Dave Wannstedt's final press conf. | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

Dave Wannstedt's final press conf.


The Human Bullet
Sep 2, 2001
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Here is the whole thing so everyone can read it. Hopefully it answers a lot of questions:

Dave Wannstedt press conference transcript (Jan. 14)

OPENING STATEMENT: "There's nobody more disappointed in this room,
or in this building, or in this town, more than I am with how our
season ended. It was disappointing, but I also know that we've got
a heck of a football team. This team accomplished an awful lot of
good things this year, and overcame a lot of obstacles on the path
to getting there. We know that we are awful close - and we will
through making some additions -- to taking us to a higher level. I
think that with free agency and another good draft...We have some
spots where we've got to get better. That's obvious to everybody.
That will be addressed. We added last year and made some positive
additions, which showed up on the field this year. We'll address
the same thing and move forward."

Q: Any truth to the Troy Aikman rumors?

A: "Someone just told me about it this morning. We're going to try
to get Jay Fiedler signed back here. I know nothing about the Troy
Aikman rumors out there. I don't really have a response."

Q: Which areas on the team will be addressed the most?

A: "This is not the time - the day after the game - to get into
anything specific. But we need to get our running game back going.
You don't win in this league unless you can run the football. I
thought that Chan Gailey and our offensive coaches, Mike Shula and
the group, we tried to be as creative as we could during the course
of the year of trying to find ways to run the ball - with three
receivers, four receivers, two tight ends, the whole gamut. I think
[Sunday] obviously it didn't happen. When you look at our team
going into that game - and I told the players this - I said, 'Hey,
we put ourselves in position with winning 11 games and finishing
the season strong, winning the last two games at home, winning
seven games at home.' These are all things that hadn't been done in
a while here. So we need to take that and look at the positives of
that and make some additions and know that we're a heck of a lot
closer to the top than what some people would like to believe, and
what some people are writing and talking about. I believe it's a

Q: Would you bring in another quarterback to challenge Jay?

A: "Right now we're just focusing in on our players. That'll be the
approach again this year. We don't have as many free agents up this
year as we did a year ago. The focus will be on our players, and
then we'll go from there."

Q: Is bringing in Troy Aikman something you would consider?

A: "Hearing about it 10 minutes ago, I wouldn't even comment on it,
really. Troy is doing TV and he's retired as far as I know."

Q: Where do you stand with your free agents and where will your
attention be?

A: "Well the guys that are up, obviously Jay is up, Lamar is up.
We're going to talk to all of our players - Bromell, Mixon, Brian
Walker, Matt Turk. We've got a half a dozen guys up. Between myself
and Rick Spielman, we've been visiting with the guys this morning
and talking to those guys as far as how we feel about them and what
the plan will be from here on out."

Q: So what you're saying is there's no chance that Aikman will be
in a Dolphins uniform ...

A: "Yeah. From what was just asked of me, that would be a
hypothetical type of question. Troy's doing games this weekend [on
TV] as far as I know."

Q: What's the likelihood that Jay will be back next season?

A: "I think good. I think Jay made progress as the year went on.
The second half of the season, he obviously got a lot better. I
think that if you run the ball, that it's going to take some
pressure off the quarterback. We struggled with that all year. I
think that he had as much pressure on him as you could put on a
quarterback - probably in a lot of games - to bring the team from
behind. I thought he did a lot of outstanding things during the
course of the year."

Q: What about Lamar Smith?

A: "Lamar had a tough year. He would be the first one to tell you.
I talked with Lamar this morning. I think you lump Lamar in with
our overall running game and say, 'Hey, it wasn't where it needed
to be.' And we beat to death all the reasons why. That has to
improve, and Lamar is part of that equation."

Q: Do you want to re-sign Lamar?

A: "Yeah. I told Lamar that we would like to have him back in a
Dolphin uniform. Obviously all these things are dependent on the
contract negotiations and does a player want to be here and how
much are we willing to pay and what does he feel his worth is on
the market. So when you really start talking about all the free
agency, that's what it's going to come down to."

Q: Where are you in the search for an offensive coordinator?

A: "We had team meetings this morning. I met with the coaches. Rick
and I met this morning. I've been meeting with individual players.
I'll meet with all of our coaches [Tuesday]. I'm going to spend
tonight just kind of going through our staff and assessing
everybody. Sometime after [Tuesday] I'll have some thoughts as far
as to what direction we're going to go there. I don't have a
timetable where we've got to have a guy set in place by Friday. But
you know me, I like to do things fast. I won't waste time on it. I
just want to make sure that I think the whole situation through. I
was not planning on obviously talking to you guys today. So I
haven't given it much thought."

