Miami Dolphins Transcripts and Video – October 16 – Head Coach Brian Flores, DE Shaq Lawson, S Bobby McCain and G/T Robert Hunt

DE Shaq Lawson

(What was it like sitting out, watching the team perform such a good performance against the 49ers, and how hard have you worked to get back?) – “Those guys went out there and executed last week. It was great to see those guys do great out there. I missed my brothers out there. I wanted to be out there with those boys; but unfortunately I wasn’t. But watching those guys last week, man, just gave me juice and stuff.”

(Just as a follow up to that, what type of competitiveness does DT Zach Sieler bring on the line? Obviously we’ve seen him more and more over these past few games.) – “Zach (Sieler) is a guy that works hard. The first day I met Zach – he works hard, he’s about his business, he brings high energy every day. I just like his work ethic. Having him around, especially around young players, is great for all of us because we can feed off Zach.”

(Do you expect to be able to play on Sunday?) – “Shoot. I’m taking it one day at a time. Just taking it one day at a time. Hopefully. I want to.”

S Bobby McCain

(You’ve been here about as long as anybody on the team now really. I wanted to get your take on where this team is in terms of a long-range vision – I know you’re looking at the Jets game on Sunday – but I want to get your take on where you think this team is in terms of its long-term building toward being a perennial contender.) – “I’m going to be honest, man; we’re just trying to take it one day at a time right now. I’m not looking too forward into 2020. I’m not looking too forward into 2021. We’re really focused on the Jets and we try to keep those long-term thoughts and where people think we’re supposed to be, where we think we’re supposed to be, to a minimum and just try to focus on getting one win this week. So sorry, I can’t answer that question.”

(You obviously feel good about all the guys you’ve played with as teammates, but do you think as the secondary is right now with you and S Eric Rowe and CB Xavien Howard and CB Byron Jones, obviously CB Nik Needham and CB Jamal Perry in slot in nickel packages; is this the best you’ve ever felt about this group in terms of what you could be and what you are?) – “Definitely – we’ve definitely got trust in one another. I’ve got a lot of trust in those guys. Those guys have got a lot of trust in me and doing our job and being where they’re supposed to be, so as long as we work collectively and we work together, we’re all on the same page and we all make sure that we’re playing good football, eliminating bad football; it’ll be fine for us.”

(I wanted to ask you to kind of piggyback off that question. You had CB Byron Jones, CB Xavien Howard and yourself out there for more than 50 percent of the snaps for the first time this last Sunday. Just kind of wanted to get a temperature check as far as where you think the communication is between the three of you guys and yourself in that secondary.) – “Pretty good. Pretty good, man. We communicate a lot. We communicate well with each other. I try to make sure everybody’s on the same page. We all try to make sure we’re in the same – in the right calls, so we can execute the right plan. That’s our job at the end of the day, is to talk to one another and communicate and defend the deep part of the field and tackle well. That’s all in our job description.”

G/T Robert Hunt

(What was Offensive Line Coach Steve Marshall’s recap of the game to you in terms of how you did? What was he happy with, and what areas did he want you to improve on?) – “Everybody was excited about the win. That was pretty much the main focus. Everybody was excited about the win. We definitely, on that right side, all of us can improve on some things. We try to focus on the things we can improve on, just little nicks and knacks, whatever that is.”

(Was practice any different this week for yourself, knowing that you got the start this Sunday? You know you’re going into this week with that group versus last week where there was some not sureness to who was going to be playing.) – “No. I think that we all practice the same. I think that practice has been really good the last couple of weeks. I think we’ve been preparing really well. I think we just continued to do that this week. I think we had a really good week or preparation.”

(At what point did the jitters go away about making your first start? Or did you not have them because you’ve been on so many overloaded power packages?) – “I can definitely say I was – I wouldn’t say nervous, but it’s just a feeling you get before the game. I figured I was going to be playing a lot of time. I wouldn’t say nervous, but little feelings in my stomach. I talk myself up. I’m a guy who talks myself up, so I talked to myself and when it was game time, it was game time. It was there then, so I couldn’t do anything about it, but try to play well.”

(Looking at you and G Solomon Kindley on the right side, they say that for the left-handed quarterback, the right side is the blind side. I feel like with you and Solomon, I feel like QB Tua Tagovailoa will probably be protected really well as you guys develop here. Was there a point where you and Solomon looked at each other and thought this is the future of the Miami Dolphins right side of the line, me and him? And if we continue to keep playing, and developing this could be a bright future for both of us?) – “No. I wouldn’t say that, I wouldn’t say we think about it. I think everybody just tries to compete well and play hard and protect anybody, whether it’s (Ryan) Fitzpatrick or Tua. I think everybody tries to do that. Of course, I think me and Solomon did have fun/ I think we did have fun. I don’t think we like, ‘this is us right now.’ I think we were just in the moment, and we were trying to play well, and I think we did that.”

(Obviously you can play guard as well, but do you see your long-term future as a tackle in the NFL? Is that where you would prefer your future to be?) – “I’m the type of guy that wherever the coach needs me to play, or needs me to stick in, I think I’ll stick in there. I think I can play tackle well, I think I can play guard well. I think it’s a blessing that I was blessed with and wherever our coach or anybody needs me to play, that’s where I’ll stick.”

