MP: Obviously we’re talking about a guy that is very familiar with the offensive system that he is running right now. It is a system that puts a lot of demand on the quarterback spot and I think he’s doing an excellent job handling all of the different responsibilities of the system. Mike Sherman was his coach [at Texas A&M University] and [he] has a lot of experience running this system. I think he’s doing a real good job. If you take a look at the Seattle game from this past weekend, him just taking a good command of the offense, making adjustments, making checks, getting the offense into the right particular play based on what he’s looking at from a defensive perspective and trying to get them positive yardage on every play. I think he’s doing an excellent job as far as handling the system; he’s obviously familiar with it and does a real good job with it.
Q: What does the loss of
MP: Obviously it’s an unfortunate situation for Jermaine, but our main focus is really just trying to move forward and put our pieces together defensively. Like we do every week when the parts change, whatever the particular situation may be, we just adapt to them and move ahead. So that’s really what we’re focused on right now – taking a look at the Dolphins and trying to look at our matchup with them, understanding that their skill positions are extremely good, with [Davone] Bess being a heck of a receiver and someone that’s going to be a real good player for them moving around to different positions, along with [Brian] Hartline being outside and having some tremendous speed out there on the edge, then with the tight ends and obviously Reggie Bush and [Daniel] Thomas, the running backs there. So, we’re really just focused on taking a look at them and how we match up and putting our best package together.
Q: Jermaine Cunningham was on the field for 90 percent of the snaps the last two games. Is that a reflection of his productive play throughout the season?
MP: If you look at the season as a whole, I think every week there are going to be different players that have different play percentages based on whatever that particular game has involved in it and the situations that arise in that game on an individual basis. Like I said, we’re more just trying to put the pieces together that we have available to us moving forward.
Q: What are your thoughts on your run defense since the bye week?
MP: I think it’s like every aspect of the defense. When we get done with that particular game that week, we take a look at it and try to improve on everything – whether it’s the passing game or the run game in particular or any of our defensive calls that need to be adjusted. We try to improve them every week. Most of it’s based on particular game instances and situations that arise. We’ve been fortunate enough to be in a couple different situations here the last couple of weeks, with some scoring opportunities that kind of changed the dynamic of the game a little bit. Overall we’re just trying to keep working to improve to make ourselves better in all aspects. We certainly can improve on everything, so we’re always trying to make it better.
Q: What are some of the challenges that Reggie Bush presents?
MP: He’s obviously an extremely talented player. A guy that has a lot of ability in multiple facets of the offense and they do a good job of using him in many different positions – whether it’s from the running back position or getting him out of the backfield on free-release type plays or just lining him up out of the backfield in empty-type situations where they can get the ball to him out in space and really take advantage of the matchup there. I think he’s also doing an excellent job from a running back standpoint of being able to carry the ball and get those tough yards. He’ll run inside, he’ll run outside and he obviously has tremendous speed to the edge of the defense. You can see in the games that if he can get that corner, you certainly have a very talented player on the edge – very fast – and [he gets] into the deep part of the defense pretty quickly, along with some tremendous athletic ability from a standpoint of body control. You can see him lunging and diving for some extra yardage or trying to hurdle some players, whatever the case may be, he just has some great athletic ability and body control to get some critical extra yards when he needs to in certain situations that arise. He is certainly a player that brings a different dynamic than the normal running back position. With [Daniel] Thomas, [number] 33, playing quite a bit for them also and doing an excellent job running the ball, they certainly have a good one-two punch there. If you take a look at the last game they obviously did a tremendous job rushing the ball.