Miami Dolphins Transcripts – October 12 – LB Jaelan Phillips, G/T Jesse Davis, T Liam Eichenberg and S Brandon Jones

T Liam Eichenberg

(How’d you feel going back to left tackle? Obviously a position you’re very familiar with from years in college and even Week 1.) – “It was great. It was a great opportunity to get back out there at left tackle. Just take a little bit more time to get back in the swing of things, get back in the groove. It’s tackle – right or left. I’m excited just to be able to play.”

(Can you talk about the excitement of going to London and if there is something you’d want to experience? Have you been to London before and just the trip itself?) – “I think the biggest thing for our team is not to get distracted in regards to this trip. I think the most important thing is going over there and focusing on what we need to focus on, which is winning a football game. And kind of coming together and focusing on our responsibility. That’s the only focus for me. I think my parents were going to go, but I’m not sure if they are still going or not. That’s about it.”

(I know you are oftentimes focused on your own assignment, but T Austin Jackson moving over to guard right next to you. What did you notice out of him in that switch, which he said he hadn’t done since the Army All-American Bowl as a high school senior. What did you think of him at guard?) – “I thought he did a great job. For him, playing there for the first time, especially at this level in the National Football League. I thought he did a good job. He’s strong, athletic. He’s a great football player. I think he attacked that the best he could and he put some good film out there. I thought it was good for him. I was happy to see he did well.”

(The offensive coaching staff had a streamlining process of calling the plays this week that they incorporated. I don’t know if you even knew about that or noticed it but it was just Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends George Godsey going straight to QB Jacoby Brissett. Did you notice anything? Any difference in the efficiency of it, having more time, that the offense had with the play?) – “I couldn’t notice, if I’m being honest. I’m in the huddle and then whatever play Jacoby says, I just run. That’s a question for Jacoby. I couldn’t tell you. I thought the game was called well, I thought our offense executed. Obviously there is stuff we need to clean up and that’s what we’re doing this week. We’re reviewing the film and trying to fix what we did incorrectly.”

G/T Jesse Davis

(How did it feel on Sunday making another move going back to right tackle? How do you think the offensive line performed as a whole?) – “Yeah, there is some familiarity over there so it didn’t feel too bad. I think the o-line, I think we’re getting better. Obviously there are a lot of things to work on. But I’m just focused on getting better myself.”

(With you being a veteran and captain, have you given much advice to T Liam Eichenberg on playing tackle and handling all the responsibilities that he has right now?) – “Yeah, he’ll come to me with some stuff that he wants to work on or what he thinks and what do I think. I think he’s on a good start. He plays well, he knows what he’s doing and he’s got good technique. We just have to finish as a group. We’ve got to keep blocking guys longer. I think he’s doing good.”

(Given that you’ve gone through so many changes on the offensive line this season, how would you feel if this five were the five that has a string of games together where you can really get to know one another?) – “I think that’s every o-line’s goal is to play with each other and have it solidified. We’re week-to-week is kind of how we handle this. Who’s the best we got and we’re going to play with that. If you’re out there, then that’s who we’re playing with.”

(I wanted to get your thoughts on the London game in general. Obviously a lot goes into it with the long flight, the schedule adjustment and the time change. Just your thoughts? Do you look forward to the London game? Is it something that the players look forward to? What’s the sense of the upcoming trip?) – “We’re just treating it like another game. Obviously, it has its challenges with travel, sleep and everything else but we try not to look too much into that. I think we are just focused on our opponent and how we are going to get better as a unit.”

(On offense, the coaching staff had this streamlining process of just having one voice go to the quarterback. I know it doesn’t change much for you because you just hear from the QB himself. Did you find it more efficient and Head Coach Brian Flores talked about the time that the offense had with the call, did you find that helpful?) – “Yeah, I have no clue about what you’re talking about. I think the communication was better this game for sure. I think we were more focused on our opponent and how we were going to block that up. I think it went well.”

