Miami Dolphins Transcripts – September 15 – Coordinators and Offensive Position Coaches

Quarterbacks Coach Robby Brown

(Overall, what was your impression of how QB Ryan Fitzpatrick handled the game?) – “I think we all know the bad part; but I think he never really got in a great rhythm. He had some good things that he did really well. We have some things that we can improve upon. That’s the way it is every game, but we just need to try to get in a rhythm and get it going. I think he did some good and some bad, just like we all did.”

(I just wanted to get an idea of how you go through a week with QB Tua Tagovailoa as the backup and how do you teach him maybe some of the things that you’re teaching QB Ryan Fitzpatrick while he’s not necessarily the guy?) – “I think that’s a really good question. I talked a little bit about it when I was asked about coaching philosophy, but I’ve talked with Tua (Tagovailoa) a lot about, ‘hey, we’ve got to figure out what works for you, how you learn.’ He’s in a unique situation in that he’s got a 16-year vet in front of him that’s tremendously willing to help, that he can learn a lot of the game from. He’s got an offensive coordinator that’s been around the game a long time. So my job is to kind of try to figure out what is working that he’s learning, try to be a translator so to speak, because you’ve got two guys maybe speaking a language that have been together for a long time in Chan (Gailey) and ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and then I’ve been with Chan several times. Then I kind of try to figure out what’s working for him and then go from there. But he sits in every single meeting that ‘Fitz’ does. He goes through – you try to get him mental reps because you don’t get a ton of reps during practice, but you try to get him the mental reps and then narrow the game plan each and every day like, ‘hey, okay let’s learn this part, this part, this part,’ and he did a really good job last week. That was the first time, so we’ll try to improve upon it each and every time and get him more and more in-tune to what we’re trying to do. But we’ll try to get better each and every week and fine-tune it as we go.”

(When you have a young quarterback like QB Tua Tagovailoa, is it more about getting him packages that he’s comfortable with or personnel that he’s comfortable with? How do you get him to take that next step in his development?) – “I think it’s both. You have to get him comfortable and there’s some things that he’s very comfortable with that he says, ‘oh man, I’m great with that.’ And then there’s some things that it may take him an extra day to learn; but it’s the same way with ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick). You may put a play in and ‘eh’ and then they really like it 24 hours later after they run it in practice. I think it’s a little bit of both, but it’s the same way with the starting quarterback, too. What personnel does he like? What plays? That kind of thing. That’s Chan’s job and he does a really good job at that – at figuring out what they’re good at – but it’s both and I would say that for the starter, as well.”

(A little bit earlier today, we were talking with Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey and it came up as far as what QB Tua Tagovailoa was doing on the sideline Sunday, what he was understanding, what he was asking questions about. What did you observe? How did he comport himself during the game and what did he take away from that learning experience?) – “I think it obviously with no preseason games, it was his first one, so he’s got the hat on listening to the call, those types of things. Then we come over and get him into the tablet, listening to what ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is saying about the tablet. ‘Hey, we’re getting this or that. We’re getting this front. This guy’s going here. This guy’s going there,’ and realizing how fast those decisions are made I think was very good for him. He was very in-tune. He knew the game plan well, so he was in-tune to what we were doing and he knew what we were saying. There was never a time where he was like, ‘what are we talking about?’ But it is a learning process and it’s a learning process if you used to be in the box coaching and now you’re on the sidelines and trying to make those adjustments. So it’s a learning process for everybody; but I thought he was very in-tune to what we were doing and like I said in his preparation, we’ll just try to get better at that each and every week and see how much we can absorb and how much we can learn.”

(I wanted to ask you about QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s second interception to I think Adrian Phillips. It looked like the safety just kind of came down and robbed the route. He never saw him. I’m curious what you saw on tape and how you communicated that to Fitzpatrick and kind of the coaching point there for you.) – “I think ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) answered it after the game. I can’t remember exactly how he answered it, but he said ‘I didn’t see him.’ I knew he didn’t see him immediately. Chan (Gailey) knew he didn’t see him immediately when he was coming off the field. I think that’s about knowing people and I’m not going to sit there and say ‘what happened?’ He comes off the field and he says, ‘I didn’t see him.’ So he answered that. I didn’t even have to ask him, but he said the same thing he said to you guys after the game. He didn’t see him.”

