Sparano Speaks With Media About Arizona

Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano talks with the media about their game strategy for the Arizona Cardinals whose defense looks more like a 4-3 most of the time, despite claiming a 3-4. The Dolphins say they are ready for both. Sparano says that the Cardinals' new stadium could be a factor, as the Dolphins hope the Cardinals go swimming with the fishes in Week 2.

(On what he sees of Arizona's defense against the run) – "They're really active. What they do is, there's a lot of movement in this defense. A little bit different than last week. Last week there was a lot of two-gap play out there with the three man line. This group is pretty athletic. They move a lot. This (Darnell) Dockett guy has been a guy that I think is really a good player out there. He moves pretty well and does some things that way. Then (Travis) Laboy is playing on one of the edges and he's really an active guy, he really is. So they're slanting and moving; they rarely stand there and give you a chance to put two bodies on them."

(On the key to blocking their defense) – "I think that from our end we have to be able to get involved in some different zone schemes when you're blocking those type of defenses. Even try to separate it just a little bit if you can, but I think the most important thing is your footwork. If you're not good with your footwork up front, you'll have a problem there."

(On if Sean Ryan is still part of the team) – "We're considering a roster move right now as we sit here. We have until four o'clock to do that."

(On who is going to fill the void at right guard) – "Really, the three of them kind of got some different turns at some different times in there today. I think EK (Ikechuku Ndukwe) took a few more turns than some of the other guys just because he's been here a little bit. But they all looked pretty good out there today. Knowledge-wise, there were no problems. Today was our third down day which is an important day. They were pretty good from an assignment standpoint. Going back to the film yesterday, I thought Evan (Mathis) had a pretty good day yesterday and did some good things with his first day out there. They're all getting a little bit better. We may use one of them; we may use three of them in this game."

(On the biggest challenge of playing well on the road) – "I think first and foremost, trying to limit the distractions when you're out on the road. I think that's important; distractions meaning the travel, all of those things. And then all of the sudden, getting into a different environment with crowd noise, those types of things. We practiced today with crowd noise outside, and we did that once last week as well, so that will be fine. The climate will be good in there, so we won't have a problem that way. There certainly won't be any wind or any of those things, so from that point, I think the distractions are about as low as we can make them right now. Now, you have to get out to an early start when you're on the road in my mind. I don't think that you can be on the road and make a living trying to come back."

(On if the new stadium is a factor) – "I think it's a little bit of a factor. I had the opportunity to play in Dallas out there in that new stadium and it's a beautiful place. They did a wonderful job with that stadium, but at that time, they were just kind of getting the thing going the way they wanted to get it going, so the crowd was down a little bit where right now, I'm understanding they get pretty good crowds out there. I would think the new stadium, big crowds, indoors, that will make for an interesting Sunday."

(On who will be starting at WR opposite Greg Camarillo on Sunday) – "Ginn is starting."

(On his plan for Shawn Murphy) – "What we're trying to do with Shawn right now is get him as much work as we possibly can on the look teams right now. He doesn't take many practice reps but he is taking some practice reps to keep get him going that way. Now I just think little by little here get a chance to see him do a little bit more over at practice until a point where midseason somewhere you feel good about using this guy a little bit. Sometimes you don't have until midseason; we just learned that, so you have to go a little bit faster. In fact, I brought Shawn up this morning and I had that conversation with him this morning. We have to go a little bit faster."

(On what has been the holdup in his progress) – "Like Donald (Thomas) he had limited exposure to the offensive line and offensive line play. And really, Donald, for whatever reason, it just happened a little bit faster for then Murph, but Murph is going to be a good player. There are some days when he goes out there; I really like what I see in the guy. I think he pass blocks really well. He's got good feet, he pulls well. He does all the things that you want him to do that way. He hasn't seen all the looks and Donald being in there and playing as much as he played saw more looks."

