Miami Dolphins Press Conference 11-12-20

Thursday, November 12, 2020

RB Salvon Ahmed

(I thought it was an interesting coincidence that you and RB Myles Gaskin played together in Washington. How has he helped you out, especially going into last week’s game?) – “He’s been a tremendous help, just like when I first got to Washington. I was a freshman and he was a junior. He just kind of showed me the ropes and made sure I was good. It’s definitely a blessing to be a part of this organization and also to be with Myles again.”

(I know as you just mentioned, you and RB Myles Gaskin are good friends. I have to ask you to recount the story of the time that you and he raced at midnight.) – “(laughter) We lived together in college, so there was a night we both were going back and forth, because in high school he had beat me in the 4×100 (meter relay). It came down to inches and he had beat me. I was 15 years old and he was a senior at the time. We were just talking about that. It was late. We were like alright, let’s just go race. We had raced a couple of times. I had got him on the first two and then he got me on the last three. I think it came down to a conditioning thing.”

(What were the emotions like for you before you made your NFL debut on Sunday, and how you felt it went for you?) – “I was so cool to be a part of. I just wanted to go out there and win. I wanted to do whatever I could in my power to go out there and win. It’s definitely a childhood dream to be a part of that. It was a big-time game and a big win for our organization. For me, I was happy to be a part of that. Obviously the first game, you just kind of go into it excited, and I was happy and I’m blessed I got the opportunity. ‘Coach Flo’ (Head Coach Brian Flores) and those guys gave me the opportunity to go do that. I was happy to be a part of that and get out of there with a win against a really good team.”

(You had that one run in particular where you kind of squirted through the middle, saw some space and then used your speed. I think you ran out to the left. What was going through your mind and what were you feeling when you realized that you had an opportunity for a big gainer?) – “Make the most of it. (laughter) Make the most of it and then just hold on to the ball. Do what I’ve been coached to do. I think I was running at Patrick Peterson, and I was like ‘oh man, that’s Pat P.’ So that was kind of cool. It’s a credit to the offensive line. They worked really hard and they were able to open up some stuff for us as a team. That was really cool, not only in the run game, but also the pass game.”

(What is your approach to your NFL career? Breaking in undrafted and all, sometimes guys come in and feel like they really have something to prove or a chip on their shoulder. I don’t know if any of that applies to you. How are you approaching that?) – “I’m just grateful. I’m a person that’s being grateful, going out there every day, work hard and do what I’m coached to do. I’ll ask the guys – there are a lot of older guys like Myles (Gaskin) and Matt (Breida) and Jordan (Howard) and Patrick (Laird) and all of those guys. We’ve got DeAndre (Washington) in now. I ask all of those guys questions all the time, and just kind of to show me the ropes. I’m not too prideful at all to ask those questions. Those guys help me out a lot, especially the running back room for sure. I just attack it, go out there and work hard.”

(RB Myles Gaskin has another two games that he has to miss because he’s on IR. Do you feel that with your performance, did you leave that game thinking to yourself that you showed the Dolphins that you’re someone that could be trusted that they got to give the ball to more?) – “I just looked at it as just make the most of the opportunity. Go out there and do what you’re coached to do. Every week there is a different game plan so whatever that is, I’m just going to do whatever I’m asked to do. I’m happy I’m here. I’m happy to be a part of that. It was a big win against a really good team.”

(Obviously you and RB Myles Gaskin are two different people and two different players, you just happened to go to the same school and are friends. I’m wondering where do you see the similarities in your games? What’s the biggest one and what’s the biggest difference?) – “I’d the say the biggest thing I learned from him is I try to take everything from Myles honestly. I try to take as much as I can; but I think one of the things I took from him is just having patience. I tried to take that from him in college. We are all our own players; but what I try to take from his game, I try to watch every run he does. Whatever run I do, I always ask him, what do you think on that? Because I usually think if he thinks it’s good, then he’s probably right. He’s right most of the time. I try to take as much as I can from him.”

