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Dolphins Midweek Interviews

Posted Oct 14, 2011

Transcripts of conference calls from Tony Sparano and Jason Taylor with Jets reporters and Matt Moore's news conference with Dolphins reporters during the day Thursday:

HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO

On Jason Taylor being back...

Obviously it means a great deal to our team. He’s been a long time Miami Dolphin. He’s tremendous in this community, but more importantly he’s a hell of a player, hell of a guy, and in my time with Jason he’s been one of the most outstanding players that I’ve had to the opportunity to coach. He’s very good with the young players and he still has gas left in his tank here and can help our football team win. So that’s what I think of him.

On what the loss of Chad Henne means and what he expects from Matt Moore...

Well, the loss of Chan Henne is no different than the loss of the Indianapolis Colts, not having their quarterback, or some of the other teams not having starting quarterbacks. If you lose your starting quarterback, it’s a hard loss but that’s the nature of the game here. I think everybody can line up and make a lot of excuses but at the end of the day nobody … excuses aren’t going to get it done. Matt Moore is our quarterback right now. We have all the confidence in the world in Matt Moore and he’s been doing an outstanding job for us. So it’s just part of the game. It’s an unfortunate part of the game but part of the game nonetheless.

On his running backs situation...

Obviously Daniel Thomas has played very well for us. Both games that he’s been in of the four games, I think he really ran the ball very, very well. But he hadn’t been completely healthy, he’s missed two games. So that being said, I’ve been very pleased with what Reggie [Bush]’s done so far. We have to do a little bit better job utilizing Reggie, from our end, ourselves.

But he’s done a really good job, I think. Some of the things that we’ve asked him to do — and we’ve been pleased with what Lex Hilliard has done and of course Steve Slaton here right now — he’s a guy that the bye week helped tremendously as well because we got him just before the bye week. He didn’t really have much knowledge of what we were doing.

On what makes LB Cameron Wake effective...

His motor. Cameron’s a relentless player. I think he’s got all of the outstanding pass rush qualities. I think that Jason Taylor would tell you that. Jason’s had a chance to work with Cameron a little bit and Cameron learns from Jason a lot. Bryan Cox has also done a tremendous job with him. But the thing I think that separates some of these outstanding pass rushers, a Cameron Wake, a [Clay] Matthews, these kinds of people, he’s got a motor. They’re relentless and they give effort in trying to get to get to the quarterback and I think that’s probably what separates them.

On what he thinks needs to be done for the Dolphins to turn things around...

Win. That’s all. We need to win to start turning things around. But in order to do that, there’s some critical areas that we have to get better in. We played well in some areas but there’s some areas that our football team has to get better in. We’ve given up too many explosive plays on defense and on offense we need to do a better job. Certainly down there in the red zone and turning things over and touchdowns.

So I think there’s some areas there — minus plays down in the red area have been a little bit of a problem for us — and then I just think the basic fundamentals of the game. I think I heard Rex [Ryan] earlier in the week talk about fundamentals and technique and assignment and those kind of things. All those things when you’re 0-4 from our end are things that have to be examined and we did a good job of that in the bye week. I feel like we’ve gotten better at some of those.

On WR Brandon Marshall vs. CB Darrelle Revis...

I don’t know, I’m not sure if they’ll put Darrelle on him or not. Obviously Darrelle’s an outstanding player. Brandon’s an outstanding player, too. So I’m not sure how they’re going to play us. They have two really good corners there, obviously the two best corners, I think, that are out there. But as far as how Brandon’s playing, Brandon’s been playing well for us. He’s made some big plays, he’s caught the ball down the field and all of these, done a good job with his run after catch. The guy's in great shape. He had a really good offseason during the lockout, got himself prepared to play well. So I think he’s just going to get better and better.

On if he see’s anything that has caused the Jets to struggle...

No, I wouldn’t say there’s anything that I noticed and if I did I probably wouldn’t say it. I know that that team has lost three games before a couple of times and has bounced back. No different than my football team. We’ve been in this situation before and bounced back. We’ve been 0-3 and 0-4 and won kind of our next 11 games and six of our next seven games. Teams get in these positions. The bottom line is you put yourself in the position by the way you play and you've got to dig yourself out of it. So there’s nothing really that I’ve watched on film that said this is the reason why the Jets are in this deal here. That’s a darn good football team in my very humble opinion. That team went to the AFC Championship Game last year and they're still the team to beat in our division.

On what the Dolphins worked on in the bye week...