(Yesterday Head Coach Brian Flores said that he saw QB Tua Tagovailoa doing some throwing, that he looked good and he’s working his way back. I was curious what you’ve seen out of Tua and if he is able to come back this week, what that will mean to the offense and what that will mean for the team?) – “I don’t really know too much about his situation other than when he’s ready, he’s coming back. That is the plan and we are going to run with it and we’re going to do good. I don’t know when that will be – this week, next week or two weeks – but we are focused on our opponent this week.”

S Brandon Jones

(I wanted to get your thoughts on the London game. Have you been overseas before and what’s the sense of the players? Obviously there’s a lot that goes into the London game with the time change, the flight and the schedule. What are your thoughts on the upcoming London trip?) – “I’m really excited. I’ve actually never left the country yet. I just got my passport a couple months ago. So I’m excited for that, just to get out and see some new things. Obviously, traveling and losing time is going to be huge for us. I think if we can stay on top of that as a team, that can kind of give us somewhat of an advantage. But yeah, I’m overall excited. The mission and the gameplan are still the same. We are attacking it like it’s a normal week, even though we leave on Thursday. I’m really excited to get out of the country for the first time and I think it’s going to be awesome.”

(Assuming you have the time to do this, what would be one thing that you would really like to see in London?) – “I don’t know what exactly. I’m really big on food. I love food, so getting to be able to try some different food would be cool. Obviously (fish and chips), you know what I’m saying being out there in London. I don’t know. Probably just being able to see a new environment, that’s just cool in itself. Just to be around some new things, see some different faces and different culture things and all of that. I would say the food for sure, if I get a chance, eat some of that London food out there.”

(When you look back at the film of last week, getting ready for this game. When you see what happened with the Buccaneers offense and how explosive they were able to be, do you think a lot of that was a case of QB Tom Brady being the GOAT or do you think those were mistakes that you guys made that are correctable?) – “From the defensive side of things, we are kind of an 11-piece puzzle. Everybody has to be on the same page and if one person is wrong, then we are all wrong. If we are able to get on the same page and do the same thing, it’ll easily put us in a better position than we have in the past couple weeks. At the end of the day, we just have to do a better job of executing and everybody on defense, like I said, just be on the same page and play our brand of football. We know how we want to play. We know we want to start fast. Obviously, Tampa’s offense is super explosive and they have one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady. We knew the difficulties with that, but like I said, the defense being an 11-piece puzzle, we have to come together and play as one.”

LB Jaelan Phillips

(It seems like every week you are making more and more strides. You got your first half-sack the week before and then getting your first solo sack this week, how did that feel? And having it come against QB Tom Brady, which you mentioned previously is a guy that’s been playing as long as you’ve been alive pretty much.) – “It’s funny that you ask that because people keep asking me what it felt like to sack Tom Brady. I said it before the game, your opponents are kind of nameless and faceless. So honestly to me, it didn’t really feel like anything more than just a sack. Frankly, we’re not getting it done on defense so me getting a sack in a game doesn’t really mean too much in the grand scheme of things. I just think we need to keep improving. I need to keep improving what I’m doing, my technique and my assignments, and we definitely need to keep improving as a defense.”

(Just wanted to get your thoughts on the trip to London. Have you been overseas before? What is your excitement level? As a player, obviously there’s a lot of travel involved and it’s a long flight. Are you looking forward to the trip? Are you kind of dreading the flight? What are your thoughts on the game itself and the trip coming up?) – “I’m definitely looking forward to it. So my aunt, Shawnee, was stationed out in Germany. She was in the Army. She was in the band in the Army. So my sister and I, when I was probably 11 or 12 years old, flew out to Germany and we did like a trans-Euro trip where we went from like the Netherlands to Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, France. I’ve actually never been to the U.K. but I’ve always wanted to so I’m super excited. I love traveling. I think we’re like an hour away from London, so it’s not like we get to do a bunch of touristy things, which would have been cool. I’m definitely excited to go. It will be fun.”

(You mentioned that you wanted to sort of pick things up collectively on defense to get more pressure, so what does it take for a defense to get more rush? Is it individual guys winning their matchup? Is it scheme? How do you think the guys can more effectively put pressure on this week that can lead to a win?) – “I think most importantly, we have to stop the run on early downs. We have to stop the leaky yardage and that way we can get to those get-back-on-track and passing scenarios. Then once we do have those opportunities, it’s about coordinating the rush between the ends and the tackles, and just getting everything how it’s supposed to be. Like I said, we’ll just keep working to come together as a group and keep improving on what we’re doing, and just keep it pushing.”

