Head Coach Mike Vrabel


Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020

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(On if this is a workman-like bounce-back win for his team) "We didn't start the game in Cleveland particularly well and we talked all week just trying to recreate that sense of urgency in the second half; the belief we were going to win the football game, but we didn't, and came up short. I felt like our team, to their credit, came back week of practice. (We) played the game exactly how we wanted to. (There) was a lot of great individual efforts and we were really just able to close it out there in the way that we did."

(On if there is a lot to be learned by this win, or get in and get out) "Every time we come to work there is something to be learned from practice or game. Whether you win or lose, there is a lot to be learned from about where you execute the keys and do a good job. There are certain things in situations that we do and taking advantage of things they did, mistakes that we can clean up or fix. We will do that after a win and a loss."

(On how important is was to keep composure when they were up only 7-3) "I think our team really settled down there. We went for it in the red zone and I thought we could catch them. To their credit, they made a really nice play and that falls on me and the ability not to get it. Defensively we came back and got stops. On the punt team, Amani [Hooker] did a great job executing the fake. Complementary football, getting the stop there at the end of the half, throwing our two passes and using our timeout. We got a (intentional) grounding; all those things add up in helping you win football games. Coming out in the second half and doubling them up in the manner which we did."

(On how important the points were in the second half and the later clock management at half) "Roby [Derick Roberson] I think forced the intentional grounding. (We) wanted to take the penalty. (We) had the opportunity to decline the 10-second runoff that would come with it to give us 19 seconds. They hit a great punt. But then Corey [Davis] and Ryan [Tannehill] hooked up and Corey got out of bounds. We felt like we were right where we needed to be with five seconds in a down, down, timeout situation. (We) got inside and got down on the ground and called timeout, then Stephen [Gostkowski] being able to execute it then come out in the second half and score. Those are tough to overcome. They chose to take the ball to start the game and converted a few third downs, but we got a stop and blocked a kick."

(On keeping the team motivated week-to-week) "I am not the best person for keeping things loose. But I think they come to work with an attitude to work and they understand it's a grind in this league to sustain. Each and every week we find out who is healthy, guys take advantage of their opportunities. I'm proud of Ty Smith and what he was able to do. We played a lot of guys in this football game and there were other guys who took advantage of their opportunity. The way we handle our meetings in the bubble now, the environment which we are working under, I'm proud of our guys the way they can come in each and every day to learn and prepare."

(On Derrick Henry asking to stay in and his managing his workload) "The conversation with Derrick and I went really well. (He said) I will do whatever for the team and that is what he will always do. There were others who brought it to my attention that he was close to 200 yards. I gave him one opportunity. He took advantage of it. He is about the team and cares about the team. He puts himself in a position each and every week to be ready to go, to carry this team, and we are thankful.

"I think you try to get a feel and look at possessions. We gave up the one score there early. We got some other stops, defensively, and I felt like that three-score game that we could get some guys some other work."

(On Malcom Butler's play) "I don't think it has been perfect the entire year. I think Malcom has had some ups and downs that he would admit to, but he was focused, and he really bounced back well. He stays focused, he kept his eyes on his guy, he challenged, played by the rules, he found the ball on the deep ball and was able stay on top of the post and make a play when they threw it down there on him."

(On if he wanted be aggressive in play-calling today or if the defense allowed them to do it) "I think that's how we want to play the game. I think when you ask the players to come out and be ready to go, to play fast and aggressive, finish fast, finish strong, it kind of has to reflect that. We are trying not to be wreckless. We got a favorable look on the punt team. Flea-flicker, two guys made a play. AJ [Brown] made a play with plenty of protection because they were in man-coverage; it's just two guys making a play."

(On how much Malcom Butler did to help set the tone for the secondary) "I think it takes them off the rhythm a little bit when you can disrupt some passes and get them into some 3rd-and-longer situations. That may change each and every week. They tried Ty down there on a double move, we had pressure on, Ty started square and on top and it was a big stop. Those were nice to see down there to get some stops in the red zone when they were gaining some yards in the extended two-minute drill."

(On if it was the most complete effort of the season) "That's for you to decide. I really like how we came out and tried to execute some of the keys (to the game). I thought we would get some more funky formations in special teams with some reverses that we didn't get, but I thought we were ready for them. We got into drives offensively. Defensively, we did a nice job on third down to eliminate next plays for the most part. (They) had a run that was unfortunate and a couple of passes."

(On the team's fifth straight winning season) "I think it just says we have nine wins, and we have a long way to go. We're going to have to go back to work and try to get our 10th win and keep moving from there."

(On the blocked field goal and how important it was to get off the field with no points there) "Huge. The field was slippery, it was soft. We probably got some push and he slipped and kick it low and we got a hand on it. Anytime you can force them to kick field goals and they miss them, or we block them, those are good things for us."

(On if it was his intention to get AJ Brown involved early to help from last week) "He fumbled the ball twice. I mean, you come back and take care of the football. The quarterback has the ability to throw it to whomever he wants. The only thing he can control is if he can get open, and the quarterback picks and choses who he throws to. On that particular play he felt like everybody was singled up and he felt like AJ could go up and make a play, which he did. There was protection that was great. We got into some plays early and we just wanted to get that first, first down. Just happened to throw it there but Derrick obviously is going to be a large part of what we're going to do going forward."

(On if he can appreciate a big performance by Henry or if he is caught up in the game) "I appreciate his attitude. I appreciate his leadership and his willingness to do what is best for the team. He cares a lot about everybody, coaches and players. He wants to try to please everybody. He puts himself in a position each and every week to be ready to carry that load. I couldn't be happier for anybodys success."

(On what needs to be done for his team to continue finishing games like today) "Every week is a different week. Every week is a new opponent and that is what makes this league great; it's competitive. It's just a challenge each and every week. Detroit is going to have really good plays and schemes that we will have to prepare for. You can really never take a lull. You can really never step back and feel like you have arrived. Nine game will not have won us anything in this league, so it will be important to get healthy and get back to it."