Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase
(Can you talk about the game that CB Xavien Howard had and the decision to have him shadow WR Brandin Cooks?)- "When we started setting up this week, I think (Defensive Coordinator) Matt (Burke) kind of goes through what they're thinking about doing. That's just something that they felt confident about. X's (Xavien Howard) confidence is really getting, it's getting up there. He has had two really good games in a row. It's good to see him really feeling it. The more confidence he gets, and if we get him one-on-one a lot, that helps us."
(Your defense - New England, 0-for-11 on third downs - what led to the overall big defensive play that we saw out there?) - "It's just down in, down out. Any time they threw it, (we would) just try to get around him (Patriots QB Tom Brady), create some pressure. We they get to third down, when our guys know you're going to throw it, you just get close to him and try to get a hand on it whether or not they're actually knocking him down or sacking him. It was that presence constantly, just kind of getting around him."
(The feeling for this win, everything that went on - offense, defense, special teams - you pretty much won every stage of the game. You've got to feel pretty good for those guys in the locker room in there.) - "Those guys have been working hard. We had a little bump in the road midseason, We're down to one game at a time right now. We've had two good weeks in a row, complementary football. All three phases have been playing together. We've been waiting for this to happen. We'll just keep going one at a time and see what happens."
(Can you talk a little bit about RB Kenyan Drake. 195 total yards, 115 rushing.) - "Even when we don't quite block it right, he makes it work. He has good vision. With speed like that, he just gets a little bit of green grass and seems to go a pretty good distance."
(We saw a lot of different play calls out here, especially early in this football game. Were there a number of things that you saw that you thought you could take advantage of?) - "I don't know if it's so much take advantage. It was just more we focused more on ourselves this week of let's put a good plan together. Let's try to use as many guys as we could and see if we can do some things that we hadn't really shown in a while. A lot of the stuff we dug up from earlier in the season. Guys executed the plan well."
(Can you talk about CB Xavien Howard? Can you talk about your defense as a whole? I think they were 0-for-10 on third downs and Patriots QB Tom Brady seemed to be bumped around all day long and seemed to be kind of antsy in the pocket there and just all night pressure on him.)- "I think the guys did a good job of playing team defense. It really starts with our front and then linebackers and the secondary. The guys did a good job. They played well together tonight."
(So you had WR Jakeem Grant outside for a touchdown. Could have been two touchdowns. You had WR Jarvis Landry in the backfield, Grant in the backfield, TE MarQuies Gray in the backfield. MarQuies Gray at fullback. Are those the things you were talking about being the different things?) - "We just moved some guys around. We used some different personnel packages. When we get into a flow a little bit, it kind of makes it easier to get to those personnel groupings. I think, maybe tonight, (we) did it earlier in the series than what we had normally done. It worked out. Guys made plays. Jay (Cutler) did a good job of getting those guys the ball and they did a good job of being where they were supposed to be."
(Can you talk about the protection? Because QB Jay Cutler didn't seem to be under duress, certainly not nearly as much as QB Matt Moore was the first game with seven sacks.) - "They do a lot of different stuff. That's why we were kind of changed some personnel groupings out, tried to see if we can add an extra guy in protection every once in a while, just keep them guessing as far as what we were trying to do. It didn't always work, but we were just trying to keep them a little bit off balance and see if we could give him enough time to make the throws."
(Can you talk about the night that JQB ay Cutler had, moving around the pocket, getting the ball to his guys? I know he's sitting right here.) - "I know. I'm glad you did it when he walked it. (laughter)"
(You don't want to make QB Jay Cutler blush.) - "He did a good job. He stayed focused the entire game. He stayed wired in and kept going through the drives. When we went back out there, we had good focus. We just kept talking about resetting one series at a time. Every series we just wanted to make sure to get a first down and do everything we can to get in that red zone, and when we get in the red zone we wanted to score touchdowns."
(Is this the best your team has played this year?)- "I think this is probably one of the better games we've played probably in the last two years as a team, all three phases."
Quarterback Jay Cutler
(Offensively, what was it you guys saw going into this game that you felt you were able to take advantage of because we saw a lot of different things out of your offense, especially in the first half of this game?) - "I think we rotated the personnel pretty well. They've been a high-percentage man team coming into it. I think they started the game like that, played a little bare front. The offensive line handled it well. We made some big plays on the outside that I thought really helped us. We were able to get Jakeem (Grant) in there and he made some big plays - 'Juice' (Jarvis Landry) - kind of all-around. Then in that second half, to start mixing it up and shuffling the deck on it. In the fourth quarter, I wish we could have put it away and put another one on there; but it's a good team we faced."
(What about yourself, being able to get out of the pocket, the one escaped where you spun out of there and made a play on it. Do you feel comfortable getting out of the pocket and moving around?) - "Yes, I've always liked it. I've always liked moving the pocket, getting out. We had that one - the 2-man - I tried to get it back in to Jakeem Grant and he probably would have run for 20 (yards). So (there were) a few of those that I just want to go back and look at and run or throw, that's always the deciding factor there."