(If I could ask a little two-parter: I know you had mentioned earlier about QB Tua Tagovailoa’s learning style. What have you maybe learned about how he learns best? I know some people are visual learners or audio learners. How have you learned about maybe how he regurgitates information?) – “I think we’re still early in that process. I know that sounds crazy for me to say, but we’ve been at it really in-person just a little over a month. So I think we’re still early in that process and you just keep fine-tuning, keep fine-tuning and keep fine-tuning it. But to sit here and say, ‘oh he’s only a visual’ or ‘he’s only’ – I couldn’t tell you right now, but we’re trying to work through that and try to figure out. It’s just Week 1 in the game-planning stage, so we’ll just work through it and try to figure it out as we go.”

(I wondered if you attended the QB Reid Sinnett workout, what you liked about him and is there enough time during the work week to spend any time developing a second young quarterback?) – “That’s a good question. I did attend the workout and he did a good job in it; but as far as a new guy coming in like that and the time during the week of game-planning and all of that stuff, you kind of try to break it down into parts for him. ‘Learn this part, learn this part’ and give him little pieces to learn and then just build on it the same way you would with any young quarterback. You just try to accelerate it as fast as you can and I’ve been around him for a little less than 24 hours, but he’s working trying to learn it.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Offensive Line Coach Steve Marshall

(Nice first game it appeared for T Austin Jackson and G Solomon Kindley. Can you please take them one at a time, rather than lumping them together, and talk about each did well, starting with Austin and also areas of improvement?) – “Well, it’s the first game. There’s a lot of things he’s going to improve on. The thing that I was really impressed with Austin was his competitive spirit. The guy fought hard. He’s a tough guy and really did some good things. Obviously we went back yesterday and looked at the tape and talked about what needs to get done here moving forward. Actually it’s the same with Solomon. Solomon is a big, strong young man as Austin is, and I really like where they are at this point. They know right now they have a lot of work in front of them and they’ve got a lot more challenges in front of them. We’re going to go back out on the practice field tomorrow and keep working on it.”

(I know that you don’t listen to a lot of the outside noise, but I guess going into the draft, there were questions with Austin about whether he was strong enough or ready enough to be a contributor in Year 1 As we saw in Game 1, he seemed ready for the moment. What did you guys do to maybe get him from where he was in April to being able to have a good game?) – “Well, in April he was in Zoom meetings. I didn’t know exactly what we had. We liked Austin coming out. Like all young guys coming out of college, there are a lot of things that everybody picks at; but again, the guy’s competitive spirit and the guy’s toughness – the college game, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the college game, is completely different from the NFL game. What you have to do as an evaluator and what I did, and I’m sure (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and (Head) Coach (Brian) Flores did, you see what you’re looking for. You look for what you think makes a good NFL offensive lineman. He still has the chance to be a very, very good player. He’s just getting started. A long way to go as far as what he needs to do to be a player that can play 10, 12 or however many years he can play, God willing and stay healthy. That goes true for Rob Hunt and Solomon, and a lot of the guys that are in their second or third year. We’ve got our work cut out for us this week against Buffalo, and those guys will too. It’s going to be just getting started.”

(Earlier today, Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey mentioned that the Patriots ran some games upfront that gave you guys a little bit of confusion in the communication. I’m curious going from a team like that that does run so many stunts and twists and games and then going into Week 2 against a team like Buffalo that has so many good one-on-one rushers in DT Ed Oliver and DE Trent Murphy and DE Jerry Hughes. How does that change you approach on how you coach these guys in Week 2?) – “It doesn’t. It doesn’t change it one bit. You’ve got to prepare for all of it. Like I said, each week is a specific challenge but our fundamentals are the same. I’m not worried about what New England or Buffalo can do with these guys. I’m worried about getting them better and everything. It doesn’t change us one bit as far as what we’re trying to accomplish. Moving forward, it’s one day at a time, one practice at a time, one drill at a time. They both have their challenges. Jacksonville will present more different challenges too. But that’s the life in this league. As my approach, or any different approach, there is no different approach. We’re full speed ahead ready to keep rolling on them.”

