Highlights from Dolphins coach Adam Gase’s Monday news conference:
• Will Dolphins players be motivated for Miami’s final two games (at Kansas City, home to Buffalo) considering the playoffs are a long shot?
“I would hope they would be very motivated,” Gase said. “They are playing for their jobs.”
Does he weigh the last two games a good deal in offseason personnel evaluations? “Yeah, I think you do. See how guys play.”
• How hard is it to evaluate these players when they are good enough to beat the two Super Bowl finalists last season but also play very poorly at times?
“It’s harder to do during the season,” Gase said. “You are getting ready for the next game. To sit there, you are trying to evaluate on the run. The hardest thing is you are only as good as your last game. Nobody cares what we did against New England. What you did in the Buffalo game is who you are. That’s what makes it hard to evaluate during the season.
“You kind of remember that last one. That’s why we like at the end of the season to take some time and get away from it and come back and evaluate so now you can say let’s go back and say let’s look at the whole thing. Now you can try to get a true evaluation. How did you play in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter. When you lose the last game you play, you have a bitter taste in your mouth and that can change the way you feel about certain guys.”
• On Sunday’s game: “They did what they had to do to win the game and we did nothing to stop them... We talked about stopping Shady [LeSean McCoy] and Tyrod [Taylor]. We had one half we didn’t do either and one half we kind of slowed one guy down and didn’t stop the other thing. Offensively the biggest thing we couldn’t do is turn the ball over. We did that. We moved the ball and had good things going and we kind of hurt ourselves. We had a run play for negative yards. We get in third and long, they were tough. We did opposite of what we talked about.”
• On Jay Cutler’s performance: “We had three interceptions and four times we lost the ball. It’s not one of the best days that he’s had. He’s trying to do things we talked about doing. There were a few times where we’re throwing the ball a lot there in the second half. You start pressing a little bit. He took a couple of the matchups we talked about taking. The first pick there is nothing I can tell him to do different.
The [second one], I wish he would have done something different. [On the third pick], end of game, he’s trying to make sure he doesn’t take a sack. That one is unfortunate. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves in better position, make sure we get the ball out on time and get it to the right guy. We all have to be on the same page.”
• On young linebackers Chase Allen and Stephone Anthony: “Both those guys have done a good job for the most part. There have been a few times where things have happened where you wish they would make the play or do something different. It’s part of the growth process. Young players. Stuff being thrown in there in the middle of the season and try to learn what our defense is. Those guys have been a couple guys that have been positives for us. Consistent too.”
• How has Jesse Davis played at guard and does he have enough information to determine how he would play at right tackle?
“I feel good about what we’ve seen at both spots. I still think there are a lot of things, where they come up first time he’s seen it and trying to react as quick as he can and trying to learn. We knew there would be growing pains. The more experience he gains, the better it’s going to get.”
• Gase said he won’t spend any time looking at playoff scenarios.
• On more penalties Sunday: “Presnap penalties are frustrusting because it’s hard to understand why they happen. We’ve cut them way down. But it’s not good enough when we have one. It’s critical situation. We have the first drive of the game, feel good, have a first down, think we’re in good shape. All of a sudden you are second and 15 and third and 17. It’s brutal. It just hurts you. When you have post snap penalties, those are beyond frustrating.”
• On DeVante Parker’s play Sunday: “Good to see him make some plays. Good to see him win a jump ball. Looks like he was running a lot better. We had a shot on that third and long where we ran a slip screen. Wish Jay would have thrown the ball where he could have caught it on the run. We had it fairly blocked well. Looked like his legs were good. I didn’t see him limping or his ankle causing him any issues. It was good to finally kind of feel he was back to his normal self. “
• On Charles Harris: “He did well. When going against Tyrod, it’s nice to have someone who can pursue him and close a cushion.... He tried to do everything we asked him to do. It’s a strange game for him because we can’t pass rush like we normally do. We have to be a little more controlled and understand if rush lanes start opening up, he would hurt you worse than if you contain him and keep him in the pocket. He tried to do what we asked him to do.”
Here’s a look at the seven steps needed for Miami to make the playoffs, plus a bunch of personnel notes.