Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Jonathan Meeks did not participate. We still list him as the league requires you to do. [Randell] Johnson with the knee did not participate. Limited participation in practice: Keith Rivers with a groin, [Stefan] Charles with a hip and [Robert] Woods with an ankle. Full participation: Sammy [Watkins] with the ribs and Lee Smith with the toe.

Q: What impresses you most about Philip Rivers when you watch him on film?

A: Just a veteran quarterback that’s been outstanding and can make all of the throws. [He’s] very savvy in the pocket, good rapport with the receivers that have been there. They have a good connection. Really [he’s] one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Q: Is it dangerous to only be concerned with the passing part of their offense?

A: I think if you look at it they’ve been running the ball quite a bit. They really have and they’ve done a very good job. Donald Brown, when you look at him, and obviously I have a little bit of experience against him, last year he averaged 5.3 yards a carry out of all the qualified backs. He was number one in the NFL in yards after contact, so we have our work cut out for us going against him.. He’s probably a little bit of an under-the-radar guy, but he’s a heck of a running back. Obviously, with [Danny] Woodhead back there, he’s a good player also. We’ve got to be ready. We’ve done a job. They run the ball quite a bit and then, all of the sudden, they’re going to hit some big passes on you. They’re a very good offense. Obviously, they’re a playoff team.

Q: Do you draw back to your Syracuse experience of having an improved second season when dealing with the good start to this season?

A: I probably could, but honestly I haven’t really though about it and it is different. I think, if I sat down and I really thought about it, shoot I’m just trying to win the day today. I think this team has done a great job. The guys report in. All the players here, it’s really a credit to them. There’s really not much from what we’re doing, except trying to put them in good position, trying to push them and be good coaches and do what we’re supposed to do, but it’s mostly coming from the team.

Q: Is there a cautionary message that you have for the team now that it’s tasted some success?

A: Yeah, sure. Let’s get ready to play the next game. Our focus is on that and our focus is on what we need to do today to get better to win. Then, obviously, it’ll be tomorrow, which will be different situations and we’ll just continue to improve. The one thing about this season is that it’s very, very early, good or bad for everyone out there. It’s a longer season than the perception that is out there. It’s a 16 game season and my whole thing with the players is just keep getting better each day.

Q: Are you a little reluctant to believe that Seantrel Henderson has arrived or anoint him?

A: Obviously, there’s some sort of belief because he’s out there playing, so the belief is that we’re going to put the players out there on the field that we think we can win with. But to come and say that? No, I think you’ve got to go through this thing and see how you react to situations and watch how you grew. I’m happy, though, that from Week One to Week Two, I think we discussed it the other day, that these players that haven’t played for us before increased their game. Now it’ll be interesting, as we go through, how they get better each and every week. That’s important to our success.

Q: Have you ever said to him, ‘Do you realize how good you could be if you kept your head on straight?’

A: I’ve said a lot of things. I think that maybe I’m not proud of all of them of what I’ve said to him, but he does, along with a lot of the other guys. The other guys that get lost a little bit with that draft class, Cyril Richardson is going to be a heck of a player and Cyrus Kouandjio is a good football player too and those are good problems to have. But yes. I have said he has an opportunity. I would say if you asked me what’s the most that I’ve talked to him about it, I said him, ‘Listen, you’re going to have an opportunity. Don’t make the same mistake that you might’ve made before. Not many people get opportunities like these.’ Something along those lines, but he has, up until this point right now, has responded even better than I expected from the standpoint of his mindset and his work ethic.

Q: Do you think Seantrel fits the same mold as Nickell Robey in that they were both late round steals?

A: I’m not a draft expert so I think Doug [Whaley] can answer that question better, but I think there’s a lot of stories like that in the league. We’re not the only team that’s producing that. I just think that there is a lot of talent out there, it is hard to find them all and I think that sometimes a different atmosphere and different places give people an opportunity. Whether the take advantage of that or not is up to them. My philosophy has always been, I don’t really care where you’ve been drafted. I’ve said that before. Once all of that stuff happens and all that hoopla is gone and you get on the team, the best players play. It shouldn’t matter how you were acquired.

Q: How would you assess the play of your starting guards through the first couple of weeks?

A: We’re 2-0.

Q: Can you pinpoint how you guys got to 2-0 after so much turmoil and few wins during the preseason?

A: With the turmoil and tension, I addressed that. I thought that was silly. I addressed that. As far as the preseason, obviously we’re disappointed. I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Hey, that was the plan. Obviously it wasn’t. As far as what’s been the difference, it’s the players.

