Seahawks Insider

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano’s Monday news conference

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 3, 2008 at 5:35 pm with 4 Comments »
November 3, 2008 5:35 pm

(On if he envisions the possibility of going to the playoffs) – "I think every new season; every team goes into a new season thinking, obviously, the best. We went into the season thinking the best. We went into the season feeling like we had just as good of a chance to put ourselves in the mix as anyone else did. I don’t know right now whether or not that’s where we are, but I know is that today we wake up and we’re one of 15 teams, or 14 teams right now that have four or five wins in this league. We just kind of threw ourselves into the middle of something here and all we did right now; created an opportunity to have a real big game at home this week."

(On if he likes the team talking like they have a shot at the playoffs in the locker room) – "I want them to have those expectations, I do. I’m not going to hide from those things. I tell them every day I want them to go out and compete. I tell them every day that we don’t go into games to compete; we go into games to win. If we’re going into games to win and we’re going in there with that kind of philosophy, then I think that when you put yourself in the middle of this stuff, you’ve got to look at these things."

(On what they did different against Brandon Marshall that they haven’t done against the big receivers they faced earlier in the season) – "I just think we did a really good job yesterday, defensively, of kind of hiding some different coverages; throwing some different things at them. We rolled some coverage. We did some things like that. We kind of pressed them a little bit. We got in his face a little bit that way, but just gave him some different looks, really. That’s really what we did. I thought our guys did a good job competing. I really thought the back-end, after watching the film over again, our secondary really played a pretty solid football game back there. There were several guys that made plays back there during the course of the game."

(On what the pass interference penalty on Brandon Marshall looked like on film) – "It looked to me like a pass interference penalty. Sometimes you get these calls and sometimes you don’t get them. We just happened to get that call in that situation. To be honest with you, later on in the game there was one the other way that put the ball on the 2-yard line, so you could have looked at that piece of film there and though that was a bang, bang play. It just all evens out at the end of this thing, so there were plenty of opportunities in that game for either team, in my opinion, to seize the game. At the end of the day, three turnovers to one turnover, two penalties to 10 penalties, 15-play, 90 yards we go in a critical situation and that’s kind of I think what the deciding factors were."

(On what he saw in practice that would tell him why the secondary played as well as they did) – "All I’ve seen in practice is, really, these guys have done a great job of going out there to practice and staying focused. I’ve seen us get our hands on the football a lot more in the last three weeks. Just get our hands on the ball a lot more. We’re starting to finish some plays, catching them in practice, starting to finish some plays that way. Will Allen has been one guy, particularly, who has caught the ball in practice and has made several interceptions in the last couple of weeks and it was good to see him make a play on a ball like that and finish. I’ve mentioned him before, I thought Jason Allen’s ball skills were really solid and Jason made a play. It was nice to see (Tyrone) Culver make a play last night in some of those situations and we left one or two out there. So, there are some things that we have to get better at, still that way. Those turnovers, when they present themselves, particularly in those kind of games, we need to make them. For the most part, the guys did a good job and that’s what I’ve seen them practice, them getting better and better, paying attention to the details that way and getting better."

(On if he is impressed with Chad Pennington when he guts it out when things aren’t necessarily going his way) – "What was impressive, I’ve thought about it yesterday, was he was absolutely in control in that situation. I think his numbers in that drive, seven of 10, something like that somewhere in that drive, but he was in control of the moment at that time. It was exactly the reasons that you have Chad here in that none of these things are new to him in that situation. You want to talk about some things that the young guys can learn from? That was it right there. The throw he makes to Ricky Williams there, now Ricky Williams makes a tremendous catch, but the throw, to throw it on the back shoulder when you’re throwing a wheel route like that up the sideline, that’s a pretty impressive throw and he really had somebody kind of around his leg there, too. Those kind of things, in that situation, I felt like he was under complete control at that time. He had a plan, came to the sideline. We knew exactly what the time was. What we wanted to do with the clock, all those things, so it was good to see him battle back that way."

