Dolphins 23, Browns 10 - Thoughts from the locker rooms

Dolphins 23, Browns 10 - Thoughts from the locker rooms

Below are postgame quotes from the Browns-Dolphins Week 1 game on Sept. 8.

Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski 

Opening statement:
"Obviously that was a disappointing game and a tough start. We came into the game feeling good about the plans that we had. I think the guys battled extremely hard. There were points in the game where I thought we were going to get over the hump but we weren't able to do it.  It is one game, and that's our focus and that's what I talked to the guys about afterwards. We will learn from this and we will move on. There is a lot of football left to be played this season and we will approach it one game at a time like we have. We have got a big game coming up in the division against Baltimore next week. I think there were some positives.  In getting out here, the fans were great today. They were loud and they were awesome out there today. Getting the chance to be with them and being home was great. I thought we were able to do a good job against the run today, against Miami's run offense. I think we were able to get pressure on the quarterback. I thought that from a resiliency standpoint, the guys battled. I thought that the drive at the end of the second quarter just before the half was a big drive for us and I was hoping we would take that into the second half there but unfortunately we weren't able to win it in the second half. Some of the things that were issues were the third downs. Offensively and defensively, they were able to convert and we weren't able to convert. At times there was too much pressure on the quarterback and that was an issue the whole day. We had some opportunities whether it was a tipped pass or a dropped pass, we had some opportunities. There were three turnovers in the first half that we were able to overcome and get the lead at halftime, but those were obviously things that set us back in some of the drive opportunities that we had. 

On if Brandon Weeden's accuracy was an issue today:
"I think the one to Travis (WR Benjamin), we had a shot on. The other one, I thought was a good throw at least that went off of Greg's (WR Little) hands. Then the one was a little bit behind Jordan (TE Cameron) from what I saw. I'll look at the film and look at the tape." 

On Miami's pass rush in today's game:
"Miami has an outstanding front. Between the pressure packages and the guys they have up front, we knew all week long and prepared and talked about that group was going to be important for us to handle their pressure. We did at times and other times we didn't. You can't point to just one guy, but they were able to get good pressure and affect Brandon's throws." 

On having concerns with the secondary:
"We gave up the long ball today. They had, as the game went on, got a few more passes down the field. We'll just have to keep working and keep improving."

On pulling OL Oniel Cousins:
"Well he's the best we have and he's going to get the job done for us. I'm confident. Again its one game and Oniel will make the improvements and he will get better and we will move on."

On overall assessment of QB Brandon Weeden:
"I'll need to go see it and go see the tape on that to really give you an accurate assessment of that. We'll look at it. I think he was harassed quite a bit. A lot of throws were altered. We'll look at how his reads were and those types of things and go through it and make the corrections tomorrow."

On penalties in the game:
"Obviously you want it to be efficient and that was the hope. I think some of the guys were really excited about playing and amped up. We just needed to calm down a bit earlier on.  I thought we were settling in. It just seemed like at any inopportune time there was a mistake or a penalty or negative play that really set those drives back.  And give credit to Miami, I thought they did a great job today."

On RB Trent Richardson's slow second half:
"He came out, we had some good holes.  He was able to hit them.  I thought he ran extremely hard.  We'll just have to look and see what happened as the game went on in terms of that."

On if he intended to throw more in the fourth quarter:
"How games go is going to dictate that sometimes.  When you're trying to play from behind, you're going to throw the ball a little bit more.  If you're playing with the lead, then you have a chance to run it a little bit more.  As things are happening you have to adjust to the game as well, if things are working, if things are going good from that standpoint.  That's constantly changing throughout the course of the game.

On how close he came to challenging the TE Jordan Cameron touchdown catch:
"It wasn't challengeable.  The whistle had blown.  That's what I was told."

On OL Mitchell Schwartz struggling against Miami DE Cameron Wake:
"It wasn't just Mitchell.  Whether it was chips or lining a guy up or a tight end helping, it wasn't just Mitchell.  We just didn't do a good enough job on Cameron Wake today."

Browns Players

QB Brandon Weeden:

On the loss

"We didn't play well enough, missed too many opportunities.  Not the way we drew it up."

