After losing the division opener to the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins look to get back on track this week against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots up in Foxborough. See what’s been said around Miami’s locker room as the team prepares for this weekend’s test against the division’s leader.
On the Patriots’ home-field advantage: “Well they have an excellent track record at Gillette Stadium. It’s well documented they play very well at home. Their point differential I believe since 2002 is the best in football at their home stadium. They play very well up there. We told the team we are going to have to play our best game of the year, we were very upfront about it. I want to say since 2010 they’re 24-3 at home, is my understanding. That’s almost 90 percent so they play exceptionally well there. We have to know that going in and we’re going to have to play an outstanding game.”
On how Tom Brady can continue to play at a high level: “Well a lot of things that I believe in with the quarterback position he does very well. He looks like to me an excellent decision maker, very accurate passer and he makes plays at critical times in the game. Those are things that in my opinion are universal traits of a very, very good quarterback. He’s done that, as you mentioned on a consistent basis for a very long time.”
On the Patriots defense: “They don’t give up a whole lot of points, that’s the big thing. I think they have great flexibility in regards to their front they present probably more fronts conceptually than most teams you play. They have 3-4 people on the field and then the next snap they have the same people and they’re playing a 4-3. They’ve got different combinations they do a great job of putting their guys in position to be successful. One time they have six db’s, then they have five, they just do an excellent job. Chandler Jones has come into his own as a player (Rob) Ninkovich is tough, (Brandon) Spikes all those guys and they play a lot of young guys who are getting better and better every week.”
On how important was the loss of Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo for the Patriots: “Those are two really good players, obviously perennial players that have been playing for a long time and been doing really well. To lose those types of guys has to be tough but it happens to every team throughout the year. At some point you’re going to lose some of the top players on your team and you have to be able to plug a guy in an expect him to play. They’ve done that so far, and they’ve really been playing well for them.”
On Tom Brady: “He gets the ball out quickly. I think that’s one thing he’s known for. He’s really accurate with the football and he makes slight and subtle movements in the pocket that buy him that extra half second”
On the success of the Patriots’ redzone defense: “They show some different looks down in the redzone. They mix in double coverage depending on who they are playing and it can present some problems how they line up. It’s not a clear picture as you see most weeks. They do a good job of passing guys off and funneling them to their help.”
On Tom Brady: “He’s smart. He just knows where to go with the ball. He’s instinctive that he knows what you’re in and how to get it to different people. He knows mismatches and all that stuff. So, for us, the key is to kind of confuse him, get him off the spot and rush him a little bit—not let him get into a rhythm.”
On tight end Rob Gronkowski: “He has his number one target back, so that’s we’ve been working on, we’ll keep working on, is Gronk, 87. He was targeted 17 times I think, last week. We’ll definitely be prepared for that.”
On playing in Foxborough: “I’m not sure. I’ve never played there before, but I know it’s going to be tough. I was saying earlier, I saw their record and they’re like 24-3 in their last 27 home games, so it’s going to be tough to win, but I think if we don’t turn the ball over, we go out and we play physical, I think we’ll have a good chance to win the football game.”
On why it’s hard to win in New England: “Bill Belichick and Tom Brady make it hard to win in Foxborough. They’ve won a lot of football games, they’re very good at home, I think I’ve read some crazy stat of them coming home off a loss, the numbers are through the roof. I think the consistency starts with them and it trickles down to everybody.”
On beating the Patriots: “I’ve never beat the Patriots my entire career. It’s something I’m hungry for. I told the guys today, we’ve got to make up our mind early in the week to beat these guys. We’ve got to make up our mind right now, have a good week of preparation and go up there and give them our best shot.”
On Patriots’ defense without Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo: “Him not playing, Mayo not playing, it’s big for us. We just have to go out and execute. Because without those guys, other guys will step up and they’ve been doing that so far this year.”
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.