(You only played three years at Washington? What went into your decision to not play that fourth year and did you expect to get drafted?) – “I just felt that I was ready. I felt that I was ready to get into this league and I saw I had the opportunity to, so I took my chances. Yeah, I went undrafted; but that was just a part of my journey, a part of my process and it led me to be here. I am grateful. Yeah, going into that year – at the end of that year, I felt like I was ready, and ready to make that decision.”

Thursday, November 12, 2020

S Bobby McCain

(I wanted to ask you about Chargers WR Keenan Allen. I don’t you’ve faced him one-on-one in the nickel as a cornerback back in your former life. What are the challenges that he presents as a receiver?) – “He’s a ball player. He’s one of the best receivers in the league and he knows how to get open and he knows how to beat your leverage, he knows how to come out of breaks really well and he’s got a good crossover at the line, so you’ve got to be patient with him. You have to understand that he’s a guy that can wiggle and he’s a guy that can move and understand you’ve got to play to your help and protect your leverage and just keep going after it, keep playing and keep playing, because he’s going to keep playing. He may catch a ball or two – it’s just the league – but it’s a long 60-minute game, so you’ve just got to keep playing and keep playing the game with him.”

(Home teams are under .500 this season in the NFL and that’s the first time that’s been the case this late in the season since 1983. We’re doing a national story. I just wonder, do you think it’s a function of no fans in the stands, that the home-field advantage has been mostly eliminated or what do you think?) – “That may have something to do with it with the fans; but at the end of the day, it’s the NFL and any team can be beat on any Sunday anywhere. You always have to respect your opponent, whether you’re away or at home, and understand that they’re coming in or you’re going there to beat them. I think with no fans, it may help some teams; but with no fans, it makes you have to lock in even more.”

(I wanted to ask you about their quarterback. What do you think Chargers QB Justin Herbert does well?) – “He’s a really good passer. He’s got a really good deep ball. Even though he’s a rookie, you can tell he’s seeing things a lot better than he was when he first got in at the beginning of the year. He feels a lot more comfortable. He’s a big, tall-frame guy, big guy, big arm, throws the deep ball well and we’ve just got to keep it in front of us.”Jesse Davis – November 12, 2020 Download PDF version

Thursday, November 12, 2020

G/T Jesse Davis

(How many positions are you playing this week?) – “I don’t know. That’s a good question. You should ask the head coach that. I honestly do not know.”

(The comfort level at guard last week – obviously you’ve been there before. Was it like putting on an old pair of slippers when you moved there in the second quarter?) – “Yeah, I’d say putting on an old pair of slippers might be a little easier than that; (laughter) but yeah, I definitely had some familiarity. I just try to do my best there. I haven’t had that many reps, especially game reps there since 2018. Luckily I did okay there, but we’ll see what happens.”

(Obviously you guys opened up things a lot more offensively last week. What do you think the biggest difference was in you guys being more successful?) – “As soon as we can get those first downs rolling, I feel like we gain our momentum and that kind of opens up the play calling a little bit, too, where we can get the run game established. Obviously we haven’t been that great in the run game and kind of been more reliable on the pass or the RPO kind of world. But if we can get that run game going, we can open up a lot more and then hopefully have Tua (Tagovailoa) more comfortable back there as well.”

(Obviously QB Tua Tagovailoa was able to help lead a fourth-quarter comeback, which is something that the best quarterbacks in this league do. They give their teammates the confidence that they can come from behind. You were in the huddle so I’m wondering what did you see, what did you hear, what did you sense as far as leadership huddle presence?) – “It was just regular routine, go in there, ‘hey, this is the situation, this is what we need to do, we need to score points here.’ Luckily our defense is one of the best in the league that allows us to be in those positions and gives us those shorter fields to work with and I think Tua’s done a really good job granted how old he is. But being a rookie quarterback, coming in here and getting a fourth-quarter win is kind of unheard of in the league; but he’s been there before. He’s a winner, so that’s what he does.”

(NFL home teams – the home team is under .500 this season in the league. What’s happening to the home-field advantage? Is it all because of COVID? What do you think?) – “Yeah, obviously there’s not really home-field advantage at all. You’re used to going into an away stadium thinking this is going to be loud, it’s going to affect the snap count, it’s going to cause more problems. And what it has been recently, that’s probably part of it. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just by chance teams are a little better on the road right now. I don’t know.”

