From the Locker Room

Here's what Dolphins players and coaches had to say following the Dolphins' thrilling 31-27 victory over the New York Jets Monday night, which gave Miami a 2-3 record heading into its bye week.

DOLPHINS COACH TONY SPARANO

On how the game unfolded compared to how he imagined it playing out: "I think what I had in mind was the fact that it was going to be a pretty physical game no matter how many yards were made. That's a good football team out there, really good football team. Well-coached, do a great job, physical bunch of guys. What I was talking about was the way they run the ball, and the way we run the ball. I don't think it's for the weak. I thought it was a pretty physical contest up front and I liked the way our guys finished."

On Chad Henne's performance: "I think first and foremost, heck of an education for the guy tonight. I think he had a couple opportunities at the end there to have to bring this team back and handled it with poise. I he thought did a tremendous job managing the clock in a lot of situations there in the end. Made a nice play to Teddy [Ginn] down the middle of the field his first drive and then to finish the thing made some key plays during the course of that drive. A good job by the coaches too, Dan Henning and the offensive staff did a nice job mixing things up in the last couple drives."

On if the difference in the game was the ability to run and pass the ball: "Yeah, I think so. I think if you get into one of those deals, I know they had a great emphasis during the course of the week of making sure we weren't running the football. At times out there they played four down linemen and four linebackers, so they played with three defensive backs in the game to our 22 personnel stuff out there and we were still capable of running the ball. So I think that was critical for us. We kind of knew they were going to crowd the box a little bit that way. Felt like what we were doing in some of our personnel groupings might have calmed them down a little bit with the pressure stuff and I think that for the most part that was true. It's just you don't want to get into a scenario where it's third and nine, third and nine, third and nine. I think then they have you and you play into their hands."

On being 2-3 and only a game back in the division: "I think it's a huge deal for us right now going into the bye week. I think a lot of things happened yesterday in our division. It just goes to show you that to panic is not the answer. There's an awful lot of football left right now in this season and a couple teams lost yesterday in our division, and the next thing you know, and we're sitting there and this game is even bigger. We're just excited. It's a division game, I've been saying it all along, that was really the emphasis. Rivalry this, rivalry that, the bottom line is this is a division game and for us, an opportunity to get another win at home."

On Ricky Williams' game: "I thought Ricky, both Ricky and Ronnie (Brown) had a great start in the ballgame. Ricky, I don't know what he rushed for, sixty-something yards maybe, but then he caught three or four passes for 160, had a bunch of yards that way. I thought Ricky had a great burst and really ran the ball physical. I think Ronnie was very physical at the end of runs."

On what happened on the two fake punts: "To be honest with you, we showed the fake reel last night and went through all this stuff. We had guys in both positions. On the first one, we had a guy there and missed the tackle, we got to make the tackle in that situation. On the second one, we end up in field defense out there, defense stay to the punt formation, and again, I think we missed two tackles two tackles that were there in the backfield. So, it wasn't our assignment, it was execution, there was no mental errors on the play. I think to be honest, they did a better job of executing."

On if it was necessary to pull out all the stops and put Pat White in at the end of the game and how much confidence the team has in the non-base plays: "I don't think that that was desperation or trying to trick them or any of those things. It really is what we do, and we have a tremendous amount of confidence in it. People that handle the ball out there tonight, you see Ricky [Williams] back there handling the ball out of that situation, Pat, and you see Ronnie handling the ball in those situations. So, these are the guys that take care of the football very well for us. I have a lot of trust in the people that handle the football to be able to do that. If we were to change at the end there, then that's just not us. I think we have to continue to do what we do best and that's what we do best."

RB RONNIE BROWN

On the team's ability to run the ball so well: "That was one of our goals coming into the game, that was part of the game plan, come in be able to run the ball effectively, try and open up some things for the passing game, let those guys make some plays. Ted made a great play down the field, we were efficient, no turnovers, not too many penalties."

On how the Wildcat was so successful: "It was execution, just like anything else. You execute and good things are going to happen. We worked on it all week, transferred things from practice to the game, came out and was able to run the ball."

On how it felt to have his number called with six seconds left on third down: "We had six seconds up on the clock, and we were in the huddle and we were like, no settling for field goals, we need to score a touchdown. We have to finish the game. That was something we had struggled with in the first few games. We said we're going to finish tonight. Whatever we need to do to get the ball in the end zone."

