Q. S Malcolm Jenkins wasn't out there yesterday; is he going to go today? What's happening with him?
COACH KELLY: He won't go today, he has a concussion. He's going through a concussion protocol right now.
Q. That happened during the game, I assume, at some point?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it did.
Q. He didn't miss any snaps? He didn't find out until --
COACH KELLY: You can talk to Malcolm about that.
Q. How big of a lift has it been for K Caleb Sturgis to kick the way he has been the last few weeks?
COACH KELLY: We've had a lot of confidence in him. I think, when you look around the league, I'm not sure anybody's 100 percent, but when we watch him in training, we watch him in practice, he's really sound mechanically. So we felt, in terms of our situation, after losing a great one in [K] Cody [Parkey], when [Sturgis] came in, I think he has done everything we've asked him to do. When you watch kind of the kicks he has missed, there are some reasons for it like snap and hold; some of those things that weren't always just Caleb, it's the whole operation. I think we've got that straightened out. But he's done a really nice job, and we've got a lot of confidence in him. He had a big one against Dallas; that 53-yarder was a huge one for us at that point in time.
Q. He had a rough start. How about the fact that he was able to kind of --
COACH KELLY: Yeah. Again, like I talked about, sometimes it's the whole operation. I think a lot of the blame sometimes just goes on the kicker. But if the snap isn't exactly where it needs to be, or if we don't get the laces out of the way, sometimes it's not always on the kicker. I think we cleaned up some things in the operation aspect of it, and he kicked the ball really well in the last couple of weeks.
Q. Along those lines, last year being 10-6, a lot of it had to do with special teams early in particular; this year not so much. What do you see?
COACH KELLY: I disagree. I think our special teams are playing very well. What I see right now is people aren't kicking the ball to us, so we haven't had returns because we've played some kickers that have kicked -- I can't remember the last time we took a ball out. We took one out in the Saints game for a 40-yard gain, and then we didn't get any other ones after that. I think people have kicked away from [RB] Darren [Sproles], so Darren hasn't had an opportunity to get going from that standpoint. But I think our coverage has been pretty good except for the one on the kickoff return. But I think our punt coverage has been outstanding.
Q. You had a block, right?
COACH KELLY: We had a block way back in the Dallas game in Game 2.
Q. On film, has the coaching change for the Dolphins been apparent?
COACH KELLY: I think they played harder when Dan [Dolphins Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell] took over early in those first two games. When you watch them in the Texans game and the Tennessee game -- and I think there has just been some subtle changes, but nothing really drastic when you look at what they were doing in the games before that happened.
Q. I don't know how much you watch their offense, but maybe crossed over and watched some of the defense. How much has Dolphin's Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazar taken from here in some of the scheme substitutes?
COACH KELLY: I don't think very much. I think Bill has his offense that's probably more similar to what he was doing when he was at Virginia than what he was doing when he was here.
Q. He said that he thought New York Giants' WR Odell Beckham, Jr. was the best player in the Draft. But what did you think of his old teammate there, Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we were high on Jarvis too. I think he's an outstanding receiver and he has done a really nice job, catches the ball extremely well. He's a dynamic returner as well. He does a terrific job of punt returns for them, but we were high on him also.
Q. How much has running two tight ends over the last couple of weeks helped ignite the running game and create balance on the offense in general?
COACH KELLY: I don't know if it has to do with running two tight ends. I just think a lot of times -- and we get that question all the time. We run certain things because it elicits certain things out of the defense. What we're trying to get out of the defense is really based on what they do. So you watch them [and look at] do they match, don't they match and how that matches up.
Q. Is T Jason Peters practicing today?
COACH KELLY: Jason Peters will practice today.
Q. What percentage of the time do the Dolphins use WR Jarvis Landry in the slot?
COACH KELLY: A lot. They move him around because he's a versatile player, but where he is primarily most dangerous, I think, is in the slot.
Q. How is WR Nelson Agholor coming along?
COACH KELLY: Nelson's good. Again, it's how does he progress through the whole week of training. He did good yesterday, and he'll go back out today, but he's somebody we have to monitor in terms of where he'll be. He was good last week early, and then I think being out on the field kind of wore him down a little bit. But he was good yesterday and says he feels good today, so we'll see how that goes.
