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The words directly from Tony Sparano's mouth


Saturday, August 29, 2009


Head Coach Tony Sparano


(On if the game on film was as bad he thought it was when he initial watched it) – “No. Never as good, never as bad. It sounds like a copout answer, but it’s not. When you are watching the film and evaluating however many guys that played; 60-65 guys played and you see some individual performances that were good and see some performances that weren’t so good. From a scheme standpoint, you really do the same thing. What we did out there in Tampa Bay certainly wasn’t a game plan. It has been the same stuff we have been running for the last couple of weeks, but we certainly didn’t execute it the way we wanted to.”


(On if adds stress to prepare players for New Orleans knowing that he has roster moves to make) – “I think it add some (stress). You have been with these guys for a quite a while now and having to get guys ready for this New Orleans game and having an idea that some guys won’t be with you. There are still some guys on the bubble that we have to make sure that we see a pretty good amount of. There is a little bit of strain and a little bit of stress there, but nothing out of the usual. I think right now that every coach in the league is about ready to get to the 53-man squad and start to work that squad.”


(On if it changes what he can do because he has to only has to cut five players) – “It’s not too many people. Our numbers are down.  I don’t think it changes a whole lot. You have to be conscious of who is playing where and why. It’s like Lou(saka) Polite going into this game. We only have fullback on the roster. What you can do with him in this ballgame and how long you can do it. You may be in one-back stuff to get you through the ballgame, but still compete in this game. We don’t go any place to be in second place. That’s not what we are trying to do here.”


(On if any position jumps out as being the toughest to cut with outside linebacker and offensive line) – “The most? No. there are a few different positions right now I think…I would say you are hovering around it.”


(On what Quentin Moses and Erik Walden have to show to make this team) – “Continued growth on special teams. Continued growth, continued improvement over the next couple of days. Some of these guys…I will sit down with Bono (special teams coordinator John Bonamego) as the week goes on and we’ll figure out what ghosts they should have on special teams. Some guys will get a lot and some guys won’t get so many. This week we tried to get a few guys that we thought were core guys a lot of work on teams. Next week we’ll probably pare it down a little bit and make sure we see that. I also think getting those guys in those ballgames and challenging them with some things defensively that maybe from a coverage standpoint…these outside linebackers in coverage I think those are some of the things you want to see.”


(On what Moses has shown him) – “I like what Quentin has done right now. I think he has done a good job from a physical standpoint in the game. It’s all relative to the number of snaps played. Guys like Moses, (Cameron) Wake and Walden have a lot of snaps right now. A lot more snaps than let’s say Joey Porter. In relativity to the number of snaps that were played and maybe who they were played against, he is probably one of our most productive players in this training camp.”


(On the possibilities of the wide receiver rotation) – “I think that there are a lot of different things that we can do, you can play four wide receivers if you have them, some people do that, spread the field a little bit and do some of that and help yourself in the run game. I think there are a bunch of possibilities, what happens is to have those possibilities you have to have players that have position flexibility. It’s not as easy as, hey because you play on the right side you can go line up on the left side and play that really isn’t that easy.  Playing ‘X’ or playing ‘Z’ and what we see with an ‘X’ and those characteristics having to be and a ‘Z’ and so on little bit different, we have a couple players in that group that you just mentioned that can play all the positions. They can play ‘X’, they can play ‘Z’, they can play ‘Y’ in three wide, so they can play all the positions and that helps us to be able to put different combinations out there in a game.”


(On if he would like to see Ted Ginn have more receptions during this preseason) – “No, I told you guys last week that you were going to ask that question eventually, so I mean Ted Ginn right now has a lot more receptions now than he did last year at this time.  I would say to you, well the game really didn’t dictate that last week, we threw him one or two balls maybe his way. Nah, I’m fine with where he is in the game right now.”


(On the defense being upset about missed tackles) – “They should (be upset), they should beat themselves up over missed tackles, that’s part of the business. You’re a defensive player, you’ve been born usually a defensive player, you need to tackle and get them on the ground.”


(On Kendall Langford taking the next step in his game and his expectations of Langford) – “Well Kendall in this training camp has been pretty productive in there which is really what you just said, I think from a next step stand point you would like very much, I think the guy’s getting pretty good at the line of scrimmage with the run game, I really do. He’s playing behind the line of scrimmage, he’s a factor in minus plays right now, a factor now in minus plays. But what he is doing, I think as well is, he is starting to provide some pass rush in there in the base stuff. If you can get some pass rush in the base stuff and get people in long yardage we got a chance to get off the field and I think that’s what this game is about, getting off the field.”


(On where he thinks his two starting safeties are at in terms of feeling comfortable with each other) – “I am comfortable with it right now, I think that they are getting better and better at it, thin you just need more ‘at-bats’ in game situations. Where you have some issues is when you get to some of the bunch stuff and those types of things and you have to be in games to really see a lot of that stuff. In practice it doesn’t happen so fast, we work on some of that today in there but it’s just a little bit slower. In the games I think that stuff’s a little bit faster, so I think the communication will help us that way.”


