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Miami Dolphins Postgame Transcripts 9/18

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, September 18, 2016.

View the best images from the Patriots Week 2 game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 18, 2016.


Q: It was two different halves, they jumped on you in the first and you fought back in the second. What was the difference between those two?

AG: Well, we made more plays in the second half. I mean that is the obvious answer. After they came down on that first drive, looking for us to respond on offense and we didn't. You know and then we don't respond on defense. And then, on the next drive, we got a third and short and make a bad decision as far as quarterback sneaking it. You know, we don't get it. These three, four and outs, just put so much pressure on our defense to figure out a way to slow everything down and then the plays start piling up. And by the time, on offense, that we start fighting back, getting some points, now we have drained our defense of anything that they would have left. 

Q: You have a view of the offense needing to help the defense. But the defense, I mean, there were guys running open. Couldn't stop the sweep?

AG: Yeah I mean, that's football and they get paid too. We got to do a better job as far as, you know, making adjustments on the sidelines. Guys need to respond when they are being coached. I feel like Vance [Joseph] and his crew, I feel like they were constantly coaching drive after drive. Trying to clean things up and trying to calm guys down and just trying to figure, alright, what are we doing wrong and what are we doing right. And trying to emphasize, you know, the little details of the things we weren't doing right. 

Q: The defense seemed to be making all the plays in the first half defensively, trying to stop them was almost impossible. How do you get this team off to a good start, so you don't find yourself in a hole trying to dig out?

AG: Have to do a better job of executing. There are some things that we have to do a better job of as far as coaching. You know, I feel like I need to figure out a way to get our guys in rhythm earlier. Obviously all of these three and outs, I mean, I'm putting the blame on me. I'm not doing a good job on figuring out what we can do. And once we do, that's what it should be like. The second half of us being able to get up on the ball and go, get completions and run the ball, those types of things… that's what we need to do in the first half. 

Q: [Jimmy] Garoppolo goes out with the injury and all of sudden your offense gets going, but you couldn't stop LeGarrette Blount. He seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted to do, he was just able to make the plays to continue to move the chains on you.

AG: Yeah, he's a big man and once he gets going, you have to do a good job at setting the edge. Got to make sure we are tackling on the edge and it's a tough matchup between our corners and him. And we have to figure out a way to get him down. 

Q: What was your conversation with this football team, when you went into that locker room at halftime?

AG: Basically, with the entire group, we talked about, 'We got to start the game over. It's 0-0, let's execute one play at a time and find a way to get back in this thing.' That was really our message. We have to execute. And if guys start making plays and we figure out a way to just get in the end zone one time and make a stop and all of a sudden, maybe we are back in the game. 

Q: With everything that happened, you still had a chance, with six minutes left and then they ran out the clock. Basically, they steamrolled the defense. How disappointing was it for you to watch them really take over the line?

AG: I feel like part of the blame goes to myself. Because I mean, what did we have, six plays, seven plays in the first quarter on offense. So, I mean, I feel like the defense the last two weeks has been out there forever. So if you are playing a team that's going to run the ball, we have to do a better job of letting them have less plays during the game. They say every game is 80 plays, 75 plays, and we wonder why we can stop a 250-pound back running through there. So, we have to do a better job on offense, because that's going to help our defense.

Q: After [Jimmy] Garoppolo went out, you score 24-7 against them. What was the difference? Were you doing something different offensively?

AG: I was calling the same plays. We were making plays. That's what it is. At the end of the day, whatever is on that card is irrelevant. Sometimes the guys, their role is, go make a play and we've just got to make more of those plays earlier. 

Q: You bring in [Jay] Ajayi and [Kenyan] Drake after Arian [Foster] goes out. How did you feel about the way they performed out there?