Q: Is Mike Shula a top candidate?

A: "Mike is a guy that definitely is qualified. There's no question
about that. I think everybody knows how I feel about Mike. But I
haven't even talked to him about it yet."

Q: Do you think there will be changes among your staff?

A: "I don't anticipate any major changes. But I'll sit down and
take a look at everything. That includes all the coaches and
everything that we're doing - as I do every year. With the injuries
and some of the situations that we have, I thought for the most
part our coaches did a great job of getting the rookies ready to
play, getting as much as we could out of these younger players,
bringing the free-agent players in and ready to play, and dealing
with injuries. During the course of the year we've had a lot of
[backups] that had to step up."

Q: Was it strange waking up today with nothing to prepare for?

A: "Yeah. It was a sickening feeling, to be quite honest with you.
Real sickening."

Q: How hard is it to deal with free agency and the draft not
knowing the status of Daryl Gardener and Mark Dixon?

A: "We'll sit down here in the next week or two and have a good
talk. Dixon is not a problem. Mark's going to be fine medically
with the ankle [injury]. Daryl we'll sit down with, and we're
expecting him to be OK. But we will have a meeting before we get
into free agency just to know where it's at. Hey, like I told the
players, understand one thing - the guys are going to get a month
or two off, but the coaches and Rick are loading up on a plane
Monday and we're heading to the Senior Bowl. We're going down there
to find some players. We're going to have another great draft, and
we're going to add some top free agents. There's no down time
around here. We are going full speed ahead to do whatever we've got
to do to get up over the top."

Q: Do you look at this season as a step backward?

A: "The turnover thing, the penalty thing really was something that
we found a way to overcome during the course of the year. To win 11
games and end up minus whatever we were in turnovers, you're not
going to do that very often. The most disappointing thing was to
play a couple of clean games and have some momentum, and then go
into this playoff game and make some of the same mistakes. That was
the disappointing thing. Was it a step back? It's a disappointment.
But we've got the nucleus of our guys back. We will be fine."

Q: Having free agents at the same position, is there a likelihood
that you can only keep one of them?

A: "With the money situation, most definitely. Obviously, it would
come down to how you felt. If you felt about each guy somewhat
equally, it definitely could come down to, 'Hey, we've got X amount
of dollars. You want to be here bad enough. Here's the offer on the
table. We can sign one [player].' That is a possibility."

Q: With Arturo Freeman waiting in the wings, does that increase the
likelihood that Brock Marion and Brian Walker won't be back?

A: "No. I would not say that at all. A year ago, we didn't think
that they would both be back. And we ended up getting them both
back, and Brock signed in June. With free agency, you just never
know. This is a place where players want to win. They want to have
a chance every year to be in position to go to the Super Bowl. This
a great organization from the top on down. Players want to be here.
We would never close the door on one of our free agents and say,
'It's not going to happen.' I think last year there was a couple
good examples of guys coming back with us late."

Q: James McKnight had a few crucial drops this year. How would you
assess his season?

A: "I thought that James made some good plays and [Sunday] the
facts are the facts. I mean he dropped a critical pass, sure. I
think that he made a lot of good plays for us during the course of
the year, too. He just needs to work on being more consistent."

Q: Is it hard to keep making the playoffs knowing you'll never get
those top draft picks year in and year out?

A: "I don't think so. I think with the draft that wee had last year
... Rick and I were talking earlier. If Chris Chambers would have
been a top 10 pick, everybody would have said, 'Boy, what a great
draft pick.' So I believe that we're going to have good drafts, and
we're going to find top-notch players. Just because they're not in
the first round, we'll find them in the second, third, fourth
rounds, whatever."

Q: Does it put more pressure on your staff to not make mistakes in
analyzing players?

A: "It is. There's no sure bets. But you're not going to get the
top 10 pick, where your odds are probably a little better if the
guy is a definite player rather than picking in the bottom 10. But
we're very confident in our personnel [staff] and our evaluation
process, both free agency-wise and college draft-wise. We've got to
look at our football team, and we know where we've got to get

Q: Did the injuries finally catch up to you?

