« Live blog from Dolphins versus Chiefs this eve | Main | Observations from Monday's practice [updated] »

The words right from the players' mouths

The Dolphins had plenty to say about their 24-0 victory over the KC Chiefs Saturday night. It was the team's first preseason shutout since 1980. It was their second consecutive victory.

Lots to be optimistic about. Here's what the players think:

QB Chad Pennington

(Have you now settled the starting QB question) “I don’t know, my focus is just on trying to get us better and trying to better myself. I think as a team it’s always good to come away with a preseason win. Anytime they keep score, regardless of the situation, you want to come away with a win. To have that winning feeling and to capture what that’s all about. With that being said we have to make sure that we’re not satisfied with this. We need to look at the film critically. We understand that there’s a lot of things that we need to get better on to prepare for opening day and for the rest of the regular season.”

(About the play of Ted Ginn) “I’m excited about our whole receiving core. I think each one of these guys brings something to the table that’s unique. With a guy like Ted, he’s got something that you just can’t coach, and that’s speed and it’s so important to have speed on the field. There are times in this league every game where they’re going to challenge us and they’re going to see if we can prove that we can push the ball downfield. It’s so hard to score on 12 and 15 play drives on a consistent basis and you have to have that fire power to score quickly and kind of take the pressure off the offense. With all of our guys we’re really working hard trying to gain that chemistry, not only with our short intermediate routes but also to start to get the feel for each other down the field.”

(About the first drive of the game) “As an offense we were disappointed. We strongly believe that when you get it down that close, you’ve got to punch it in for a touchdown. Luckily we were able to make up for it with a punt return for a touchdown and Ted did a great job with that. At the same time, we need to put that in the end zone and come away with the touchdown. There were some really good things that happened there, we had some really nice runs and the offensive line kept the pocket really clean and created some holes for Ricky.”

(How have you changed the work ethic?) “I’m a strong believer in communication and you have to give those guys feedback. If you don’t talk about it and you just go out there and work, you may get a little bit better but you’re not going to make the strides that you need to take to establish that chemistry.”

RB Jalen Parmele

(On the 80-yard run) – “It was a big play.  I saw that the left side of the field was wide open.  The offensive line did their job perfect on the left side that opened up the hole wide open. I saw that and you got to explode through that as a running back when the hole is that big.”

(On the touchdown run) – “The touchdown run was designed to follow the guard and that’s what I did.  I was kind of stuffed at first, but just told myself to stay low and I got a good push from Reagan Mauia in the back.  He helped me get through the endzone.

(On the long run for 80 yards) – “The offensive line hit their blocks perfect.  We saw that the play was going to be wide open and as a running back you just got to see the hole and make it.”

(On a pretty good night at the office) – “We did some things well and some things we need to improve on.  We’ll just watch film and learn from it, that’s the biggest thing.”

TE Anthony Fasano

(On if he thinks he was able to claim the number one tight end spot) – “I go out there every day and try to perform and play hungry.  I think our position is kind of shaping up so we’ll see how it goes in the next couple weeks leading up to the first game, but I’m looking forward to helping out this offense.”

(On if he’s feeling good about where he’s going to be on the depth chart) - “Yeah, again I’m going to go back and look at this tape.  I know I would love to have a couple plays back and really work on this, and work on some of the things I didn’t do well, but I think I will be able to help this offense. 

(On having two guys to carry on his touchdown reception) – “Right, I actually haven’t seen the replay really, it happened pretty quick.  It was all about timing and I think we kind of caught them off-guard and I think the timing really helped.  The ball was right on me right out of my break so that gave me some room to run.  It was just a ‘12-yard In,’ just basic.”

(On if he was supposed to go to the endzone on the other play) – “Yeah I would love to get a little more depth in there and make it a touchdown catch.  I was trying to secure the catch and come back to the ball. I think it kind of hurt me, but it’s one of those things you want to work on and one of those plays you want to have back.”

(On if it’s the type of play that wouldn’t happen two or three weeks from now) – “Right, exactly.  That’s why it’s a preseason game and that’s why you’re out here.  I think it’s a great game for us to learn from.”


WR Ted Ginn, Jr.

(On the punt return for a touchdown) – “I just got to give credit to my return team.  We worked at it all week, we went out, we just executed and we just had fun.”

(On how is the receiving core coming together) - “It’s coming great.  We just work hard every day and we keep going at it as a group, we keep learning as a group and we believe in the quarterback and O-Line.  We should be fine.”

(On how his relationship with Chad Pennington is developing) – “It’s great.  Chad coming in as a new quarterback and we’re just trying to get to know everybody.  We’ve been together probably for a good, strong two weeks now.  As we keep going along great things should happen.

