DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins returned to South Florida late Sunday after suffering their second loss in as many games.
New head coach Adam Gase is already facing an uphill climb after Miami has lost each of his first two games at the helm, by a total of nine points.
The latest loss came on Sunday in New England. After falling behind 31-3 early in the third quarter, Miami scored 24 unanswered points and came up short on a last minute drive that could have tied the game.
But now the Dolphins are 0-2 and teams starting the season with consecutive losses have made the playoffs just 16% of the time since the NFL switched to its current 16-game format.
On Monday Gase addressed the media and touched on several topics. Here is what he had to say.
(On if it is a strain or a tear on RB Arian Foster’s groin injury) – “He’s going to be day-to-day right now. At least that looks good for us. We’ll see how he does this week. We haven’t really made any decisions on whether or not we’re going to try to get him out at practice on Wednesday. I think we’re just going to get through today, see where he is at tomorrow and then when we get to Wednesday, just kind of evaluate what’s best for us to do with him right now.”
(On who he will look at to replace RB Arian Foster if he doesn’t have him) – “I think all options are going to be open. The good thing is all of those guys have really stuck with it. They’ve practiced hard. They’ve been engaged as far as in meetings, at least the guys that have been inactive. That’s why Jay (Ajayi) was able to step in there and do that the other night because he stayed engaged in the meetings, he didn’t get a ton of reps (and) he was really involved in special teams as far as the meetings went. If he doesn’t do that, then we probably would have been in a little trouble yesterday. But he was able to at least do a great job, as far as knowing who he had to get, and some of the protections were a little bit different with what we dealt with yesterday. For a guy that didn’t get many reps in the walkthroughs and the protections, he did a really good job.”
(On his assessment of WR DeVante Parker’s performance yesterday) – “He did good. We have a couple things we have to clean up as far as route technique and some of his assignments. Every once in a while we’d have a thing here and there. As far as him being a playmaker, I think that’s pretty obvious. He’s a guy that we need to keep on the field. I think those three receivers together and then add our tight end group and our (running) backs’ abilities to catch the football, that should be a good group out there. But if we’re not healthy, it doesn’t really help us.”
(On if he is concerned about losing the time of possession the past two weeks and how he changes that) – “Yes. When you’re going three-and-out, three-and-out, four-and-out, three-and-out, that’s going to happen. We have to figure something out. We have to stay on the field. We did something different this last game; we were huddling the whole first half. Obviously time of possession was worse than it was the first game. We have to figure out something there as far as just making sure we get that first, first down, and then trying to get something going.”
(On if the lack of time possession is primarily an offensive problem at this point) – “Absolutely. It’s not the defense. Offensively, we cannot go three-and-out. We’ve done it so many times already that it’s ridiculous. The defense has no chance in the fourth quarter of having any opportunity to be somewhat fresh if we’re three-and-out the entire first half. And then we get back into the game and we’re like, ‘C’mon defense, stop them now.’ Well, on play 75, you’re a little fatigued.”
(On RB Kenyan Drake and if he is still getting acclimated to the playbook) – “Yes. Any time you get a rookie out there, especially at running back, and New England is throwing all kinds of odd fronts at you and they’re jamming some guys and putting them in different spots and it makes it tough. It’s the first time you’re really seeing it live. When he played in that fourth preseason game, (the Titans) were very vanilla. That was probably an unrealistic look of how an NFL game goes. When you walk out there versus New England, it’s a different front every time; it’s a different coverage, it’s a different pressure, so I mean, you have to be on it.”
(On how he would assess RB Kenyan Drake’s performance) – “He did a good job. Obviously he can be very productive for us in the passing game and he gives us an element of speed on the edge. He’s still a physical guy. We want to see how far we can take him and how much we can grow this season. Obviously we’d like him to really start understanding the why of what we’re doing on some things but that’s going to come with time.”
(On C Mike Pouncey’s status) – “We’ll go to go week-to-week. That’s what it’s going to be. Until they tell me something different and we get to the end of the week or during practice and they say, ‘Alright, we can get him out there. Here’s the next step of what we need to do.’ Until then, I can’t really say he’s going to go or he’s not going to go. Tuesday I get told one thing, Wednesday I get told one thing so I just take it day-to-day and usually I know by the end of the week what’s going to happen.”
(On WR Jarvis Landry’s comment that ‘we can’t be an almost team’) – “I agree. It doesn’t matter who you play, you either win or lose. Nobody is going to feel good as far as when you lose a game. When we went up to Seattle, we went up there to win. We had a chance as far as at the end of the game. Offensively, I can look at three plays and say if we would have done what we were supposed to do for three plays, we’re not in that position. And our defense isn’t in that position as far as 80 plays. This last game, (it’s) the same thing. We put ourselves in that position, whether it be offense, defense or special teams. So we have to clean some things up. If we get on the details of things, that’s going to give us our best opportunity to win a game.”
