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Dolphins Postgame Quotes: Coach Philbin, others comment on win over Patriots

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Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin**

(Opening Statement) - "I thought the team played a good sixty minute game. We told them last night we thought it was going to be a sixty minute football game. We told them at halftime, we've been in this situation before, we've been down at half. We've got to play good, solid, fundamental football. We've got to tackle well, we've got to block well. I really thought we kind of controlled the tempo in the second half. I thought our defense stepped up, I thought our O-line stepped up a little bit and made some plays."

(On how the team beat the Patriots 23-0 in the second half and outgained the Patriots by 200 yards - what was said to the team at the half and what adjustments were made?) - "I thought we had a good plan. We had a lot of time to work on this plan. I thought it was good. The only thing I said to the offense at halftime - we thought we had some plays we didn't' make in the first half that were there. We obviously didn't do a great job holding onto the ball with three giveaways in the first half. The plays are there, we have to step up and make them when they present themselves, and we'd got to hold onto the ball better. I thought the tempo in the O-line/D-line match-up was good. I thought we had a chance to move and score some points. I thought with our defense, you've got to give Kevin [Coyle, defensive coordinator] and his guys some credit, you know, Darren [Rizzo, special teams coordinator] and his staff with the punt block and everything like that, I thought our guys did a good job as far as responding."

(On how defensively it really wasn't a matter of adjusting, it was just ratcheting it up in the second half.) - "I thought our tackling was better. You have one good series and we started to build some momentum and the offense and defense kind of fed off one another for a little bit of time, and we were playing good, solid football."

(On the play of RB Knowshon Moreno and what he was able to do and the difference he was able to make by starting on the offense and picking up yards.) - "He broke some tackles. We've talked about that a lot, on how his job as a running back is not only get your shoulders square and get what's there, but get a little extra. Make a little move, be elusive, run a good pad level and get some extra yards after contact, and it appears he did a good job of that."

(On the play of the linebackers, specifically the back-up linebackers and what that meant for the defense.) - "I'm proud of the way the guys stepped up. I told the team, it was really a team win. You guys know what happens sometimes, injuries seem to happen in waves at one position, it just seems to be the nature of things. Our guys were able to step in. Jelani [Jenkins] came in there, I thought [Jason] Trusnik played a heck of a game and really contributed. [Jonathan] Freeny got in there and contributed. Chris McCain got in there and contributed. I said to the team at the end of the game, the name on the back of the jersey didn't really matter. I thought the guys played like a team. I thought they played hard. There's a lot of things we'll have to do better."

(On trailing the Patriots 20-0 at halftime and turning the ball over three times in the first half, if he felt optimistic because the team was able to do some things.) - "Definitely. Like I said as I met with the offensive staff, the plays are there. We really haven't been taken out of anything yet. We've just got to do a better job of holding onto the ball. We missed some plays that were there. So when they present themselves, we've got to make them. These guys, they just kept working, they just kept playing."

(On the game that QB Ryan Tannehill had today.) - "I thought he played good. I thought his tempo was good. I thought he got the offense going. I didn't think we spent too long a time in the huddle. I thought he had a good command of what we were doing. I didn't think he was confused out there at all. I thought he read and the decision making looked pretty good."

(On being 1-0 and it being a big 1-0 given it's the Patriots and how the Dolphins came back to win against "the King of the Division", if beating them like this was a statement game.) - "I wouldn't call it a statement game. It's the first game. We just said it there in the locker room, it's kind of the first step on a long journey. It's great to win. These guys have been working hard. They invested an awful lot into this one particular game, you know, and I'm certainly delighted that we won the game, but there's a lot of football left and I don't know there's a statement. Our guys played a good football game, played sixty minutes and hung in there, hung tough. We had a lot of guys contributing and that's what you want to have happen."

