Miami Dolphins Post Game Press Conference Week 9 11-8-20 Flores, Tua, Jones, Karass, Ogbah

Sunday, November 8, 2020
Postgame – Arizona

DE Emmanuel Ogbah

(Is this your thing now, you’re just going to create a sack fumble for a touchdown every single week?) – “If that’s what it takes to win games, then I’m down to do it. (laughter)”

(This is obviously a breakthrough season for you with the production we’ve seen. Do you feel like you’re playing the best football of your career, and if so what’s gotten you to this point?) – “Like I said before, it takes trust. The coaches trust me, my teammates trust me. They put me in the right position to make plays, and I’m blessed and grateful for that.”

(Can you take us to the feel of the locker room? This felt like a playoff-type atmosphere. Do you guys feel like you guys are in the mix playing as a playoff team?) – “We’re just taking it one step at a time. We got to grind out those tough wins and they’re a good football team. We just came out there and did good.”

(How much pride does this defense take in creating big plays and then watching the offense go out on the field and being able to capitalize. It’s just such really nice complimentary football you guys are playing and I’m just curious about the defense’s pride in kind of that style of football?) – “I like to say all phases work together. When offense is down, the defense has got to pick them up. When the defense is down, the offense has got to pick the. up. We work hand-in-hand. Also special teams, too, has been big for us. I’m just grateful to have teammates that trust each other and just go out there and play for each other.”

(How much of a challenge was Cardinals QB Kyler Murray to defend and what can you say about that drive there on that third down when you guys stopped them?) – “Kyler Murray is a really good player and real shifty, so it’s kind of hard to just square up and tackle him. So you kind have to take your shot every time. They are a good team, and we just came out there on top.”

(Last week during QB Tua Tagovailoa’s first start it maybe didn’t look like you guys had a player you could depend on to score the football, and now this week it seemed like Tua is very dependable offensively for you guys. How do you play, and how do you guys continue to play knowing that you guys have a quarterback on the other side that can score the football for you guys?) – “Like I said, we all trust each other. We’re all rooting for each other. Like I said, (if) the offense is down, the defense has got to pick them up. When the special teams is down, offense has got to pick them up. So we just did our best. All props to Tua (Tagovailoa), he came out there and balled for us when we needed him. I’m grateful for that.”

(You’re the first guy since former DE Cameron Wake to have a full sack in five straight games which is kind of cool. I know each person is their own person, but it’s a coincidence that you both wear No. 91 and he’s obviously a Dolphins legend. I don’t know if I’ve ever asked you about Wake, but what do you think of him and trying to live up to some of his accomplishments?) – “I used to watch a bunch of (Cameron) Wake highlights before games, so I’m real familiar with Wake. But it’s just a blessing that I’m in the right position to make plays and grateful the coaches put me in the right positions to make plays, and I’m just happy to be out here balling for them.” Tua Tagovailoa – November 8, 2020 (Postgame) Download PDF version

Sunday, November 8, 2020
Postgame – Arizona 

QB Tua Tagovailoa (transcribed by Arizona Cardinals)

(On the Dolphins scoring drive that tied the game at 31 and what he was feeling) – “It was a good win, first off. I think the biggest thing throughout the game was taking what the defense gave us and just taking it a play at a time, a snap at a time. I was very fortunate before that play to have run and got out of that pressure situation on third down. I think it’s just taking it a play at a time. The plays that we’ve been given by our offensive coordinator (Chan Gailey) helped us get into situations where we could be successful offensively.”

(On what Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey did this week to build his comfortability) – “There wasn’t much change in practice throughout the week. Coming into this week, we were able to get into a rhythm offensively in the pass game, and we were able to use that to our advantage as well. If we wanted to run it, we could run it and mix some other things in there like go with our drop backs and throw it. I think Chan did a great job with getting me comfortable with getting the ball out quickly, looking down field and going through my progression reads as well. Kudos goes to everyone up front with the O-line, the blocking with the backs and all the receivers making plays.”

(On running the ball and the reaction from his teammates) – “The reaction from teammates, they’re always going to be happy when you get a big chunk play or convert for a first down. They were very excited, and I was excited that they were excited. It was just one of those things where you just have to go out there and play. We knew what we were up against. They’re a great defensive team, a great offensive team. I think everyone over looks their special teams as well. They’re really talented on both sides of the ball and all three phases of the game. I think we came out with the intention to know that this was going to be a hard-fought game. We came out and played all four quarters as a team.”

