[wysifield-embeddedaudio|eid="469691"|type="embeddedaudio"|view_mode="full"]JOSH MCDANIELS, OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Q: What are your memories of being a part of Nick Saban's coaching staff at Michigan State in the late 90s, particularly as it relates to your relationship with Adam Gase?
JM: That was kind of my initial experience with big-time college football coaching. I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity there with Coach [Nick] Saban as a graduate assistant. That's where I met Brian Daboll and Adam Gase. Back then, I don't know how much coaching we were doing. We were doing a lot of grunt work and reports, information, compiling data and trying to do whatever was required or asked of us at the time on our respective sides of the ball. We just tried to be helpful and soak up everything we could in those meetings. Adam was absolutely a part of that process. He was actually a student at that time but doing a lot of work in terms of preparing for each game. He did a great job, certainly was highly regarded by everybody there, and I would say the same thing for Brian. I was trying to learn as much as I could both from Brian and from the guys that had already had prior experience there about how to do things. We just tried to work hard and do the best we could. Certainly, Adam has used that experience and really done a great job throughout his coaching career. I'm happy for him that he had the opportunity that he has, but at the same time I'm looking forward to competing this weekend.
Q: What have you noticed from Adam Gase as he has grown through the coaching ranks and what type of coach has he become?
JM: He's very well-prepared. The teams that he's coordinated, the units that he's coached, whether it was the receivers with [Denver], the quarterback position in Denver being the coordinator there, they've always done their job, played well as a group. He's a guy that - they've got a lot of things that create problems for you. They do a lot of different things to try to attack your weaknesses, to try to protect their strengths. Tempo is always something that could be part of the game plan that you have to prepare for, so you know you're going to face a team that's well-prepared. You know you're going to face a team that's going to try not to beat themselves and that's going to create some things that you're going to have to adjust to on game day, so I don't expect anything less than that this weekend.
Q: What did you see Sunday from the receiving crew, particularly from Malcolm Mitchell?
JM: The receiver group as a whole, they work extremely hard. They prepare hard. They learn what their role is for the game, or practice or the week, and they embrace that. They're a very unselfish group. They're coached extremely well – Coach [Chad] O'Shea does a great job. He's tremendous about the details, whether it's the passing game, the run blocking, screen plays, whatever it might be. He has those guys ready to do their job and they do it pretty well on a consistent basis, and they play hard. All of them play hard. They each had a role in the game the other day. It was different for each one of them, but we expect that that group is going to give us everything that they can in all different areas of the game. They blocked hard the other day. They caught the football when it was thrown to them. They each converted a third down that was a big play in the game at whatever time it happened. We like the different sets of skills that those guys have and we look forward to trying to use those as we move forward into the season. In regards to Malcolm [Mitchell], Malcolm is a rookie that we like a lot of the things that Malcolm is doing. He works hard, he's a smart kid, he's unselfish. He comes in and tries to learn his role each week and go out there and get better at practice. He's still developing – we've got to do a good job of continuing to develop all of those guys and whatever we mistakes we make, we try to learn from them and get better each week and grow, and hopefully put on another good performance and take a step forward as a unit.
Q: With Tom Brady removed from the day-to-day operation, is there any benefit to being able to give Jimmy Garoppolo more one-on-one time during the week?
JM: I don't think anything really changed. When we go in there, I try to coach all the quarterbacks that are in the room the same. They're all expected to know the information and go out there and execute it, and it's my job to teach them whatever their role is or whatever their responsibility is on each play. Whether it has been those guys or a different group in the past, two of them this year, three of them this year, or whatever group in the past, it doesn't change the dynamic at all. I'm teaching, they're learning and listening and we're trying to go out there and play quarterback the best we can and do whatever is asked of us at that position this week. It really wasn't any change. It was just two guys instead of three preparing hard for the game and doing everything they could to get ready, and hopefully, we're going to do that each week going forward.
Q: How do your prepare your offense based on your experience with Miami in the past, but also considering the new personnel and coaching changes?
JM: I think the big thing is to be familiar with who you're playing against, and then to educate yourself and your players with what they have done. It's hard to prepare for everything that a team could possibly do. A lot of people have coached in a lot of different spots and they could do anything they want to do on a week-to-week basis if they chose. Sometimes, it's good to go back and familiarize yourself with where a coach has been in the past and see some of the things that they've done, especially if they played against you. There's always that element to it. There's always that variable that you could go back and just take a look at how somebody competed against you, what they chose to do schematically, how they utilized their personnel, whatever it might have been in the past. I think the real important thing this early in the season is to understand the players that you're playing against, the strengths and weaknesses that they have, how they play, and then familiarize yourself with what they've done and what they've shown on film as a group. We'll spend a lot of time watching the games that they've played and getting re-familiarized with the players on the team. They have some new personnel in there that we don't know as well as we have in the past with some of their players. We're going to work hard this week to understand who we're playing, how they play, and then try to put a game plan together so that they go out there and play fast on Sunday.
Q: After Sunday night's game, what did you learn about Jimmy Garoppolo and what did you see from him late in the game in the poise that he showed completing a few difficult third down conversions?
JM: Jimmy [Garoppolo] took his preparation and tried to apply it to field as best he could. That's what his goal is each week and I thought he did a nice job of that. Any player that's on the field, we have confidence in them to be able to execute their job and their assignment under pressure. I thought he made some critical plays for us, there's no question about it. Those are things you need to do to win in this league. We have a lot of confidence in him; we have a lot of confidence in all our players in those situations because they work hard and prepare hard for them. At the same time, there's plenty that we'll learn from and try to improve on. We have a lot of areas that we can do that in moving forward, so that's what we're going to practice hard this week to try to do.
