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  Interview with OG Justin Smiley
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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On Thursday, Phins.com participated in an interview with Miami Dolphins guard Justin Smiley. Justin shared his thoughts on the big win over the Patriots, and other topics of interest.


Q: His feelings on beating the Patriots in Foxborough.

JS: It was an amazing feeling, because nobody in the world gave us chance. We were 0-2, and going there they had won 21 straight at home and they played in the big game last year. To win in that fashion, to dominate the way that we did, was pleasing.


Q: On the Wildcat formation.

JS: We put the formation in a long time ago, back in training camp. There’s a lot more to that formation than people think. I’m not sure what the coach’s game plan will be (against San Diego), but we got some more to it. (Against the Patriots) we threw a wrinkle in there and I don’t think those guys were ready for the kind of game we were going to play. During pregame, we made up our minds that we were going to go out there and hit them in the mouth.


Q: On if he has a set pregame routine or any superstitions that help him get ready to play.

JS: I am scared senseless of getting overworked up before a game. Every game that I play…my nerves are just going. I’m on the edge of my seat. I just try to control my breathing and calm down a little bit. During pregame, I’ll just look around at all the fans and say that ‘this is my dream, ever since I was a little boy’, and remind myself to just go out there and play the game like I’m capable of playing.


Q: On how the loss of OG Donald Thomas for the season affected the chemistry of the line and how they are moving forward.

JS: I really like Donald as a person because he is a hungry rookie, and a very respectful and humble guy. Not many people knew about Donald Thomas, but he came in and quickly earned the name “Mini Brian” or “Brian, Jr.” from Brian Waters of the Kansas City Chiefs (three time Pro Bowl guard). He looks like him and plays like him. The guy’s an amazing player. I never dreamt of playing as well as he has as a rookie. To lose him hurt us. But it opened up some doors for some other people to step up. I know Donald, and it probably hurt him deep inside not to be able to go out there with us and earn a victory. But EK (Ikechuku Ndukwe) did a nice job for us, and Evan Mathis is there as well to pick up the slack.


Q: On the confidence level of the locker room before and after the Patriots game.

JS: Going into the game, my personal mindset was (that) we’re 0-2, our backs are against the wall, we’re going into a “bye” (weekend), and it would be terrible to go into the “bye” 0-3 and you can’t redeem yourself for another week. Coach Sparano, as fiery and as competitive as he is, said “we’re going to win this game, I believe that 100%”. As a player, he gave me confidence because I wasn’t afraid to go out and make mistakes. I could just go and let it all hang out. Afterwards in the locker room, I felt like I won the Super Bowl. It was the biggest game I’d ever won in my career. It was a pretty amazing feeling.


Q: On the 20 yard TD run by Ronnie Brown in the 2nd Quarter of the Patriots game and how he and C Samson Satele destroyed DT Vince Wilfork on the play.

JS: That’s called an A block. I’m on the backside of that play. Ronnie can keep (on) the front side or he can take the backside of that play. The way he determines if he’s going to make that cut or not depends on what we do with that nose (Wilfork). With Wilfork, they play a “heads up” nose in the 3-4 defense. And I pretty much honestly got sick and tired of hearing how good Vince Wilfork was all week…”he’s a bad ass, blah blah blah”. And he is a heck of a player. But between Samson and I, if we couldn’t move that guy, there wasn’t nobody in the world (who) was gonna move him. So I just came off (the line), and you keep your pads low, you get hip to hip with your Center, and you just roll that big butt outta there. That’s what we did on that play. There were a couple of other ones, too. It just one of those things where you talk about determination; all you’ve got to do is go out an execute it and we did on that play. Ronnie cut it back, and it was off to the races.


Q: On how the training and conditioning has helped the team avoid injuries

JS: First of all, we had nearly perfect attendance this offseason program. (With) Bill Parcells, you’re going to be there. That’s the bottom line. But we’ve been very blessed thus far.


Q: On what it was that attracted him to sign with the Dolphins so early in free agency.

JS: The one and only thing, besides the terms of the contract, how quickly they called me and said, “Hey, we want you here”. In San Francisco, I didn’t feel as though I was that important to those guys. All ever wanted was to be important to somebody’s team and they (Dolphins) made it known from the start that I was. There was no questions, no wavering.

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