From the Locker Room

The Dolphins enjoyed the 30-25 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday perhaps more than any they've recorded this year because it helped them complete a sweep of their rivals on a day that began with a lot of jawing between both sides. Here's a sampling of what Dolphins players and Coach Tony Sparano had to say after the game.


On the defense: "I think all week long we had a bad taste in our mouth from the New Orleans game. We talked a lot about finishing. I think our defense played really well today. I think (the Jets) ran about 38 times and averaged 3.2 yards a carry during the course of this game. That's a good running football team. They're a good football team period, but I thought our defense really rose up and played well. They did a great job of finishing. This team has done that before, and they did it again."

On Ted Ginn Jr.: "Teddy Ginn takes an awful lot, but this kid is a resilient guy. I've seen this before, you just haven't. I've seen Teddy Ginn bounce back and come back to make big plays for this football team. It's the reason why we got him. He did a heck of a job today. He made two huge plays, and had a tremendous, tremendous week of practice. He had really good focus and made two big plays in the football game.

On whether Ginn not starting the game affected his play: "I don't think that had anything to do with it one way or the other. I just think this kid understands. I really do. There's no question that we shook some things up this week and purposely so. There's no reason for anybody to feel comfortable when you're 2-and-4. No reason, I don't care who it is. Teddy did a great job. Some people rise up, some people don't. Teddy rose up."

On the third quarter: "I've never seen a third quarter like that. I'll say this: we've lost some games that I have never seen before either. So to win this football like that and win the third quarter the way we did, my hats off to that group in the locker room. They just kept right."

On whether Ginn, Jr's skills are stronger in the return game than as a receiver: "I don't think so. I just think he has a great feel for it. He did a good job today of making some things happen. I give credit to John Bonamego who did a tremendous job of coaching those guys. He's another guy who takes an awful lot. He did a heck of a job coaching these guys. That's a good special teams unit. The Jets do a tremendous job on special teams. It's a phase that we knew we couldn't lose today, and we didn't."

On the offense: "I saw a really good defense out there. Rex (Ryan) really had those guys ready to play. We knew that, and there's no surprise there. We knew those guys were going to be ready to play. Our guys were ready to play, too. I thought there were two good defenses punching each other around, I really did. I thought as the game went on, we just didn't make plays. We just couldn't finish plays, and credit has to go to that group. They did a good job in some of those situations. There are some things that we left out there ourselves. A couple of self-inflicted things that we did to ourselves. We took too many sacks. We can't take those kinds of sacks. If you're out of the pocket, you need to throw the ball away. We laid the ball on the ground a couple of times, so we can't do that. But the thing that we did do is that we had a big drive for a touchdown that was critical on the play from (Joey) Haynos. That was a big, big play."

On his thoughts as Ginn returned two kickoffs: "Run fast. When he got to the side, I felt really good. Sometimes in this league, things work out that really aren't fair. Today it was fair for Ted."

On Chris Clemons: "We got him involved. I like some of the things Chris did in the ball game last week on special teams. I didn't think it was too big for him. This kid has good skills, and he has good ball skills. He came up in the first series of the game. He was out there on the first play or first series of the game. He came up and made a nice tackle. I've got to look at the film and see how he played overall, but I didn't hear his name out there, so that's a good thing."

On the Jets stopping the Wildcat: "It's something they were doing. Those guys did a nice job of putting on a little bit of pressure. My hats off to them."

On Chad Henne in the last quarter: "That's one of the things with Chad. He's a pretty resilient guy, he really is. We had a couple of dropped passes out there in bad situations today, but he's pretty resilient. It's a great quality to have as a quarterback. Coming into this place and winning a game in your first NFL start on the road is a hard thing to do. I don't care how it was won – any special teams, defensive scores, any of those things. He had to get us down the field to make a drive, a critical drive, and he did it.:

On the trash-talking between the Jets and the Dolphins: "I don't know about this division, but I think it's normal from what I'm gathering, and I'm new at this, but normal between the Jets and the Dolphins. I'm not a big fan of it."

