Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown addresses the New England and National media during his conference call on Wednesday, November 19, 2008.
Q: Do you have any more Wildcat schemes cooked up for the Patriots this week?
RB: I don't know, we may have a few things in the mix. [I] can't give them away yet though it's too early.
Q: Has that been a lot of fun watching that take off and watching other teams dig those type of plays out of their war chest and employ them?
RB: Yeah it's been interesting. Obviously for us to put it in and have the success that we've had it's been a lot of fun. But to see other teams around the league using variations of it has been an exciting part of it also.
Q: How excited were you going into that game knowing you were going to spring it on the Patriots?
RB: Going into the game I wasn't sure that we were going to use it. We had talked about it during the week but something like that had a lot of success at the college level and coming into the game when we first called the formation, I was excited about it. Now it's more like 'let's not mess it up,' and just keep giving ourselves opportunities to use it and we had a lot of success with it.
Q: How gratifying is this to be in a playoff chase in November coming off a 1-15 season that you spent the last three quarters of on injured reserve?
RB: It's exciting to have that opportunity. Obviously the main thing is we don't want to get ahead of ourselves and start thinking too much about the playoffs. [We] just want to do what we've been doing and take it one game at a time. Each game gets bigger and the reward becomes bigger each time we have an opportunity. We just have to take it one at a time and hope everything works out for us.
Q: Even though the Jets are on top, do you guys measure yourselves against the Patriots given what they've accomplished over the last few years?
RB: When you see a team like the Patriots, their accomplishments obviously speak for themselves, they're still who they are. They're a great football team and despite the stumbles they've had this season they're still a good football team. You have to look at that and not get too far ahead of yourself and start thinking about the Jets. We have to focus on the Patriots right now and you know how hard it is to beat them twice in one season.
Q: Looking back to last season when the Patriots went down to Miami that was the game that you got hurt, has it been rewarding for you to bounce back this season and have the success that you've had?
RB: It is. Obviously, when I had the injury my main goal was to come back strong and do everything that I needed to do in the offseason to make sure that I was back and ready for the season. I was just taking it one step at a time and providing myself with goals that were maintainable as far as setting little short term goals [like] being able to participate in all of the offseason workouts. Then being able to come in and participate in camp and not miss any practices. I kept setting short term goals and everything worked out and I was able to start the season.
Q: Did it ever cross your mind when you had that big game against the Patriots that the last time you played them you were carted off the field?
RB: I thought about it going into the week of and it was an unfortunate situation. I think on this level injuries are part of it and it's something that you can't control. Unfortunately, that happened to me last season but I wanted to come in and just try to make the best of the season, take it one game at a time and obviously enjoy each opportunity I have to be out there.
Q: What have you learned so far about Tony [Sparano] and what are the characteristics that have allowed him to be successful in his first year as a head coach?
RB: His will to win and having that trickle down to everybody else. He's been around winning programs before and to get us in that mindset. When we came in during the season he was saying his goal wasn't to rebuild anything, we were trying to win ball games and we were trying to win now. We all bought into that and put ourselves in a situation where we can win games and we've fortunately been able to do that. Hopefully [we can] continue to have that same type of success.
Q: Is that something that players really responded well to, hearing that this isn't a rebuilding thing? Is that something players like to hear or don't like to hear, that it's a rebuilding scenario?
RB: You obviously don't want to hear that it's a rebuilding situation. As athletes and competitors we want to go in and obviously when you go into a game your attitude is to win the game and you think you have an opportunity to do so. So, that's how you should approach it.
Q: How much do you see [Bill] Parcells around and as a player do you feel his presence around that building?
RB: He's around and you see him every so often. He's usually here when we're practicing. He'll come around and if we're in the weight room. You obviously know his presence is here. He's had a lot of success in the things that he's done with football programs and organizations so to have that around… And he's a part of that mindset that you want to win and turn your program and the organization around.
Q: Greg Camarillo isn't the prototypical first round draft pick wide receiver and yet he's making plays all the time?
RB: He just comes in and does what's asked of him. Obviously you don't try to do too much more. Fundamentally, he does everything that he's asked to do. He works hard at practice and this is just a payout for him. He's been doing everything up to this point that everybody has asked: offense, receivers coach or even Chad [Pennington]. He's doing a great job getting open and doing what he does, catching the football.
