Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores
(What do you take out of this?) – “I mean, I thought they played hard, and I thought they played hard for 60 minutes. We were there for half, maybe two and a half quarters, and then we just couldn’t get anything going offensively. I thought – that’s a good team, and we just didn’t do enough.”
(What changes are you planning with the defense…?) – “Defensively, I thought the guys played hard, made some stops. I mean that’s a good offense. I thought they played hard. I thought we tackled fairly well. I thought we defended the deep part of the field well. They made some plays, as well. They’ve got good players. Offensively, we didn’t get anything going. We turned the ball over. We’ve got to do a better job offensively and really collectively as a team.”
(Where do you stand with the quarterback? Is QB Ryan Fitzpatrick still your starter or is it open?) – “Ryan is still the starter. We’ll evaluate things over the course of the week, and as of right now, Ryan is still the starter.”
(Do you think the defense just got exhausted out there?) – “They were out there for a long time. I think you want to play complementary football – offense, defense, special teams. I thought we got some good punts out of (Matt) Haack. I thought we played good defense in spurts. We just couldn’t string any drives together offensively, which was — you need to do that against this team. Really you’ve got to do that against this team. They played well defensively. We couldn’t get anything going.”
(How do you turn the page for the next game?) – “We’ll just come back to work tomorrow, come in, we’ll make the corrections on today’s film and we’ll come back Wednesday. I thought we had a better week of practice. But at the end of the day, it’s about our production in games. We’ll just come back, we’ll go to work, we’ll make the corrections, we’ll get better, we’ll improve – and it’s disappointing. Those guys are disappointed. They work hard. They put in a lot of work. But we’ve just got to play better.”
(Today the team celebrated Hispanic Heritage month. Obviously it’s also Honduras’ independence day. Do you feel that the NFL is tearing down barriers for Latinos in the league?) – “Yeah. Football brings people together, from all races, nationalities; so yeah, I think the NFL does a good job of that – a great job of that – and I’m sure they’ll continue to do that.”
(Offensively, all game long you couldn’t get anything going, put a lot of pressure on the defense. Certainly a lot of opportunities left out there on the field. How do you see that improving over the next couple weeks, and what has to be done there?) – “That’s disappointing. There were some drops out there, some plays we could have made. We left some yards out there. I think we know that. The good thing is that we had opportunities. We’ve just got to – we’ve got to capitalize. We’ve got to capitalize on those opportunities. They don’t show up often, and we have to make plays when they’re presented. And I think we’ll do that. I think we’ll improve. We’ll get better. We have some guys – I believe in our players. I believe they’ll make those plays. I know they’re disappointed that they didn’t; but it wasn’t one guy, it was us as a collective group. We’ve got to do a better job as a staff of getting them in position to make more of those plays. The missed opportunities were there. Everybody can see them. We’ve just got to do a better job.”
(It seemed like the offensive line early on was doing some pretty good things and then things started to break down with pass protection, giving the running backs space to run. Tough running out there it seemed like all day long.) – “Yeah, they’ve got a good defense and they do a good job with their rush, picks, stunts, and we’ve just got to do a better job protecting. As the game wore on, we struggled in that phase and couldn’t get anything going.”
(Do you feel good about your defense playing hard against a very good football team, hung in there as long as they could and they just got overwhelmed there towards the end with two touchdowns from the offense?) – “I thought they played hard. Like you said, I thought they played hard. I thought the communication was better, the tackling was better. I thought they played hard, and it’s a good offense. We got them off the field a couple time. It’s a great quarterback, you guys know that. They’ve got great skill players. They made some plays, and I thought the defense played hard. I thought as a team, we played hard. They fought all the way to the end. We’ve just got to continue to do that, and things will turn.”
(You used S Minkah Fitzpatrick differently today, it looked like. How do you think he did?) – “I thought defensively, like I said, I thought there was good communication, there was good tackling. I thought he played well. Again, he’s a very versatile player. You can use him in a lot of different ways. He did a good job today; but at the end of the day, it’s a team game and we’re all disappointed that we didn’t play better. That’s kind of where I’m at on that.”
(Where do you guys stand from a confidence and morale standpoint on the team?) – “I think that’s a resilient group in there. It really is. That’s a resilient group in there. I don’t think anyone is – they’re not making excuses. They’re not going to point fingers. I think they’re just going to – we’re just going to go back to work tomorrow, make the corrections, come back Wednesday, make some more corrections and try to get better. We’ve got a big game on the road next week. That will be a challenge in itself, and we’re going to do everything possible to play better and have a better outcome.”
