Miami Dolphins Transcripts – September 13 – Head Coach Brian Flores, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, LB Jerome Baker, S Bobby McCain and DT Christian Wilkins

Sunday, September 13, 2020
Postgame – New England

Head Coach Brian Flores – (transcribed by New England Patriots)

(I wanted to ask your thoughts on how Ryan Fitzpatrick played today?) – “Had some spurts there where we were moving the ball, but obviously with turnovers, those are huge. We talk about that a lot as a team. It’s tough to win when you turn the ball over. But I do think he had some, put some drives together. We only finished the one. But just too many turnovers at the end of the day.”

(Coach, they ran for over 200 yards. What did you think of the run defense and the ability to stop Cam Newton running the football?) – “We’ve got to do better at run defense. Obviously the quarterback was an issue. Yeah, we’ve got to do a better job.”

(Wanted to ask you, we saw a lot of Myles Gaskin today. Was that the game plan? Was that because Jordan Howard was injured? Or was it just the plan to play him over Matt Breida today?) – “Myles (Gaskin) has practiced well. There’s a rotation there at the running back with (Jordan) Howard and Matt (Breida). (Patrick) Larid got a few snaps as well. He had a couple of good runs, some good plays in the passing game as well; so we left him in there.”

(What can you say about Jerome Baker’s day? He had the stop at the goal line with N’Keal Harry. Also had the push on Cam that led to the touchdown and then the penalty with Edelman on that final drive there. What can you say about his kind of up-and-down day?) – “It’s a team game. It’s not one guy. It’s not just Jerome (Baker) or ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick). We’ve got to do a better job as a unit and as a team offensively, defensively and in the kicking game. We didn’t do enough to win today. We’ve got to do a better job, so we’ll go back, learn from the tape. We meet on this tomorrow and then close the book on this one and move on to the next opponent.”

(Without the benefit of being able to review the game on tape, it seemed like the offensive line held up fairly well. What was your assessment from field level?) – “I thought from a protection standpoint we were okay. We had the one sack late in the game. But other than that we were able to protect. He had time in the pocket. It’s a good rush, good secondary. But again, that part of it, it’s a team game, so you can play well in one phase and not play well in enough phases. And not enough (is) not good enough.”

(What were your first impressions of Brandon Jones slotted in there in that first drive?) – “I thought he had an up-and-down game without reviewing the film. Again, he’s practiced well. We stuck him in there. I thought he made a couple good tackles in the open field and did good job in the kicking game from what I saw, but we’ll go back and learn from the tape. Again, he’s a rookie. This is his first NFL game, so he’ll learn from it just like all the other rookies.”

(Just curious, you mentioned Cam Newton’s running. How much of their 217 yards do you think was based on that and how much was just outmuscling?) – “It was based on a lot of things – bad technique, bad tackling. We’ve got to clean up a lot of things in the run game, which obviously that will be a focus this week.”

(Do you have a status update on DeVante Parker? We saw him leave and not come back.) – “He’s in there. We’ll take a look at him over the course of the week. I don’t have a status update right now, but obviously he didn’t return, so we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow and in the coming days.”

(Wanted to ask you about the last drive. Did you consider kicking a field goal earlier or was it all along you were going to go for the touchdown? And also do you think that Gesicki was (indiscernible) with that last throw?) – “We were obviously trying to score a touchdown. If we didn’t pick up the last one we would have kicked the field goal. Unfortunately the ball was picked off. Whether they made the call, didn’t make the call; there’s not much we can do. We’ve just got to live with the calls that are made or made on the field.”

(What was the view on the field of Preston Williams on those two interceptions from Fitz in the first half, the one where he kind of lost his footing, at least one of them, and one he was jammed up by Gilmore? What did you see on those plays?) – “I’ve got to go back and watch the film. All I had was the tablets. I didn’t look up for the replay. We were just kind of moving on to the defensive side of the ball. I’ll be able to tell you that probably more tomorrow.”

(How did Xavien Howard look to you, and obviously it seemed as though there was a rep range that you guys wanted to stay within. Is that right?) – “Again, I’m not going to be able to say how he looked until I watch the tape. But, yeah, we wanted to, obviously coming off the injury, no preseason, no games; just wanted to get the three guys in there along with (Jamal) Perry. So I think we got that accomplished. And I’ll be able to have a better evaluation once I watch the tape.”

