Posts Tagged ‘oj mcduffie’

DolfansNYC Q&A: Rishard Matthews

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
Rishard_Matthews_DolfansNYC
Photo: Bryan Hoffman/DolfansNYC

Buried on the depth chart and limited to special teams for much of his first three NFL seasons, Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews acknowledges he momentarily let his emotions get the best of him during the offseason, before a pivotal conversation with a team legend reversed his outlook.

“I talk to Rishard probably once a month … he’s my favorite receiver,” says recently-named Top 50 All-Time Dolphins player O.J. McDuffie. “The things he was going through off the field this year – about the trade talks, the wanting to get released thing – I just told him, ‘Stick to the grind. Continue doing what you’re doing and working hard.’ He came in to the OTAs, mini-camp and training camp with a whole new attitude, and he can’t be denied on the football field now.”

Matthews – who entered his fourth-year campaign as one of only two incumbent wideouts on Miami’s revamped receiving corps – cemented a starting role, separating himself from his peers by utilizing his size and strength as both a pass-catcher and blocker.

“I’m a bigger receiver, so I do more when it comes to coming out of breaks and I take pride in catching the ball over the middle,” he says. “If somebody tries to lay a big hit on me, it doesn’t really affect me. I try to make them feel it more than I feel it.”

Originally a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, Matthews showed flashes of his immense potential early in his career – hauling in 11 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 of the 2013 season – setting the stage for his eye-opening start to 2015.

“I think people forget that this is my fourth year,” he says smiling. “I was here two years ago when (Brandon) Gibson went down and I contributed a lot. People are acting like it’s the first time I’ve made catches or done something. It’s good to still be here … (be) a part of this great organization, great people and great staff.”

The University of Nevada product has started all six games – already matching his total from his first 38 NFL appearances – and is on pace to not only shatter his career highs in nearly every statistical category, but rack up the fifth-most single-season receiving yards (1,168) and touchdowns (11) in franchise history.

DolfansNYC caught up with No. 18 to discuss his remarkable success, adjusting to fantasy football stardom, enjoying family life and more.

What do you feel have been the biggest keys to your breakout season?

“I would just say opportunity and consistency. I was just able to capitalize on my opportunity when DeVante (Parker) went down (with a foot injury). That’s really the reason I was able to make it hard for the coaches to put me back on the bench.

“When given the opportunity, I’ve taken advantage of it and just continued to be consistent from there. I think the coaches have just gained a lot of trust in me, and I’m going to try to continue to do that.”

Have you set out to accomplish any personal goals this season and beyond?

“I want to start every game, but (if not), play as much as I can and never miss a practice. I’ll just try to keep that (mindset) going in my career.”

How often do you hear fans say you’re on their fantasy teams?

“I’ve been hearing it a lot recently. The other day, I was actually walking in the mall and somebody said the same thing – ‘Oh, I’m starting you!’ It’s new, but I just say, ‘Don’t get mad if I don’t ever get you points.’”

Who were players you admired growing up and modeled your own game after?

“I wouldn’t say (he’s a player I) built my game around, but I really like Anquan Boldin. I think he’s kind of the same receiver as I am – I try to be like him, at least. He does a great job of breaking tackles and whatnot.”

What have been the biggest differences for you and the team since Dan Campbell took over as head coach?

“(He’s) just changing the culture up a little bit – just bringing the fun back to football. Not saying that it wasn’t fun before, but he’s just changing it up. We all understood what happened and with change, you have to make sure you get the attention of the team. He’s done a great job of that during practices and in the locker room.”

I’ve read he’s a big Metallica fan. Does he play any heavy metal music in the locker room?

(Laughs) “Is he? I could see it, now that you said that. That’s crazy though. I didn’t know that.”

What kind of music do you listen to before games?

“I like hip-hop. My favorite artist is Drake.”

What are some of your favorite off-the-field hobbies?

“I just had a son, so I hang out with my son and my dogs. I’m kind of a homebody, so I don’t do too much.”

Congratulations! How old is your son?

“Thank you. He’s seven weeks, so it’s a lot (of responsibility).”

It must be even tougher now to go on the road, but how much does it mean to you to have fan support across the country?

“It means a lot. I’ve seen it a lot. It shows us – and especially the new players who come (to the Dolphins) – that wherever we go, we have love everywhere. You have to be ready, embrace their presence and feed off of it.”

Dolfans In DC

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

DC Shutdown

Last weekend I headed down to DC with a van full of Dolfans NYC members to support our brothers to the south. NOVA Dolfans and The Valley Finatics were doing their best #MetLifeTakeover impression in Washington called the DC Shutdown. After the NOVA Dolfans came to our takeover a few years ago they were really inspired and spent nearly two years planning this thing. Dolfans NYC did all we could to help them with this thing but they really killed it last weekend and I am glad we had a bunch of our crew there to support them.

Saturday night there was a party at the Mellow Mushroom in Herndon, VA. It’s the NOVA Dolfans home base and although a hippie pizza place is an odd choice for a sports bar, it was a blast. Solo D did his thing and our buddies Paul Picken and Stephen Daniels hosted the event all night. Even OJ McDuffie showed up! It was great.

