This Sunday, the Dolphins travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium for a divisional showdown with the Buffalo Bills. Miami will be looking to avoid being swept by the Bills, something that has not happened since 2007.
The big news out of Western New York this week is that Thad Lewis will get the start at quarterback for Buffalo. Lewis ran the Bills’ offense in their Week 7 win at Sun Life Stadium.
Now see what some of the key contributors from both sides have been talking about, with this week’s edition of “What They’re Saying:”
(On what Thad Lewis showed him in the first game against the Dolphins season) – “Poise. He sat in the pocket. I remember he took one, delivered a shot to our bench, 15 or 20-yard route and took a hit. He’s a tough guy. He’s got a good arm. He played well the week before against Cincinnati. I want to say he had, I don’t have this stuff in front of me, but over a 100 quarterback rating that first week he played against (Cincinnati), which is a very good defense. He’s good.”
(On what challenges Mario Williams present) – “I think he’s an excellent player in of himself. You have to give him his due for sure in regard to his protection scheme. The issue becomes Jerry Hughes is having a very, very good year. Their two inside guys are very good, so it’s hard to just isolate on just one particular player. As I’ve said to you guys many times, they have an excellent pressure package. Sometimes when a team pressures they can create one-on-one matchups. Your guys, you can’t go into a game saying, ‘Hey, every single play you are going to get help on Mario Williams or Jerry Hughes or on Marcell Dareus.’ You have to have a scheme where your players can have confidence they can block this guy one-on-one.”
(On his comfort level with the left side of the O-line) – “They’re doing a good job. The offensive line in general has kept me off the ground, given me time to throw which has given us a lot of success. Especially like you said the left side. Two new pieces that I think Bryant (McKinnie) really has the offense down now and (Sam) Brenner is several games in now as well so he is feeling good.”
(On if there is a chance the team would take Buffalo lightly) – “No, I don’t think so at all. We have a lot of respect obviously we lost to them earlier this year and that’s reality. We’re not taking this game lightly at all we understand, especially the offense that’s how I think of things. They have a good defense, they have playmakers. A good front, opportunistic secondary that will pick off a pass if it’s there. There is no relaxing form an offensive perspective.”
(On his decrease of turnovers over the last few weeks) – “I think just taking better care of the ball, making better decisions, learning from mistakes I think that’s a big part of it. I try not to make the same mistake twice; the same bad throw twice that and the good coaching around me. The coaches are putting me in situations where I can succeed.”
(On what turned the Dolphins around since loss to Buffalo) – “If I’ve heard correctly I think 12 of our 14 games have come down to one score or less. Obviously we’ve been in a lot of games where it’s been close and it’s a lot of experience in playing to the end of the game. You have to literally play the full 60 minutes and when you’re in a game that’s that close at the end you literally have to go back and look at every play is the play of the game. It could be that play in the middle of the second quarter that turns around when you look at it at the end of the game was the play of the game but at the time you have no idea that that’s the case. I think we’ve gotten into a groove where, we are who we are and we have to go out there and you literally have to play every play every snap all out. There is no play off, there is no series off, no back side of plays. Everybody has to be all hands on deck and I think when we do that we’ll definitely be victorious.”
(On what the team did to pull together to ignore distractions and get on winning streak) – “Well honestly we came together April 15th. That’s where we kind of got together as a group. We have a room full of professional guys who play up to high standard and you talk about off the field but on the field there’s been adversity. We’ve had some ups and some downs but at the end of the day we’ve come together and done our best to make sure that when it’s time to make that play it’s going to be a win for the Dolphins. There’s definitely been no dull moments in this season. Every game you have to take your blood pressure medicine because it’s definitely been a hell of a game. We’ve definitely won the games and made the plays recently that need to be made so we’ve just got to keep that going.”
What’s the biggest thing that stands out to you when you look at film of this Dolphins team in regards to the team you faced before? – I think they’re playing extremely well. I think early on they were playing well, but maybe not making the plays they needed to get over the top. You see them doing that now and Coach Philbin and his staff and even the team, they’re doing a good job of playing. All three phases are helping them win and I think that’s what is important. They’re not making the mistakes that cause you to lose games. They’re playing extremely well and it’s a great challenge for us. I’m exciting about playing them.
Did you see seven step drops the first time you played the Dolphins? Now it’s more three step drops, have you picked up anything like that on film? – They still have the threats, they still have the possibility of going downtown. You run into a mixture of different drops, and along with that, you even get a mixture of different pass protections from up front. It’s just one of the things that you have to be able to be able to kind of dictate or anticipate what you’re going to get before the play starts to kind of realize where you need to focus your rush at as far as getting in the alleys with the runs or being able to have time to kick it up and have time to mix it up a little bit in pass rush with deep protect. They’re not just going to be a team that drops back two steps and throws the ball. They have playmakers that get down the field, so at the end of the day, they have to do a little bit of everything.
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