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Dolphins Postgame Quotes

Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and various Dolphin players comment on their 22-21 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 6, 2009.

Head Coach Tony Sparano(on the passing attack used in today's game) - "We just felt like that during the course of the work week that was something we could do. Felt like when we needed to run the ball we ran it pretty well. Chad [Henne, QB] did a good job. He really did. I thought Davone Bees [WR] made some good plays in this game. We just felt like we could throw the ball and we did. We gave up one sack today, in 52 attempts or whatever it was. Our offensive line did a nice job too. The guys played with a lot of emotion. I take my hat off to those guys in the locker room. There's too many times when we come in here and give the other team credit. I'm giving that team in the locker room [the Miami Dolphins] credit today. They did a hell of a job."

(on looking for a way to finish the game, starting in the third quarter) - "That's exactly what I'm looking for. That's the way you finish a game off. Down 14 - nothing, the guys came back, they didn't panic, and we talk about that. They knew that against a team like New England there's going to be some ups and downs in the ball game. We've just got to get to the sideline; we've got to get organized. I talked to the players about letting the coaches coach them. They did a great job. They worked their tail off during the week. Now they worked their tail off about this fourth quarter thing. But we created a couple of turnovers, a couple of stops, made a couple of plays, and the guys kept playing out there. That was a thing to see."

(on the fourth down stop on the goal line) - "That was a huge stop. I can't remember who made it ... I think [Paul] Soliai [DT] was involved in the play and got some good penetration in there. Felt like it was going to be a run. At that time we were pretty committed. Paul [Pasqualoni, Defensive Coordinator] made a good call there and Paul Soliai made a pretty nice play. [There were] ... a lot of guys around the football, which was good. It's a good football team out there; you stop them for a yard in that kind of situation, it's a pretty good result."

(on the interception by CB Vontae Davis) - "Big play by Vontae. Actually, it looked like they got down on the clock there a little bit. Tom [Brady, New England Patriots QB] had to get it hiked fast and took a shot out there. Vontae had obviously great position, got turned around really fast. It was funny because that same kind of play kind of happened during the week this week with had Pat Turner [WR] out there, he's a big receiver, so he's got a little bit of work at it. He made a good play. That's the way Vontae's being right now. Both of those young corners [Davis and CB Sean Smith], they take their lumps a little bit but they just keep on fighting. They're going to be good players."

(on the resiliency of QB Chad Henne) - "Well, he's been doing it all year. He really has. The ballgame against Buffalo was the first time we've really seen it not go his way in that kind of situation. But he's a pretty resilient guy. He missed a couple of throws there ... I'm sure that he'd going to tell you that. But Chad just keeps battling. He made some big throws and the one to [Greg] Camarillo [WR] down there at the end, that's a heck of a throw, and Camarillo does a great job with it, honestly. It just shows me an awful lot. He keeps getting better and better and he likes being in tough situations. That's what you want."

(on their defensive plan of following WR Randy Moss all over the field) - "What we did was we tried to double these guys a little bit. We had Vontae [Davis, CB] moving with him a little bit. The first touchdown was double coverage. The big play to Wes [Welker, WR] was double coverage; he just split it. I think Bo [Kim Bokamper], you and I talked about that on the show, with a guy having the ability to run through the middle of that. He split them and had a great catch. We had some problems going on out there throughout the game, a pretty good portion of it, where it was just Vontae moving with him a little bit."

(on the interception by LB Channing Crowder to finish the game) - "It was good to see. The ball hit him kind of in the belly there. He had a big play and that's what you want out of that position. He takes a little bit, sometimes, for whether or not making enough of them, but he was flying around out there today and make a couple of good plays. That was a good one to have."

(on the team's level of emotion coming into this game) - "I think the big push this week was just the amount of passion it takes. We talked earlier in the week about having fun, making sure we come out here and understand what this game is all about. Letting each other know that we care about it. So, that was a great job by these guys. We knew we were in the hump. We had to come out here and we had to win a big ball game, and we did. We'll see where this thing goes. We know that you are only as good as your last 'at bat', we just got a good one, so we're going to get ready to go here and play next week."