Q: How do you anticipate what was put on film of Jimmy Garoppolo last week being dealt with by the Miami Dolphins, and what did you appreciate about Martellus Bennett's dedication to the blocking game Sunday night?
JM: That's a good question - they've got plenty of film this year to look at with Jimmy [Garoppolo] playing. I think as an offensive coach, you try to focus more on what we need to do for ourselves and for our players to put together a plan that we feel comfortable executing regardless of what the defense does. It's understanding that we're going to get some things that we didn't practice. We got some things the other day that we didn't practice. That's part of football. That's a part of each week's game, and you know you're going to have to be able to adjust either on the field or on the sideline or half time or whenever it is that you see it. I think for us to try to worry about how somebody may or may not play us or try to defend us or try to affect what we're doing, it's really a hard thing to narrow down. So we're going to focus on the things that we can control, get ourselves ready to go, try to have a good plan, have a good week of practice, let them go out there and play fast, and if we have to adjust, we have to adjust. That usually happens early in the season, especially if you have limited information to go off of. In regards to Marty [Bennett], Marty certainly did an excellent job the other night, ran behind them a lot in the running game. He did a good job on the edge, we kept him in pass protection more than a handful of times and he did a nice job in terms of securing the edge of the pocket there too. Unselfish, team guy; just played hard on every snap, played a ton of snaps for us and really did his job. When he was asked to do whatever it was, he performed his responsibility and helped us in a number of different ways. That's what our tight end positon generally does, and like I said, Marty was out there most of the time the other night and did a nice job of it. We gained a lot of production out of the things that he did, regardless of whether they showed up in the statistics or not.
[wysifield-embeddedaudio|eid="469696"|type="embeddedaudio"|view_mode="full"]MATT PATRICIA, DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Q: What stands out to you the most about this Miami offensive system under new head coach Adam Gase?
MP: Well, I mean, obviously we're going to start with head coach Adam Gase, kind of his background, being on the offensive side, an offensive coach with Clyde Christensen - the offensive coordinator – so kind of the combination of their experience against us and the way that they've played us with other organizations they've been at. Adam obviously was at Denver for a long time and we had some games there where he incorporated an offensive system that changed with the players that he had, and he was able to kind of take advantage of the best of the abilities of the guys that were out on the field. And then working through his history of being at the 49ers and Detroit with Mike Martz, so it's quite a bit of experience against us and understanding how we play and taking a look at the offensive systems that he's been in that have really influenced him in the way that they've played us. And then Christensen being at the Colts for a very long time and obviously us playing against them; you can see bits and pieces of all the different offenses that they run and I think what they're doing a great job of right now in just taking a look at the players that they have and obviously the continuity of skill players that they have of being able to put those guys in great position to make some plays. Certainly [Jarvis] Landry is just such a dynamic player for them. He's just a weapon that they can use in multiple different fashions. They have great speed at the skill positions. Both [DeVante] Parker and [Kenny] Stills are very fast players for them. The running back positon, you know, [Arian] Foster is very strong. He's a big powerful runner. I think what you saw in the game and what you've seen from him in preseason is a guy that really does a good job with the ball in his hands, whether that's in the run-game or if he gets the ball in space, just guys that can make plays. Certainly with [Ryan] Tannehill, a very mobile quarterback, a guy that adds another threat into the run game. You can see the quarterback option element coordinated into what they do. The tight end situation, Jordan Cameron obviously is a very good tight end, and Dion Sims is another guy we have a lot of familiarity with from last year. That's two really good players there, so I think he's doing a good job of really trying to use his personnel and mix in some different formations and different looks and allow the quarterback to just keep the offense in a position direction and moving continually down field.
Q: Have you seen a lot more of the Miami offense going through Ryan Tannehill?
MP: You definitely can see [Ryan] Tannehill in the games that he's played in the preseason and then [Sunday], he does have the ability to change plays, audible, move them around, check plays based on the looks and try to get them in the best play possible. He certainly has a good element of control over the offense and he's just going to try to, through the system, get them in the best position possible to stress the defense.
Q: Could you characterize the importance that Dont'a Hightower plays in the defense?
MP: Obviously, Dont'a Hightower being in the linebacker position, it's one of the positons on the defensive field that's really in the mix between the front and the back end, so it's a key position for us on the field, along with the safety position, that does a lot of communicating and has to coordinate a lot of different people on the field. Certainly, as a young player, when we got Dont'a [he was] a very smart, intelligent guy that understands a lot about conceptual football. He can talk football and really try to visualize it and see it and you can go through a lot of different situations with him. It's very natural for him to control and handle a lot of things and a lot of different responsibilities, a lot of different positions that he does for us. It's just part of the progression for him as a young player improving and stepping into a role where he's honestly just very quite natural. He's a guy that stands in front of the huddle and has stood in front of the huddle since he got here and a guy that played next to Jerod [Mayo] for a couple of years and got to see that same sort of player. Dont'a just does an excellent job of leading when he's out there, so he's certainly someone I rely on a lot. We talk a lot about the scheme and we talk a lot about what we're trying to get done. He's a guy for me that is out on the field but is really the voice that's coming through of what we're trying to get done. A really smart player; very tough, physical, all the ability, but just a really smart football player.