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Dolphins Postgame Quotes

Miami Dolphins head coach Tom Bowles and various players comment on their game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, December 24, 2011.


Q: It was a tale of two halves. First half, seemed like you had everything under control; second half, everything shifted their way. What do you think was the major difference?

TB: We didn't finish, you know. First half we came out and played our tempo, our ballgame. We made them play our ballgame and the second half they made us play theirs. They made some plays, you know, you have to give them credit. Our guys fought, but we didn't finish.

Q: Early in the second half you had two offsides and a neutral zone penalty, a fumble and turnover that went their way. It seemed to completely change the momentum of the football game.

TB: You know, turnovers and penalties, you can't have [them]. But even then, we were still in the ballgame. You know, we have to make plays at the end. We didn't stop them and we didn't get points.

Q: What did they do offensively in the second half? Their receivers broke some tackles, but what else did you see that they were able to do to keep the ball moving?

TB: They weren't able to do anything that differently. I think they got a lot of catch and run plays, they were throwing the ball underneath a little more, [Tom Brady] was getting rid of the ball out of his hands a little more, nothing we didn't see. We just didn't make the plays when they came up.

Q: It seemed like a game of pressure in the first half. Your defense was able to pressure Tom Brady into some bad throws and it was very tough for Matt Moore to get the ball out of his hands a lot of times…

TB: They pressured him a little bit, you know. We had some bust up front, but we've got to make plays - bottom line. We've got to move the ball; nothing we haven't seen or gone over. They just came out and they wanted it more in the second half than we did.

Q: How much did the no huddle affect you guys in the second half? Did you expect them to do that or did it catch you off guard?

TB: They did it in the first half. It didn't catch us off guard. We expected it; we prepared for it all week. Their guy made some plays, made some throws, and they just got it done.

Q: A guy like Rob Gronkowski, as many big plays as he made, what makes him so difficult to defend?

TB: I mean, he is a big guy. He is bigger than most tight ends. He's tough, you know. He's got a big body and when he catches and then turns up field against defensive backs, it makes it hard. But, you've got to get him down.

Q: Wes Welker ended up with 12 or 13 catches on the day, way over a hundred yards, and he just seemed to win when they needed to go to it. It's tough to keep his hands off the ball…

TB: Yeah, he made plays. You got to give the guys credit; they have a good quarterback, they have a good receiver. We shut them down in the first half, but it takes four quarters to get it done.

Q: Is there any update on Jake Long's status?

TB: Not sure. It's just too early to tell.

Q: Did you think about an onside kick at the two-minute warning?

TB: We thought about it. I mean, we had three timeouts and if they got the onside kick with three time outs, they would have been in field goal range with one first down, so our best chance to stop them was to kick the ball down the field and try to get three time outs and stop them, make a punt and have a chance…

Q: You knew this New England team was a team that wasn't going to quit. What did you tell your guys at half time when you had a 17-0 lead?

TB: We knew halftime would be zero-zero. We knew these guys would come back out and fight, you know. We came back out and fought; [we] just didn't play smart. They made the plays and we didn't.

Q: What is the difference in Matt Moore's performance in the first and second half?

TB: Well, they got pressure on him, they hit him a little bit. And he held the ball some and we just didn't get it done over there.

Q: They went primarily five wide early in the second half. Did that change your defense at all?

TB: No, they were like that in the first half too, so the plays were the same and the people were the same. It's nothing they haven't been doing the past few weeks. They just made more plays than we did.

Q: Between the first half and the second half, would you attribute your offense not moving the ball as much to execution or the Patriots defense?

TB: I think it was both. I thought they executed better than we did, you know. I thought we didn't do the things that we are better at doing and part of the problem was because they did it, they did it better than us. So, you've got to give them credit.

(On the game)
"We just stalled there a little bit in the second half. We can't do that against a team like this. They did what they always do and stayed the course. Credit them. They made more plays than we did in the second half. It's disappointing. This is a great group of guys in here. We kept battling, but we just needed some things there in the second half."

(On difficult coming back in the end)
"It's hard especially playing in somebody else's house against a team like that ... Just too little too late. I'm proud of the guys and the way they fought. Extremely proud. But, you know, it's a tough one."

(On feeling when the Patriots tied the game)
"We told ourselves that we have to keep the pedal to the metal. It's a zero-zero ballgame. It was good. Guys were good. Obviously we came out and had some crucial turnovers in the second half and you can't do that against a quality team. At the end of the day, that hurt us big time."

(On fumbled snap)
"Miscommunication. Can't have it. Just have to communicate better. Loud stadium and we just have to be on top of it, which we were not."

(On deep pass to Hartline)
"It was underthrown. Just have to make a better ball. I'd like to think it got caught in the wind, but I just have to make a better throw."

(On the game)
"This one was pretty tough. I felt like we had the right game plan and knew what we had to do, we just didn't execute if for four quarters. We made some mistakes on offense. That gets you beat playing against good teams like this, and we were well aware of that. We talked about not turning the ball over, sustaining drives, and I don't think we did a good job of that for four quarters. We put our defense on a short field too many times and made it easy for them. Against good teams, you can't to that. You have to force them to drive the whole field and we didn't do a good job at that. We played well, just not for four quarters."

(On second half adjustments)
"We felt like we didn't need to change anything about our game plan, just continue to do the things we did in the first half, protect the ball, sustain drives and just continue to pound, throw jabs, punches for four quarters."