(On his mindset and willingness to run the ball) – “I think the Dolphins organization with Kyle Johnson and everyone on the medical staff, if they felt that they would be putting me in a bad situation if I had to go and make a play on the run, I don’t think they would let me go out there and play. Knowing that’s how it was going to be, I had self confidence that I would be able to go out there, and if I needed to make a play with my legs, I would. That was probably the slowest I ever felt. I felt like I was running in quicksand.”

(On his relationship with Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and how much fun he had playing against him) –“That was awesome. I think it was fun for the fans as well, not just us competing. You know what you’re going to get when it comes to Kyler. You’re going to get big plays on their side of the ball. We’re trying to game plan, but it’s so hard trying to game plan when you know the kind of explosive player he is. They’re going to make plays, not just with his arm. It’s also with his legs. I think he might be the fastest quarterback in the NFL right now. It’s a bold statement.”

(On if Murray is faster than him) – “Oh my gosh, he’s faster than me. No doubt.”

(On how he evaluates himself in his second game) – “I would say it was a lot better than the Rams game. We’re going to enjoy it and come in Monday and watch film with one another. We’ll see what we can learn from and continue to work.”

(On the resolve of his teammates) – “I think we persevered offensively and defensively as well. We had some guys banged up in the first half, then they were able to come back. We persevered as an offense. We knew we didn’t have a lot of the guys out there that we called certain plays for, but we made it work. I think that was the beauty of everyone coming together. With Mack (Hollins) catching a touchdown and the completions we were able to get to our tight ends, DeVante (Parker), Jakeem (Grant Sr.) and some plays dumping it down to the running backs. It was one of those things where that’s what the defense gave us, and that’s what we were going to take.”

Sunday, November 8, 2020
Postgame – Arizona 

Head Coach Brian Flores (transcribed by Arizona Cardinals)

(On overcoming adversity throughout the week in the road win) – “First off a lot of credit goes to them, that’s a good football team there. Kliff Kingsbury is doing a great job over there, Steve Keim, Mr. Bidwill, there doing a great job there. That’s a tough, physical, that’s a good football team. Kyler Murray is a fantastic player. They’re doing a great job over there that’s a tough football team. I think our guys dealt with a lot of adversity this week, these last couple of days especially. I talked about our mental toughness last week, I think that showed up again today. Hard-fought victory, players stepping up, coaches stepping up, we had assistant and strength coaches coming in, Kaleb Thornhill came in there and was helping us from a coaching standpoint. We had a lot of people step up and help and it was definitely a team victory.”

(On QB Tua Tagovailoa’s performance) – “He made a lot of plays for us, a lot of big plays, especially down the stretch when we needed it. It was kind of a back-and-forth game, they made plays, we made plays. The stage wasn’t too big for him tonight, he played well. We had a lot of guys play well, the offensive line, backs, tight ends, a lot of guys contributed. It was a team victory, we made plays on all three sides of the ball and that’s what you need to win a game like that against an opponent like that.”

(On K Jason Sanders field goal to take the lead in the fourth quarter) – “We have a lot of confidence in him. At that point in the game its fourth-and-one a lot of people want to go for it we decided to take the three points and take the lead. We have a lot of confidence in Jason, I think it was a 50-yard kick if I’m not mistaken. Good snap, good hold, good kick, good protection. He made it and that was the difference, he made it and they didn’t make it, that’s the difference in the game.”

(On the Miami coaching staff positive COVID-19 tests) – “We’re not going to disclose any medical information on any of the coaches. We’re just going to follow the protocols and the guidelines set by the league. (Head Athletic Trainer) Kyle Johnston, (VP, Football Administration) Brandon Shore these guys have been on top of it the last couple of days. Again, when I say team effort I don’t just mean the guys that are on the field. This was an organization win. We’ve got a lot of good people here, they work hard, it’s important to them, and I have a lot of appreciation for all of those people from the medical staff, to the strength and conditioning staff, to our nutritionists to our equipment staff. We’ve got a lot of good people on the operation staff, we’ve got a lot of good people here. It’s important to everyone and that’s what we’re trying to build, that type of team atmosphere, building those relationships, that kind of comradery and I think that shows up on the field. I’m proud of this group, I’m proud of this team and when I say team I’m not just talking about the 53 players and 16 practice squad players and the coaches, I’m talking about everyone.”

