WHAT THEY SAID

Here's what Coach Dave Wannstedt and Dolphins players had to say after Saturday's 23-20 overtime loss to the San Diego Chargers.<P>

COACH DAVE WANNSTEDT

Opening statement

"I guess that we are talking about two different scenarios here. We came out with our first group and obviously tried to throw the ball down the field, and I was really pleased with the way that Jay (Fiedler) played. I was very pleased with the way that we came up with big plays, between (James) McKnight and (Chris) Chambers. I thought that those guys did an outstanding job. We really made some headway there."

On the defense:

Our first-team defense learned a lesson; they hit us with the long bomb and we miss a tackle and they score. That was good for us. That is what the preseason is for, and we will learn from that."

On the emphasis on throwing deep:

"It is really the defensive scheme that they ran. We felt that we cold get some one-on-one coverage. Last week against Tampa, they are not going to give anybody many big plays down the field. It varies from week to week. This was a good week to work on it. I think that we will take some positives away from it."

DEFENSIVE END JASON TAYLOR

"It felt good to get a few more plays than I got in the first two games. I probably got around 15 plays and got into a rhythm of things, but we gave up a touchdown and that was disappointing. We were all right before we gave up that long pass, then we gave up a run that ended up being a touchdown. There were some missed assignments and missed tackles, and that was disappointing for us. We take pride in what we do defensively and to let someone in the end zone like that was disappointing, but thank God it's the preseason and we can get it corrected."

LINEBACKER TWAN RUSSELL

"As a football player, you're never satisfied with your performance. I think we're getting some good starting points, but where we're going to be at the beginning of the season is not where we are right now. I think we played well. I think we can play better. I think the first unit and the second unit played well. We had some breakdowns on the third team. I think once the season starts and the guys get settled we're going to be fine."

WIDE RECEIVER JAMES McKNIGHT

"We came out here and wanted to work on getting some deep balls right now. We threw the ball around and just made plays. That's what this offense is all about. We knew what we were going to do with the run and we've just got to continue to do this every week."

WIDE RECEIVER CHRIS CHAMBERS

On his play improving from week to week: "I'm really feeling comfortable and ready to play in a real game. I've had the chance to play at home, away and also at a neutral site and against some good teams, so I'm ready to play."

WIDE RECEIVER ORONDE GADSDEN

"I think we had a chance to show what the coaches have decided is going to be the ‘bible' part of our offense. We're happy with it and we know one thing, we have some speed. I love that speed because it definitely opens things up for me. If the guys can get me down to the 15-yard line, I think I can take it in."

RUNNING BACK LAMAR SMITH

On the offense throwing deep: "It's definitely nice to see that. Those long plays down the field take the pressure off me a bit, which is appreciated. Hopefully, we can carry that over to the regular season. It's going to help me be more effective by loosening up the defense and take the eighth man out of the box and free up some room for me."

QUARTERBACK JAY FIEDLER

On the passing game:

"We finally faced a defense this preseason that gave us the one-on-one matchups on the outside that allowed us to throw deep. They brought the blitz on us a couple of times, giving us opportunities, and the receivers did a great job getting open downfield and getting behind the defensive backs, and also running them off and coming back on them."

On his throwing:

"I felt very sharp tonight. The interception, we had that, too, the ball gets batted up, but it could have very easily been 10-for-10 if the defensive lineman doesn't get his hand up. The first unit, I thought, was very sharp out there today. You can already see Chris and James out there tonight and the dimension that they are going to bring with their speed and size. We saw a team that put eight men in the box and got burned on it with our starting unit."


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