(You just touched on it but without the benefit of having the preseason, I’m curious of your evaluation of kind of the first time these guys got to live tackle and their conditioning from that standpoint.) – “I felt like overall the tackling could have been better. The conditioning could have been better. Obviously without — we’re not going to make any excuses on whether we had preseason games. They didn’t have any preseason games either. But all things we can improve on. We can improve the tackling. We can improve the run defense. We can improve the conditioning. We’ll work on those things over the course of the week and we’ve got a tough opponent next week and we’ll get back to it.”

Sunday, September 13, 2020
Postgame – New England

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – (transcribed by New England Patriots)

(Ryan, just wanted to get your thoughts your play today? Obviously the three interceptions stand out to us.) – “Yeah. You can’t do that and win games in the National Football League. When you’re going against the Patriots, you know you have to take advantage of the possessions that you get and having a couple of turnovers there doesn’t help, but I thought up front we played well. I’ve got to play better in my part and then we’ll move on to next week.”

(On those turnovers, Ryan, what happened with some of those passes? It looked like tight coverage on a couple of them? Were you trying to get the pass interference calls particularly going to Gesicki?) – “Yeah, the first one was one-on-one with Preston (Williams) and ‘Steph’ (Stephon Gilmore) and there was some contact there. But that is what it is. The second one, definitely, they did a good job on that one. I threw it right to their free player in the middle of the field. And then that last one, yeah, just trying to make something happen in the end zone to try to conserve some time at the end of the game there. And sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t when you throw those type of throws.”

(What did you think about the play of your backs? It seems like Myles Gaskin got some run early on and got more workflow than what we were expecting?) – “Myles did a nice job. He broke some tackles. Not only in the run game, but in the pass game he made some nice plays, so that was exciting to see today.”

(When Preston (Williams) went out it seemed to limit you guys a bit on offense. How much of a blow was that when you lost your number one receiver – I’m sorry DeVante Parker not Preston?) – “It’s one of those things, DeVante started off doing some nice things. And we practiced with all those other guys plenty. So that’s something that happens every week in the National Football League every week. You don’t know who it’s going to be each week but definitely can’t use that as an excuse. I’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

(You mentioned earlier about the guys up front, how do you think Austin Jackson and Solomon Kindley did along with the rest of the O line?) – “I’m not sitting there watching them on every play, but I didn’t really get touched a whole lot back there and just in terms of their mood and mentality and the way they were in the huddle, I thought that was all really good to see. Definitely a different vibe out there with no fans, but those guys were into it. And from what I can tell I thought they did a nice job.”

(I know a lot of what your receivers do well is lot of those jump ball situations, but looked like that was sort of the focus of your offense in the passing game. Was that what you guys wanted or did you want some situations where you could take a little bit more shots down the field?) – “Well, with New England, they’re going to basically play man-to-man in those type of situations, and so a lot of times they are going to be those tight, contested throws. And some of them we got some PI calls on. Some of them we completed, and some of them we didn’t. They’re tough. They do a good job. They definitely have a veteran secondary. They play well together, and I would say their secondary played better than I did today.”

(Fitz, you just kind of touched on there not being fans out there and it feeling kind of weird. Do you think that helps/hurts when there are momentum shifts, you guys able to get into a rhythm just realizing how quiet it is?) – “I think it will be an adjustment. It’s the same for both teams so I think we’ll both have to adjust, but we had the play in the second half where they fumbled into the end zone, we got the ball went down and scored. And you could still feel the momentum with that play happen on defense and then how we went down there and scored on offense. You could still feel those shifts. They’re coming from a different place, coming from the sideline, coming from your teammates; and I think we realized that as the game went on.”

Sunday, September 13, 2020

LB Jerome Baker (transcribed by New England Patriots)

(Could you walk us through that play near the end zone on our side where you kind of made like a last-second effort to really chase the ball-carrier and force a fumble that gave your guys an opportunity to get the ball back there?) – “Just go to the ball, run to the ball. That’s all it was. We preach about that every day. So you just run to the ball just try to make a play.”

(It seems like every big play, one way or the other, you were a part of today. What happened on the late hit? Did you just lose track of the sideline and I guess there was unsportsmanlike down near the end zone too?) – “Yeah, the penalties are unacceptable, especially on my end. The late hit, I lost track of the sideline. That’s unacceptable. The last play or whatever on Cam (Newton), there was just a lot of commotion. I was trying to get up. But my penalties are definitely unacceptable.”

