Miami Dolphins Transcripts and Video – November 20 – Head Coach Brian Flores, RB Salvon Ahmed and DT Benito Jones

Head Coach Brian Flores

(Opening statement.) – “I just want to send our thoughts and prayers to Jake Scott and his family. Obviously he was a great player for some of the greatest teams – the greatest team ever – and played an integral part on those teams, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

(Could you please give us an update on the two guys who were limited Wednesday and Thursday? LB Kyle Van Noy and G Solomon Kindley?) – “Yeah, both those guys are limited; questionable for the game. Solomon (Kindley) with the foot and Kyle (Van Noy) with the hip, so limited and questionable.”

(Now that you’ve concluded practice for this week, you were able to get several coaches back on top of getting a few back last week. Just how more complete did the coaching staff feel this week now that you’ve got those guys back?) – “It’s always good to get those guys back. They’re obviously a big part of our team. Just good to see them out there. Good to see them healthy and safe. Players were excited to see them, I was excited to see them and they just jumped right back in and they had been in a lot of the meetings from a virtual standpoint, so it’s good to see them in-person face-to-face on the practice field. So always good to be back at full strength from a coaching and playing standpoint.”

(It’s sort of a piggyback question. One, there’s a kind of legendary video of you on draft day when you guys selected DT Raekwon Davis and you’re holding your hand out and blocking and showing emotion. Where did that come from and what kind of improvement do you hope to see from him in the second half of the season?) – “I don’t know if there’s anything legendary about me. I was excited obviously to get Raekwon (Davis). We got him. He’s improving on really a daily basis. It’s important to him, he’s competitive, we’ll continue to work with him. He’s probably never seen me smile, so he can go back and look at that and spend time thinking about whether or not that’s the same guy who he deals with on a daily basis. I’m not sure he feels that, just to be quite frank. (laughter)”

(I know we’ve asked you about the cold weather. What’s your experience with playing at altitude? How big an adjustment do you think it is, especially coming from sea level, and what’s the key?) – “I think every stadium, every environment’s a little bit different. Obviously teams come here and deal with heat, humidity; we’ll go to Denver and deal with altitude in a little bit different, a little colder weather. But honestly, the players on the Broncos pose more of a threat than I would say the altitude or the weather. They’ve got very good players. They’ve got a very good skill group. They’ve got good defensive players, they’ve got good coaches. They’re tops in the league defensively in some of the most critical categories: red zone, third down, sacks. So my message to the team is the players on the Broncos pose much more of a threat than the altitude. We did a little bit extra conditioning. It’s just something we have to deal with being on the road. I’d like to think we’ll be able to – it’ll be an adjustment, but we’ve got to make that adjustment. That’s just part of playing football in the National Football League.”

(I don’t think we asked you about Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay and RB Melvin Gordon this week. How big of a challenge do those two guys present to you in stopping the run game?) – “Yeah, you guys haven’t asked me much about this team. This is a good football team. Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, (KJ) Hamler, (Jerry) Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, good o-line, talented quarterback, top defense, Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, (Bradley) Chubb. We’re not talking much about them. This is a good football team. We’ve stressed that to our team. They’re well-coached. They’re hungry for a win, so this is going to be a tough, tough test. We’re going to have to play well really in all three phases and this is the National Football League. We’ve got to show up every week. We know that. They know that. Those two backs are very good as everyone knows. Very good. And they’re tough to tackle, they’re tough to – zone schemes, gap schemes, edge plays, inside runs, screen game, catching the ball out of the backfield – you name it, they can do it. These young receivers are good – very good – and we’re going to have to play well and coach well.”

DT Benito Jones

(Do you recall how many teams had interest in you after the draft, because you were obviously a high-level SEC player at a premium position?) – “I really don’t remember. I was studying almost every team during the draft, and I saw who the Miami Dolphins had as a d-line coach. Coach Pete had been working with (Outside Linebackers Coach Austin) Clark a lot, so I was pretty familiar with some of the things that Coach Clark was coaching and I just felt more comfortable coming to Miami.”

(What has this call up been like for you? Obviously you’ve been putting in a lot of work investing to get your skills better. How much does it mean to you to get this call up and opportunity?) – “I feel really blessed about it. The main thing is the coaches trust me out on the field, the players trust me on the field. That’s the main thing. If they can trust you, they’ll put you out on the field. That’s the biggest thing, just earning their trust, and every day and every week, just go out and work hard.”

(One of the things a lot of the guys talk about on this team is the hunger and the desire they have to play for each other. I’m just curious, being one of the newer call up guys, what is that like from your perspective to play for this team that is so willing to go to battle for each other like that?) – “From the first day I got here, and just getting to know everybody – ‘Coach Flo’ (Brian Flores) and the whole defensive staff – that was one of the biggest MOs, just trying to play hard for each other. We’re a family. That was the main thing. All the veterans out there, they don’t want to lose and nothing like that. Just every day we’re just going out to work.”

(When I mention the words Lane Kiffin, what comes to mind? Do you have any favorite Lane Kiffin stories?) – “I really don’t know much about him. I did play against him when I was at Ole Miss and he was at Alabama. I really don’t know too much about him. From what I heard, he was a good coach everywhere he’s been, and that’s about it.”

(What’s the feedback you’ve gotten from Defensive Line Coach Marion Hobby on how you’ve done in your snaps. Are they happy with you as a run stopper, are you happy with you in that area? And what sort of potential do you have as a pass rusher, which obviously is a commodity with guys your size as well?) – “From the first game until now, I feel more comfortable. That’s something the coaches have told me from the first game to now, that I look like a different player. Just getting out there and getting that one game in, playing a couple of games, and now you’re getting a feel of the speed of it. Now I’m adjusting and they are pretty happy with my performance now.”

(How much of a motivation is it for you to want to show all of the teams in the NFL that you should’ve been drafted?) – “It’s a big motivation, just showing them what I could’ve done and can do. That’s the thing, just go out week to week working here as a undrafted guy. Getting the ability to play, just go out there and make the best of the reps that I get.”

RB Salvon Ahmed

(Did you hear from anyone this week that you haven’t heard from in a while to congratulate you on your play last week?) – “Nah, just family. Family reaching out, friends. Everyone was happy for the team win and obviously congratulating me on my first touchdown … But not anyone out of the ordinary, no. Just regular friends, family and coaches.”

(You played in two games, both victories, and you’ve had some good yardage totals. What has Head Coach Brian Flores and the coaching staff telling you about avoiding complacency and continuing your development and improving each and every day?) – “I think that’s one of the things about this team. We take it day by day. We don’t try to look ahead and get complacent. This is a hard league to play in, and you have to come with it every week. I think we just come out here to practice and just work hard. I think that’s something our team is built on, just being able to work hard and our coaches make sure to hold us to that standard.”

(Did you know you were very close to 100 yards before that final series?) – “No. No, I didn’t. I just wanted to win. I just wanted to win the game. It was a good game against a really good opponent. They gave us a really good game. It was just fun to be a part of. I had no idea.”

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