(On what worked so well in the last two quarters that didn’t in the first two quarters) – “We just got into a good rhythm. Guys made plays. The play calls were the same, just we executed a little bit better, made some good throws (and) made some plays. There were a couple of throws that were tough catches to make. DeVante (Parker) got us going. He made that one catch and that got us rolling. For whatever reason, it takes that first, first down for us, and then everyone feels good and we get rolling. We just have to figure out a way to get that first one. We had that first series where Ryan (Tannehill) throws a ball just a little bit behind Jordan (Cameron). If we get that ball in front, what happens on that series? I make a bad call as far as the quarterback sneak trying to hurry up to the line of scrimmage, they just kind of put us in a hole there and all of a sudden you look up and it’s 14-0. We just need to do a little bit better job of figuring out a way to get that first, first down and then see what happens after that.”
(On if the linebackers had rough matchups with the wide receivers and if you just have to line up and play and not worry about sub packages) – “Sometimes when you’re going man and you’re going zone, and you have different combinations going on as (far as) who is taking who, and they start giving you some of the formations that they give you, you have to be on your execution. When you go watch the tape and you sit down and you know what the call is and you know it’s supposed to be done, then you look at it a little differently because you’re going, ‘Oh, that’s what’s supposed to happen.’ We just had some times where we did not execute what was called. We had too much conversation going on. We need to line up, we need to get the call, execute the call and then reevaluate it after that. Until we execute the call correctly, it’s hard to say we should do this or we should do this. Let’s execute what’s called first.”
(On having big, physical corners and if the rules of the game make it hard to get your hands on guys) – “Sometimes. You have to be careful against that team (the Patriots). It’s easy to say, ‘Hey, get up there and press him every time,’ until all of a sudden they come down and pick you, and then you’re wondering why (Patriots WR Danny) Amendola is running down the sideline with nobody around him and then you have a corner on the ground. You have to be careful. You’ve got to be careful what levels you’re on when you’re playing those guys. You saw Jarvis (Landry) sprung free because everybody was pressed across the board, they tried to get their hands on him, didn’t do it and all of a sudden we get a 40-yard gain. It’s tough. You’d love to get up there and press every time but sometimes when you get into these different type of formations, which New England is going to do because (Offensive Coordinator/QBs Coach) Josh (McDaniels) understands that, and he puts you in a tough spot.”
(On the upcoming challenge of preparing a team for two games just four days apart) – “I think the biggest challenge really starts this week. If you do not take care of yourself going forward, it’s going to affect you running into the next game. What you have to do is you have to understand that you have a 10-day stretch where you’ve got to be great. You’ve got to take care of your body and you have to make sure that you do all of the little things that you need to do starting today, to make sure that when we hit Sunday, you’re good to go. And then when you hit that Thursday game, it’s going to come quick and you’re not going to have as much time to recover. So if you don’t take it serious starting and leading into Wednesday, and don’t take care of your body throughout the entire week, it’s going to affect you for the next one.”
(On the team’s mindset coming off two losses and if he looks at this as a must-win game against the Browns) – “No. It’s the third game of the year. I think we’re looking at it as we better get back to work on Wednesday.”
(On if it is harder for him to absorb losses as a head coach rather than a coordinator) – “Nope.”
(On if absorbing losses as a head coach is the same as a coordinator) – “Yes. Exactly.”
(On if it looked like everybody played hard after watching the tape) – “It looked like it. That was the one thing after watching the film that I know our coaching staff felt good about was that we didn’t see anybody quit on the field. There were a couple of times on the sideline where we had some poor looks and that look of a little bit of discouragement, but you never saw it on the field. They kept playing. That’s all you can ask for at that point. When you’re down like that, you can tell right away because it becomes an annihilation. There is no little bit of a comeback. It becomes … 31-3 becomes 50, or more than that, especially against that team. So the fact that guys hung in there, guys kept fighting, guys kept trying to make plays, the defense kept trying to do everything they could to slow them down and get us the ball back as fast as they could, that was something that you want to see from your team – the fact that you didn’t hear any separation on the sideline –because I’ve been a part of that before – to where all of a sudden you get divided and it just becomes worse than what it was. What our guys did was encouragement from the defense, offense encouraging the defense, defense encouraging the offense, special teams trying to figure out a way to make a play. It was just that constant chatter on the sideline, which is good, and that’s what you want.”
(On if he liked some of the things he saw from the linebackers in coverage because they seemed to be in position to make plays at times) – “Once again, we kind of had a couple of minor mistakes that cost us. As far as guys reacting a little quicker, (that) would have put us in better position. I think as far as what the plan was and what we executed in practice, I would have loved to have seen what would have happened if we would have executed some of those things in a game. For whatever reason, we just didn’t execute them like we were showing in practice. Going into (the Patriots) game, I think our guys felt really confident as far as, ‘We understand what we’re doing. It’s not overly complex. If we just react correctly, we’re going to put ourselves in good position.’ We just did not do exactly what we talked about.”