On Randy Starks' two sacks: "Randy did a heck of a job. We talked about winning individual battles. I felt Randy did that a bunch today. I felt him make some tackles for losses or tackles around the line of scrimmage. I have to look at the film, but those were two critical plays there towards the end of the ball game."

On if Jets brought pressure from the secondary: "I don't think really the Jets did that. On the first snap or two, I saw the safety come, I think I felt (Kerry) Rhodes come a couple of times, that type of stuff. They slice the corner which is a page from New Orleans, but I'm sure that's just part of something that they had in. It's something that we were prepared for, but just didn't execute very well."

On starting three rookies in the secondary: "It caused me a little bit of a sleepless week. I do have a lot of confidence in these players. I thought they got it really hard out there today, I really do. That's a good group. Braylon Edwards gives this team a different dimension in my opinion, and I thought those guys hung in there. They just kept fighting. They hung in there pretty good."

On scoring in all three phases to win a game on the road: "I think it says a little something. I think it was great focus and attention to detail this week in practice. I have a tough team. I know I have a tough team. There was some questions about my team this week, and whether or not they were tough. I'm not saying we answered them all, but we made a good dent today."

On if Ginn made both kickoff return plays by himself: "I can't really tell. I know one of those he kind of shot out of there and got away from a tackle, and got to the perimeter. One of them was a heck of a call by Bonamego. We set something up to start from one side, and break it back. We felt it was a lot of pressure. It was a heck of a call by Bonamego, and it worked perfectly."

On Ginn completing the kickoff return after being stopped on the 15: "I honestly have not seen anything like that. I thought he was down somewhere in there, I couldn't see him. I lost him, and then I saw him getting out of there. Once he got his shoulders square, I didn't think anyone was going to catch him."


On rebounding from the loss last week: "I thought last week we didn't respond on offense the way we wanted to. Today I thought we did a great job overall. Special teams did a great job and our defense did an incredible job. To get a win after that big loss in the division is definitely a big plus."

On his first start on the road: "It was hostile environment. I expected it to be just how it was. It was a back-and-forth game and luckily we came out with a win. We need to look at it on film and continue to improve and get better."

On Ted Ginn Jr.'s game: "I don't think anyone is happier than our team to have Ted come out with that type of game and respond. It's a great feeling for him and us for him to get his confidence back and can make big plays like that. It's great to be a teammate of his. He was just ready to go and that's good to see from him."

On the conditions in the Meadowlands: "We actually had a perfect day. It wasn't too cold. The wind was bearable. There was a cross-wind in there but I don't think it affected any of our throws. It didn't affect me. Overall it was a perfect day."

On the Jets doing similar things picked up from the Saints: "They pressured on third down like they knew we would. We had some things we were going to work with. Some of them we just didn't make the plays. Luckily we came out and had a good drive at the end which capped it off and got us a win."

On his touchdown throw to TE Joey Haynos: "They were kind of discombobulated around the defense. They didn't know what we were going to be in and what personnel we were going to have. We just caught them off guard and Joey ran out in the flat and that is my first read."

On the third-quarter scoring not being from the offense: "That shows you a team effort. Offensively we didn't get things going like we wanted to, but our team picked us up on defense and special teams."

On the running game never getting going: "I don't think overall we executed. The running game or the passing game. We weren't converting on third down. We got ourselves in third-and-longs that we didn't want to get ourselves into. You have to give them credit, they had a great game plan to put us in those third-and-long situations."

On the importance of closing the game: "It's definitely important with a good team like that and going down to the end like we did. Last week we didn't finish. That was the biggest thing. Now we have improvement on that, we finished the game and we're playing a good team next week (New England)."

On this game helping their confidence: Oh it's good. We always concentrate on the division games. In division games were 3-0 but it doesn't stop here. We have to keep on winning division games and that will get us to where we want to be."