(You had a lot of tackles but in general, can you talk about what you think the reason was that they had so many rushing yards, particularly QB Cam Newton?) – “We’ve just got to play together. We’ve got to focus on stopping the run and we’ve also got to play together and just play disciplined. We came up short today; but it’s going to be a long season, so we just definitely got to get on top of that.”

(It seemed like you and QB Cam Newton definitely got into it with the sideline hit in the first half and then kind of at the end of the game there. What was it like going against him today?) – “He’s a competitor. That’s the one thing about him, he’s a competitor. I’m the same way. It was definitely a tough game but also we’ve got to figure out a way to come out with the win. Yeah.”

(How tough was that read option that QB Cam Newton was running, how tough was that to cover?) – “It was definitely something different. It was definitely tough. But ultimately, we’ve got to make adjustments. We’ve got to get it handled. We definitely want to go back to the drawing board and focus on that. But you’ve got to look at what we made mistakes at but also we’ve got to get better.”

(I know you touched on QB Cam Newton a little bit and I’m sure the defensive game planned for him; but what he could do today still running the ball 75 yards, two touchdowns, was that a surprise to you?) – “I wouldn’t say it was a surprise. Cam’s still Cam – a former MVP. We definitely respected his talent on the field. We just have to play together as a defensive. Today we got a little sloppy, got a little undisciplined; but also we’ve got to come together and play better defense.”

(Obviously I believe it was 17 tackles and you got a number that I guess from a team standpoint that stands out, 217 rushing yards. Did you know they had that many rushing yards when you’re in a game like that?) – “It’s not exactly you know how many yards they get exactly. But as a defense, we know they ran the ball. So we definitely have to go back to the drawing board and put emphasis on that. We definitely came up short today.”

Sunday, September 13, 2020
Postgame – New England

S Bobby McCain – (transcribed by New England Patriots)

(I wanted to ask you what the emotional swing was when Jerome forced that fumble. You guys went down and scored and why it couldn’t carry over to the next drive which kind of was the ball game?) – “That was a really big play in the game – game-changing play. We were able to drive the ball – 13 plays I believe – that was the 14th play of the drive and that was a really big play on behalf of him and people have got to understand that nobody’s in the stands when we make plays like that that we’ve all got to celebrate as a team because it’s just us out there. So that was a huge play in the game. That was a game-changing play.”

(I wanted to ask you about Brandon Jones in terms of the impact that he had on this game. Did you see him playing as much of a role as he did in the season opener?) – “Yeah. ‘B. Jones’ (Brandon Jones) is a good football player. He’s a fast player. He gets to the ball. Even though he’s a rookie, he’s a guy we want to depend on and he’s going to have to play good and play well.”

(I know it didn’t result in it but how much more confident does the group feel in terms of just everything that you guys feel right now at this moment compared to maybe last year where the games weren’t as competitive? It felt like throughout this entire game that you guys maintained within striking distance?) – “We don’t play football to just maintain within striking distance. We play football to win, so we know as a team we’ve got to get better and we know we’ve got the guys in the room that we want – the guys we need – and we know we’ll get the job done. So I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re comfortable with losing. We’re never that, but we’ll go back to the drawing board, get the scouting report this week. We’ve got the Bills coming up. We’ll flush this game and put it behind us and we’ve got to go 1-0 next week.”

(Just asking about the adjustment you guys made at halftime and how the running game for the Patriots kind of got going again after it seemed like for a couple of drives you had gotten them stopped after early in the game it was going well for them. Just curious the flow of the game and the adjustments for you guys.) – “We lost, so with the adjustments, we tried to come to the sidelines, we tried to go in at halftime and make the best adjustments we can. But at the end of the day it just wasn’t enough. That’s on us as a team, as a unit, as a staff. We’ll clean it up and we’ll be better.”

(Obviously you guys put the video out Thursday and stayed in the locker room during the anthem today. I guess what did you think about the reaction that you guys got from the video and then having Flo as a part of that – what did that mean to you?) – “We spoke on this as a team – all of us together – and we decided that’s what we wanted to do, including ‘Flo’ (Head Coach Brian Flores) and the coaches and I feel like it’s inspirational that we have a platform that we can use. And we did today and we will keep using it. I feel like it was best – we felt like it was best that we did what we did so as a team, we’re going to do it.”

