Head Coach Mike Vrabel


How key was it to have the defense register six sacks?

It was absolutely huge. For us to go out there and keep battling in all three phases, they never quit. They tried to pick each other up and support each other. When the offense needed a play, the defense was able to come and help. When we made a mistake on offense or we gave up a touchdown on defense, we needed a drive offensively, we needed a big play, our special teams kept us in there and did a great job with field position.

What was the key to registering six sacks without linebackers Bud Dupree and Zach Cunningham?

They probably weren't at 100 percent either. That is how it goes in this league. I know that those guys took advantage of their opportunities. DeMarcus (Walker), Mario (Edwards Jr.), Denico (Autry) and the whole crew played relentless. We were able to get the stop there at the end on fourth down. They battled and they had them running and scrambling.

Has the flea flicker play been in the playbook for awhile or was it added this week?

Some of those you just try to carry and try hit at the right time.

What were the keys to the wide receivers having a productive day?

We just did enough to win the game. There will be a lot of things that we'll have to take a look in all three phases. To be able determine that right now, I don't know if that's fair to anybody. We make sure that when we throw it that we have time to throw, it starts there. It starts with the ability to protect the quarterback. The quarterback making great decisions. Then guys going to make plays. I can't really answer that. I can't honestly answer that right now just coming off the game, being where I was on the sidelines. I thought we had some plays that we made. I'm sure we left some out there.

How important was it to have a productive passing day given they were able to try and stifle running back Derrick Henry?

We had some big plays. Every week everybody is intent on stopping Derrick (Henry). That can go for next Thursday, the Sunday after that and the Sunday after that. We have to get him going. That is obvious. Today was tough sledding. We have to get the back going in unison with the line, make good decisions and all those things.

On if quarterback Ryan Tannehill loosened up as the game went on and found his flow?

I thought he hit some big throws. I thought the throw to Chig (Okonkwo) was a great throw. He layered it. (Austin) Hooper had the penalty and then came back and had the big third-down conversion. That is an example that we try to show the guys, 'Yeah, we would have loved not to flinch there.' But he came back and caught it, broke a couple of tackles and got a first down. That's the message that we always try to send is, 'You're going to make a mistake. Get back centered and try to figure out a way to go make it right.'

What went wrong on the fumble?

We fumbled it. It is critical that we take care of football. That's what went wrong. We just have to take care of the football.

What was it that led to eight rushing attempts in the first half given the rushing identity of this team?

How many plays did we have on offense in the first half? 16? There weren't too many. We were getting behind the chains. I know there were some three-and-outs. Even looking at the second half, we had a nine-yard gain, penalty, nine-yard gain. It was like we were just gaining nine yards in a run and then there was a penalty. We can be at our best if we could start to get in there and complement some runs and play passes. You just have to sustain some drives to be able to get that going. We'll keep looking at it.

How much did special teams help out in this win, punting in particular?

I've told you this for a while, that has got to be a strength of our team. I feel like we have the ability to be the best punt team in the NFL, the way that (Ryan) Stonehouse hits them, and guys are going down there. C.J. Board stepped up today. He got the opportunity to come and help us on special teams and drew a penalty. I noticed Tre Avery - guys get excited because they know the ball is going to be in the air for a long time and they can go down there. We knew that (Montrell) Washington wasn't going to fair catch them and there were going to be some opportunities for everybody to make some plays.

Was there a missed assignment on their long touchdown catch?

We just need to get a guy over the top of them.

Is the team fortunate to win given the penalties accumulated and dropped passes?

We are always fortunate when we win.

What did you see that worked well on the two-minute drive that ended in a touchdown before the half ended?

Ryan (Tannehill) was decisive. We protected him. We got into a good flow. It started with Treylon (Burks) with a little catch-and-run where he just piled through there and was able to get the first down. He put his pads down. We had a penalty-free drive offensively. There are certainly some things that – just referencing calls. We lined up in the neutral zone however many times, jumped offsides. Those are things that we're not coaching, we're not encouraging. Those are things that, going against the elite teams in this league, will probably get you beat.

How much of a bonus is it to win a game where the team did not play their best in all aspects?

It was a long week. We went on the road last Sunday night. They laid it on the line and came up short in overtime on Sunday night. It took us a while to get over that. Then as guys continue to not be available, it felt like at least we were getting ready, and guys were excited to be able to play. That showed at certain times. We just needed to be there the entire time.

How much of a concern was it to not have kicker Randy Bullock healthy?

How much of a concern when you don't have your kicker 10 minutes before the game? A shit ton.

What was the status of Randy Bullock?

He wasn't available.

What was your impression of wide receiver Treylon Burks' return to action?

He had some inconsistency, but he was able to catch a couple of balls. We just have to continue to work him in there. You have to understand how this game is played. It is fast paced. He will continue to work on all the little things, communication with Ryan (Tannehill), how we're subbing him in, and all those little things. We're working him back in. It is just not going to be an every-snap thing.

What does the short week look like from here?

The coaches have tried to do a little bit of preparation on Green Bay. You have to. Hopefully the players can get some rest. We will be in working on our squad meeting tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. We have recovery with them. There is some research in the things that we try to do with them to get them recovered tomorrow and how we try to prepare to go on a short week.

Where do you plan to use wide receiver C.J. Board from here on out?

Today it certainly was. I give Chase (Blackburn) and (Craig) Aukerman a lot of credit. They were excited to insert him in there when a player became unavailable. He did everything he could to take advantage of his opportunities as a returner and also given us some juice out there as a gunner. That is where it started and then we'll see where it progresses offensively.

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