(On Tagovailoa’s resolve and performance in his second career start) – “It was a team effort. Tua did his part. It wasn’t a perfect game. He made some mistakes like we all do. I made some mistakes for sure in this game. But he fought back, we fought back as an offense, as a defense, as special teams. We gave ourselves a chance to win it at the end and we made plays at the end. Sometimes it comes down to one play on each side and to win in these types of competitive games against good teams those are the plays we need to make and essentially we made one more than they did. I’m telling you guys that’s a good football team. Kudos to (Defensive Coordinator) Josh Boyer, he called a great game. That’s a damn good play caller over there in Kingsbury. So a lot of credit to them. That was a hard-fought battle across the board.”

(On the challenge of defending the Cardinals offense) – “When you play against good players, good coaches it’s hard, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to call that game. Feel free to call it if you feel like you can call a better game against that group then go ahead. It’s about trying to make as many adjustments as possible. There was a little bit of a chess match there between Kliff (Kingsbury) and Josh (Boyer) and what we were doing versus what they were doing going back-and-forth. That’s what you love about the game from a coaching standpoint. But at the end of the day our players executed and they won one more play then they did. It’s hard to win in this league against good football teams and we were able to pull it out today. Our effort, our energy, our execution in critical situations that’s what you need in ball games like that.”

(On when he learned he would be without coaches and the positive tests throughout the team) – “We’re going to follow the protocols and the guidelines set forth by the league and that’s what we’ve done the last few days. The protocol says that those coaches had to be out. We’ve been in constant communication like I said. Kyle Johnston has done a tremendous job, Brandon Shore has done a tremendous job and they’ve really been transparent and honest. Nothing is more important than helping this team, I want to be clear about that, nothing is more important than helping this team. If that means that I’m out, QBs are out, coaches are out and that’s the best thing for the team from a health standpoint then that’s what we’re going to do. Those are the conversations that we had between league and our front office in conjunction with myself. Again, I can’t speak this enough, nothing is more important than helping this team. We’re going to do everything possible to contain the virus. We all know there’s a pandemic, the numbers are going up, infections are going up on a daily basis. You guys have heard me say it, you can do everything possible, you can distance, and it spreads in the air. We’re trying to do everything we can and unfortunately we had to deal with some of the COVID-19 protocols of the league and we’re going to do our best to mitigate any risk. We’re just going to follow the lead of what the doctor says and the staff there. That’s what’s important now.”

Sunday, November 8, 2020
Postgame – Arizona 

C Ted Karras

(You played in a lot of big games out there in New England. To me, I guess watching it felt like this was like a playoff game atmosphere. How was it like for you guys as players starting to play and win these important games back-to-back?) – “I think this was a huge one. Early in the season we couldn’t finish in the fourth quarter early, and to have a fourth-quarter battle and win it and feel how it is to win those kind of games is really important going forward.”

(Looks like you guys might have a quarterback behind you there on offense. What can you say about QB Tua Tagovailoa’s day and how he led you guys offensively?) – “Unbelievable performance. I’m really proud of the whole offense. Came out here and executed and did what we need to do and any time you can end the game on a QB sneak is a favorite of mine, so that was great.”

(Building on the previous question, but taking you back to that 10-play drive where you guys were able to tie it, what can you say about QB Tua Tagovailoa’s composure during that drive, his ability to scramble, keep plays alive. What were you thinking throughout that whole drive?) – “That one scramble where he split those guys was exceptional. I thought we did a good job in pass protection, but I don’t think any moment is too big for Tua (Tagovailoa). He’s a great leader and a great person and really works his absolute hardest and has gained the respect of everyone in that huddle, and we want to go to battle for him and keep winning games.”

(I’m wondering if you could just reflect on just how difficult this game and this week was. I don’t have to tell you you’re missing a whole lot of guys on offense. You turn around, you’re missing even your coaching staff and yet you pulled it out. What do you think?) – “Well, I think that’s good. It was a crazy week and I think everyone’s going to at some point in the season – especially now we’re coming into winter – we’ve got to be very vigilant. I think Coach Flores (Head Coach Brian Flores) and this whole staff and our training staff, our equipment staff; everyone does a great job staying in protocol and I think we just have to continue to harp on that and keep our players safe.”