(It's two weeks in a row where RB Kenyan Drake has had big rushing yards, big receiving yards. What does he mean to your offense and what does he do to allow him to do other things in your offense?) - "I think he's flourished in this with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Tonight we saw him split out and just running past linebackers. He breaks tackles in the hole, he cuts back well, he sees it well. He's becoming one of those complete backs that you're able to do a lot with."
(I assume there is a little disappointment early on with the field goals, but just to get going and to get some scoring drives right off the bat…) - "Yes, you always want to score touchdowns. Our thing coming into this was just let's get down there and let's get attempts in the red zone. Let's just start getting attempts, whether its field goals, the touchdowns will come. We've been a pretty good red zone team whenever we get down there so it's just a matter of us having as many attempts in the red zone as we could."
(They are the New England Patriots. They started a little comeback in the second half. It got a little hairy there at the end. How do you feel to you when you're watching them move the ball down the field?)- "I think that goes back to earlier. We had some chances there early in the fourth to cushion our lead a little bit and couldn't make it happen. You've got to be careful with a team like that, like you said. I think the Super Bowl last year is an indication of what they're capable of and then they made it a one-possession game in this one, so you've got to beat these guys until the final whistle."
(You guys threw a lot of things at them. There was a lot of diversity in the offense. Obviously that doesn't help them a lot. How does it make a quarterback feel when you've got so many things that you can go to?) - "We used a lot of guys. Like you said, we used a lot of guys. Tight ends, all the receivers, Jakeem (Grant), we lined up 'Juice' (Jarvis Landry) and Jakeem in the backfield a few times, so we were mixing it up. I thought (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) was dialing it up well tonight."
(You guys can finish 9-7. Do you talk postseason or how do you deal with that?)- "No. Do we have Buffalo next?"
(Yes.) - "We play Buffalo next. That's kind of where our mindset is at."
(It's been an arduous season for you guys in a lot of ways. When you have a night like this, what's it like coming off the field, those guys coming in the locker room?) - "Winning is always … That's what keeps you in this game. That locker room after a win, there's nothing like it. A plane ride home after a win, it's hard to beat it. So it gives us a boost. We hit on it in there. We've got another game, so tomorrow we're going to take a look at this and we're going to keep moving."
(You're very even. It's hard to tell with you sometimes. Are you happy?) - "I think I'm pretty happy. (laughter)"
Running Back Kenyan Drake
(How do you feel?) - "I feel great. Body always feels great after a win, especially a win aagainst a top-notch opponent such as the Patriots. I feel great."
(What is like to have such a big night on Monday Night Football?) - "I try to go out there no matter the situation, no matter the stage and just try to do my best to help this team win games. I feel like I sound like a broken record but that's just my mentality. I enjoy going out there and performing on these stages obviously, but it was a great team win; offense, defense, special teams, all facets of the game. Shout-out to everybody that came out there and supported us. We definitely got the job done today."
(How is your confidence level now after back-to-back 100-yard rushing games?) - "I feel like I try to go out there with a level of arrogance that I feel like I can go out there and help this team win in any way possible. My confidence has stayed pretty stagnant because regardless if I fumble or whatever the case may be, I'm going to go out there and prove that I can be a top notch player. I'm just happy we got this win."
Wide Receiver Jakeem Grant
(Can you believe this team is a game out of the playoffs with as much as you guys have gone through with losing five straight, losing your quarterback and all that? There's a pretty good chance you'll be playing in January.) - "We're not worried about that. We have a one game mentality. We're just worried about the next game coming up and just trying to win that one. If we keep playing like that who knows."
(You've been thinking for the whole time you've been here, and you've said it before about what you could do at receiver, to haul in that catch on Monday Night Football against New England. What does that mean to you?) - "It means a lot. It feels great. I don't care about the outside; I just wanted to make those plays for the team. They definitely knew I could make those plays but actually just going out there and doing it, and proving myself, means a lot to me. Now it's just a stepping ladder. That's the first step up the ladder and now I have to make more plays just like it."
(It was a tough play against Patriots CB Malcolm Butler. Tell me about it.) - "It was a go route. He played it within five yards so I used my speed. I thought it was going to be an over the shoulder ball but Jay threw it up there and trusted me to come down with it so I had to make a play. Like I told Adam previously, I promised my kids I would score a touchdown for them so I had to. I was hungry enough to get that touchdown and come down with it. Also I wanted to make that play for the team to show them that you can trust me."
Safety Reshad Jones
(What do you think of this man here, CB Xavien Howard?) - "He balled out. That's what he does. That's what he does. He can be one of the best corners in the league."
(How have you seen CB Xavien Howard get better as the season's gone on?) - "He's emerging. He's coming on. He's just got to keep it going."
(Why does this team have so much success here against the Patriots?) - "We believe in each other. The camaraderie in this locker room, we've got resilient guys in this locker room. That's what it's supposed to look like."