(On the basic adjustments to the interior of the offensive line as that's where holes were.) - "I think Bill [Lazor, offensive coordinator], and John [Benton, offensive line], and Jack [Bicknell, Jr., assistant offensive line] deserve a lot of credit. We knew going into the game that we wanted to run a lot of inside zone. I thought we had the pace going pretty well in the second half. We used some no huddle during that time period…I thought our guys took control of the line of scrimmage. Again, blocking is blocking, there's good fundamentals. In the pre-game, that's what I talked to the guys about. It was just do what we do. It's block well, it's tackles, pursue, it's play football like we're capable of. I thought we dropped the football too many times today but that's something we'll work on and address."

(On putting together a roster after the final pre-season game and if he feels a sense of satisfaction with the linebacking corps, with three starters going out and seeing the depth and their playing well in the second half?) - "I think when you put on the shoulder pads and the helmet, and are privileged enough to be part of the 46, then you've got to be ready to contribute in a variety of different roles. I think that certainly today is a fine example of that. We're out…our three starting linebackers didn't play, but our guys stepped up and knew what they were doing and contributed in a nice way."

(On how DE Cameron Wake basically turned the game around with his strip sack.) - "I don't know that we got the quarterback in the first half, unless I'm mistaken. The guys said it a number of times. They just kept playing, they kept coming. Cam's got that burst and he's a well-conditioned athlete. He kept playing hard."

(On if he was surprised at how many sacks the team got up the middle, with a couple of knock-downs and sacks "right up the gut".) - "Not necessarily. I thought J.O. [Jared Odrick, DT], and Earl [Mitchell, DT], and those guys, you know, Randy [Starks, DT], those are quality players. They work hard and I thought Kacy [Rodgers, defensive line], and Kevin [Coyle, defensive coordinator], and them schemed up some things inside that I thought was good."

(On turning the ball over three straight times against the Patriots and being down ten points and what it says about the make-up of the Dolphins.) - "I like the way they kept their poise and their composure. We knew it was going to be a sixty minute game against this football team. They're an excellent team, well coached. I just wanted to kind of talk about…we got the ball in the first possession of the second half, I think we were down by ten at half. We just talked about, let's make it a one possession game. Ideally we'd like to score a touchdown, but we didn't and then we just started taking it from there. Then it becomes a one possession game and again, our defense got a stop and then we just started going."

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

(Talk about the total team effort in the second half, the offense with 23 points, the defense shutting them out. Everything seemed to work) – "Yeah, it was one of the most exciting, fun games I've been a part of. Seeing the defense fly around, get after the quarterback, covering them up in the secondary, the offensive line, getting the run game really going, (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) running the ball hard, receivers making the plays that they made downfield, it was really a fun game to be a part of."

(Can you talk about RB Knowshon Moreno, where he's at within the team) – "It's exciting, fun to watch him run. I don't see all the moves he makes but to see him finishing with the ball seven-eight yards, 10 yards, 12-15 yards down the field has been really fun just one game in. It's been a while since we've been able to run the ball like that and to be able to do it against a good defense speaks a lot to our offensive line and to (RB) Knowshon (Moreno)."

(Talk about that offensive line because there are five new starters, and the loss of C Mike Pouncey, going up against that defense. They seemed to do a very nice job) – "Yeah, they did a great job, kept me pretty clean the whole night and obviously dominated in the run game. Whenever you're able to run the ball like that it takes so much pressure off of your pass game, keeps the ends on their heels and [they] can't rush the passer as much. To be able to run the ball like that against a good defense is a good first step for us. Obviously we're going against a good team, a really good front next week so we're going to have to build off of that."

(What was different in the second half, other than just playing better?) – "We didn't make the mistakes. You think back to the first half, they didn't really stop us that much. We stopped ourselves with turnovers. You can't have three turnovers and expect to win like we did. To be able to turn the ball over like that, the defense shutting them out in the second half and then being able to score, speaks to the resiliency of this team. We're only one game in but we felt like coming into halftime, we were only stopping ourselves and we needed to play better and we needed to take care of the football."

