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Miami Dolphins: Joe Philbin Conference Call Transcript

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

(On thoughts on Ryan Tanehill’s improvements) – “I think he’s playing a little bit faster, his play speed is better, I think his decision making has improved. He’s probably really made, and we haven’t gone back and necessarily studied, but I think he’s made maybe a few more plays with his feet, be it scrambling or other ways. He’s done probably a better job of throwing the ball on the move this year as well.”

(On the reason for the team’s improvement) – “It’s a good group of men. You’ve got an excellent locker room, they’re hard working guys, they’re very professional, there’s good chemistry on the team, a good feel on the team, they like competing. They’ve just kind of kept their mouth’s closed and gone to work. We’ve seen some improvement, we still have a long way to go, a lot of things to correct but I like the way they work.”

(On if at this point in the season they cannot afford to take a step back) – “It’s important. December football is… it’s time to start playing your best football of the year in the month of December. As we’ve said to the team, there’s nothing to wait for. If you’re not going to play your best football this time of the year in the position we’re in, what are you waiting for? There’s not going to be any other times. I think there’s a sense of urgency to play our best football, we want to see ourselves improve and continue to get better and better, each and every week.”

(On if having season highs in points and yards is an indicator that the offense is headed in the right direction) – “The thing we noticed the last couple of weeks is we’ve just made more plays. We’ve broken more tackles, if you look at some of the plays that we’ve run it’s not necessarily that we’ve re-invented the wheel and we’re out there tricking everybody but our guys have broken some tackles and finished some plays. We’ve had a couple explosive runs, I mean 45, 50 yard type runs. When we watch the film of them, they’re plays we’ve been running for a while not really brand new things but we’re executing a little bit better and some guys are making some people miss, that’s kind of been a big part of it.”

(On how impressed he is with the current offensive line as constructed) – “Well Jim (Turner) has done a very good job with that group and they’ve certainly taken their share of heat around here. They’re kind of like as I described our whole football team, these guys, they’re not overly concerned about what other people say or think about them. They’ve come in the building every day and worked hard and worked together. As you guys know the offensive line, it’s not the individuals that count it’s how well those five guys work together. We’ve started to see a mesh of those guys executing better as of late.”

(On Sam Brenner playing well over the last few weeks) – “Well he’s been with us for a while, he’s been with us since the offseason program and he’s kind of quietly gotten better and better. As you guys would imagine, the early part of the season he’s kind of running the scout team and the ‘look’ team of the upcoming opponent. He’s a guy we just kind of had our eye on and you’d watch one on one pass rush and he’d be doing a good job against some of our better guys and circumstances were such that we threw him in a game and he did pretty well there too. He’s making a good contribution.”

(On how he prepares for New England’s resourcefulness in using players) – “I think you kind of hit it on the head. They have an excellent coaching staff there and job number one as a coach in the National Football League as a coach is to utilize your personnel in the best manner possible. I think when you sign up for a coaching job you understand that sometimes your personnel changes, you may not want it to but it does. You have to credit coach (Bill) Belichick and his offensive staff. They’ve been able to function effectively. I can’t remember what game 87 came back in, but they were still a good offense before, they’re obviously good with him, and I’m sure they’re going to be good again. They just do a nice job utilizing the pieces that they have so we’re going to have to play our best game of the year and play a complete game against these guys. I think if last week’s game proved anything it’s if you’re going to play the New England Patriots you have to play from the first play to the very last play and you can’t let up for one play against those guys.”

(On Charles Clay and what his growth is attributed to) – “I think Dan Campbell our tight end coach has done a very good job and Mike Sherman our offensive coordinator has done a very good job in utilizing him in the plan. This is a guy that I think in coaching you love to see guys that again, come in to the building, act professionally, work their tail off, are humble, hardworking guys, you love to see those kind of guys have success. They don’t take a lot of credit, they just go out and play hard and he’s really having a very productive year.”

(On what Ken O’Keefe has meant to him personally and professionally) – “Well it’s hard to put that into words. You’re going back to 1979, that’s a long time ago, almost 35 years. I think Ken is one of the finest leaders of young men and men that I’ve ever been around. He’s an excellent football coach and his wife Joanne who taught at Worcester Academy as well. He’s just a first class individual and I’m very fortunate to have him down here on our staff in Miami.”

(On if he’d be where he is today if he hadn’t crossed paths with him) – “Definitely not, no. Absolutely, positively not.”

(On if he was going to go into coaching before he met Ken O’Keefe) – “Probably not, that was a very impactful year. Obviously, Mike Sherman was with us as well. Mike was at Worcester Academy that year as was Kirk Ferentz the Head Coach at the University of Iowa. I was very lucky just to be around those three men at a time where you can get influenced. The goal was never to be the coach of the Miami Dolphins, the goal was to be like those guys, guys that understood that you get into coaching to make a difference and make a positive impact on the people that you work with on a daily basis. To have that as a starting point, a reference point for my career in coaching, you just couldn’t learn from better individuals than that.”

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