As Monday is the day the Dolphins make their coordinators available to the media, it stands to reason that you should know what Mike Sherman told the media today about his play-calling, his thoughts on getting two running backs hurt in the final seconds before halftime in the Houston and New York games, and about players such as Lamar Miller, Charles Clay, Anthony Armstrong, Legedu Naanee and others.
So here it is ... All that Mike Sherman said today:
(On where running back Lamar Miller is in his development) –“I’m fairly impressed with Lamar. He’s a very smart football player, takes the coaching real well. I think he’s right on target, where we expect him to be at this time."
(On if it’s normal rookie play to occasionally miss an assignment like the play Miller had yesterday where he and quarterback Ryan Tannehill were not on the same page) – “Well, we just had a meeting. We talked about that and no it’s not what we can expect out him. We expect him to know what to do all the time. There was a call there that made us repeat the play and we wanted to run it again and he just missed it. Although those things do happen, I remind him he’s now being paid to play football and it’s inexcusable to make those type of mistakes. I don’t think he’ll make it again.”
(On how Miller has been taking the coaching and negative criticism) – “Excellent. It’s not negative, it’s just constructive criticism. He takes coaching very well. He wants to be great and he wants you tell him how he can get there, but he’s been very receptive."
(On when running back Reggie Bush went out with an injury that affected his play calling) – “Not a whole lot. It didn’t affect the play calling necessarily. We expect those other guys to step in and to do certain things. Obviously, Reggie, the young guys aren’t quite at Reggie’s level yet. So certain things happen when Reggie’s in there that may not happen otherwise, but, as far as play calling, it didn’t affect it whatsoever."
(On if he wishes he had some play calls back from the game yesterday) – “I don’t think there’s a game that I’ve ever called ever that I don’t wish…You’re not going to, if you get 75 plays, you’re not going to have 75 great calls in a ball game. That’s status quo from week-to-week.”
(On if he feels like the offense was too aggressive on the final two possessions of the game yesterday) –“Not necessarily. You look at the last possession, we ran the ball twice and threw it once. The pass that I called was a stick route in the flat, which we had completed earlier. We ended up, Ryan ended up giving a signal to the outside receiver to go vertical because of man coverage. He though he had a clearer shot there, which is understandable. But no, I don’t think it was, I thought it was what was called for."
(On how Tannehill is doing with his deep passes)– “It’s obvious, we weren’t real good then. When the ball ends up out of bounds, it’s certainly not what we want to be. We want it to be somewhere between the sideline, halfway between the sideline and the numbers, in that general vicinity – an area that we work on, the red line. We missed on a couple of those. There’s no question about that. It’s something he’ll work on this week."
(On this being the second time this season a running back has been injured in the second quarter of a game this season) – “Yeah, I’m sure Joe (Philbin) and I will talk about that like we do every week. How do we want to finish the half if we’re in those positions? Certainly have never had that happen before. It’s kind of an anomaly, but definitely worthy of discussion, no question."
(On if he expected to get more out of Charles Clay and what needs to change with him to be more of a factor in the passing game)– “Yeah, I have high expectations of Charles. I think part of that is him, part of that is us putting him in the position to make certain plays. I can’t remember just a whole lot of times where he has a… he hasn’t dropped a bunch of balls. We’ve targeted him and he didn’t perform necessarily, but yeah, I would like to get him more involved. He’s a talented young man. This week, he was on the field more than he was last week, the first game more than the week before. I kind of go by how they practice on which direction you’re going to go, fullback or two tight ends."
(On his impressions of the Arizona Cardinals defense)– “They’re very aggressive, their defense. They’re playing extremely well. They play very hard, very physical. Some games they come at you with everything they’ve got, other games they mix it up on you. It will be quite a challenge for us. We’re looking forward to it."
(On wide receiver Legedu Naanee not having any catches this week and if he feels like the team has enough playmakers from a receiving and tight end stand point)– “I thought we spread the ball around pretty good the other day. We were playing against a pretty good defense that also has very good players. I would like (Legedu) Naanee to be an, us to get him in position to catch some balls. I don’t think he was targeted necessarily the other day. But by no fault of him or us, it just sometimes that’s the way it ended up. But yeah, I’d like to see him get some more balls. (He) works extremely hard. He’s done a great job on special teams. I think that puts pressure on me to make sure that happens."
(On if the offensive line is playing as well as it seems, particularly right guard John Jerry and right tackle Jonathan Martin)– “Yeah, usually with offensive linemen if you don’t notice things, they’re doing okay, but yeah they’re doing a nice a job, in particular against that defense, which has a tendency, because of its structure, to create some sacks and hits on the quarterback. I think we only had two hits on the quarterback the entire game and were able to rush for a good amount of yards. We still left some… We’ve got a lot of work to do. We left some yards on the field that we could have gotten that we didn’t get. As I told the guys today in our meeting, we shouldn’t have left it to a field goal kicker to win the game for us. Shouldn’t have left it to Dan (Carpenter’s) responsibility. We have our own responsibilities and it was on us to make sure that we didn’t put him in that position."
(On trying to take too much advantage of the Jets secondary when cornerback Darrelle Revis went out)– “I think we ran the ball. How many runs did we have in the game? … There wasn’t an intentional shift if there was. I can’t honestly tell you that I purposely had an intentional shift at that point. There was an awareness that he was out of the ball game, which may have affected some calls, but not the frequency of calls necessarily in my mind."
(On if there is a big gap between receivers Naanee and Anthony Armstrong and the younger receivers)– “I think the gap right now is… I think (Davone) Bess and (Brian) Hartline have separated themselves obviously and I thought Bess had a great game, really performed well this week and last week. I think we’re still looking for that guy to step, the next two guys to step forward. I would agree with what you’re leading onto."
(On if he expected his running game to be ranked fourth in the NFL based on being last in preseason)– “I think part of these things happen, but the other part of it is, in the preseason, I knew we could run the ball pretty effectively in practice cause we’re going to against one of the better rush defenses in football every single day and I think that helped make us a little bit better. In the preseason, we threw the ball an awful lot, an inordinate amount of times compared to where we are right now and what we’re doing offensively in trying to have an assessment on the receivers and the quarterbacks and what not. I don’t think the preseason can be an indication of our run game at all in relation to (now). Plus the fact, in the preseason, you’re mixing and matching guys. There’s different groups going in there. Until that offensive line is one cohesive unit, you really don’t start having the protection you need to have from that position."