(What would you say is the next step of the development of this young line?) – “Just learning the game and getting better each week. Each week we can learn new things, just watching our veterans and watching the older guys and watching ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and how he prepares. All of us – with time, this line will mature and I think we’ll be fine just taking it day by day and trying to learn from everyone.”

(You’re one of the few guys in football who has experience playing with a lefty at Louisiana. What was that like, and just knowing that in the future, you’re going to be doing that here? Does that experience help playing with QB Levi Lewis out there in Louisiana?) – “It’s crazy. I really didn’t even think about it. While I was playing, I didn’t think about, ‘oh, I’m blocking for a lefty.’ It never really hit me. I was just out there blocking, trying to do my job the right way. I think that’s going to be my – I think I’ll have the same mentality for however long I can play this game. No matter who I’m blocking for, just when I can block, just do my job.”

(Some say for rookie offensive linemen, pass blocking might be a little bit easier than run blocking might come first in a way. Has that been the case for you? Has run blocking been a little bit more of a challenge? Have you, T Austin Jackson and G Solomon Kindley talked about that?) – “No, we haven’t talked about it. I think as a player, you know your strengths and weaknesses. I think I can run block well, and I think I can pass block well. Coming from college, I did a lot of run blocking, so I’m very comfortable with that. I think as time goes on and as I keep improving and we all keep improving, I think I’ll do well at pass blocking.”

Head Coach Brian Flores

(Do you expect LB Kyle Van Noy and DE Shaq Lawson to play Sunday? And also, if DT Davon Godchaux goes on IR, do you know yet who is going to be replacing him on the 53?) – “Yes, Godchaux is going to go on IR this evening. We’re still working through who we would potentially bring up or flex, so that’s where we’re at on that front. Shaq and Kyle, they were limited today and they’ll be listed as questionable. We’ll just work through that. It may be a pregame workout. We’ll just see how they progress today, tomorrow and up until game time.”

(I was reading something where one of your players, DT Zach Sieler, participates in some extracurricular activities. Just your thoughts on your players’ other interests outside of football, and I know he has aspirations of hunting. The second part of that question is do you have any aspirations of joining him on some of these extracurricular activities of hunting. I know you’re a city boy like myself, so I just wanted to know.) – “Well, being a city boy, you would probably know my answer to that one. (laughter) I’ve never hunted. Look, I support our players and whatever they do off the field. I know Zach’s got a lot of interests off the field. I think it’s part of why he’s the person that he is, which he’s fun-loving, a joy to be around, tough, competitive. I’m sure he’s a competitive hunter. I mean I haven’t had very many conversations with him about that because I don’t have much to bring to that conversation. I’ve never been hunting. But yeah, I support all of these guys and what they do outside of football. I think that’s a big part of who they are. They’re not just ballplayers. They’ve got lives and things outside of football. Maybe I’ll go out there one time with him and he can show me the ropes from a hunting standpoint; but like you, I’ve never done it before.”

(We know what was going on yesterday and that you made a run obviously at RB Le’Veon Bell. Was there any point when you had kind of the juices flowing and you thought you had a real good shot of landing him? Where were you on all of that?) – “I mean my juices are flowing trying to get prepared for the Jets. That’s kind of where all of my energy has been. (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and our personnel staff, (Assistant General Manager) Marvin (Allen) and (Vice President of Football Administration) Brandon (Shore), they handle things of that nature; and really I would say during the week, it’s not even worth talking to me about because I’m doing red zone or two-minute or the run game or some situation. I let those guys handle it. I get updates throughout the day on whatever it is. That was the big story yesterday. But I wasn’t really too involved in that, to be honest with you.”

(I have a follow up on DT Zach Sieler. Yesterday we were talking to him and he informed us that he lives out of an RV during the regular season. So a two-part question, were you aware of that? Did you know that some teammates visit him at the RV? And in any of your past experiences coaching at any stint, had you heard of a player living in some type of temporary housing like an RV? We just thought it was a really cool story.) – “I did know about the RV. This is the first player that I’ve been aware of that has an RV. Again, Zach is – we love him here. I think he embodies a lot of the characteristics we’re looking for. Everyone makes decisions on where they want to live. We don’t have any – I’m supportive of whatever he wants to do. I don’t really have much more to add.”

(Although General Manager Chris Grier, Assistant General Manager Marvin Allen and Vice President of Football Administration Brandon Shore handle the front office kind of things, RB Le’Veon Bell still decided between Miami and Kansas City. What does that say? You guys were able to land free agents in the offseason and big-time players are deciding with you in the mix. What does that mean for you that big-time players are considering your team and maybe the direction that you guys are going towards?) – “Again, Chris, Marvin and the personnel staff, they handle most of that. I would say it says a lot about the job that they’re doing. But again, right now I’m just trying to figure out a way to continue to prepare and get ready for the Jets. That’s where my focus is. That’s where it’s been really the entire week. As far as what it says, I really don’t have a – it’s not really something I’ve thought about. My focus has just been on the Jets.”

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