First thing’s first, the injuries — Justin Simmons and Frank Clark have officially been ruled out for today, and Mike Purcell is questionable. We have a lot of watching and waiting to do as the day unfolds.
Despite the hardships at the top of this season, head coach Sean Payton is aiming high in Miami. Asked about the key to being a good road team, he shared some insight from when he coached NOLA.
“A good road team—[if] we’re really good at home, good in cold weather and warm weather, we’re probably a good team. It’s that simple,” he said, “I kind of went through it all in New Orleans. We struggled when we’d leave the dome. That was all historically because they had struggled. We ended up becoming one of the top two road teams for a number of years.”
From Payton’s perspective, it all goes back to the team. And today, they’re playing against a team that has already won 2/2 away games this year. He gave props to Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, who he describes as a “forward thinker” who is doing a “fantastic job.”
“He’s doing well. I would say, obviously, calling the plays, but just as important is the design of what you’re getting ready to call. He’s really sharp...you can see it on tape.”
Asked about how he balanced being aggressive on offense while limiting the other team’s opportunities, he brought up the importance of playing “complementary football.” Not to go unnoticed, the DC coordinator they’ll be squaring up against today is Vic Fangio, an absolute defensive mastermind who also happens to be the Broncos’ former head coach.
“We have to be good on third downs. That’s the one thing that will be important. Then, I would say red zone,” he said, adding that Fangio has “always done a good job of playing good red zone defense.”
“They don’t give you a lot, but they play it very well,” he concluded.
For the Broncos' defense, Payton shared what needs to improve for today’s contest, particularly in the run game.
“I think our tackling is one of our keys in this game,” he said. “These guys get the ball into space, so you have to populate, break down, and be able to space tackle. You have to pursue, shimmy down and play with good leverage...that area is something I know Vance and our staff has been working on.”