(QB Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t get touched much. He had one sack and there were a few quarterback hurries for the Patriots who are a handful; but overall, did you expect your offensive line to play as it did on Sunday?) – “We’re going out there to compete every week. These guys have – I expect a lot out of them. I think we’re a young, talented group. I expect a lot of them. I expect more as we get better and better and keep getting better. No. Like I said, we’re preparing to play well every week. That’s the goal of the NFL. There is no, ‘oh, we play a weak team.’ Every team is the same. I was talking right (before) there, every game is the same whether it’s New England, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Seattle Seahawks, it doesn’t matter. They’ve got good players. They pay those guys too. Every week we’ve got to continue to take the challenges that we are going to do upfront and keep getting better.”

(You are always looking for improvement. You guys obviously did pretty well in pass pro; but maybe run blocking didn’t go as well as you might have wanted. What stood out to you in that department?) – “I think again, you’ve got to take each individual situation. There was a lot of good things in the run game. We’re going to accentuate the positive. There are also things we have to continue to work on. We did some really good things in the run game. Up front, Ted (Karras) and Ereck (Flowers) and Solomon (Kindley) and Jesse (Davis) and Austin (Jackson) – we’re going to continue to improve on the positive. We know what we have to work on to get better. We’ve got to keep improving. Like I said, this is a – this is the first game that they’ve played. We’ve got to take it that way and you always keep improving. You always keep improving and try to get better. I’m very pleased – I will say that – with exactly where these guys are and the fight they have. For the first time together, this group, I thought they handled the situation well and I expect it to continue to get better and better as we go.” 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tight Ends Coach George Godsey

(How did you sort of grade out your group in Week 1 and what they were able to do?) – “It ended up turning into a lot of passing with Michael (Gesicki) towards the second half. He had a lot more reps than maybe the other three guys but I think when you’re talking about the run game, certainly the tight end position is a main part of that, including Chandler (Cox) as far as the fullback goes. We’ve got to open those holes up a little bit more and add a little bit more space for the backs to run. I think we made some of those corrections so we’re moving on to Buffalo; but certainly there’s some room for improvement. It’s Week 1. That’s what we have to do from Week 1 to Week 2 to Week 3 and so forth.”

(In terms of the expectations as in-line guys, do you feel like you guys did enough against the Patriots?) – “When we started out running the football, we were getting a couple of yards – two or three yards – where we’d like to have more efficient plays there. Can we get that done? I think our guys can. Did they win some plays and did we win some plays? I think it kind of went a little bit back and forth; but certainly there’s definitely some room for us to improve here going forward.”

(I know we talked about it a little bit I guess throughout the offseason about TE Mike Gesicki and his blocking and trying to improve in that area. We got to see a little bit more in that area than maybe I thought we were going to. Where do you sort of see his evolution, particularly with this first game, as a blocker?) – “There are some things that look encouraging from a years perspective, and then there’s things that we’ve still got to keep working on. From my perspective too, I’ve got to do a good job of rolling those guys and getting maybe a few more reps from Durham (Smythe) and from Adam (Shaheen) so we can get the very best from Michael when his number is called and so forth – get the very best of Durham and Adam. It’s kind of a full realm of things that we can do to improve those guys. I think we’ll see a little bit more of that this week.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville

(Is RB Jordan Howard still your starting running back after last week or in your mind is that job totally wide open and might RB Myles Gaskin emerge as your starter?) – “I don’t know that there’s a – the first guy out there is technically the starter, but it depends on what personnel grouping we use and how we think we want to attack. I don’t think that’s changed at all how we feel about Jordan (Howard). It’s going to depend on how we want to start the game and what we think is best for us to attack with.”