The next day there was a huge tailgate but Dolfans were EVERYWHERE. DC only gets a Dolphins game every 8 years and it’s an easy drive from NYC all the way down to North Carolina. Ever Phins fan on the east coast seemed to be there and we actually ended up tailgating with a totally different crew because they let us use their grill (the NOVA guys had a catering company). Of course we still made our appearances and partied with those guys for a while.

The game itself left a lot to be desired but in the end we got a win and Dolfans totally took over the game. The DC Shutdown crew was in one end and then all the Dolfans that bought tickets on their own seemed to be on the visitors sideline lower level. The combination of these to huge packs of Phins fans with the hundreds of other Dolfans there created a lot of noise and you could hear us clearly on TV. The whole thing was a blast.

I thought I was going to take a ton of photos during the party and the tailgate but I ended up doing none of that. I did get a big group portrait at the Mellow Mushroom and a nice shot of my friend Kathleen doing a selfie with OJ McDuffie so I figured I would post those two shots but that’s really all I got.

Anyway, see you guys on Sunday at 4pm at Slattery’s Midtown Pub! I can’t wait to get back to our bar! Phins up!

OJ McDuiffie Selfie

#MetLife Takeover Twitter Reaction

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

By the middle of the third quarter of Sunday’s game, MetLife Stadium was half-empty, as thousands of dejected Jets fans filed for the exits. By the the time the fourth quarter started and the Dolphins held a comfortable 20-3 lead, Sections 322 and 323 — along with several hundred aqua-and-orange-clad fans scattered around the stadium — were the only ones left clapping in the stands. 760 DolfansNYC members, plus a few more who migrated to join us, cheered for every first down, sang the fight song after every touchdown (even one that was ultimately called back) and made sure to let the Jets know #MetLifeTakeover was in full effect.

Prior to and especially following the game — along with the support of thousands of fans across the country — dozens of past and present Dolphins stars, front office personnel and media members offered humbling shoutouts to DolfansNYC. Check out notable Tweets and images from CEO Tom Garfinkel, team legend O.J. McDuffie and current players including Brian Hartline, Jared Odrick and Mike Pouncey — all of whom heard their fans loud and clear.

If that wasn’t enough, watch Coach Joe Philbin thank the fans “up in the cheap seats” during his radio show with the Finsiders (12:35 mark in the video) and Brian Hartline point up to us after scoring his TD! (more…)

Web Weekend X!

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

For the last ten years the Miami Dolphins have invited a group of Miami Dolphins fans who run websites down to Miami. I am one of four people who have been to all ten of them. I used to run another Dolphins website that no one ever read but somehow the Dolphins found me. We would go down every year and I just would update my site enough to keep getting invited.  Around year four I met the 2 Michelle’s, two girls from NYC who had a Dolphins blog. I started watching games with them and after Tall Michelle moved Short Michelle and I founded DolfansNYC.

Last year was a really big one for us. We donated a ton of money to the Miami Dolphins foundation and ended up winning a “Webby Award’ for best community website. We also used the opportunity to reach out to other Dolphins fan sites and raise even more money for hurricane Sandy relief efforts. It was a pretty amazing trip.

This year was even better for us. We won the community webby again and we ended up raising $3000 already this year that we donated to the Miami Dolphins Foundation. We also donated another $300 to two Dolphins Cycling Challenge riders who are doing a bike ride to raise money for the Sylvester Cancer Center at the University of Miami. We gave Joe Philbin, Sam Madison and OJ McDuffie DolfansNYC shirts and OJ told us he might wear it to our #MetLifeTakeover event on December 1st! He posted a photo of himself wearing it on Twitter too!

We also got to meet Brandon Fields and John Denny who signed some stuff for us to raffle off and we also had John Offerdahl sign some stuff too. He spoke to us and promoted his Gridiron Grill Off which you should check out if you are in South Florida. That guy is always hilarious but he had just come from a food and wine festival and had a few drinks in him and he was so so funny. All of us were dying. That guy is a legend.

The highlight of the trip for us was when we presented new CEO Tom Garfinkel our Miami Dolphins Foundation donation. He seemed genuinely moved and invited us to his suite to watch the game. We were honored and got to watch the game at the 45 yard line with free food and 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell sitting a few feet from us. We talked to a bunch of the Dolphins marketing staff and they had told us that they were big fans of what we were doing in NYC and we had come up in meetings. We spoke to Mr. Garfinkel a little more in detail about what we were doing as well. The whole thing was pretty amazing.

In the end the game turned out very poorly and sadly we left Miami with a bitter tastes in our mouths but looking back in a few years we won’t remember this one loss to the Bills, but we will remember the experience and how we took another step towards taking NYC back from the Jets fans! DolfansNYC over everything!

Hope to see you guys tomorrow at Slattery’s Midtown Pub to watch the Patriots game. Win or lose we will have a ton of fun and we will have new DolfansNYC hats for sale! Phins up!

Check out our photos from Web Weekend X below!

[tylr-slidr]http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolfansnyc/sets/72157636982066955/[/tylr-slidr]

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