DOLPHINS INTERIM HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL
Q: What would you say separates this team from the teams you've played the last two weeks?
DC: You have to play good football in all three phases when you play the New England Patriots. They've always been that way. You can't have mistakes, or if you do, you can't have many of them. They have to be far less than most teams you play and we didn't do that, we didn't make enough plays, and we had a couple turnovers that didn't help.
Q: How concerned are you about the injuries tonight? Several players were being carted off.
DC: Well, yeah, it concerns you. I don't know the status of every one of them just yet. We'll find out on Cameron Wake – if something happens there that could hurt us. I don't know if, what, how long it could be, but yeah, as far as tonight's game, those didn't affect us at all. Injuries didn't hurt us.
Q: You knew going into this game you had to play an almost perfect game against this football team. You had a lot of penalties, two turnovers and just the types of things you can't do against a team like this.
DC: Yeah, those are killers. First drive out of the gate we get a false start, we get a holding penalty and those things back you up. Now you get into second, third-and-long against them – you can't do it – we can't allow that to happen. We knew that going in and we just didn't play good enough.
Q: Did they do anything different defensively?
DC: No. No.
Q: You obviously tried to run the ball early and didn't have a ton of success. What were they doing that kind of shut you guys down in the running game?
DC: Yeah, that's a good question. I'm going to be watching the film when I get back on the plane – on the ride home – find out exactly what happened. We got beat in some one-on-one situations. We had a couple of runs that weren't real good. I would say, just on the sideline watching, that's what I saw.
Q: What did you tell your football team in the locker room after this game?
DC: I just told them I don't believe that's who we are one bit, not one bit did I believe that's really who we are. I told them that I don't want them to forget that feeling right there – don't forget it – I hope it eats away at them just like it's eating away at me and I hope it drives them to not want to have that taste in their mouth ever again.
Q: Cameron Wake is one of the leaders of this team and one of the hardest workers on this team. How bad would you feel for him if he were to be out for a long time?
DC: I'd feel horrible and I know his teammates would, too, if that was the case. We'll see what happens with this, but if you lost a guy like [Cameron] it would hurt. It would. Not only is he a leader, but he's a very productive player.
Q: For obvious reasons people focus on Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but is that team better defensively than perhaps a lot of people around the country think?
DC: That's how they are. They do what they need to do. Knowing that they have the quarterback that they have, they can be whoever they need to be for their team and they are good. They have good athletes over there. They have good players – they're smart. They know how to run their system and again, you lose sight because they have such a good quarterback, some people do forget that. We don't forget that; I don't forget that. You can't mistakes against that defense, either. Yeah, a lot of that is because of what Tom and that offense will do to you over there. They don't give you much time to breath, but defensively, they're always good.
Q: When you cut it to 19-7 did you have feeling or did you sense on the sideline a feeling of, 'Okay, here we go, we're about to take this game over?'
DC: Sure. I know to me that's what we needed. We just needed to go down the field and score seven, get in the end zone and get a little momentum back and we really did that. Our defense held their [offense] on the second possession out – I believe they gave up a field goal, right? So, to me we were okay and offensively we went back out and we sputtered and we may have had a pick on that one for a matter of fact. I'm trying to remember here – I've got all my notes. We just couldn't get out of it. You start getting a little momentum and then we stalled out again. There again, it's not good enough.
Q: The safety, what happened on the snap and the communication with the penalty on Ryan Tannehill?
DC: Yeah, that was supposed to be on two. It was a silent two and it got snapped early.
RYAN TANNEHILL, QUARTERBACK
Q: Well, Ryan, where do you think things started going wrong? I know New England scored, you guys got the safety, but then you were down 19 to nothing, then you come back 19-7, where do you think it went wrong – early, later?
RT: Offensively, we just couldn't get going in the first half, you know. We couldn't move the ball efficiently. Like you said, had the safety, the pick pretty soon after that. So, you know, we couldn't get the ball moving in the first half, in the first quarter, then two bad plays in the second quarter. And then finally we were able to get on the board in the second half and not much after that.
Q: Ryan, what happened on the snap, on the safety?
RT: Miscommunication between myself and the lineman.
Q: The inability to run the football, how much did that hurt your offense to get the rhythm that you were looking for from this group?
RT: Well, it definitely took us a little bit out of whack. You know, we came in wanting to run the football, you know, expecting to run the football and had a good first run and then after that, stalled out. So, you know, it took us a while once our run game stalled, you know, we got into some third-and-longs in the first half that were tough to overcome. You play a good defense that can see off the pass rush and cover downfield. You convert a few of those, but it's tough to live and die on, third and behind the sticks.
Q: Was their pass rush a little more than you were expecting this evening?
RT: They did a good job. They did a good job up front. You know, we knew that they have some good rushers and they do a good job of getting to the quarterback, whether it is four or five rushers. You know, they don't do a lot of overload blitz. They do a good job in the twist game – twists up front to create pressure, and they did that.
Q: When you came out of the second half and were able to go down and score, did you feel like you were back in the game and it was going to be a better night for you at that point?
