Miami Dolphins Press Conference 11-6-20 Flores, Gesicki, and Parker

Friday, November 6, 2020

Head Coach Brian Flores

(Can you update us please on how the coach who had the positive test, how he’s feeling and also, what did you change today because of that, besides going to a walkthrough? Did you change the day you’re flying or anything else?) – “The coach is in quarantine. We followed the protocol. Look, the health and safety of the team is the most important thing. We feel good about how we handled the situation. Still plan to fly out today and look, we’ve been in constant contact with the league this morning. We’re working in conjunction with the people at the league as far as whatever the next steps are. Look, it’s 2020, so things are ever changing. We’ve just got to be able to adapt and be flexible. It’s no different right now; but the plan is to travel today.”

(In terms of traveling ahead of schedule, how much concern do you have that it could possibly be in the incubation stage and possibly still be spreading?) – “Again, those conversations obviously are had in-depth – internally as well as with the league. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of the team. We wouldn’t fly if we felt like there was any situation that would create some sort of outbreak. I’m just going to put that out there. If we do fly, then it’s because we feel like we’ve got it contained and that’s kind of the feeling right now.”

(Just piggybacking off of that, do you feel like this is a situation where it’s an isolated deal or are there any players or coaches that could potentially have some contact tracing issues that affect you Sunday?) – “We’ve done the contact tracing in conjunction with the league, like everything else. That information, I’ll keep it internal. I’m sure the league will also. If there are any transactions, you guys will hear about it later in the day. I’ll leave it at that; but the tracing is part of the protocol. We’re in an intensive protocol right now, which just for your information so you guys have it, we have to meet virtually. If we do practice, everybody has to have a mask on. Obviously we walked through today so we all had masks on. And there are a few other things at play there that we spoke to the team about this morning. We’re just going to adhere to all of the rules and that particular protocol, and try to get our work done in walkthrough as best as we can given the circumstances.”

(Obviously we don’t know who the coach in question is and what his role is, so I would ask you this: what effect, if any, will this have on the way you proceed during the game itself, the way you get information to players, the way you call plays and so forth?) – “Yeah, this is something we’ve talked about in training camp. If I go down, if (Special Teams Coordinator) Danny (Crossman) goes down, (Offensive Coordinator) Chan (Gailey), everyone’s got a backup. We’ve gone through this a little bit. We actually practiced it in training camp. Even I was out a day in training camp. We’ve drilled it, so I think we know how to handle the situation. We’ve talked about how we’re going to handle this particular situation already. We’ve got to be able to adapt and be flexible and we’ve got to, as a coaching staff, continue to try to put our players in the best position to have some success. That doesn’t stop because somebody goes down. It’s no different than a player. If a player goes down, his backup has to step in and try to play well.”

(Is there concern now – this is 10 cases this week for the NFL, not – you guys are one of the cases – is there concern that this could possibly not just impact your game on Sunday but impact the NFL schedule considering it seems to be an outbreak happening, not just in the NFL but nationwide?) – “We’re in a pandemic. I think we’re all kind of – I don’t want to say ‘dealing with it’ – but we’re all affected by it in some form or fashion. We’re being affected by it right now. There are other cases around the league. I think the protocols that are in place by the league give us the best opportunity, give us the best chance to play and to contain the virus or the infected person as best we can. So we’ve just got to follow those protocols and continue conversation, continue to communicate and have open and honest and transparent conversations with the league, our players. I’ve said this since Day 1 – we can try to do everything right and there can still be positives. I think that’s happening really across the country, definitely across the league and we’ll just try to do our best to contain it. Again, it’s no one’s fault – as long as we are sincerely and authentically trying to do our best to wear the mask, distance and make smart decisions.”