(In terms of RB Matt Breida, what vision do you guys have for him because it was a little surprising to us that he didn’t get involved much against the Patriots and what do you want to see more from him?) – “What we’ve got is really a diverse room and a bunch of different guys in there. We started out with Jordan (Howard) and Myles (Gaskin) got in and started going a little bit. And then we got Matt (Breida) in there, too, doing some things, so the rotation was to get those guys in there. Myles started getting going a little bit, so we felt like we were getting some productive runs out of him. That’s why we stayed kind of with that path. But then when Matt came in, Matt had out of his five carries, four of them of were productive runs; and they both averaged about the same yards per carry. Again, it’s us trying to figure out with two of them being new that I’ve never seen before and played with before, feeling them out, what the game was like, how it went, what’s going on and I think that’s still an ongoing process. Matt is doing everything that we’re asking him to do. He’s prepared. He’s working hard. He’s into it and he wants to contribute whatever way we ask him to and we’re going to try to find more and more ways to do that.”

(I wanted to get your assessment on FB Chandler Cox. Obviously his first year here was last year, now in his first game into his second season. How did you feel he played on Sunday and kind of how he progressed from that rookie season?) – “I think Chandler’s done a nice job all through camp. We had a couple of really good plays – the goal line play – him one-on-one against (Ja’Whaun) Bentley on the one lead play – the second-down play – was a pretty big collision. That’s got to be kind of what his role is as a physical presence in the run game for us, and I think he wants to do that. I think he embraces that and I think he’s demonstrated throughout camp and at least in the first game here, that that’s something that he can do. We’ve just got to keep building on that and find ways to where we can get him in those spots that he does what he does best, which is kind of line people up and go hit them.”

(The two-back set that you had with RB Myles Gaskin and RB Patrick Laird seemed to really help you guys in the second quarter, especially with the ability to pass out of the backfield. Is that package interchangeable or are those two guys probably the best for that package?) – “No, it’s very interchangeable. We’ve got flexibility with all those things. Jordan (Howard) can be back there. Matt (Breida) and Myles (Gaskin) can be back there. it can be Patrick (Laird) and – it can be any of them – that could be Patrick and Jordan back there. That could be Patrick and Matt. We have the flexibility within the room. We have to have the flexibility so we don’t let one broken shoelace take us out of that grouping, which we like.”

(We talked to Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey I guess earlier, and he talked about the reason RB Myles Gaskin maybe played more is because the base run game wasn’t working maybe as well as you wanted so you went to more of a spread game and that fit what Myles, I guess, his skillset was. Is it Myles’ I guess ability to do more as a runner and a receiver that makes him maybe the best fit for that package?) – “There’s lots of things that go into it. It’s what we have in the game plan. Sometimes it’s style of runs. Jordan’s (Howard) going to be able to play in that 11-package, if you will, where we’ve got three wide outs on the field. All of them have to be able to do all of it; but they all have different strengths and weaknesses so what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to find the plays and the packages that maximize their strengths and put them in position to do it. Jordan being the biggest guy, that’s why he goes in on goal-line. To me that makes sense, and why we utilize him in that sort of role; but they all can do the things that we need them to do. It’s what we put in the game plan and how we decide to use those guys as to what their strengths are that we really factor into it the most.”

(Going back to RB Jordan Howard for a second – 0.9 yards per carry – what went wrong?) – “The average yards per carry is more of a factor of so many things that go into it. There’s a lot of different things that you have to look at. The one thing that I think about Jordan (Howard) is that Jordan has vision. Jordan has good feet in line. You saw him on one play to the left where he makes (Chase) Winovich, as he pinches inside, he makes that guy miss one-on-one in the hole, which is what you need him to do. We can all be better at everything that is going on and I don’t know that to say what went wrong is on one group. It’s all of us. It’s the offense that we’ve got to get that stuff fixed to make those things better, and the backs have to do better. The backs have to find more places to run. I put that pressure on us to do more. We have to break tackles, step out of things, make somebody miss, run through an arm tackle. So that’s what we’re going to focus on – what can we contribute to this and get better from the process?”

