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Jay Fiedler Conf Call Transcript - 12/3

Fiedler: We’re a very confident team right now this year. We have as much confidence going into December [since] I’ve been around here.



**Q: Things are obviously going pretty well for you. You and Tom [Brady] have the two best winning percentages in the AFC and that performance you had on Thanksgiving was impressive, and of course there's was against the Colts. So it's a perfect time for the two of you to meet I guess?

JF:** No doubt about it. These guys are as good as anyone and they are finding a way to win games, which is the most important thing. They've been in some tight battles and they pull it out when it counts, including the game against us. We had a chance to win that game and were unable to put them away. That's what you've got to do against the good teams. We didn't make it happen the first time, but we are hoping to do so this time.

**Q: I'm sure it's always brought up that when we hit December will Miami turn things around and have a solid December. Some things have been put in place, conditioning programs, is that a state of mind, more than a fact, that Decembers have been a problem for your ball club?

JF:** I don't know. It's just circumstances, the way they've ended up. We're a very confident team right now this year. We are high caliber over the last couple of weeks. We have as much confidence going into December that I've been around here.

**Q: You've got a tight end who in his second year he is a captain on the team. That says something. He had a terrific performance against the Patriots in the first game. Talk a little bit about [Randy] McMichael and what he means to you as a quarterback?

JF:** He's a great football player. He's a guy that just loves playing the game. He's a heck of an athlete for a tight end in the NFL. We feel when he gets one-on-one match ups against linebackers and safeties, then he is a great option for us. That's what happened in the first game and we were able to take advantage of it a little bit and get them a lot of touches.

**Q: Last week, does that give you a good springboard going into this last month and going up against your rival in the division in the case of the Patriots?

JF:** Well no doubt about it. To get a win like that going into this month, giving us a lot of momentum. We played against the team that was ranked number one in the NFL in defense and put up 40 points against them. So offensively, we are feeling pretty good about ourselves. We are very confident right now. As a team coming out of that win, getting two big wins in four days and then having the break that we had to get mentally fresh and physically fresh. It couldn't be a better time for us rolling into December right now.

**Q: You had a break, you were hurt. You weren't in there, [Brian] Griese was. You come back and do you feel more refreshed? Did you have a chance to see things going on that maybe helped you down the stretch? Because teams do change as the seasons go along and your opponents change, different players come and go. Did that give you any opportunity? Was there any plus to it?

JF:** I think anytime you are out you always try to look at the things that you can better yourself at. Obviously, I wasn't able to move around and work on my footwork as well, but I did work on some of the fundamentals of throwing during that time off and helping myself get a little bit quicker release in the pocket. I also just studied our team and what we were doing well and what we weren't doing well. So when I got in there, I knew how to take advantage of the positives that our offense brings and cover up some of the weaknesses we have.

**Q: One of the positives you guys had down the stretch last year, I think Ricky Williams averaged 175 yards or so per a game. He had one game where it was 230, he had 180 against the Patriots in that game. He was particularly good in December. Did that have to do with a weather change? Or just defenses get worn down by a guy like that in December?

JF:** I don't know if there is any one answer to that. I think a lot of it had to do with Ricky's ability to…he has great balance as a running back and when you get into the conditions in the December months, a lot of times it gets a little bit frozen it's a little bit worn down, and it's a lot harder for defenders to change direction on him. Last year a lot of his breakaway runs, he would make one move and he has such great balance that defenders would be stuck in the mud a little bit. It turns into 30- or 40-yard gains for him. What we need to do is to make sure that we create those holes for him that allow him to get one-on-one situations against defenders with some room to operate.

**Q: He is kind of Mr. December if you want to put those statistics together from last year. He's a key element. What a great thing to have when the weather turns bad, to have a guy like him.

JF:** Oh sure, he's tremendous. Obviously, when you get into December everyone talks about the running game and how important it is. Sometimes the conditions take away from the passing game a little bit and to have a running back like that it really improves your chances in the cold months.

**Q: The quarterback has always been the hot potato down there as is a lot of NFL team, but particularly the last couple of years. How have you dealt with that? And the thing is you just win and how have you been able to do that as well?

JF:** Well that's basically what I have done is go on out there and try to do whatever I can to help this team and not worry about any of the criticisms that are coming from wherever they are coming from, whether it be the fans, the media or anywhere else. I've always done a good job of staying focused on what we need to do as a team and what I need to do as a player to help this team.

**Q: The difference is this year that they have brought in another guy in [Brian] Griese. How did you handle that? Did you see that as good as something that would help you with your game as well, the competition?

JF:** I don't look at it like that. I always look at it as there is competition, no matter who's out there. I think it stems from the way that I came up through the league. I was the backup; I was the third string guy who was always trying to take over the starting spot. So no matter what the name is that's back there, and Brian [Griese] certainly is a heck of a player and a guy who has starting experience, it didn't matter who is there. I always look at it as I've got to keep fighting to keep my job.

**Q: You guys are 5-1 on the road, which is very impressive I think in this day in age. You are tied for first in the NFL. Is there something about playing on the road that this particular team embrace?

JF:** Yeah it is. I don't know what it is, what we've done differently this year. I think it just happens to be the circumstances of those games we played. Last year we struggled on the road, this year we've played a lot better. It is just a matter of going out there and making the plays that we need to do and focusing a little bit harder and cutting back on the mistakes on the road that we made in the previous years.

**Q: December has never been, in the last few years, the best month for this Miami Dolphins team. What in your mind would make this year different?

JF:** Going out winning games would make it different. We've got a chance to do it. We've obviously got a very tough opponent this week on the road in December. It's a big challenge for us, but one we are going to stand up to and hopefully overcome.

**Q: The loss to the Patriots, did it take the wind out of you for that few days afterwards, because that was a game you don't see very often? Good teams play close games and that one must have had an impact on the team emotionally.

JF:** It did a little bit. For me personally, that was the game I got hurt in, so it was a double negative: losing the game and also getting hurt and having to sit out for a few weeks after that. This team bounced back. We had a couple of tough losses after that game to Indianapolis and Tennessee, but since then we have put together a string of three straight victories and played well in all three games. I think those losses in October and November are pretty well behind us and we are riding the high right now

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