RUNNING BACK JAMES WHITE
Monday, December 23, 2019
Q: What's the sense you have coming out of the Buffalo game and going into what Coach Bill Belichick called a playoff game against Miami?
JW: It was a good win on Saturday. We've got to move forward from it. The Dolphins have been playing well the past few weeks and it'll be another good challenge for us. It's an important game for us, just got to go out and compete from the first snap to the last. Those guys are going to come out ready to play.
Q: How have they changed defensively from when you saw them earlier in the season?
JW: I mean, they have a lot of different guys. I know they're banged up on defense and what-not, but those guys still go out there and they compete. They play hard, they play good coverage, they're going to attack you. They've been playing tough football, and it'll be a great challenge for us.
Q: How does that reflect their head coach, Brian Flores?
JW: Yeah, they're similarly coached to us, so we know those guys are going to be well-coached. No matter whether it's their first year or their 10th year, they're going to try to do their assignments to the best of their ability and they're going to compete for four quarters. So, we both are being taught kind of the same things.
Q: Are there any dangers of a let-down kind of a game where you drop your guard and crazy things happen?
JW: You can never drop your guard. It's a division game. No matter what their record is, these games are never easy to play in, teams are going to come out and compete. They're a well-coached team. You know, Flo [Brian Flores] is coaching those guys, they're not going to come in here and just lay down, and we've got to come out here and compete from the first snap, like I said, to the last one.
Q: Would you say the team's confidence level is up after the Bills game?
JW: That definitely was a good win for us, but like I said, we have to have another good week of practice. We can't just say, "Last week was a good week, so this week is going to be a good week." You've got to have another good week of practice, compete and study up on our opponent. They have a lot of new guys out there on defense, so on offense, it'll be good for us to really study up on them.
Q: How can you build off of what you found in the Bills game?
JW: Yeah, take the positives that we had and build on them, and take the things that we didn't do well and find ways to improve on those things. I think guys last week came out with a sense of urgency, and I think we'll try to do the same this week.
Q: What have you gotten to know about Mohamed Sanu since he's been here, and what has he brought to the table?
JW: He's smart, tough and a good football player. He learned the offense extremely quick, being kind of thrown into the fire. And, I mean, he's a tough guy. He's smart and he's made some big plays for us. So, he's continuing to get better with us each and every week, and he's going to continue to make some big plays for us.
Q: You've been in the offense since 2014 now. How tough is it for someone coming in to learn the offense that quickly?
JW: Yeah, I mean, I couldn't imagine coming in here – what, Week 7 or 8 – and the week he came in, we were doing like no-huddle and stuff, so that was even more difficult. So, I'd say it's really impressive what he's doing, and like I said, he'll continue to get more and more comfortable and continue to make plays.
Q: How many different things can you do with two backs in the backfield? We saw something different this week with you and Rex Burkhead going up to the line of scrimmage.
JW: Coach [Josh] McDaniels does a great job of dialing up good game plans, and as long as we can show him we can do it in practice, he'll call it in a game. So, whatever he happens to dial up, myself, Rex, Sony [Michel], Brandon [Bolden] – Dame [Damien Harris], maybe he's in there – we're going to go out there and execute it.
Q: Along those lines, when you're a lead-blocking fullback, do you want the "FB" next to your name? Are we doing that?
JW: We can do that, yeah. I can block a little bit. We all block for one another. We have guys that block for us in order to run the football, so we don't have a problem doing it for one another.
Q: So if I check the roster, it might say "FB/RB"?
JW: It might this week.
Q: When it's a holiday week and there's distractions, how do you lock in and say "this is still a playoff game"?
JW: Yeah. Honestly, everybody loves Christmas. It's a good time to be around your family, relax a little bit, open gifts, your kids. And at the same time – we'll enjoy that day when it comes up – but once it's over with, we'll locked in back on the Dolphins. Still watching film on Christmas and all that good stuff.
Q: Can you comment on Tom Brady being named one of the 100 greatest players in NFL history? Can you wrap your mind around that – that he's in your locker room?
JW: I mean, honestly you kind of don't really think of it like that when you're in the locker room with him. Obviously, you know how great of a player he is and how long he's been doing it, but probably once we're done playing and everything, you can sit back and be like, "Man, I really played with arguably the greatest player, if not, quarterback of all time." So, it's awesome to compete with him, learn from him and be his teammate.
Q: Being a leader on the team, how much weight does a guy like Tom's words carry in the locker room, with the young guys in particular?
JW: It carries a lot of weight. I think any time anybody – one of the veteran guys on our team – says anything, I think it carries a lot of weight because not many guys have to say much to our team. Everybody knows the task at hand, but when they do say something, then it kind of gets that sense of urgency going that much more. So, you just have to take those words and use them as motivation.