AG: Obviously, I'd rather not put the ball on the ground. Arian had one, but they called him down and Jay, that was a critical turnover there. I mean, we just can't have that. We have to do a better job on the ball security, but for the most part, protection was good. Drake came in there, he didn't have a lot of reps this week, and we kind of got surprised with Arian going out and he was playing a little more than what we thought. But that's what happens, you got to figure out, when your back is against the wall, are you going to stay out there? Are you going to fight? And Drake did a good job of going out there and giving everything he had. I thought Drake bounced back good after he put the ball on the ground, he kept fighting. So, I mean, that's what you want to see. 

Q: What about DeVante Parker? I mean really, once he got going, he was making every play that was coming his way.

AG: For a guy that was playing on one leg, I mean, I will love it when he's really healthy. We'll see what we can do. I just think, those three guys… we had a little speed bump there early, we just got to get them going earlier. You know, make those plays in the first two quarters. We can't be in this position every week where we are trying to fight back and actually trying to get something going in the first half. 

Q: You couldn't bring [Arian] Foster back in the second half, is it bad? Serious?

AG: Yeah, I am going to have to get with the trainers. Right when he did it, they said he is out for the game. That's the extent that I know about it. I don't have time to get a medical briefing, I have some other things going on. So, you know, we will probably find out here in the next 10 minutes and I will know more on Monday. 

Q: What do you take from this game. You are down 33-3, you come back, but how do you leave feeling?

AG: It happens. I was on the other side, when I was here in 2013. We were up 24, nothing and lost. The tape don't lie, we will find out who played hard. And some of the guys that didn't, will move on. 

Q: Adam, where do you think this leaves you? I know you are 0-2.

AG: We have 14 left. I mean, go back to work Wednesday. Go thru the tape Monday, go back to work Wednesday. I mean, we played two good football teams, so come back, figure out a way to get better, clean some things up. We got to start faster, but this is the NFL, man. You know, this is what it is about, it's hard. 


Q: You guys came back to get within striking distance. What was going right for you guys at the time?

RT: Playing well. It all starts up front. The guys were giving me time to get through my reads. The receivers were getting open and we were making a few plays. That's what we needed. We were in a tough situation and at that point you can go one of two ways. You can pack it up for the day or battle and those guys battled, and that's what you want to see. You obviously don't want to be in that position, but I saw a lot of toughness, a lot of resilience from our guys [they] were hanging in there and just chipping away one play at a time and we got ourselves back in it for a shot at the end. 

Q: How do you account for starting a game like that? Offensively, you really couldn't get anything going. Offensively, what was going on? What was the problem? What did you see were the issues there?

RT: There were several issues. A couple times we started to get going. We had a turn over and third and inches that we didn't get on the sneak. I'd have to go back and think about what happened on all of those drives, but we just couldn't get anything going. [We] couldn't move the football. We're putting our defense back on the field after long drives and that's tough. You stay on the field for a 10-play drive and then [we] got three-and-out that's tough on the defense and as an offense we have to do a better job of getting a better start - a fast start - putting points on the board early and giving our defense a break. 

Q: What was different in the second half when you put up points and things started to open up in the passing game? DeVante Parker came up with some big plays, Jarvis Landry made big plays and you were able to get things moving. What was the difference between that and that start?

RT: We just got the first down. That's the biggest key [when] we can get the first first down we can get rolling and we didn't really do that in the first half. We kept getting close and didn't get it or [got] going and had a turnover or got going and had an interception before half. So, it's a matter of taking care of the football and getting that first, first down. Once we get going, we are pretty good at staying on the move and keeping the chains moving.   

Q: How do you get going from the opening kickoff instead of falling behind and finding the time to get going? It happened last week and here we are this week. How do you come out of the gate and move the ball?

RT: Just make the plays that are there. We had some opportunities. We were close - had a couple mistakes early on and [we're] punting. So, we just have to make those plays early in the game and I have confidence in those guys that we will get it done. 

Q: Did the hurry up offense help you get your rhythm and work in your favor in the second half?

RT: We get a lot of practice at a no-huddle offense. It's kind of what we are. We have the ability to go huddle or no huddle and we kind of got the pressure on them. We kind of got them on their heels a little bit and we were moving the football, tiring out the pass rush and that's when we saw us moving the ball.