A: "That's been said by a lot of people. But I wouldn't say it
because it doesn't do any good to talk about it. For the most part
all year, when guys got hurt, guys stepped up. I was talking to
Brock, Brian and Sam this morning. We re just sitting around
talking. Last year we lead the league in interceptions, and they
were kidding that none of them missed a game. Every one of them
this year missed at least one game. We kept going. Guys stepped up.
Fletcher started two or three games, Arturo Freeman started a
couple games, Terry Cousin started a game at corner. You can never
have enough depth. But it was handed to me that we had more
starters miss games this year than any playoff team in the league.
Isn't that right? [Actually, Baltimore had the most starters miss
games of the playoff teams with 54. Miami had 50, but the Dolphins
had more starters than any playoff team on injured reserve]. So it
was different than year's past. And to play a first-place schedule
... that's what I tried to instill into our team this morning,
'Hey, we put ourselves in position to have a home playoff game, to
try to make a run at this thing.' You can talk about winning the
division. We won as many games as the division champ. We got nudged
out because of conference play. We had 11 wins, that's what New
England won. I though the backups stepped up. Is I would not use
[the injuries] as an excuse]."

Q: Do you have to find your identity on offense this offseason?

A: "No. We know what our identity is. We're a two-back, run the
football [type of team]. Nothing is going to change there. That's
what we are. That's what we'll get back two. We've just got to get
Brent Smith back and Marcus Spriggs back and Mark Dixon back, and
add maybe a draft pick, another good, young lineman. Get Konrad
healthy and go from there."

Q: Do you have to find a way to get all three receivers [McKnight,
Chambers and Gadsden] on the field?

A: "No. That works itself out. Most teams don't use four wide
receivers in their third-down package, which we do. I don't think
that was ever a problem of not having all those guys involved

Q: What are your biggest needs?

A: "Like I said, I think we really need to address our running
game. We've got to figure out who's going to be back and what we're
going to do with the offensive line. We've got a couple guys that
are free agents, a couple guys who are coming off injuries. That to
me would be the first topic."

Q: When you're talking about the running game problems, are you
talking about the offensive line first and the running back second?

A: "Yeah, I think offensive line first. Lamar is a free agent. We
hope to get him back. But whether it's going to work out or not ...
We're going to need another young running back at some point, or
another running back. We'll have to address that."

Q: Are you comfortable with Travis in the mix for next year?

A: "Yeah. Could Travis go in and play every down? Sure. But that's
not what I envision happening."

Q: Have you talked to Norv Turner about the coordinator job?

A: "I have not talked to Norv. I really did not expect to be
dealing with this at this time. I'm hoping that Norv gets the San
Diego job, to be quite honest with you."

Q: Are you allowed to talk to Norv because he's under contract?

A: "We haven't talked, so I don't even know what's up there."

Q: Are you hoping to sign Jay before free agency starts?

A: "Rick's already had conversations with his agent. That's kind of
been going on already. As far as being a top priority, I would
think we'd like to get something done there as quick as we could.
Whether they want to test the market or not, I'm not sure."

Q: Where do you see ranking with other quarterbacks?

A: "I don't get caught up in that. I just know that last year there
were some questions on him. Should we go after somebody else or
not? The philosophy was that, 'Hey, if somebody was out there that
was head and shoulders above Jay, yeah, let's go [after him].' But
if somebody's close to being equal and he's got a year or two in
the system, you don't make a change. I think that Jay proved that
he can do the things to win at the quarterback position. We didn't
give him as much help as we would have liked to by putting him in a
lot of [3rd-and-long situations]. How many times were we in
3rd-and-10 [against Baltimore]. That's tough on any quarterback to
convert those."

Q: How has Cade [McNown] looked and is there a possibility of him
being in the mix next year?

A: "There's a possibility. The offseason is going to be a
determining [factor]. He's going to have to work hard and make some
improvement in the offseason. That's when we'll really get a chance
to evaluate him. This whole year, he's really just done the
scout-team work off of cards. So the offseason will be very, very
important for Cade McNown."

Q: Can Chris Chambers become a top go-to Pro Bowl guy?

A: "No question about it. He's got all the qualities from speed,
size, hands, toughness to do whatever you want to do with a

Q: Do guys make a bigger jump from the first year to the second

A: "I've always believed that. That's when you see the most
significant improvement in a player. As a rookie their heads are
usually swimming, trying to adjust to pro football, the long
season, training camp, and everything else that goes with it. The
second year, they're usually more settled in and understand the
position and the offense better."