On third-and-longs: "It's not what they were doing before. That's their pressure down. Third-and-long is when they get to bring all their pressure, their safeties come down and it's something we want to stay out of. Last game we stayed out of third-and-longs which helped us out, I think we only had one or two. Today we were fighting third-and-eight, third-and-nines and even some third-and-11's which didn't help. They were bringing four linebackers and four down-linemen so they were bringing an eight-man box which we knew they were going to do. We just need to get better overall against an eight-man front."


On his two kickoff returns for touchdowns: "I just tried to go out and make plays. Coach (John) Bonamego and Coach (Tony) Sparano came up with a good scheme and we executed. The guys felt good about what they came up with and they made the blocks they needed to make. I threw in a little freestyle and we had fun. When everybody is on the same page, big things can happen."

On if they saw a weakness on the right side of the Jets kickoff coverage: "Yes. The whole week we just saw that they overload to one side. As they kick to the left, I saw two guys loop over. I knew if I got to the backside, big things could happen."

On the turnaround in his play from last week to this week: "It's unbelievable what can happen when you believe in God and you have family, friends, coaches and teammates supporting you. The only thing you have to do is be confident, be calm and make plays."

On what coach Tony Sparano said to him after his first touchdown: "He just came up and congratulated me and told me to 'keep my head up' because the game wasn't over."

On if he ever had two kickoff returns for a touchdown in one quarter before: "No. I've had two different returns before, a punt and a kickoff. But not two kickoff returns in the same quarter."

On the second kickoff return for a touchdown: "Well, I thought I was trapped. I just tried to use my feet and play off my blocks. My motive was to get to the outside. Once I got that opening and I turn on the burners, I'm gone."

On if he always thinks he's the fastest guy on the field: "Definitely."

On if it was a hard week for him leading up to the game: "It was a hard week because I'm hard on myself. But, as long as I can stay confident, I can make big plays."


On the game: "Our defense talked a lot of smack during the week and they came out and backed it up. Thank goodness our defense came to play. They deserve the praise. In the third quarter special teams made some good plays. Ted Ginn did his thing, it was a team effort. Football games are crazy. There are no two games alike. We played a good game, came up here and got a road win, which was huge for us."

On Ted Ginn's performance: "He deserves more respect than he gets. Not just because of his performance today, but because he loves the game of football. This is what he does. He's a professional and it's his life. A lot of people don't realize that, but he showed his capabilities today. I'm happy for him, he deserves it. I see him every day and I see how hard he works. He takes a lot of flack, but he had a great day. I was really surprised the Jets kept kicking to him. He took two to the house and the last one was almost close."

On the offense: "We didn't play very well on offense. Our coaches had a really good game plan and they executed things really well. We made some plays here and there, but didn't make enough. Our last drive for a touchdown was huge for us. We should have been able to do that a little bit more, but you have to give the Jets defense some credit. They played a very good game. We were trying some different things protection wise and we couldn't hold up against their defense. They did an awesome job of bringing it to us. They game planned us on third down and brought the heat. They harassed Chad Henne and we have to do a better job this week."


On the team's performance today: "It was an exciting game. I think guys on both teams played hard. Ted Gin Jr had a great game, and the team played well. They (the Jets) made plays all game, but there can only be one winner."

On Ted Ginn's performance compared to last week: "Its funny, that's how this game is. Now everybody will love him, saying, 'Oh that's how Ted Ginn (responded)' and then write stories about how good he is. That comes with having a good game. It shouldn't be like that but truth of the matter is, I'm happy for him. I'm happy to see him get the monkey off of his back and have a good game like he did today."

On ever being a part of a game where the offense didn't score: "I've been part of a game where we gave up 43 yards in total offense on defense and lost a game. So it's possible. Jason (Taylor) made a big play for us, we scored on all aspects of the game today. Take nothing away from that team(Jets), they played hard, but there only can be one winner today and we wanted it a little more than they did."

On keeping the defense together on the field: "At the end of the game, all we needed to do is make stops and everyone in the huddle knew if we couldn't make the stops who the blame would come down on. We had every opportunity to win the game on defense, and to finally get it done was a good feeling."

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