Miami Dolphins Postgame Transcripts, Audio and Video – October 31 – Head Coach Brian Flores and Players

Sunday, October 31, 2021
Postgame – Buffalo

DT Christin Wilkins

(What broke down in the second half after you guys battled well in the first?) – “I really don’t know. I’ll have to watch the film to be able to really see it. They just started making plays, started driving. They made adjustments. They did a good job., That’s a good football team over there. We fought hard but just didn’t do enough to win.”

(What happened there at the end between you and Buffalo QB Josh Allen?) – “Football is a tough game. Got a lot of alpha males. It’s competitive. It gets chippy. Stuff happens. I have no hard feelings against Josh (Allen), that’s my guy. Just a competitive game. Things happen.”

(It seemed like you guys squared it away after the game. You guys said hello to each other after. Is that what happened?) – “Yeah, like I said, it’s a competitive game. Things happen all the time throughout the course of the game. It’s just part of what comes with it.”

(Being so close against the Bills after not being so close the previous times you’ve played them, how disappointing is this game still for you guys?) – “There’s no moral victories. Whether we lost by one or lost by 100, there’s no moral victories. Obviously, you get a little disappointed because we all work so hard. We put a lot of time around each other trying to build something. Each week preparing, we barely get to see our family, our friends. We’re locked in during the season. So for those reasons, it’s obviously disappointing a little bit because you always want to win. No matter what you do, you always want to see the fruits of your labor. But I refuse to be miserable. I’m not going to duck my head. I’m sure that’s what a lot of people want us to do and a lot of people are looking for us to do, but I’m not going to do that. I love this game of football. I love this team and I’m just going to keep bringing it each week and that’s what it is. That’s what it is.”

(In that sense, how do you approach the final however many weeks of the season knowing you’ve lost seven straight?) – “Like I said, I refuse to be miserable and I’m going to attack each day like it’s a new day. That’s how I approach life. That’s how I’m going to approach to this game because we can still finish strong. There’s still a lot of football left. Like I said, I just refuse to be miserable because I do enjoy this. I do love playing football, I do love playing with my teammates, I love competing. So I’m just going to come in every day with the right mindset and attack each day like it’s a new day.”

(The first half your defense was playing solid. The second half what got away from you?) – “Like I was saying earlier, I really don’t know exactly. But like I said, they are a really good team. They’ve got good players and we knew it was going to be a 60-minute battle and that at no point we could get comfortable because like I said, they’re a good team. They’re going to make plays.”

(1-7 moving forward what’s the outlook of the locker room as far as your defense?) – “Like I said, just going to keep attacking each and every day. 24-hour rule in the NFL. Tomorrow is a new day and just try to get a win next week.”

(Was it frustrating that holding this team to three points for the offense – even in the third quarter … that it didn’t result in any lead to hold this potent offense to three points even in the third quarter?) – “Like I keep saying, they just made plays and they’re a good football team. We just didn’t make enough plays to win.”

(Some of the defensive tackles were dropping back in coverage more today. Was that a new wrinkle or something you guys are…?) – “We are just doing what the game plan asks for. Just following the script. If a play calls for that, that’s what we got to do.”

(Do you believe in QB Tua Tagovailoa and the offense? Do you think offensively you guys can be competitive with other teams?) – “Absolutely. I know those guys. I know those guys work hard, too. I know what I see every day in practice. I got a lot of confidence in this team, period. A lot of these games could easily have turned in our favor. Yeah, we’re 1-7, but a couple games could have gone this way or that way. That’s just how the league goes.”

(You were giving up three points for so long into the game. What was going well for your defense at that point and what was the feeling on the sideline with all the defensive players knowing you were playing so well?) – “We were just competing, working hard and following the game plan. That’s what we try to do each and every week and each and every day and each and every play. Everybody is just doing their job and like I said, they were able to just make plays. We just weren’t able to make enough plays.”

C Austin Reiter

(Can you take us though the snap that ended up ricocheting off of TE Mike Gesicki and a fumble lost?) – “I think that was just a miscommunication on the offense. It’s not on one person. It’s just an offensive mistake there and that’s something that can’t happen. Especially down there in the red zone going into score, great field position. Just a mistake that we made.”

