Cornerback Nolan Carroll seemed a bit puzzled on Monday after a frustrating game in Buffalo in which he was whistled for four penalties.
Carroll was removed from the game in the third quarter but returned when Sean Smith left with cramps in the fourth. But he was back with the starters at Monday’s practice.
Carroll committed three penalties in the second quarter: two pass interference infractions for 31 and 15 yards and an illegal contact for 5 yards. He was called for a 5-yard holding penalty in the fourth quarter. All resulted in automatic first downs.
“Second one, I don’t even think I touched him,” Carroll said. “The last one was the worst call. I play physical, and I felt as the game was going on, I couldn’t be as physical anymore because they were calling most of those penalties. It’s difficult to change up stuff you’ve been doing for so long.”
He said that during the game, he asked the referees what he needed to do differently to avoid the penalties.
“You can’t get mad at the refs, or they are just going to target you even more and see that you’re frustrated,” he said. “They’ll see they got in your head. Just go over to the side and talk to them and say, ‘Ref, what do you see I’m doing wrong?’ Don’t do a DeAngelo Hall and get in their face and start yelling.”
Of the flurry of penalties by one player, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said: “I’ve seen it happen before. You’ve got to keep playing, trusting the technique you’re working with. In those particular plays, I’ve been coaching 12 years, and I’ve seen times they’ve been called and just as many times where three of the four penalties would maybe not have been called by a different crew.”
Coach Joe Philbin said overall, Carroll “has played well. He’s had some really good moments and moments he needs to improve.”
This and that
• The Dolphins have lost nine of their 13 fumbles offensively and have recovered just three of 16 balls fumbled by the opponent. That discrepancy prompted Philbin to schedule fumble drills during Monday’s practice.
• Philbin decided to have his team practice on Tuesday, which is usually an off day, and will give his players Thanksgiving off, which is highly unusual. “Family is very important to me and should be important to our players,” he said. But Philbin said he probably would not have done that if the Dolphins had played this past Sunday.
• Receiver Jabar Gaffney, who missed Thursday’s game with a knee injury, practiced Monday and is optimistic about playing Sunday against Seattle. Rishard Matthews, who caught one pass for 19 yards and drew a pass interference penalty covering 30 yards, played well in Gaffney’s absence, and Philbin indicated playing time among the backup receivers would be based partly on practice performance. Matthews “played fast,” Philbin said.
• Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman indicated rookie tight end Michael Egnew likely won’t be a factor anytime soon. … Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said he compared Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson to NFL great Fran Tarkenton and his players did not “know what I was talking about.”
… The Dolphins added offensive tackle Jeff Adams, a Cowboys training camp cut, to the practice squad and cut tight end Dominique Jones. … Tony McDaniel (knee) returned to practice.
• Asked about the need for a big playmaker (aside from Cameron Wake), Coyle said, “We’re starting to see Reshad Jones enter that role.”