We worked on the things that we thought … we tried to cure some ills, that’s what we did. In other words, it’s easy to go out there and continue to do some of the things that you do good during the bye week. But from our end that’s not what we did. We took a good, long, hard look at ourselves, really were critical of ourselves during the bye week, and worked hard on some of the areas that need to be worked on. So there’s areas obviously that we haven’t done a good job in and there’s some areas that we’ve done a very good job in. And we just spent most of the time on the areas that we didn’t do a good job in.

LB JASON TAYLOR

On how it is to be back in Miami...

It’s good. I have a lot of history here, obviously played the vast majority of my career here, so it was great to get a chance to come back home and make it pretty easy following the lockout to not have to relocate. But also it came as a surprise so I was looking forward to getting an opportunity to go back to New York and have the chance to talk to those guys once the lockout ended but things worked out here and it fits.

On if he enjoyed his year with the Jets...

I did. I had a great time. And there are always some people in Miami that don’t want to hear it, but the fact of the matter is I enjoyed myself last year. We had a good bit of success, didn’t go quite as far as we would have liked. But the journey was a lot of fun and I kind of got a chance to play and walk in the shoes of another man, so to speak, and see it from the other side, and had a really good time and kind of changed some of the perspective I had on what the Jets were all about.

On what kind of reception he thinks he’ll get...

I’m sure I’ll be booed. I’m sure I’ll be booed. I was booed for a lot of years in that stadium, it’s a new stadium, but booed for a lot of years in that town and I tried to do my best to make them cheer last year. But being back on the other side of the coin now, I’m sure I’ll get my fair share of boos, which is to be expected. They’re Jets fans and they should be and they’re very passionate about their team and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

On what makes Cameron Wake an effective player...

Well, Cameron has all the physical tools. There’s things that God blessed him with that you can’t buy at a store and you can’t teach. That’s the speed, power; he plays with really good leverage, great quickness. So those are things that you can’t necessarily teach and he kind of came in this league a little older as a rookie, so to speak, but having played in Canada for so many years and having success up there and racking up a lot of sacks, he understands how to beat guys, he understands how to sack a quarterback.

Coming into this league, he’s obviously had to learn a few different things and go against the top competition in the world, and I think he’s adapted to that very well and now I think he’ll be the first to tell you he’s not done maturing and growing yet and you never do in this game until you leave. So he’s got room to grow. He knows that. He works at it and that’s the best thing about Cameron. He had some success. He didn’t let it go to his head. He’s hungry, he’s still fighting and wanting to get better and better every day and he works at it every day. And it’s great to see that.

On if there’s a sense of desperation on every game being a must-win...

Well, every game is a must-win. And you know what? We lost the first quarter of the season. The first four games we didn’t get a win, so we kind of scratched those and we're now looking at it as a 12-game season, pretty much like a college year. Like a college season, you've got 12 games and you need to win the better part of those 12 games so, you know it’s not always how you start, it’s how you finish.

And I know the Jets have had their struggles recently, sitting at 2-3. But again, these things can be turned around pretty quickly and I’m sure they’re optimistic about their chances and what they want to do and where they want to go and how they’re going to do it and we need to be the same way.

On why he thinks the Jets are struggling on offense...

No, they’ll be all right. Sometimes things don’t click quite as fast as people would like, but they’ll be fine. They’ve got the players, the talent to do it, very, very good coaches, very knowledgeable coaches on both sides of the ball, so they’ll be fine. Like I said, the talent's there, the quarterback's there. They’ll be just fine.

On if he thinks the Jets locker room has that sense of desperation that these games are must-wins for them...

I think we throw this "desperation" around too easily. The word desperation kind of gets thrown around too easily. It’s not desperation. You understand being in the moment. The moment right now calls for you to win the next game. You can’t, either team, whether it be the Jets or the Dolphins, you can’t worry about Week 7, Week 10, Week 12. The next time we play the Patriots, the next time we play the Patriots. You can’t worry about all of that.

So there’s no desperation. It’s urgent. A sense of urgency is one thing, an intense focus on the moment at hand. The game at hand is one thing and that’s kind of where both teams need to be at and I’m sure they’ve got, like I said, they’ve got fantastic coaches and their head coach is one of the best and he knows and I’ve been around it for one season, the way he handles the team and his approach.

It’s the urgency of the moment. It’s not desperation. There’s no reason to be desperate. You start being desperate, you do things outside of yourself. You start to take too many risks. You end of making mistakes because you’re playing with desperation. You don’t need to do that. Have that sense of urgency and trust me, we fully anticipate that they will have that sense of urgency in focus and we’re going to have the same thing.

QB MATT MOORE

On never playing the Jets and going against players such as Darrelle Revis...