(Kind of piggybacking off that what did you think of how the offensive line was able to create some space for you guys?) – “I think the offensive line did a nice job. There were some things there – certain areas – that we can all improve on. I go back to that same answer: it’s never going to be a perfect game. It’s never going to be blocked perfectly. Everything’s not going to be exactly like we draw it up on the board. That’s not how it goes. We’ve all got things that we can work on. Every group, every room has things that we can improve on from this performance. The thing is, are we going to be able to take what we need to improve on, go forward this week, work on that this week and get better as we get ready to play against Buffalo?”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Wide Receivers Coach Josh Grizzard

(Obviously you guys lost WR DeVante Parker halfway through the game last week. How does that change what you ask from your guys? I know WR Jakeem Grant probably takes a bigger role there. How does that change what you ask of your group?) – “When it’s in-game, it’s always the next guy up. You’ve got a plan for that week and then it’s adjusted to who is filling that. I thought Jakeem did a good job with the opportunities and just being able to step in. Then Mack (Hollins) was able to step in as well, on certain portions of the game to take over as well. It doesn’t necessarily change the game plan a ton. Sometimes there are specific things you want them to do. I’m just happy with those guys being able to adjust in-game and keep it moving.”

(Where right now is RB/WR Malcolm Perry in his development as a slot guy? Do you think he’ll be ready to help you in a game, if needed, next week?) – “He’s done a good job. In terms of a timeline, I couldn’t answer that. He’s developing each day. There are things we can work on during individual periods, crossover periods with the defense. It just shows – again, just continue to improve and get a feel for playing receiver in the NFL and making that transition. He’s done a great job. He’s still working and we’ll just see how that plays out.”

(I want to ask you about WR Lynn Bowden Jr. What was it that you guys saw? I believe it was Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey mentioned that you had done a significant amount of film work on him. What was it that you guys saw that made the trade intriguing and what do you envision for him skillset-wise?) – “He’s an intriguing player. Of course we tracked him through his college career and then going into the Combine and of course the offseason process going into the draft. He’s versatile. He can uncover. I like his route-running ability. Of course he’s versatile having played quarterback, running back, receiver – basically three different positions – at Kentucky. Any time you can add a guy like that to a team, it allows us to be more flexible schematically and then it’s harder on the defense as well. We’re happy to have him. He’s done a great job since he’s been here in terms of grasping the playbook and catching up because he’s of course a little behind, not being with us during camp and not having a true offseason based on the pandemic. We’re happy to have him.”

(It seems that some of your better receivers, WR DeVante Parker, WR Preston Williams or even TE Mike Gesicki are best at the jump ball situation – throw it up to them and they make a play, rather than maybe separating. Is that a style that you can live with as a receivers coach Can you live with guys being primarily a tight window jump ball group?) – “That really goes from week to week based on the scheme you’re going against. It could create those kind of opportunities or you could get more of a zone look, where it’s not necessarily high-pointing it and jump balls and things of that nature. I like that ability in DeVante, Preston, Michael and really the rest of the group on their skillset on that. It’s based on the opponent each week on how much of that you’re actually going to see.”

(I wanted to ask you a follow up question on WR Lynn Bowden Jr. How much does his experience at quarterback potentially help you in terms of speeding up his understanding of the offense, considering the quarterback has to know more than most positions?) – “That’s a good question. It is something that we look at, and it is for him I think something that will help him. When you’re back there taking snaps from the center, you see the whole defense. You see how things play out. You have a feel for what the o-line’s job is, what the running back’s job is, why the receivers run routes at a certain depth versus certain coverage. I think it does help him, just like anybody else, just like it would Malcolm (Perry) seeing some of those things. To your point, it does help him and it’s nice to have that knowledge coming from college.”

