The Patriots meet the Dolphins for the second time in three weeks on Monday night. Historically, Miami has not been Bill Belichick’s favorite destination.
As the Patriots prepare to test their eight-game winning streak against an AFC East opponent, here’s what the Dolphins had to say about it:
Dolphins head coachAdam Gase
On the success of the Patriots’ pass rush:
They’re a little bit more difficult than people give them credit for. There’s a reason why they haven’t let up more than 17 points since about the fourth week of the season. They force you to get the ball out quick. We had a couple of protection errors. That really put Matt (Moore) in a bad spot where a few times he thought he was good and all of a sudden somebody came free in his face, whether it was o-line, running back, tight end – we all took our turns – play calling. There were a couple of those in there where I didn’t really give him a good chance and kind of put him in a bad spot. We’ve just got to do a better job of making sure that we handle that up front. They make it difficult because those guys, they do a good job game planning. They find your weakness and they try to maximize using the information they have.
On preparing for a Patriots offense minus Rob Gronkowski:
It’s still going to be … It’s always difficult because Josh [McDaniels] will do a good job of using the guys that he has and putting them in different positions and really forcing your defense to try to figure out where everybody is. He even did it last time by moving some of those guys around and showing some looks that our guys … You don’t necessarily see that exact formation and he makes you put stress on your defense that way where it’s just a constant adjustment on the sideline. A lot of times, he doesn’t even go … He won’t go back to it. So, you see it one time and then you’ll never see it again. A lot of times you’ve got one shot to try to make a good play. That’s why he’s really good. That’s why they’ve had a lot of success. They have good players; but at the same time, he puts those guys in really good position.
On not giving Tom Brady the ball in the second half, and complimentary football:
Well, if we take the ball, you know what’s going to happen at the end of the half right? They’re going to have six minutes left, they’re going to use all of the clock, and then they’re going to get the ball (again) and we’ll be on the sideline and they’ve got a chance to have two scores without us touching the ball. Our defense went three-and-out last time, and we got caught on a fake punt. That’s a prime example of everybody has to do their job. We’ve got to be where we’re supposed to be and when we do have a … It’s complementary football. It’s what they do best. We have to do a better job of it. If we get a three-and-out, we can’t allow a fake punt. That’s where we need to be better.
Quarterback Jay Cutler
On why facing the Patriots is a different challenge:
I think it’s the whole team in general. It’s a very, very smart team. (They are) situationally aware. They do things the right way. I think they tackle well on defense. Their assignments are on point. I think he’s notoriously taken away your number one receiver. He makes you get to two and three. (He) makes you do things that are maybe a little bit out of your comfort zone. I think they do a really good job of keeping things in front of them, making offenses go the long road – three, four or five first downs – to score. We’ve just got to figure it out.
On the Patriots’ weekly approach:
You can’t say, ‘Hey, they’re a Cover 2 team,’ or, ‘Hey, they’re a 3-4 Buzz team.’ That’s not who they are. They’re going to play whatever defense they think gives them the best chance to win. It could be different every week. It could be different this week than what we saw two weeks ago.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
On what he says to Tom Brady when he’s “lying on top of him“:
Since I’m not much of a talker…
After being asked if he doesn’t want to make Tom Brady mad:
I’d love to make him mad. My job is to piss him off and have him yelling at his offensive linemen for not blocking me, his coach and everybody on the sideline. That’s my job.
On past success against the Patriots’ offensive line:
I think the last game we played them, we had some good hits on him and understood what they wanted to do. Personally, I can reach back to some times in Detroit where they actually pulled him from a game. (It was) a preseason game, so maybe it wasn’t that important; but it was important for us just to get a gauge to see where we were at. I’ve had some success against him.
Defensive end Cameron Wake
On fixing past mistakes against the Patriots:
Obviously, next week is going to be a different game. Last time we played them, I feel like we did some things that maybe were a little bit uncharacteristic that allowed those guys to be successful. We’ve got to fix those things moving forward.