Miami Conference Calls

Transcripts of conference calls by Cam Cameron and Jason Taylor with New York Jets reporters on Wednesday:        

DOLPHINS HEAD COACH CAM CAMERON

On how things are going for him so far this season as a first-year NFL head coach …

We have a lot of ways we can improve and we knew that coming into the season. This is a team that will continue to get better and better. I think we all want to get off to a fast start and obviously that has not happened. We have stayed relatively healthy and I think our approach is good. We are like a lot of teams in this league and are focused on getting better.

On how QB Trent Green has looked so far in his system …

He did some good things in our opening game. He's getting more and more comfortable with the people that are around him. We have to continue to keep him protected just like anyone else. He's progressing.

On Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas in a new defensive scheme heading into the Jets game …

It's a little early to get fired up, but at the same time we know the rivalry. We know what division games mean. Anytime you go on the road, you better be jacked up and ready to play. You are talking about two great players and I'm pleased with how they're doing. They're like most great players — they take it personal and they look at themselves first. I think we have a group of people that are doing that and that is why I think we have a chance.

On if he is using Taylor differently this season than last …

Last year I thought Dom [Capers, defensive coordinator] did a nice job and he is continuing it this year, moving him around to both sides of the ball and moving him inside. Last week at Dallas early in the game he was triple-teamed and then double-teamed. We have to continue to utilize Jason in ways that help us — bringing him, dropping him, bringing him. That's not uncommon, most people in the league are doing that. He's very bright and he can comprehend all the things we need him to do. We'll expect him to continue playing well.

On what jumps out at him about the Jets ...

Mike Westhoff coached with my father one time at Indiana State and I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for him and what he does in the kicking game. This is one of the top special teams groups coming off of last year. I know losing [Justin] Miller is going to hurt, but at the same time they are explosive in the kicking game and we'll have to do a great job there. I've known Bob Sutton for a long time and their defense does a lot of things. You have to understand football and be sharp mentally or they can create problems for you. I think the defense plays extremely hard. I've had a long relationship with Brian Schottenheimer and I know the job he does with the offense. I don't know Eric [Mangini] that well, but Marty Schottenheimer has said some great things about him and I know he'll have the team ready. This is a team that is in a very similar situation. People might think both of us are struggling, but at the same time I know we need to be prepared and I know they will do a good job of being prepared.

On if he knows who'll be the Jets' starting QB ...

Chad [Pennington] was No. 2 last week. We'll be preparing for both guys. Knowing the kind of competitor Chad is and playing at home all factor in. We would think he is going to play. I've always been impressed with Kellen [Clemens] and was as he was coming out of college. I had worked him out and thought highly of him. I thought his performance against Baltimore was rough but he hung in there and gave the Jets an opportunity to win the game late. We'll be prepared for both, but I would be surprised if Chad didn't play.

On being 0-2 and if this is a "must-win" game for either team ...

I think every division game is an important game and everybody knows that. When you are in this long enough, you know the value of each and every game, whether it's the first, last or fifth game of the season. We are coming into it knowing it's a big game. It's a division game and I think it speaks for itself.

DOLPHINS DE JASON TAYLOR

On being 0-2 and the special rivalry between the Dolphins and Jets …

There's no bigger way to get ready for the next week than to have the Jets coming up. It's obviously a big game for both teams and the rivalry is there. The need to get a win on both teams is there, so it adds that much fuel to an already fiery situation. These are always fun and energetic and pressure-filled games to play in. I'm sure this one will be no different.

On what he's doing to stress how important this rivalry is to his new teammates …

There are a lot of guys that have not experienced it and a lot of young guys just getting into the league, so they don't understand the history of the two teams and the matchup. As far as preparing for it, you don't really focus on the rivalry part of it and try to hype it up. You have to treat it like it's any other game. There's a little bit more emotion to it because it is a division game and they are the Jets, but you can't waste your time hyping a game. You have to get ready to play and they'll see your example in the way you approach the week and the way you are on game day and they'll understand the significance of the two teams playing each other.

On how close the Dolphins feel they are to "getting over the hump" …

Obviously, we're down a little bit right now. We're 0-2 and nobody likes to be in that situation. We understand that they're correctable things. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot — we've done that for what seems like the last five years now, but we've done it for the last two weeks. We had a chance to win both games and gave them away at the end. Last week's game looked worse than it was if you break down a handful of the plays and separate the game. It goes for every game. There are a handful of plays that determine whether you win or lose and unfortunately we haven't had those bounces that have created opportunities to capitalize and win the game.

On teams being able to run the ball against the Dolphins defense …

First of all, we've missed too many tackles in the last two weeks. We've missed too many tackles and that has hurt us. We made a lot of mistakes in technique and gap control and those sorts of things. The Redskins got some running yards on us. Last week [Cowboys QB] Tony Romo ran around a little bit and got 36, 38 yards and got one 40-yard play in the end and it really skews your rushing yards and makes it look a lot worse that it is. With that being said, there are plenty of things we can correct. It's not that alarming to us now, but we definitely need to not let that happen again this week.

On looking forward to potentially facing former Dolphins FB Darian Barnes …

We used to call him "Full Tilt" here because he was always going full-speed at practice, even on Fridays when everyone was trying to chill out. He was a good teammate. Barnes was fun. We miss him down here. Him and D-Bo [David Bowens], we miss them both.

On whether he thinks Barnes will be "amped up" Sunday …

Oh, yeah, he'll be yakking and being his crazy self. I don't know how well you've gotten to know him, but he's an interesting character.

On D'Brickashaw Ferguson's development …

It takes time. Especially in that position where you're facing good rushers every week and getting everybody's best pitches. I thought he came in and did a good job last year, he played very well, and so far this year I think he's picked up where he left off last year. There are always going to be struggles when you have a young guy there. There are struggles for veterans at times. I said it last year and I'll say it now, that he's one of those guys that is going to be a good player there for a long time. I have a lot of confidence that he can be what everyone expects him to be at that position and I know he wants to do it.

On whether he's seen a marked improvement in Ferguson …

He looks more comfortable. He's always moved well. He's athletic and big and nimble. He's always done that and continues to do that. I think the thing he needed to improve the most was the strength of the game and to be able to show up on bull rushers and power-rushing guys. It's still early in the season and everyone's getting their feet into the season. I think he's doing a fine job.

On this season under head coach Cam Cameron to last season under Nick Saban …

It's a lot different. It's a different style. Cam's more quiet and cerebral than Nick was. Nick was more rah-rah, in you face, and would jump on you a lot more than Cam does. Nick's focus was on the defensive side of the ball and Cam's is on the offensive. There are some big differences. It's still early for this team and the coaches are working together and there are guys that are understanding exactly what we're trying to do and buy into the system and learn the system. It takes time to transition, but with that being said you don't want to lose time and we need to get that straightened out for sure.

On going through last December not knowing if Saban would return …

Everyone had a different opinion. I couldn't care less, to be honest. We had to play the whole month of December. Everyone was thinking about next season, but we had to finish that season before we could get to the next one. None of that's guaranteed for anybody. For the guys that are no longer on this team, why would they care about the future? Maybe they were free agents or whatever the situation was. I don't think guys really looked at it one way or the other. We just focused on finishing up December and getting some wins in a season that was pretty tough.

On whether last year's Christmas game against the Jets stands out in his mind …

I don't even remember it, to be honest. We've lost two this year and those are the only two on my mind right now. What happened in the past between the teams doesn't matter. This is a whole new deal.

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