RT: Yeah, I felt great. Obviously, you don't want to be down, but I felt like we went out and scored and we accomplished what we wanted to get accomplished and got the ball back and were moving the ball again and then didn't convert on a third-and-short. So, you have got to be able to create and get first downs on those.
Q: Ryan, what happened with the two interceptions?
RT: First one, I just threw a timing route on time, the corner made a good play. Should have had the ball a little more on the outside, but the corner made a good play. Second one, just a miscommunication and again the safety made a diving pick, but totally on me.
Q: Ryan, losing Ja'Wuan James, which I know Jason Fox filled in for Branden Albert earlier this year and you have faith in him, but how big a deal is that? How big a factor was it tonight?
RT: You know, Fox came in and I think he did a decent job. Obviously I haven't looked at the tape and I wasn't watching him play, but you know, he has been in there before, whenever BA went down before, and I thought he stepped in. You know, I wasn't prepared to miss a beat, thought we could do anything we wanted with Fox in there.
Q: Ryan, what is it about this building that you just can't seem to win in here?
RT: I don't know. It's a good team. You can't take anything away from that team. It's a good team and they did a nice job on both sides of the ball. You know, offensively, we didn't do anything. Our defense played, I thought, pretty well early on. Kept us in the game, really, when we shouldn't have been in the game, they kept us in the game and gave us a chance, but we didn't pull our weight.
Q: Ryan, you know how well Cam Wake had been playing – seven sacks in the last two-plus games. Is there a psychological effect to seeing him on the turf, going off, you know, can't put pressure on his foot and then going off on the cart?
RT: It's tough. You lose a Pro-Bowl player like that and a leader in the team. You know, it is tough to see a guy go down. You know, it is a tough game. People are going to go down, like Ja'Wuan [James] on the offensive side of the ball, have to have someone step up and fill in their shoes.
Branden Albert, Tackle
(On being humbled by the loss)
"You could say that, we learned some things from this game. We'll take it and watch film and go about our business, worry about the next game."
Terrence Fede, Defensive End
(On Cameron Wake)
"He's a leader not only for the defensive line, but for the whole team and if we do lose him that will be a big loss for us. He's a guy who when he's in our presence is able to tell us what to do and push us on the field. For right now we are praying for him and seeing how it goes. "
(On Cameron Wake's uncertain return from injury)
"I'm always prepared, because coach always has us prepared for the worst case scenario. If they need me to step up I will be more than willing to do that, but we don't know what's happening yet. We don't know how bad his injury is, but hopefully he'll get better soon."
(On how much he's learned from this season)
"There are a lot of ups and downs in the NFL. We started off slow, we hyped up one or two games in a row, and today we took a big loss. It has been a rollercoaster, but we just want to keep working up from here.
Jonas Gray, Running Back
(On the game)
"What we showed out there wasn't the kind of team we are. We have to watch the film and correct the mistakes. Individually I didn't play as mistake free as I wanted to, but got my feet wet in the second half. We just have to be better all around as a team. We will get back to work and get back to doing the things we do well. We will make it happen."
(On playing the Patriots)
"I looked forward to playing the leading team in our division and any time you get to play a divisional opponent. I just happen to be very familiar with them [Patriots], but just like everybody else I just wanted to win the game."
(On what he learned playing in New England)
I am learning something new every day whether I am with the Patriots or here [Miami] or anywhere else. I am learning something from the leaders and the veterans on the team and I am just trying to put it all together and doing everything I can to help the team."
Brent Grimes, Cornerback
(On the play of the defense)
"They played their game, their offense had a lot of chances, that's the reason they are good. They played and they executed for the entire game, and they made plays. We obviously didn't play great, but hats off to the Patriots, they played their game. They made plays when the opportunity presented itself. They got out with a big win. We competed today but that is all you can say. We lost."
(On the team's success in Miami, but lack of success in Foxborough)
"I don't know. We just play them better [in Miami]. We made too many mistakes against a good team and when you do that they take advantage of it. That's what they did."
Rishard Matthews, Wide Receiver
(On how playing from behind affected the game plan)
"It affected us a lot. We just weren't making the plays we needed to make. I dropped a couple of balls. We just weren't connecting tonight. The Patriots are a good team. We just have to play better."
(On what Coach Dan Campbell said at halftime that gave them a spark on the opening drive of the second half)
"He just said we had to turn it around. The first half is over and we need a better second half."
(On what was different on that opening drive after halftime)
"Nothing, we were just making the plays. When you play the Patriots, you can't slack off. They're going to put points on the board and you have to match them. We weren't able to make those plays tonight."
Koa Misi, Linebacker
(On whether the short week impacted their game plan)
"We prepared pretty well for this game. We didn't go too hard in practice, we just didn't play the way we wanted to. They outplayed us."
(On what they can take away from the game)
"We've got to get better."
DeVante Parker, Wide Receiver
(On the loss)
"Three turnovers. You don't win games against good football teams like that. As a team, we got to find ways to clean it up and fix our turnovers. It's as simple as it gets for us."
