This week the Dolphins began a series of special “Inside The Huddle” conference calls, in which Dolphins players answer questions from fans about the upcoming season. On Wednesday, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, Olivier Vernon and Nolan Carroll all took time to speak with the fans. Here are some of the responses from the players during the session:
(On excitement for the 2013 season)
Richie Incognito: “You know a lot of excitement surrounding the season right now and it’s all welcome. We’ve been working hard, we just finished our offseason program, and we have a solid group of guys and we’re putting in the hard work. We’re laying the foundation to have a special 2013.”
(On the team’s identity on each side of the ball)
Richie Incognito: “I think when we’re hitting on all cylinders I think the identity is a balanced attack. We really have to be able to run the football to set-up our play action game and take our shots down the field. Obviously having some more weapons on offense, some guys who can really stretch the field, teams are really going to have a hard time defending us. They don’t know whether to stack the box and stop the run or to sit back and protect themselves on the back end. It’s a nice challenge to have; we really have to run the football and establish a physical tempo and then get our pass game going to open things up and really keep defenses guessing.”
Nolan Carroll: “Our identity is to stop the run first. If we stop the run, it kind of limits what a team can do and now they have to try to change their game plan. Another thing for us too is to give the ball back to the offense. We want to give them as many chances to (get) into the end zone as possible. For us a big thing this offseason has been getting turnovers; however we can get them, stripping the ball, intercepting, passes defended, batting balls up into the air, anything we can do to give the offense the ball back because they got a lot of weapons and I know they’re capable of doing a lot of big things this year.”
(On guys like Pouncey and Incognito stepping up to be leaders and who are the other leaders on the team)
Mike Pouncey: “It takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of dedication, I think me and Richie both have embraced that role- him being longer than me, I’m kind of new to it. We both tried to embrace that role and excel in it. I think we’ve done a great job this offseason with the emergence of Ryan Tannehill (as a leader) as well.”
Olivier Vernon: “I would say Paul Soliai. He’s one of the biggest leaders on the team- especially on and off the field. Obviously he tries to get everybody together you know just to build camaraderie and brotherhood. Stuff like that brings the team together, it carries on to the field.”
(On biggest challenge the team faces entering 2013)
Nolan Carroll: “I think for us it’s getting off to a fast start. Our schedule, the first five games are some tough games. What we’ve talked about is getting off to a fast start, if we can go into week six with a very good record, we’ll be looking pretty good. Because if we can start fast, you know the momentum is going to keep carrying on and chemistry is just going to build off of wins and guys are going to trust each other even more and more. So that’s all we’re looking at right now, just getting off to a fast start.”
(To Mike Pouncey on if his goal is to make the Pro Bowl and for the Dolphins offensive line to have multiple Pro Bowlers in 2013)
Mike Pouncey: “We’re hoping so. I’m very happy for Richie to be a Pro Bowl offensive lineman, he’s a guy that’s deserved it for many years now and he finally got the award so I’m very happy for that. I was out there (in Hawaii) to celebrate with him and my brother (Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey) and definitely it’s a sibling rivalry, we compete against each other in everything we do. (But) our goal right now is just to get to the playoffs and then once we do that, all of the individual goals will come with it.”
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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