Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Today we'll start our prep for the Dolphins. Specifically talking about this team starting with (Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores) Flo, Flo is a guy that I know very well. We worked together for seven years in New England. A lot of respect for Flo. I think he's got a very unique path in terms of how he became a head coach, working in all aspects of the organization, starting in personnel, working with offense, defense and special teams, so his involvement with all three phases along with the draft and free agency really shows through his personality and how they play. When you talk about this team, you talk about aggressive. It's one thing that's really shown up throughout his career, but then also specifically in these last few weeks in terms of how his team, his defense, his special teams really get after you, put pressure on you and are looking to go ahead and attack you as a team.
When you talk about the coordinators and starting with the kicking game, (Dolphins Special Teams Coordinator) Danny (Crossman) is a guy I've known for a long time. Does a really good job. He's doing a great job right now of incorporating different schemes and using his personality. They have a very talented core, very explosive returners. These guys are a threat every time they have the ball in their hands. You look at the gadgets and gimmicks that he incorporates, they go throughout the season. They really look to match up and take advantage of anything you've shown on tape, but they're going to look to put pressure on you, whether it's midfield, backed up or whatever the situation may be. They move the ball a lot with their specialists and kickers, make you cover the entire field, so he's really going ahead and looking to put the pressure on your specialists, whether your punter, your kicker, your returners, at every turn possible.
Offensively, (Dolphins Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach) George (Godsey) does a really good job of giving answers to the quarterback before the snap. They've done a great job of really incorporating RPOs in their offense, they've stayed very balanced the last few weeks. You see (Dolphins Quarterback) Tua's (Tagovailoa) progression and how consistent he's been in terms of his completion percentage. He's doing a really good job of getting the ball moving, staying ahead of the sticks, sitting out there with a lot of time of possession and helping this team go.
Defensively, (Defensive Coordinator) Josh (Boyer) does a really good job. Obviously, his background is in defensive backs, but Josh has always known the entire picture of the defense. He's done a great job working throughout his career. I have a lot of respect for Josh and how he gets his guys going. Obviously, him and Flo work hand-in-hand and see the game through the same lens. It's really been about being aggressive, they have very good talent, they're very, very aggressive in how they use that talent. It's been a lot of blitz zero and pressure more so than anyone else in the league the last four weeks. You see this team really coming along and they're coached well, they play hard, they've got a lot of talented players. It's going to take a lot to prepare for this team and get ready for Sunday. That being said, I'll open to any questions you may have.
Q: Obviously with (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), is there any chance of him playing Sunday? And can you talk about the (Quarterback) Jake Fromm signing?
A: We're not going to rule anything out right now. Daniel's going to be out here practicing with us today. We expect him to practice tomorrow and Friday, as well. We'll see what he can do. It's like any kind of injury coming out of the game, we'll just see how he does.
Q: Do you expect him to practice this week?
A: Yeah, he'll practice with us. Absolutely. He'll be out there today. Really a normal Wednesday for him.
Q: Was he evaluated for a concussion on game day, either during or after the game?
A: I'd have to check on after the game. Nothing that I've been informed about during the game, no.
Q: Do you take anything from last year where it seemed like maybe you guys brought him back too soon from that injury? Do you have to keep that in mind not to do that again?
A: I think every injury is completely independent of another one. The medical team has got to do their job in terms of determining if someone's healthy enough to go on the field. I'll do my job and get him prepared for football.
Q: You said he's going to practice today. Is this a normal practice? Is he going to be limited?
A: We'll see what he can do when he gets out here. In terms of approaching practice right now, we're approaching it as a normal day for him.
Q: He's taking rehab on the neck and things like that?
A: I'm not going to go into the specifics of the injury and what they're doing, but he's working with our medical staff throughout the day.
Q: Was that a play where he should have slid, when it happened?
