The Finsiders
The Finsiders Blog
All posts by Brian Coyle
By on October 31, 2014 at 11:59 am

103114-WeddleClayThe Miami Dolphins are looking to increase their wining streak to three games as they play host to the San Diego Chargers. The 4-3 Dolphins look to keep pace in the ultra competitive AFC. Facing the 5-3 Chargers will be a great test of this team. With that in mind, let’s take a look inside the locker room, and find out what the team is saying on this weekend’s matchup.

Joe Philbin

On how Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers matches up to quarterbacks the Dolphins have already seen this year: “He’s really playing well. He’s got a ton of experience, a ton of production over a long period of time. He’s very accurate. One of the things I think that makes him really unique is he kind of has that extra sense of where something bad might be happening and kind of slip-and-slide away from it. I know he’s not a huge scrambler, but if you are not disciplined in your pass rush lanes, he’ll take advantage of everything. So I think he’s a guy if you make mistakes and you are not sound, he’ll make you pay for it. He’s really having a heck of a year.”

On if he’s seen Chargers TE Antonio Gates slow down at all and how you cover him”: “I think he has what nine touchdowns or something, I believe. They have great production there. He’s good on third down as well. I think he’s converting a bunch of third downs for them, so he’s not just a red zone receiver. You kind of marvel at his productivity. He just catches the ball well. He’s a guy that understands coverages and uses his body well to get himself open, even in kind of tight spaces. He’s really having a heck of a year.”

On what he expects to see against the San Diego Chargers this Sunday: “They’re a real balanced football team. They are good in all three phases. They’ve obviously got an experienced quarterback who is having a tremendous year. He’s got some outstanding weapons to work with, both on the perimeter and at the tight end position. Their young running back has filled in incredibly well. He’s done a fantastic job there. They’re very diverse and multiple on offense. Defensively, they’ve played extremely well. Their blitz package and they’re as multiple a team that we’ve played, coach (John) Pagano and his staff, they do a great job. They’re a lot to prepare for. It takes some extra time in the meeting room and so forth to get ready for these guys. They are good on special teams. It’s a good football team. Mike (McCoy) has done a great job there and we’re going to have to play awful well.”

On how Chargers S Eric Weddle is playing: “He’s all over the tape. Now, he is kind of an experienced player. I think one of the things we feel like these guys do is a great job of disguising. You are never really sure where he’s going to end up. On the snap of the ball he maybe down-low and he’s got the deep middle-third or vice-versa. I think he’s a good blitzer. That’s something we certainly are going to have to have our radar up in terms of his location, and if it’s anywhere near the line of scrimmage he’s a threat to blitz and make plays. He’s a very good tackler, so he’s certainly kind of has all the skills and traits you are looking for a safety in the National Football League. He’s playing really well.”

On how you balance playing coverage and trying to blitz when playing a quarterback like San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers: “It’s a great question. That’s the dilemma, we’ve been sitting around South Florida trying to figure out, the best way to handle it. I think when you play a quarterback as good as Philip Rivers, it really gets down to playing good, fundamental defense. You know he’s going to complete some passes. You’re going to have to tackle really, really well. You’re going to have to be disciplined in your rush lanes, not that he’s the world’s greatest scrambler, but he’s so aware in the pocket, any weakness you present to him, he’ll take advantage. I don’t know if there is one sure way. I think it just goes back to playing fundamentally good, solid defense. We’re going to have to have tight coverage. We’re going to have to have good pass rush lanes. Some guys are going to have to win some one-on-ones.”

Ryan Tannehill

On what comes to mind most when he thinks about the game last season against the Chargers: “It was a good game. It came down to the wire, a finish with Philip Rivers taking a shot to the end zone as time expired and our guy was able to make the play and break it up. I think about a long tough game that both teams fought hard and we were fortunate enough to come out on top.”

On the Chargers having more time to prepare coming off a Thursday Night game what is his experience of the value of the rest time after playing on Thursday night: “Yeah it huge, physically to be able to get some extra rest, to give your body the few days of extra rest it makes a huge difference, as well as preparation time. You are able to kind of really go back and evaluate the things that you are doing well and study your opponent. So I am sure that they are going to have a great plan for us and we are going to have to do a good job of counteracting that and be on top of our game.”

On what was happening last year with the trouble the Chargers defense had last year with his cadence: “I can’t tell you exactly. You know, just working the cadence last year and got them to jump off side a few times.”