(On what he saw with the touchdown return and the blocking) – “I saw the ball short number one.  I didn’t really think I was going to be able to get to the other side, but just a great help from my kickoff return team.  I’m not a one-man team, I was great to have them out there blocking for me.  That’s what we kept constantly just trying to keep working on.”

(On thriving on getting passes down the middle of the field) – “Yeah, you run your routes, you get your depth.  Whatever coverage it may be, it might be an opportunity it may not.  The thing is you just got to continue to get better and do what he asks of you and just keep having fun out there.”   

(On how it feels for the team with two preseason wins in a row) - “I mean it’s great.  You go 1-15; you really get away from all of the enjoyment of winning and things like that.  Just to go out and take two preseason games on our belt.  Just continue to push on with this until the regular season.”

(On things are starting to come together pretty quick) - “Yeah, we’re in the National Football League.  In the National Football League a lot of things are going to come together quick.  You can go from the sorriest team to the greatest team; you can go from the greatest team to the sorriest team.  It really doesn’t matter where you stand, you just got to go out every day, just keep continue to get better and better and you should be fine.”

(On if he’s playing at the highest confidence level right now) - “I always had high confidence.  Last year was a learning experience, this year is more go out, play football and have fun.  That’s all I try to do.”

(On if things are starting to come easier to him) - “Yeah, just the game is slowing down and different things are happening to us, different coverages are opening up.  You just got to take advantage and keep having fun.”

LB Channing Crowder

(On holding the Chiefs scoreless during the game) – “That’s what I was telling the young kids, it’s hard no matter what it is. It’s hard to get a goose egg in this league. When they were down there on our side of the field, I was telling everybody to get that goose egg and they did. It was real good to get that goose egg. We’re really not together yet right now. We made nine penalties, had some turnovers, so we’re not there yet. But you can tell we’re progressing each week and that’s what the preseason is all about.”

(On winning two games in a row) – “We lost our respect last year. Let’s be honest with ourselves. 1-15, nobody respects you. Even talking to guys like L.J. (Larry Johnson) and Tony (Gonzalez), they see that we’re turning it around. Our defense kind of clicked today with all the turnovers. The offense was doing good with all the big runs and the big plays, so we still have two more weeks to work for the Jets and we have to keep working and keep rolling.”

(On what they need to do to keep being consistent) – “Just keep working. Like I said, there are a lot of good things and there are a lot of bad things as well. … If we can get as close to perfection as we can, we can be a good team.”

(On the goal line stand with Philip Merling) – “Oh, that’s big. That’s two weeks straight we had a goal line stance. That’s just big and not giving up. That’s consistency. It’s fun to watch and especially fun to watch the young guys do it. We have two weeks until they start counting and when they stat counting, hopefully we can keep it rolling.”


DE Vonnie Holliday

(On the pass rush against the Chiefs) – “Yeah, that’s what we’ve been looking for. The coverage was great. The guys really got after the passer tonight. We really just got after this group overall. The run game, the pass game, it felt good. Coach (Sparano) said to come out tonight with a lot of energy and guys did that. It felt good for me to just get back out there. I like the energy, I like this group and I really like the direction that we’re headed.”

(On what a game like this does for the team’s confidence going into the regular season) – “Coming off of one win last year, any win is a good win, even if this is preseason for us. It helps a lot. You talk about Larry Johnson and that offense in Kansas City, being able to contain him is huge. He’s ones of the premier backs in this league. We still have a problem; we still have to eliminate the penalties. There are still too many penalties. Too many negative plays on special teams, things we have to work on. While this is sweet, it’s reward for all the hard work we put in. We know that this is just the beginning.”

(On being able to shutout the Chiefs) – “That’s huge. Anytime you’re able to shutout your opponent in the National Football League and put that big goose egg up on the board is big. To be successful in this league, you need confidence and to walk with a swagger. We haven’t had much to be talking about or have a swagger about until now.”

(On the announced crowd of over 60,000 fans) – “I have to say I was very happy to see our fans out there tonight. Hopefully, the wins will encourage our fans to come out and support us, the Dol-fan faithful. It means so much to us and I definitely want to send that out and let our fans know that we’re working and come be apart of this.”

RB Ricky Williams

(On what the win does for the team’s confidence) – “I think it’s a positive to put two good games back-to-back like this and we didn’t have the best week of practice.  But we fought through it and didn’t give up.  To come out here and play well like this, I think we’re starting to believe in what we’re doing, and that’s what we need.”

(On not being able to score a touchdown on the first drive of the game) – “We always want to score six points when we get down there but I thought we did a good job of running the ball down there.  We took 10 minutes off the clock, but ideally you want to score when you get down there.”