(on the last drive of the first half) - "It was important. We knew where we were time-out wise, and where we were on the field. We just didn't want to give Tom [Brady, QB] any more time coming out of there. We wanted to make sure that we used all the time and used our time outs properly and did so. We got the ball down the field pretty well. Had a couple of jump plays there in the rotation, ran the ball a little bit in that drive, got ourselves in the third. I think Harvey [Greene, SVP of Media Relations] told me that we were 10 of 18 on third and two and two on fourth. So that's a great job against a team like that. We got down there at the end. The points were ... there was no question about whether or not we were taking the points getting the ball coming out."

(on the play of LB Cameron Wake) - "Cameron, getting in and out of there ... you always look at the film and I always know that I should probably get him in there a little bit more. He's a good change up out there because the guy's got great get-off. He's doing a nice job. He's getting better and better. Every time he's in a ball game, he's got a sack. Depending on the number of plays, he'll make a factor play one way or the other. I've got to do a better job of getting him out there more. He understands his role right now. He's growing a little bit watching these two guys right now, Joey [Porter, LB] and Jason [Taylor, LB] and this guy, I think he's starting to get it and he's going to be pretty good."

(on if QB Chad Henne was ready to handle the sort of passing attack used in today's game) - "No, we didn't. We just believed wholeheartedly that Chad has been getting better and better and was going to be able to handle that if we didn't do too much. What I mean by that is we felt like there were some good staples in this plan that we really could repeat. We ran a lot of repeated plays out there today, things that he really likes. I wanted to make sure that we're giving him what he likes out there. You guys know, he puts a list together and gives it to us. Well, these things were on that list. Credit to Dan Henning [Offensive Coordinator] but we just kept running them over and over again and made some yards out of it. The key today was run-after-catch. There were a couple of balls Davone [Bess, WR] made some run-after-catch yards, Teddy [Ginn, Jr., WR] catches a slant and runs with it. So there were some run-after-catch yards out there today that I thought were pretty big. Just feeling like Chad could handle it - we knew he could. We just wanted to give him the best plays that we could give him and the things he felt really comfortable with in this plan. And if he had to run it over and over again to make it work, then so be it. That was going to be the best that we gave."

(on if keeping WR Wes Welker from catching a pass in the last ten minutes of the game was a result of a change in coverage) - "No. Just executed it pretty well. Not a change in coverage, no. He's a great player. That guy is a hard guy to guard. He really is. It ain't just us. You just keep watching the film and he just keeps catching. We had him doubled on several occasions, we tried to roll to Randy [Moss, WR] a little bit, get the safety over the top. But when you roll to Randy and he's on the other side it's a little softer there a little bit. We, for the most part, the guy earned every one that he got. He ran out of some tackles. I would say that early on in the ball game one of the things I was just disappointed about, just getting him on the ground. We knew that was important."

(on coming back from the loss to the Buffalo Bills) - "We knew that this was going to be a big football game coming in here to give ourselves a chance to continue to play meaningful games. Winning that football game out there today against a team like that was important for us in a lot of ways. Our mettle got tested last week - mine, theirs. We didn't do a good enough job. So we put our minds to it this week and really I think every guy in that room committed to one week of hard work. We went back to hard work and this thing got done. I told them at the beginning of the week that the feeling was going to be different in this locker room and it was. This is a tremendous win for us, puts us right back in the middle of this thing, and makes tomorrow a pretty nice day."

(on the experience gained by QB Chad Henne in this game) - "It's critical. Guys, I said, he made some throws out there that I think he's going to be beating himself up with when he watches the tape, but the guy just keeps bouncing back. I love the kid because his demeanor doesn't change at all. It really doesn't. He could throw a touchdown pass, he could bring it down the field in the fourth quarter, or he can throw one to the other team, whatever, this guy's demeanor just doesn't change. He's rock solid that way, he really is. That's a good quality to have. He's so good on the sideline hearing information and dealing with those kinds of things and being able to spit it back out at you. He's taken some giant steps. David Lee [Quarterbacks] has done a great job with this guy, he really has."

