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Miami Dolphins Postgame Transcripts 1/1

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, January 1, 2017.

Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase

(Did you get the feeling that if it had not been for the RB Damien Williams fumble there that you guys were making the plays to come back to mount a comeback victory there?) - "I felt good about where we were heading on that series. We still had some work to do. I think we were going to be on the 6-(yard line) … the 6- or the 5-(yard line). We were going to go for it. So we had two downs to try to figure out a way to get in. We just can't turn the ball over down there."

(What was your diagnosis on the slow start?) - "I know we had some opportunities. We just didn't quite execute a couple of things quite right. There are probably a couple of calls I'd take back. We just didn't stay ahead of the stakes, which you can't do against these guys. You can't. You can't leave yourself in third-and-longs and expect to consistently move the ball. We didn't stop their offense fast enough. We just didn't really play as well early as we needed to."

(Defensively, early on, you were down 20-0 and it was tough tackling guys. It seemed like everything they were doing was working, even getting moves on the interior line of scrimmage to pick up yards. What do you have to do going forward next week to try to get that resolved?)- "We have to look at it to see what's really going on and make corrections and make sure guys are doing their jobs the correct way. It's hard to really see everything from the angles that we have on the sidelines. Sometimes it takes watching the tape to see where we were loose or if somebody was doing something they shouldn't have been doing, or if they were just being more physical than us. It's hard to tell from the sideline."

(How frustrating is it to be there and watch QB Tom Brady meticulously work the ball down the field and seemingly at will?) - "He's a Hall of Fame quarterback. It happens. A lot. We have to try to figure out a way to get a negative play or get our hands on a ball and possisbly get a turnover or create some kind of fumble. You're looking for that one play. He's a tough guy to defend and it's a tough offense to defend and they have a lot of answers. You have to try to find that one negative play."

(What did you do or what did you change when you got the touchdown at the end of the first half? You came out and put a drive together and scored. It seemed like things were headed in your direction at that point.)- "We felt, getting the score there in the end, them missing a field goal, and having an opportunity to start the second half, that was a big thing for us. We talk about it a lot, trying to get points at the end of the half to start the second half out and try to score again, and try to swing the game without their offense trying to touch the ball. We felt good. We felt like we had a chance, that we were right where we wanted to be. We let up the long touchdown but still there was so much time left that we felt like we had the opportunity to at least be in the game in the fourth quarter."

(You touched on it a little bit before, being on the 6-yard line and getting ready to make it a 27-21 ball game and you get the fumble that takes it all the way back and pretty much was the end of the deal then. How tough is that?) - "Any time you have the opportunity to get back in the game and where we were and [how] guys kept fighting … It's frustrating. I know it's frustrating for those guys; it's frustrating for the coaching staff - certainly on the sideline when you're down there and you turn it over. It crushes you, especially with the turn of the field position that we had. We put the defense in a bad spot. That's tough sledding when you're trying to mount a comeback."

(What was your message to your guys in the locker room after the ball game?) - "That we have to learn from this. We have to forget it quickly and understand that we are playing next week and we have to get ourselves ready."

(I know you haven't asked the question and you don't know the answer, but from a protocol standpoint, what is the protocol for finding out if QB Ryan Tannehill can play next week?) - "I'll have to ask the doctor where he's at. I don't even know where he's at right now. I see him walking around, so I don't know what that means."

(Does that question come on Monday?) - "Probably. Like I said before, I'm going to make the call on it. If I don't feel comfortable with it, then Matt [Moore] will stay the starting quarterback. I need to get a lot of information: I have to see him practice and I have to see him move around and I have to feel really good about it. I'm not going to jeopardize his career by throwing him out there and then extending this thing longer than what it already is. I'm going to make sure that the right decision is made."

(How did you feel that QB Matt Moore played?) - "I thought he did well. The turnover … I know what he saw. Kenny [Stills] snapped his route off and his guy fell off and didn't come with him, and he had already thrown the ball. He was trying to make a play. In that situation, you're fighting for every inch and just trying to make sure that we're possessing the ball. It was bad timing, especially at that moment of the game. I feel like he's done a great job being in there. He's protected the football, he's operated the offense very well, and he's led those guys. He's done a good job and we just have to build on what we've done the last three and a half games with him and just try to find a way to put him in the right position."

(Does your victory over Pittsburgh earlier this year give you any confidence or give you guys a better mindset for next week?) - "We're a different team now. They're a different team. Both of us have different players. I don't know how much our rosters really match up. If you look at our roster at that time and our roster now and the same thing for them, that's what makes this part of the season interesting. We have a lot of different guys playing and really what it comes down to is who's going to win the turnover margin, who's going to be the best team in the red zone, and who's going to convert on third down. Whomever usually wins those sections of the game, those are the teams that win."

