Tony Sparano Press Conference Transcript 10/14/11


On Thursday Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

(On if anyone was limited in practice today) – “Yeah, there was several guys limited today. A few guys limited. Off the top of my head couldn’t rattle them off to you but there was a few guys limited. Everybody worked.”

(On how much did the bye week help get everybody healthy)- “It helped a lot, I mean, getting them healthy. It’s just how healthy right now. We got a little bit of ways to go before the game so it’s good to see them out there…Daniel (Thomas), (Chris) Clemons, these guys, all these guys, Vontae (Davis), see them all out there. They’re going day by day right now. We’ve caught two really hot days out there. Today was actually over a hundred degrees out there on the field surface today. When you’re dealing with these muscley things you just want to make sure that the next day you’re okay.”

(On what was the most important thing he wanted Chris Clemons, Vontae Davis and Daniel Thomas to accomplish during the bye week)- “During the bye week, honestly, the rehab part of it and again some guys had time off, some guys that was their full time job. That was the most important thing is to get them healthy. Obviously we didn’t practice those guys; we just worked on getting them healthy the whole week. That was helpful. Even taking reps off of guys during the bye week was good JT (Jason Taylor), (Anthony) Fasano, some of these guys, (Marc) Colombo, YB (Yeremiah Bell)…some of the older guys.”

(On how frustrating Daniel Thomas hamstring setback is)- “From a coaching standpoint, frustrated. I don’t want that to come off the wrong way like I’m not frustrated with Daniel (Thomas) obviously. I know the guy wants to be out there. Just frustrating in that you kind of got this toy out there, that’s a pretty good toy right now, and you can’t, and you haven’t been able to use it him in the way you want to use him. I have this vision in how I want this backfield to look and I haven’t really had it yet. In other words, it hasn’t quite been that way yet from the start. Really there was only one game there where you had really both of them. We had early in there, remember the game there where I think Reggie (Bush) had the little tweak which ended up going with heavier plays on Daniel (Thomas) in that game. We haven’t really had that yet and I’m looking forward to getting that thing going together here now.”

(On if the four game losing streak is magnified because it’s at the beginning of the year)- “I’m sure. Yeah, I’m sure everybody is searching for, the fans, everybody…the fans, me, the team. Everybody is searching for a win. I mean you want to get a win. The team we’re playing right now lost three in a row but they won two. I don’t think their three in a row taste any different than our four in a row right now, but they won two. I think that what happened in the beginning of the year…last year, I don’t remember the circumstances exactly, but I think we won two in a row and then lost a couple. Losing is losing; it stinks whenever it happens. It ain’t a good feeling when it happens but when it happens right out of the gate and you have some new philosophies and some new thoughts, you really want to be able to validate those things with a win and you haven’t been able to do that yet.”

(On his reaction to Brandon Marshall’s comments)- “(laughing) I’m sure every one of you guys took that seriously. I got coached up. You think this is my first rodeo? (laughing) Obviously, first of all, Brandon is kidding…fifty percent kidding (laughing). I know one thing about that guy; he’s not going to do anything to hurt this football team. That’s what I know. I know the people in that locker room are important to him and this guy has worked really hard. But I’ve seen him when he, I don’t want to call it…sometimes he’s really on the field bigger than life sometimes out there when he gets the ball in his hands and he starts rolling. I mess around with him sometimes and call him a werewolf. He gets the ball in his hands and he starts running like that. But he can be that way. I think that’s the part Brandon’s talking about. He wants to be more passionate with the ball in his hands and he wants to be more passionate blocking and doing all the things that are necessary to help us win. And right now what we’ve tried to do is we took a good, long hard look at ourselves and there’s ways for everybody on this football team to help us and I’m sure that’s what Brandon was talking about.”

(On if he’s talked about the balancing line between Brandon Marshall’s emotions and the game)- “No, I really haven’t had to. To be honest with you, I really haven’t had to. This guy has been tremendous. And there’s been, shoot there’s days where I have highs and have minimal lows, but I have lows. Sometimes I think you end up just working through it yourself and Brandon (Marshall)’s worked through some of those things himself really well. I mean, he’s really handled himself well. I’ve been proud of what he’s done that way and how he’s done it.”

(On if there is anything Jason Taylor can add about the Jets that you don’t see on tape)- “Yeah, I think so. There’s a few things that he can add. This is different than just pulling a player off of a practice squad from some place or anything like that. He was there a year ago. I think he has a pretty good understanding and philosophy. Believe me, we didn’t sit there and grab Jason and start talking about ‘tell me what they’re going to do on 3rd and 4, tell me what they are going to do in the red zone’. Nobody knows that. Rex (Ryan) is a darn good coach. Those people have coached well down there and they do a super job but you know personnel wise you can get some things. I think philosophically you might be able to get some things on their approach to us even a year ago and what maybe they think.”