(Was the timing of the whole play off by misalignment? Was that sort of G/T Robert Hunt thought he was giving you the correct time to snap it but the timing of the whole thing was off?) – “So, I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked at it yet. It wasn’t really much of a discussion. I kind of moved on from that. I’m not 100 percent sure so it’s going to be tough for me to give you a direct answer for that right now.”

(What was the impact of that play psychologically on the team would you say?) – “I think you and the fans probably felt that. I’ve played a lot of football and when those types of things happen, that’s why it’s important to move on and regroup. There’s always highs and lows in the game. It’s extremely tough when you shoot yourself in the foot like that especially close to the end of the half.”

(There were a few plays people had alignment issues. Any common element …?) – “It’s tough for me to say. As far as alignment goes, I’m the closet one on the ball. Everybody else is offset unless a receiver is on the line. When I’m looking at a defense, it’s almost like him standing here from me so it’s hard for me to see that and we’ve got so much going on in a game pressures-wise, what they’re doing on defense. For an offensive line, we take care of what we do in the game and as far as alignment goes and things like that, I don’t know what happened.”

(Without the benefit of reviewing the film, what is your sort of first-blush feeling about how the offensive line as a group performed in today’s game?) – “Not well enough. We lost so there’s really no moral victories. But I would say that there’s always positive things we do. You got to take some on the chin and this is one of them. I think moving forward, you have to improve on what you do well and you definitely have to correct what you’ve done wrong and things that you’re not doing right. But today’s performance probably, I’m sure there will be some things in film that we’ll see that we liked doing and there’s going to be some things that we didn’t.”

CB Xavien Howard

(You guys were able to have some success against them in the first half. What were some things that were working for you guys early?) – “We had some great play calling from the coaches. I think we were getting back a little bit to what we were doing last year with the coverage we were playing.”

(In the second half, they had three third-down plays that didn’t go your way. What were some things that were not happening for you guys?) – “We couldn’t get off the field. On third down, we expect to get off the field and give the ball back to the offense and we couldn’t do that today.”

(You said it was getting back to what you were doing last year in what way?) – “On the coverage calling.”

(More man-heavy?) – “Yeah.”

(Can you break down the touchdown to Bills WR Stefon Diggs?) – “It was good play calling there from the offense. They were able to do a lot of great play calling over there. We were in Cover Zero and he came down on a tight split and just ran a bang eight.”

(Do you guys feel like you get enough from the offense each and every week to go toe-to-toe with these other teams?) – “I feel like it’s on all three phases. We’ve got to make plays, everybody as one. Everybody from all three phases has got to make plays.”

(What happened the play before the touchdown when Bills WR Cole Beasley threw that pass? What was going on there you broke it up?)  – “I think it was a screen-and-go. I ended up seeing the screen-and-go and ended up just trying to make a play on the ball.”

(What’s the vibe in there right now?) – “The vibe in there, we just got to stick together and we got to keep good practices. We’ve just got to keep going.”

(With as well as you guys played through the first call it, two-and-a-half, three quarters, what can that do for your team’s confidence moving forward as you try to stick together?) – “I feel like we can compete with the big dogs. That’s a great team over there. They’ve got great players over there. I would say we just have to keep being consistent and making plays.”

Postgame – Buffalo

S Jevon Holland

(Any thoughts on the first half? You guys pretty much had your will defensively against them. Anything happen in the second half that changed that?) – “I think in the first half we came out strong. We played how we think we can play and you guys saw that. That’s a good team so in the second half they went in the locker room and did their thing. They executed and we got to learn how to finish.”

(Talking to … You guys are 1-7, what’s the outlook of the locker room? How are you guys feeling? Are you guys still motivated? Tell me about it.) – “We’re in the NFL, this is week-by-week. You lose games, you win games. It is what it is. You move on to the next week so that’s what we’re doing every week.”

(What was happening with Buffalo WR Cole Beasley in that second half? It looked like they went to him an awful lot and they were effective with it.) – “Yeah, I mean, you probably got to ask them because they were executing and were throwing him the ball. They were finding him in open gaps and that’s what it is.”

