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Joe Philbin Feels Dolphins Got A Lot Accomplished

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin spoke to the media Wednesday. Here's his comments.

(Opening remarks) - I thought we got a lot of things accomplished. We really emphasized two-minute today. I think, I obviously havent looked at the film yet, but my instincts tell me that the defense had the upper hand. They did a nice job. You know, we talked to the team last night in the meeting about preparing, practicing like youre preparing for a game because September 7th is going to roll around. Atlanta in 10 days is going to be here quickly. And two-minute, we shared with them some of the games that we played last year that came down to the final play of the game, which we had a bunch of those and how youve got to step up and make plays. And I thought, in the team one that we did, we did a pass Skelly one, we did a team one, I thought, you know, Cam Wake actually had a sack on the one that I kind of let be a completion. And then the next play, (Cortland) Finnegan intercepted the ball. So talking to the team about from that perspective, thats how you want to play two-minute. You want guys to step up, you want them to make plays. Its a critical period of the game. Conversely, from an offensive stand point, its a disappointing way to end a two-minute drill. So well take a look at the tape and go from there.

(On CB Cortland Finnegan being a clear cut starter now) - Yeah, well, we havent really named anybody. Were getting a lot of guys reps. I told the coaches, this week to really think about the matchups that were getting and not be afraid to move some people around. I mean, we moved Billy Turner to right guard today, we flipped some tackles around. We put Dallas Thomas out to tackle. I mean, weve got to look at every combination possible and this is the time to do it. Now, we only have three more practices in that five-practice block that we talked about early in the week. And I thought our coaches have done a good job, even one-on-one matchups. Just getting different people against different people, so we can get an honest evaluation. So were really not concerned about naming starters yet.

(On getting younger cornerbacks reps on the field) Well, like I said, theres still competition there and everybody has to earn their keep. So whoever the best player is. I mean one the things that I talk to the team about, at the start of every camp, at the start of every off-season, is one of the expectations they should have of me is that were going to play the best players. So well just kind of let the competition sort itself out.

(On the linebackers) - I like what theyre doing. I think Philip Wheeler is really improved over the course. He had a very good off-season program. Been solid here so far in training camp. Dannell (Ellerbe) is really, I think the benefit of being the Mike (linebacker), has kind of quickened his transition to outside linebacker position because, as you know, when youre in the middle there, you kind of have to have a good sense of what the guys on either side of you are doing. So I dont think its been a huge adjustment. But theres little things and I think hes having a good camp also.

(On how the tee-shirt with the credo first came about and his thoughts on the message) - Well, I talk to the guys about, you know, in some of those one-one-one meetings during the course of the year, believe it or not, some guys think I have too many rules or too many, that Im a little stiff. I dont know why (be) or where anyone would get that from (joking). But in all honesty, the great teams that Ive been around as a coach and seen and been a part of, the players really take control of it. I mean, I could come up with and I have locker room policies, weight room policies, dining room policies, player lounge policies, travel (policies). I mean it gets old. And you know in coaching, one of the things in coaching that I always tell the guys is, We dont want to coach: dont drop the ball, dont fumble, dont do this. You want to teach them how to do it and I think just the best way to do things is to give them some ownership and let them feel like Im not coming down from the mountain top and saying, This is a must and this is a mandate. And I thought they did a good job. I thought they gave some consideration, some thought to it and I think its good.

(On if the players came up with the lines for the credo on the tee-shirt) Yes.

(On what makes him believe that this years run defense will be improved from last year) I like the way the guys are moving to the football. I think our pursuit through the first five practices, to the ball, I think were getting more guys to the football, number one. I think Randy Starks, I told the team this, I think hes practicing better than Ive seen him practice since Ive been here. I think Earl Mitchell is going to be a good addition. I think Jared Odricks getting his feet underneath him. I think our front has a chance to be pretty good and I think the changes that weve made at linebacker can help. I think (Louis) Delmas shows up quickly, he plays fast and we want him to obviously be active in the run support when it pertains to the particular coverage that were in. Im excited about our defense. I think they look good so far.

