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11/20/11 – Bills vs. Dolphins

I was very excited for the game today. Both teams had pretty bad pass defenses, so I was really prepared to see a shootout. That didn’t happen at all apparently. The dolphins went up early, and the Bills could never get going. The Dolphins scored touchdowns on their drives. The Bills could barely get the ball rolling.

The Bills received and drove down the field, and scored a field goal. The Dolphins’ quickly answered that score with a TD. Then, another TD. And, then another. It was great watching the Dolphins’ click on all cylinders. It was really nice. Halftime meant lunchtime, and a good break from watching the game. I really enjoyed the entire game. 

A bit before the two minute warning, I went downstairs to wait on line for access to the Dolphins’ and Bills’ locker rooms. It was brief, but I was first on line which felt great. I didn’t miss much of the game either. After waiting and waiting for the Dolphins’ security staff to open the locker room doors, I finally walked into the locker room.

Sean Smith was the first person I saw when I walked into the Dolphins’ Locker Room. He was a familiar face to me, and he was a former 2nd round pick by the Dolphins, and now the starting cornerback. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What do you think the key to victory today was?

Sean Smith : @SeanSmith4 : Getting them off on third downs, definitely. I don’t think they converted one third down, so whenever you can get something like that, it’s huge.

Strauss : Why do you think the defense stepped up today, compared to other games?

Sean Smith : We’re having fun out there. We’re enjoying what we’re doing. I think that’s the biggest difference. We put the film on, you see guys celebrating with one another. Like I said, it’s fun to go out there and shut your opponent down like that.

Steve Slaton was the second person I talked to in the Dolphins’ Locker Room. He was a member of the Houston Texans, but was given another opportunity to play for the Miami Dolphins. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What’s been the transition like for you to go from the Texans to the Dolphins?

Steve Slaton : @Steve20Slaton : It’s been good. This league is all about opportunity. You go from one team and you learn. That’s the big thing about being in this league. You take the things that you learn from one place and you bring it here.

Strauss : Where do you see role in the future?

Steve Slaton : To be ready whenever you’re called for. If it’s running the ball or doing kickoff returns, just waiting for an opportunity. 

The third person I talked to in the Dolphins’ Locker Room was Paul Soliai. Paul was another familiar face and body. He’s a huge guy, and definitely plays like he is one of the best defensive tackles in the league. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What do you think the key to your success has been the last three weeks not giving up a defensive touchdown?

Paul Soliai : It’s just being together, and just finishing plays. We’re playing together as a family. It means a lot to us. We don’t want to be that team that doesn’t win a game. So we put our foot down and started playing together, and finished games. 

Strauss : What are your expectations for this season?

Paul Soliai : Right now, we’re just focused on Dallas now. We come in tomorrow, and get ready for next week’s game. We’re just onto Dallas now.

The last person I talked to in the Dolphins’ Locker Room was Jared Odrick. He is another big guy, and a hard worker. He’s had back to back weeks with sacks, and his famous dance so I had to bring it up. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What do you think the keys have been to your success on defense these past few weeks?

Jared Odrick : @JaredOdrick98 : We’re finally together as a unit. It’s good being on the same page. We are just working hard throughout the week to focus on what we have to do against each opponent.

Strauss : And… What’s your sack dance called?

Jared Odrick : Common now. How old are you?

Strauss : I’m eighteen. 

Jared Odrick : See, then you have no idea.

Strauss : So, what is it?

Jared Odrick : Pee Wee Herman.   

Strauss : Where’s that from?

Jared Odrick : It’s from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. You got to watch it. 

Strauss : I guess I got to watch it. So, why do you do that dance?

Jared Odrick : Why? Because it’s fun. Doesn’t it look like fun?

I then ran over to the Bills locker room. Time is so valuable in getting interviews. I wanted to make sure I reached players before they showered. Danny Batten was the first player I talked to in the Bills’ Locker Room. I was highly recommended to talk to him. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What do you think the key to the Bills’ defensive success these next few weeks and everything?

Danny Batten : @DannyBatten57 : We got to continue to force turnovers. When we were winning, our defense was getting an insane amount of turnovers. We just got back to that one way or another. 

Strauss : What do you as your future role with the team?

Danny Batten : I hope to contribute more and more. I don’t know what the future holds. All I can do is control what I can control. I’m going to play as hard as I can. Let the chips fall where they may. That’s up to them. I’m going to play hard and do my best. But, ideally to be playing more and more.

Strauss : Thanks Danny.

Danny Batten : No problem.

Bryan Scott was the second player I talked to in the Bills’ Locker Room. He was my most recent interview at the time, and it was very cool to talk to him. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What do you guys need to do to get back clicking on defense?

Bryan Scott : @TeamBryanScott : We just need to go back and correct the mistakes.   We need to go back and start playing mistake-free. Everyone has to be accountable for what they have to do. They have to get their job done. That’s what it’s about.

Strauss : What did you see out of Da’Norris Searcy in his first start today?

Bryan Scott : Searcy played great today. He has a bright future. He is athletic. He’s a smart guy. He’s good against the run. He’s sound against the pass. I see big things coming from Searcy in the future.

Da’Norris Searcy was the third player I talked to in the Bills’ Locker Room. I decided since I just asked a veteran about him, that it would be smart to go up to him. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What was it like having your first NFL start?

Da’Norris Searcy : @DSearcy21 : It was fun. Our preparation from this past week leading up to the game, I felt like I was ready to go, and when my number was called, I just went out there and did my job.

