This week, the Dolphins welcome the Patriots to Sun Life Stadium for a divisional showdown. With both teams eyeing the playoffs, see what the Dolphins are saying about the Patriots in this week’s edition of “What They’re Saying”.
On if there is anything magical about the Patriots in the way they continue to succeed or if it is football 101 - “Again, they are very consistent. I think the one thing we told the team today, if you examine them over a long period of time they’ve done the best job in football if I’m not mistaken and the turnover margin over a long period of time I think that gives them a chance to win a lot of football games. They are very well-coached. They have good players, and it’s been a good formula for them.”
On what makes the Patriots a formidable rushing team – “I think they’re very well coached up front. Dante Scarnecchia I think is one of the better coaches in the league. I think he’s excellent, he’s been there a long time. Their line is well coached; they don’t make a lot of mistakes up front. They’ve rolled through some backs there and they’ve all had production. I think they have a good scheme, well coached, good players and that adds up to production.”
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 what he can take from the previous game against the Patriots in Foxborough – “Well obviously it’s the same team for the most part. (Aqib) Talib will probably be back and maybe someone else is gone, but you’re playing a team for the second time, obviously they are going to have a little bit different of a game plan. We are going to have a little bit different of a game plan. That’s the beauty of playing division games, you get to play each other twice a year and it’s about fixing the things that you didn’t do well last time and evolving your game plan so that its not the same exact game.”
On what makes Tom Brady so tough to beat – “Well it’s not so much quarterback on quarterback, its our team verses their team. Their organization, their team has been a powerhouse for probably fifteen years. The history that they have, the history against the Dolphins they have, it’s something that we are looking forward to. We look forward to improving and beating those guys.”
On what about Brady’s sustained excellence is impressive – “Well obviously he is one of the best quarterbacks of our time. He has every tool that you want in a quarterback and is constantly making plays.”
On preparing for a coach like Bill Belichick both on game day and during the week and if it causes him to prepare differently when playing the Patriots – “Not so much thinking about (Coach Belichick), all I can judge is what is on tape. Obviously we have to be prepared if they are playing us a different way than we expected. We really just study the tape, what they put on tape through 13 games so far this year and usually that is a pretty good indication of the things that could come up during the game. You always have to be on your toes for if they decide to play us a different way, but just studying tape at this point.”
On facing Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib – “It’s exciting, I always enjoy going against the top rated, quote, unquote corners in the league and he is one of the guys that is always well talked about. I hope he is coming back well from his injury, if end up seeing him I am looking forward to the opportunity and the matchup.”
On his impressions and if he sees any difference in the Patriots secondary over the past few weeks with a number of them battling injuries – “Really just watching all the games it just how many different guys have been playing. I don’t think its necessarily seeing a guy play injured or who he is trying to pull up there. Its just seeing a guy here that is moved around and a guy there, that’s probably been the biggest notice and I am just speaking from the back end from the corners to the safeties and the nickel players, so that is probably where I have seen the most, the versatility and the amount of the defensive backs that have played.”
On what they need to do to limit Tom Brady – “He’s human like everybody else. You do your best to make him uncomfortable. If we can put him off his spot, it might change coverages. Whatever it might be. This week is going to be no different.”
On facing the Patriots’ offense – “It’s going to be a tough challenge. We’ve got Tom Brady coming in, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. The margin of error is going to be very small when we’re facing a team like this. We’re going to have to go out and play our style of football.