A: I'm not going to go into the dissection of every play right here with it. I'm not going to talk specifically about Daniel and where he's at. Today, we expect him to practice. I've already made the point that I expect him to practice Thursday and Friday, as well.
Q: Was there anything during the game that said to you his neck might be bothering him?
Q: When did you find out he was hurt?
A: In our postgame injury report on Monday.
Q: Obviously, he played through it. He didn't mention anything about a sore neck during the course of the game?
A: Nothing to me.
Q: Do you have to prepare as if (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) is going to start or do you prepare both of them?
A: We always prepare all of our players. Every week, Mike's job is to be prepared that if his number is called at any point in time, either before or during the game, he's ready to go in and run our offense. We'll also prepare Daniel to start, as well.
Q: Would that mean splitting first-team reps with him?
A: We'll do the normal rotation we always do every week. Mike takes rotations every week, so we'll do the same thing.
Q: Is it realistic for Jake Fromm to be active on Sunday?
A: Yeah, it's our job to get everyone prepared. He's signed, he's on our 53-man roster right now. It's our job to get him ready. (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry (Schuplinski) will work with him extra throughout this week, make sure he gets caught up on the vocabulary. This guy comes from an offense where I know he's handled a lot of multiples. He's a smart guy. He's done a good job through college and early in his pro career with the experience he's had, so we'll see how it translates over. We'll get Mike and Daniel ready, and Jake, as well.
Q: Why sign Jake now? What precipitated that?
A: When you first get any kind of flag on any player, you kind of look on down. If it's a receiver, if it's a corner, if it's a linebacker, you immediately say, 'Okay, what kind of insurance do we need for the game right now?' Then obviously, it was an opportunity for us to add a player that we liked coming out of college through the draft. It was a good time to add him, get him in here and get working.
Q: You guys give Mike Glennon some first-team reps every week?
Q: Does the Dolphins' scheme being so aggressive factor into your thinking about whether Daniel might play?
A: No. If he's healthy enough to go out there – you can't judge if it's blitz zero, it could be base, it could be P (prevent) coverage, where they drop eight and someone still gets beat, so in terms of schematically what they do, no.
Q: What is your level of concern in dealing with that aggressiveness? They throw everything at you and an offensive line that isn't quite in sync can be vulnerable.
A: I think our offensive line has done a really good job of playing in sync and they've made a lot of progression throughout the year in terms of our pass protections. Really, where they're aggressive with the Dolphins is you talk specifically about their pressures and blitzes, but it's that blitz zero that they've been doing a lot of, more so than anyone else in the league. In terms of playing against these guys, it's just something you have to account for. Everybody has something different schematically you have to prepare for every week and this is just something you have to prepare for with them.
Q: In general, as a coach, when you have an athletic quarterback who can make plays with his legs and you want the benefit of that, how difficult is it to navigate protecting your quarterback versus allowing him to make those athletic plays on the run?
A: We always just have to understand what are the strengths of our players? What's the best thing for our team to be able to play to that? In terms of the health of a player, everyone's got to go out there every play and be able to play. So, the medical team has got to do their job and give us a clearance for when a guy can go out there and stay on the field, and then we've got to call the game aggressively to give our players a chance to make plays.
Q: What have you seen from Tua these last four games, this four-game winning streak? What are you seeing from him?
A: Making the right decisions. You can see George is doing a really good job with this guy in terms of getting in a position to find the receiver and give him answers before the snap. They're using that RPO game of really kind of creating one-on-one matchups and getting that thing going. (Dolphins Wide Receiver Jaylen) Waddle's obviously an explosive athlete and they've got a relationship in the past, as well. But, he's really getting the ball in the hands of the guys who can make plays for them. You saw some explosive plays from Waddle the other day in the game against Carolina. Really, talking about Tua specifically though, his decision-making as a young quarterback in the league, you see him every week just gaining more experience, getting more comfortable, playing more aggressive. The decision-making, the accuracy, just distributing the ball around the field has been very good.