Q: The effect of Arian foster going out, how did that effect things? Did it make you throw more? What did it do?

RT: I don't think it affected things really at all. I think that's the beauty of our system or our [running backs]. They're different and they have different skill sets, but we feel comfortable and confident with whoever is in there going on and executing the offense. 

Q: You certainly feel comfortable throwing DeVante Parker the football. You have a big advantage when he's on the field playing football for you…

RT: Yeah, DeVante's a great football player. You see some of the plays he made - the one handed catch on the takeoff, so we're just scratching the surface with him. He's going to be a big time player for us - we just have to keep him healthy and on the field. 

Q: This being a relatively new system how much does that play into you guys getting into somewhat of a rhythm on offense?

RT: I don't think it plays a factor. We're comfortable in this system. We're excited about where we're at and we're confident in what we can do. We just have to come out and execute early and like I said, get the first first down and move the chains and we'll be in good shape. 

Q: Last week Adam Gase was saying he should have listened to you a little bit more. Did you guys consult more this week? Did you have a little bit more input on what you're going to do out there on the field?

RT: We were talking the whole game. We had good stuff up. Whether it was getting pressure or missing a play - we had good plays up. It wasn't like we needed to get something else. We had good things up we just missed on a couple plays and we punted. You have one shot on a third down and if you don't get it you're punting. Those are the plays we have to make. [We] have to execute those third downs and keep the chains moving. 

Q: What happened on the errant snap?

RT: Just miscommunication and the ball got snapped.  

Q: It's way too early to talk must win. At next week's home opener, you obviously don't want to go 0-3. Is there an added emphasis? How would you describe that?

RT: We want to get off to a good start. Establish our home field advantage and get a win. Get a win in the win column. We've had to fly across the country and play a tough team on the road and now at New England. We've had a tough go. We've had our opportunities and we're right there. There's no panic. Obviously, we're disappointed [and] upset about how we let this one get away, but we're right there. There's no panic. We've just got to keep working, keep our heads on, keep grinding and we'll be in good shape next week.

Q: Defensively, did the Patriots give you any reads that were different than you may have expected?

RT: They played a good clean game. I wouldn't say they did anything that was outlandish or crazy. They kind of played how we expected them to play. They just did a good job early in the game putting pressure on us and getting pressure on the quarterback.

Isa Abdul-Quddus, Safety

(On defense in the first half) 
"We had some miss fits, they capitalized on our mistakes. It wasn't one person or one play every time. They just found our weaknesses and capitalized on them."

(On trying to come back) 
"You just have to take it one play at a time, you can't think about the scoreboard anymore, you just have to put your head down and play football."

(On the team's mindset when Jimmy Garoppolo went down) 
"We knew they would get more basic, it was just about keeping our fits and fitting everything up right. They still made plays I can't say it was defeating. We tried to stop the run and they just made plays."

Jay Ajayi, Running Back

(On his performance and being ready to play) 
"Besides the fumble, I think I did pretty well. I was just prepared to play no matter what. I was just ready to hear what happened on the sidelines and when they call my number, be ready."

(On the fumble) 
"Just have to hold on to the ball, just a mistake."

(On getting more playing time) 
"It is the next man up mentality, whoever is on the field is going to play. You just have to play to best of your ability."

(On the Miami Dolphins offense playing better in the second half)
I think we just got in a rhythm and the first initial first down and were just able to keep our offense on the field and make plays. We started slow in the first half and the second half we got it going. We were able to showcase the kind of offense we can be. I still think the sky is the limit for we can do."

Kiko Alonso, Linebacker

(On the hit to Jimmy Garoppolo) 
"He came out of the pocket and I got out there and he just landed on his shoulder."

(On the mindset of playing against a rookie quarterback) 
"We figured they were going to run the ball, just like they did. That last drive we have to get off the field."