(On the difficulty of losing players to injury)
"It's never a good thing for either team. You know guys do this for a living and hopefully this is something minor."
Mike Pouncey, Center
(On the game)
"That wasn't us tonight. We didn't run the ball effectively enough and we didn't protect Ryan [Tannehill]. We just played bad on offense. I think we are just going to learn from this. This just put a sour taste in our mouth. We were on a real high by winning two back-to-back games by blowouts. We just know that it is not going to happen like that each week. We have to do a better job running the football when we have the opportunity and keeping ourselves out of third and long."
(On the Miami Dolphins injuries during the game)
"I don't know the extent of their injuries, but when you see a guy like Cameron Wake go down. [Pause] It is hard. It is tough on everybody because he is such a great football player. I just hope everything works out."
Derrick Shelby, Defensive End
(On the challenge it will be to step up into a starting role)
"I'm not trying to put pressure on myself or anyone else. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and probably for more players now."
(On tonight's loss)
"It's a reminder of a place where we don't ever want to go back to. There's a lot of bad in it, but there's also some good in it as well."
NDAMUKONG SUH, DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Q: The Cameron Wake injury is the underlying thing; the biggest thing is that you guys lost, but losing [Cameron] Wake - how big of a loss could that be potentially if he's sidelined for any amount of time?
NS: Yeah, I don't know what the situation is. You obviously never want to lose one of your teammates, so I hope and pray the best for him and getting him back ASAP.
Q: The defense wasn't going the way that it was the previous two weeks and obviously you're playing an outstanding offense here, but were there two or three things that you could identify that didn't go right? It seemed like the pass rush was getting to Tom Brady a little bit.
NS: I think we executed in a lot of aspects. We got some three-and-outs, but at the end of the day, we've got to stay consistent, that's going to be the biggest thing for us as a front and as a secondary working together as a unit, just making sure we're consistent and continue to get off the field. At times we did a good job and at times we obviously had lapses and lapses that allowed them to score.
Q: You guys pull up to 19-7 - you come into the third quarter and score. Did you have a feeling or sense that things were turning in your favor?
NS: Yeah, there was an opportunity. That was our goal to come out at halftime - we had the ball and wanted to push it down and get a touchdown, turn around on defense and get the ball back to the offense like we always plan to do and I think we held them to a field goal. At the end of the day that's our job to at least hold them to field goals, if not find a way to turn it over and get the ball back over to the offense.
Q: Halftime you guys were down 19-0. How was that? Were guys optimistic? Were guys down? How was it in there?
NS: I think we understand the task that we have at hand. Coach [Dan] Campbell does a great job of giving us our scenarios and what we need to do to get back in the game. At the end of the game, we have to go out there and execute and produce and we failed that in all three phases so that's why we ended up with the score that we did and losing the game.
Q: Coach Campbell said that this wasn't the team that you guys are. He said he wanted you guys to remember this feeling. What do you think about this loss? What do you do with it? Is it any more significant and how do you deal with it?
NS: Every loss is very important and it's something that you can't take lightly. I think it may mean a little bit more because it's a division opponent, but at the end of the day, we don't want to lose. We obviously want to take Dan's words. We don't want this taste in our mouths and we've got to figure out what we've got to do over this short weekend, get healthy and get prepared to go against Buffalo.
Q: The Patriots came in highly rated, undefeated, and now you have seen them in person. What is your take on this team?
NS: They are a good team. When you make mistakes, they obviously capitalize on them and that's something that we have to eliminate. We don't want to make mistakes on either side of the ball. Or even in special teams. That's what they are known for. When I look at a team like this, they move the ball down the field. They have a very potent offense. A defense, in my opinion, that bends but doesn't break. And obviously paired with a high power offense like that, you have to go out there and make plays. And one, either keep it close, or put them behind so they have to pass the ball. And I think when we put them in long yardage situations, we got after them and that's the thing we have to do as a defensive team and as a defense to combat that. So, look forward to going back against them. We have them at home next, but we have some other tasks at hand that we need to take of first.
Q: What is the biggest difference between the Patriots and your team right now?
NS: Their Patriots team and ours?
NS: I don't know. I have to go back and look at the film. I think they execute and like I said, they take advantage of the mistakes that teams make, no matter what they are. At the end of the day, like I said, we have to execute and be consistent at all phases.
Q: How do you put more pressure on Tom Brady? You got some on him, but they still get 30-something points. Not a bunch of sacks, a little pressure. How do you get more pressure on Brady?
NS: Like I said, put him in the long run situations, I think they struggle in those aspects, and that's why they don't want to be in them. I think, as a smart offensive coordinator, that they have, and a head coach that they have, they get the ball out and they do a lot of under routes and put them in good situations for short yardage. So they can make plays, and when they have the opportunity in the play action, go downfield, they stay on the double team and things of that nature. I mean, they have a good scheme and I think we have plenty of talent on our team to combat that. We obviously just can't make mistakes and have to make plays when we have the opportunity to.