(on the defense stepping up in the last seconds of the game) - "Really big, really important for us. That's the way we practiced this week. Did a great job with a heck of an emphasis on fourth down. Having the fourth quarter our there on the practice field, the guys believed in it. See big eyes out there the entire game. They just didn't stop fighting and seeing them make the plays in the fourth quarter of the game ... I knew that was in there, everybody knew that was in there, and these guys did it."

(on if he was expecting over 50 passing attempts in the game) - "No, I mean, I'd say that's a little bit high. But I guess we had the ball for 35 minutes, Harvey, somewhere around there? I think that kind of got up. But the one thing I talked about last night in the coaches meeting was, listen, we're going to stay aggressive. I don't care what it takes, we're going to stay aggressive in this game and we just want to have our foot on the accelerator. I think that that information, I thought Karl Dorrell [Wide Receivers] did a great job up there with Dan [Henning, Offensive Coordinator], just saying, hey, coach, let's stay aggressive, let's stay in it. We just kept going at it that way. When the offensive line's protecting the way they were protecting out there, it gives you a chance to do those things. It worked out good."

(on how they tried to open up the game) - "It gave us a little air in there. The bubble screens that we threw out there, some of the runs, and some of those things, not only the throws, that gave us a little bit of air in that situation. We felt like it was a good match-up for us. Heck of a team, though, really hard to play against. But the guys in that room did a great job."

(on why he was upset with the first two time-outs called) - "The problem was an alignment. We didn't line up properly out there. End up burning a time out and those time outs are valuable. It could have come down to that at the end. I don't know if I said something I shouldn't have. I apologize. I'm sure I did. Again, that was the reason. You get paid to try to do the right thing and we weren't doing the right thing at that point. That's what got me upset. My guys know me. When I'm upset, I'm going to address it."

(on if he was anxious as a result of using those time outs) - "Yeah, sure, I think about those things all the time. We don't want to burn useless time outs. Those were two situations, really, where we had to do that, situations where we got down on the clock on another one and Chad had to take one at that point. Those were two time outs that really hurt us at that point."

(on the interception of QB Chad Henne) - "It was a miscommunication a little bit. I'm sure Chad is going to tell you that in the progression, I think we hung on the front side of the thing a little bit longer, just hung on it a little bit longer, he would have had a throw there. He did a good job getting backside and there was just a little bit of miscommunication. The throw got away from him there."

WR Davone Bess(On preparation for this game) - "That's one of the things we stress, hard work pays off. We had a hard, hard week this week and it all pays off, they did a great job.

(On the amount of pass attempts in the game) - "Well, it is something that we wanted to do as a whole, and that was one of the things that a lot of people out there told us that we lacked, passing the ball. I guess this was a statement game for us and we took it to heart. Every time that we went out there and battled hard in the heat and sweat in the heat and just kept grinding, and at the end it all paid off."

(On Chad Henne's poise and ability to bounce back) - "That's one thing about (Chad) Henne, he always holds his composure. He is real poise and every time he is out there anything can happen. Every time they throw us the fastball, he is willing to hit the homerun.

(On the last drive huddle) - "Everybody was just focused you could see it in everybody's eyes. Everybody was determined and they wanted it, we all wanted it.

K Dan Carpenter
(On what he was thinking before the kick) - "Just to make the kick. The team fought their ass off today. That is why I am on this team; that is what I want to do. I want to be in the position to help our team out to get a win. Today the defense and offense gave me that chance."

(On if he knows the attempt is good as soon as he kicks it) - "I definitely know when I strike the ball if I hit it as well as I wanted to. I always joke with my parents that if they want to know if I made the kick right away, I always tell them they can watch me. I usually know right when I hit it."