(I guess I’ll ask the one non-COVID question of the day. I guess now that QB Tua Tagovailoa’s made his first start, I’m curious what it’s been like from your perspective to see his journey from the hip injury he had in college to where he is now.) – “I think he’s just getting started. That’s kind of my thought. He’s just getting started. He’s played in two games. I’ve been around a lot of young players. Every game is an experience. Good plays, bad plays, you learn from them and hopefully you get better. Again, he’s still young. This will be his second start and I think the way he practices, the way he prepares, how much he cares about it; it gives him a good opportunity to have some success, but the games are about execution. That’s really what it’s about. We prepare during the course of the week. Practice is about preparation, the game is about execution. But that preparation gives you the best chance to execute on Sunday. I think he works hard and he prepares the right way, so we’ll continue to grow and help him develop.

Friday, November 6, 2020

TE Mike Gesicki

(How concerned are you guys about what’s going on right now, not just in your team’s facility but now 11 teams are having COVID situations?) – “I think we all knew something was going to happen eventually at some point. We knew it wasn’t going to be a perfect season where we were going to come in here and there were going to be no positives or anything like that. I think the league has done a good job with their protocols and keeping the health of everybody at the top of the list. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and stay ahead of this thing.”

(To what extent does this throw the preparations and the rhythm of ramping up for the game off track?) – “Not very much. Obviously, it’s just a change of schedule and bumping stuff back with some restrictions and things like that. For the most part, we were able to accomplish everything we wanted to at practice and meetings and all of that kind of stuff. We’ve met through Zoom before so it was nothing new for us or anything like that. I think the entire organization did a good job adapting.”

(Were you a part of that receiving group that stayed and did extra work after practice to get more accustomed with QB Tua Tagovailoa? If so, what did you get from it and how far along do you think you are compared to last week at this time?) – “We’ll stay after practice and throw extra routes and work on timing and just getting more and more reps and more and more comfortable. At the end of the day, I think obviously there is something to say about chemistry and Tua knowing that ‘I’m going to put it here. That’s where Mike likes it.’ Or me knowing ‘alright, I know the ball is going to be here. This is how Tua throws it.’ But I think at the end of the day, just go out and make plays. He’s a great quarterback and we took him where we did for a reason. He’s had success throwing the football and it’s up to everybody else to go out and make plays.”

Friday, November 6, 2020

WR DeVante Parker

(Obviously this is your guys’ first COVID situation since the regular season started. How much have things changed for you today and how concerned are you about traveling with a potential COVID outbreak?) – “With that going on, yeah (there were) a lot of changes to the schedule. We couldn’t really come inside the building today. We haven’t been in at all really. It’s something you’ve just got to adjust to, and it’s something we’ve done pretty well.”

(How does that change your mindset? You’re always focused on the football and the game. Does when you hear that, does your mind shift to COVID and everything else?) – “No, I’m still focused on the game. We’ve got to take it seriously. Everywhere we go, we have to wear our masks at all times, just to be safe; and it’s something we take seriously but I’m still focused on the game though.”

(How is the groin issue for you? I know you made a commitment to playing all 16 games this season. How difficult have you found that to be?) – “With this kind of sport, it’s kind of hard; but there’s a lot of ways to take care of your body and that’s what I’m still doing. It’s working, but I’m just keep doing what I’ve been doing and even more.”

(We haven’t had a chance to talk to you since the game last weekend. I wanted to ask you about catching QB Tua Tagovailoa’s first NFL touchdown pass as well as just your general thoughts on the progress that he’s making in leading your team.) – “I was happy for him when he made that first touchdown and it’s all about – with a new quarterback coming in, I’m happy for him and he’s going to continue to grow.”

(We’ve talked to a couple of the receivers this week and they talked about sort of the timing with QB Tua Tagovailoa and that some of you guys were staying after practice a little longer to get that down. Where do you guys feel as far as that comfort and how do you guys I guess speed that up while you’re in the middle of playing games?) – “Like you said, we’ve got the timing down after practice, so coming to game time, it’s going to be there. Then we’ve just got to execute. That’s the biggest thing.”