This week the Miami Dolphins are coming off their bye and are preparing for their first divisional game when the Buffalo Bills come to Miami on Sunday. The Dolphins hope to improve on their home winning record and standing amongst a competitive AFC Division. To do so they’ve begun to focus on some areas of weakness pertaining to building an explosive running game, improving on a besieged offensive line and the adding the necessary tools for a struggling pass defense. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill spoke with the media after Wednesday’s practice to discuss the bye week, AFC East competition, defending against the Bills’ and his hopes for the offense in the remainder of the season.
What did you do on the bye week to get better? (i.e. if he watched his first 5 games)
“I didn’t watch them as games, we watch them as cut ups, kind of looked at our tendencies. We looked at some things that I didn’t do well, some that we did do well, and just tried to evaluate it from a whole, as opposed to each game individually.”
What did you learn about yourself, but more specifically what can be improve upon?
“I think one of the things I hit on earlier, is deep balls, we had some opportunities there and we’re really close, we just need to connect on those. Like I said, I think we’re doing a decent job on third down, a decent job in the red zone, we can’t let that slack off, we have to continue that. I think if we hit those deep balls, it would really open up a whole other part of our offense.”
Can the bye week be used as a flush out to use the things you’ve done well and eliminate the bad?
“Yes, I think so. I think we, don’t flush out what you didn’t do well, but learn from it. Go back, take a look at it, why didn’t it go well, ask questions why. We have, I don’t remember how many sacks, twenty whatever sacks…why do we have 24 sacks. We broke it down individually and why each one happened, and now it’s just a matter of fixing those things.”
What is the importance of the remaining six divisional games?
“They’re huge. Obviously division games are the ones you look forward to, the ones that you want to win the most. You play each team twice and in order to win your division, the best way to do it is to win the games in your division. They’re games we look forward to and we have them all right in front of us, so I feel like that’s and advantage for us. “
Is Mario Williams playing another level this year?
“I think he’s doing a really good job, he’s being a threat, he’s moving around, they have him moving around on all different positions on the defensive front. You can’t just key in on one side of the line or one spot at defensive end for him. They’ll put him right over the center, bring him in an ‘A’ gap, do a lot of different things with him. He’s definitely a force to be reckoned with and we’re going to have to handle that.”
Besides Mario Williams, what additionally catches his attention on the Buffalo defense?
“They show a lot of looks. They’ll use dime personnel a lot on 3rd down and they show a lot of different looks at you. It makes it tough to identify, they want to get pressure on the QB and that’s something that we’re going to have to handle.”
How disruptive is Kiko Alonso for the Bills?
“He’s a good player. He flies around all over the field, he made some big plays down on the goal line against Cleveland also, I don’t know how many total interceptions he has but you can see he has good ball skills. When the ball is in the air he’s not afraid to go get it, and feels very comfortable catching the ball. He’s definitely a guy that we’ll have to account for.”
What do you notice from the Bills defense compared to last season with a new coordinator?
“They throw a lot of looks at you. They put a lot of DB’s in the game, play ‘dime’ a lot on third down and will show a lot of different looks and sometimes it’s tough to see who is coming, so I think that they do a good job of that.”
How’s your confidence with Mike Sherman after you’ve been together for a little while?
“Yes, I think so. We meet every Friday afternoon after we’ve had a full week of practice and go over the game plan, things I like, things I don’t like. Maybe a little adjustment here, adjustment there. It really helps us get on the same page; I can understand where he’s going to call things, and what he likes out of the play. He can understand what I like and what I’m not really feeling.”
How much does a good running game help the entire offensive line process?
“It’s huge. Obviously, not only gaining yards, putting us in 3rd and manageable, but opens up play action and those type of things for us as well. It’s something that we’re really going to focus on heading into the second half of the season and continue grinding. We understand that there are going to be some games that it’s going to be tough to run the ball but we just have to keep doing it. Eventually we’re going to break one and gain some good yards.”
What’s one part of the passing game that he wants to get better over the next 11 weeks?
“There’s a lot of areas that we’d like to see get better. Third down I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far, we’d like to see that continue at the pace it’s at right now and hopefully increase it a little bit. Down in the red zone we’ve had some success, we took a step back against Baltimore, and we need to get that back on track. We’d like to hit a few more down the field shots, we’ve been really close at it a few times and we feel like if we hit a couple of those we’re right where we want to be.”
How’s the chemistry in developing new offensive additions at wide receiver?
“It’s been great, excited to get them in this off-season, this spring and our chemistry and our relationship has continued to grow throughout the year and hopefully it will continue as we move forward. We have some playmakers across the board and its fun to be able to throw to those guys.”
How to best utilize Mike Wallace’s ability and skills?
“We can’t force him the ball, obviously he brings a lot to the table and we want to utilize him and utilize the things that he does well. But we are not going to force him the ball; you never know who is going to end up getting the most catches going into a game. Things always change and a lot of times it’s just the way it plays out. We will have certain things for him to get him a look that he is first in the progression, but also a lot of our plays are dependent on what the defense shows us. Like I said, we won’t force him anything but to have him as a weapon is a huge luxury.”
What has the coaching staff told him about running outside of the pocket and being able to be smart?
“You have to find that thin line. Sometimes you’re going to fight for that extra yards and get the first down. A lot of times you’re just going to slide and not take the hit. You just have to find that fine line, find the situation in the game, but the majority of the time you’re going to have to protect yourself and slide.”
What is the team going to have to do to erase the two losses after the quick start?
“They’re not ever going to get erased, the losses are on our schedule or on our record and that’s going to be the way it is. We can definitely overcome that; we can definitely get back on track this week. It’s going to be a team effort; both sides of the ball and special teams are going to have to play well. I don’t think the record of the Bills is an indicator of the type of team they are, I think they have some good players and do some really good things. We’re going to have to be on our best, and play as a team.”
This Sunday the (3-2) Miami Dolphins host the (2-4) Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium. The Bills are currently 0-2 on the road, whereas the Dolphins stand at 1-1 at home. The game kicks off at 1pm on CBS.
Check back tomorrow to see who’s, “In the Fish Bowl!”
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- “In the Fish Bowl” Quotes from Miami Dolphins’ Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill
- “In the Fish Bowl” Quotes from Miami Dolphins’ Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill
- “In the Fish Bowl” Quotes from Miami Dolphin Quarterback Ryan Tannehill
- “In the Fish Bowl” Quotes from Miami Dolphins’ Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle
- “In the Fish Bowl” Quotes from Miami Dolphins’ Coach Joe Philbin
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