Q: Have you altered the way you’ve used Sammy Watkins because of the rib injury?

A: I’ve been told by the doctors, so I’m on record, that he’s cleared.

Q: What do you make of your two very young receivers in Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins?

A:  It’s just about those guys playing well and us doing what we have to do to win. It has nothing to do with increasing this or increasing this role or that. We have things targeted for all of our receivers. We have things targeted for touches for all of our backs. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. The guys that we’re dressing, we’re trying to make sure they’re involved in every phase of what we do because we’re going to need everyone to participate for us to be able to win.

Q: What’s been the difference with special teams play this season?

A:  I think it’s been the players that we have on there. We have better players on our teams right now. Whether it’s [due to] better depth on the roster or players that we’ve acquired or put back there or the starters that have been in there. But, at the end of the day, I think when you see production like that it’s because the players are better.

Q: What do you think of Antonio Gates?

A: I’ve seen him for a long period of time. I’ve played a lot of games against him. He’s been incredible. They have a great connection. If they need to make a play then he can make one. That’ll be a big challenge for us.

Q: What are your thoughts on the NFL given the past week?

A: I think it’s a situation where the league, which obviously I’m not involved with as far as Manhattan office, but I think it’s an opportunity for them to come out. Whether it be from an awareness standpoint or whether it be from a policy standpoint, I think it’s an opportunity for us to do good, not just for the NFL, but for all of sports. I feel we have the right people working on it, even though I’m not involved with it.

Q: How discouraging is it that the league’s reputation is being dragged through the mud?

A: Like I said before, I think that when those things come out it discourages you as a part of this league because it’s so great. From the same standpoint – and I hope I get both of these statements in the article – it gives us a great opportunity to make change and to create awareness and to do the right thing, where we can be a model for all sports around the country, young and old.

Q: The Bills have been 2-0 four out the last 11 years and finished with a losing record each time. What would you say to fans who might expect this to end similarly?

A: I can’t them about the long haul.. All I know is this; we need them this weekend. I think they’ll be a big difference in this game on third down and things like that. If we have the same time of crowd, with the situational awareness of our crowd, they can be a big help for us. I can’t really discuss about all the other things and what’s gone on in the past.

Q: Given the fact that they beat the Seahawks, how easy is it to sell to your team that the Chargers are very good?

A: I don’t have to sell them at all.. It’s on film. They’re a team that went to the playoffs last year. They’re a team that won five games on the road last year. They’re a team that won four out of five on the east coast last year and the other game was overtime. We know the types of players, which you guys have mentioned, that they have. They’re veteran players that have been productive. They have both on offense, defense and special teams. I mean they’ve been there for a long as when I started in the league, a lot of them. They’ve been very, very productive football players and a couple of those players are potential Hall of Famers, so I don’t think I had to sell that at all.

QB EJ Manuel

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: Have you heard the latest Jameis Winston indiscretion and have you reached out to him at all?

A: I haven’t.

Q: He was suspended for the first half against Clemson.  Do you ever reach out to him?

A: Oh yeah, I reach out to him all the time.  I talked to him last week, but I didn’t know about the situation today so I’ll call him to figure out what’s going on.

Q: What is your general advice to him about those things?

A: I don’t know what happened.

Q: He was basically using vulgar language in the student union.

A: Ok.  I think it’s just being smart.  You just have to make good decisions.  You’re not just a normal student at Florida State. You’re the quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner.  He’ll continue to learn from those things.

Q: 2-0.  How do you keep an even keel?

A: Very easy.  Just come in everyday and work.  Don’t feel like you’ve arrived because you haven’t.  Don’t feel like you’ve earned anything because you haven’t.  It’s extremely important for us to continue the course that we’re on and remain confident but most of all continue to prepare like we’ve done.  That’s a huge stride that we’ve taken.  A lot of guys have come in on days off during the week making sure that we’re prepared mentally for our opponents and obviously taking care of our bodies with workouts and doing extra stuff.  You can see the defensive tackles down there working, so that’s all across the board and I’m really happy to see that.

Q: How much do you give more respect to this team because they beat the defending Super Bowl Champions? 

A: Yeah, no doubt.  They get a ton of respect and even before that they’re a consistent playoff team, so I think this is a great matchup to see and truly gauge where we’re at as a team.  I don’t think we’re necessarily looking at it like that.  I think we’re looking at as they’re our next opponent.  We’re looking at it as they’re a great team.  They do a great job offensively and defensively so I think it’s going to be another great matchup for us so we’re looking forward to it.