(On if the players are grateful for the faith the coaches put in them when they go for it on fourth down) – "Yesterday, I did get a couple of slaps and smacks and a few of those things. I would guess, yes. I just felt like, at that time, all the factors said that we needed to do this; I felt like we had some momentum and if we were going to win the game, we needed to go and try to win the game at that point. I felt like our defense was playing well enough that we still would have a chance if it didn’t work out and I also felt like a 53-yard field goal maybe puts us up five. It’s still a score. We kind of been down that road once before in Houston, those kind of things. So, hey, I’m learning to. And for me, at that time, that was the right thing to do. I got a big bruise on my arm from somebody smacking me."

(On if he knew who it was that hit him) – "I don’t know who it was, but they hit me pretty good."

(On how pleased he was with the play of the wide receivers at Denver) – "What was nice is that you’ve seen in the course of the game yesterday, every one of them contributed some way. We’ve always talked about the receivers one way or the other. Yesterday was not a day for the tight ends. All of a sudden, yesterday, we did catch a ball down the seam. (Anthony) Fasano made a couple of catches down the seam area of the field. But, it wasn’t that kind of day yesterday, it was going to be more of a receiver day. You could see it just by the way the coverage was being played in the beginning of the game. That being said, it was heavy double coverage to Ted Ginn yesterday, very heavy double, a lot of it; the free safety running over the top to Ted. It gave (Greg) Camarillo some access; he made some plays when we called on him. We were able to move Ted around a little bit. He made a couple plays in the under area of the field. Down there in the red zone was a really nice play he made. Then (Davone) Bess I thought made two big catches, really big catches. One kind of on the ground and he got up and just stuck the ball out and helped us there. The other one he ended up making a first down too. Then we threw the ball up to (Brandon) London and he makes a nice catch, just couldn’t get his feet down. Every one of them contributed in some way or another at that position. That was good."

(On how long he was here to find out what he had in Greg Camarillo or is the process still happening) – "No, it’s not still happening for me, I got it right now. I have a pretty clear understanding of what Camarillo is all about. He’s a hard guy not to like, he really is. You like everything that he does out there on the field. The guy is a real worker out there in practice. He plays exactly the way he practices. I think if I were a quarterback, I would enjoy Camarillo as a receiver because I know exactly what he’s going to give me on every down. I know exactly what he’s going to do at the game. I think the guy competes real hard. He understands his limitations, if that makes sense. When you understand your limitations, I think you have a great chance to succeed and this guy is doing a nice job out there. Early on in training camp, I’ve seen him be consistent and you always kind of thought, ‘Well, he’s consistent, but maybe he doesn’t run fast enough, maybe he doesn’t do this, maybe he doesn’t do that.’ Then as you get into the games, if the games are the evaluators, and they are and they should be, you’ve see him continue to make plays. That’s where, to me, it separated itself."

(On if the screen pass to Ronnie Brown on third-and-long was designed or if it took so long to develop because it got blown up so quickly) – "No, they pressured it. They came after us with pressure, so it was right call, right time. They have done that in this third-and-forever situation, they have come with some pressure. Dan (Henning) did a nice job of dialing that play up at that time. The execution of the play was pretty good. The guys did a nice job. There were two blocks on that play; I mean Samson Satele down the field was a tremendous block. I think EK (Ikechuku) Ndukwe was down field. Now that being said, we left one player out there in that situation that if we blocked that particular player, could-a, should-a, would-a. It just worked out and it gave us the opportunity to make the fourth-and-one call."

(On the facet of the team that has most exceeded his expectations or he is pleased the most with) – "I would have to say; well that’s a good question. I think from my end, it really, probably is this receiving group in just the way that they’ve come around right now. You can say the defensive line, but I mean we drafted heavy in that area, we signed some free agents, the offensive line. This receiving group because there really isn’t, no disrespect to any of my players, I love them all, but there’s no star in that group. They all know that they have a role. From day one, we’ve said that we’re trying to define these roles. We’re going out there and we’re trying to figure out what each one of these guys can bring to the table. I think we’ve done that right now. I think we understand what they can do and what their strengths and weaknesses are. I think more importantly, they do. That group is getting better and better. They’re starting to win a little bit against man-to-man, which in our league is important. And they’re starting to catch and run with the ball a little bit."