(On what Coach Sparano's message was to the team this week) - "Just that we have to play with enthusiasm. We knew we were not out of it, just had to work hard, have a good week of practice and get back at it. We are in the same position; we are still not out of it. We are going to get back to work and get another big one next week."

CB Vontae Davis
(On the interception late in the game) "Well our backs were against the wall, and I figured…Moss…Brady…they were going to try and go up top, and when the ball was up in the air I still knew I had to go up and attack it, because Moss makes plays on the ball, so I just tried to get to it before he did."

(On how it felt to win the game after the way it had started) "I mean it felt good because we stopped them and we're going against the top receivers week in and week out, so you got to grow up some time, and today was one of those days to grow up."

(On going up against Moss two times this season and if he is better now because of it) "Yeah, of course. I mean the biggest thing is competing. I'm not just going to go out there and let Moss do whatever he wants. My biggest thing is competing with these guys, that's why I'm out there."

(On having a short memory after the first TD to Moss) "That's the best way to approach it because if you don't have a short term memory and you start thinking about last play you are going to make mistakes on the plays ahead. I tried to forget that and move on to plays that are in the future."

(On the defense playing so well in the fourth quarter) "Well I give credit to the guys up front. They stuck their foot down and said we aren't going to let them run the ball too much. You know, I got good guys around me. They are good teammates and we just stuck together."

WR Ted Ginn, Jr.(On a big passing day) - "I mean we're just a team, man. We're the receiving corp, that's what the receiving corp has got to do. They got to step up when our play is called and you can't worry about how many balls are going to come your way, what type of yardage you're going to get. The only thing you can do is to go out there and play football every down that you step out there and we came up with some pretty good grabs."

(On Chad Henne's performance) - "He matured. He kept everybody up, like a leader. He played like he was supposed to play, he came in and kept us all motivated and he just stepped up to the plate just as well as we did. We had his back and he had ours, and we just went out there and made plays."

WR Brian Hartline(On the mentality of the team today, especially after falling behind early) - "Our backs were against the wall, it was now or never. That is kind of how we felt the whole game. I don't know if it translated well on television, but this game was do or die. We know what it is. If we don't treat it like that, it was going to be our mistake."

(On his touchdown) - "It was a second read type situation. I knew I had some time to kind of work a little bit, kind of get lost inside, have the corner fall off, [and] he did. Chad [Henne] found me, that is about it."

(On if it feels good for the receivers to have a good game today after a lot of criticism this season) - "To a point. When it comes down to making a certain play, being efficient, third downs, short [yardage], whatever we have to do. There are always going to be questions when there are losses. We took the brunt of it, but it was good to have a 52 attempt day, get after it in the air and come away with the win too."

QB Chad Henne
(On if there was something in the Patriot's defense that the team wanted to exploit by passing the ball over 50 times) - "We were down 14 points, and we're not going to get big chunks running the ball. We felt pretty good in our passing game making plays and good decisions, so we attacked them that way."

(On the offensive line giving him time to throw all game) - "I think the offensive line did a wonderful job, the last couple games [too]. They've been doing a great job in the pass game and the run game."

(On the play of his receivers) - "I think overall the wide out group and the tight end group did a great job. That's what you have to do, you have to spread the ball around, you can't pick on one person, and everybody was getting open, which was making my life a lot easier."

(On Davone Bess' performance) - "He's done a great job all year. Him in man coverage, guy is tough. Some of the guys don't want to press him out there at the corner position. He's definitely a go-to guy against man-to-man coverage."

(On the incomplete throw to Lousaka Polite near the end of the game) - "That play, actually it was supposed to be a hot route, so Lou was supposed to be running a diagonal, kind of right in the flat, and he turned it up into a regular route. Overall, if he's that wide open, I need to hit him as a quarterback and next time around I will. After that, we kind of just erase it from our mind. If we worry about that play, you're not going to convert the fourth down, and we come up big on that fourth down."

