Dolphins React to Victory

Here's a sampling of what Coach Tony Sparano and some of his players had to say following the Dolphins' convincing 38-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills Sunday at Land Shark Stadium.


On the play of QB Chad Henne: "I thought that in the beginning of the game … one of the things we didn't want to do was go out there and put handcuffs on him at the beginning of the game. So we came out, we tried to throw it early, missed a couple, and then I thought we got into a pretty good rhythm, particularly on third down. I loved his look during the game. It tremendous. Really communicated clearly, very well on the sideline, very good with receivers, excellent with David Lee [quarterbacks coach]. I thought he had a really good grasp of what they were doing to him, which is all positive. There are a lot of things that Chad has to learn from on that film, a couple of things we'll need to clean up, for sure, but for the most part I was pleased with what he did today."

On the play of LB Cameron Wake, if his play surprised him: "No, I mean, it was a little bit validation. For Cameron it's positive. I think for the whole football team it's positive. I was really happy with our young players today. I thought our young players played old and our old players played young today, I really did. You look at Vontae [Davis, CB], you look at Sean Smith [CB], you look at the way Cameron played, Langford [Kendall, DE], Merling [Phillip, DE], that group of guys, and I was pleased with that. Then all of a sudden, on the other side there's Ferguson [Jason, DT], JT [Jason Taylor, LB], that group of guys, Ricky Williams [RB], I really was impressed with what they did."

On the decision to put the ball immediately into QB Chad Henne's hands instead of opening with the running game: "I think that the message that you want to send to your team…you can go through all this hubbub in practice, about how we practiced good and all that stuff, and that's really fact. We had a tremendous week of practice. Jeff [Darlington, Miami Herald] asked me a question during the week about my look at the team in the locker room and how it didn't seem to bother me and a lot of that had to do with what was going on out on the practice field. But until you get in the game and until you show the team that you have a lot of confidence in this player but putting it in his hands, I think that's where you gain a little bit of credibility or you don't. I think, from my end, I had this conversation with Dan Henning a night or two ago…we have some opportunities here, so let's not be afraid to do this with this guy. Let's find out right away what he's all about."

On the second-quarter interception return for a touchdown made by CB Vontae Davis: "I think it was huge. I think one of the things we've been struggling with when you look at how we were, where we were, turning the ball over, and we didn't force enough turnovers. So Vontae steps up, gets in front of one, and it's perfect. I mean, a lot of credit to Paul Pasqualoni [defensive coordinator] on the call, tremendous call in that situation, but Vontae did a great job. All he needed to do was break on the ball and he finished the play. When you look at some of that stuff, I don't think we turned the ball over tonight; we forced a couple, two or three, so I think we had two and Vontae had one. It was real positive. We needed to get that thing turned around and he turned it."

On the play of RB Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown and the running game: "There was never a question of deviating from that … it was a matter of making sure that we got Chad [Henne, QB] into the game early on. I think the last thing you wanted to do was have Chad and the rest of those guys out there searching for an identity. You might say, well, there's your identity, hand it to those two guys. It isn't that easy. At some point, you have to threaten them [the Buffalo Bills defense] with something going on outside. I thought he [Chad Henne, QB] threw a glance at [Chad] Camarillo [WR] at the beginning of the ball game and we pushed it down the field and missed one or two. But I thought that we did some good things to get him a little bit loose in there and then those two guys took over and again I think we averaged five yards a carry, maybe a little bit more. The offensive line must have done some good things."

On how the first win of the season feels: "It just sounds a lot better [1-3 versus 0-4] when you say it like that. It's a tremendous win for us. We've got to do a good job of not eating the cheese right now. It's one win and we've got a really tough team coming in here next week. We're just going to get ready for that ball game. But, obviously, going 0-4 isn't a good situation; going 0-3 wasn't a good situation. We knew that. To this team's credit, they just kept grinding, they just kept practicing, and it's the thing that I'm most proud of them about is that they practiced hard and never looked back. They never worried about any of those things. They just had a great look about them and I think they felt like this thing was about to get going the right way and we got a little bit of validation. It's a little bit easier practicing when your feeling good about yourself out there, so we're just going to go back at it and try to do some of those things all over again this week."


