DOLPHINS HEAD COACH JOE PHILBIN
JP: I want to congratulate New England; they played a good football game. They clearly made more plays than we did. They deserved to win the game.
Q: How disappointing is it to end the season on this note?
JP: You always want to win. Every Sunday you compete you want to win the football game. Every Sunday is disappointing when you don't win.
Q: Do you feel like you have to be almost perfect to play a team like New England?
JP: You know, when you play a team like New England that doesn't make a lot of mistakes, you can't give the ball away a couple times. Early in the game, we gave it away and gave them excellent field position, much like we did in our first game in the special teams area when we gave them the ball on the 12-yard line. In the first quarter you don't want to give them anything. Then we gave it away when we were in scoring position. It looked like we had an opportunity anyway to get some points and we gave it away. So those kind of things puts pressure….When you're minus two in the turnover margin, regardless of your opponent, you usually don't win those games.
Q: Going into this game, you wanted to establish the run and give your offense a little balance. It seems like you weren't able to get that going.
JP: I thought they did a good job. They had some run pressures that they used that were effective against us. We were never in a lot of second-and-twos or second-and-fives, so we didn't have that good balance and rhythm in the offense, no question.
Q: It seemed like Tom Brady had a lot of time and that there wasn't really a lot of pressure.
JP: When you play against these guys, you have to find a way to disrupt the timing of their passing game. I would agree with you that we didn't do that very well.
Q: How frustrating is it to end in this fashion?
JP: Like I said, every Sunday's an important ball game for us. It's a chance to come out and compete, and I thought we had a good week of preparation and felt we had a good trip and warm up. I thought our guys would be ready to play, but we just didn't make enough plays.
Q: They had seven sacks. Was it guys not getting open down field quickly enough or was the front the problem?
JP: I think when you get that many, when we evaluate the tape, there's going to be both of those things. I think there's going to be some coverage sacks – there was one or two they got when they added pressure – and I think there were some when they just beat us one-on-one. When you have that many, usually you're going to have all of them.
Q: What are your overall thoughts on the season?
JP: We have a lot of work to do, obviously. I think we made progress in areas, but we have a ton of work to do. We've got to get started on that as soon as possible. We just have a lot of work to do.
Q: Does it feel like there any positives towards building something?
JP: In a lot of ways, certainly. But right this minute, it doesn't feel that way.
Q: Where you at all surprise at how their defense played?
JP: They're a good football team; we knew that. Good coach, good players. They played it well.
Q: Does this game tell you how far you are from being a playoff caliber team?
JP: Well, they are the division champs. Today the scoreboard tells you we were four touchdowns behind, so we had some work to do.
Q: Any thoughts about taking Ryan Tannehill out after he came out limping?
JP: No, we would never put anyone out there if we didn't feel they were ready to go.
Q: What are your thoughts about his rookie season?
JP: I think he did a lot of good things.
Q: Any thoughts about giving the ball to Reggie Bush so he could get his 1,000 yards? Did that come up at all?
JP: Not in any discussion I was involved in.
Q: How tough was it with so many guys out?
JP: We knew what we had. These were the guys we practiced [and] these are the guys we prepared for the game. We had opportunities to make plays; we just didn't make enough of them.
Q: What happened during the fumble near the goal line?
JP: We just didn't have good coordination on the exchange and it slid in between the quarterback and running back.
Randy Starks, Defensive tackle
(On the difference between the last game against the Patriots and this game)
"The team lost, there were plays we didn't make and they made them, that was the difference in the ball game. They did a good job protecting him (Tom Brady). Their play action worked. They just played better than us today."
(On the disappointment of the loss after playing well for the last few weeks)
"It hurts, we expected to finish a whole lot better. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth that we don't play another game till next year."
Karlos Dansby, Linebacker
(On the loss)
"We didn't make enough plays, that's what it all boils down to."
(On not getting a lot of pressure on Tom Brady)
"They did a lot of things different this time, they made some adjustments, trying to tie up the pass rushers and that is what they did."