(How would you describe what it was like to play an NFL game with no fans?) –  “It was definitely different. Definitely different. We’ve got to bring our own energy, bring your own juice. It’s got to come from the sideline. It’s got to come from the staff, got to come from the people that are there with you because it’s just you guys in the stadium. We definitely have to do a better job of bringing our juice, starting off fast, and having energy at the beginning of the game.”

(Head Coach Brian Flores addressed the run defense and so did Jerome Baker. My question to you is this – with Cam Newton was the problem really he’s a double threat because he can still run the ball?) – “Yeah, Cam has been a good quarterback in this league. He has made plays with his arm. He has made plays with his legs. Today he made a lot of plays with his legs. When we see him again – I’m not sure when we play them again – when we see him again later in the year we’ll be ready for it.”

(Like you just mentioned with Cam obviously you guys have got to turn the page. Next week you guys got the Bills and Josh Allen – another guy who can run the ball – how can you maybe learn from what you guys saw from Cam and kind of apply that to facing Josh Allen and the Bills this upcoming week?) – “We know Josh Allen is a good quarterback in this league. He’s got a strong arm and he is a good runner. We have to be prepared and we have to do a better job of keeping him in his pocket and keeping the quarterback runs to a minimum and try to make them one-dimensional. They’re a good team. We’ll get the scouting report this week and we’ll get started on the week, have a good week of practice and be prepared.”

Sunday, September 13, 2020

DT Christian Wilkins (Postgame)

(It looks like you had some impact plays today. What are some of the things that you had been focusing on in practice that translated to today’s game?) – “Honestly, I’ve just been working hard all year – all offseason, all training camp and everything to try to be in the best shape and be in the best position to help this team win. But ultimately, I don’t care about the big plays if it doesn’t result in wins. It’s cool to make big plays but I’d rather win at the end of the day. It’s all good and fun; but I’d trade in stats and plays for a win in the win column.”

(When it comes to QB Cam Newton, what made him difficult to contain? And obviously his rush game played a big factor in the outcome.) – “Yeah, Cam is a good player. The o-line is really good. Just everything – the OC, (Bill) Belichick, everybody. Give respect to the Patriots – hats off to the Patriots for what they were able to do offensively against us. But really, we were in – I felt like we hurt ourselves and we’ve just got to be better. We’ve just got – it’s the 24-hour rule in the NFL. We’ve just got to watch the tape, sulk on this one and then just get better starting tomorrow. That’s the plan. That’s what we do.”

(Their last touchdown drive, they got helped out by a big play and a penalty; but even still, you guys had a chance at third-and-6 I think and couldn’t get off the field. What happened there on third and fourth downs and how pivotal was that in the game?) – “Really, we just have to be better. We’ve just got to – it’s a long season and we will get better. I’m very confident in that. We’ve got the right guys. We’ve got all we need on the defensive side. We’ve just got to move on from this. I don’t really know – I’ll need to watch tape to really see what happened and what exactly it is that we need to improve on; but we’ve just got to get better moving forward.”

(What’s the mood in the locker room like among you guys, especially after a game like this?) – “Obviously you want to win the first game. The first of the game of the year, (you want to) start off on the right foot against a divisional opponent and everything. But I feel like all of us kind of have the same mood – just get better next week. We just have to flush this one as soon as we can. Like I said, the 24-hour rule, move on, see what we can do better and get focused on the next one.”

(I couldn’t help but notice the shirt that you’re wearing. I believe it’s new – correct me if, I’m wrong. Secondly, I wanted to ask you what do you think your message was before the game and whether you think your message was heard.) – “I think our message was definitely heard. We spent a lot of time as a team trying to figure out what it is we wanted – portray what message we wanted to portray, and I feel like it was heard, for sure. As far as my shirt, I just honor my grandfather every day. Every day I’m alive, I’m his legacy so I try to honor him as much as I can.”

(Obviously you talked about next week and you have to turn the page. You’ve got QB Josh Allen and the Bills coming up – another running quarterback. What can you learn I guess from playing QB Cam Newton and kind of putting that to playing QB Josh Allen and the Bills next week?) – “Like I said, we’ll have to watch the tape to really see where we could have been better and how we can really improve. I’m confident that we will get better. We’ll just turn the page, flush this one as soon as we can and get ready for the next one.”

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