(You’re facing the Chargers for the second consecutive year except when you faced them last year, you guys were at the pretty much beginning stages of a rebuild and weren’t necessarily a great team at the time. Now you’re a team that’s in playoff contention. Are you a little bit amazed at just how far along the team has come since you last faced the Chargers last September?) – “We kind of flipped it pretty quick. Granted, we’ve had some good leadership on this team and our defense is playing really well, and then our quarterback situation has been really good as well; and the o-line, we’ve kind of had our struggles, too, but I feel like we’re on the top end of things right now and trying to get that solidified, too. And then hopefully we’ll have more production on offense for sure.”

(Obviously you guys are going to be without RB Myles Gaskin for a little while now and RB Salvon Ahmed stepped in the other day. What did he show you? What are you seeing out of him that maybe gives you confidence that you guys can keep the running game going?) – “He’s willing to learn. He’s a really coachable back. He’s a quick, really fast guy especially out of the backfield. That’s what kind of helps our offense move, is those faster guys that can hit the hole and be gone. I’m excited to see him develop more. Obviously (Myles) Gaskin really developed and I feel like that’s a similar type of running back.”

(I was trying to look it up, so I don’t remember. The Chargers last year, did you start at guard or tackle?) – “No, I was out that game. I had a torn UCL out of that Dallas game and I sat that week, and then we went into a bye week.”

(Have you faced Chargers DE Joey Bosa or Melvin Ingram III before? I’m trying to remember if you…) – “In 2017, I played guard. I played left guard. We rotated … but, I’ve never…”

(I was going to ask you specifically about Chargers DE Joey Bosa and DE Melvin Ingram III, but I guess you’ve never necessarily prepared specifically for them.) – “Yeah, not really.”

(You said something earlier about leadership is really the difference because you’ve been part of past regimes. Are you talking about leadership on the team from the players or leadership from the coaching standpoint? And if so, why is that the difference?) – “I’d say a little bit of both. I think obviously last year was a rebuild year. We didn’t know what to expect. A lot of guys in and out. I feel like coaches – we have better – we have different coaches in the building. I feel like the roles have kind of been a little better. I don’t know necessarily upstairs, but the guys that were brought in here, coaching these guys and the guys that we brought in at free agency or in the draft, I feel like they kind of did a really good job getting that done and we have guys that stepped up and are more vocal, especially younger guys, too. It’s kind of a good little marriage we have going on. I feel like it’s only going to get better.”

(Trying to figure out how to kind of ask this question, but I know you have two years left on your deal and the Dolphins obviously drafted three rookies to play on the o-line here. I guess how do you see your role kind of going forward the rest of the season and the future? Do you see yourself trying to continue to stay with a viable starting job on the line? Do you see yourself being maybe the best option for a swing or something in the future? How do you kind of just fit in and kind of play things out here with your career this season and the rest of your contract?) – “Yeah, that’s a good question. Obviously I want to be here, I want to be starting; but that’s a question to ask the head coach because right now I’m trying to figure out my role as well. Hopefully it’s somewhere on the starting offensive line.”

Thursday, November 12, 2020

DT Zach Sieler

(How have the last couple of games for you gone? Obviously with some increased playing time without DT Davon Godchaux, you seem to be making a really big impact on the d-line.) – “With the more playing time and everything, I’m just trying to make as much as I can happen, stay in shape and make sure I’m good to go each week, and kind of just make the most of it, like you said.”

(What’s the one thing about that front that you guys show – five men, six men. What’s the goal you’re trying to accomplish against quarterbacks by showing that many on the front?) – “I think we’re just trying to show that they don’t know what’s going to happen. It just kind of helps us take control.”

(I wanted to ask you about the fourth down stop. What was the key to the play for you, and how good did that feel? Did that compare to a sack or something like that?) – “Plays like that always feel good. It really just goes back to coaching. Especially on those fourth and inches, or the third-and-shorts, the key is to just knock back and make sure you’re gap sound and go from there. If you don’t get knock back, he’s going to fall for the inch anyways. That’s kind of what my mindset going into that fourth-and-short was.”