(On whether the performance on defense was good enough) 
"No. How many points did we give up? Thirty one is too many points. That last drive we have to get off the field. Luckily they missed the field goal but we used up all of our time outs. We just have to get them off the field."

Jordan Cameron, Tight End

(On the slow start) 
"I don't know, we have to look at the film and see what the deal is. We have to find a way to come out and keep the defense off the field. It's hard for them when we go three and out and they have to keep going out there."

(On Ryan Tannehill's performance) 
"He was awesome. He definitely had control in the huddle, he was making plays and we were moving fast and got the ball rolling. You got to see what we are capable of doing in the second half."

(On what the message was after being down 31 to 3) 
"Keep going. I mean I've never understood why people talk about giving up or quitting. No one has that in their body or their system on this team. We are going to keep playing; we have fighters on this group, in this room and on this team. We are proving that we are never going to just lay down. We just have to get it going earlier."

Kenyan Drake, Running Back

(On scoring his first NFL touchdown) 
"It was pretty exhilarating. I was trying to do everything I could to help the team win. Unfortunately, we were not able to come out on top this time but we can only improve from this point. "

(On what he was told before today's game) 
"I wasn't told anything. I just have the same mentality regardless of whatever the case may be. I just try to go out on the field throughout the week and give my best effort on practice and when my number is called in the game I just go out and make the most of my opportunity."

(On what he proved) 
"I know as a team we proved that we can go out play with the best, no matter what the deficit was. I know there is a lot of stuff we can improve on throughout this process. The last two weeks have been some tough losses, we are just going to come out next week and try and get another win."

(On the Miami Dolphins offense playing better in the second half)
We were not able to convert on third down. We probably only converted one time in the first half and we put our defense in not very good situations. The second half we came out and were a lot more efficient and run the ball, pass the ball and show that when we can be an efficient offense, we can be a successful team. We just have to start better."

Reshad Jones, Safety

(On the game) 
"We just kept fighting and we were fighting against a good football team in their home. We just put our head down and kept fighting. We didn't quit. This team [the Patriots] could put 50 points on you any time they get a chance. We were down 24-0, it shows the kind of guys we have in this locker room. They made plays and you have to give credit to them. They ran their offense and they made plays. We didn't make enough plays early on and it took us until the third quarter to wake up."

(On why the Dolphins struggle in New England but play the Patriots well in Miami) 
 "I'm not sure. I think the Patriots are one of the better teams when they are playing at home. There is no magic to it, they have done a great job. They did enough to win this game and we didn't make enough plays to win."

Byron Maxwell, Cornerback

(On the first half) 
"They [Patriots] ran some boots, but at the end of the day it all falls on us. We didn't have our eyes in the right place. They had the right technique. So any time you do that against the Patriots it's bad weakness."

(On the Patriots running a lot of sweeps) 
"They were piling it up in the middle and then just running sweeps, so they did a good job switching it up."

Anthony Steen, Offensive Lineman

(On the slow start) 
"We just went to a no huddle, speed tempo and it really got us into gear. We got in a rhythm and moved the ball. I really don't know [the reason for the slow start]. It may be one of those things where we need to train harder or come out and start practice faster, I don't know. A lot of teams would have given up but our team didn't. We came back and had a chance to win. It says a lot about our team. This is the first time I've played here and it was a tough game and a tough loss."

Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle

(What were they able to do to get the tough yard running and keep moving the chains)
"In my personal opinion, I think we did a good job in the first half. I think we held them to about 56 yards in the first half. In the second half they came out with a good scheme. They did a lot of cracking and got to our edges. We didn't rally to the ball like we needed and make the plays, but at the end of the day you have to give them credit for their scheme and obviously LeGarrette [Blount] making plays."

(Did he feel like the defense had a lot of pressure in the first half due to the offense struggling)
I look at offense, defense and special teams, but more importantly as a defense, we gave up 21 points. There were no turnovers, no short fields. They moved the ball on us and we allowed them to score. Give them credit for making plays and moving down the field, but that's on us."