Q: After such an emotional win last week with all that went on, do you worry at all about a letdown in the intensity and emotion this week?
A: I don’t worry about it.  I think as a process, we enjoyed it Sunday and we moved on to Monday.  We knew we had a new opponent.  San Diego’s a great team.  They just beat the Seahawks so they’re obviously going to be on a high as well so we just have to prepare for them.  You win games, you don’t want to necessarily act like you’ve never done it before.  You win a game and you’re extremely excited about it, but you win a game and you know you have another opponent the following week.    

Q: How do Robert (Woods) and Sammy (Watkins) complement each other?

A: Man, they both offer run after catch. With a guy like Sammy, he’s very similar to Marquise I feel like because he’s fast and he’s big at the same time.  Sometimes, say if he’s running a vertical route, he’ll bring two guys with him and that’ll open up Woody just like the same way, if Woody’s doing the same thing, he’ll take guys with him and that’ll open up Sammy.  I think last week was a great example of those guys.   The first week, Woody had a big game and last week Sammy had a big game.  I’m extremely happy to have those types of receivers whichever week it is, whichever guy the ball is going to, he can make a play and make things happen.

Q: Do you get a sense from Sammy how much the rib injury is bothering him or impacting him if at all?
A: I don’t get a sense of it.  Obviously, I know it’s still an injury.  Anytime you hurt your ribs, I’m sure it hurts to continue to play or to even breathe.  He’s a tough guy.  He understands that we need him offensively and he’s done a great job dealing with it.

Q: A lot is made of teams from the west coast that come to the east coast to play one o’clock games and it can be tough on them.  From your perspective, is it tough to change time zones like that and what is the toughest part for a player?

A: I don’t think it’s very tough.  If you handle it as a professional, during the week you’ll start going to bed a couple hours earlier or you’ll start trying to wake up a little earlier.  I’m sure their coaches have them practicing at 10am which is the same time that we’ll playing this week in the east coast which will be one.  I’m sure you can adjust to it.  I don’t think it’ll be as big of a deal as people make it seem but at the end of the day, you’re a football player and you just go out there and play.  I think if you get the normal amount of rest, you’ll be fine.

Q: What have you seen on film on the Chargers’ defense that is a particular concern?

A: Tons of experience all across the board.   On the front line, Jared Johnson’s a long time vet who’s a great player.  Their backers do a great job.  Melvin Ingram does a great job rushing the passer and he can drop back in coverage and Eric Weddle’s one of the best safeties in the league as well.  I think it offers a great challenge for us to continue to move the ball down the field.  I think we’ve done a good job these past couple weeks.  We’re definitely going to work on the red zones and making sure we capitalize on those because this is a team that we have to score touchdowns instead of just getting field goals.  I’m sure our defense is going to do a great job like they’ve done but again, Philip Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league so I think it’s a challenge for all three phases; offense, defense, and special teams.  Like I said, it’s a great opportunity for us to continue to move forward.

Q: Through the first two games, your tight ends have only been targeted five times; 3 catches for 41 yards.  In your mind, what is the explanation for that? Is it the looks that the Bears or Dolphins were giving you?  Is it something that you’re just not keying on with them?

A: I can’t really give a good explanation of it.  We’re just not necessarily looking at them in the reads.  Either the X or Z might be open first and we don’t get to the tight end, but I don’t think it’s anything where we’re not looking at them.  Scott (Chandler)’s always a guy that we want to get him the ball and the same with Chris Gragg  and now that we have Lee Smith back…those guys, we definitely want to feed them because they offer mismatches sometimes against linebackers, but I’m sure coach Hackett will continue to amp things up and we can get the ball to the tight end.

Q: To that point, is that actually encouraging that you’re finding the receivers down field because Chandler led the team in receiving yards last year and that’s usually uncommon for a team?

A: Sure, I think so.  It’s paid off the past two weeks because we’ve won games, but it’s a long season.  I’m sure everybody will get the opportunity to continue to make plays.

Q: What was it about Sammy getting more open last week?

A: I think Coach Hackett did a great job scheming against the Dolphins and the plays that he called were right on time.  Sammy just happened to run great routes and get open and like I said either Woody was running something that allowed things to open up for him or whether it was Mike (Williams) or whoever the other receiver was, those guys understand the ball may not be coming to you but you’re helping the offense when you still run a route correctly and you run it with speed and all that stuff because you open it up for another guy.