Chris Clemons, Free Safety
(On stopping the Patriots offense)
"We have to be disciplined when you play those guys. If you're not disciplined than you're not at the right level and they are going to beat you on that play."
Sean Smith, Cornerback
(On not being competitive)
"I don't like that word competitive the way it was used. I never felt like the guys weren't out there competing. As far as the overall results of what happened, I think I was a bit surprised. This is a team that we know very well, and usually we have a pretty good game for the most part. To come out like this and finish like we did, you've got to give those other guys a lot of credit. They made all the plays."
Jonathan Martin, Tackle
(On what he saw during the game)
"You know, they are a good team. That's the reason they got a first round bye and will probably do some damage in the playoffs. As a team, we just didn't execute well. On offense we turned the ball over and the offensive line was not playing well as a unit "
(On giving up seven sacks)
"Jeez, I didn't know it was seven. Not a good performance. I didn't have my best performance by a long shot. It will give me a lot of motivation in the off-season."
(On if the Patriots were doing anything that they hadn't seen before)
"No, not necessarily. They are a talented unit and they were just doing a good job making plays."
Mike Pouncey, Center
(On ending the season like this)
"You never want to end the season like that. It's our last game. At the end of the day, they have more games to play and this was our last one. This is like our playoff game and we didn't go out and perform the way we should have "
(On if he was disappointed Reggie Bush didn't get to 1,000 yards rushing today)
"Very disappointing. That guy deserves it more than anybody. He's the guy who comes in everyday and works harder than anybody. We wish we could have got it for him."
Reggie Bush, Running Back
(On how it felt to get shut out after playing well the last two games)
"It's obviously not what we planned to do and it's not how we planned to finish the season. We came in here with the mentality that we needed to finish the season strong and we obviously didn't do that today. We just have to take it and get better next year."
(On the fumble near the goal line)
"It was a poor job on my part. I was trying to avoid the linebacker coming free in the "A" gap at the same time trying to grab the ball. It's one of those things where you've got to do a better job of clamping down on the ball and taking the tackle for a loss."
(On not reaching 1,000 yards rushing)
"You know, my main focus was coming here and winning the game, not worrying about personal stats and anything like that, so it doesn't affect me at all."
(On what the story of this season was)
"We just didn't make enough plays, that pretty much sums up our season."
Dimitri Patterson, Cornerback
(On his injury)
"I am okay. It is just an ankle sprain. It swelled up on me. That is all it was."
(On the game)
"They stuck to what we saw on tape. They are going to do what they are going to do. They are not going to make mistakes. They are going to try and run the ball and throw high percentage passes. They control the passing game and that was nothing that we hadn't seen coming in. They are all about execution. They don't do anything different."
(On the weather)
"That wasn't anything. It wasn't a game where it was raining. Once you start getting into a rhythm the weather doesn't matter. By the end of the day they didn't do anything new or surprising. They just executed. That is what it came down to, not the weather." Brandon Fields, Punter
(On kicking in the cold and wind)
"It is not fun. Obviously it adds a whole new dimension with the cold and the wind on top of it. These winds, well anywhere, if you have these winds in Miami it is going to be a problem. It is something that you have to try and adjust for. The ball definitely doesn't travel as far in the cold. I grew up in this stuff and I played in it many times. The cold is out of sight and out of mind. It (the cold) will have an effect on the ball but this wind today was tough, it was knocking the ball down. The wind creates its own challenges kicking with it or against it. It is something I can't control."
Brian Hartline, Wide Receiver
(On being shut out)
"Very disappointed. Embarrassed obviously more than disappointed."
(Asked if the cold weather affects players)
"If you are going to be a wuss about it, then yeah, but if not it is just cold. I don't know what to say about that."
Jared Odrick, Defensive End
(On the cold)
"I love playing in the cold, I miss it playing down south. So I embrace it. I like playing in the cold and it is the first time I have in a long time and it kind of felt good. Of course you think about it, everybody thinks about it. It is something you are aware of as professional football players that there are teams up north and there are elements to be dealt with. You still feel it but you don't think about it when you play."