Coach Whisenhunt's Wednesday Practice Transcript



(on Marcus Mariota's ability to shake off negative publicity)

I think it all goes back to what he's gone through, obviously, growing up and in college. There's a lot of attention and a lot of everything that goes with winning a Heisman in a high-profile program. You've got to learn how to deal with a lot of different things.  I certainly agree with you, I think he does have that capacity and he handles it very well.

(on if it is new for Marcus Mariota to have to deal with negative attention)

I don't know as much about that. I know his last year he didn't. But he works, he prepares. He controls the things that he can control. He's getting better, as we feel like our team is, and that's what's important.

(on what he knows about Miami's interim head coach Dan Campbell)

Not a lot. I know of him. I know he was a good football player. From playing that position and being a little familiar with that position through the years, I've heard a lot of good things about him.

(on what his first game as a head coach was like)

We had the second Monday night game, so it was on a big stage. I think you always get the butterflies before a game like that with the excitement of it. I don't remember too much of the night, other than it was a close game.

(on Ndamukong Suh and whether an interim head coach will put more pressure on the defense to step up)

Yeah, I don't know. I don't know what they're doing in Miami, scheme-wise or with the team. (Ndamukong) Suh was one of the most highly-recruited free-agents out there, and it was certainly justified. He's a good football player. He's a big guy that's very athletic, so I know that he's certainly someone that we have to contend with when he comes in here.

(on if he worried about hits after the play and jawing from the Dolphins as they look to set a tone)

Well we just had a game last week that was supposed to be like that. If that's the case, it is, our team's going to go in there with the same approach that we've been going into it. We're going to be ready, go out there and play a physical game and try to make one more play; finish a game off and get a win.

(on addressing the team's frustration)

Well, I mean it's not fun. I don't think there are any issues with our team. All you can do is get back to work and prepare. I think they all know that we're close. I think sometimes it is frustrating because you know that you're one or two plays away from getting a win, and that makes it tough. But it doesn't change anything now. It's a normal cycle that you go through. It's tough on Sundays, but you get past that and start working on the next opponent.

(on the progress of Dorial Green-Beckham)

He's working. I think there's no substitute for experience. You're trying to put him in there so he'll get some experience and continue to grow. Obviously, I think a couple plays in the end zone, catching a couple passes goes a long ways towards establishing that. He's doing a good job. We'll continue to do things with him as he gets more comfortable with the offense. We feel like he's going to be a big part of it.

(on if it helps Dorial Green-Beckham to shorten the field or play in the red zone)

No, I mean he's certainly capable of running and making a big catch down the field. That's what you see a lot from the tape of him in college. It's really not so much about the actual physical part of it. It's really just knowing your splits, knowing where to go, doing all the different adjustments that you have to do when you get to this level. It's something that a lot of times, you have to experience, because you can prepare all you want in practice, but game-speed and what you're going against on game day is a lot different.

(on how Justin Hunter needs to react to not completing plays like the last play of Buffalo game)

I think a lot of times what gets lost is, he makes good plays and he does good things in the game. Sometimes, some of these plays that we have success, just because he's not getting the ball doesn't mean he's not a part of that. Obviously, that last play was disheartening in a lot of areas, but you have to move on. You've got to come out here and get back to work and try to prevent those things from happening.

(on if they will see more of the unexpected from Miami, given their new head coach)

Yeah, I would say so. They had a bye week so there's been a lot of talk about that for eight or nine days now. They've got some high-profile players on that team and whenever you make a change like they did, there's a lot of talk about it. So we don't really know what we're going to see, what to expect, just have to prepare as best as you can.

(on what some of the keys are when playing with a lead)

Not give up third-and-23, 24. That's one of them. I think, honestly, you just have to keep doing what you're doing, not be too wrapped up in what the score of the game is and go through the process of continuing what you're doing on both sides of the ball.

(on if giving up leads is a mental hurdle the team needs to overcome)

Well it didn't happen a lot last year. I think if you go through and look at this league, there is a normal process that teams go through with that, especially when you have a lot of change like we've had here. The only way you can get through it is to get a win, make a play in those situations, and try to learn from that. We're close, like we keep continuing to say. But I said the same thing, it doesn't mean anything until we get a win, until we get rolling, that's what we have to do.

(on if he sees any indication of guys trying too hard, pressing or thinking about things too much)

I don't, I don't see that. We don't really have a history of losing leads and those kinds of situations with this group. So I don't know that that's really an issue. It's really, if you look at all the games that have come down on Sundays, a lot of them come down to the end of the games. Look at the Monday night game, came down to the last play. The Sunday night game was the same thing. That's what this league is about. There's always a team that makes a play and wins and there's a team that loses. Unfortunately, we've come out on the short end a couple of times, but that doesn't mean that we aren't going to win our share either. That's the way you have to approach it. We've just got to be better about making one more play. If we can make one more play, get one more play, we're going to win our share of games.

(on if making that one more play is a mental or physical thing)

Well, I mean I think probably both, probably a little bit of both. When you have guys that have done it, there's obviously a confidence there. But that doesn't mean because you don't have guys that have done it that you don't feel that way. Every situation is different. I don't feel like our team isn't confident when we get into those situations. We've got players that have made plays. We often do it as a group. That's really what it comes down to, and once we do it, I think that we'll be good.

(on maintaining confidence when they have lost a lead two weeks in a row)

You can just look at the tape, look at the plays. You can see that if you take a couple of plays out of the game, it's a different game. Obviously, we make mistakes. That happens. We're humans. There were a lot of good plays. Everyone wants to focus on the negative plays that we make, but when we as a team look at it, you see a lot of good. Why would you not be optimistic? Why would you not be upbeat? I'm talking about us. I'm talking about our team, and our players, and our coaches. When we sit in there and we watch 70 plays and you've got 60 of them that are really good, it's not hard to be encouraged by what you see. It's not hard to go out and practice and go into a game and expect to win. You guys want to talk about one, or two, or three, or four plays, and rightfully so, we've got to make those plays, but that's not all that we see or we talk about.


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