On his 2 interceptions on deflected passes off his receiver's hands

"I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the film.  I didn't see any of them, I actually got hit on both of them.  The one with Jordan [Cameron], I threw that ball behind him, the wind took it behind him.  That one was on me.  Not sure on the one [Greg] Little had, I never saw the replay.  We will have to wait and see tomorrow."

On the pressure from the Dolphins' defense

"I told you guys during the week, that's a good front. They get after the passer.  They create havoc, they played well.  Our offensive line is good, I'm extremely thrilled to have those guys in front of me.  I wouldn't trade them for anybody.  We are all going to learn from this.  There is no reason to point any fingers.  We just have to get better as a unit and execute better and do the things we are coached to do."

On how he feels he played

"Obviously, I had some missed opportunities. I felt like I did some good things.  It's hard to look back on a game you lose and really think you played half-way decent, it's just tough to do.  I felt like I stood in there and continued to battle, even though things weren't going our way and I played four quarters.  I need to watch the tape.  There were some good things, obviously some throws I'd like to have back and do a couple things different, but that's every game."

On the first drive

"We had great first few plays.  We were rolling pretty good.  Travis [Benjamin] on a deep ball, I'm going to take a shot.  I thought I threw a good ball.  I never saw the complete play, again I got hit.  It was one-on-one, I like him running past anyone, he's got that speed. Just taking a shot, being aggressive.  That's what we are going to do and, unfortunately, they came down with it."

Browns Players

DL Billy Winn:
On not getting enough pressure on Tannehill in the second half

"We didn't execute how we wanted to. We had a really good game plan, but it just came down to us not executing on both sides of the ball. We weren't able to get after him, but we're going to go back and fix those mistakes. Then next week we'll come back firing."

On what was working when they were able to get pressure on Tannehill

"When you're able to get pressure on him, it helps our corners out because that forces him to throw the ball up there. We were able to get one turnover today and it takes a lot of stress off of our secondary when you can get pressure on the quarterback. It makes us happy as a defensive line."

On filling in for Ahtyba Rubin on the defensive line

"I just approach it like every game, this is the NFL and guys are going to get hurt. It's the next man, the next guy to go and carry the flag."

DL Desmond Bryant

On the defense breaking down as the game went on because of possibly being over-worked

"That is definitely not the case. We missed a couple of assignments in the second half, but we'll go look at the tape tomorrow and get those corrected. We'll be ready for Baltimore next week."

On Miami only having 21 rushing yards on 20 carries

"We just had a great defense against the run game. If we would have picked up more assignments in the passing game, we could have pulled out a win. We have to get back in the film room, see what we did and come back out ready to play next week."

On Tannehill being so successful in the passing game in spite of the pressure

"He's a quarterback in the NFL and he is going to make plays. It's not like he won't complete any passes. They have a good team and they made good plays. Unfortunately, he didn't execute as much as wanted to, but I think we did a pretty good job for the most part. Next week we'll be ready to go."

Browns Players

DB Joe Haden:
On what it's like losing the home opener:

"It's not a good feeling at all, but we have a division to win. We can't just sit here and be all salty and cry about it. We have the Ravens coming up. We have to prepare for Baltimore."

On seeming upset about not getting the interception:

"No, I just dropped it. Of course, I'm a ball player; I want to catch the ball. It's just this opportunity I dropped the ball."

On whether or not there were no pass attempts to Wallace in the first half because of his coverage or the defense's pressure:

"It was a little bit of both. I was on him. Like I always talk about, our front – they're getting up there. They're getting pressure, making plays, making sacks, hitting the quarterback – just getting him uncomfortable."

RB Trent Richardson

On missing Josh Gordon in the game:

"We missed him a lot out there. There were a lot of opportunities for guys out there to step up and make plays. Josh Gordon is a big part of our offense; at the same time, you can't come out here and lose. We need to fight for him and we need to fight for ourselves. So when he does come out here, he's going to be a better man."

On if this game felt like last year:

"It actually didn't. In the third and fourth quarter, we were still fighting. We fought every play. It didn't go the way we wanted it to, but that's football. Out there, it's man against man. We just have to step up and be a better man like that."