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
(Obviously it was tough out there for you. Where do you think your confidence and morale is?) – “It’s a tough way to start a year with the two losses back-to-back at home like they were. They’re not the way we envisioned it going, but (there is) nothing to do but to go back to work and try to get better.”
(What has to happen for the offense to score some points?) – “Yeah, we had a lot of three-and-outs today. I think the first down was a problem for us today, which puts you kind of behind the chains for the other two downs. There wasn’t a whole lot that was going right on offense today.”
(Did you talk to your o-line after those sacks? What happened on the sideline?) – “There’s a lot of different things that go on. Some of those are – you hate to pass blame around. As a quarterback, you try to get the ball out. You try to get yourself in the best position. There are a lot of things, I think, that I could do better in that regard.”
(Are you all right? You got your face thumped.) – “Yeah, I’m good. It probably looks worse than it is. I’m fine.”
(I would assume it happened on one of the sacks?) – “Yeah.”
(How do you physically?) – “(I feel) good. Physically, I feel good. Mentally and emotionally, not so much; but physically I didn’t take any real big shots today.”
(Did you feel any kind of pressure from the fans’ perspective knowing that last year when Miami faced the New England Patriots and that Miami Miracle happened that last play, do you feel any sort of pressure to give the fans the same type of excitement for this game?) – “I think there’s a lot of things – we’re focusing on ourselves right now and trying to get better as a football team and trying to figure things out. That’s our main focus right now.”
(Are you in a no-win situation? It seems like there’s tons of pressure, guys are dropping balls, you’re behind all the time…) – “Well, I mean, as a quarterback, everything – at the end of the day – it’s all going to fall on you. That’s why we play the position that we do. That’s why I play the position, because I want that responsibility. I want that blame. I know I can go out there and do a much better job. I think especially at this position, if you go out there and play better, then the team as a whole does better, so I’ve just got to continue to try to do my best out there.”
(This offense for two weeks has struggled to move the ball running, throwing the ball, having difficulties. Do you still feel confident that this offense can turn around and become an offense that can put the points on the board to allow you to be in these games?) – “Yeah, that’s why we’ve got to go back and go to work. We put a couple of good weeks of practice together and haven’t showed it in the game, and we’ve just got to continue to every day focus on ourselves and keep trying to get better, and hopefully the results will follow.”
(What’s the feeling in the locker room after back to back games where you’ve been outscored by this much? It’s got to be frustrating.) – “Yeah, not great. It’s pretty quiet in there. Not great. It’s never fun to be embarrassed, especially two weeks in a row at home.”
(Trying to move the ball, you had the one pick-six that was a tip that shouldn’t happen. Can you tell us what happened the other pick-six, the first one?) – “We ran a little play out to the right. They did a nice job. ‘K.D.’ (Kenyan Drake) kind of got hit by the defensive end, and it was 3rd-and-shorter. We were definitely going to go for it on fourth down, just in the situation that it was in the game. I tried to jam one in to DeVante (Parker) rather than maybe just trying to run and get a yard; but being 3rd-and-short, I thought that I had to try to make some sort of play, and it didn’t work out.”
(Another tough opponent next week, this time on the road. It’s a short time to get back. How much improvement can this team – they made some improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 – how much of it will you make moving forward?) – “Yeah, we’ve got to improve. We’ve got to get better. There’s not going to be anybody in this league that’s going to feel sorry for us, so we’ve got to continue to try to get better every day with ourselves and collectively as a team, and hopefully, again, the results are going to start showing up on Sunday.”
QB Josh Rosen
(That play toward the sideline, what happened on that play when you scrambled out? What happened that you were able to come back into the game?) – “I scrambled out a little bit and took a couple, too many split seconds before I stepped out of bounds, and my foot got kind of caught in that little tarp area. It was dumb by me. I have to understand when the down is over and move onto the next one. The trainers told me to stay down. I was trying to get up. But, I don’t know I just listened to them and came back in the next play."
(You looked like you were slinging it. You took three or four deep shots. Was that a situation where you just had nothing to lose? What was your thinking there?) - "I just wanted to go in and provide some kind of positive for us to come in after the game. They put me out there to try and throw touchdowns, so that’s what I tried to do. Obviously you never want to throw a pick in the last second of a game, but it’s all a learning experience. I think I threw some good ones and some bad ones. We’ll watch the film."
(Do you feel like your time is coming eventually? That you just have to be patient and you’re going to get a shot to start a game at 0-0 for the Miami Dolphins?) - "I don’t know. That’s not really up to me. Whenever they put me in, like I said my job is to try and throw touchdowns.”
