Conference Calls: Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin, Qb Ryan Tannehill

Posted Oct 10, 2012

Head Coach Joe Philbin Conference Call
(On the temperature outside now) – “It’s raining right now. It was warm, but I’d say it’s in the mid-80s probably, I’m guessing.”
(On the weather forecast for Sunday) – “I think about the same, mid-80s, I believe.”
(On if the weather might give the Dolphins an advantage) – “I don’t know about that. I think most important is how well, how ready your team is to play and how well they block and tackle and catch the football and those type of things. I think weather may have a minimal at best effect on the game.”
(On how he’s adjusting in his first season as head coach) – “I’m enjoying it very much. It’s privilege to serve in this capacity. I think we’ve got a lot of people here who are very committed to turning this program around and building a consistent winner, starting at the top with our owner. (I’m) very fortunate. I think we have a high character group of men on the team. I’m real pleased with this coaching staff that we have in place and we’ve got a ton of work to do and we’re hopefully going to improve as the year goes on. I’m enjoying every minute of it.”
(On being in most games this year) – “We like the fact that we told our team the other day, I think if you watch our film, you’d have to say that we’ve played five games and I think our guys have been ready to play five times. That’s a good place to start and we’ve turned the ball over way too much. Good offenses don’t do that and we’ve got to get that straightened out. We’ve been a little too generous at times on defense with some big plays, but I like the way they prepare for a game. I like the fact that they’ve been competitive and, aside from five minutes in the Houston game, in every single game we’ve played. Those are good starting points and hopefully we can build off of that.”
(On what made him think Ryan Tannehill was the guy to lead the franchise) – “Number one, we thought he was a good athlete for the position. We thought he had the physical traits that we were looking for. We thought he had a strong arm. He moved very well. He threw the ball on the move well. We thought he had good accuracy and a strong arm. Obviously, our offensive coordinator had a history with him, so we kind of knew how he ticked so to speak. Beyond that, we liked the fact that, even though he only had 19 starts, we liked the fact that he contributed to his team as a wide receiver. He’s a football player. He likes the game. He’s passionate about it. He’s smart and he’s a hard worker. We liked a lot of things about him.”
(On how much it helps Tannehill having the history he has with Mike Sherman) – “I think just part of the adjustment for an NFL rookie, especially a quarterback is the simple verbiage of a system and sometimes we coaches can make things wordy and complex when it’s really not that difficult of a game, but we sometimes do that. Ryan obviously had an advantage in that respect. That part he didn’t have to have a big learning curve. So now the complexity of the coverages, the variety of blitzes, the multitude of fronts that he has to deal with is certainly different than college game, but at least he could focus more of his attention on those things as opposed to re-learning the system and those type of things. I think that’s been helpful.”
(On what guard Richie Incognito brings to the team and his reputation as a player) – “He’s been an extremely hard worker since the day I got here. Football’s very important to him. He’s made a nice contribution. He practices very, very hard. He’s studies his trade diligently and he’s made a nice contribution so far. We’ve watched the film obviously every week and, while I think he’s a physical player, he’s certainly, I don’t he’s had a holding a penalty, maybe he’s had one holding penalty. He plays the game hard.”
(On how tight end Michael Egnew is coming along) – “Yeah, he’s making progress. As you guys know, the system in Missouri was a little bit different. Obviously, he was a very productive college player and we’re hopeful that he can make the transition to the Miami Dolphin offense sooner as opposed to later. But we’re seeing development. He’s got to be able to play a little more inline. He didn’t do a whole lot of that at Missouri and he’s starting to get used to having his hand down in a three-point stance, being involved in pass protection and more involved in the run blocking than he’s ever been as well as the route running aspects of it. We’re seeing progress.”
(On if he’s concerned about the depth of the running back position heading into the Rams game) – “We’re going to have to see as the week unfolds in practice. We’re confident. We’ve got some guys that can run the ball and guys that have demonstrated that in games before. I’m sure we’re going to be fine by the time the game rolls around.”
(On the challenges that the Rams present) – “Well their defense I thought just played exceptional against Arizona. Their play speed on defense was excellent. I mean those guys were running around, they were physical, they were putting pressure on the quarterback, and they had great pursuit to the football. I thought they played extremely well. You look at the scores the last couple of weeks (giving up) 23 points, 13 points, three points, that’s impressive. They’re doing a heck of a job on defense, and offensively I’m very familiar with a lot of the young skill guys that they have. The young running backs, both of those guys are talented and Steven Jackson has been a productive player for a long time. And the Givens kid, we looked at him hard in the draft obviously. He’s been very productive for them, so I like their young skill. I think their young skill is very good, and then obviously they have a quarterback that can make all the throws. When you have a quarterback that can make all the throws and you have emerging young skill players, that presents a challenge for you defensively.”
(On whether he has any expectations of a team coached by Jeff Fisher) – “Well we played Tennessee every year in the preseason when he was there. You know we probably played them six or seven times when I was in Green Bay and then we played them in the regular season whenever our turn came around. I think we had two regular season games against him, but I think he is known for very sound, smart, physical football teams. Very disciplined teams, and obviously he has been a very productive coach for a long, long time. He's got a long track record of success and it appears he's off to a great start with the Rams.”

