Head Coach Mike Martz
Friday, October 22, 2004

(Injury Update)
“It looks like Travis Fisher will practice this week. We’ll get him into the mix. Jimmy Kennedy will practice to some extent. We’ll see how he is out there on the field. He has conditioned and ran real well over the past week or two. We’ll give him some individual drills to see where he is, and measure his progress by how sore he is tomorrow. Other than that, we are in pretty good shape. Jeff Wilkins is nursing a sore ankle from an ankle sprain. We won’t know for a few days what we will do. It’ll come down to the wire on Sunday to see how he is. Tyoka still remains questionable with that hamstring. He’s not quite there yet, so we have a couple of days to see (where he is). We are starting to get people back , which is always a good thing.”

(On Miami)
“This is a short week and we head to Miami. This defense, a week ago, was the number one rated defense in the National Football League, and now they are two or four. But whatever it is, they are very substantial on defense, like they always are. Offensively, they have struggled somewhat. They have a lot of injuries, but they have moved the ball well enough to score points and win.”

(On the difficulties of finding a kicker at this point of the season)
“I think it’s all relative to what he has been doing. When we worked (Jeff Chandler) out, he was fine. I’m just going to make the assumption that he is ready to go if we need him.”

(On getting Jimmy Kennedy and Travis Fisher back)
“We were starting to wear down on the defensive line, with Tyoka out, and particularly on the inside having Jimmy (Kennedy) back, I mean that is a big man. If he can pick up where he left off, so to speak, which will be hard to do. I don’t know when he will be back, completely, but I’m really excited about his attitude and his approach to getting back here as fast as he can. In terms of (Travis) Fisher, he was playing so well when he broke his arm, that we feel he is a top-flight corner. And it looks like he should be ready to go, which will help us tremendously in the secondary.”

(On Travis Fisher’s play before he was injured)
“When he broke his arm in that preseason game against Kansas City, he was playing as well as he’s ever played. To have three corners like we have healthy, that’s quite an advantage. Most teams have two really outstanding corners, and with him, we feel like we have three substantial starters and we’re excited about that.”

(On the Dolphins)
“A few years ago we were sitting in here at 0-5. The Oakland Raiders came in here, and they were the best team in the National Football League at the time. They led the league in both offense and defense, they led the league in both categories. We played them and we beat them handily. You just don’t know. There are no breathers in this league. It just doesn’t exist. This will be as hard fought a game as we have had all year. We know that. Our players understand that. We have to go to their place, and they have lost a couple of hard division games. They are very capable of beating us, there’s no question about it. We are going to have to play better than we did last week. There is no question about their abilities. This team is very capable.”

(On LB Robert Thomas)
“I’m not sure (if he’ll be starting). I think we’ll see what he’s like at practice. That was another upgrade that’s has been very pleasing. I wasn’t sure we would even have him this week. We were going to hold him out again, and do what we did with Kevin Curtis, let him get back completely so it’s not an issue for him the rest of the year. Evidently, today he feels real good, so we’ll see what it’s like out on the practice field.”

(On what he thinks about the performance of LB Brandon Chillar)
“I’m very happy. Particularly for a rookie that has not been in there for us, before he was outside for us, to go in and make the calls and do all the other things that he had to do, I thought he was exceptional.”

(On how hard it is for a defense to go against both WR Torry Holt and WR Isaac Bruce)
“It makes it hard, defensively to take one or the other away. If you do, as you’ve seen it in the past with these two guys, one might catch two or three, one might catch 11. It’s easy to move the ball from one side to the other, based on defensively who they are trying to take away. And the effect that it has on the running game is substantial.”

(On stopping their offense)
“I think it all starts up front. I think they do a real good job with their draws and running games. They are certainly capable in the passing game. You have to be on top of everything, there is no question that they are capable of moving the football and putting points on the board. To think that they can’t, would be very misleading. They have outstanding receivers, and both quarterbacks have had success in the past. Sometimes guys catch fire, you saw it happen here a few years ago, we went on a 6-0 run (after being 5-0). We stress to our players, that we don’t want to be that starting point for them. To me that’s a myth to think that anybody should be taken lightly in the NFL at anytime, it just doesn’t work like that.”

(On Miami’s veteran cornerbacks)
“It’s fun to watch them play. When I first put the tape on, it was a lot of fun to watch them play their press man techniques. They’re technically as sound of corners as I’ve seen in football. They’re really well schooled on defense, they just don’t make errors. I caught myself just watching them and their techniques, and just kind of studied them a little bit, because they are so much further along than most corners in the league in terms of what they do in the press man kind of stuff.”