TE Mike Gesicki

(Can you walk us through that play right before half?) – “It was just miscommunication. That’s all it is. Just got to be better with that.”

(Were you telling WR Jaylen Waddle to stay on the other side of the field there?) – “Yeah, there was just some misalignment. We’ve just got to get lined up.”

(With Robert doing – it was a … so Robert was telling the center to snap the ball…?) – “Correct.”

(I guess outside of the miscommunication why was that so disappointing?) – “That’s all it is. Yeah, that’s just miscommunication and we’ve just got to be able to line up and not make negative plays against ourselves.”

(So it looked on the replay like the ball hit you in the chest?) – “Correct.”

(What I wanted to ask you is what was going through your mind as…?) – “Get the ball. Try to get the ball. Do whatever you can to get the ball. We got points right there – obviously there was a chance to get points at the end of the half and we don’t get them. So that’s all 11. It’s not one guy. It’s not two guys. It’s all 11 guys. We’ve got to get lined up right. We’ve got to – snap count – all that kind of stuff. So that’s kind of been the story so far because we’ve got a lot of talent. We’ve got a good football team. I say every week to you guys, we’re that close and that’s how close we are.”

(What was the mental effect of that play on the team going into halftime?) – “We were fine. Bounced back.”

(Just for clarity sake you were not expecting the ball – you were not expecting to be snapped the ball, right?) – “Do I look like jet sweep type of player? (laughter) No.”

(What’d you think of QB Tua Tagovailoa’s performance today?) – “Good. I like playing with Tua. I think he’s tough as nails. He bounces back. I think everybody is probably writing us off at the start of the fourth quarter and we go down there and we get a drive, get a two-point conversion, convert on a fourth down. He steps up in the pocket, makes plays, quarterback sneak for a touchdown. So people are going to talk bad about him, people are going to say all the negative stuff; but Tua is just going to keep coming to work. He’s going to keep doing what he has to do and I’m going to keep supporting him week-in and week-out.”

(Tell us about that fourth-down play – the 40-yarder?) – “I say it every week. Just got to make the most of your opportunities when they present themselves. I had an opportunity and I made the most of it.”

(Why is it that this offense – it seems like there’s not passes really – not no, but very, very few passes longer than 15, 20 yards being thrown?) – “We’ve got it in the playbook. We call them. Some defenses take it away. I don’t know if I’m really the right guy to ask that question.”

(Walk us through that completion on fourth down – the 40-yard catch.) – “Yeah, that was what I just said. So every week I say the same thing to you guys. You’ve just got to make the most of your opportunities when they present themselves. That was an opportunity on fourth down. Made the most of it. Tua (Tagovailoa) gave a great ball like I just said, stepped up in the pocket, made a big play on fourth down, gave me an opportunity and if I have an opportunity to make a catch I’ve got to go up and get it. And we were able to score a touchdown that drive, get a two-point conversion and kind of get some momentum going back our way.”

(The start of the second half you were trying to get – it looked like you were trying to get people lined up properly. Why were the issues today that…?) – “I don’t – I wish I had that answer for you. We just like I said earlier, miscommunication. Not getting lined up right, maybe it was not hearing personnels. I don’t know what it was honestly. But like I said earlier, it’s not one guy. It’s not two guys. It’s all 11 guys. We’ve all got to take that responsibility, take that accountability and we’ve got to come back tomorrow, learn from everything and Wednesday have the best practice of the year. Thursday, have a better practice. Friday, have an even better practice. Have a phenomenal week of preparation to put us in position on Sunday to get a win because that’s what we need right now.”

Head Coach Brian Flores

(On the play before halftime what happened?) – “Yeah, just miscommunication, lack of execution. Obviously, it was a big play in the game. We struggle at the end of halves with turnovers and unfortunately, we got one again today. We lost out on points that ended up being big points in the game.”

(After that, you guys came out three-and-out three times in the third quarter. Did you think that had some lasting effect for you guys?) – “Look our guys, they bounce back. I think it was more execution on Buffalo’s part and lack of execution on our part. Got to give them credit. At the end of the day, especially in the second half we didn’t move the ball efficiently enough. Especially those first three drives. Got it going on that fourth drive, I believe, when Mike (Gesicki) caught the long ball on fourth down. But just didn’t make enough plays.”

