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Head Coach Mike Vrabel


To end the season like this, what does it mean for these players?

Well, I mean I think that they'll be able to give you their emotion, but I think it's—there's a lot of satisfaction to be able to play a game this late in the season that doesn't have playoff implications, division implications for us, and to prepare the way they did, to come out here and compete the way they competed. I always tell you; credit goes to the players. They were the ones that allowed us to run the football, allowed us to give up a play and come back and get stops in the red zone. Told them at halftime, 'Guys, you're the best red zone defense in the league, and we're going to need a stop to win the game.' And that's what they did. All the credit goes to the players, to the coaches for getting them prepared and I'm sure they're excited like everybody else.

You said earlier this week how much you hate to lose. To win and go out this way, how would you describe this one for you?

Well, again, I'm excited for the players that put so much work into it, that work hard, and they get coached and corrected, and for them to be able to come back, and answer, and be successful and help us run the football and score touchdowns. There was just a lot of guys that contributed, and I think that's the biggest thing. That's the thing that we have to remember, is that it's going to take all of us, it's never going to be about one or two players. Got a lot of contributions from different guys. That's probably the most satisfaction I get, is watching everybody contribute to a victory and feel like they helped us win.

What about playing spoiler to Jacksonville and their playoff hopes?

Well again, we like to, hopefully, make it always about us. But certainly, there's a lot of satisfaction in that as well. It's just a lot goes with winning here at home and in the division, which was obviously important.

With Derrick Henry's future uncertain and with Ryan Tannehill having yielded to Will Levis, what is it like to kind of have a throwback game where the two of them were the guys that got it done?

We've leaned on Derrick (Henry), certainly touched on him. His consistency throughout, not only the time that I've been here, but certainly this season and—frustrated. But I'm just proud to coach him. He's a unique and special person, but obviously an unbelievable player. His durability, his leadership is something that I've always appreciated and was on display here today.

You mentioned your red zone defense. The way they bowed up, particularly on that fourth-and-short, he's reaching the ball out, and he was maybe a foot away. How big was that stand?

Well, I mean, we got a great surge inside somebody, I think maybe it was Keondre (Coburn), and there's somebody that we added here towards the back part of the season coming through to make a play, to help contribute to that. Again, we had plenty of mistakes, but we were able to overcome those, and I felt like that was something that continued to show, is that one play, whether it's good or bad, isn't going to dictate this game. We were around there, played consistently throughout and defensively just kept plugging away. Gave up the one X-play and then played it fantastic and challenged there at the end in the two-minute situation.

We talked a lot about the lack of interceptions for the team. You guys got two today. What was the difference in your secondary?

Well, we caught the one that he threw to us. So that one, you start there. The other one, we were able to challenge, and guys ran to the football. So, there you get tipped. But you got to start by catching the ones that they throw you. And whatever mistake they make, you have to be able to capitalize on it. So that was what we did on one of them. Then on the other one, over there challenging on a contested catch and the ball came loose. Saw Azeez (Al-Shaair) running, flying over there, I saw Terrell (Edmunds) running to the football, and then therefore they—Terrell was rewarded.

You talked about wanting to finish the class, finish the season in a classy manner. You wanted to see effort, you wanted to see guys play like they did today?

Of course, that's what we've done and that's what we want to continue to do. And win and be able to win and be able to get off to a good start, and be able to control the football game, and have a two score lead and somewhat put the pressure on them to execute. I thought we would have finished—when we converted, which was a fantastic play by Ryan (Tannehill) to be able to pump it and hold it, not throw it into to (Josh) Allen, and then a fantastic job by Kyle (Philips) to kind of get in there behind guys, and then the pile-push that we talk about and show every week and how critical that is at that point in time. So, I thought we were going to finish it off and that didn't happen. But then, we were able to get the punt off, cover the punt well, and just great complementary football and did a great job of situational play. Got them backed up down there—or we're backed up—and we hard count, gets us off the goal line. Those are all things that when we're operating and we're functioning and winning, those are all the things that we're doing positively and not the other way around.

When you hear the fans chant for Derrick Henry and you have Ryan Tannehill out on the field, is there any temptation to have a curtain call moment on that last drive or just kind of let the game end?

We're really just trying to focus—I'll give those guys as much credit as I possibly can. That wasn't any disrespect to them at all. Wanted to run it more times with Derrick (Henry), we could have—that's what he's earned that right.

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