Browns Players

RT Mitchell Schwartz:
on the proficiency of the Browns offense
"You know it's one of those things against a great D-Line like that.  You want to get up ahead so you can be able to be more balanced and do some different things.  We weren't efficient enough in the first three quarters to get that done." 

On what he thinks about Cameron Wake

"Yes, he's obviously a good player, his resume speaks for itself when going into the game. He's a good player, [I] just have to do a better job against him.  Try to execute a game plan based on what I saw in the film, and [I] just didn't do a good enough job of it."

On what makes Cameron Wake so hard to block

"He's just really good at what he does, he's got different moves, it's not just the same thing.  You know he's strong, he is able to get into you and he's also able to do some things off you.  He has, obviously, the quickness and the power as well."

TE Jordan Cameron

On the frustrating day him and the offense today

"Yes, it was very frustrating like you said. We couldn't really get it going and it's a game of runs. We just needed to try and get some stuff going together but it didn't really happen.  That's why it was kind of stale sometimes and we really just needed to get the ball rolling and make some plays.  It happens like that and there is a lot of stuff that we can learn from this game and move forward for next week."

On what can he can do to help with all the pressure from the other team's defensive line

"You can chip, a lot of chip work with the tight ends and you can help with the running backs and stay in on a lot of different types of protection.  You can use it to keep them (quarterbacks) safe, but they have a really good defensive line and it showed today."

On his thoughts on the second quarter touchdown catch

"Yes, that was a great throw by Brandon, that was all him.  He threw it to a spot where no one else could get it."

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin 

Opening statement
"I thought it was a good team win out there today. It's always difficult to win on the road, there is no doubt about it. I thought we made the plays we had to make to win the game. Obviously, we have a lot to work on, in which we will start right away."

On pass rushing defense:

"We felt good about the matchups going into the ball game. The guys played hard up front. [Defensive Coordinator] Kevin (Coyle) did a good job as well as the defense. We had a couple blitzes that were effective and we kept changing it up a little bit. I thought overall it was good."

On Cameron Wake's performance:

"He loves football. He goes to work every day. He's obviously a skilled player. He's got good athletic talent. He likes the game and he works at it. You are happy to see a guy have that type of production who works as hard as he does."

On three interceptions in the first half:

"I thought our guys did a good job. We were able to win the turnover margin which is something we have been preaching and talking about for a long time. It's going to be important for the way we are right now as a football team."

On having any concern of having a poor rushing game:

"Yeah. I think we averaged under one yard per carry. It's not a good way to live in the National Football League. We have to have balance and obviously we did not have that today and we need to do a better job. There is no question about it."

On overall fourth quarter performance:

"I thought our guys were resilient. I thought at the end of the first half we played relatively well coming out of the gate. At the end of the second quarter, things were a little choppy. We had a couple penalties here and there. They took the lead and I thought our guys showed some resolve, some toughness and just kept playing, which was good to see."

On Ryan Tannehill getting into a groove in the second half:

"That was part of it, certainly, that was part of it. There is no doubt about it. The starting point of every passing game is protection. We have to do a better job."

On Tannehill's second half performance:

"First glance, I thought he played pretty well."

On the final drive being needed last year to win more games:

"I don't have a crystal ball in my gut. We had a lot of similar games and it is not uncommon to have a lot of games to be decided in the fourth quarter. It is something we have talked about. We need to play well in the fourth quarter."

On the wide receiver performance:

"I thought the ball went to the right place a vast majority of the time based on the coverages that we got. We dropped a couple passes. We need to do better on catching the football. I thought those guys played well."

On Brandon Gibson being an important part to the offense:

"Everybody is. All 11 guys that step out there on the offense are important."

On Dimitri Patterson playing well before his injury:

"He did a nice job. He prepared well during the course of the week. He had a good week of practice. It was good to see him make some plays."

On secondary playing aggressive:

"You credit Kevin and his staff. They keep talking about it and preaching it. The hope and expectation in coaching is that the things you emphasize and spend time at, you don't have all day to coach these guys, you hope they show up on tape."

On the message told to his team during halftime:

"I told them we have to keep our poise, composure, keep playing one play at a time and display the resiliency that I know they have."

