite a bit of the game, which is not how we want to play football. Again, we kept it close. We stayed within striking distance for the course of the game and we made those plays that you talked about.”


(On how far Ryan Tannehill has come in fourth quarter play) – “Certainly it’s great to see, there’s no question about it, but again I go back and look at the drive yesterday where we had six different receivers catch the football. The starting point in passing the football is protection. (Ryan) was very well protected on that drive. We are delighted about his progress, he as an individual. There’s also 10 other guys who have to make it work. I think he’d be the first guy to tell you that.”


(On the running game outside of Lamar Miller’s big run having a low yards-per-carry average) – “They (all the runs) count. Six yards a carry (laughs). No, there is still room for improvement. There’s no doubt about it. The biggest thing I think we are doing better is we aren’t having as many negative yardage plays where we are 2nd-and-12, 2nd-and-11. It’s hard calling a game offensive when you are in those situations. Certainly we can do better, there’s no question, which we will.”


(On his working relationship with Jeff Ireland and how it has evolved) – “Yeah, I think we have a very dedicated personnel staff. It’s headed by Jeff, and the guys (working) are very professional at what they do and thorough in what they do. You have to have everybody in the organization, personnel, coaching, medical, equipment, support staff, operations, everybody has to pull together and work together. If you don’t have people working on the same page and people going in different directions, it’s not going to work.”


(On the team’s pass protection) – “I was probably wrong yesterday. I actually thought the offensive line pass blocked pretty well yesterday. We had a couple of sacks. There’s times where are quarterback has to get rid of the ball. Our running back gave one up yesterday. We had a scheme error one time where we gave up a sack. While they weren’t perfect, I think there is progress definitely from the offensive line perspective, but it’s not acceptable to average, I think we are averaging, five sacks per game. Do the math, 80 (sacks) a year. That’s not good.


(On if the good pass production on the final drive was something different schematically) –   “No, same stuff.”


(On if the good pass protection on the final drive was just execution) – “Primarily, yes.”


(On if Ryan Tannehill’s fumbles are an issue of ball security and protection) – “A little of both, but (Ryan) has to do a better job with the football, there’s no question about it. The one we gave (the Falcons) at the 12-yard line, we can’t have that stuff. There’s no reason. It’s a bad play, but we can’t compound it and make it a worse play.”


(On his reaction to player dumping ice on him after his postgame speech) – “A lot of jumping up-and-down and, ‘Whoa.’ Yeah, I didn’t know where it came from. From the backside it came. Yeah, it was good. I was a little hot and sweaty anyway. I probably needed and (ice bath).”


(On if dumping the ice could be considered a good backside play) – “Very good (media laughs).”


(On only two penalties combined in the past two games) – “Yeah, our guys are disciplined. They have done a good job of playing within the rules. One of the things I think has been good on defense is our targeting when we are tackling has been very good. We’ve hit quarterbacks over the last three weeks a number of times, and our guys have been very good and disciplined about the discipline of the hit and not going too high, and the same thing with the receivers. That’s got to be part of our game. It has to be part of the way we play. We take a lot of pride in that, and we’ve got to keep working on that.”


(On how much of a lift the sideline gets on a big-play such as Don Jones big hit and forced fumble) – “There’s no doubt about it, it’s something that can invigorate the whole football team as I think that hit did. You see John Denney somehow, initially you look at that and you don’t see how he’s probably going to come up with the football. That mentality kind of that we have where you are scratching, you are clawing, you are fighting and you are finding a way somehow to get the job done.”


(On if the stat of 75 percent of teams starting the season 3-0 make the playoffs means anything to him right now) – “It’s a meaningless stat. We are focusing on an excellent New Orleans team we have to get ready for. It’s an uncommon opponent, as we like to call it. We classify those teams from the NFC that you only have on the schedule once every four years as uncommon, so we have to do a lot of preparation and a little extra work to get familiar with their schemes and their personnel.”


(On what it says about the team’s mental toughness winning the first three games despite all of the injuries) – “It’s a good group. These guys are professional. They work very hard. They come into the building and give us an honest day’s work. It’s a good group to coach. I like the way they are working.”


(On how concerned he is about the run defense) – “We missed too many tackles yesterday. There’s no question about it. We have to tackle better. We are not going to invent a whole lot of new defenses. We play our defense. We are going to play over. We are going to play under. We’ve got to execute our techniques and fundamentals better, and our number one fundamental that we work on every single day is tackling. We’ve got to do it better.”


(On if tackling has been the primary problem in run defense) – “I would say primarily, especially yesterday.”


(On if the last touchdown was taken from the Texas A&M playbook) – “I can’t reveal that. That’s too secretive.”

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