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Wed., Mar. 21, 2018 12:00 AM to 11:55 AM EDT
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Wed., Mar. 21, 2018 11:55 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
Transcript: Duron Harmon Press Conference 12/7
Q: Can you talk about the challenge of this Dolphins team this week going down to Miami and playing on Monday Night Football?
DH: It's going to be a big challenge. Those guys seem like they put together a good team victory last week and I'm pretty sure they're feeling really good about themselves, as they should. They moved the ball on offense, overcame turning the ball over twice and still [scored] 35 points. They got [Kenny] Stills going. They got the running game going. Jay Cutler looked good throwing the ball. We're going to have our hands full. It's a talented team who at any moment can create an explosive play so we've got to make sure we know where all the explosive guys are, try to keep them contained and really [make them] beat us with driving the ball 15 plays down the field without giving them the big one.
Q: Is it hard to prepare for a team you played just two weeks ago without getting lazy?
DH: I would say not really because we know how important these games now are. This is a big game for us. This is a big game for them. I'm pretty sure this is a must win for them. We're just trying to keep playing good football. We know to do that we have to prepare the same ways that we've been preparing the last eight weeks. That's going to go with watching a lot of film, getting together with our groups, staying after a little bit after practice, just talking and communicating, doing everything we did. Not getting lazy because we played this team two weeks ago. It's a different game. We've got to prepare the same and hopefully the results remain the same.
Q: Do you guys worry about it at all when Tom Brady misses practice two days in a row?
DH: Well I would say I haven't heard anything about him, you know what I'm saying, like not being there on Sunday. I hope he's there but at the end of the day, I mean this has been a routine here for the last several weeks. I don't want to speak too much on Tom but it's been a routine and he's been out there on Sundays. He's given us no reason to worry. So all I'm going to do is try to focus on what I can focus on and play as good of a defensive game as I can play and just help rally the guys and make sure we get the ball back to Tom as much as possible.
Q: Tre'Davious White called Rob Gronkowski a dirty player today. Do you have any sort of comment on that statement?
DH: It's tough to comment on that because all in itself it's just bad but I've known Gronk for five years now. Gronk is not only a tremendous football player but a tremendous teammate. [He] would do anything for you. [He] always has a smile on his face. [He’s] always doing the right thing. At that moment it didn't happen but I wouldn't call Gronk a dirty player. [It's] just a bad situation.
Q: It seems to be relatively out of character for a guy who has been here since 2010 and has had a relatively spotless record when it comes to that sort of thing.
DH: Yeah, exactly. [It was] something out of character. [It was] something that he doesn't do at all except that time. But all you can do is learn from it and move on from it. Standing in the past and just trying to go back and forth, that's not going to do anything. Learn from it, move forward and when he gets his opportunity to play again, play well.
Q: There has been a lot of talk about how players treat each other on the field. How much is it on you guys as players to sort of take care of one another when you're out there?
DH: That's always hard. I mean this is a physical game. I mean every hit is a quick second. It's hard to decipher if I'm hitting them in the helmet or I'm hitting them in the chest. These guys duck at times. It's so much. It's just all a part of the game. Some collisions you're going to hit the head. You don't want to. You're not trying to but it's just the way the game is. It's so fast-paced and things happen in the blink of an eye. It's hard. All you can do is just try. I mean the rules are going to be the rules and the rules are to make this game as safe as possible. So I completely understand that but certain things are just unavoidable.
Q: Is there a thought in your mind in terms of making sure you don't hit an opposing player in the head or is that just sort of way back there somewhere?
DH: I would say, me personally, I just try to make sure I always lead in a good spot with my shoulder – never with my head and always just try to avoid their head. Like I said, sometimes it's hard because at the blink of an eye he could be up here but then he's ducking. So you could be aiming for the shoulder or the midsection but when he ducks the head turns into the midsection. You've just got to just try to play the game the right way but fast at the same time and know that sometimes some collisions are just going to happen. It's just the way the game is. It's football. We all signed up for that. We all know that but at the end of the day it's football.
Q: Since the first four weeks of the season, no team in the league has allowed fewer points over the last eight games. How have you guys been able to turn it around?
DH: Consistency. Just consistency with our play. Consistency with our tackling. Just consistency all across the board. Throughout the first four games we were inconsistent in every area of defense that you could be – giving up big plays, tackling, our communication, our technique, our fundamentals. We would have a good three or four plays and then just a really bad play and you can't win football games like that. That's how you repeatedly give up big plays and that's what you were doing. So just being a lot more consistent in all the areas has really allowed us to limit big plays which makes it really, really hard for teams [with] those 15-play drives. A lot of people can't sustain drives like that and when they do you've got to tip your hats to them but know that most likely it's not going to happen again.
Q: A lot was made of the communication aspect. How much did you guys work on that?
DH: We worked on it. We worked on it a lot because obviously that was an area of difficulty and a problem area for us at the beginning of the year so we knew for us to take a step we had to be better at that. We got better. We worked hard at it. We continue to work hard at it so that it doesn't ever become a problem for us again.
Q: How do you feel about how the secondary unit has developed over these past couple months?
DH: Well it's been good because guys have been all over the place. Like you said, Eric [Rowe], he's been hurt. Steph [Gilmore] dealt with some injuries. We had [Patrick] Chung playing the star. Dev [Devin McCourty] playing strong safety. We had J-Jones [Jonathan Jones] playing the star. We just had a lot of guys in a lot of different places but I think what it really shows is we have a big ‘next man up’ mentality. I know throughout the team but in the secondary as well because we feel we're a talented and a deep group. We feel like we've got guys that don't start or don't play as much who can come in and give us quality reps and quality play. So we know that at the end of the day you might not be the starter right now but your opportunity, which shows each and every year, your opportunity to play will eventually come. For instance, J-Jones who’s playing lights out at the star position. It will come and what you do and how you make the most of it really determines on you and the work you put in throughout the week.
Q: Star? Is that nickel?
Q: Why do you call it a star?
DH: That's just what we call it.
Q: Last time you played Miami it was very chippy out there. Do you expect the same type of atmosphere on Monday night?
DH: Always. I mean it's a division foe so they're going to be ready to play. We're going to be ready to play and like you said the way the game played out the last time I'm sure they're going to be ready to go. We've just got to be able to match their intensity because it's a home game Monday night. It's going to be real rowdy in there and I can't wait. Read