(On how TE Charles Clay will benefit from the versatility in the offense) Were fortunate to have a player like Charles Clay, really. Its kind of reverse in my mind, hes one of the harder working guys we have on the football team. Football is very important to him. Hes very professional in everything he does and hes got some good skills. He can catch the ball well, he plays fast, he has pretty good instinct, he has a little bit of slip and slide to him, he can kind of throw a guy by him and cut underneath him and go over the top of the guy. Hes got a little shake to him when he has the ball in his hands, hes shown the ability that after contact that he can gain a couple of yards. Hes a good football player and were lucky to have him.

(On what went into the decision to move CB Walt Aikens from cornerback to safety) Just a variety of things. He really started there in his college career in the Big 10, he was a safety and then he obviously played corner at Liberty. I think one of the things when you just, if you need him, you look at him and say, Hmm, kind of looks like a safety. Again, its not wholesale, hes gotten some work, hes going to continue to get work at both spots. Thats one of those things where this is the time of year to look and explore and find out if hes capable of doing some of those things.

(On the five-minute cool down period during practice and if thats a team thing, and what they do when they go inside the bubble) Its something we came up with. Darren Krein and Dave Puloka, our strength guys, do a great job and do a lot of research and Ryan Grover, our trainer,and our medical staff. Theres evidence and, again, Im no expert as you can tell in physiology obviously. But the rate of the injury really increases, again, its too high-tech for me. I was a sociology major. So its been a good things. What we do, we just walk in there and theyve got benches and towels and Gatorade, and the guys sit down for five minutes. One of the best things about is from my seat is the guys are starting to, the clocks are in there and it shows how much time and weve got to give the guys about 45 seconds, 50 seconds left, without any instruction from me, theyre getting up and starting to head out the door. I think its been good. I think its been a positive.

(On the messages on the tee-shirts the players wear with the credo) Theres a lot of good ones. Probably Im a professional, probably is one of them I like. But I think I like them all. Theyre all good, but that one sticks to me. Its kind of all encompassing, entails a lot. Team-first, too. Im sorry. Maybe I like team-first better. Im trying to picture the tee-shirt. Im sorry about that.

(On G Dallas Thomas getting a look at right tackle and T Jason Fox getting a look at left tackle, and if the tackle position is unsettled or if its just due diligence) Its a little bit of everything. Again, like I said, I told the staff earlier in the week, it kind of prompted a couple that I want to see some guys in some different spots. I want to see how they respond. I want to let them know that theyve got to produce and perform. Weve got to find the exact right spots for these guys. Some of these guys, we want to see different matchups against different defensive players or vice-versa. So it was kind of planned and it was, I think its been a good thing for us and were going to continue that throughout the week.

(On if theres any concern about G Dallas Thomas and getting him settled) Not really. I dont anticipate it being a wholesale thing. Again, weve got to watch the tape. I noticed a couple of things. I thought our one-on-one pass rush, offensively, I thought our guys did some better things in the one-on-one pass rush today than Ive seen. So well take a look and see if he looks that much more comfortable. I doubt that would be the case, but it could be.

(On how RB Lamar Miller has been playing and if hes taking advantage of the top spot on the depth chart right now) Yeah, I like everything hes done, really. Hes a guy that this is year three and, as Ive said before, I think his first year, I want to say he had about 150 yards rushing. Last year, he had around 700-and-change. Now, its his third year. He knows the expectations. He knows what the job description and requirements are of a running back in the National Football League. I anticipate hes going to have a very good season and I think hes off to a good start.

(On RB Daniel Thomas) Hes competing. I think hes had a solid camp so far. Yesterday, we got some of the younger some work a little bit, so he didnt get as many reps yesterday. Again, were going to get up there and watch the tape here when Im done. I think hes been fine so far.

Source: Miami Dolphins Media


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