(Talk about opening up the season against a team like New England and coming out and playing the type of game that you guys were able to win, and having to bounce back after halftime.) – "Yeah, it's great. It's fun to be able to start the season against a division opponent, an opponent with the history such as New England and the good team that they have. To be able to go out and play well, really in the second half, didn't play to that full potential in the first half but really came out in the second half and took care of the ball, moved the ball and scored touchdowns, speaks a lot to the kind of team and resiliency that we have."

(We got a chance to see Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor's new offense out there and what it could do. It looked pretty good, looked like there were some opportunities. How did you feel running that offense?) – "It was fun. What stuck out to me were the opportunities that we missed. The missed throws, missed opportunities, turnovers in the first half. If we take those out or correct 70% of those it's kind of scary what the offense can do. That's going to be our focus this week, fixing those mistakes, taking out those missed opportunities that we had. They weren't hard plays, they weren't tough plays. They were plays that we should be making so I'm really expecting myself to clean that up for next week.

(Very few offenses work unless you're able to run the football. You were able to rush for 192 yards and that certainly opened up a lot of stuff for you, didn't it?) – "Yeah, rushing the football like that was unbelievable. Speaks to the offensive line, how they prepared, how they played, never giving up when they got tired, keeping the defense on their heels. We were able to use the no huddle in the second half to really put pressure on them and kind of wear them out a little bit."

(Talk about the big guys in the middle, DL Vince Wilfork coming back, he's a big guy, he's always tough to handle. They were a lot of questions about those guys in the middle and it looked like they did a pretty good job.) – "Yeah, they did a good job. They [New England Patriots] have a good front, good pass rushers on the edges and obviously [defensive tackle Vince] Wilfork and some other guys inside that are good players. To be able to keep them off of me in the pass game, as well as move them in the run game, that's exciting for me."

(Did you sense that, that maybe they were wearing down in the second half?) – "I don't know about wearing them down but I felt like the offensive line was doing a great job in the no huddle of running the football. We wind up running four-to-five plays in a row, ran inside zone at them and we're getting positive yards so I don't know if it was wearing them down or not but we were moving them and that's fun."

(How rewarding was if after you had a couple of misses to WR Mike Wallace, one on the sideline and one that got intercepted, to come back and make that play?) – "Yeah, it was great, down in the red zone, ran a bunch formation and had [CB] Darrelle Revis on his back so I put it up for him and he went up and made a play on it. I think that's a great step for Mike to make, making a tough contested catch right down there in the red zone. We missed some opportunities and if you go back and fix one or two of those, we'll have a lot more explosive plays."

(This was a tale of two halves. Can you sense when the momentum is shifting, is that a strong feeling? Is that something you feel?) – "You definitely feel momentum. When the defense gets a big stop, we score; defense gets another big stop, a turnover. You feel the energy in the crowd, especially playing at home. You can really feel the crowd come alive and the energy on the sidelines. I felt like we took advantage of that for the most part. We still had momentum and then I think we had a three-and-out right after that which kind of slowed us down a little bit. That was things that we could have fixed, we hurt ourselves on that drive too so I think that the idea of the game is don't kill yourself. The only times when we really got stopped was when we hurt ourselves."

(What was RB Knowshon Moreno like in the huddle. When he gets it going I know that he's an intense guy. Do you have any stories for us?) – "Knowshon's in another world which I love. Don't talk to him too much. Let him pace around and huff and puff and stare off into the distance but once he has the ball in his hands he's going downhill. That's what you want."

(Take us through the interception, what you saw and what went on there) – "It's a read-back side, he's third in the progression. I set for him to sit it down, he [WR Mike Wallace] did the right thing, he took it deep and I made a bad throw. I was kind of getting hit as I let it go. It should have been a touchdown and that's one of the plays that I have to be better on and if I am, it's a touchdown."

(You're talking alright, but you took a shot in the mouth and you looked a little dazed on the close-up shot on television. Sting you a little bit?) – "Yeah, he got my jaw. I think it kind of popped out. That's part of the game, to be able to get hit and get back up and hopefully you're not getting hit too much which I thought the offensive line did a good job of keeping me clean most of the night."

