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Best of Patriots.com Radio Wed Apr 24 - 04:00 PM | Thu Apr 25 - 07:25 PM

What They're Saying: Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins coaches and players comment on their upcoming game against the New England Patriots.

2023-WhatTheyreSaying-wk8-16x9

Miami Dolphins coaches and players comment on their upcoming game against the New England Patriots.

On facing the Patriots for the second time this season...

"I think as you look at the first game, the way they played against our offense, to me they change some of what they do defensively but then they also got back into what they ran normally. So we're expecting some of that. I think the most important thing for our offense is we're really going to have to hammer down the formations, hammer down the things that we have to know and then as we go out there, we're going to have to nail it. We're going to have to execute the plays and the plan that Mike (McDaniel) has set out for us. I think the guys are excited when we're able to go out there and see things that we're not normally accustomed to seeing because that's not what we practiced against. It's more so reverting back to your training and for me, if the read doesn't tell you to throw it there, don't throw it there. Continue through your progression." 
- Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

"It's so funny, I feel like everyone invests so much emotion and attention. It's all so important to everybody, NFL football in general, fan bases, coaches, players. But it almost makes me feel like the human population is senile, because it's like every single year, every single year – it's one of the things that I'd be so proud if I was a part of the organization and what we're trying to do here that you earn every day – but every single year, they get better during the course of the season. I can't remember how many times since Coach Belichick has been there since I think he got his start when I was going to prom, right? And like how many of the scenarios have been like what's happening here with the team after four weeks or whatever, and it's like a created adversity. And sure enough, they get better as the season progresses. I think that is the formula. I think that's the end-all for NFL football and I see a better version of themselves as I would expect – because my eyes and ears are wide open – as I would expect from historical, just my observations since I've been an adult. They focus on fundamentals. They do a good job tuning out the noise. I see a team that just last week was an example. I'm sure there were some people that lost money but not anybody within the team. (laughter) I've learned not to be surprised at their team development and growth during the course of the season."
- Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel

On his success against Bill Belichick and the Patriots...

"I attest that to our team. It's a team win every time. That's basically all it is. It's not me, myself and the offense. The defense has got to get stops to allow those guys not to have points on the board and we've got to go down and we've got to go score. So it's a team win. It's a team loss for everything and this is no different and the respect I have for Coach Belichick and his team is high regards. High regards."
- Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

On the Patriots defense...

"They've got a lot of personnel groupings now that they've got J.C. (Jackson) back and they've got some other guys back as well. It'll be kind of unique to see how they match up against us with their personnel groupings. There's a lot of different things where it could look as if it were base, but it's nickel, it's a different way that they're running nickel. And they just have nuances in that where people can play multiple positions and be called a different position within their defense so it'll be unique to see what they have, but never get lost within our training. We've just got to come out and revert to that."
- Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

On the Patriots offense...

"They had a really good game last week against Buffalo. The quarterback was on fire. They ran the ball good. They had a big two-minute drive to go win the game. I think much like in our case, in some places, the first time we played them, both of their tackles were out and now they're back. It would be, just from that standpoint, a better offense than it was in that game. I think they are coming around. They've only won two games and they did have a couple of games where it got lopsided, but in all of their other games, the point differential is about seven points. They are a really good team that plays good defense.  I don't think we'll have a Star Wars type game on offense. We've got to be ready to go play good defense to win this game."
- Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio

On Special Teams...

"When you look at their roster – and it's funny when we just went over it with the guys – you look at their punt team. They just got (Cody) Davis back off of short-term IR but every other guy has been the exact same guy at the exact same position on every play. So they have those guys that their only role, and you look at it after each game, they're there to play in the kicking game and play in the kicking game only and excel at it. Which is why, for as long as I can remember, they've been very good in the kicking game because number one, they've got a head coach with special teams experience, they've got three very good coaches coaching special teams and then they go get really good players. So it's a good place to start."
- Dolphins Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman

On the Patriots three-safety defense they have used to defend against the Dolphins speed...

"I think it will make most people nervous. I think they don't feel comfortable doing that because their front and how they are as good at defeating blocks as there is. I think you have to be very confident and comfortable because you're giving up space, and generally people worry about the run game. It's not just that they deploy that, but it's also a lifetime of calling plays and you don't know when it's coming. You're kind of left at a spot where you have to prepare for it but it's not something that he's going to do every play. I think they do a wonderful job teaching, which is very difficult, so that it fits within the realm of what they already do. The way I see it from my vantage point, I'm not there, but I see it as just a different deployment of defenses that they already have. That comes with a huge amount of diligent, deliberate practice and experience so that your system in training camp is built to functionally evolve or have answers for different problems. It wasn't something that completely surprised me when they deployed it because I figured, just like this game, we try to do similar things and have different tools in our toolbox to handle whatever is coming. But I think it's because how they do everything, they are able to be a little more varied. There are just a lot of people cross-training over there, and a lot of different positions doing the same thing, which gives you the chance to do something unique like that."
- Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel

"We just had to be aware of, like all things when variables occur during the season that you weren't expecting, it's trusting our rules, trusting what we're doing, you play through what you see, making sure you have options schematically that account for variants and coverages and front. Just all defensive stuff. When you play a good defense like the Patriots that will give a lot of variants, the big thing is we make sure we understand our intent, our purpose, and what each play is trying to do."
- Offensive Coordinator Frank Smith

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