Yeah, obviously he’s a good player, he’s been playing at a high level for a long time, and I think everybody knows that. It’s definitely going to be a challenge but it comes down to just execution. Yes, we’re aware of his talents, very good, like I said. But we need to worry about executing on our side of the ball.

On if playing a lot of games the last couple of years make the transition to play now easier...

Yeah, I think I’ve been in pretty much every situation you can be in as a quarterback in this league, from the No. 3 to starting and playing when I’m not expected to play. The situation here is, yeah, I’ve been here before. It’s unfortunate that Chad [Henne] had to go down but that’s why they got guys that need to step up and fill the role. Like I said, it’s not the first time I’ve done it. There’s some familiarity.

On if there is added pressure because of Miami's record...

I think only if you let it. I think guys understand where we are. Everybody understands where we are. But I think the pressure only gets to you if you let it get to you. We are where we are but we've still got to go out and execute and do our best to win a ballgame.

On if there is little pressure because of the team’s record...

You can think of it that way, yeah. Again, we can think of it however we want to think about it. At least the way I’m approaching it, and I think the way these guys are, is we need to do everything we need to do to win. We need to execute, do things right, keep moving forward. This game, just like every other game, is going to be a battle. There is going to be ups and downs and we need to stay on the rise — you know what I mean? — and really cut loose and turn it loose and come home with a win. That’s all that matters.

On if he likes that Jets coach Rex Ryan described him as a "gunslinger"...

I don’t know. You can turn on the tape and people can make their assumptions, labels. I don’t know, yeah, have I thrown the ball downfield, yeah. Gunslinger, or whatever you want to call it, I don’t know. There’s only one gunslinger if you ask me and that’s Brett Favre. I like to think of myself as somebody who is going to execute, operate the offense and put us in a good position to win.

On how much better prepared he is now to run this offense then he was heading into the San Diego game...

I felt good then. But obviously last week with all the reps that I took, this week I feel that much better. Being a backup, naturally you don’t just get that many reps. That’s just the way this league works. The bye couldn’t have come at a better time and just with the amount of reps that I’ve been getting I feel good. Like I said, it all comes down to execution. Believe in what you’re seeing and go out there and do it.

On how much more contact he has had with coordinator Brian Daboll this week...

That’s all been the same. I’ve always had, every quarterback has always had a ton of interaction with him. He does a good job kind of spreading himself with every position, really good job. That’s something that was new to me when I came down here. I love it. I know guys like it, having that relationship with him.

On if it’s the Jets' talent or scheme that gives teams more problems...

I think it’s both. There’s definitely talented guys over there, fast, good football players, smart guys. Guys have been playing in this defense for a while and they have that mentality, you know what I mean? Their coaching staff over there, they scheme up some things that can give us some problems. The past has shown that they’re a good defense, they’ve always been. They fly to the ball, which is why, like I said, we need to really understand what’s going on, who’s where in certain situations, but ultimately focus on … know our game plan. It’s going to come down to matchups and winning the situation. We've got to win the moment.

On if a more emotional Brandon Marshall can be a good thing for this team...

I don’t know. Now it’s like I’m a doctor [laughing]. Brandon’s got to be himself. Everybody’s got to be themselves. He’s going to be at the emotional level he needs to be at to be at his best. How about that answer?

On how he would describe his relationship with Marshall...

It’s good. It’s been great. We’ve obviously been putting a little more time this week and last week but he’s been good. We’ve just been communicating, him as well as all the other receivers, because we haven’t had the time, obviously. We’ve just been talking, spending some more time on the field, really just sharing thoughts with each other — how I see it, how he sees things. That’s all you can do, really.

On what he knows about the history of the Dolphins-Jets rivalry...

I knew it was a big game, but not really. I’ve obviously learned quickly that it means something to a lot of people and as it should. There’s tons of games like this across the league. It’s a big game for us because it’s the next game and we've got to go get a win.

On if Sage Rosenfels has been a big help this week...

Yeah, he’s been great. Having a veteran guy like that, he sees things in a different way. He’s seen everything, you know what I mean? Started some games, been a backup, been in similar situations that I’ve been in, so he’s been a great help. Watching film with him and then just bouncing things off of him in practice, he’s been good to have.

On if Jason Taylor has given any insight about the Jets defense...

Yeah, naturally, a couple things here and there. He’s obviously been there and knows how it works over there. I think ultimately — I keep going back to this — I think with the things he’s given us, again it’s going to come down to us executing, being productive and doing everything we can to get a win.”

Preseason Live: New York Jets

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