Head Coach DeMeco Ryans
On DT Hassan Ridgeway
"With [Hassan] Ridgeway and adding him to our team, I thought it was very important as a guy I've seen up close and personal play within our scheme. I've seen him do a really nice job of playing upfront and playing at the [defensive] tackle position the way we like it played. So, it was important to add someone who had experience in our system, and Ridgeway has done a nice job all throughout camp and a nice job in the game yesterday – not only attacking like we asked him to do, but the effort and running to the ball – that's what we demand of those guys. It was really good to see Ridgeway perform how we expected him to perform."
On the run defense
"The run defense, to play really well in run defense it takes guys who are disciplined in their run fits. I think that's the start. If everybody is where they're supposed to be and we build a wall up front with our defensive line and our linebackers and safeties fit accordingly, that's how you play good run defense. It's everybody playing together, playing with square pads, and resetting the line of scrimmage."
On C/G Jarrett Patterson coming back today
"With Jarett Patterson coming back today, it was good. We've been missing guys up front on the [offensive] line, so it was really good to have Patterson back. He's working his way back in, but it's good to see him back out. Now, he can start his transition of trying to improve and get better. He has a long way to go – anytime a guy misses this much time, especially a young guy – it takes a lot of time to get back going. So, you have to get out and work at it and Patterson is willing to work to get back at it, so it's encouraging to see him back out."
On adding another quarterback to the roster and if he has an update on QB Case Keenum
"We added E.J. Perry – he was with us in the spring and [we] wanted to add another quarterback to help us out here in training camp – so that's why E.J. [Perry] is here."
On today's sideline scuffle
"To see scuffling in training camp, I would say: finally. We actually see some guys – that's what training camp is about. Sometimes you get tired of hitting the same guy over and over again, right? It's linebackers, running backs, they're going to thud up a lot in practice. And of course, we want to be safe, we want to make sure we keep guys up, but also, it's going to get a little edgy, it's going to get a little chippy – that's how I want to play. Offensively, defensively, I want to play with an edge. I want to play with a chip on our shoulder, but also, we still have to play within the rules. So, it's a part of camp – you see it – it's not the worst thing to happen because it just shows that guys truly care about what they're doing. They want to be really good at it. It's just two really good competitors going at each other – which I don't have problem with."
On if he anticipates that edge to be a factor when the Miami Dolphins come to town this week
"I just want our guys to play clean football. Everybody does what they're supposed to do. With Miami coming in, for us and how I see the game, you don't turn it up. There's no such thing as turning it up – we're always on 100. We're always ready to compete. We're always ready to attack whatever's in front of us. So, no matter who comes in, what week we're playing, we shouldn't see a ratchet up because we're always at the level we should be playing at."
On S Jimmie Ward flying around today
"What have I seen from Jimmie [Ward]? I've seen a guy who looks comfortable in what we're asking him to do. And you see a guy who is playing the way I've seen him play for several years now. He's playing with his hair on fire. He's all over the field, he's controlling the back end, and with the tandem of him and [Jalen] Pitre it's just awesome to watch. Both guys play similar styles – flying around but under control and still making plays – a lot of plays on the ball were made. We look at it today, Jimmie [Ward] and [Jalen] Pitre probably made half of the plays on the defensive side of the ball. So, it's fun. It's encouraging to see your veteran guys, guys that you're going to count on making plays the way that Jimmie [Ward] has made. It's been fun. Now, he's just got to finish those interceptions."
"With any guys that play in our defensive secondary, we want guys who are versatile – guys who can do multiple things. It's hard to pin hole just one position-player. So that nickel position, we want a guy who has some flexibility to do a little bit of everything in the secondary – whether that's safety or corner – helping out on special teams is very valuable. When we can find guys that have versatility – and that's what 'T.T.' [Tavierre Thomas] brings, what Desmond [King II] brings. Both guys are really consistent players in there at the nickel position and we're happy to have both of them."
On the defense being a step or two ahead of the offense today
"The mentality of the defense is SWARM and that doesn't change, right? We want to be an attacking, aggressive defense, and it's 11 guys flying around with their hair on fire making plays and playing for each other. But it's also a discipline brand of football. It's not everyone's just running all over the place and not knowing exactly where they should be. It's about that puzzle coming together – it's 11 pieces playing together, playing in sync and it's going to be a swarming, attacking defense. That's what you see out here in practice and that's what you'll see during games."
On knowing the Miami Dolphins scheme inside and out
"I'm excited to go against Miami and their offensive scheme. What Miami poses a little differently is they do a lot of motion, right? Whether it's jet-motion or motioning receivers out in opposition. It's different snap points, so it's a really challenging offense to go against. I played against those guys last year and it was probably one of the toughest challenges with how much they move pre snap. And the pre snap motion, it causes hesitation in some players, it causes communication errors, so Mike [McDaniel] has done a really good job of having those guys move in various positions to make guys communicate – to kind of dictate to the defense. So, it's going to be a really awesome challenge for us defensively, because I think we can pick it up in our communication across the board. So, it's coming in at the right time for us to have those guys come in."
On what he's learned from Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel
"What I've learned from Mike [McDaniel] is, Mike is a very hard worker. Mike is the first one in the building every day – whether it's 3 a.m. – I don't think the guy ever sleeps. He's a very hard worker and he's very detailed. When it comes to the run game, the pass game – he's very detailed in his thought process of how he approaches how he calls a game, attacking certain players, attacking schemes. He's one of the best at it. So, I'm really happy for Mike and the opportunity he has there with the Dolphins, and I think they'll have a really good team this year."
On what he saw from WR Tank Dell when he was still at the University of Houston
"What I saw from Tank [Dell] when he was at the [University of Houston] – you saw a dynamic playmaker. A guy who was always open, despite his size. A lot of people kind of put a knock on him because of his size, but I never saw that as an issue in college and it's showing up here. From his first day, even throughout the game, everybody sees the wild plays, the big explosive plays, but as Bobby [Slowik] mentioned, what sets him apart is that intent. When you're on the back side of a run play, and what's your intent, what's your demeanor when you have to go and dig out a safety or dig out a corner? Tank has improved drastically in that area, showing his teammates that he cares about the run game and not just about getting the ball. It's not just about him – he's an unselfish player who's willing to block in the run game and when his number is called in the pass game, he's showing guys that he's consistent and he's accountable to make a play for us."