(We haven’t been told if DT Christian Wilkins or DT Raekwon Davis will be available Sunday. Physically with how you feel, knowing that defensive tackle is a very taxing position, do you think you could play most defensive snaps in a game at a high level, or is that too much to expect of any defensive tackle?) – “I think with the way our coaches get us prepared each week and the way we practice, we make sure we’re prepared for any situation that might be thrown at us in a week or a game or whatever. I feel like if you’re out there, you have to play to the best of your ability, and that’s how I like to take every snap, no matter how many snaps you do get or not, like you said.”

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Head Coach Brian Flores

(Question for you. RB DeAndre Washington – what is it that intrigued you guys to make him the back that you wanted to trade for and add to this team?) – “We watched him during the free agency process last year. I think he’s got good vision, good run skills, can catch the ball out of the backfield. Just doing some background on him, he’s a hard worker. It’s important to him. He’s competitive. We saw an opportunity and (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and the personnel staff did a nice job kind of pinpointing the type of guy we’re looking for and they got it done.”

(I wanted to ask you, I know you mentioned it a little bit yesterday, but Chargers QB Justin Herbert being more effective against the blitz, how does that change what you guys do? Obviously you want to be aggressive and send some blitzes. Does that do anything knowing a quarterback’s been effective at that?) – “Yeah, when you see some of the things that you’ve done in the past or in previous games show up in another game and he’s been effective against the (blitz), it makes you think twice about going that route. We’ve kind of gone through the defensive game plan extensively without getting too deep into what we’re going to do or what we’d like to try to do. That’s part of it, part of the equation. He’s done a good job against pressure; but he’s really done a good job against everything. They do a good job offensively – run game, pass game, screens, draws, they move the ball efficiently, third down, red zone – so it’s a good football team. That’s one element of it, is pressure; and if we call it, when we call it, we’ve got to do a good job executing knowing full well that they’ve been able to execute against those types of let’s call it defensive structures. It’s definitely a tough test. He’s a good player. They’ve got good coaches. They’ve got receivers, tight ends, backs. It’ll be a tough test for us.”

(I wanted to ask you about RB Matt Breida. I know yesterday was just a walkthrough so you might not be sure how much better he’s feeling, but also we know he’s one of the fastest players in the league. What are some of the things he needs to do beyond being fast in order to maximize his potential and help the team?) – “I think he’s definitely helped the team thus far, but it was nice to see him out there yesterday and just take a few reps and see him move around a little bit, so that was nice. But like you said, he’s fast, he’s explosive, he’s tough. I think he’s done a really nice job for us in the kicking game. He’s gotten his opportunities as a runner. He’s broken some big plays, and he just needs to do what he’s been doing. He prepares the right way. It’s important to him and if he just continues to do what he’s been doing, I think he’ll be just fine.”

(I have a very high football IQ question. I’m wondering what you think of the throwback uniforms and would you ever support having those uniforms as your full-time uniforms?) – “I’m not a big fashion guy. It’s not really at the top of my priority list. I like the new uniforms, I like the old uniforms, I like the old logo. I just like coaching football. So sorry, that’s not really at the top of my priority list. It’s not really something I think about, and I know there’s people who love the old uniforms. But old uniforms, new uniforms; I like to coach. I don’t really care what we’re wearing. If you want me to vote, I’ll vote for the old uniforms if you want me to cast a vote. So if I had to choose the old or the new, I’d probably go with the old.”