On the feeling he had when he crossed the goal line: "It was exciting; you know to get the win. This season we started pretty slow, but for the most part we said we're going to fight it out, take it one play at a time, one game at a time, and we think we can turn this thing around. So far we got two wins on our belt; now we got this bye week and we got to make sure everyone stays healthy, get ready for New Orleans."

On playing against Rex Ryan, who claims he can stop the Wild Cat: "Well, I took it a little personal, obviously he did a great job against us with the (Baltimore) Ravens, but we all knew that. We watched the film, looked at the cut ups, we saw that they stopped us. Coming into the game, I saw everyone on TV saying Rex Ryan going to shutdown the WildCat down, they were going to do a great job shutting down the run. Our goal was to come in here and run the ball effectively. The offensive line did a great job, we were able to run down hill and run the ball effectively."

WR TED GINN JR.

On his long touchdown play: "We just executed what we did in practice. We called it at the right time and we got a big play out of it."

On how much of a relief it was to score on a long play like that: "It was a big relief, to go out and catch a touchdown pass like that, especially when we win, and the way that we won. I give credit to those guys over there, they played hard and tough, but you know, we play them in two weeks and it's going to be the same thing."

On what it's like in the huddle with Chad Henne, having two fourth quarter drives: "It's not that big of a difference between Pennington and Henne. I think he learned from a very, very great guy, that allowed him to come in here and orchestrate a huddle the way he do. You know we just came out here and had fun, we believed in Henne and he believed in us. We just go out and play football."

On what was on his mind when he saw the ball in the air: "I've got to get it. You know what I mean? It had a dead point on it. It came down and as long as I stayed on my course, I make a catch."

CHAD HENNE

On the deep pass to Ted Ginn for the touchdown helped the confidence of the offense: "I think it helps a lot. Offensive line gave us time, Teddy ran a great route, boosted his confidence that we can get the ball down the field. Big play there."

On if this is a growing experience: "We were definitely in a dog fight for 60 minutes, shows a lot of character in our team to keep finishing. We preach it in practice to finish at the end. Big confidence booster for us; we have two division games under our belt, have come to the bye week and then have to keep it going."

On which was more important to him, pass to Ted Ginn or the game winning drive: "The drive at the end of the game. It shows a lot of character, not only in myself, but the entire offense. I think we ran the ball exceptionally well, made some smart decisions and we handled the pressure."

On what he felt when Ronnie scored the winning touchdown: "It was incredible. You always dream as a kid these comebacks. I have watched Joe Montana when I was a kid run the comeback drill and it was great to be a part of that and be a part of this win."

On if this helps his confidence: "I know the coaching staff has confidence in me and making plays when presented to me. Knowing that the offense can look me in the eye and know I can take them down the field in tight situations and lead them to victory."

On learning from watching Chad Pennington do the same things last year: "It is definitely a great learning experience I learned from Chad Pennington. The biggest thing is making smart decisions, not doing anything out of the ordinary; trying to make a play when you don't have to. Just learning and studying the film was a big key tonight."

LB JOEY PORTER

On winning the football game: "We got it. It puts us in the direction that we want to be headed and we'll take this bye week and get ready for when we get back against New Orleans."

On the emotions displayed on the sidelines with so many lead changes: "It had a little roller coaster about it. We would get one stop on defense and then give up another big play. So that was kind of frustrating for us, but the offense was there all day for us. Whenever we needed a play or some points, they came down and got it."

On Chad Henne's performance: "Yeah, he is one of those guys who are just calm, man. He's a calm guy. You think a guy would be nervous in that situation, most guys would, veteran quarterback, rookie quarterback, it really doesn't matter. Most guys would be nervous and its just confidence, man. If I don't love him for nothing else, his confidence, his swagger, is exactly what you want in a young quarterback."

On being back in the hunt: "Yeah, that's all we did is just put ourselves back into the hunt. We started off not where we wanted to, losing the first three. So, picking up two crucial division games like that definitely put us in the position to where we are not anywhere crazy, but we are headed in the right direction now. We are playing divisional games that count and to win those two games, especially that big rivalry against the Jets today… how we played out there was the mental swing that I think we needed."

CB SEAN SMITH

On being one game out of first place in the division: "Well, we just took it as every game is our last game and that's our mentality out there. Were not worried about what our record is. We do know the significance of this game and we came out here and we played hard. We knew it was going to be a dog fight till the end and as you can see it was."

On Ronnie Brown's game-winning touchdown: "Oh my god, it was so silent on the sideline so when that ball was snapped everybody just go so quiet and when he scored that touchdown it was amazing, everyone just exploded on the sidelines."


Dolphins Report Top Stories