Q: Do you need to add a player on the offensive line aside from the
injured players maybe coming back?

A: "Yeah. I think, I don't know about veteran players, but we
definitely will be looking to add a young player in the draft.
That's the one position that you can go back 10 years that's
probably been slighted the most here. Todd Wade is a young guy
that's starting. But after Todd, it was Tim Ruddy. For whatever
reason, we just haven't added a lot at the offensive line. We've
got to get a good, young player that can help us."

Q: Will Cousin return with Jamar being a first-round pick?

A: "The offseason will be very important for Jamar. I felt like he
really didn't have as good an opportunity as he would have liked
because of the injury last year. He missed all of minicamp and got
hurt in training camp. So this will be big for him. But we'd like
to have Terry back. You can never have enough good corners."

Q: Will the new coordinator be allowed to change things or will
they play the same style of offense you have now?

A: "We'll tweak some things, wherever we need to adjust them. But
it'll be the same philosophy. I don't foresee any major changes."

Q: Just to clarify, there have been no negotiations with Troy?

A: "I promise you that is not true."

Q: Should Jay expect to return as the starter?

A: "Yes. Definitely."

Q: How much do you want Turk back?

A: "Matt did a nice job for us. We want him back. I talked to him
this morning. Rick's been talking to his agent. Hopefully, we'll be
able to get something done."

Q: You say you want everyone back, but you do have some major cap
issues ...

A: "We're probably going to have to do a little bit of
restructuring, which is not uncommon. We've done it in the past.
We'll find a way to get it done. We're not going to be able to get
everybody back, we know that. But you never know. Every year
there's always a few surprises out there."

Q: Do you anticipate [expansion team] Houston making a pretty large

A: "Yeah. They could really add a bunch of players. They've got the
money. I'm not sure what direction they want to go. Do they want to
take the Carolina philosophy and add a bunch of veteran players? Or
go the way Jacksonville went and add draft picks and a lot of young
players? I'm not sure what their thoughts are."

Q: Does it make it more of a priority now to get some of your
younger guys re-signed before the start of free agency?

A: "That was the thinking last year with Patrick Surtain. There was
one or two guys who we made that a priority a year ago, knowing
that if Surtain was a free agent this year he might be the No. 1
corner out there. So that was the thinking a year ago. We tried on
a few other guys. Some of them we got done, some we didn't."

Q: Is there a good chance Tim Bowens will be back?

A: "I hope so. Tim is a good football player. He's been one of my
favorites, from knowing where he's at every week. He shows up to
I thought I was going to be here all night reading that thing! LOL :p

Originally posted by burghPhinFan
Cool of you to post that! Did you type all of that in yourself?

Thanks for posting the news conference. It was nice to hear what Dave is thinking/considering for the future, even if we don't agree with it totally.:fire:
It does not answer many questions for me. All it does is remind me of the press confrence at the end of last season, and the season before that, and the season before that, and the season before that, and the season........................

Gunn, I think I might...........

Originally posted by Gunn
It does not answer many questions for me. All it does is remind me of the press confrence at the end of last season, and the season before that, and the season before that, and the season before that, and the season........................


have to agree with you're post on second thought!:yell: Just read my other post attention 'phin fans,Dave Wannstedt, etc. I had to vent my anger somewhere!:fire:

:monkey: Our last 5 playoff losses.
Well he put the Aikman rumors to rest for now. Also, he got kind of specific on who he wanted to keep around.

No I didn't type that out. If you suscribe to the Fins Insider from the Sun Sentinel, you will receive the press conference every Monday. I have to highly recommend the Fins Insider, as it has the most comprehensive reporting on the Dolphins I have ever found.

No they didn't pay me to say that, I just really recommend it.

On a side note, here is some food for thought. IF we get Norv as a O.C., Konrad will be a star. Anyone else remember a pass catching fullback by the name of Moose Johnston? Yea, Norv made him famous. :)
Konrad will be a star.
we've been hearing that ever since he was assigned #44 at 'Cuse :rolleyes:

Everyone forgets that Dan's two best passes were the swing the fullback in running situtations (to Byars and Davenport and Bennett) and the dump off safety valve to the 3rd down back like Nathan and Crash. We need those 2 plays back in the arsenal near the top of the list.
Konrad is one of the most talented FBs in the league, and lots of league personelle agree to that. The Dolphins should pass to him a lot more, use him like the Jets use Anderson, etc.
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