Q: Is there any concern at all this could be a season-ending thing for Daniel or is that not a concern right now?
A: At this moment, no.
Q: What have the Miami Dolphins done? They lost six or seven in a row, they turned it around. What are they doing better these days?
A: I'm not going to speak completely for the Dolphins in terms of things they've changed. Just knowing Flo's mentality of what it is, it's not a sit back on your heels and react type of mentality. It's just keep throwing more at him, keep throwing more at him, keep throwing more at him, so that's the way I've come to know Flo. It's what I expect from him. He's doing a very good job of it. We used to joke a lot all the time – we'd call offense and defense against each other at New England at different times and Flo was always going heavy with the pressure and we would kind of laugh about it. Jerry Schuplinski would always kind of poke at him and say, 'Alright Flo, when you're in charge, you better be calling all those blitz zeroes then, too.' We were laughing about it the other day like, he sure is. That's just kind of his personality and what he believes in.
Q: Does Daniel require – do you know exactly what is wrong there or does he require more tests to really kind of drill down what exactly it is?
A: This is not unique for any injury. Anybody who goes through any kind of injury protocol for us will always have some kind of early week checkup, be with our medical team throughout the week and then have a late week checkup, as well. So, there's nothing unique for Daniel.
Q: Did Daniel get better from after the game to now where you expect him to practice this week? Has he improved from after the game until now to the point where –
A: From the information we've been given, he's cleared to practice today. He'll be out there practicing. In terms of his status improving or worsening or anything, I'll let Daniel kind of speak for that on himself if he wants to get into that. But in terms of his availability for us at practice, preparing for the game, that's what we're doing right now.
Q: A couple other injury guys, obviously (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) and then (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) KT and (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep, what do you expect from them today?
A: Really no difference right now than what they've been doing. They'll be out here with trainers today and moving around. They'll all be involved with us in some way or another throughout the day. We've got the split walkthroughs today, AM and PM, and they'll be out here with us. We'll see what they can do after moving around with the trainers. That will obviously build into tomorrow with what they can do in practice and if we'll move them around full speed.
Q: Was Adoree' an aggravation of what he was dealing with last week? He was limited on the practice report. In the game –
A: I'm going to leave the exact diagnosis on the injury alone, but obviously he's dealing with a leg deal right there. We'll see where he's at.
Q: Is it accurate to say you guys have a full grasp of what the nature of Daniel's injury is right now?
A: The doctors do and they communicate with us and I take the information and I apply it directly into what we can do with him.
Q: At right tackle, at least the question I get from fans that I'm going to ask you – why is (Tackle) Nate (Solder) still starting? You always talk about long-term, you've got a young guy like (Tackle Matt) Peart who you guys seemed high on earlier in the year, so why has he not taken that role?
A: We're pleased with the way Nate's really progressed throughout this year and how he's playing for us right now. He's a guy who comes out and works tirelessly. Matt's doing a good job progressing in his career, as well. We look to involve him, as well. We're using Matt in a lot of jumbo tight end type of situations. He's expanded on his roles there. We've worked with him early in the year in terms of some guard stuff. Really, his home at tackle is where he's progressing, but he's given us contributions along the way as we go. Talking specifically about Matt, we do expect him to play throughout different situations and different games. Nate's taken the lion's share of a lot of the reps, but Matt's always going to be prepared and expect to play.
Q: Is there anything more you need to see from Matt?
A: No, we just expect all of our players to come out, work hard every day and improve.
Q: Where's (Tight End) Kyle Rudolph at?
A: He's the same as everybody else. He'll be out here with the trainers today kind of moving around. We'll see where he's at. I know Kyle's a guy that's kind of pushing to get out there as fast he can. We'll see how he moves around today.
Q: What's the hat?
A: I lost a bet, so this is (Tight End) Evan Engram, Ole Miss. Had we pulled it out, he would be standing back here ringing a bell today. What do I say? A bet's a bet.