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Dolphins coach Joe Philbin began his first Dolphins press conference by saying "we are under no obligation to talk about injuries" during training camp and asking reporters "to refrain from questions about that."
Here's what else he said:
(On whether he was nervous for the first practice) -"I was very excited. I told the team yesterday in the meeting, if you're not excited about coming to work when the team reconvenes in the training camp atmosphere, then you're in the wrong profession. I told the players the story yesterday in the meeting that I'm nervous before every single practice, and when I'm not nervous before every single practice, then I think it's time to put my whistle away. Not nervous like oh my God I'm going to make a mistake, but nervous in that you want the practice to be perfect, you want the organization of it to be perfect, you want to see players making plays and doing things the right way. So I think if you lose that, we all know this is a competitive business, then you should probably start looking for another occupation. So I was excited about it. I thought it got off to a relatively good start."
(On how Ryan Tannehill missing practice today will affect the quarterback competition) - "I think Jeff (Ireland) made a statement in regards to where the status of that situation is, and I'll let that stand. I would be remiss to say that, with the 31 other colleagues that I have, if you plan a practice as a coach, you want to have every single player at practice, and I'm certainly no different in that regard. But again, I'll talk about the players that are here. I think we've stated out position on that, and I'll let it rest at that. "
(On his impressions of Matt Moore and David Garrard after the first practice) - "Well, it's the first day. Once we finish this I'm going to go upstairs and sit down with the offensive staff and watch the practice tape and evaluate a little bit closer. You know, obviously you never like to see a couple interceptions out there, but once again, we are emphasizing play speed and tempo so that we can get that as fast as we possibly can. We're throwing them a 40 second clock to see if we are really playing the way we say we want to play. I'm not sure we're there yet, but again it's the first day. It looked like, at times, at team that hasn't practiced in four and a half weeks."
(On if Matt Moore taking the majority of first team snaps is symbolic of anything) - "Not really. I mean David took some snaps there as well, and we're going to provide opportunities to see how this thing shakes itself out. We're going to study the tape and watch the tape and evaluate there and see. I know a lot has been written and there has been a lot of speculation about who is ahead, and whether this guy is behind and he's not ready, but that is news to me. We are still evaluating all quarterbacks, Pat Devlin included, and we'll make a decision when it becomes evident.
(On how the Hard Knocks cameras affected practice) - "Aside from this thing stuck on my on my chest here (points to microphone), the cameras I wasn't even aware of to be honest with you. We told our coaches in the meetings and we told the players that we have to be ourselves. We have a job to do, as does NFL Films I'm sure. As I said before, these guys are extremely professional, and they know what they're doing. I thought all the cameras were just here to watch the first practice. (laughing) It wasn't a big deal."
(On playing in front of fans for the first time this year) - "Well the best part was, at the end of practice, I signed a couple autographs, and some fans said that I am the savior, so I kept them after and introduced them to my wife (laughing). I've been telling her that all along. No, but it was great. It's always good to have fans around. I think the players enjoy that, and it creates a good atmosphere for practice. I though the atmosphere was great, you know Ed (Lamour) and the grounds crew did a phenomenal job and the field looks great, the facility looks good, and it was good to get out there."
(On whether he feels settled in as the Miami Dolphins Head Coach) - "Yeah, yeah I do. This isn't the first practice I've been at, but it's obviously my first training camp practice as a head coach. I've been through this before, and I still certainly feel like there is a lot for me to learn, there's no doubt about that, but I don't think football is an overly complicated game. The process of developing players I don't think is overly complicated. We're going to do a great job, and I told the team that we are in what I refer to as a formative state. We are doing the best we can to select the right people for the right jobs for this football team. That's what we're doing right now. That's what our focus is, and there's a lot that goes into it in terms of fundamentals, scheme. There's a lot a variables, but at the end of the day, that's what you're doing. You're looking to identify 53 guys that you want to move forward with, and you want to get them in the right place to make them successful. That's what everything is designed to do."