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill Conference Call
(On his adjustment to the NFL) – “It’s been good so far. I’m just trying to improve every week, make every practice count and just go out and improve every aspect of my game. I had some tough losses early in the year, but I think we’re improving every game as a team and I just hope we continue to do that.”
(On whether this is the same system that he ran at Texas A&M) – “Yes, I think so. The foundation of it is the same. Obviously we have a lot of new things, but the foundation of it is the same.”
(On how much it has helped working with Mike Sherman) – “It’s a big help. You know just like I said having the same foundation coming in. Just learning parts of a new playbook instead of an entire new playbook, and then just having some familiarity definitely eases the transition.”
(On the biggest challenge of the NFL) – “I think early on it was the speed of the game and getting adjusted. It’s definitely a faster game; I expected it to be a faster game. But I felt like I got adjusted for the most part during OTAs and minicamp and the preseason games, so that was the big thing early on and now it’s just getting comfortable and getting in a groove with my teammates.”
(On what he had to do to prove that he was a quarterback after playing receiver in college) – “You know I always thought of myself as a quarterback. I went out and worked hard every chance I could to be a better quarterback. I just waited for my time and always thought of myself as a quarterback like I said and never gave up hope that I would be a quarterback. I just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity once I got it and fortunately enough I did get the opportunity and try not to look back.”
(On any specific feedback he received from coaches at Texas A&M on why he wasn’t the quarterback right away) – “I played quarterback in high school, I played quarterback all growing up until college so I went to A&M as a quarterback and then we had an incumbent starter my first year there in Stephen McGee. (I was) just looking for another way to get on the field, and receiver was that way, so I stayed out there for a couple of years.”
(On whether he can still catch the ball) – “I think I can still catch, but (I’m) just not as smooth as I used to be.”
(On what it was like to play in three very close games in a row and win at Cincinnati) – “It’s fun you know I think that’s a big part of NFL games. A lot of them do go down to the wire and a lot of them are close games. It’s not like college where you either win by 18 or 21 or lose by 18 or 21. Most games in the NFL are relatively close. So as a team we need to be able to play a full four quarter game, we need to be able to finish when it comes down to it in the end. I think that’s what got us the prior two weeks is that we played pretty good up until the last few minutes of the game, and we just couldn’t get that one play to get us over the hump. I think finally going into Cincinnati and getting the win, getting that last play by our defense making a big play at the end to get us over the hump, I think that really just puts that in our past and we can build on it.”
(On if he’s recognized around Miami now) – “Yes, a little bit. It comes with the territory. I try to stay out of the light as much as I can, but it happens.”
(On if he’s spent much time with Dan Marino) – “I’ve met him. I’ve talked to him, but I haven’t spent an extensive (amount of) time yet so far. He’s got his broadcasting things going on, but hopefully we can get together some this offseason and talk about some things.”
(On the Rams defense) – “They’re a physical defense. They play hard the entire game. They never let up. They don’t stop. They have good pass rushers on the edge in (Robert) Quinn and (Chris) Long and they’re guys that have a high motor and play the entire game off the edge. (We’ve) got to be able to  protect against those guys and they’ve got guys that play hard in the secondary in (Cortland) Finnegan and linebackers that really contain the run. It’s a tough team to run against. I think you saw that, you’ve seen that in the previous games that teams aren’t able to stack up the running yards on them. (We’re) going to have to be sound in what we do and fundamentally sound, like I said, just to pick up everyone where we need to be and be technically sound as where we place our hands and things like that when we’re blocking. (We’ve) got to be able to run the ball. That’s part of our game, but they are a tough defense to run against.”
(On his comfort level with wide receiver Brian Hartline) – “Yes, he’s been good so far. I think we’ve gotten more comfortable as the practices and games have gone on. He missed all spring and all training camp being banged up a little bit, but, once he got in there, he’s really gotten better and we’ve gotten more on the same page each practice. (We) just look to continue to do that and the other guys are stepping up as well – (Davone) Bess and Anthony Fasano, tight ends. We’ve got guys that have stepped up and have made plays for us.”

(On what it’s like having guard Richie Incognito protect him) – “It’s fun. Richie’s a great guy. He definitely keeps things lively in the locker room. He’s always throwing out a joke.  It’s great to have a guy like Richie around.”

(On if he likes Texas A&M being in the SEC) – “Yes, it’s fun just having a lot of my teammates playing in the SEC. It’s fun to talk with those guys, talk smack a little bit and I think they’ve done well so far. They had a rough game last week, but still were able to come out with a win. We look forward to the rest of the season."