(I wanted to ask you about WR Preston Williams and where do you feel he is in terms of physically compared to last year? Is he completely back from the torn ACL he had in November? And what did you see from him on Sunday?) – “For how he feels, I don’t want to speak for Preston; but I just know from my end of it, it’s good to see him out there. This is a guy coming off an ACL tear and to actually get back into game shape – there is a mental hurdle that comes with coming off that injury. To be tackled for the first time and not have a preseason, and being out there to compete and just being back out there with the guys and playing a game that I know he loves, I was happy for Preston because it is a long road back and there are some dark moments that you face. It was good to see him out there.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman

(There didn’t seem to be too many huge plays either way on special teams but a couple of things stood out. The decision to go with WR Jakeem Grant Sr. as the primary kick and punt returner, what went into that?) – “He’s earned that right. He had a good camp. He’s got good production in the past. Obviously there are always things we need to improve on and we will improve going forward, but he earned the right to be the guy to start in both of those phases.”

(With your guys but also across the league, it seemed like kicking was sort of the talk around the league. I think the number was like 71 percent on field goals in Week 1. How do you kind of look at that dynamic? Is it the offseason, the pandemic? What goes into the uncertainty around field goal accuracy?) – “I think the biggest thing is the lack of the preseason games. To be out there, to truly do it at full speed, the rush element, the protection element – it’s a little bit different than you can simulate in practice. I think you’ll see those numbers get back to more than normal going forward.”

(S Clayton Fejedelem popped up on the injury report late in the week. I’m just curious how much of a challenge it is for you guys to lose a core special teamer like that so late in the week and kind of have to alter your plan?) – “It’s always hard any time you lose anybody but truth be known, you’d rather it be in practice as opposed to being in the game, because then you’re in a little bit more of a scramble and then you’re down a body too based on the game day roster. Yeah, you never want players to go down, whether it be in practice or in a game; but it’s a little bit easier when it happens in practice.”

(I know WR Lynn Bowden Jr. wasn’t active because he’s still learning the system after the Raiders trade, but both CB Noah Igbinoghene and Bowden Jr. have a history of multiple long returns in college. Are you giving any serious thought to either as a return option?) – “Absolutely. Those guys have been working. Obviously Lynn just got here but we’ll continue to work with those players and see how it develops as the season progresses.”

(How long does it take typically for you to get comfortable with a returner or specialist being a guy that you trust in that role?) – “I think it all depends on the player and his history before me and then what obviously I see during it. I don’t think it takes long but it’s all about opportunities. There’s only one of them. When you play the game, there’s only one of them so you have to make a decision and go with that one and see where it progresses.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer

(I was wondering when you reviewed the film, what was the biggest issue you guys had with defending the read option?) – “There were a number of issues. I’d say some of it was individual technique, getting all 11 guys on the same page. Then some of it was just overall, in general, we were in some different things on different things, and it came up versus various fronts and options. There were just a couple of corrections that we needed to correct on each play. Obviously we could coach it better, we could play it better. That’s kind of what happened there.”

(I wanted to ask you what led to Brandon Jones getting as much playing time as he did in his first NFL game, and how you thought he did overall?) – “A lot of things go into playing time. All of it is earned and I would say the other things that come up with playing time is the consideration of what we’re trying to do defensively, players’ health, a player’s amount of time at practice. All of those things go into play, and all of those things go into consideration. Obviously week-by-week, we’re going to do what we feel gives us the best chance to be successful. Brandon had a solid camp. He did some good things, did some bad things and obviously we need to build off the good things and the things we need to correct, we’re going to try very hard to get corrected.”

(I wanted to get your assessment about how DE Shaq Lawson did in his first game as a Dolphin?) – “I think Shaq and all of the guys in general, I think there were some good things out there and again there were some things that obviously needed some correction. I think the thing that will help us defensively – whether it’s coaching, playing – is just being consistent on a play after play basis. It really comes down to everybody just doing their individual job, so collectively as a group it’s coordinated and we’re doing that well. I would say there were some good things and there were some things that we need to correct. We’re all going to work hard to make sure we get that corrected, because it’s going to show up again this week. We’ll see things that we struggled with last week this week, for sure. We’re all putting a lot of time and effort in to make sure we get that corrected.”