(On the message he intends to send to the team during training camp) - "We talked to them (players) about the identity that we want to establish as a football team, how we want to start playing games. We think we really had a productive offseason, but that's over, and in the offseason we taught in practice and we corrected. We're still going to do that the first couple of weeks, but we're also going to add in our performance against the opponent, so it's a whole new phase that we haven't been through. We talked about our team identity, and we want to be a sound, smart and tough football team, and we want to lay a foundation for our fundamentals that will carry us through the season. We talked about having a challenging, competitive camp both from a mental and a physical standpoint. And the last thing we want is practice to performance, and then corrections and
more practice then performance, because we have four preseason opportunities. That's what we talked about. Four things: identity, fundamentals, competition and then adding the performance in there."
(On the players conditioning level at the start of training camp) - "The conditioning run was very good. Yesterday, with the testing that we did, we didn't have anybody fail theconditioning test, so I though the guys looked good. I thought that at the end of practice dragged a little bit dry today, but again it's the first time out and we have progression in order. We didn't go out today for 180 minutes, but we're going to add a little bit tomorrow and then go a little longer Sunday and then a little longer Monday. We didn't think it was wise as a staff to just go out and throw them to the wolves unnecessarily for 175 minutes. We have a plan in place that we think is smart, but we will adjust as we go if need be."
(On the thinking behind signing G Eric Steinbach) - "We're looking at a guy that has started 120 something games, and he has been a productive player in the league. He's an athletic guy and we feel like he still has the ability to run. We think he is a good fit schematically, and he's a good locker room guy. He is a high character individual. And he's hungry. I think that many guys who sit out for a year can add a little bit of perspective to a room. Sometimes we get caught on a windmill and we just keep spinning around year after year and take things for granted. I think he's hungry, and we'll see. We didn't promise him anything. There's no guarantees that he's going to do this, that, or the other thing, but we did guarantee him an opportunity to compete for a position on the football team. We'll be excited to see what he's capable of doing."
(On moving Will Yeatman from TE to T) - "He's a guy that caught our eye with some of the things that he did in the spring. We like his physicality and the effort that he plays with. Just based on the position, we felt like we liked him as an in-line tight end. We thought he had excellent growth potential and has real good measurables, obviously his height and arm length, but he was kind of fighting to keep his weight down in the low to mid 270s, and we just felt like his best chance to make this football team would be if he had a position change with him. He was receptive to it, and we were receptive to it, and I
noticed that he did one or two things well. Obviously we're going to look a little bit closer, but we'll see."
(On Paul Soliai coloring the rookie's hair) - "I don't have the nice (hair) do. I don't know if I told you guys this, but when you become a head coach, you get your own bathroom. I've never had my own bathroom in my whole life, but anyway I'm in the bathroom, and there's a little cabinet underneath, and Joe Cimino (head equipment manager) put like eight bottles of hair gel underneath there. So I figure if I can work through all that hair gel, I can have a longer tenure than Coach Shula. But I don't have enough growing up there (hair) to have a nice hairdo."
(On sharing the first team reps between quarterbacks Matt Moore and David Garrard) - "Yeah we (coaches) gather up and huddle up after every practice, but it's going to be fair to a certain degree early on so we can see how this thing unfolds. We have a plan in place, and I think it's fair to assume that we are going to give those guys an equal opportunity to play with different players and different offensive linemen and those types of things."
(On Mr. Ross' expectations for the upcoming season) - "Steve (Ross) talked to the team last night and I thought he did an excellent job. I think what happens is that we introduce Steve to the team in a formal fashion and let them know about all of things that he accomplished in his career and how he got to the point where he is in his life. One of the reasons that I was attracted to this job is Steve's work ethic. This guy is at a stage in his life where he doesn't need to be taking on challenges and he could be resting on a chair and doing whatever, but I told the ball club a story about the coaching staff being in Marco Island one weekend and I called Steve on Friday night at like seven. He answered the phone and said 'Joe I can't talk right now I'm in the middle of a meeting but I'll call you back,' and he called me back at like 10:30-11. So we're talking about a guy that likes a challenge, likes to compete, and wants to do well. He wants this organization to do well, and wants these guys to feel like a part of something special. He did a great job talking to the team. He obviously visited a little bit today and a little bit yesterday, but there has been nothing special about any mandates or about winning x amount of games or anything like that. Maybe he'll let you guys (media) know about that (laughing)."
For a look at what owner Steve Ross said, see our last post.