(On how he decides who is the nickel corner and if it’s usually the third cornerback) – “No it’s not the third cornerback, in fact not everybody can play the position. The nickel position is a hard position to play because he has to have great quickness inside, because usually he is paired up with the (Wes) Welker’s and these kind of people, the quick receivers that this other team may have, and at the same time, he has got to be a guy that can tackle, can eventually get in the box a little bit and can pressure, that guy is involved a lot in pressure. So going in there sometimes when you’re a defensive back, not every defensive back wants to be down in the box when there is a lot of noise and traffic in there, and not every defensive back wants to come on pressures and do those things. Some might say they do, but they really don’t.”


(On what the punt coverage has to do to become efficient) – “Well first, you have to get all the players out there, at one time, that you are going to play. I think at one time… which we have not done yet. There is really… we don’t have that need right now. You are trying to see a lot of people do a lot of things. I think also the punt; it helps you a little bit. I’ll give you an example and I am not saying anything that I shouldn’t say here, but the other night – to you guys - our punter punted a 65-yard punt at one point. Nice punt, nice job [Brandon] Fields.  But that is not, in some situations is really, isn’t helpful from a coverage standpoint. Brandon knows that. Sometimes, it just happens that way. He hit the ball and he hit it good. He did a great job hitting the ball like that, but you can outkick your coverage sort of speak. Some of you have heard that before. So that can happen a little bit. That is a scenario there. In games last year as you would start to get better, we [were] actually coaching Brandon on 40, 38, 40, 41 [yards] and high, high as we could get it. Well that is not where we are right now. We need to see these guys cover and who can cover so we are not really worried about that at this time. Now, does the group have to improve? Sure it does. We want to get better in every phrase of our special teams. We made little improvements right now along the way. We blocked a punt the other night. Now that is the strangest scenario I have ever – I have never seen anything like it (laughter.) But I am going to tell you, we practiced that situation; we blocked it and you are just in a game and you are trying to make a play, but that is a blocked punt in the special teams. That is a big play in the course of a ballgame for us. We have had a few of these. We had a few good returns early on in the preseason. Early on, 10 days ago right, however many days ago. So we have made some good plays in those areas; coverage, getting people on the ground, lane discipline, those things need to continue to improve in that area.”


(On if Matt Roth can be moved from the non-football injury list to the physically unable to perform list) -“Hypothetically you can.”


(On how long he would remain on the physically unable to perform list) – “If you’re on PUP, it is a six week deal.  At some point during that six weeks you have a short window where you can bring him out there, you can practice him. Get a chance to prepared to play and if you cannot get him prepared to play at that point, and then you have a decision to make.”


(On if he has to make that decision this coming Saturday) – “Pretty soon. Not that far away. But pretty soon we have to make a decision. Not, I would say, this coming Saturday I would say no.”


(On if he has decided who will start at WR opposite Ted Ginn Jr.)- “Not yet. Not yet, Jeff [Darlington]. I think we are going to play both [Hartline and Camarillo] again this week. I have no real time table for people playing this week. We are going to go and we are going to play until we see what we need to see. So I am going to play them both, Hartline [and] Camarillo. I am going to play [Davone] Bess. We will see what falls out of that. Obviously, both players did some good things in the game the other night. Even Greg [Camarillo] only had one opportunity in the game; he made the most of that opportunity. He blocked really well. His routes were crisper in that ball game. There was some good stuff I thought.”


(On what he is looking for out of the WR spot opposite Ted Ginn Jr.) – “Well, I mean, Teddy he got the long range speed; he has all those things. So you think that is where your homerun is. But we have to get more chunks on offense. So I am looking for a guy that can gobble up yards out there. That is a little bit opposite of him. If you can get a guy to make some bigger plays there on that other side, I think that helps you.”

(On Joey Porter’s comments that he feels the team knows when it is playing bad this year compared to last year when it was not as clear to them) - “Well, I think that is true, what Joey said. I think last year at this time we were just trying to figure out what we were and we weren’t really sure at this time last year. I think we were maybe 1-2 going into this last game in the preseason. We weren’t sure if we were playing good and everyone else wasn’t or playing bad and... we just really didn’t know. I think right now, as a football team, the expectations are little bit different. I think these guys really understand how to win and lose. I think that been perfectly clear to them, how you go about winning and losing. Example, three turnovers, you won’t win many games. In fact, in the last 5 years, there has only been 25 wins with three turnovers. Those kind of things they understand clearly. They know they didn’t play well, I believe that.”


(On Joey Porter as a player and his personality) – “As far as what Joey has done right now, what I like about Joey we know he can rush the passer, I think we understand that, but he has made some improvements in the run game right now . He had some plays the other night – again this is what you guys don’t see that I get a chance to see several times –he made some plays in the run game the other night with his hands and at the point of attack that I thought were pretty impressive. Playing much stronger, much stouter, doing a good job with his hands; those are improvements a veteran player like that makes. That means he is buying in. He figured out that there is something there that [outside linebackers coach] Jim Reid and [defensive coordinator] Paul Pasqualoni are telling him that he can use, that he can put in his toolbox. So I think that is a positive thing and as far what Joey is from a personality [standpoint], what my relationship with him, I think every team needs one of those guys on the team. In other words, Joey is an upbeat, high tempo guy that you like to have in your corner and I am glad he is in my corner and not playing against him.”