Q: How encouraging is it for the offense that given how much this team invested in getting Sammy that he is showing instant production?
A: Well I wasn’t surprised.  Actually we didn’t even realize how many yards he had until we finished.  I think it was just a matter of us playing the game and focusing on what we needed to focus on and he did a great job making plays after he caught the ball whether it was on third down.  I know it was a third down in the red zone that he ended up getting the score on and I know that was just him and his playmaker ability that came into action.  Woody can do the same things.  Same with ‘Quise and Mike and all those guys can make plays so as a quarterback that makes you feel great.

Q: You seem a lot more comfortable in the pocket this year.  Is that just a result of getting healthy and trying to get a little more confident?

A: I guess.  I think it’s also putting in the time during the week and making sure that I understand what Coach Hackett is going to call and why he’s going to call it in which situation so I think that always is added confidence and allows you not to rush or to feel like you have to rush yourself when you already have an idea where you should be going with the ball.

Q: What does it mean when you’re standing behind an offensive line that didn’t give up any sacks to the Dolphins?

A: Oh yeah.  Well E. Wood prides himself on that.  He’ll and even coach will ask, “Did you get touched yesterday?” and, “nope.”  Those guys do a great job protecting us and when I say us, I’m talking about myself and the running backs.  They’ve done a great job these past two weeks opening holes and even in the pass game I noticed I’ll have a little crevice to get through and I’ll drop a ball off to Fred (Jackson) and he gets another big gain for us.  Everybody’s doing their job and those guys are doing a great job preparing during the week and making sure they’re ready to go.

Q: How much does the success from that running game help with your comfort the past couple of weeks?

A: I think it compliments each other.  I think the play action pass helps the run game and obviously the run game helps the play action pass so I think it’s a good compliment of each other.   Anytime those guys like CJ (Spiller) breaks a good run that energizes the whole team.  It’s not even a matter of an offensive thing.  When we see him making big plays and taking a kick return 102 yards…that energizes everybody.  Especially at the point it was in the game midway in the third quarter, that kind of broke the game open for everybody so there’s always positive things to see.

Q: This is the fourth time in eleven years that the Bills have started the season 2-0.  Each of the three previous times, they’ve finished with a losing record.  Why should fans expect this year to be any different?

A: I wasn’t here those other years.  I think we’re just continuing to focus on what we need to focus on and taking it one week at a time so just focusing on getting better and continuing to win games.

Q: Any friendly bets between you and Sammy with the Florida State-Clemson game?

A: We’ll leave that in the locker room.  I got Florida State winning though, for sure.

Q: With the red zone struggles that you guys have had this season, going forward with a great team with a great defense like San Diego, is there an added emphasis this week to change the philosophy or is it just business as usual with the offensive game planning in the red zone?

A: We haven’t gotten to the red zone part of preparing, so I’m sure Coach Hackett is going to continue to dial things up.  He dialed up some great calls the first two weeks so I think it’s just us as far as executing as putting in some more time after practice to make sure we’re hitting those routes and we feel comfortable with them.  I think it’s just a matter of continuing to work at it and we’ll get it done on Sunday.

Q: We haven’t seen any fades to Mike Williams yet.  I didn’t know if that’s something you guys worked on…?

A: They won’t press him, man.  They won’t press him yet.  If we get an opportunity and corners start pressing Mike on the outside, we’ll definitely start throwing those fades up to him but like I said, we’re only in week three and it’s a long season so a lot of guys are going to get opportunities to make plays.

LB Nigel Bradham

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: What’s made (Antonio) Gates so good for so long?  Why is he so tough to play against?

A: He’s just an unbelievable athlete with tremendous size and speed.  You’d think he’d slowed down a little bit with his age playing so long in the league, but he’s still got that same quick step and he still know how to use his body and he’s scoring.

Q: How do you approach trying to defend a guy like that?  Trying to stay with him if you end up drawing that matchup at some point?

A: Pretty much just knowing where your help is.  You’ve got situations where your defense has holes in it and you have to protect your weaknesses and know the strengths and you’re helping your defense.

Q: He’s 34 years old, but what kind of savvy moves has he shown out there that allows him to get three touchdowns against Seattle?

A:  Yeah, he hasn’t lost his step which is fortunate for him.  He’s still a Pro Bowl player.  Phillip Rivers knows where he’s at and it seems like he just throws up the ball and Antonio Gates comes down with it.

DE Jerry Hughes

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: Obviously they were on your radar already but they beat the defending champs.  Does that put a little more emphasis on this at all?

A: It’s just another game.  They went out there and executed their game plan well against Seattle.  We know we have a tough task in front of us when they come out and see us, so we’re excited for the whole matchup and everything but we still have a lot to accomplish in what we really need to set forth for ourselves and just really work our game.