Strauss : How can you get better from this game moving onto your next start?

Da’Norris Searcy : There are always ways to get better, to take this game, and learn from it, and to continue to grow as a player.

Aaron Williams was the fourth player I talked to in the Bills’ Locker Room. Right after I talked to Da’Norris, I decided to move to the person right next to his locker, Aaron Williams. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What do you see as your future role with the team?

Aaron Williams : @AJWilliams23 : Whatever the coaches ask me to do. You saw Terrence [McGee] went down today, and it was really unfortunate. But, when your number is called, you got to go in there, and do the best you can.

Strauss : How do you grade your single performance? 

Aaron Williams : I had one ball caught on me, and a couple of tackles. It was okay. You never want to grade yourself on individual stuff, when you have a loss or even after if you have a win. It’s always a team effort, and you have to do what you got to do. You have go out there and try to get the ‘W’.

Strauss : What’s it like being a Texas Longhorn in the NFL? 

Aaron Williams : It’s a blessing.You have so many Longhorns in the NFL that are active right now. I’m trying to follow footsteps with the great ones before, and we have some coming in this year.  We’re trying to keep it rolling.

Scott Chandler was the fifth player I talked to in the Bills’ Locker Room. I talked to his former collegiate teammate, Pat Angerer before the game, and he informed me that I should talk to him. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : After this loss, what’s your main focus this week? How are you going to come back even more prepared?

Scott Chandler : @ScottChandler84 : We’ve got to execute better on offense, early in the game especially. Two weeks in a row now, we’re just getting behind the eight-ball. Today, we gave them fourteen points in the first half. We can’t do that. We were down, 28-6 at halftime. We’ve done it before, but it isn’t easy to climb out of that hole. We got to come out of the gate, and put points on the board early, and get touchdowns.

Strauss : How will you help get this team to be successful in the final weeks of the NFL season?

Scott Chandler : I mean I’m not going to do anything different. I’m just going to do my job. I think that’s what all of us need to do: just focus on doing your job. And, if we all get our job done, Coach will put a game-plan in that we can execute. There going to put together something that we can be successful with. We just need to go out there and execute it.

Brad Smith was the fifth player I talked to in the Bills’ Locker Room. I met him during the first time I covered JetsCamp back in the 2010 summer. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What’s it like being a Buffalo Bill?

Brad Smith : @RealBradSmith : It’s been good man. I love the people here. I love going to work everyday and seeing everybody. It’s been good.

Strauss : What do you see as your role in the future? I know you’re listed as Quarterback on the roster, so where do you see yourself?

Brad Smith : I’m just working. It’s kind of tough. We had a short offseason. I’m trying to find a way to find my role.

Seeing WR, Stevie Johnson swarmed by media was something that I imagined. I waited until they left and then I went up to him. He was my 42nd interview, and he’s known about my site and I for over a year now. I knew him for a while, and before he was extremely productive, which was cool. We talked, and he looked at me, and thanked me for doing the interview. He also was very impressed to meet me, and told me that he would have never imagined actually meeting me.

Walking back to Dolphins Locker Room, I saw a familiar face in the interview room, Charles Clay. I know this face because he told me that he’d do an interview, and we’re still planning to do one once the season ends. To download the audio to this interview, click here.

Strauss : What’s it like to find that connection with Matt Moore? I’ve been saying on twitter the “MM to CC connection”, what do you think of that?

Charles Clay : @CClay31 : It’s big. You know Matt does a great job of getting me settled in, and keeping all of the jitters out. Just seeing how calm he is, and for him being thrown into the fire, that’s big. Not only for him, but for me as well.

Strauss : What do you see as your future role with the Dolphins?

Charles Clay : I really don’t know. However they use me, I’m all up for it. It really varies game to game, so I go into each game not knowing how exactly I’ll be used, but I’ll do whatever they ask me to do.

Strauss : You were a big threat out of the backfield in college, how do you think that has helped you translate into the NFL?

Charles Clay : It’s big. Just because simply all of the things that they had me doing in college, like moving around, it’s pretty much the same thing that I’m doing here. Having that experience of doing it, I believe has made this transition a lot easier.

Strauss : Have you learned much from Reggie Bush or Steve Slaton who are also receiving threats out of the backfield?

Charles Clay : Yeah. Not only the stuff that they tell me, but also watching those guys work. They come out and work harder than anybody else. You learn a lot from what they say, and also the things that they do.

Strauss : Last question, can you just take me through that touchdown that you had today?

Charles Clay : It was big. I was coming through the line. I was thinking that the linebacker would come downhill, but he didn’t. I saw the safety sitting on the hashes, and I turn around and Matt threw it on the money. All I could think was, ‘Haul this one in. Don’t let this one go.’ I got up and didn’t know what to do, but I was just excited.

It was a great opportunity traveling around the locker rooms after the game and getting some great quotes. It was a great opportunity to be so close to the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills players. I took one last look, and I left.  Special Shout out to the Dolfan Bandits who I saw after the game ended! Totally awesome seeing them and their spirit!

Thank you to the Dolphins Public Relations’ and Media Relations’ staff for giving me this tremendous opportunity!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 28 2011

    WOW!! Max! I can’t believe I am listening to this!!! You are just incredible – my writing skills aren’t well versed enough to even describe your talent. Thanks for covering Aaron Williams – was he polite?

    • Nov 28 2011

      Yeah, it was definitely great meeting Aaron. He’s a great guy!! He follows me on twitter now too, so that’s pretty awesome in itself too. Hopefully I’ll get a full interview soon.


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