(You got a nice round of cheers from the fans coming off the field, a send-off since you're going on the road. What are your thoughts about that?) - "I think our fans have done a great job. It's disappointing that we didn't do a better job today. They've supported us all year. They've been great for our defense, how into the game they are and how loud they are, making it hard for the other team's offense. For us to come out there and put out a performance like this … We didn't execute. We just didn't play well. They outplayed us, they outcoached us, and they did a better job than what we did. It's unfortunate that we put that kind of product on the field today."

(With DE Mario Williams not playing today, what went into that decision?) - "I just felt like (Terrence) Fede was playing really well. At some point I have to make a decision with some of the special teams things we have going on and some of the injuries we've had, we're moving a lot of guys around. We had been going in with nine defensive linemen a lot of those times, which we feel like has been good. We feel like that's been the strength of our defense. I don't think anybody would disagree. But we've had some situations where we need to get special teams guys up in the defensive backfield."

Dolphins Quarterback Matt Moore

(The prospect of starting a playoff game next week, what does that mean to you personally?)- "It's a big deal. It's hard to get there as a player. I've been there one time in 2008. I went as part of a team that was there in 2008 and that's the only time. It's a big deal. Obviously, put this one to bed and move forward and focus on next week, wherever it is, whoever we're playing, we just have to be ready to go."

(What were they doing to make it so difficult offensively for you?)  - "Well, they were jumping a lot in coverage. Forcing you to be patient, but at the same time, stopping the run game. So they kind of had the best of both worlds there early on. We kind of got on a little roll there at the end of the first half and got some stuff going, but it took us a little bit to figure it out and get it going. Good players, good scheme. Again, it just took us a little while to get it rolling."

(When you got it rolling what were you able to do? What was the difference?) - "It was just understanding what they were doing. There was a lot of underneath stuff. Guys catching the ball and making plays underneath. Some short catch and runs. Obviously, just staying on the field, converting third downs. Got down in the red zone and took advantage of some things. They just forced us to be very patient and made it difficult for us."

(You guys have been a bounce-back team all year, you have a game like this, now you have the biggest game of the year next week in Pittsburgh. How does this team get ready and forget this, and move forward, and be ready to play at the level you need to play?)- "I don't know if you forget it, there's a lot to learn from in this game. We're going, some guys I'm sure will watch it tonight, but we're going to look at it as soon as we can and correct things and move forward. It's nice to know that we have a game next week and it is the biggest one and it's kind of the same motto we've had all year 'It's the next one. ' I know it's a playoff game, but I think guys just have to learn and kind of be a pro about this situation today and move forward and bring their best game next week."

(How do you think this week will be for this football team that hasn't been in the playoffs in so long? How will preparations be?)- "I'm sure Had Coach (Adam) Gase will keep it pretty similar. Obviously, I think the focus has got to go up and I think that's natural for any team in this situation. Guys are going to come to work and show up and do their job. Put ourselves in the best situation to execute and I think that's all you have to do."

(What happened on the pick?) - "Just didn't throw it far enough. Scrambled out, I really had two guys. I saw Dion (Sims) wait and tried to get it to him and just didn't get it there."

(After a series of short passes you were able to get the short-passing game going. The middle seemed to open up and you hit Kenny Stills there for a big play there. How did all that take place?) - "I think they… well it was down in the red zone and it was empty, which we hadn't shown a ton of that up to that point. We had two… We had good guys running on the outside. The safeties just got some width and it put Kenny in a good position against a linebacker. So, we were able to work that out formationally and everybody really executed, guys were running, pulling guys out of zones and it really opened up Kenny. So, it was good."

Dolphins Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh

(What is it about the Patriots early in the game you just had a tough time stopping them? Next thing you know it's a 20-0 lead you got a big hole to climb out.) - "Yes, they started fast. I think caught us off guard in a lot of aspects. Made plays, got into the end zone and we couldn't figure a way to stop them."

(Tough to get to him (Tom Brady) and get him to pull the ball down, seemed like he was in such timing and rhythm, and there's really nothing you can do to get him off that early in that football game) - "Yes, a lot of quick short passes. They got their running game going from the standpoint of getting good yards on first and second down to make it where he didn't have to drop back deep for the most part, and I think some penalties in there as well so we got to eliminate those and get prepared for next week."

(A lot of talking going at the line of scrimmage seemed to escalate as the game went on. Then at the end it got pretty crazy out there what was going on there?) - "Guys are just children sometimes, but at the end of the day you take care of your business and continue to play as I did."