Q: When you first unveiled the Wildcat people kept saying that defenses were going to catch on but it doesn't seem like they have yet. Is it something that defenses can catch up to or can you guys keep making it fresh where they'll never catch up?
RB: We try to give teams a different look. I think they do the same for us. [In] a few games, teams have defended it well. The Ravens did a good job. Teams did a good job occasionally and they stop it but the key is for us to be able to mix it up, get the ball in different people's hands, kind of keep people out of balance or off balance, attack them in different ways, throw the football here [or] give it to a different person and it's had some success. Hopefully, we can keep moving it around and keep everybody off guard.
Q: How important has your lack of giveaways been? You guys take very good care of the football.
RB: I think that plays a huge factor. Obviously, when you start shooting yourself in the foot… the more opportunities they have, the more opportunities they're going to have to score touchdowns. A lot of teams take advantage of that. I think this is a key situation coming into this week. Those guys do a great job of scoring points after turnovers so that's a big focus of ours, to try to not give the other team extra opportunities to score, take care of the football and put ourselves in a better situation as a team.
Q: At what point did you stop worrying about the knee injury?
RB: Preseason helped and going into the season I knew it was going to be a step up from the preseason and things were going to speed up a little bit more. But after the first game I went into it and I was a little bit nervous but, when you think about it, injuries - how you can't avoid those things. All you can do is everything up to the point to try to better your chances of not getting injured. Once you're on the field you can't control that so I try not to think about it. Ever since getting that first lick in that first game of the season, ever since then [I've] been focused on just playing the game.
Q: How does winning a close game last week, coming from behind late in the four quarter, how does that affect the team's overall confidence level or confidence in Chad [Pennington]?
RB: As a team we're confident and I think we've grown a whole lot since the beginning of the season and since last year. We're confident that when we get in those close games we have a good opportunity to win them. But, I'd rather not be in a close game like that. I'd rather it not have to come down to the last play or the last drive of the game. We've grown a lot as a team and as an offense. [We all knew Chad was a leader] and the way he took on the quarterback position, he was the leader of this team. The way he approaches the game, he's seen a lot [and] he's been around for awhile so we are very confident in him and I think he's very confident in himself. Last week was a great example of that when he called a fourth down play we were able to convert, get down and score points.
Q: In the NFL we are seeing a lot of success with rookie coaches. In your case, how much can you attribute that to hearing a new voice, to new fresh ideas?
RB: I think that plays a part and to have those guys in Jeff Ireland, Coach [Tony] Sparano, and Coach [Bill] Parcells, to have those guys around that actually believe they can win and to be able to instill that in the team. I think that gives a great opportunity to achieve. [If] we all have that same mentality and everybody wants to win, when the will of your team is to win then you're obviously going to have an opportunity to have some success, hopefully that continues. Having those people around has changed the culture of the team.
Q: Can you talk about what [Patrick] Cobbs has brought to the table this year?
RB: He brings a lot, and he's one of the dimensions in this 'Wildcat' offense that we run. He's does a great job on special teams and he comes in and makes big plays for us on offense. He's making his role more defined and he's getting in there and making plays in all different phases of the game so I think that's good. I think that's the payoff for him also. He comes to practice every day, he works hard whether he's on special teams or the offensive side of the ball and when a guy is out there making plays you want to get the ball in his hands or give him opportunities. He's taken those opportunities and made the best of them and he's become one of the big play guys for us this season, whether it was the last play on special teams last week on the kick off or scoring the touchdown on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: Do you like running behind Jake Long?
RB: I do. He does a great job. He's gotten a whole lot better since the season started, so the sky is the limit for him. [He] took on the pressure coming in being that first pick. He's handled everything well. He's been doing a great job and he's continued to get better each week.
Q: Do you guys feel like you're ahead of schedule? Do you feel like you're further ahead of where you thought you'd be?
RB: Not really. We obviously wanted to win games and when we look at it, we look at certain situations…We could have been in a little bit better situations but unfortunately we were unable to close a few games out. When we came into it we didn't even think about last year. Last year was what it was, we were 1-15 and you're only as good as your last season or your last game. But, coming in we changed the culture. We got a new regime of coaches, new players came in and it is a different team. Coming in we wanted to win and we threw that out from last season.