Opponent Opinions: QB Jake Delhomme

Jake Delhomme was one of the most scrutinized quarterbacks in the NFL early this season after following up last year's playoff disaster by throwing a bunch of interceptions in the first few games. But he has picked up his game lately and now gets ready to face the Dolphins Thursday night. He spoke to South Florida reporters in a conference call Tuesday.

Here is a transcript of the interview with Delhomme:

On the importance of getting back to .500: "Certainly it is important. At this point in the season you have to collect as many wins as possible. We were trying to get to .500 a few weeks ago vs. New Orleans and couldn't get it done there. We are both in the same boat, both teams. You are trying to search and claw and scratch for wins by any means necessary."

On if he feels back he has won back the trust of the coaching staff with his play lately: "I think somewhat. Early on we were not playing well and I certainly wasn't playing well. The last few weeks we played some better football. Since our bye I think we have played better football. We just had a game our two where we couldn't get it done. We changed some of the things that we kind of been doing, feel good about the direction we are heading, but this week is so different for us. Playing on the short week, I haven't done that yet in all my time in the NFL. It is really condense and you can't really get a hold… there is a lot of physical work because of the physical nature of this game. That is the biggest adjustment going into this week."

On what the loss of Jordan Gross means to the offensive line: "I don't know any other way to sugarcoat it, it is huge. There is no need sugarcoating it. He is the cornerstone in my opinion. He was drafted in '03, Top 10 pick and he was put at one the tackle positions, right tackle, his first year. He has been a mainstay ever since. It is going to be a very big loss no doubt. Travelle Wharton has played tackle for us for a while, so that is good. We have a young guy who is going to play guard for us and that is where the negative of the short week comes in. Playing a 3-4 type team, trying to get as many looks as possible, but it is very limited."

On the tendency they have had to run the ball on third-and-long: "When teams are going to drop eight and a lot of teams tend to do that on third-and-10 [yards or] plus, your chances of completing a ball down the field are pretty minimal so you take chances on hitting it in there. I know we converted one, if not two, of those third and long plays. I think evidenced last night. You watch that game a little bit, I think they had a third-and-20 something and Ray Rice gets what he needed. In long situations teams will drop back and drop eight guys, instead of beating your head against the wall, you hand it off and see what happens."

On Steve Smith handling his numbers being down: "He has been fine. I think teams have really tried to take him out. They have dedicated pretty much two guys to him pretty much, really, every single game this year. That is why we have run it a great deal because the teams will do that give us an extra opportunity to run the football. Certainly his numbers are probably not what he wanted them to be, but he has been a great solider. He made some plays for us last week and we just try to take what the defense gives us."

On what he sees out of the Dolphins defense on tape: "They give you a ton of different looks, that is the biggest thing. From the 3-4 to the four down look, they will put in four down lineman. They will play a lot of diamond front. They give you a ton of different looks. They have a ton of players who play a ton of different roles, but a very big, physical football team. That is one of the things you notice about them. They are a physical football team; they play with a lot of passion."

On if they will try to use Steve Smith to take advantage of Miami's defense of giving up big plays: "Well, I think every week teams go in with ‘shot mentality' type plays. It is just if you can execute them or not. I don't think we will change what we do. We will run the football, that is what we like to do, and then we are going to take our chance off of that. I don't know how much you can change and be very elaborate in such a short week."

On Vontae Davis and Sean Smith: "Very talented football players. They have been playing a great deal for them and playing extremely well. You can tell they both love the game and doing a really good job. You try to watch as much film as possible yesterday and today and we played them some in the preseason, talking about Miami in general, so we know they have a ton of talent."

On what kind of cornerbacks have given himself and Steve Smith the most trouble over the years: "I think it varies by game. I think in our division somebody might play well and then next time we play well against them. I think it just varies."

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