Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. I also scanned the Miami area media websites and the Dolphins website, to see what else the Dolphins players and coaches are saying about this week's matchup with the Lions.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Brock Osweiler it is. Gase confirmed to Lions reporters Wednesday that quarterback Ryan Tannehill's injured throwing shoulder will keep him out another week, so it will be Osweiler starting at quarterback Sunday against the Lions. Gase said Osweiler can run the offense just fine, and there will be no wholesale changes they make. Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions defeating the Chicago Bears last week in overtime.
Meet this week's opponents, the Miami Dolphins.
2. The Lions traded defensive tackle Akeem Spence to the Dolphins this offseason for a late-round draft pick. The Lions were transitioning from an attacking defense upfront to more of a gap-control scheme, and Spence was certainly a better fit in Miami's 4-3 scheme. Spence said he has nothing but respect for his former Lions teammates ...
"But I wouldn't mind getting to Matt Stafford a few times, just like I used to do on the practice field," he told miamidolphins.com.
3. Dolphins veteran defensive end Cameron Wake practiced Wednesday. He's missed Miami's last two games with a knee injury. Gase said Thursday will be the important day for Wake, seeing how the knee reacts to Wednesday's practice.
4. Gase said this week that he's treating playing Detroit like he's playing the Patriots, a familiar opponent, in terms of going against Detroit's defense and the style and scheme Matt Patricia has brought over to the Lions from New England.
The one difference, according to Gase, is he thinks Detroit's defense under Patricia is a little faster and can play more sideline to sideline than those defenses in New England.
Patricia will also be very familiar with Gase and the Miami offense from their times squaring off in the AFC East.
5. Lions wide receiver Golden Tate has been one of the best yards-after-the-catch gainers in the NFL for years. He was leading all NFL receivers in that department heading into Detroit's bye last week. The Dolphins have a pretty good player in that regard in Albert Wilson, who finished behind Tate in YAC last season.
Wilson proclaimed this week to be the best YAC receiver in the league after gaining 136 yards and scoring two touchdowns on two short passes he turned into longs gains in last week's win over Chicago.
"I'm the best YAC receiver in the league, for sure," he told ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "Team is looking for me to make those plays. That's what I'm here for."
6. The temperatures Sunday are expected to be the mid to upper 80s. Gase and the Dolphins treat that as a significant home-field advantage, much like the Broncos do with the elevation in Denver when Gase was an assistant there. He said those teams always have an approach of making it a fourth-quarter game, because they feel in those kinds of games they have the edge having trained in the conditions.
7. Gase was asked about having to pressure Stafford Sunday: "If you let him stand back there, it's going to be a long day."