(On the ability of the team to persevere throughout the game) - "I think overall, I turned the ball over, the interception, but other than that, I thought we were driving the ball fine on them. At that point, 14-0, I said, 'we're diving the ball fine, we're just hurting ourselves.' I hurt our offense that one time with the interception. Overall, we were driving the ball well."

(On the intermediate passing game) - "I thought overall it went well, and they were giving us the coverages to attack it that way."

(On the feel in the huddle in the fourth quarter) - "Overall, I thought everybody was very focused. All week we preached the fourth quarter, coach Sparano put us through a fourth quarter thing at the end of practice. It transferred from practice to the game today. It let us focus and concentrate on what we had to get done."

(On the fourth-and-six play late in the game) - "It's tough. I think there was about two to three seconds left on the 25 second clock, so I was hoping they would hear me loud enough just to get the play off. Usually, if you're at home you should be able to hear yourself and hear your cadence. You clear that out, you don't let that bother you, and just go out and execute the play."

(On if he anticipated he would be throwing 50 passes today) - "I didn't think we were going to throw that much, but we definitely needed some chunk plays, and we converted on some of the big routes and ball downfield, which is a plus and an improvement from last week. They just kept on giving us the coverages, and our guys were winning out there, so we stuck with the pass game."

(On if his arm is tired) - "No, if you want to, we could throw all day. I love it. Put it in my hands, put pressure situations upon me, and I really thrive on those."

(On the role fourth down played in this game) - "That shows a lot of respect from coach Sparano in having confidence in our offense getting the job done on fourth down and making smart decisions. Overall, we came out with points on those fourth down situations, and that's what we really needed."

(On his emotions watching Dan Carpenter's game-winning kick) - "We always have confidence in Dan. Dan's done a good job all year. He's really right there by our side, and always in there for big situations."

(On the importance of the fourth-and-six completion to Camarillo) - "That's definitely big. That put us in field goal situation and also ran some of the time off. We had another series to run the clock down and to let the Patriots use their timeouts. Overall, it was a good play for us not to give them so much time on the clock."

(On the repetition of plays) - "The repetition, and running the same plays and not going outside the box was the biggest key. In our passing game, it's 'do what we're good at,' and we'll have to make the defense stop us. We expressed that today, we definitely had some repeated plays out there, and kept on executing."

(On if he is aware how the victory changes the AFC East picture) - "We're right back in it. This was a big game for us, but we have to worry about this coming week. If we don't take care of what's in front of us next, all this doesn't mean anything. We're going to have to take it one game at a time and keep winning."

(On if Tom Brady found him after the game) - "No, I'm sure he wasn't very happy with what happened. I didn't see him."

(On already having three fourth quarter comebacks in his career) - "I always believe in our offense, I always believe it doesn't stop until the end of the game. That's how I've been all my career and in college. I've been in those situations before and if you give up, it's not going to happen, but you always have to keep believing."

(On the plat of the defense) - "The defense played very well today. The turnover at the end with Vontae [Davis] coming up with that interception and Channing [Crowder] on that situation at the end of the game, they stepped up big, covered the guys, and got the ball back to us."

(On if he has ever thrown 50 times in a game before) - "I'm trying to think. I might have against Florida or maybe Texas my freshman year. That's been a long time."

(On the significance of the win and what it means to be back at .500) - "it's a great reward. To win a division game against the top of the AFC East, the Patriots, against them, it gives us momentum to go into next week and get above that .500 level that we're at. We're thriving one game at a time, and keep winning."

LB Joey Porter
(On the defense's general play today) "It was time for us to be a real defense. In the past we have been giving up a lot of big plays in the fourth quarter. I just think today the guys came out and had their mind focused all week. We knew what we had been doing wrong and we wanted to fix it and I feel like we did that today."

