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Post-Practice Quote Sheet: Gunther Cunningham, 12-23-10

Posted Dec 23, 2010

On if the wildcat is still something he has to emphasize:
"You know, two years ago they cost me two days of my life and I’d like to have those two days back. What they do is really exceptional. Whoever’s designing that – I know Dan Henning’s the coordinator, I used to work for him believe it or not – he’s bright; and they have a young coach, his last name is Lee, I guess he coached at Arkansas. So that’s how they started it all. But it’s still what it has always been. It’s a defensive coach’s nightmare because you have to put in a lot of hours and prepare your players. Ronnie Brown’s handling it the same way, Ricky Williams looks as good as ever.

"All I can say to Ricky Williams – I want him to know this: if he hits one of our DBs in the back on a crack block, then I’m coming on the field. I mean, he’s had a couple of knock outs, but they’ve been not legal. I’ll just put it as that.

"They have that thing humming. I think what happens, you know, when you have a mix of the wildcat and some of the other stuff and you don’t score a lot of points, people start finger-pointing at different things. I’d like to see them throw it out to be honest with you (laughter)."

On if the Dolphins’ Wildcat attack is different every week:
"Well, it’s evolved over the last two years. I’ve had 100 snaps of it drawn up and all that. They’ve really changed and they use four back at the same time on the field. You never can track what they’re going to do and how many backs are going to be out there. And they all play a specific role and they’ve got more – other personnel they add to those groups. They can jump in there with a quarterback on the field, they can take the quarterback off the field and they have the multitude of formations going for them. But they must have to spend a lot of time on it because each guy has to line up in specific areas and just make those calls and teach them all that.

"That’s where they’ve evolved and Jim’s right. He and I sat down together this week and he knew I coached against them a couple years ago. We looked at them at the Senior Bowl, they practiced a lot of that stuff but you couldn’t run it. I think they were looking for players who might be able to execute it. They have about 52 fumbles one day. I’m sure they were cutting guys right there that they hadn’t even drafted. But they know how to do it and it’s a good coaching staff. Dan Henning is one of the finest coaches I’ve ever met in my life. They’re playing good defense, good special teams and they are running the ball. Somebody said that Ricky and Ronnie aren’t averaging over 4.0 (yards per carry), well one’s got 3.9, the other guy’s got 4.5, so if you put it together, I believe that’s over four for those two guys. I don’t see the weakness in it, that’s all I’m going to say."

On if he just plays it as a run:
"No, you’ve got to … to do this and defend it, you better be sound in every area. No running back is good at delivering the ball off of play-action or any of those things. Quarterbacks struggle to learn how to do that. But the threat is there because he can throw it. I saw Brandon Marshall – they ran a play off the Wildcat; faked the reverse, he stopped and threw it 65 yards down the field against the Titans. So they have that part of the package, so you have to be smart and you better be right."
On LB Landon Johnson working his way back:
"Yeah, he’s gotten into some difficult spots this year. He’s really played well for us, we really miss him. He had a real good practice today. He looks like he’s ready to go. I hope the medical staff says alright. He looks like he’s ready, though."
On whether S Amari Spievey can play both sides if S Louis Delmas can’t play:
"Well, yeah. Both safeties play both spots. We don’t play a strong or a free safety like most teams; we play them left or right, so they have to know both sides."
On S John Wendling:
"I’m glad you brought John up; he played really well for us last week. I kidded him the other day and I said, ‘How many tackles have you made on defense in the NFL?’ And he thought I was talking about last week’s game. He said, ‘Five or six.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute,’ because if you look up the stats, he’s never had a snap on the defense. He went in there, there was one play specifically – well, two – that stand out.

"One was a motion play that he made the check on and rolled back to the deep middle, I couldn’t believe it. He moved before anybody on our defense; he knew exactly what to do. The other one was a power play where the fullback came after him and I think the fullback is still talking to himself because John’s about 220, 225. I don’t know if you know this, but he is really fast. That’s why he’s a gunner on this team. I’ve heard rumors about how fast – I’m not going to give you a number. For me, I don’t believe it."

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