Head Coach Mike Vrabel


How important was it to be able to stack up 24 points in the first half?

It was amazing. It was great. That is what the expectations are. We converted there at the end where we were able to get a stop, punt and get some points. That's kind of what we were looking for. We wanted to take the ball, went down, scored and then just could never get anything going in the second half. The momentum really just switched, and they were able to convert, hit X-plays or whatever it may be. We have to finish better. I love the way they competed and fought. I'll give the Raiders a lot of credit, but I got to give our guys a lot of credit too.

Did you sense a different sense of urgency or aggressiveness from running back Derrick Henry running the ball today?

I think that's just what we expect. Ryan (Tannehill) did a nice job of getting him the football when they got out of there. Derrick (Henry) was able to secure it, turn and pick up some nice yardage. When we were able to check it down to him, I thought he ran hard and I thought he ran with purpose. That is what the expectations are for us with Derrick and for Derrick with himself. I know that he wants to be that type of player.

How good does it feel to find a way to make a play?

Find a way to make a play. They did. Give them a lot of credit for the way they competed. A couple of times we had it, but in this game it's not over. Even (Austin) Hooper going out there to get the football on the onside kick is huge as well. But Dylan (Cole) was able to make a play there at the end. Just a couple weeks ago he probably wishes he could have made a play on that same opportunity as that play. It was cool to see him be able to tip that ball and help us win.

How big was safety Kevin Byard's interception in the red zone?

It was a good change up to change the look up on them. Just try to get it back there and we're lucky that they tipped it up and we had some bodies there. Those are big. Being able to stop them in the red zone was a huge part of today.

What in particular was the difference in the in the second half for the offense?

We will just have to look. We kind of got behind the chains a little bit and they brought some different looks. We had to be anticipating some things would change at halftime. We just weren't able to make productive plays on first down and extend some drives. Then the turnover there, but we battled through.

What does it take to have that the kind of defensive red zone success that the team displayed?

It takes some discipline. We kind of had who we had. We were trying to take a couple of guys away, we did that. To be able to get down in the red zone, force some turnovers and not panic was fantastic. We held them to just some field goals and got a turnover. It is going to go a long way this year if we can play red zone defense like that.

What did you see from defensive back Terrance Mitchell during the week that convinced you that you could rely on him as much as you did?
That's just the approach that we took last week and prepared him. We will have to see what it looks like this week. Every week is a different week. We have got to find some guys that can go out there, cover, challenge and compete. We'll keep searching and we've got some guys here that we will give another look to this week.

Are you looking for more confidence from cornerback Caleb Farley? Did you not see what you wanted to see?

We are just trying to get guys ready to play in the game, and just trying to get everybody ready on a short turnaround after what happened in Buffalo. We were just getting back and making sure that we decided who we were going to go with and then get them ready with the limited amount of reps. We will evaluate this week.

Did you like the way the defense played or what did you not like?

Just the X-plays, the deep penalties, the fourth-down conversions. It is really good, and then it's really not very good. We have to figure out what that is, if we're relaxing or what. There are some opportunities in there where it looks like defense, and it looks like we know what we're doing. Then other times there are lapses and we have to eliminate the lapses.

When you get that rushing attack going the way you did, how much does that help make play action?

It does and it helps for protection. It helps stopping these guys. We knew it would be a challenge. We have a lot of respect for Maxx (Crosby) and Chandler (Jones) and everybody over there. For the most part our guys held up and really did a nice job taking care of Ryan (Tannehill). The other time he did a nice job stepping up and finding Nick Westbrook(-Ikhine) on a big conversion.

How good was it to get wide receiver Robert Woods going early because it almost seemed like you passed first in order to be able to run.

There were sometimes there where we just stayed balanced early. I felt like there was a lot of opportunities there. Todd (Downing), Tim (Kelly), and Keith (Carter) put together the run plan. Give those guys the credit on a short week, especially getting back late. Things kind of complemented each other. Now we will have to get back and figure out ways to duplicate that going forward and especially in the second half.

How big of a loss was tackle Taylor Lewan for the season and what did you see from offensive lineman Dennis Daley this week getting all those reps?

Dennis (Daley) was in on the second play of the game. He did a nice job last week against Buffalo. We need everybody. Every injury is a loss but it's also an opportunity for somebody else. I'm sure Dennis had some plays he would like back but he competed. I know we'll continue to work with him and get him into our program.

How valuable was it to see quarterback Ryan Tannehill getting the ball out fast with his decision making?

Being decisive against a good front is important. I thought the receivers for the most part were pretty decisive. They had some separation and then helped us in the run game. You can't sit there and hold it all day, but I thought that there was a good plan to take away those guys and give us a chance to throw the football.

Was there anything in particular that led you to throw the ball to Derrick Henry so often today?

It just was there. Ryan (Tannehill) was just doing a nice job of taking what was there. They were getting out there and the umbrella was opening. We have had other games where that happens and so staying disciplined and getting it there. Those are huge plays and Derrick (Henry) just catches it and gets going forward, falls forward, and takes care of the football. Then, you're looking at nine yards.

How much could a win maybe help the build momentum?

It'll just help everybody. Losing sucks, especially when you're used to winning and you have high expectations. I'm excited for the players. I really am. They probably deserved one earlier in the season and we didn't end up with it. You only get what you fight for in this league. I thought they fought for today. I'm happy for them.

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