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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Dolphins' HC Brian Flores Quotes 8/3/20


(I wanted to make sure that everyone is there that you expected to be there and then also is there a theme as you begin to actually get guys on the field for your second training camp? Is there a motto, a slogan, a theme? What is Year 2 all about in the messaging?) – “To your first question, yeah, everyone is here. As far as a motto or the theme, I think safety is probably the first word that comes to mind – just trying to make this place as safe as possible. I think decision-making comes to mind, and sacrifice. A lot of the things you talk about from the football standpoint, I think they apply in a couple areas or in a lot of areas. On the field, off the field, I would say safety is first. That’s kind of the first (thing) that comes to mind for me.”

(When the 80-some-odd players did show up, were they in the kind of shape that you had expected them to be in?) – “Well, the first week’s been – it’s been good. The acclimation period that the league and the PA (NFL Players Association) agreed to, I think it kind of shows how important the offseason is just from a rep standpoint on the field, but also from a strength and conditioning standpoint. I think guys are in okay shape. We’ve got a long way to go, but they’re working. They’re working pretty diligently and I’ve seen already some improvement in the first week and I’m sure they’ll continue to improve; but the offseason is obviously very important and I think the players, they understand that, too, which is why they asked for this (and) the league and the PA agreed to the acclimation period.”

(We saw last night it got announced that Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson got COVID-19. I wanted to ask you if God forbid you or someone on your staff got it, do you guys have a plan for how you would go about it and maybe replacing you or an important member of your staff?) – “I heard about that with Doug (Pederson) and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. I hope he gets back and he’s feeling better and is back at work as quickly as possible. To your question, yeah, we talked about this in the spring. Everyone’s got a backup. Everyone’s got two backups. It’s something we’ve talked about. We’re taking the same approach we take with the players. If I go down, we’re doing this, if the d-line coach goes down, we’re doing this and so on and so forth. It’s something we’ve talked about, but it’s not just on the coaches and players. It’s staff. It’s our strength and conditioning coach, head trainer, head equipment guy, nutritionist. You have to have a plan for everyone, especially in times like these.”

(I wanted to ask you about the defensive line. Obviously there was a massive makeover in terms of what you guys added in free agents – DE Shaq Lawson and DE Emmanuel Ogbah – and also the draft picks. What was the intention and what was the hope to be achieved?) – “We wanted to bring in good players – guys who fit the criteria we’re looking for: tough, smart, talented, able to communicate – and I think we feel good about the guys we acquired; but at the same time, it takes time for a defensive line to gel, so we need to hit the practice field. We need to get together in meetings and talk through calls, communication, scheme, where guys fit the best, what specific role is best for each individual player. That’s what training camp’s about, so we’ve got a long way to go. There was a makeover to a degree, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

(I’m wondering what the team’s vision is for QB Josh Rosen. Has that been changed or adjusted since you acquired him last year and has he or his representation asked for a release or a trade at any point?) – “The vision for Josh (Rosen) is the same vision for every player – come in, it’s a new offense. There’s new teammates. He needs to learn the playbook, get to know your teammates, work hard in practice, try to improve every day, take advantage of your opportunities, take advantage of your reps and let your play on the field – what you do on the field will at the end of the day – you’ll earn your reps on the field based on how you play in practice. That hasn’t changed for Josh or anyone else on the roster.”

(With no offseason and no preseason and a lot of new players, and new coaches and a new offense, what adjustments have you made or plan to make, as far as things like simplifying the playbook, to other adjustments in this odd year?) – “It is an odd year, it’s a different year; but like I said last week when I talked to you guys, these are the cards we’ve been dealt, so we’ve got to play this hand. There are going to be some obstacles but we’ve got to make the best of the situation. I think as coaches, as a coaching staff, we understand that. We have a plan in place, so we’ve put a lot of thought into trying to build a competitive team in a short period of time. What that entails, I’m not going to get into right now – or what we felt like it entails, I’m not going to get into right now. We put a lot of thought into that really in all areas. Strength and conditioning things, which we’re doing right now, to the walk-throughs which we’re also in. You start to try and ramp it up in Phase II and the OTA days, and then we’ll finally get to pads. We’ve tried to put a schedule in place that we’re building throughout the course of that and hopefully we’ll be ready to play when the season starts. But we are taking the one day at a time approach, because things are changing on a daily basis.”

(Going back a little bit to what you said about the coaching staff having backups, I’m wondering how much you guys are always preparing for contingencies and having players work in different positions. But given what’s going on with the pandemic, how much, if at all, do you plan to ramp up the versatility aspect and have guys work at places where they might now normally work?) – “Are you talking about the players or coaches?”

(Players.) – “I think it’s built into the – the versatility and the scheme is built into what we do offensively, defensively and in the kicking game. A player may be this position in this group and this position in another group. I don’t think that changes. I think that remains the same for our team and I imagine that is the way it is for a lot of teams. We still need guys are multiple. We still need guys who can play multiple positions, and I think that’s even more important this year in a year where you can lose one, two, three or a group of guys. We’re going to need other guys to step in. Tackles are playing guard, guards are playing center, defensive tackles will end up kicking out to defensive end, corners playing safety, safety playing corner. You can’t get all of that practice, I’m not saying that; but the guys on the field are flexible enough, smart enough to handle those different positions, we’ll try to introduce those positions and those schemes to them in small increments, I would say.”

(We got QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s view of QB Tua Tagovailoa on Saturday. I wanted to ask you of your impressions of Tua since he’s entered the building. We know you’ve seen him a little bit before training camp. His personality, how has he been inside the building inside the organization, how does he look physically, how has that hip responded as strength and conditioning has begun?) – “Tua and the entire rookie group are doing well. I feel like speaking about one and not speaking about the entire group is – they are all really working hard. I think we’ve got a pretty solid group. They work hard, they’ve worked hard this first week, they are into it, they are picking up the schemes offensively, defensively, and the kicking game. But again, it’s walk-through. Anything past their height, weight and speed, we’re not really seeing them move or change directions or really sprint. We’re really not seeing that from anyone in the group, including Tua. I think they are all doing a good job. We’ve got a long way to go and as practice starts to go and we ramp up more into the Phase II, the OTA and the actual practice, (that’s) where we’ll really get an evaluation. But right now in a walk-through setting, we’re not really seeing all of that much, I would say.”

(I wanted to ask you about WR Preston Williams and the fact that he wasn’t on PUP. That’s obviously encouraging. How has he looked in his rehab and what do you envision his role being in 2020?) – “Preston has worked extremely hard since the injury. He’s worked his way back to where he was cleared for activity again. It’s walk-through right now, so there’s strength and conditioning in the morning. So he’s running, he’s lifting and we’ll see him in a walk-through setting; but again, for Preston, it’s a new offense so we’re learning the terminology, the depths on some routes and things of that nature. They are a little bit different than they were a year ago. That’s kind of where his focus is right now. He’s worked extremely hard, as all of our guys have, from a rehab standpoint. We’ve just got to take this one day at a time. That should be his approach and every player on our team’s approach, and just try to get better on a daily basis. You guys are probably sick of hearing me say that, but it’s something that I try to preach to these guys every day. Let’s just try to get better, let’s try to improve, let’s be safe and let’s make smarter decisions. If we can do those consistently, we will be okay.”

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