Q. He always says he is good, right?
COACH KELLY: That is a very admirable quality in Nelson, and we love him for it. But we have to kind of watch him with our eyes to be able to see where he is. It is the same thing, after he got injured, he said he was going to play that Monday. It's an awesome quality for him to have, but we've got to be smart in terms of how we handle him.
Q. Is Landry a threat on the run on the ground too? Do they kind of utilize him that way as well?
COACH KELLY: No, not really. I think he may have had a reverse or two, but I don't think he has any -- doesn't have double digit carries or anything like that. They've got a real good back in [RB] Lamar Miller that they're running; that's the guy you've really got to focus and concentrate on.
Q. Last week Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur said that RB DeMarco Murray wasn't as healthy at the beginning of the season as he was now. Could the same thing be said about TE Zach Ertz too?
COACH KELLY: Well, Zach came off an injury. I think what Shurmur was talking about is DeMarco missed a game against the Jets, so obviously, he missed a game for us early in the season. But, obviously Zach is coming off that core muscle injury and had an operation during preseason, and really didn't get cleared until the Wednesday or Thursday or even Friday -- I can't remember exactly what day it was -- of the Atlanta game. So I think Zach's just starting -- we mentioned that last week -- is starting to get back to where he was before the injury.
Q. Last week WR Jordan Matthews said that if he was in QB Sam Bradford's shoes, he doesn't know how much he would trust himself after having a few of those drops. But how much does a game like Sunday help a really young receiver and affect him confidence-wise?
COACH KELLY: I think that's a question for Jordan, but I think Sam has never not had confidence in Jordan; that's why he continues to throw the ball to him. Nor do we [never not have confidence in him]; that's why we continue to play him. I think Jordan's a heck of a player. He has worked very hard at addressing a couple of drops there. I thought he played a really good game against Dallas, and hopefully he can build upon that.
Q. What sort of challenges does Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill present to the defense?
COACH KELLY: Because he's a dual threat, I think it's a little bit different than facing an Eli [Giants QB Eli Manning]. Obviously, Eli is so talented throwing the football, but you're focused on that part of him. You're not worried about Eli taking it, tucking it, and running on you; with [Giant's QB] Ryan [Tannehill], you have to [worry about that]. He actually played receiver before he was -- when he was biding his time. He went into Texas A&M as a quarterback, but then while their other starter was playing, they got him on the field because he was so athletic as a receiver. Then they brought him back and continued to play him at quarterback. So the fact that he can do both, you got to be real conscious of where you are in the rush lanes. And they actually have designed quarterback runs similar to playing Carolina with Cam [Panthers QB Cam Newton]. It's more like going in against a Cam than it is going against an Eli.
Q. When you think about LB Jordan Hicks, what quality do you think helped him to hit the ground running as fast as he did this year?
COACH KELLY: I said it before, there's just a maturity to Jordan when you're around him. The compliment I gave him is that he never acted like a rookie. He came in here with a mindset of not starry-eyed like, "Hey, what's going on? What am I supposed to do?" He just had a maturity to him. You didn't know he was a rookie the way he carried himself. He was just very purposeful in his work ethic and his preparation, in terms of what he wanted to do. He didn't look at it and say, "Hey, we've got [LB] DeMeco [Ryans], [LB] Mychal [Kendricks], [LB] Kiko [Alonso] and all these other guys so I'm never going to get on the field." He prepared like he was going to be on the field, and when he got his opportunity, he ran with it.
Q. Yesterday, QB Mark Sanchez compared Hicks to Jordan Matthews last year. Do you see some of the same traits and the same qualities in those two guys in how they approached things in their rookie years?
COACH KELLY: I do. Jordan is another guy that never acted like a rookie. I think [DB] Walter Thurmond, when he got here in the off-season, was surprised that Jordan was a rookie because of the way he carries himself. He said, "I didn't know that guy is a rookie." He has only been here a year. The way he carries himself -- they both act like veterans. There's a maturity to both those guys; both real smart guys. Both of them really just kind of have everything in order, both on the field and off the field, and it shows in terms of their play.