(On going over 1,000 yards)
"It really doesn't mean much to me right now to be honest with you. I'm more focused on winning games. It really doesn't mean anything right now."

(On the near kick return TD)
"The kicker made a good play. I can't take it away from him. He saved a touchdown. He made a good play."

(On the game)
"We knew it was going to be a fight. The plan was to just come out and play our game and make them play at our pace, which we did in the first half. In the second half they made some good plays and kind of took off. It's a fight. We fought with them, and they came out on top."

(On his team)
"We have stayed together through everything, wins and losses.  We are a family.  There is no selfishness on this team.  We are brothers."  

(On the loss)
"It's frustrating, but the whole season is frustrating. We have a lot of heart in this locker room. But unfortunately sometimes we have to make plays. We have one more game left. We're going to go out there and we're going to try to win it."

(On the second half)
"Stupid mistakes. Lack of execution. You can't do that against a Patriots team like that. It definitely [stinks], but like I said, the season has been going that way. It's unfortunate for the amount of work that we put in and it's unfortunate for the fans, but that's life, You have to embrace the journey. When you focus too much on a destination, you're be disappointed, That goes for football and it goes for off the field, just life in general. You have to embrace the journey and grow. That's what this year was about: growing and building off of it. The journey was rough this year. We have one more game left, which is a part of our journey and we're going to finish strong. Try to get this last win and go into the offseason with a little bit of momentum and build off of that."

(On the second half)
"In those first four or five minutes of the second half, the momentum shifted to their side, and that's not good, especially with the group of guys they have over there, coaches and players. So when you have a team down you have to put them away. So hopefully we learn from this and grow and this will be a part of our building blocks for next year."

(On the Patriots' no-huddle offense)
"We knew they would, I mean that's what they do. They do it all the time, and they made a couple plays on us there that backed us up a little bit but at the same time we had to execute. They were at home and they got momentum and it's hard to get it back. They kind of kept it in the second half and as a result they scored 27 points.  When you watch these guys on tape they do it throughout games. It's nothing new. We knew at some point it was going to come. We were prepared for it but at the same time they slowed our pressure package down by going no-huddle. They'd run a play and then they'd get right back on the ball trying to get the huddle call and the pressure's not as good then because you can't really set up. They did a good job but at the same time we just didn't execute. We prepared for it because that's what these guys do. They get in no-huddle and they run quick plays so we were prepared for it we just didn't make enough plays."

(On the Dolphins' pressure package/Patriots' no-huddle)
"We didn't have time to set up our pressure package. They were going to make sure we didn't have time to mess around in the second half so they were getting up on the ball going quick keeping us on our toes. They were snapping the ball quick and doing things like that. We knew they might do that but they did a good job in the second half and we just didn't make enough plays to win the game."

(On the Dolphins' resiliency)
"It just speaks to the character of the men in this room.  We don't quit.  We just fight and keep swinging.  That has been our mentality all year.  Just keep swinging and try to clock as many wins as possible."

(On the difference between the two halves)
"Penalties and turnovers.  They committed penalties the first half.  We turned the ball over and committed penalties the second half.  That is never a good recipe."

(On his team)
"We are resilient, we have a lot of pride.  We don't lay down.  We will never lay down.  We have proud men in this locker room.  We will never lay down.  We have the makeup of a championship caliber (team).  We just have to finish and take advantage of our opportunities."

(On the difference in the two halves)
"They changed up a bit, they made some adjustments. Then they started making plays and breaking a few tackles and catching the ball well.  Brady started putting it on the money.  So he played better and that made their team go.  We had his number in the first half but in the second half he came out and made a lot of plays.  He is a coach on the field."

(On his team)
"Everything comes down to the guys on our team. The coach has always done a good job but I think a lot has to do with the character of this team.  We want to win.  That is how we got to where we are today and we aren't going to change our mind."

(On the two halves)
"We didn't execute as well in the second half.  A loss is a loss is a loss.  Always.  We threw some deep balls.  We didn't execute between those plays and that hurt us in the end."

(On the game and the Patriots' adjustments in the second half)
"We just went out there and had a good first half. It was really just a couple of adjustments that they made at half time. They came out ready and its no excuse. We just need to keep going and play the same way in the second half and finish that off. When we have a team down like that, and you are up 17-0, we just have to finish those things off.  You have to give them a lot of credit they made the plays in the second half.  They switched up a lot things with their routes and with a lot of things they have not really done before and shown before. We saw them switch things around and come out in the second half and saw a couple of new looks so you have to give them credit.  It shows that we have been a good team in the second half of the season. When you can come out like that in the first half and you have a team down like that, you just have to finish them off."

(On the second half)
"They (the Patriots) played the second half hard. In the second half, they always find a way to come back ... they just went into the no-huddle and there was a lot more hurry up. The stuff we did in practice but it was just in the execution. It was the little things that got us again."

(On what Coach Bowles said at half time)
"He just said you just have to put your foot on the pedal and go. This is the type of team that capitalizes on your mistakes. For us, we had to come out and not make any mistakes in the second half."

(On Tom Brady)
"It was Welker and Gronkowski. He just worked the middle and that is what he is good at. He knows how to get the balls to his receivers and he is smart. He recognized a lot of stuff that we were doing and just attacked it."

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