(On the mood at halftime)
I think guys understood the position we put ourselves in, especially on the defensive side of the ball. After we settled down, we understood what we had to get done. We had to go out there and get the ball back to our offense to give them opportunities to make plays. When we did that, they went down and moved the ball and scored points. We got a chance to get back in the game but we just didn't complete it."

Michael Thomas, Safety

(On talking with David Ortiz at the coin flip) 
"It is always good to see somebody who is a legend, a future Hall-of-Famer.  I was just saying, 'Congrats on the career', and he said, 'Congrats on being a captain'. That was pretty cool. It was pretty quick and pretty natural. It was respect. My dad grew up Yankee fan so I watched plenty of Red Sox versus Yankee games. I was neutral [as  a fan]."

(On the game) 
"You have got to give a lot of credit to this Patriots' organization, no matter who is in there at quarterback for them. They always have a great game plan. It was a whole different game once Garoppolo went out. Kudos to them, they made plays and we had to find some ways to get stops. You have to give credit to them. They are a great organization and they find a way to make plays. It showed how much fight this team has and is a testament to how hard we worked in the offseason. This is a one week league. Nobody cares what you did last week. This is going to hurt for 24 hours, then it is on to Cleveland."

(On why the Dolphins struggle in New England but play the Patriots well in Miami) 
"I wish I could answer that. We have had some success against them [in Miami] so it is tough that we didn't come away with a win today."

Cameron Wake, Defensive End

(On how he feels leaving the building after fighting hard to get back in the game)

"I'm disappointed. This leagues not a league where you can spot points. You can't go out there and start slow and then kick it on later on. We played well at times, but again, that's not going to get it done in this league, especially as tough a game that those guys played on the other side. You can't go out there and play catch up. It would've been nice to play the way we played in the second half in the first half. Obviously things would've been differently, but that didn't happen."

(On what the Patriots were able to do that allowed them to build such a big lead early)
"Well, I think when things like that happen it's something that you have to look at yourself and say 'What is it that I'm doing that's allowing that.' Again, in this league the margin is very slim so I think there's a lot of things that, again, I'll have to watch tape but things that we probably did to ourselves whether its miscommunications or people being out of leverage, whatever it may be, but again you can't come out there and start off that way and then turn it on. The guys, again, came in at halftime and we fought out of a hole but again that's the bed that we made. Again, that's the part that's disappointing because you show that you can play with the team. Everybody went out there and did their job in every facet but to start off slow, that's the part that's kind of disappointing."

(On if Jimmy Garoppolo's quick release made it difficult to put pressure on him)
"Well, I'd like to think that that would be smart of anybody standing back there with the kind of guys that we have, but that's something that we have to know going in. We have very talented front guys that get after the quarterback and if I was a quarterback I wouldn't hold on to the ball either. That's something that, again, you have to know going into the game we have to play accordingly. Again, trying to force their hand into our situation instead of the other way around is something that we have to do going forward."

(On if you were surprised by how much confidence Jimmy Garoppolo played with)
"No, it's the NFL. I don't know anybody in this league who's not confident or you wouldn't be in this league. Everybody in this league should have pride or else you probably wouldn't be taking snaps. So, whether it's him or our fourth-string quarterback, anybody that puts on a jersey on Sunday, I would expect that you would have a certain level of pride about yourself and a certain level of  pride in going out and doing your job, so that's not going to be surprising to anybody."

(On if it was frustrating watching Jimmy Garoppolo escape from some would-be sacks)
"No, he's a football player like any other. I think people – generally – people fail to realize how small the difference is between a number one, and a two, and a three, and a four. This is the NFL; everybody here is the best in the world. So, I don't know if people think that the number two guy is going to be a bum. That would be silly. I don't think our number two guy at any positon is a bum and it's probably the same thing across the board of any team that's in this league. To expect that he would've come out and laid an egg, I don't understand that."

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