(You mentioned individual jobs there. I guess from what we saw on the read option, it looked like DE Shaq Lawson and I guess DE Emmanuel Ogbah too had some struggles on making a decision on which player to defend – the quarterback or the running back. What do you ask your edge guys to do when they see the read option? What’s the decision there for each edge guy?) – “I would say a lot of it depends on the particular scheme. It may not actually be the same every time we do something with our edge guys. I would say look, first of all, it starts with me. I’ve got to put the guys in better spots. I’ve got to coach it better. Everybody has to understand and know what their responsibility is within each and every call. It can vary from call to call. It can vary where they are in the defense, what defense we are in, which I think ultimately what you want to do because if you line up in the same thing over and over again, that makes it really easy for the offense. All of that, basically it starts with me. We’re going to work hard to get it corrected because like I said, we’re going to see it again this week.”

(A couple of questions ago you mentioned some of the similarities you’re going to see with some of the offenses you’re going to face in Week 1 and Week 2. I’m just curious as you guys turn the page here, what can you learn from that first game to kind of apply to another athletic quterback that’s pretty big like Josh Allen?) – “I think the focus starts with us and correcting the mistakes that we made and making sure we have things solidified as a unit. Buffalo, they have very talented offensive personnel. They have a very good play caller, who for sure is going to test us on things that we struggled with in Week 1. He’s going to test us on things that he perceives as our weakness from a year ago. They’ll do it in a variety of different ways. It won’t look exactly the same. We’ve got to work very hard here this week to get the things corrected where we made mistakes. The good news is it’s all correctable. It’s just going to take a little bit of effort, a little bit of work in getting everybody on the same page on some things; but it’s all correctable. We’re working hard to do that.”

(I noticed that sometimes at the line of scrimmage, there was maybe a numbers disadvantage where the Patriots had six guys on the line or maybe seven guys near the hashmark and the Dolphins had maybe four or six. They were at a numbers disadvantage there despite the linebackers being four or five yards back. Did that numbers disadvantage hurt you guys trying to stop the run? And the things you want to correct, is that a quick fix you can handle in three or four practices this week?) – “I’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about specifically. Fundamentally, a lot of things that we lined up in, we were pretty sound. There could be some movement things on some things. There could be some missed execution on some things. But as far as that goes, like I said, I think everything is correctable from a week ago. I would say that we are all working hard to get that done. We know we’re going to get tested on it and the guys – we had a good week of practice last week. We plan to have a good week of practice again this week. We’re going to correct the things we need to correct and keep improving and building on the things that we’ve been doing well.”

(How do you think CB Xavien Howard and CB Byron Jones performed in their first game together and coming back from their injuries?) – “They weren’t always out there at the same time. I thought both of them competed. I thought there was some really good things that they did, and I think there are some things that we can work on and improve, and I think they will. We’ve got a good group of guys here. They are going to work hard to get things corrected and like I told you guys a couple of weeks ago, our defense will evolve over time here, and obviously there are things we need to correct and we’re going to do that. The play itself will kind of evolve over time. We’re going to see different things from different offenses, for sure. We’ll prepare for that and be ready for that.”

(It was your first time calling plays in a while. I’m curious how it went and what was the communication like?) – “Again for us as a coaching staff, there was a lot of guys that it was their first time with, kind of call it live action. There was a little bit of a process there. The communication was pretty smooth. We were able to get the calls in. You’re never going to call a perfect game. No player is ever going to play a perfect game. There are going to be some ups and downs there; but from a communications standpoint, it was pretty smooth. There are a lot of things that we can work on as a staff in between series and stuff like that to make it a little bit more of a smoother operation. Again, coaches, the play caller, whoever it is, we’re always looking for improvement going from one week to the next. Everybody is working hard to make sure that we get that.”