(Since we are on that play you were going to call timeout – you came down to the official like you might call timeout. What were you seeing?) – “I went down there; I saw us lined up in position to motion. I looked at the clock. Looked like we had enough time. Between the snap, it hit Mike (Gesicki) and it was just a bad play.”

(There were other plays where players had trouble getting into the right alignment. Was there a common thread to any of this?) – “Yeah, just overall miscommunication.”

(From QB Tua Tagovailoa to players? Or from…?) – “Everyone kind of plays a role in that. You never want to put it on one guy. Getting the call, getting the alignment, getting the shift, getting the motion. With the crowd noise just, we didn’t execute. We ended up kind of going to more just standard formations with less shifting and motions later in the game.”

(What did you think of QB Tua Tagovailoa’s play today?) – “Again, I know there are some plays he wishes he had back. The one before the half for sure and then the interception. But he made some good throws. I thought we moved the ball decently in the first half, got some first downs in the run game, threw some good balls to (DeVante) Parker and got (Mike) Gesicki on that fourth down. I thought he did some good things but overall, not enough.”

(What’s your message to the team at 1-7? Obviously, playoffs are always the aspiration but at 1-7 at pretty much the halfway point of the season, what are you telling players at this point?) – “I’m telling them to – I thought the guys fought. It’s a good team. I though they fought. I thought they played hard. I thought they played with great effort. But we’ve got to make more plays. I think it’s things that we can definitely get fixed. A shift and a motion and an alignment error. Some other things that we missed in a game. Some missed alignments defensively as well. If we can do some of those things on a more consistent basis, it will definitely go a long way to have the results we want.”

(What do you think the disconnect is week-to-week? I know you’re getting tired of answering questions about what’s the margin from Week 2 to now. What do you think the disconnect is?) – “It’s something different really every week. I think it’s drops, not getting aligned, not having enough guys defensively – I know that happened one time. Just overall miscommunication.”

(How does your postgame routine differ maybe after a loss than it would after a win?) – “As far as watching the game and going through that routine? Nothing really changes. There’s always good plays, bad plays, good calls, bad calls, things you kind of wish you did a little bit differently. It doesn’t really change. I think there’s always things that you wish you would have done better, win or a loss. But obviously in a loss those plays, those calls, those situations from players and coaches is something that you sit there and go, ‘Hey, if we had done this, this and this we may have a different outcome.’”
(What about immediately after a game? What is your usual routine after a game? Do you speak to the team or…?)- “Yeah, speak to the team, tell them my thoughts on the game and go talk to our trainer and talk about some injuries and how guys are doing. That’s really the routine.”

(Was there, given that normally when we speak to you before most of the players and today you come in later, is there anything we should know? Did you have an extended talk with the team or anything that you can tell us?) – “Like always, my conversations with players I try to keep confidential. Players, coaches – I keep them confidential. There’s always conversations. Today I really just kind of sat there. Sitting there, it’s a tough loss, it’s a number of losses in a row so I just figured we’d let the players go.”

(Were there conversations with Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen Ross or General Manager Chris Grier after this game?) – “Yeah, I always talk to Steve (Ross) and Chris (Grier) after the game. But again, those conversations are between them and I.”

(Do you have any concerns about your job security moving forward?) – “I’m just worried about the players. I’m worried about the players. I’m worried getting them better, helping them improve so no.”

(It was mentioned on the CBS broadcast that WR Preston Williams did not come due to discipline. Can you tell us anything about his future with the team?) – “Yeah, for disciplinary reasons he wasn’t on the trip. Obviously, we will revisit that in the morning and talk through it. I expect him to be with us.”

(With the trade deadline coming up, are you guys a quarterback away here? Are you guys going to make a trade or are you going down the same path and not doing anything?) – “Like I’ve said, Tua (Tagovailoa) is our quarterback. Tua is our quarterback.”