(Going back to training camp and even some of the game weeks, in the media viewing portion of practice, sometimes we notice that you are working alone with a couple of coaches during position groups. Is there something specific you guys work on in those instances or is it as simple as you’re kind of a hybrid edge defender so it’s not like you’re only an outside linebacker or only a defensive end? You’re kind of in a position of your own.) – “I wouldn’t say that necessarily because we’ve got guys who do multiple things. But for me, just working with the coaches individually, you know I’m a young guy. I haven’t had any experience in the league. So for me, it’s really essential for me to get my techniques and fundamentals down because if I don’t have those, then I can’t do anything. So I make sure to work extra with the coaches and they’ve done a great job of making sure that they’re on me constantly to just try to hone in and hone in. It takes 100,000 reps or something like that to perfect it. So for me, I’m just getting started really and just trying to hone in on my craft.”

(I have a question for you about the University of Miami. Obviously with the news that Tyler Van Dyke is going to be the starting quarterback, you spent a year with him. I just wanted to get your thoughts on Tyler after spending the year with him and what were your impressions of him?) – “Yeah, ‘TVD’ is awesome. He’s a great kid. He’s hungry and very poised. I remember when he came in last year, he seemed like he was older than his years. I think last game he did pretty well and kind of got into the flow of things, so I can only expect him to go up from there and keep getting better. I think the Canes are definitely in good hands with ‘TVD.’”

(I found it very interesting that getting your first full sack on QB Tom Brady, you’re not thinking about the opponent. But it’s also Tom Brady. I understand right now you are in the middle of the season, but do you think 20-25 years from now, you’re going to look back and say ‘I got the GOAT. My first sack was against Tom Brady.’) – “Oh trust me, I got the game ball from equipment afterwards. (laughter) Like I said, the more important thing here is us improving as a team and as a defense. But yeah, obviously that’s definitely something you tell your grandkids. I’ve been jersey swapping every week so I have this vision when I’m older and have my bigger house and I’ve got my little man cave, I’m going to have all the jerseys hung up and all of the collections I have. That ball will definitely be a staple in the collection.”

(I have to follow up by asking you more about the jersey swapping. Tell me some of the guys you have so far and if you had your choice of two or three guys in the NFL, who I could hand deliver to you right now, what jerseys would they be?) – “So the first week I didn’t do anybody. I don’t know anybody on the Patriots. But then Greg (Rousseau) against the Bills, I had to get his jersey. Kolton Miller against the Raiders, I played with him at UCLA so I got his jersey. Bobby Okereke on the Colts, he hosted me on my first official visit to Stanford, so I got his jersey. Then last week I got K.J. Britt, who I was at The Opening and the Rivals camps and stuff with. Then two guys I really want are Von Miller, just because he’s a guy that I’ve looked up to for a long time and we’ve actually had a couple of back and forths on Instagram and stuff. So that would be really cool to get his jersey. And then I would say probably somebody like JJ Watt or somebody. One of these elite d-ends that I’ve been watching since I was a kid. That would be really cool to get their jersey.”

(Sticking to the Canes angle, you mentioned swapping with Gregory Rousseau. Did you get a chance to watch what he was able to do on Sunday Night Football with the Bills?) – “Oh yeah, I was watching it live when he got that. And I was with ‘GB’ (Gilbert Frierson) and Nesta Silvera, so we were going crazy when we saw that. That was awesome.”

(You’re really navigating this first year in the league together from afar. How often do you guys keep in touch? How much do you and Gregory Rousseau talk about what you’re going through and whatnot?) – “We talk now and then. Greg and I didn’t play together, so we didn’t have that bond. Like we weren’t ever super close. But we just have a mutual respect for each other and I definitely tap in with him to see how he’s doing. Quincy Roche is somebody who I obviously was really close to because we got to play together. He was somebody who I talk to basically every week and just see how things are going up there and he asks the same thing. I love keeping tabs on the guys that I play with and I just want to see everybody have great success.”

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