(I think the Patriots last week ran the ball 2-to-1 over the pass game. Obviously this modern day NFL is more nickel and dime. How does that kind of affect you as a defensive play caller where you may want to be in those nickel and dime packages but they’re running heavy at you?) – “Based on the game plan, based on the week, we could be in different packages. We were in a little bit more big people than we’ve probably been in. The game is going to kind of dictate itself a little bit by what they do personnel-wise. We’ve got to be ready to adjust obviously, and like I said, it all starts with me. I need to do a better job of making sure that we’ve got the right groups in there and that all 11 guys out there – and our different groups – know what they are doing and do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Like I said, we’re going to work very hard to make sure that we have that down.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey

(When you went back and watched the film, I know there was some good and some bad out of the offensive line. What went well in pass pro and what needs to get better in run blocking?) – “We did a good job, I thought, in pass pro for the first time out. We’ve got some communication things that we’ve got to take care of on the offensive line; but as you continue to develop the continuity there as well as the young players there, for the first time out they did a pretty good job. It’s going to keep – the tempo and the speed – getting bigger and faster every week just because we missed some stunts but we picked some up, so they’re going to keep trying that. In the run game, they moved some of their people than we had seen before. We didn’t handle movement very well and we’re going to get that too in the run game. We’ve got to improve that facet of what we’re trying to get done. We just didn’t get our base package run game running like I want to.”

(Obviously you guys lost WR DeVante Parker about halfway through the game. How much does losing someone like him change what you can do as a play-caller and what you ask of your offense?) – “We had to change some things. Everybody runs a route differently. Jakeem (Grant) is a good player but he runs things differently than DeVante does and we don’t have time on task from last year with ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and Jakeem like we do ‘Fitz’ and DeVante. It changes some things. It changes some thought processes. So you have to adjust and I need to do a better job of adjusting when that happens. It’s the first time I’ve dealt with it with these guys, so hopefully I’ll be better the next time.”

(I wanted to ask you about the running game and I understand that you want to continue with the hot hand, but did you intend to use RB Myles Gaskin as much as you did and what’s the vision for RB Matt Breida?) – “We actually didn’t know how it was going to play out in the ball game. We have players that play certain packages for us and when the package that we were using Jordan (Howard) for wasn’t doing as well, it ended up lessening his play time and Myles went up because we were more in the spread offense and doing things that we had him in there for. We were trying to use all of the packages where it would get spread fairly evenly if we could; but it just didn’t work out that way by the end of the game.”

(Of course all coaches are looking for players capable of big plays, whether natural big plays or gadget plays. Does it look to you that either RB/WR Malcolm Perry or WR Lynn Bowden Jr. will be able to help you any time soon?) – “I don’t know if I can say they’ll be ready to help or not. They might be. We still work with them every day and see what they bring to the table (and) how much they’ve got to learn. Lynn is much further behind right now because he just hasn’t been here for a while. I’m excited about what he might be somewhere down the line, as I am Malcolm. It’s just they haven’t been here long enough and been in the fire, so to speak, to say that we’re going to really try to expand their packages at this point. We’re taking it on a week-by-week basis with where we’re going with that. If we have DeVante (Parker), that might not open up something. If we don’t have him, that might open up something. We’re just kind of waiting and seeing on that.”

(Obviously you’re in the booth but I noticed on the field, QB Tua Tagovailoa had his helmet on and was sitting next to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and not too far away from the coaching staff during most of the game. How did you think of how he absorbed his first NFL game on the sideline behind Fitz?) – “I think very well. (Quarterbacks Coach) Robby Brown can probably answer that better because he was with him on the sideline but when I talked to Robby and I talked to Tua, it seemed like he was understanding of what we were getting on the field and looking at the tablet, being able to absorb how the game goes, the speed of the game. It’s a different speed than college, it really is. I think for the first time, he was able to learn a lot and get a grasp because normally you have four preseason games to get that and he hasn’t had any.”

(So regarding your running back rotation, where does RB Matt Breida stand right now? It took a while for us to see him in the ball game the other day, so where does he stand? And if things should continue, might RB Myles Gaskin be in the running to be your starting back at some point?) – “I don’t know that I could ever say that we’re going to, at this point, have a guy. I think that we’re going to let the guys try to do what they do best. We’d like to play (Matt) Breida more. I think we’ll try to incorporate some of his skillset into what we do. But there are a certain number of plays in a game and you can’t get them all in there at once. We’re going to try to expand all of their roles but at the same time, there’s only a certain number of plays for guys to get in. I think we’ll look and see what fits each player best and try to do that with them.”

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