(Beyond that, what about the other direction? At 1-7 is there any pressure from the front office to start offloading players and become sellers at the deadline?) – “Those are conversations I’ll have with Chris (Grier) tomorrow. Right now, I’m really kind of focused on the game we just had, the things we need to improve on and get better to turn this thing around.”Tua Tagovailoa – October 31, 2021 (Postgame)

Sunday, October 31, 2021
Postgame – Buffalo

QB Tua Tagovailoa

(On that snap before the end before halftime, what happened there? What was the miscommunication?) – “Yeah, miscommunication with getting guys set and then obviously the game clock going down. That was just bad football there. Bad operation.”

(How would you describe your game today?) – “It wasn’t up to par. That’s what I would say. We obviously didn’t win so it’s kind of how I judge a lot of how we do; not just myself but offensively. It’s kind of how we judge our games based off the outcome.”

(Why were there problems getting players in the proper alignment?) – “Different personnels, different groupings. It’s tough in a loud environment and we knew that that’s what was going to give us some problems, is just trying to communicate and getting that. Some guys are hearing different things and that’s just something we’ve got to fix.”

(I think you said you first got back from IR that this team needed to do a better a job getting its playmakers involved early. With WR DeVante Parker’s first game back how do you feel like you guys accomplished that?) – “I think we could’ve did a lot more with that, with incorporating DeVante (Parker) and then Mike (Gesicki), some of our other guys. But this is a good defense. They know where their problems are. They know who our playmakers are as well and they play really sound, really physical up front and there’s not need for much communication in the back end for them so it’s a veteran group and they make it tough for teams to play against them.”

(On that play just before the half was WR Jaylen Waddle supposed to go in motion? Was he supposed set up on the right side to begin with?) – “Yeah, like I said just miscommunication. We were supposed to get guys set, but obviously just the miscommunication of ‘this is what I heard, this is what I heard from me’ and I’ve got to do a better job communicating that out to our tight ends so that they can communicate it out to the receivers and so forth.”

(This is another week where you guys were able to move the ball first drive, second and third quarter really can’t convert, obviously the end of the first half you were able to get down to the red zone, but is it something during the week where maybe you guys aren’t keying in on something or what’s the reason why it’s just these lulls in the middle of the game and then you’re able to move the ball late?) – “I don’t know. I wouldn’t question anything we do throughout practice. I think we work really, really hard. We work extremely hard. We prepare extremely hard as a team. Unfortunately it hasn’t been going our way and the way we want it to, but just got to keep going.”

(The completion to TE Mike Gesicki for the 40-yard pass. That was your longest in the NFL so far. Why are there so few instances where you’re throwing longer than 15, 20, 30 yards?) – “That’s what I’m given as far as guys that are open and if it’s not a matchup that I like outside and I want the play to develop, I’m going to take what the defense gives me. I’m not going to try to force anything and then obviously the interception just trying to push the ball downfield to try to give us a shot to either kick a field goal or score a touchdown.”

(What was the mood like in the locker room? How’s everybody feeling after this one?) – “It’s tough when you lose. That’s what I’d say. It’s tough when you lose, but like I’ve said in previous interviews the guys are a great bunch. Great bunch of guys and no one’s keeping their head down. Just got to keep going. Just got to keep going. So we’ll come in tomorrow, see what we need to clean up and fix and we’ll go from there.”

(What do you feel like you need to do to – I know you said you’re confident in your place on this team, but what do you feel like you need to do to just really cement your status as future quarterback or quarterback of the future?) – “I don’t think I have to do anything beyond the means of what the play gives me. So I’m not going to go out there and try to be a hero every play. If the play tells me to hand the ball off, that’s what I’m going to do. If the play tells me to read a defender, that’s what I’m going to do.”

(The trade deadline is Tuesday. Do you have any thoughts on how it’ll play out?) – “I really don’t. I haven’t even thought of that.”

(All these rumors over the last month, months. Even earlier this year. You’ve got two more days I guess to kind of let it sink in or let it fester some more. How do you kind of approach the next two days before the week comes up?) – “I think you approach it the same way you approach any game. I don’t think this trade deadline to me really means anything. I’m going to continue to work my butt off in our meetings and try to see the things that we can fix to help us win this upcoming week.”

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