(On Jason Taylor being back) – “Obviously it means a great deal to our team. He’s been a long time Miami Dolphin. He’s tremendous in this community, but more importantly he’s a hell of a player. Hell of guy and in my time with Jason he’s been one of the most outstanding players that I’ve had to the opportunity to coach. I mean he’s very good with the young players and he still has gas left in his tank here and can help our football team win. So that’s what I think of him.”

(On what the loss of Chad Henne like and what he expects from Matt Moore) – “Well the loss of Chan Henne is no different than the loss of Indianapolis Colts not having their quarterback or some of the other teams not having starting quarterbacks. I mean if you lose your starting quarterback, I mean it’s a hard lose but that’s the nature of the game here. I think everybody can line up and make a lot of excuses but at the end of the day nobody…excuses aren’t going to get it done. Matt Moore is our quarterback right now. We have all the confidence in the world in Matt Moore and he’s been doing an outstanding job for us. So it’s just part of the game. It’s an unfortunate part of the game but part of the game none the less.”

(On the running back situation) – “I mean obviously Daniel Thomas has played very well for us. I mean both games that he’s been in of the four games, I think he’s really ran the ball very, very well. But hadn’t been completely healthy he’s missed two games. So that being said I’ve been very pleased with what Reggie’s done so far. We have to do a little bit better job utilizing Reggie. You know from our end, ourselves but he’s done a really good job I think. Some of the things that we’ve asked him to do and you know, we’ve been please with Lex Hillard has done and of course Steve Slaton here right now. He’s a guy, that, you know the bye week helped tremendously as well because we got him just before the bye week. He didn’t really have much knowledge of what we were doing.”

(On what makes Cameron Wake effective) – “His motor. Cameron’s a relentless player. I think he’s got all of the outstanding pass rush qualities. I think that Jason Taylor would tell you that, Jason’s had a chance to work with Cameron a little bit and Cameron learns from Jason a lot. Bryan Cox has also done a tremendous job with him but the thing I think that separates some of these outstanding pass rushers, you know a Cameron Wake, a (Clay) Mathews, these kind of people, he’s got motor. They’re relentless and they gave effort in trying to get to get to the quarterback and I think that’s probably what separates them.”

(On what he thinks needs to be done to turn things around) – “Win. That’s all. We need to win to start turning things around but in order to do that there’s some critical areas that we have to get better in. We played well in some areas but there’s some areas that our football team has to get better in. We’ve given up too many explosive plays on defense and on offense we need to do a better job. Certainly down there in the red zone and turning things over and touchdowns. So I think there’s some areas there minus plays down in the red area has been handled a little bit of a problem for us to so and then I just think the basic fundamentals of the game. I think I heard Rex earlier in the week talk about fundamentals and technique and assignment and those kind of things. All those things when you’re 0-4 from our end are things that have to be examined and we did a good job of that in the bye week. Feel like we’ve gotten better at some of those.”

(On Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis) – “I don’t know, I’m not sure if they’ll put Darrelle on or not. Obviously Darrelle’s an outstanding player. Brandon’s a very, he’s an outstanding player too. So I’m not sure how they’re going to play us. They have two really corners there. Obviously the two best corners I think that are out there but as far as how Brandon’s playing, Brandon’s been playing well for us. He’s made some big plays. He’s caught the ball down the field and all of these. Done a good job with his run after catch. The guys in great shape. He had a really good offseason during the lockout. Got himself prepared to play well. So I think he’s just going to get better and better.”

(On if he see’s anything that has caused the Jets to struggle) – “No I wouldn’t say there’s anything that I noticed and if I did I probably wouldn’t say it. I know that that team has lost three games before a couple of times and have bounced back. No different than my football team. We’ve been in this situation before and bounced back. We’ve been 0-3 and 0-4 and won kind of our next 11 games and 1/6 of our next seven games. Teams get in these positions, the bottom line is you put yourself in the position by the way you play and I mean you got to dig yourself out of it. So there’s nothing really that I’ve watched on film that said this is the reason why the Jets are in this deal here. That’s a darn good football team in my very humble opinion. That team went to the AFC Championship game last year and there’s still the team to beat in our division.”

(On what the team worked on in the bye week) –“We worked on the things that we thought…we tried to cure some ills. That’s what we did. In other words, it’s easy to go out there and continue to do some of the things that you do good during the bye week. But from our end that’s not what we did. We took a good long hard look at ourselves. Really were critical of ourselves during the bye work and worked hard on some of the areas that need to be worked on. So there’s areas obviously that we haven’t done a good job in and there’s some areas that we’ve done a very good job in. And we just spent most of the time on the areas that we didn’t do a good job in.”


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