Q: They seem to push the pace against Seattle maybe because of the hot weather out there.  They have the capability of going fast when they want to…

A: They have a veteran quarterback so we know he knows how to command the offense.  We know he knows how to look at the defense and pretty much put together a play on the spot so we have to be in check.  We’re going to address that in practice of us just making sure we’re in shape, able to communicate and just making sure everyone’s on the same page because you can’t have any miscommunications when you’re dealing with a quarterback like that.

Q: When you first started going up against Seantrel (Henderson) in practice, did you say, “Seventh round pick?” Does it seem kind of weird to you?

A:  Right.  He definitely doesn’t play like one.  He’s a rookie, but he plays beyond his means.  He’s very confident.  He knows the game of football..  When you’re able to kind of know that it translates very well on the field and you could see him growing that confidence as training camp went along.  It just speaks huge volumes for him to catch on very fast for being just a rookie.  LB Brandon SpikesWednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: What’s the biggest difference in facing a Pro Bowl quarterback versus playing someone like Ryan Tannehill last week?

A: Well I think just the margin of error.  You have to make sure you match receivers.  They have some savvy guys over there.  A lot of playmakers.  Me personally, I’ve always admired Rivers and his game and his will to win.  He’s a very passionate, emotional player.  I’ll always look up to that.  He’s been doing great.  They got a big win and we have to make sure of this game and try to get better and do a lot of film study and stuff like that.

Q: Back to the run game.  How important can it be if you can make a team like that one-dimensional?

A: It’s everything.  We have great pass rushers.  If you can take that run away from them and make him sit back there in that pocket and try to find guys.  He has to get the ball out of his hands or I know, I know for a fact our rush will get to him.

Q: How tough of a matchup is Antonio Gates for you guys?

A: He’s always been a great player.  He’s just real savvy and that comes with a lot experience.  He’s been around a while and he just showed you last week, he still has it.  I think he’s definitely one of the best tight ends in the league doing it.  He don’t get a lot of pub’ in my opinion but he goes out and gets it done each and every Sunday.  We definitely have to pay attention to him.  I don’t think we can stop him but we have to keep him poised and try to use his scheme against him.

WR Mike Williams

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: Any reason why they’re not pressing you guys in the red zone?

A: That’s my reason.  You’re looking at it.  I think it’s because I have a lot of fade work in my career in the league and I think that’s why.  I’m not seeing any press at all in the red zone.  I think we just have to adjust to it and come up with more plays that fit that.

Q: Do you think defenses are afraid of that coverage?  That one-on-one?

A: Oh yeah, definitely.  When you’re afraid of that, that’s what you do.  You back off.  You back off and play zone when you’re scared of that fade and that’s what a lot of teams have been doing.  I’m not saying they’re scared, it’s just that is what we’ve been seeing.

Q: When you see San Diego’s offense hang thirty on Seattle, does that act as an eye opener for you guys like, “Hey: we better get it together.  We better put up some points this week.” 

A: No.  We want to put up points every week.  Just because they put up thirty on Seattle doesn’t mean nothing.  We know we have a good defense.  Hopefully we have a better game plan than what they have so hopefully our defense can go and stop them from doing that but we try to put up points every week so if we have to put up thirty, we know we’re capable of doing it.     

C Eric Wood

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q: When you first start seeing Seantrel Henderson on the field, did you first start shaking your head saying, “Oh my God.  That’s not seventh round talent.”

A: Yeah, you initially see him and you think, “Wow.  He’s got all the talent in the world.”  And then you  say, “Well something’s got to be wrong with him,” and then he goes out and he’s beating us all down the field chasing plays and works hard day in and day out and he’s extremely smart in the room.  Nothing but good things to say about him.

Q: What are you looking at defensively with San Diego?  Are they a conventional 3-4?  They’re not like a Steelers’ 3-4, are they? 

A: They move around a little bit.  A little more 4-down looks with 3-4 personnel which can create some confusion.  They’re active.  They make a ton of plays.  They play really well together.   They all fit well off each other.  A lot of guys with talent over there.  A lot of good pass rushers which we need to study.  I’ve been impressed so far.

Q: How much do you need to be a voice of reason?  Of Caution?  Knowing that this team has been through hot starts/exciting starts before? 

A: I don’t want to be much of a voice of a reason because you want to enjoy it.  You want to stay confident.  You don’t want to bring up the past.  You don’t want to be negative.  This is a much different team than we’ve had before but at the same time you never want to be complacent.  The coaches, the captains, everybody’s done a good job of coming out and working each day and I don’t think that’ll ever be an issue with us.

Filed under: Buffalo Bills

Tagged with: , ,

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.