SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE TOUB
Q: When you measure success for a special team’s player but they don’t have a lot of tackles, what goes into that?
TOUB: “There’s a lot that goes into it. Are they forcing tackles, are they making all of their blocks? There’s so many aspects on special teams other than just tackles.”
Q: Where does Anthony Sherman fit in?
TOUB: “He’s a leader. He’s our heart and soul really of our unit. Solid player. I can count on him. I can put him in anywhere. Doesn’t matter. He’s just a solid player.”
Q: You don’t see many fullbacks in his role?
TOUB: “No you don’t. Not with what he does. He’s like a four-phase guy for us. He plays a lot of downs. Across the league you’ll see other fullbacks, they don’t play that much. Maybe two phases at max. He does a lot more.”
Q: Anything special about the Dolphins special teams unit, specifically Jakeem Grant?* *
TOUB: “Yeah I meant that’s the number one thing. Jakeem Grant, you just watched him as the year went on. I mean he started off kind of slow, put a ball on the ground here and there then all of a sudden he starts almost breaking them and now he’s getting real close. I just hope we can contain the guy. He’s a good catcher, he’s fast. He looks a lot like Tyreek (Hill). When you watch him on tape, he’s got that change of direction like Tyreek. Then he’s got top end speed, he can get to the edge to. He’s really good. Then all of a sudden (Jarvis) Landry will jump in there and he’ll take a couple punt returns too. They’ve got a few guys in there that can go and their core is really good. They play hard. Darren Rizzi’s got them flying around out there. So pretty good unit.”
Q: What did you see with the muffed punt return?
TOUB: “I knew that was coming. Yeah. What I saw was Dan Sorensen playing with a great effort to get down there to try to make a block with the most dangerous man and that’s what we ask for him to do. He found the football. Then he flipped his hips and drifted back then Tyreek came forward at the same time. Obviously something you just don’t want to happen. It was a disastrous play. It could have been a disaster but our guys turned it into just a bad play by having great effort afterwards when the ball was on the ground. A guy like Demetrius (Harris) goes down and pushes that guy and keeps him off the ball. Then Orson (Charles) goes down and gets the fumble. We’re able to get the ball instead of having a turnover which is huge. I loved our effort after something bad happened. Then our offense went down and got a score, got a field goal on that. I was proud of the way they acted after but it’s something we don’t want to have happen, obviously. Communication is what we’ve got to get better at.”
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB SUTTON
Q: Has Reggie Ragland’s improvement followed the arc of what you were hoping for?
SUTTON: “Yeah I think so. In the sense that Reggie came out as a really highly regarded football player. When we got him, we got him partly into the whole deal and he was still recovering at that point so we didn’t really get a chance to see what he really was. I think over that time when he did the scout team and did a good job on there, we said he’s got something to him and I just think he’s, as I’ve said before, the more he’s practiced and the more he’s played the better he’s done. Hopefully that can just continue. So I think we had high anticipation of what we thought he would be. You never know till you get him and you never know till you see him build. I know some of the guys who were in Buffalo with him and they had high regards for him before he got hurt.”
Q: How much has the switch to a true nickel personnel, played a role in the run defense’s improvement?
SUTTON: “I think that’s helped a little bit. It’s like anything, you’re trying to always evaluate and look at it. It does some different things with us as far as who we can rotate guys a little bit to on both the front and the back. So that helps us a little bit. So I think it’s helped us. I think it’s been good to us.”
Q: How much do you appreciate the energy that Rakeem Nunez-Roches plays with?
SUTTON: “Got to love him. Day to day, heck he’s like that every day. We got some high-energy guys. We were just talking and they’re fun to be around. They bring a good vibe out there. Energy doesn’t mean you are always doing everything right but it’s a good starting point. But we appreciate him. He’s got great passion for the game.”
Q: What stands out to you about Miami’s offense?
SUTTON: “Oh man, how long we got here. Anybody who can do what they did to New England is pretty impressive to me. I think they’ve got weapons everywhere. Certainly at receiver they have great speed. Jarvis Landry I think has 98 catches, second in the league. The backs that have taken over since they’ve traded their back, I think you can kind of see maybe why that trade wasn’t so far out as you might have thought from afar. I think they’ve done a really good job of that. We’ve done Cutler before. Jay is one of the really talented guys in our league. He’s got tremendous arm strength, he beat us when he was with the Bears on a tear dropped throw on a blitz and put it in the corner of the endzone on just a great throw with a rusher right in his face. He’s one of those guys that when he’s hot, it’s hard. It’s real hard. So they’ve got a good group. We’ve gone against Adam Gase before and presents a lot problems. So we got our hands full.”
Q: With Matt Nagy doing more of the play calling, do you have more interaction with Coach Reid during the game?
SUTTON: “A little bit. I mean he might observe something and say hey think about this or even our personnel, so and so looks a little tired and that kind of thing. Andy is a great sounding board in general. During the week even when he was the primary play caller, we’d have conversations. He’s seen about everything you can do on offense and defense. So sometimes he’ll come in and say hey, take a look at this play here, you might want to think about it like this. Most of those are pretty good ideas I’ve found over the years. It’s been good. I’ll take as many eyes as I can. We’ll always take help, I’ll promise you that.”
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT NAGY
Q: With a guy like Anthony Sherman who doesn’t compile stats how do you measure his success?
NAGY: “It’s hard because you don’t see the stats, but it’s like some other guys that we have you just know how valuable they are because of the little things, the small things that you can’t really see in the newspaper after the games. But we’re able to see it on tape. Sherm’s a big part of this program, a big part of this offense and he’s been doing great things since day one.”
Q: What does he do best?
NAGY: “I’ll say the number one thing is he understands this offense inside out and he understands all the tight end positions as well. Although he plays the fullback position he knows all the rules for the tight end. You put him in the game he plays the fullback position and he’s an aggressive, physical fullback. He has the mentality of fullback, he’s a perfect fullback. As long as he has that package that’s great then you have the added benefit of knowing what to do at the tight end position. If you ever get in a pinch you can put him in there at run and pass and still do some things.”
Q: What stands out about the Dolphins defense when you watch them on tape?
NAGY: “They’re very multiple. They do a lot of things. I think the biggest thing for us going into this is just in understanding that when a team does a lot of different things you have to be on your game offensively as far as your details of what you’re going to do to versus different coverages. They’re very aggressive up front with a bunch of games. They pay fast, but I think the biggest thing when you look at this team is they’re multiple and they just do a lot.”
Q: As you’ve been doing the play calling week by week has it been getting easier and little bit faster for you?
NAGY: “Yeah. Obviously with anything you do the first game’s obviously going to be a challenge because it’s your first time. You don’t know exactly what to expect you can prepare but you don’t know. Now each game going forward I think the preparation comes more on Friday and Saturday night when you kind of play the game in your mind and then you try to place it on your sheet. You talk to coach, you go over different scenarios that part helps you, but when you’re actually in the game calling the plays it does get a little bit easier as the weeks go by.”
Q: Were you a little surprised to see Alex (Smith) not one of the top three Pro Bowl quarterbacks?
NAGY: “Yeah it was surprising, but again I truly know why Alex is in this game and it’s to win the Super Bowl. So the accolades that come along with it anybody, it’s human nature, is going to be upset in his position to not be a Pro Bowler but he’s okay with that. That’s the last thing he’s worried about right now. We all wanted it for him as all the other guys but he gets it and we’re just really focusing on Miami.”