(A lot of us are going to see today as a statement win for you guys. What do you want this win to say about you guys?) – "I think it's a first step. It sets the tone but it's just one game. We can't get too high or get too excited and think that we're something that we're not. We took a good step, showed resiliency, showed a solid defense that gets after the passer a running attack that could hurt you and you have to use that to build on that for next week. It's a long season and one game doesn't necessarily mean anything."

(On if this is the best the Dolphins have played in his two-plus seasons.) - "I think it's the best game of 2014, for sure."

DE Olivier Vernon

(On setting the tone for the Dolphins run in the second half?) - "Oh man, it was big, man. You know, like I said, defense, we knew we had to get that production, man. We knew we had to stretch Tom Brady, we knew we had to force turnovers, man. Turnovers win games. Hey, I'm just proud we got this win. Offense showed up. Defense showed up. It was a team win."

(On the Dolphins playing pretty well against QB Tom Brady last year and this year?) - "Oh yeah, we sure did, but nobody else gave us a shot, so just glad we got this win, first game, we moving on. Next week, we got Buffalo."

(Did you have a sense, getting pressure on the Patriots offense, that you were ready to break through the Patriots, and how he feels about ending up with four sacks in the second half?) - "I mean we knew what they were going to do, man. We knew in the first, if we were coming or not, they were going to get the ball out quick. He was going to tire us out. You know, we just had to slow down, recollect ourselves and play a ballgame, man."

RB Lamar Miller

(Just talk about how well you and Knowshon Moreno ran) - "You know I think the offensive line did a great job opening up the holes and then Knowshon was running the ball hard, just to get positive yardage."

(Just talk about the difference between the o-line last year and this year) - "You know, I just think that the coaches have been on those guys since OTAs to just, with their fundamentals, trust in their fundamentals, and I think today, it showed."

(The Bill Lazer offense was on full display, especially in the second half) - "Yeah, I think he did a great job in just making the play calls, trying to run them down as a unit."

(On sharing the backfield with Knowshon Moreno) - " Yeah, you know we just try to help this team and this organization win. You know, we're just out here competing, having fun and trying to win games."

WR Brian Hartline

(Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor's offense was on full display, especially in the second half) - "Yeah man, I think anything; just the steps we're taking in our run game are huge. It shows you what that can do between play action, you know we didn't throw for a ton of yards, we were pretty much, pretty efficient, converting third down. But the running backs and the line did a massive job blocking for Ryan."

(RB Knowshon Moreno was a beast blocking today) - "Yeah, that's what he does, that's nothing out of the ordinary, so I'm really looking forward to seeing more of that next week."

(When was the last time you heard the stadium this loud?) —"Anytime you can pack your stadium, I think that's important: to get lively for us or against the opposing team. I think that hopefully, the more wins we put together, the less ??? we'll have for the opposing team. But that being said, came out in full force, glad to see them have our backs and it was a good win."

Offensive Guard Shelley Smith

(What was the difference for the offensive line between the first half and the second half when it came to blocking?) - "Really, we just tried to keep our foot on the pedal, we moved the ball pretty well in the first half. We just had some unfortunate turnovers and we fixed it up, trying to fix things in the second half."

(How it feel out there, being the first game for you?) - "I felt good, I've been doing a great job preparing since day one when I got here; all those guys, putting us together, preparing us, putting us in good situations. So I feel good about things."

Wide Receiver Mike Wallace

(Talk about the performance - the offense was the Achilles heel last year.) "That [QB]Ryan {Tannehill] was upright most of the game was big for us. He can see the throws, make the throws."

(It seems like the chemistry was working with you and [QB] Ryan [Tannehill]) "It was alright. We missed a couple of TD's but we got the win. We're going to continue to work in practice and build on it and we'll be better next week."

(What kind of message was a win like this over the Patriots say to the NFL?) "I don't know. I don't care. I know what we got on our team. I know the type of work we put in every single day, the hours we put in. I don't care about the message. We'll continue to put our head down and keep working every single day, every single week."

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