Head Coach Doug Marrone

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Did not participate: Marcus Easley with the knee, Kyle Williams with the knee, Chris Williams with the back and Nigel (Bradham) with the knee. Limited participation: Randell Johnson with a knee and [Ron] Brooks with a shoulder. Full Participation: Sammy Watkins with the ribs and Marquise Goodwin with a concussion.

Q: Any further update on Kyle Williams and Nigel Bradham or are they still being evaluated?

A: The trainers tell me just what the injury report does. You guys saw them out there. They were out there and I’ll give an injury report after treatment today saying, ‘Hey, we’ll see where they are then.’ They get one tomorrow and if they can go then they can go. I’m just waiting for the trainers and the doctors to release them.

Q: Are you optimistic?

A: I’ve made that mistake before. I’m not making that mistake again. I’m just telling you that that’s exactly how it is.

Q: So they’re uncertain, at best?

A: They’re not practicing, so I would say that.

Q: What have you liked from Stefan Charles this season?

A: He’s done a great job, even in just changing his body type. It’s the best shape that he’s been in since we’ve had him, which is a credit to him. He’s played, so he’s done some good things in games and I really like him. He’s a good football player. We’re fortunate. We did a good job. We were able to get him off somebody else’s roster; obviously, you guys know how we acquired him. He’s come in and done a nice job.

Q: You haven’t really gotten a real long look at him in games with Kyle and Marcell [Dareus] in there. Does that make it tougher? What is that situation like?

A: That’s why you have training camp, where you can get a real good look, and the preseason, where you get a very good look. I felt comfortable with him last year. We had some injuries and things happened last year where he went in and played quite a bit and I really thought he did a good job.

Q: What’s been the key to Jim Schwartz coming in and successfully transitioning with an already good defense?

A: Credit to Jim, as far as the communication standpoint. I think that always goes smoothly. Obviously, he’s done it for a long time. He’s been very successful at it. He knows that we have talented players on that side of the ball and he’s asking them to do what they can do, which is important. It’s been a great transition, not only for the coaches in that room with him, but also for the players.

Q: There’s the fact that your sack numbers are still there, yet you are even better at stopping the run.

A: Absolutely. That was a point of emphasis and, like I said before, it goes back to usually what you emphasize when you have good football players, ones that can do it, is what you’ll see. That’s what we’re seeing on that side of the ball.

Q: Usually you don’t see a strong run defense occur simultaneously with pass rushing, right?

A: I would answer that question as no, because it comes down to the talent of the players. Obviously, we have some very talented players on that side.

Q: Are you doing anything schematically different against the run?

A: If you looked at it obviously the difference between us being mostly an under team, or if you want to say 3-4, but it was mostly under. We were pointing the defense with the outside linebackers and had two backers off the line of scrimmage. Now we have two defensive ends pointing the defense and we have three linebackers off the line of scrimmage, so you have an extra player there at the second level.

Q: What about the addition of Brandon Spikes, a noted run-stopper?

A: He’s been successful everywhere he’s been doing it. I think, not only does he bring the ability to stop the run, but I also think he brings a mentality with him.

Q: There have been some similarities between Preston Brown this year and Kiko Alonso last year, in terms of snap counts and number of tackles. Can you compare and contrast the two?

A: I said it early on in camp. I really thought that Preston was progressing in a way that we saw Kiko progress as a backer that’s able to be on the field for three downs. I knew Preston was a heck of a player before, having played against him and our evaluation for the draft process. I didn’t know his quickness or speed. I really didn’t know about that until he came here. That would be the thing that I think really surprised me the most and that’s just because of me watching the tape. When he went out there I was surprised at how well he runs. I knew he could run, but I was surprised at how well he’s been able to run.

Q: Do you think Kiko is the more athletic player?

A: I’d really have to think about that and go back before I make a statement because then I’d have to answer to either Kiko or Preston about it.

Q: How valuable has it been that Preston has been able to move around and fill in wherever is needed?

A: It’s big because he can play all of the positions. Obviously, he has for us. It’s a great thing. When you hit on guys like Kiko last year and then hit on Preston this year. Those guys have gone in, have not played like rookies, have not handled themselves like rookies and have been able to stay on the field for a long period of time. Obviously, Kiko did last year. Preston has that ability this year, so that’s exciting.

Q: Are you growing less optimistic about Chris Williams’ back?

A: In all seriousness, he can wake up tomorrow and go, ‘I feel great.’ And he can go out there on that field and walk off that field and say, ‘I feel great.’ The next day he could walk in and say, ‘It doesn’t feel well.’ You know? I struggle with that injury and being able to be up or down. It’s kind of in a black box. I don’t know what’s there.

Q: Do you anticipate Kyle Williams, Chris Williams and Nigel Bradham for practice tomorrow?

A: I’m going to see what the trainers say. I don’t want to get myself in trouble again, but you guys know how I feel. I always want them back and I always want them playing because I’m the coach and that’s what coaches do.

Q: Could there have been two tougher matchups for Cyril Richardson to start his career?

A: That’s what’s great about it. To his credit, he showed a lot last week going against a player like JJ Watt. At times, but not all of the time. Going in there and getting better as the game went along, at least in my opinion. Now, you come back against two great inside players. Obviously they rotate some really good players in there, but two outstanding players. There’s no better way to come into this league. I think that my experience with the offensive line has been that, I’ll give you an example. Really the first guy in the preseason that Jahri Evans played against was Albert Haynesworth. When you’re going against the best ones right off the bat, you understand what it’s going to take in this league to play. Cyril did a nice job. Now he needs to make sure that he takes that progressing and keeps going. I’m not comparing him to Jahri, obviously. I’m just comparing that one experience of playing against the top players in the league right off the bat.

