This week the Miami Dolphins are preparing for a much-anticipated Monday Night Football game, when they visit the New Orleans Saints. Considering reports of an injured defense and struggling offensive line, the 3-0 Dolphins are looking forward to facing another undefeated team. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill spoke with the media after Wednesday’s practice about his ball handling, 4th quarter successes and his first Monday Night Football game.
How do you feel about holding on to the ball too long during the Atlanta Falcons’ game?
“The one early in the game, the first drive, I definitely held the ball too long. It wasn’t playing out down field the way we thought it was going to, and I didn’t get rid of the ball in a situation I should have, so that one was definitely on me. There was also some times when the coverage’s were just great down field, and I just wasn’t able to get the ball off, so I think it’s a combination of sometimes holding the ball too long and sometimes the other team doing a good job.”
How concerned are you about the sacks that you’ve taken?
It’s not something we’re happy about right now, it’s something we’re looking at, we’re working on, but I’m not concerned with it, I have confidence in the guys in front of me. They’re getting better, I’m hopefully getting better at the same time and we’ll hopefully see those numbers go down.”
What he can you do to improve your pocket presence awareness?
“Some situations like that, where your feet are telling you to get rid of the ball, get rid of the ball. There’s going to be some situations where you’re not able to, and they get on you pretty quick. The situations where you do have a nice pocket, you are able to step up, but you’re sitting there, hitching and patting the ball, that’s the situations where you need to either try to run through or just thrown the ball away and live for another day.”
How has the team found success in the 4th quarter now, compared to last year?
“I think it’s an all-around effort. I think guys are comfortable in the system now, being our second year here. Everyone understands that it’s crunch time and it’s kind of do or die. Either we make a play and hang in this game to win, or we let it slip us by.
I think last year we let situations slip by us a lot more than we should have. Coming into this year that was one of the points of emphasis of Coach Philbin, which was ‘Hey we need to make plays when it counts in the 4th quarter, end of the 2nd quarter and the end of the 2nd half as well. We rep it a lot, we get a lot of practice of it in the offseason in camp, we’ve done a good job at this point.”
As a child, people dream about these moments. How does it feel?
“Yeah of course, as a quarterback you want the ball in your hands in the end with the chance to win at the end of the game. We were able to execute this last week, but we have a lot of weeks to go so we’re going to have to do it again at some point in the year.”
Are you surprised at how calm you were, or did you expect that of yourself?
“I expect to be calm, if you’re out there panicked, then you’re going to give panic to everyone else. You have to be in control of the situation, be confident in the guys around you, and I think that’s the biggest thing. I was confident in the protection, they did a great job of keeping guys off and giving me time to throw, and guys were getting open and making big catches down field.”
Do you feel that you need to do more versus the Saints due to their offense?
“I don’t think so, it goes game by game, obviously if they’re scoring a lot of points during the game, we’re going to have to pick up our offense and put a lot of points on the board. It’s not something where we go into the game and say, ‘Hey we have to score x amount of points to win this game’, we obviously want to score as much as we can every game, but it depends game by game. If the situation calls for it, then you’re going to have to score a lot of points.”
How does it feel to play on “Monday Night Football?”
“It’s exciting, I’ve never been a part of it obviously, so it’s something I’m looking forward to. It’s going to be a tough environment, expecting a really deafening crowd in New Orleans. We’re going to have to be good, we’re going to have to be crisp with our communication, confident in what we do and just play our game.”
Check back tomorrow to see Who's in the Fish Bowl!
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