Dolphins Players

QB Ryan Tannehill:
On the difference between the two halves
" It was a combination of things, they came out and played a little differently than we expected to. First game of the year, we didn't know exactly how they were going to play us. We knew the coordinator from last year but they kept 'base' on the field when we went 'zebra personnel' and that was the change-up that we weren't really expecting coming into the game. So it took a little bit to get adjusted to that. I feel like once we did the offensive line did a good job in the second half picking up their pressures and handling the rush and we were able to get the ball outside and complete the ball down field."

On managing the game and the second touchdown drive
" I think so, that's what any quarterback's job is to get the ball in the end zone. It felt really good, we got into a rhythm, Coach Sherman was dialing up great plays, and we were able to execute them on the field. We finally got into a comfort zone and took advantage of what they were giving us. The receivers did a good job catching the ball, the offensive line protected well, and then Daniel (Thomas) finished it off with a nice little leap into the end zone."

On if there were any adjustments before the second touchdown drive
"It was big, I told them when we got into that huddle this was a big time drive for us, we've got to put points on the board and we've got a good chance of winning this game. I don't remember exactly how far it was, about 85 yards or so, and it was huge. It put that game at ten points, took a lot of time off the clock, and left us in a good position to win."

DE Cameron Wake:
On the different defensive game plans
"We kept some cards in our back pocket throughout the pre-season. But when we started this off-season , we looked at our room and we know we have a lot of guys that can do a lot of things pretty well - so not being able to just always line up and do the same thing . We have guys who can stand up, guys that can drop, rush the middle, rush the outside. I mean all the guys have athletic ability to do a lot of things, so keeping the offense guessing and being able to focus on some things out there I think will help our whole team."

On getting off to a good start
"I guess it's kind of cliché to already talk about must-win games but it was that feeling. Coming off of, as all you guys know, so much surrounding all the roster moves. 103 different roster moves and all the new additions and things like that, the expectations were very high. I think the expectations in the locker room are higher than any expectation on the outside. Just to go out there and start off fast, get out in front, and do the things we talked about doing on the field, make plays and have the team start off in the right direction."

On responding in the second half
"You know what, this league is a crazy league. Obviously, those guys get paid too and every game is not going to be one of those games you go out and just blow out. You look at the stats from games, and most or 50% of the games are a touchdown or less. You have to go out there regardless of the situation and do your job. You have faith in the offense they're going to do their jobs, faith in special teams that they're going to do theirs. Just see what happens and they came up and made big plays when it mattered. Go out there and close the game out and that's kind of the way it's usually written." 

Dolphins Players

WR Brian Hartline:
On thoughts on the game:

"I just try to do my part. I think we started off slow as an offense. We could have definitely gotten off to a better start. I was just there when the team needed us to move the chains and to move the ball. I had the opportunity to make a big play and was able to do it."

On the touchdown clinching drive:

"I think it was just a situation where we knew we just needed to have it. I wish we would have done it earlier in the game but it was a situation where we needed to make some plays. Ryan [Tannehill] did a good job of placing the ball and the offensive line did a good job of protecting. We just started to gel. I know Brian Gibson had a few catches and the ball was moved around. That's really where we want to be the majority of the time."

C Mike Pouncey

On Ryan Tannehill having more time to throw in the second half:

"We don't really pay attention to it until we watch the film the next day. We obviously have to keep our quarterback up on his feet and we can't give up those kinds of sacks. We just have to play better up front."

On being down 7-6 at the half with three turnovers:

"It was tough. When our defense plays like that our offense has to go out there and score points off those turnovers. The defense did a really good job of keeping us in the game. Caleb Sturgis also did a really good job of making those field goals. It was a team win today, but our offense has to play better."

On rating the offensive line overall:

"I don't know. We'll have to watch the film. When you rush for 20 yards, it isn't what you thought you were going to do. We have to go out and play a lot better."

DE Dion Jordan

On getting a sack in his first game:

"It was good. I was working for it. I knew the coaches were going to give me opportunities toward the end of the game. I just had to make the most out of it. My expectations were to get out there and to get after the quarterback and do whatever else they needed me to do to make sure we win."

On valuing the opportunity to get on the field:

"I say that for any guy that plays this game, you have to respect the game. Anytime you cross those lines, you have to give it your all and give 110 percent. Whatever they need me to do, I'm going to go out there and do the job."