This weekend, the Miami Dolphins head north for another game with playoff implications against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With so much at stake, both sides are treating this Sunday as a playoff game. In this week’s edition of “What They’re Saying”, check out what’s being said around the Dolphins’ locker room as they prepare for the Steelers.
On what he notices about Troy Polamalu on film – “He’s still impressive to watch, you have to be aware of where this player is. They do an excellent job, their staff, they’ll play him as a deep safety, they’ll play him as a box safety, they’ll play him as a linebacker. They’ll literally mug him in the gap and have him take on offensive lineman. That’s how versatile this guy is. I see the same type of player that I used to game plan against three or four years ago. He’s outstanding.”
On if Ben Roethlisberger has changed much since he faced him in the Super Bowl – “I didn’t study him as much back then. I saw him back in 2001 and 2002 back at Miami of Ohio. I thought this guy was going to be, not to take any credit or that I’m a personnel guru (laughing), but he extended a play literally he scored a touchdown and it took like 12 seconds it was the longest play in history (laughing). You could see he had a rocket then, he’s a good football player. He’s just good.”
On toughest part of preparing for Ben Roethlisberger – “He’s an excellent quarterback overall. He can make every single throw that you want to make. He is a big man. He has outstanding awareness in the pocket. He’s hard to get on the ground because he’s big and physical. He does a great job of extending a play but still look downfield and find a guy at maybe the last second. I think he’s this far from crossing the line, and all of the sudden he locates the receiver and puts the ball on them. He’s a very, very good player. Again, it’s going to take good team defense. He has good players around him as well. It’s a very good offense. He’s part of that, and we are going to have to tackle as well as we’ve had all year against this group.”
On what he notices about Troy Polamalu on film – “A guy who likes to make plays. He’s flying around all over the place. It’s tough to say where he’s going to be at. Some pre snap he’ll start one place and then end up in the B-gap. You always have to keep an eye on him and we’re going to have to have a plan for him.”
On how he views the Pittsburgh secondary, experienced or old and what are the challenges moving forward – “I would say experienced, I have a lot of respect for those guys that have been around a while. Guys that have played a lot of football I have a lot of respect for. It’s only my second year in the league. Guys that have been around for a while I have a lot of respect for. They still make plays, they still run around and make plays. They’re obviously very well versed in the defense that they’re in, the system that they’re in and can do it all. I definitely have a lot of respect for them.”
On how it helps to have Mike Wallace on the team and his knowledge of the entire Pittsburgh defense – “It helps, just to have a guy that’s familiar with the secondary, knows those guys, knows how they cover. To say it’s going to be a game changer, I wouldn’t say that. Obviously, it helps him with the guys, Ike (Taylor) is probably going to be on him, maybe that’ll help. As far as scheme or anything like that, it’s not a game changer.”
On why he is expecting to hear boo’s on Sunday –“Just the way things happened when I left. I don’t think everything ended on the highest note. I know between myself and the organization, we all know what the deal was, so I am good with it. It is what it is.”
On how much insight he has on the Steelers defensive backfield and how much he has shared with the Dolphins already – “It could be very insightful, but at the same time those guys have been together for so long that when they get out there they are still going to play well. You know just let them know the personnel, all I’ve really told them was each guy, described each guy to them, but for the most part I really haven’t said anything. The tape speaks for itself about those guys, they are great players, we all know that they have been together forever. They are going to always be in the right spots, smart players, crafty guys so its going to be a tough challenge but we are up to it.”
On if he expects to see Ike Taylor cover his exclusively – “I’m not sure what their game plan is, but for the most part, Ike (Taylor) is probably the guy every single week so I’m looking forward to him following me. But if not, I really wouldn’t be surprised.”
On if there is any grudge held against him for holding out last year, with the Steelers when he held out – “With who? I mean maybe with the fans, but I don’t think so with the coaches, my teammates. I could be wrong but when I came in, it was nothing on my part. When I came in I was happy, happy to be there, just ready to play some football. I got the same impression from my teammates and my coaches. Me personally I never really felt anything toward anybody or felt like anybody felt any type of way towards me. I’m not sure, I can’t really answer that question, but I don’t think so.”
On the Steelers’ offense – “They’re a good offensive team. They’re a good team. They just had a little bad luck in the beginning of the year, but they’ve been playing well. So it’s definitely a challenge, especially going into their home field.”
On Antonio Brown – “He’s a great player. He has a lot of talent. He gets in and out of his breaks really well. He can run downfield and then once he gets the ball, he can be a problem too, to get down. He is a punt returner, so once he gets the ball, he poses a great threat of breaking a tackle, making somebody miss and turning a short gain into a long one.”
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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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