(How big did the difference feel like from you with the offense from the Rams last week to this week? Felt like you guys were able to open things up a lot more.) – “I think we ran the ball a little bit better. Still need some improvement there. That’ll come as we continue to figure out what we’re good at with personnel and keep getting a rhythm, but it’s going to be great to be coached off of a win like this, a hard-fought battle and obviously much improvement over the Rams game last week and we’ve just got to keep building on it.”

(We had seen that moment on the sideline last week during the Rams game where you kind of came over to QB Tua Tagovailoa and told him you know, “the win’s the most important thing, keep your head up” and he responded. I’m curious to get your take on how he responded throughout the week and this game to maybe feeling like he didn’t play his best last week?) – “I don’t think anyone on offense felt like they played their best last week and that was a candid moment that got captured and ended up being pretty cool, but he came in and worked his hardest just like everyone did to improve and to not put up a repeat performance like that and it’s very important to him and we all know that and it’s important to us and we have a great group of guys. It’s a lot of fun to come to work every day with them.”

Sunday, November 8, 2020
Postgame – Arizona 

CB Byron Jones

(At what point did you know that this team could be something special, could produce wins playing team football?) – “Truthfully for me, it happens during the season. We’re still somewhat early, but it happens during the season. It’s how guys respond to adversity during the season. It’s how guys respond to success during the season, and I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘oh, I knew we had something special during camp’ because we’re not going against anybody. And truthfully, we’ve still got eight more games against a bunch of really good opponents, so the challenge for us is yes, we’ve won a couple of games in a row. It feels nice, but how we got here was through hard work and we’ve got to continue to do that.”

(Can you take me through your day? Obviously there was some good, there was some bad. What happened on the touchdowns?) – “It was – I’m not going to go into coverage, but that dude was fast. I should’ve got on my horse and just ran faster, I guess, but credit to their offense. We threw a lot at them and they handled some, and we got some; but it was give and take throughout the entire game and thank God to the offense for picking me up and thank God for the rest of the defense for picking me up. But that’s something I got to clean up and I’ll get that taken care of.”

(I wanted to ask about the big stop you had on Cardinals QB Kyler Murray on third down. For the plays that didn’t go your way, you were able to make a big-time stop there. What’d that mean to you?) – “Yeah, it was fun. I’m not really known for a big hitter, so it’s nice to stick somebody a little bit; but that’s a testament to our defense. We’re a defense that bends; we don’t break. Usually we don’t like to have a team sport – 30-something points in a game – but it’s good that we found a way to win in that circumstance.”

(There was a memorable play. I think it was in the third quarter where it looked like you had a chance at an interception and then the other guy came down with it, but it wasn’t clear if it was a touchdown. Can you tell me what you recall about that play and what you thought of the result?) – “I thought I had it. It was all mine; I saw the ball in the air, I felt good about it. The issue is, I attacked the ball like a receiver; I should have attacked it like a DB with two hands facing this way (gestures) instead of like that. So that’s something I’ve got to clean up on. It’s a little embarrassing, but as I said, the defense picked me up and the offense picked me up. So it’s something I’ll clean up on, but it’s good to get a tough win like that.”

(Congrats on the win. I wanted to go back to a previous question about the big hit you had there on Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. It seems from afar like you guys kind of get energized by the big play before because then you come up the next play and someone makes a bigger play after that. It seems like it’s been a theme all season long. Can you speak to the way this team kind of gets energy from the play before and then they create the big plays afterwards? Do you feel that as well?) – “That’s something that we talk about in the locker room, is bring your own juice, because they had a good crowd here today, but it’s only about 4,000 people, 10,000 people; I’m not sure what the number is, but it’s not a full stadium. So the challenge for us on defense and really the entire team is to bring your juice. When we make good plays, obviously we’re going to celebrate and we’re going to high five and slap hands, but that’s the beauty of football. The beauty of football is really bringing your own juice and then having that energy like you’re 7 or you’re 10 years old back in the day in the backyard. So yeah, we’ll just keep it rolling and keep having some fun.”