Miami, Fl. - The Dolphins have enjoyed a fast start, catching opponents off guard en route to a 3-0 start.
The following are coach Joe Philbin's comments to the media during a teleconference Wednesday, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
How does it feel to be 3-0?
"We talked all training camp about getting off to a fast start. We knew we had two road games and a very good Atlanta team coming in for our home opener. We wanted to get out the gate quickly and our guys have found ways in the first three weeks to win games. It certainly hasn't been textbook, or classic, but we have hung in there and they played tough. We are obviously excited about this game coming up."
Do you warn your guys that things can change in a hurry?
"The biggest thing we try to do is we try to be honest with them and show them the film. The film is really the greatest barometer in this league. While we are 3-0, there are a lot of things we have to do better, especially Sundays game we had two giveaways, we got sacked five times, the opponent ran the ball pretty well against us, so just from that one game, as nice as a win that it was, there are a tons of things that need to get corrected quickly. I think if you are honest with the players and if you show them the tape that is the best way to do it."
What does Rob Ryan's defense look like to you on film?
"Coach Ryan is doing an excellent job. They are very multiple as you mentioned, sometimes it looks like a 3-4, sometimes it looks like a 4-3. He has bear defense in there. He is doing an excellent job. One thing you see on the tape is they pursue well to the football, their defensive backs are playing well, their pass rush is very, very good, their two ends are playing excellent, and they cover guys down field and they tackle. It is kind of good ole' fashion defense. I don't know if there is anything elaborate, but they are playing really well."
How much of it is scheme or how much of it is attitude?
"I think it is at least as much attitude and chemistry as it is scheme. Schemes are great, but there are a lot of excellent coaches in the National Football League and I think it is more about what kind of chemistry you build with that particular group, if you are a coordinator, with that unit and how much faith and confidence that they have in you as a coordinator and they have with you as players and then taking that to the field."
The Dolphins and the Saints have both struggled in the run game; do you think this league is becoming more of a passing league?
"Yeah, we could barely run the ball an inch against Cleveland and we ended up winning the game. I think teams and coaching you have to be smart enough to go with what is working sometimes. I know Coach Payton and his staff is excellent and sometimes while you would love to have the balance and you want to be multiple and run and pass the screen, sometimes you just have to stick with what is working. That has happened to us, and throughout the course of the season it happens to everyone in this league."
Is it a number you are concerned with on your team?
"No, I am concerned about the tackling more than the number on a piece of paper. We have to do a better job at tackling, especially this week. There is no doubt about it that these guys, (Pierre) Thomas, (Mark) Ingram, (Darren) Sproles, all those guys are excellent backs and we have to do a good job tackling them."
How has Mike Wallace done in your system?
"He is doing a really nice job. He has been an excellent teammate down here. He fits in the locker room very, very well. He has gotten along with the staff very well. Obviously, on tape, he had that one big game against Indianapolis and two games with not as much production, but as you mentioned, he is a viable asset to the offense because defenses typically commit a certain amount of resources to negate his impact to the game, and at times it opens things up for other players."
What are you impressions of Jimmy Graham over the last few weeks?
"His production over the last two weeks has been off the charts. He obviously has great size and weight. He seems to be a natural running down the field and going up and catching the ball. He can catch the ball in traffic. He can catch the ball when he gets hit. He has excellent concentration and hands. His size and length are an issue and it's a concern when you go play him. He has done a great job."
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