(On DT Damione Lewis taking more of a leadership role)
“Damione this year has been a different guy in a lot of respects. I think he’s having a lot of fun, I think the stress is gone, I think he’s enjoying playing a lot more, if any of that makes sense. It’s hard to explain, but I think he’s just kind of let himself go. The energy level is there, he understands completely what they’re trying to do inside, and some of the changes that we’re making defensively. He’s taken that role, he’s studied it hard. He’s not on that roller coaster that you can get on when you are younger. He’s become a real solid veteran inside and has done a good job. He is (more vocal), but I think that’s his personality. I think that whole part of him is beginning to come out as he becomes more confident and plays more.”

(On LB Trev Faulk)
“Trev will be up this week and he’ll give us another linebacker inside, and potentially available on special teams. We’ll have to see. In a disaster situation (he could’ve played Monday night), that’s why we dressed him. It was at the point where he had strained it before, he was recovered to that same point. So we thought we would just go one more week and let him recover. They did a test on him and he is far enough along where we can play him.”

(On having Steven Jackson and Marshall Faulk in the backfield together)
“There’s no scheme. These people are very talented. You are trying to get different personnel groups in there to take advantage of what they can do. It just puts different pressure on the defense I think, in terms of what you can do. It’s something we mixed in a little bit, and something we might continue to do. It’s really kind of based on their health. Steven, with a rookie like that, you can take some things for granted. You feel like he’s been around for a while because he knows things as well as he does.”

(On Dolphins’ DT Jeff Zgonina)
“I miss Jeff, I really do. He was the first guy here in the morning. He was here before just about everyone in this building. He had this routine he used to go through, and he’s character. We all miss him. I watched him on tape and he’s playing as well as anyone I’ve seen on a defensive line right now. Just exceptional.”


(On Marc Bulger throwing the deep ball)
“I think when he initially took over in 2002, he was very good at throwing the deep ball. He was like Trent Green in that respect. I always felt Trent was as good as there was throwing the deep ball. (Marc) is like that. I think that last year, stepping into that role, without the repetitions with the wide receivers, we didn’t have a chance to practice that. I think we have done a lot more work in practice with (the deep ball), and allowed him to get the timing of that.”

(On T Orlando Pace)
“I don’t (take Pace for granted), and I know our quarterback doesn’t. He’s very special. We realize that and understand that. We will do whatever we can to keep him. There’s no question he’s very special in the National Football League, in that he can line up against the best out there and you don’t need to help him. It’s hard to find people like that. He’s got great feet. The thing about Orlando, is that a great speed rusher can get him off balance and work opposite, and he’s got the athleticism and the balance to redirect him, and stay on the block. That’s hard to find.”

(On if he watched the Cardinals’ game)
“I did leave a message for (Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa), telling him congratulations. We were doing our game planning. We are all proud of them and excited. What a thrill. We’re pulling for them.”

(On DT Jason Taylor’s comments about the Rams’ offense)
“I think he’s right, it’s not what we used to do on offense. We are a totally different offense than we were in 2001, in our approach and our players. I think we are effective. But it is a different quarterback, and we are doing different things.”

(On the current Rams’ offense)
“I’m very proud of this group and what they’ve done, and where they are heading. I think that this offense is just kind of getting going, really, to be honest with you. I think as each week goes by, we have a chance to get better and better. Especially as these young players begin to come to the surface. You are just finding out new things about these guys and what they can and can’t do. There is very little they can’t do, and that’s what’s fun and exciting about it. Probably the approach is different than what we had in 2001. We had such a veteran group, we just let it all hang out. We haven’t hit that point yet, but who knows.”

(On Marc Bulger’s block in Monday night’s game)
“I told him when we put that play in, when they come over you have to fall down in front of them and bite them in the ankles. He didn’t take me to heart. He took his throwing shoulder and threw it into the linebacker and stopped him cold. Of course, it was the key block that got us the first down. That’s Marc. Sometimes he doesn’t listen.”

(On K Jeff Wilkins making tackles)
“It’s inspiring, but the bad news is that your kicker is the leading takcler on the kickoff team. That’s not very good. But he’s got that speed and athleticism, where if he doesn’t make those plays, they probably score. So that obviously is a big issue this week, and that will be resolved. I promise you that.”