Q: What are your impressions of how Kyle Orton has controlled the huddle?

A: Good. It’s the expectation we have out of that position, more so than it is the expectation out of an individual. We expect everyone who plays that position, like the middle linebacker, to go in there and just take control and call the play and have command of the huddle. I think that’s the one thing that you talk about first to those players in those positions on day one.

Q: Were you getting enough of that from EJ?

A: Yeah.

Quarterback EJ Manuel

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Q: How did it go with Coach earlier in the week?

A: He sat me down and told me his decision and I think it’s about the team. The team is bigger than I am and whatever he feels is best to help this team, we’ll go with.

Q: How do you feel like your time on the bench may serve your game the best?

A: I think, for me, I’m a hard worker anyways. When this happened, obviously I was upset. I was frustrated, but at the same time, be a man and be a pro. I think I kicked my work ethic up even more. Whatever I need to do, whether it’s in the film room or whether it’s out there on the field being more consistent with everything. How the ball is coming out of my hands, my enunciation in that huddle and all of those types of things. I’m not taking any reps off, as far as when I am in there with the offense. When I do get a chance to go out there and make some plays, I’m still doing it.

Q: Is there anything you think you can gain by just observing Kyle [Orton]?

A: Yeah, sure. There’s always something you can gain, whether you’re watching Kyle out there at practice or watching Drew Brees or another quarterback on Monday Night Football. There’s always something you can learn from the things that they do, especially those guys that have been in the league for seven, eight, 10 years and things like that.

Q: How disappointing was it for you to lose your job?

A: As a competitor it is a tough pill to swallow, but, at the same time, I always want to be positive. I still believe that I’m a good football player and I know there’s tons of room for me to grow. I’ll get there.

Q: What have the last few days been like for you, mentally and emotionally?

A: For me, it’s just been digesting the situation and adjusting to it because it’s new and I’ve never been in this position. Nonetheless, there are many positions I’ve never been in that I have to experience. It’s a part of my story. It’s a part of my career. I think, in the long run, I look back at it as something that helped build me and helped me become a better man.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten over the past few days and who gave it to you?

A: I got a bunch of advice. A lot of my close friends and family have reached out to me and have been there for me. I can’t really say what one thing has been the best advice. I think, for me, it’s a matter of myself believing in me and not losing my confidence in myself. I think that’s the biggest thing because everybody can tell you this and that and I appreciate it, but, at the same time, you yourself have to believe it to. I know I’m still one play away. If something happens I’ll go right back in there and be counted on to go out there and do my job to help this team win. Whenever that time comes, when I’m back on the field, I’ll be ready for it.

Q: How do you go about getting back up and getting that job back?

A: Well, you fight every single day. It’s hard, but life is hard. It’s a hard thing to deal with, but life is hard. It’s never going to be easy. This is a hard business, especially when you’re a young guy, but you can’t use that as an excuse. You have to continue to get better every single day. Even though I’m not starting, I’m still going to make sure that I’m doing what I need to do. When I am back out there, I want to be a different player.

Q: Do you think that more of this added work ethic is going to have to come from you working by yourself outside of  being on the practice field?

A: Yeah. Yeah. That’s the hard part about it because all of the other guys, they’re out there practicing during the regular practice times, but either you come in earlier or you stay a little later in the evening. Jeff [Tuel] has been awesome, as far as staying back with me and doing some extra stuff with me. And Coach Downing has been there the whole time too. It’s been a different type of three days, but nonetheless we’ve still got a game this Sunday and that’s the main focus. We’re 2-2 right now. We have a great team.  A great offense. A great defense. If we handle Detroit, I think a lot of things will be taken care of.

Q: How do you want to be a different player when you get back out there?

A: I just want to cut it loose, man. Not hold myself back. Not to say I was, but I think at a certain point in your career and your manhood that you just open up and go out there and let it rip. You don’t worry about the repercussions. If something happens, at least you went down guns loaded or guns fired. Just go out there and let it rip. That’s what I’ve been practicing this past week out there against our defense. Just allowing myself to go out there and make plays naturally.

Q: Do you almost view this as a blessing in disguise?

A: Yeah, well sure. You can view it however you want, but I think the best thing for me is to continue to work hard and get better. I’m always going to be positive and I’m a team guy. I’m not going to be one of those guys that’s here moping around. Obviously, I want to go out there and play. I want to be there for my team. You never want to lose your job. At the same time, I’m young. You continue to work and never lose that work ethic and, if anything, it’s going to get even better.

Q: There haven’t been a lot of quarterbacks who have worked there way back into the starting lineup after being benched?  How daunting is that?

A: Well, maybe I can be the first. Who knows. We’ll see.

Q: Christian Ponder might get another shot at it. Have you been able to talk to him?

A: I haven’t talked to CP in a while, but I’m sure he’s going to continue to work hard to.

Q: What types of things did Coach tell you after he made the decision?

A: I think that’s something where Coach and I had a discussion, so I think that’s something we’ll keep between he and I.

Q: Is there anything that you saw on tape that you think you can improve?

A: Yeah. There’s always a ton of corrections, whether you win or lose. The biggest thing is that you want to win the game and we didn’t do that. He made the decision and you got to live with it.

Q: What has Kyle said to you?

A: Kyle has been supportive as well. He’s a guy who has been there and been in a similar situation. He’s been in the league a long time, whether it’s in a starting role or as a backup. He’s been supportive, but I’d like to keep a lot of the conversations I have with my coach and my teammates amongst us. Those guys have all been supportive.

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