(On what caught his eye that didn’t go right at Denver) – "We didn’t run block well enough again, so we didn’t run block well enough. We went into the game wanting to do it, we did it. We ran the ball 27 times yesterday. It just wasn’t good enough. You’re not going to win in December like that. All of this other talk about getting into any of these ‘visions’ that everybody has down the road, if you don’t run the ball, you’re not getting there. We need to be able to do that. We need to get better at it. At times yesterday, we were okay with it, but it wasn’t good enough. We still weren’t good enough really on third down. We didn’t turn touchdowns down into the red area. The field goals, when you’re on the road, field goals are not good enough. They need to be touchdowns. We had some opportunities yesterday and we didn’t do it. That’s being critical now and that’s my job. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to look at these wins and talk about how we can get better. On the defensive side of the ball, I thought yesterday, defensively, it was hard to find some things that weren’t really good for a change. Our run defense, we did a nice job, obviously. Then in the back-end, maybe down there in the red area, there were some glitches there. That kind of showed its head on Friday in practice a little bit when we worked in the red area. Some things that we knew they were going to do that maybe we didn’t handle really well. When you know they’re going to do it and you don’t handle it, we need to probably pay attention to detail a little bit more in that situation. That being said, defensively, we don’t win the game if we don’t play the way we played yesterday, defensively."

(On if there is a common thread that he’s seeing that the team is not doing to convert on third downs) – "No. I just think we’re converting at a pretty high percentage in the shorter distances, obviously. In the longer distances is where we struggle. I think yesterday we made our first ten-plus. I think that was the ball to Ricky (Williams). We had another one, the screen to Ronnie (Brown), we didn’t convert, but it put us in that situation of being able to make a fourth-and-one call. We did make up some yards there yesterday in a couple of those longer situations, so we’re working hard at it right now. Third down in this league is really difficult. Its advantage defense, there’s no question about it. We just have to be more efficient with maybe getting some things down the field. That being said, you can help yourself by staying out of some of those situations and keeping them in the manageable situations, which we have been able to do. There was a point in the game yesterday, and Dan Henning was really good about this, where he’s basically saying to me that, ‘Hey, we need to be more aggressive on first down here right now because we’ve got stay away from these third-and-forevers’. He was right. All of a sudden we changed it and we started to be a little bit more aggressive. That’s really what we’ve done."

(On what he wants to see out of these practices heading up to three-straight home games) – "I want to see absolute attention to detail and focus right now. We’ve been down this road before. We’ve won two games and we kind of drank the kool-aid a little bit and then we lost two of them. Now we’ve won a couple, so we can’t do that. We can’t worry about everybody telling us what a good job you did right now. We need to keep our head down and really keep swinging. That’s what I expect. I want my team to show up here when we go back to work on Wednesday and understand that we put ourselves in a position to have a big game at home. This is going to be fun."

(On what has been the key to the improvement of the run defense) – "I honestly believe, and this goes unseen out there. Joey Porter does a tremendous job in the pass rush. You feel him and these other guys. But, I think that Matt Roth’s presence on the edge in the run game goes unseen sometimes. I think that’s a very important part of what we’re doing. I think that our core, when I say our ‘core’, (Jason) Ferguson, (Akin) Ayodele, (Channing) Crowder, those middle three players have been pretty active as of late. But most of all, we’ve started to tackle better. Yesterday, maybe

six or seven missed tackles on the day where a couple of weeks ago we’re talking about twenties; we had 11 in the secondary and those kind of things lead to big plays. We’re starting to tackle better. [We] played on that side of the line of scrimmage a little bit more. The very first play of the game, Kendall Langford set a tremendous tone just by using his hands and really doing a nice job that way. He was explosive, made a play in the backfield and that sets the tempo pretty good. I think that was the difference. We were pretty disciplined on the backside yesterday, which we knew we had to be."

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. CYRREEN says:


    They are going to kick our Butts.

  2. MITCHHAWK8 says:


  3. hawk9680 says:

    Figures… I’m going to Sundays game :(

  4. BORNHAWK says:

    I love how we all give up before its over. Maybe have a little faith.

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