Q. What's the setup at safety with S Malcolm Jenkins not at practice?
COACH KELLY: Today? Maragos [S Chris Maragos], who else plays safety? [S] Walter Thurmond, whoever's in there. It's not a big deal. I think he should be back tomorrow, so we're not concerned about that.
Q. Are the Dolphins still using DT Ndamukong Suh the same way he was used in Detroit?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he's playing inside defensive tackle, playing the three-technique form. They're using him as an inside kid. There are two guys, you got to know about him and you got to know about Vernon [DE Olivier Vernon]. They're two dynamic players, one on the edge and one inside. They're using him in a similar manner, yeah.
Q. This week, will they miss not having DE Cameron Wake out there?
COACH KELLY: I don't, to be honest with you. [Laughter] He had seven sacks. He was playing at a really, really high level. It's obviously tough when anybody gets injured, but when you watch tape of those games when he was playing, he was playing. He was outstanding. He was as good a pass rusher, I think, in the first seven games in the season as there was in the National Football League. I would think they would miss him a little bit. Cameron was playing at a really, really high level. It's an awful injury when you see it. We've had one with [LB] DeMeco [Ryans] doing it and it's just tough. You respect players like that that play so hard. That's one thing about Cameron Wake, when you turn the film on, how hard he plays the game. There's a lot of respect there, but I think any time you lose someone that's that dynamic, there's going to be a little bit of a drop-off there.
Q. Why do you think their run defense hasn't been as stout with DT Ndamukong Suh in there and everything?
COACH KELLY: I haven't compared them to where they are in the past, and really our concentration has been on their last four games. And I think we have the utmost respect in terms of what they can do run defense-wise, so I don't know where they were coming from before; we haven't faced them before. I don't have anything to compare it to what it used to be like.
Q. Bradford spoke to us about fundamentals he has been working on in practice; what do you see with him and Quarterbacks Coach Ryan Day behind the scenes?
COACH KELLY: I see them working on the fundamentals every day just like every other position.
Q. Is there any specific observation you've had?
COACH KELLY: No.
Q. You talked about Bradford and some of the other guys on offense coming in kind of like the second half of the movie. Obviously then, you know there's a chance that the offense struggles out of the gate, or at least isn't well oiled. How did you weigh that when you're making the decisions to make significant changes on offense short term versus long term? Were you saying, well, "I might struggle early, but ultimately, I think that it's worth it long term?" I'm sure that was something that you were thinking about.
COACH KELLY: Just exactly like that. We may struggle early, but we're thinking long term.
Q. How about for the actual season? Did you have the thought that maybe the season could be compromised because of --
COACH KELLY: No. I don't think our season's compromised.
Q. With today being Veterans Day, how has your respect for the military influenced your coaching career?
COACH KELLY: I think it should influence, not just your coaching career, it should influence everybody's lives in terms of we're allowed to do what we do right now because of the men and women that made sacrifices to defend this country and what this country stands for. I think not only them, I think it's their families also, that the ultimate sacrifice a lot of them make in losing a loved one or having a loved one being stationed overseas while they're back here in the states. But I think we're all fortunate on a day like this. Honestly, to me, I don't think it should be one day that we recognize the military in terms of the sacrifices they make, but it should be on a daily basis when we get an opportunity to just say, "Thank you" for what they do because they've made a choice in their lives to do something so that we're allowed to do this.
Q. RB Ryan Mathews has averaged about 4 1/2 yards per carry after contact. Why do you think he's so successful in that category?
COACH KELLY: He's just a big, physical runner, and I think you notice that on film. And one of the reasons we were attracted to him is his style of running, I think, fits in terms of what we want to get accomplished offensively, both him and [RB] DeMarco [Murray] are physical runners that, the old adage, "If the line can get us two yards, then the back can get us two yards," and now we're second-and-6 and moving in the right direction. It fits in our model -- big, physical back; tough, hard-nosed runner and doing a nice job for us.