(I wanted to ask you about Chargers WR Keenan Allen. He’s a very good route-runner just to simplify things, and he works a lot in the slot. Does that create different challenges for you guys? I know you’ve faced good slot receivers before, but when you have two dynamic boundary guys, do you consider putting them inside to go against him?) – “Keenan (Allen) is a very, very – he’s one of the top players in the league. Very productive, very good route-runner, good hands, good after the catch. I feel like I’ve seen him every year for the last 10 years. He’s a very good player and he poses a lot of problems; but they’ve got other guys that pose problems as well. (Jalen) Guyton, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry. So we’re going to have to deal with guys on the perimeter. Obviously we have to deal with Keenan in the slot when he’s in the slot. They move him around, so you can try to pinpoint where he is; but again, ‘A. Lynn’ (Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn) does a good job of moving these guys around. So again, that’s part of it. Some of our things we have to deal with defensively. But all those conversations are had. Do we move a guy that’s primarily outside inside? Do we leave him outside and deal with the issues inside or if we move and they don’t move, we’re good? If we move and they move, now they got what they want. Those are all the kind of gymnastics you go through as you’re trying to game plan, so we’ll see. We’ll find out on Sunday, but what we all know is that Keenan Allen is a very good player and we know (Justin) Herbert will be looking for him, as he should.”

(I don’t know if you’ve been asked about the change to the change to the Rooney Rule and providing compensation to teams that lose minority coaches to head-coaching positions. I wanted to get your reaction to that change and I was curious, was your input asked by the league, or by Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen Ross when that came up for a vote?) – “I’ve said this multiple times. I think there are a lot of very good minority coaches in this league – good teachers, good coaches, good leaders – and if given the opportunity, I think they would have success as head coaches in this league – head coaches, general managers. I support the change. As far as any conversations that I’ve had, those kind of stay internal within our building and then with whoever I have conversations with. I think that’s just common courtesy. But look, there are a lot of good coaches in this league – white, black. But if you’re asking me about minority coaches, there are certainly a large contingent of capable, smart, bright leaders in this league. I’m hopeful that they get the opportunities they deserve and I’m sure if given those opportunities, they’ll have success.”

(I wanted to ask you about the COVID situation. Do you expect any coaches to return to practice today and also WR Lynn Bowden Jr. on the COVID list? I also wanted to ask you about any advice or talks you’ve had with G Solomon Kindley after the O-line changes against Arizona last week?) – “As far as Solomon Kindley – I’ve talked to all of the offensive linemen, I try to talk to everyone on the team. My message is normally the same: let’s improve, lets get better every day. What happened last week or six weeks ago really doesn’t matter. It’s about what you do today, how you perform in practice today. That’s how you take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves. I expect Lynn Bowden to be back today. Coaches, we’ll get a couple back. I won’t get into who, but we may get a couple back. Our guys have done a good job as far as having the next-man-up mentality. Whether it’s players, coaches, equipment, training room – I think everyone has that mentality. It’s been good that way. It’s always good to do something that you’re not normally doing. It may be a little uncomfortable, but in the end, you’re probably better for it and have a better understanding of the overall scheme and different vantage points of how other positions or how other players see things. There is some good that comes out of it, I think, in my opinion.”

(It will be helpful to know this year whether WR Lynn Bowden Jr. and RB/WR Malcolm Perry – not to lump them together but obviously two rookie former college quarterbacks – if they’re more change pace guys or if they actually could develop into legit slot revivers. Could you please address where both of them stand in their growth toward that goal?) – “It would be helpful to know for who? For you guys? (laughter)”

(It would be helpful to know for you guys, for Dolphins fans, for the writers who cover the team and trying to determine ok, could these guys be long term slot receiver options?) – “When we start talking long-term, that’s when I’ve got to revert back to today. I think the message is and always will be let’s not think about long-term and how far down the road, or how many years we’re going to be, this, that and the other thing. The focus is today – improving today, having good meetings, having good walkthroughs, having good practice and stringing them together. That will hopefully manifest itself in the game, if and when their opportunities show up in the game. I think sometimes you can make progress and no one sees it, and it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. It may be the long-term answer, or someone may be the long-term answer and you guys don’t know and I don’t know and no one knows, and then bam, things happen. And it’s because of the work that was done in the previous eight to nine weeks. Looking for the long-term answer in one game, I don’t think that’s normally how it happens. I think it happens over time. I think it takes time. It’s called a compounding – basically there’s a growth that occurs over a period of time, and we don’t know if it’s long-term because it’s still very early. That’s kind of my thoughts on both of those guys as well as every other young player we’re dealing with on this team. That’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but’s that’s what I got for you. (laughter)”