On if it was an every week thing or was it special to the Chargers: “Yeah, you know every week we have a plan to change up the cadence and keep guys on their heels. You know if you’re letting team just get a jump on your cadence, it’s going to make like tough for your offensive linemen and your tackles. So we have to keep them honest with changing up the cadence.”

Cortland Finnegan

On Chargers QB Philip Rivers and the challenges of facing him: “He’s playing at a high level, at an MVP level. He’s got 20 touchdowns. He’s got receivers. He’s got a tight end. He’s got a running game. You’ve got to be on point. You can’t give him anything easy, make them earn everything. You’re hopeful at the end of the day that’s enough, but we’ll see. It’s a tough task.”

On Chargers TE Antonio Gates: “We’ll have a game plan like we do every week. At the same time, we’ll line up and we have to play football. He’s dynamic in what he does. We have to players that we know can get it done too. We’ll see as the game unfolds how it works out for us.”

On what Chargers TE Antonio Gates does so well: “I don’t know what he doesn’t do well. That’s a better question. He can do it all. That’s why he’s got Pro Bowls and that’s why he’s been so successful.”

Brent Grimes

On Chargers QB Philip Rivers and the challenges of facing him: “Everybody knows Philip Rivers has been a great quarterback in this league for a long time. He gets rid of the ball quick. He stands and looks pressure in the face and still makes accurate throws. He has a great arm. You can go on and on about him. You’ve just go to make it tough, just like anybody else in this league. There are a lot of great quarterbacks and, if you give them easy things, you’re going to make them look even better. We’ve just got to try and challenge him all game and make things not easy for him.”

On the importance of this week’s game and if he looks at the standings: “No, it’s just another game. They’re a good a team. We’re worried about playing the Chargers. They’re a good team, won a lot of games. (They’ve) got a lot of weapons and have got a great quarterback. So we’re worried about that. You can’t really look at all of the other (standings). That’s up to other people to worry about that. We’re just worrying about playing one game at a time.”

Reshad Jones

On facing Chargers QB Philip Rivers and what he does so well: “He stays in the pocket. When the pocket collapses, he stands in the pocket and delivers strikes. He’s got some great guys on the outside that he can get the ball to, Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd, those guys running around. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us this week, so we’re going to have to come with our A game.”

On Chargers TE Antonio Gates: “He’s a Hall of Famer. The guy is shifty, he’s fast, he’s big, he can run, he’s got great hands. He’s a total package at tight end.”

On the importance of this game and the possibility of it eventually coming down to a tiebreaker in the standings, and if he looks at the standings: “Not really. We have a 1-0 mentality. We take one game at a time. Right now, we’re focusing on the San Diego Chargers. Like I said, I think it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. It’s going to be a big game, at home, in front of our home crowd, we want to go out and do all we can to get a victory.”

Jared Odrick

Of if the San Diego Chargers are as good an offense that they’ve faced all year: “Most definitely. The Chargers definitely have quite a formidable offense. They have a lot of weapons with the wide receivers. They’ve got a tall wide receiver. They’ve got quick wide receivers, a plethora of running backs. They’ve got four running backs that could start for any team in the NFL. They’ve got a solid offensive line as well. It’s definitely one of the more talent stacked teams, especially at a position like running back and wide receiver.”

On how focused they will be facing a talented team like the Chargers: “Our focus really doesn’t change week to week. The thing is, if there is a way to get more focus, I’m sure we’re finding ways to do that. Our focus doesn’t really change each week. The principles of football and the principles of defense stay each week. It really doesn’t change. You want to simplify the offense that you’re playing and make them one dimensional and attack.”

On if they will watch the tape from a successful defensive performance against the Chargers from last season: “You look at some of the things that you did well against a team and try to expand on those. You look at what other teams did and some of the mistakes that they’ve made. That’s week in and week out, it’s what you do every week. You take things that you did well against them last year and you expand on that and then you take things that other teams would do and try to expand on that. The thing is that week in and week out it’s the same and from year to year it’s the same.”

Lamar Miller

On how important it will be to establish the run against the San Diego Chargers: “I feel like the offensive line has been doing a great job. I feel like once we get the run game going, everything else will fall into place. It will open up the passing game. We’ve just got to do our assignments.”

Jarvis Landry

On what it is going to take to get the offense going in the first half“I think we went in at half with 15 plays something like that or somewhere around there, we just try to take advantage of that opportunity that we get. Sometimes the teams going to do a great job on their side of the ball, but I think for us, we just have to continue to play fast, continue to make plays, the little plays that are there, continue to move the chains and then I think that we will be a successful offense.”

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