(On how much of a workload he feels Ronnie Brown can handle) – "He played 20-something plays last week, but I think Ronnie is to a point right now where he can handle a pretty good bunch of turns right now. I'm pretty sure we'll see Ronnie play a little bit more."

(On if it's almost unfair for Shawn Murphy that Donald Thomas has progressed so fast) – "That's just the luck of the draw, I think sometimes. You get a sixth-round guy that they're better then the fourth-round guy and all that stuff. That part of the science sometimes isn't always exact. But I do think with Murph, when you see a young guy like Donald do it that fast, the natural question is, ‘Why can't he?' It just takes some guys a little bit longer. Murph is coming along fine according to our plan and I really like where he is right now. We're at a point right now where our young guys can't be so young. I think when you have an injury like that, it's only one injury. I mean look around the league right now and see how many guys are out right now. I'd hate to be down in some of these other teams that lost three or four linemen last week. That's hard to do. We're looking for one. I think that we're fortunate, but yet you want to prepare those guys. Hey, you're one snap away from having to go into the game. Same thing I tell (Chad) Henne, ‘You're one snap away from having to go into the game right now.'"

(On when he first heard defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni speak at a clinic and what impresses him the most) – "His passion for the game, it was a long time ago. We were actually in a clinic together somewhere in Binghamton, New York and that's where we were. It took me a lot longer to get there then he did from Syracuse. At that time, he was a (Division) 1-A coach. It was a good opportunity for me to listen to him, but it was his passion, no doubt about it. Everything the guy does, he delivers with a great passion."

(On the wide receiver situation changing constantly) – "As we're out in the season right now, and I told them today, the wide receivers, ‘We're still trying out.' We're still out there and we're still trying to find the right pieces to the puzzle as we get on these games. Every game somebody shows me a little something different. We need to see that kind of consistency come out of some these guys and they know they need to be consistent. You're dealing with the same group of people, you're just looking for the roles. I think that we've identified some guys and their roles and I think they're doing pretty well with their role right now, but everyday that we go out there on the practice field, every game that we play, it's a tryout. We feel like we have four or five good guys. I've said this before. We have four or five good players at the position right now and in my mind there's a little separation between the whole bunch.

(On who is starting at wide receiver) – "(Ted) Ginn's going to start and the other people are going to play. We might be in a different package and somebody else might be in there and Ginn might not be in there. We're going to play these guys and we're going to see who can bring what to the table. We're in game two, not game 12."

(On if there is any more determination if Ernest Wilford will play) – "He practiced a lot more today out there, meaning in the offensive huddle. Right now we're looking at him with some special teams jobs so we'll make that evaluation when we get here at the end, after tomorrow's practice. I need to take a look, as I do every night, where we stand with the 53 and if we feel like Ernest is going to help us and have enough jobs at the game then that's what we're going to do."

(On if the Cardinals defense is a 3-4 or a 4-3) – "Some people call them a 3-4, but they're standing a guy up on the outside, but they're playing a lot more 4-3 than they are 3-4. They're playing a lot of four down linemen stuff and just standing one of those defensive ends or outside linebackers up as a defensive end is really what's happening. They have flexibility in doing that to go to a 3-4. Right now on film a lot of what you see is 4-3. Now they may come out and play us all 3-4, which is fine. We practice that every single day. They know we practice that every day with our defense and we just finished playing a 3-4 team. We're prepared for both."

(On how Casey Cramer is grasping the offense) – "Very well, the guy's from Dartmouth for God sakes. He's smart, he knows a lot more than I know right now. He's a pretty smart guy. It was easy for Casey. He came in and he's got it right now. The things that I think that he obviously has to work on are line calls. That's the thing that changes the most. It's like Evan (Mathis), you asked that question yesterday somebody did, it would be the interior line calls, that's what really changes the most for some of those guys and maybe we're a little bit more familiar with. These two players both have had some experience with what we've done so when you're saying, ‘This is the protection call,' they got that. ‘This is what we're doing within the protection call,' that's what needs the work a little bit, just the interior line calls and maybe how we're doing that."


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