(When you say they caught you off guard was there confusion out there among you guys or what specifically are you referring to?) - "I think it's just we weren't prepared in certain aspects so just like I said got to get prepared to go against them, simple as that - weren't tackling or making plays."

(Not a great day for the defense overall, how do you feel about the defense heading into next week against Pittsburgh?) - "I feel great about the defense. We been through a lot of tough times, a lot of good times and I think we've been in every single situation in this particular season so we got to be prepared for whoever we have and get ready to go."

(What are your thoughts on this football team? It's been a long time since this football team has been to a playoff game and has a chance to go to a playoff game next week. Is there something you can contribute to the guys in here that haven't been to playoff games to get them to understand what's at stake?) - "It's one and done. The elevation of the height and sensitivity of the games will be through the roof. This is my third time in the playoffs and I just know the feeling going into particular games, very, very, intense so as you go and get ready for these games be prepared. The level of play definitely steps up."

Dolphins DE Andre Branch

(Coupled with the slow start Brady and those guys were able to move the ball rather efficiently. How hard is it to stop those guys?) - "I've got to watch the film. See what we did wrong and whatever that is we have to correct it fast and move on to whatever opponent we play."

(Do you guys kind of just put this one in the rear view mirror or take a lot from what you did today and try to implement it for next week?) - "Today stinks. Now, tomorrow we move on and figure out who we're playing and go from there and see what's going on."

(What makes you believe and feel confident that this defense is playoff ready?) - "We put together a good body of work. I know the talent we have in our locker room on all sides of the ball so for us is, if we do our job the rest will take care of itself. But there's times when we don't do our job where it starts to slip."

(What's the toughest challenge about playing Tom Brady?) - "He gets the ball out fast. Very efficient. He's been playing at a high level in this league for a very long time. We knew that going into this so for us we just have to keep the pedal to the metal and keep rushing him. No matter if he's throwing the ball in .3 seconds just keep rushing and hopefully he'll hold it."

Dolphins DE Cameron Wake

(How frustrating was it to get off to that kind of start against this football team knowing that you had to come out and you had to try to beat a football team that got off to a fast start?) - "Starting slow definitely was not part of the plan. Obviously, in this league, playing catch up is not always a good way to go. That's something that we definitely want to make sure doesn't happen again and put this one behind us quick."

(How tough is it for you to try to get to QB Tom Brady, try to disrupt him, try to get anything you can while he's as efficient as he is getting the ball out to his receivers?) - "Their motto (is) they get the ball out fast. As a pass rusher, that's something you have to contend with. You use different blocking schemes, you meet a couple different personnel, but every play you've got to go out there and do whatever you can and trust in the backend guys to do their job as well. Today was another day where there are some things I'm sure we've got to fix, but again, the regular season is over. This one is done, and we've got to move on."

(DT Ndamukong Suh talked about going to the playoffs He played in three playoff games - been in the playoffs three times - and talked about how the intensity raises up. Your intensity is always pretty high. Do you have another level here for next week that you're going to have to get to?) - "I'm a guy who always thinks 100 percent is 100 percent. If you have another level next week, then I'm disappointed that you didn't give it to me this week. I'm going to be the same guy I've been from the preseason games, regular season to playoffs (and) play my butt off every play and let the chips fall where they may."

(What makes you confident that this defense is playoff ready?) - "20 games."

(When does playoff excitement start for you? Do you forget about this game more quickly than you would another regular season game?) - "Yes. It's over. If we weren't in the playoffs, I don't know how many people would be fretting over this game. It'd be over and done with, the season is over, go home. But the reality is we are (in the playoffs). At the same token, you can't be focusing on the past. You've got to look forward. Literally, as I walk out of this building, my mind sets on to the next. This game is over and done with. There's nothing you can do about it. Until we line up and play these guys again, I won't be thinking about them. I'm thinking about the next opponent."

(You mentioned that to get to where you guys want to go you will have to beat New England. Your level of confidence after the two games you had against them this year is what?) - "I'm confident whoever steps on the field against us. We have a chance to win, and we've proven that for however many weeks we've done it."

Dolphins Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry

(How do you shake this loss off going forward into the playoffs?) - "We just have to move forward. Go out there, go back and look at the film, see what we need to correct. Obviously we need to start fast on offense. Now it's a single elimination game from now on."

(You make any kind of difference going into the playoffs off a loss than a win?) - "No, it doesn't."

(How do you feel about the way you stack up against New England now that you've faced them twice this year?) - "They're a great opponent. They're a great opponent, they're a great team - so are we. Obviously again we didn't start off fast enough on offense. That's the only part of the game I can speak about. We got to go in there at the end, but we got to find a way to score more points."

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