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Game Vs. Dolphins: Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell


Opening remarks:

CAMPBELL: "Well that was a heck of win. Those guys fought all the way to the very end. It wasn't always pretty, but I'll tell you what, they bounced back. I'm proud of them."   

On what was going through his mind when the team fell behind 16-3:

CAMPBELL:"Just we need to get some momentum back. That's what was on my mind. To me the biggest change earlier in this game was the blocked punt. That was a huge play for us and you could feel the momentum swing back in our favor. I think it gave us a little breath of life and the ability to continue to fight."   

 On the defense stepping up, especially DT Ndamukong Suh and S Reshad Jones:

CAMPBELL:"I'll tell you what, when you get in games like this and it's a dogfight, your impact players, you need them to step up and make impact plays and ours did today. There were plenty of mistakes to go around, but [DT Ndamukong] Suh, he stepped up. He gets a tackle for a loss. He gets a sack. He creates a holding call. He did so much for us. And [S] Reshad Jones steps up. I mean there are so many guys, I can go down the list, but those guys stepped up and made plays when we needed them the most. Defensively, yeah, we put up some numbers. But I'll tell you what, we bent a little, but we didn't break. We had a number of injuries and guys stepped up, some of our young guys stepped up and filled in and I'm proud of the way they fought."       

 On what he told the team at halftime:

CAMPBELL:"I told them that we had a little taste of what they were doing now. Defensively, we know what their tempo is. We know how they are trying to get to us. We understand what their game plan is. And let's go stop them. We understood what we needed to do. And offense, it was, 'Defense, you know what it tastes like, put a stop to it. Offense, you get the ball back, you have to go down.' I really thought the defense stepped up in the second half and made some big plays for us and ultimately it wasn't pretty, but offense, defense and special teams all stepped up when we needed them. Offense made some plays early in the game. Defense played pretty good in the second half, enough to keep them off the boards. Special teams came up with a big 'ol play. It was just a team effort. We used the whole roster today, by the way."      

On the key to stopping the running game:

CAMPBELL:"I think penetration. Getting lined up and penetration. There again, we knew what they were going to try and do. And the most important thing is you get the call in, you get lined up and you go. That way you can fill in your gaps. That's where they get a lot of people. They're trying to get the signal from the sideline, they're trying to figure out, okay are we under or over, where do I fit, where do I not fit? By that time, the ball is snapped and you're not in the gap you need to be in or you're late getting to it. It doesn't take much in this league. If you're late by a half a count, that's where the ball goes and you get explosive runs. So they did a good job."             

On QB Ryan Tannehill bouncing back in the second half:

*CAMPBELL: *"There again, he took some shots early that we didn't want him to take. I mean some hits. Normally if you let your quarterback get hit early in the game, he's not always going to be as good, but I did think he bounced back. We tried to run the ball a little bit. For me, I would always like to run it more and a little better than we do. That's just how I am. But I felt like it was just enough to make them honor it. We had some playaction passes. We did have some big plays. [WR] Rishard Matthews stepped up big for us. [WR] Jarvis Landry made a big catch when we needed it. At the end of the day, these guys just didn't stop. They would not stop."  

On how big the absence of CB Brent Grimes was:

*CAMPBELL: *"When we arrived last night, he was not feeling well. So as of this morning we felt like – we gave him some IVs, some fluids – we felt like he was going to play. We came in this morning with the intention that he would play, but he was not able to."  

On losing other defensive players as well:

*CAMPBELL: *"[CB] Bobby McCain, [CB] Zack Bowman, [CB] Tony Lippett. So a lot of our young guys stepped up."

On seeing the depth of the team in the young players:

*CAMPBELL: *"They showed up today. Particularly on that side of the ball, some of those guys got in a tough situation. The bulk of your NFL games that you're going to play in as a rookie, for a lot of these guys – at least three or four of these guys – you probably wouldn't pick it to be Philly because of the up-tempo, getting lined up.  You know what, they went in there and they competed. It wasn't always perfect, but I mean they went in there and they fought and they gave us a chance."      

On whether the decision was made to hold Grimes out during warm-ups:

*CAMPBELL: *"No, it was before then. We had him here early. We wanted to make sure he was okay. And he wasn't."  

On how the Eagles' up-tempo offense affected the defense, particularly situation-wise:

*CAMPBELL: *"Yeah a lot, particularly early. They're going fast, which we knew they would, and they're not subbing. Then all of sudden, they hit us with a sub. So we're trying to match with the subs when they go and sometimes the game goes faster than you want it to or than you think it should. So you get caught off guard a little bit. Certainly, the more plays that they run, the more gaps you're going to get. It's going fast. Guys are trying to get lined up and at some point, you have a guy, you look out there and he's got nothing left. He's given everything he's got and you know you have to get him off, but it's hard because now you're going to be vulnerable."  

On the third consecutive game giving up a safety:

CAMPBELL:"I'm not fired up about safeties at all. But it's one of those – it was a mishap. It's not the world that we want to live in. We have to clean that up."   

On whether he is considering giving RB Jay Ajayi more carries:

*CAMPBELL: *"There's some things that we look at and we talk about. Ajayi is a young guy. He's still up-and-coming. He's gotten better, but he still needs a lot of reps and overall from protection to blitz pick-ups, all those different things, to route running. Not that he can't do it, but right now we have a lot of faith in [RB] Lamar Miller, but certainly we like the way Jay runs."   

 On Suh's increasing impact on the game:

*CAMPBELL: *"He's a stud. He plays the way impact players play. He stepped up. He's made big plays. You can tell that. To me, he's a guy that has proven that when things don't always go your way, he's going to dig in and he goes that much harder. He's going to force his will upon the opponent and he showed up today. That's what he does."

On whether this win reinforces the message that the team is still in it:

*CAMPBELL: *"Absolutely. All that matters is next week. It's all that matters – Dallas Cowboys now. We got one in the bag, now let's go. We have another one, what are we going to do with it? It's all that matters."  

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