Due to Hurricane Irma, the Miami Dolphins have yet to play a regular season game. However, that will all change this week as they face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Practicing out west, Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh previewed the game and what they're looking forward to in Los Angeles.
Sunday marks the fifth-straight season the Bolts and Dolphins meet. However, much has changed on both teams. Jay Cutler is starting at quarterback for Miami having taken over for the injured Ryan Tannehill. For the Chargers, the changes came at head coach and defensive coordinator. As Gase explained from watching film, he already sees both Anthony Lynn and Gus Bradley's fingerprints on the Chargers.
"Offensively, you'll see (Lynn's) fingerprints working with those guys," Gase said. "Defensively, it seems like that defense is kind of built in his personality but with Gus as well. You see a bunch of guys just playing hard and fast. That model of (Lynn's) background trying to do a good job protecting the football and creating turnovers."
Suh has faced the Bolts the past two seasons and also described some of the new wrinkles in the 2017 Chargers.
"They have a fairly new offensive line," Suh said. "Matt Slauson is the main consistent guy with (Joe Barksdale). Watching overall, primarily in the run game, they have some of their head coach's inklings of how he likes to have things done as he's been a running backs coach for the majority of his career. I think at this stage, that's as far as I've gotten. I've watched a little bit of the pass game…but I have an idea of what they plan to do. At the end of the day, understanding and playing against them many times, I believe they're going to have a particular scheme for us as well as overall defense."
Having spent his professional coaching career on the offensive side of the ball, Gase has a true respect for quarterbacks in the league. One in particular is Philip Rivers. While Gase described how difficult it is to pinpoint what makes number 17 one of the best in the game as he enters his 14th season, he admitted the multitude of Rivers' characteristics will likely give his team fits on Sunday.
"I've been on the other sideline so many times. I've always just loved the way he's competed. I love the fight that he has. It doesn't matter what the score is; it's never over with him. You have to play a full 60 minutes. He always makes the big play. It just seems you're trying to go for the knockout punch, and he makes a big play and it's a tied game. He either figures out a way to win it, or it's going to come down to that last drive of the game…. He's a guy who seems he can put the ball where he wants to put it the majority of the time."