A seventh round pick in 2012 NFL draft by the Dolphins, wide receiver Rishard Matthews is used to competing for a spot on the team. He’s again in a fight to make the 53-man roster this season as part of another loaded receivers group.
The third year veteran out of Nevada is a special teams ace, and has slowly become one of quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s most reliable targets over the past two seasons. Matthews had the breakout game of his career last year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recording 11 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns and is looking stand out once more. This Friday’s game against Atlanta is the first opportunity to do so.
Greg Likens of The Finsiders sat down with Matthews to discuss his mindset during training camp, and how Head Coach Joe Philbin has altered his coaching style this season.
On his approach as a pro changing in his third season:
“Yeah, definitely. I know I’m expected to do a lot more and definitely contribute. You gotta be a professional on and off the field so my approach is definitely attacking that and just trying to correct mistakes and be consistent. That’s what I’m focusing on a lot.”
On how he balances helping his fellow receivers while competing with them for a job:
“You just go out there and try to be consistent every day. You don’t play the numbers game because if you do that your mind messes with you and everything. Let your playing take care of itself, and let upstairs make the decisions.”
On new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor moving the wide receivers around:
“He’s creating a lot of different matchups with fast guys on the outside like (Mike) Wallace, you’re not expecting him just to be on the outside, you can probably expect to see him on the inside (in the slot) and outside and same thing with Hartline. He’s doing a great job in trying to get us to push the tempo. He just wants us to play fast and keep playing faster.”
On if Head Coach Joe Philbin has changed or developed his coaching style as far as interacting with the players and the way that he approaches things:
“He’s changed a lot, I wouldn’t say 180… but he’s changed, he’s interacting with us a lot more, coming in and talking to us more, and just interacting with us and that brings a lot out of the players and makes us want to play for him even more.”
On having a head coach doing bed checks during training camp:
“It’s actually interesting, I’m rooming with Armon Binns, and Binns, he’s a real spiritual guy, he reads his Bible every night, and coach will come in there and kind of joke around with me and be like, ‘Hey you know, why aren’t you reading the Bible?’…stuff like that. He comes in there with a high spirit and makes sure everything is good to go.”
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