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Dolphins: Tony Sparano Conference Call - 9/29/2010

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano addresses the media during his conference call on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.

(On what he's seen on film from the Patriots this week)
"I've seen obviously a very good team, a very well coached team look like that, I mean they're scoring a lot of points. On offense they're getting a lot of weapon involved with the tight ends, of course Randy (Moss), Wes (Welker). I think their offensive line is starting to play a lot better right now; looks like those guys are playing well and doing a good job of protecting Tom (Brady). Of course Tom has been outstanding; the guy is completing almost 70 percent of his passes. I think on defense, you know when I watch them, I'm seeing these guys fly around. I really like the two inside linebackers. (Jerod) Mayo's a guy I've always had a lot of respect for, and (Brandon) Spikes is a guy we really liked in the draft. I think that their front is a pretty stout group with Vince (Wilfork) out there and that group. It's a physical football team, and they look like they're playing pretty well."

(On Benjarvus Green-Ellis and what dimension he bring to the Patriots that they didn't have before)
"Well it looks to me like he's just a guy, that first of all a physical runner, can get downhill at you, but did circle the defense once or twice in some of those situations as well. Seems like a physical runner that gets downhill, hard to tackle, and to finish a game those type of things when you're trying to get those type of drives to win the football game, I think looks like he's kind of a guy that can do that for you."

(On whether their using a number of different running backs makes them challenging to prepare for)
"Yeah I think so because I think when you're trying to prepare for or when you are preparing for really just one back, one feature back I think you can kind of gear some of the things you're doing around that. We just had that same situation with the (New York) Jets last week in that they had two backs and both of them played a good amount during the game and they come at you a little differently; one's a strong guy and one in LaDainian (Tomlinson) can do some different things. I think when you're trying to prepare that way it makes it a little bit more difficult. I've coached Fred Taylor before when I was in Jacksonville. I know the type of player he is, and now you get Green-Ellis involved and some of these guys; it makes it a little bit harder."

(On how difficult it is to defend tight ends such as Dustin Keller, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Alge Crumpler)
"It's difficult, I mean no question about it, and I think you can try a lot of ways but with the Patriots you got to kind of pick your poison a little bit there because you can go out there and maybe try to double one of those guys but then you could expose yourself with Randy or with Wes or with any of those people. You got to be a little bit careful, we got to do a little bit better job. I think we did a better job in the second half of the game. Dustin had a good first half and made some catches, caught a couple of balls in some hot situations, which what I mean by that is we blitzed them and he's the hot receiver and they threw the ball there. He also made a couple of really good catches in the game. I thought in the second half we played a lot better."

(On if there are similarities between Dustin Keller and Aaron Hernandez)
"Yeah, I'd say so. I mean Hernandez, you see his average per catch and of course this guy being out here in Florida we know an awful lot about him. He's a guy that you can, you can mistake for a tight end I think at times. In other words you need to treat him a little bit like a receiver because he has the ability to run by you and make yards after the catch and that's happening right now with his average per catch. You got to be, you really got to be cognizant of that. That's what I thought Dustin did last week too; he made some runs, some yards after the catch getting down the field. These guys can really put some strain on your defense with the way they run in the middle of the field."

(On the impact that Bill Parcells has had on the game of football)
"I mean I think and one of the things I can say clearly is that I think that the (coaching) tree that Coach Parcells has had where the coaching tree and you look at it now with Sean Payton and Todd Haley and myself and Coach Belichick and Eric Mangini and these people. There's a lot of similar styles, we're all in that the way we approach our football team is one, I mean I know from my end any time we've played against the Patriots there's nothing but the utmost respect that way in that we really respect the type of football team that they are and that's what we want to be here. I think that a large part of that has to do with the way you've been raised in this business, and I owe all of that to Coach Parcells and I think I feel safe to say that some of the other people on that tree would say the same thing."

(On if Bill Parcells can be hard on the assistant coaches at times (referenced a story told to them about Bill Parcells' by Pepper Johnson)
"Oh yeah, he's hard on the assistant coaches too...And (you know) it's funny because I've gotten a chance to see both sides now in that I was that assistant coach that he was hard on and now I see him a little differently right now, so. But, he is that way it's his... I think with Coach one of the big things is not getting comfortable (you know) and making sure that the people around you don't get too comfortable...comfortable to not be a good thing all the time. So, that's one of the things I think that we learned and (you know) I can remember him having that conversation with a few rookie groups."

(On if it's more difficult to scout the Patriots' receivers since they are spreading the targeted passes more often and to different people)
"Yeah, I think so. (I mean) I think just because they're getting more people involved and any time you're getting those kind of people involved with punches the way they are it makes it more difficult. You can't take every one of them away during the course of the game it's just hard to do that. And I think that they're doing a good job of spreading it around. Obviously Tom (Brady) has a lot of confidence in his group out there right now because he's getting the ball to all of them and (you know) they're all contributing that way."

(On how different is it to prepare for the Patriots' front without a Ty Warren or a Richard Seymour)
"(I mean) then again, you can't take anything from those two players. (I mean) Ty Warren and Richard Seymour are two outstanding football players and we've lost a couple of football players here recently you know that are good football players too and when you take those players away from a defense (you know) it's obviously makes a difference. But (you know) they bring in experience with Gerard Warren and they certainly...(Ron) Brace is a guy that I really liked during the draft process...big physical guy (I mean) they're just hard people to move in there...and I think-the two players, Vince (Wilfork) aside, meaning Vince (Wilfork) is going to factor in the game there's no question about it because he's a big strong person and the guy really has a good motor for a big man-but, the two players that benefit the most from having those big strong guys out there are (Brandon) Spikes and (Jerod) Mayo. (You know) you see those guys around and they're making almost every tackle out there on the field. So, I think that those are the guys that are benefiting from those big strong guys up front."

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