(On his wearing fatigues today) "There are just certain games that you know it's going to be a war out there. Today was one of those games for us because honestly if we lost we were out of it. We needed to win this just to have a chance. We came out and played with a purpose, played with passion. Coach said our passion had been lost a little bit, so we wanted to make sure we came out and played with some enthusiasm and some passion, and we did that today."

(On shutting down the patriots in the fourth quarter) "That was big for us, because like I said, all year that had been the time when we had given up most of our points and most of the big plays had happened to us, in the fourth quarter. We had been letting each other down, but today was a little different. Our focus was a on the fourth quarter all week. We knew that was our Achilles heel."

G Justin Smiley
(On the end of the game) - It was something out of a movie, man. Every football movie that you see, it comes down to that 4th and whatever, and you got to make the play to win the game or give yourself a chance to win the game. Like is said, it was something straight from the screen, man and it is something to be proud of. I am very honored to be a part of it."

(On Henne growing up today) - "He made a lot of plays for us today. When we give him an opportunity to make plays, he makes plays, especially in clutch situation and the receivers were coming to get the ball and got em'. It was a total team effort."

LB Jason Taylor
(On the mentality of the defense going into the fourth quarter) - "Finish the game and try to make some plays. We have had our failings at times in the fourth quarter this season. It has been a point of emphasis this week and it paid off today in the results."

(On what the defense did differently after the first two scoring drives by the Patriots) - "Played better, executed better. We had good calls early in the game; even on the touchdown to Randy Moss we had some good calls [just] didn't execute them well. We did a better job of that as the game progressed."

(On if the defense had a sense of urgency after falling behind 14-0) - "There is a sense of urgency every game. There are only 16 in this league so everyone so important. We understand that. There was no panic or anything. We gave up two touchdowns, it was 14-0 and you keep playing. You got to realize that the guys in the [Patriots] locker room are pretty darn good football players."

(On his reaction when he saw Channing Crowder's INT) - "Surprised he caught it. I see Channing at practice every day, the lord blessed him with a lot of things, [but] a good set of hands was not one of them. They worked today. I was messing with him before the game. In pregame warm-ups, I catch a lot of passes and he was laughing at me for doing it. I said 'this is why I always make plays around the ball, because I work on it. Unlike you, you always drop everything'. He ended the game with a catch, so he got the last laugh."

(On what the offense did today with the third and fourth down conversions) - "It was a great job, great job. For Chad [Henne] to bounce back on that one pass where he over threw Lousaka [Polite] on third down when Lou was wide open. To come back on fourth down and make a great throw, rolling out there, was big. The kid grows up more and more every day. Receivers made good plays today. Ted Ginn made a big catch, got us a first down, Camarillo, all those guys played really well today."

(On how the offense seemed to make a lot of big plays all game) - "They did their job, they did it very well. They kept chipping away. We understand how the games are played. We have been in this position before, didn't finish very well. Today we did."

(On where the team stands) - "I don't think there any bit of waving in confidence in this team. Knowing we had the ability and talent to do it, the coaching staff to do it. We have been in so many [close] games, been in every game. We have had a chance to do it in every game; it is just a matter of finishing. While we know the stakes of the game, we can't make one so big. You cannot prepare for a game and take it lightly. It really has been even keel. While maybe it is a do or die, it hasn't been a desperation thing. We just keep chipping away."

(On Vontae Davis and Sean Smith) - "They have done it all year. They give up a couple plays. I am not sure the situation on the first one to Randy Moss. Sean Smith on the second one was in great position; [Sam Aiken] made a great play and took it to the house. They bounced back. Vontae [Davis] made a great pick in the end zone. They are growing up before our eyes every week. They learn, get better and better."

(On Chad Henne's performance today) - "He did a good job. The kid is going to be a good quarterback, we all can see that. He already is a good quarterback, getting better and better. Great to have him on our team"

(On Dan Carpenter's game winning field goal) - "Big kick, that was huge. You can see what is at stake, to win the game against the Patriots. He drilled it. I didn't watch, I couldn't watch. I just waited for the reaction."

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