CB Xavien Howard
(You guys obviously got a lot of pride as individuals. To lose two in a row like you did out there…) – “Losing sucks. We still have to keep our head strong. I feel like we just have to get better each week. I feel like we did way better than we did last week. I feel like we’ve got to keep improving and get better each week.”
(You were on WR Josh Gordon a lot today, obviously when WR Antonio Brown was in. For the most part you handled him pretty well. What did you think of that?) – “I thought I did a good job. I probably had like two penalties, but other than that, I need to catch the ball.”
(I presume you’ve never gone through a stretch like this in football – losing like this. What do you do to get better? How do you know you can get out of this?) – “I feel like we’ve just got to keep improving. Like I said, we’ve just got to keep improving and get better each week. It’s tough right now. Hopefully we just turn everything around.”
CB Eric Rowe
(How do you guys bounce back from this game?) - "Yeah, the process – we just have to stick to it. Especially now, there’s a little adversity so it’s really tough. We’re not seeing the results right now but that’s something we have to overcome and just keep working. We have 14 or 15 more games left. We can still turn this around."
(You were just saying you have 14 more games right? I remember the Redskins were 0 and 6 and won the Super Bowl. Where do you guys go from here?) - "Back to the practice field. Back to work. It’s the only thing you can do. I feel like compared to Week 1, even though the score doesn’t show, as a defense we fought a little bit better this week and we just have to build on that. We can turn things around this season."
(Once you have that consistency, everyone comes together and pulls together right?) - Yeah. It’s all about teamwork. It’s the ultimate team sport. Everyone is kind of new but that’s just an excuse. We’re all going to pull together. We’re going to get it rolling.”
S Minkah Fitzpatrick
(Some good and some bad for the defense. Tell me first about what thought was better for the defense?) – “I think we did a better overall job of just executing the game plan. I think last week, we didn’t execute the game plan as well. It was the first game – jitters or whatever, maybe – the first time playing together as a defense, so there were probably a lot of jitters. But like I said, we just did a better job of just executing the game plan and just communicating what the coaches called. I think we did better."
(And what would be one thing that was a little bit disappointing or frustrating?) - "I think we could have won third down a little bit more. They won third down. We’d stop them first and second down and then on third down, they’d win, and they would get the first down. I think if we would have stopped them maybe three or four more times on third down, it would have been a better result."
(Did you appreciate and enjoy the opportunity today to play some deep safety?) – “Yeah, that was the game plan. Like we always say, week to week, it’s a different scheme. So I knew that’s what it was going to be. Yeah. I’ll say yeah."
(You’re so used to winning, whether it was high school level or collegiate level, but to come into this kind of situation that you’re enduring right now, how difficult is that to deal with?) - "You could look at it one way. You could look at it as losing, or you could look at it as learning. There’s a saying, ‘I never lose, I just learn.’ I forgot who said it but that’s just what we’ve got to do right now. This whole entire process has just been a learning lesson for me, my teammates, my family, these coaches, everybody. It’s just been a learning process. I’ve lost before. I’ve never had a season that was perfect. I’ve lost games before. Like I said, you’ve just got to learn, and if you don’t learn, then you really lost. Like we did last week, I think something we wanted to focus on was executing the game plan better. We did that today, as a defense. The score doesn’t reflect how we actually played better; but like I said, I think we’ve just got to learn."
C Daniel Kilgore
(How do you let these two blowouts not inject doubt into the team?) – “Lift each other up, remain positive with the guys, point out the good. There are some good things. This team – we work too hard during the week to not have some good things happen. Tipped balls at the line, the sacks – again, not establishing first, second down positive plays – those are things we need to work on. Really, just pointing out the positives and what individuals are doing and build off of that. That’s a good way to start.”
(With the run game, it’s second straight week where it has been stifled, and you guys are putting difficult down-and-distance situations. How do you do a better job of establishing the ground of attack?) – “Just get back to it and do what we do best. Attack, give the guys our creases and work to double teams and get up to the second level. That’s the basis of any run game. We’ve just got to be better at our fundamentals, our techniques, and make sure we are all on the same page.”
(How do you guys stay away from getting frustrated and still keep going. You still have games to play?) – “It is a long season, right? So obviously we are 0-2, but it is a long season and we have to point out the positives. Yeah, we’re 0-2 and we just got blown out we got our asses kicked honestly; but to stay positive you have got to point out the positives. When guys are doing really well individually and obviously point out the negatives. What we have to do to get better? What do we have to do to run the ball? To protect the quarterback, to score points? And on top of that, just point out the good things. Try to stay positive, come into work and get ready to work, because this is one group and one team that is going to come to work and is ready to get better.”