On his interceptions: "On the first one, he ran a good route, but I made a good break. I saw the ball and made a play on it. It was pretty much the same thing for the second one."

On the team getting its first win: "It feels great, winning is always good. I mean, you play this game to win, you don't play to lose, so when you get a win you got to cherish those moments.

On the defense stepping it up to the level they were at last season: "It always feels good when the defense plays well. Not to be selfish, but it always feels good when the defense plays well. I mean obviously we always play to win, but when we play well it does feel good."


On his INT return for a touchdown: "It just came from practice and working on it. Coach is stressing [about] working on my technique. I try to focus everyday on my technique. We know we will be fine if we play with [the correct] technique."

On what he was thinking about when he got his INT: "I was just surprised he threw the football. When I saw the football, I was like ‘WOW'. I just knew I had to catch it. That is the only thing, I had to catch it. It was a route, that watching films, they like to run - quick routes. We were just in the perfect coverage; I knew if he ran that route, I would have a chance to jump it."


On who got the touchdown ball since it was Chad Henne's first TD also: "I kept it. I got first dibs on it though, so I am sorry to say."

On increased playing time: "It's just hard work, getting after it, and practice tough. I'll take it, that's really about it. I haven't really thought about it like that."

On how he felt to score his first touchdown: "Felt good. It kind of felt like a little bit of a load off my back. You kind of feel like you belong a little more, and again get the ball rolling and hopefully there is more to come."


On how he felt in his first NFL start: "I felt pretty comfortable out there. The offensive line did a great job blocking. Ronnie [Brown] and Ricky [Williams] and all the backs did a great job running the ball. Defense got us the ball in good field position with turnovers. It was all a burden taken off my shoulders and all I had to do when I got the ball was to try and score points in the field position that we had."

On what this win means for his confidence and the confidence of the team: "I think the confidence, hopefully they see what I can do out there with leadership, and leading the offense out there on the field. I think it definitely builds the confidence in the team and definitely myself. Each win, take it for granted because you never know when you're going to get it again, so we have to prepare like we did this last week and keep plugging away."

On what was going through his mind last night: "Definitely nervous. A lot of emotions going through your head. Visualize what you're going to do on the field out there, see plays being made in your head. Good thing I turned off the TV around 10:30 so I can focus in on my thoughts and just get to bed early and get a good night's rest."


On Chad Henne's first start: "Well, I have been saying all along that he is a leader. He doesn't shy away from adversity or nothing. He came in there today and took over as the leader of our offense. He was showing emotion, he was getting us excited, he was strong out there, and had a great game and really stepped it up."

On another 200-plus-yard rushing effort: "It feels good, but we got to keep plugging away and do that consecutively every week. Like I say every week, we got to go in and watch the film, build on the good stuff, fix our mistakes, because we are never perfect out there. Keep pounding the ball and we take pride in that. We are going to keep doing it."


On the win: "Well it feels great, obviously. It's been a long time coming, it was a tough three weeks for us and we worked. We worked very hard the last month, we worked very hard on focusing very well this week, I thought and coach eluded to it in talking to us yesterday and today and I think that it paid dividends. It's great to get this win, particularly with Chad (Henne) coming in and being the new starter and somewhat uncertainty around the team with being 0-3, I think that it's a great confidence booster and I think the guys played their butts off."

On Cameron Wake: "Kid showed what he got. He does things; I have been around a long time [and he] does things that amaze me. It is those young, fresh legs, good cartilage in his knees, all that good stuff. Me and Joey [Porter] will always joke [while] watching tape, see Cameron dip underneath somebody, kind of get pushed around, he will spin around and pop off the ground. We always look at each other and say ‘that is those good knees, the good cartilage' He does things that Joey and I can't do right now, I think we have a few things he can't do either."

On if this was the reason he came back to Miami: "We know we can win. The great thing about the last three weeks when we were losing was that we lost games, but you could point to why you lost. We did so many things well, that you know if you get those things corrected you can win football games. It wasn't like we came out and were clueless and did nothing right. That wasn't the situation. We did plenty of things right and needed to finish games. Today, I thought we finished the game."

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