Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Did not participate in practice: [Marcus] Easley with the knee, Chris Williams with the back, Ty Powell with the ankle, Marcell Dareus is not injury related. Limited Participation: [Garrison] Sanborn with a knee. [Da’Norris] Searcy with a knee, Brandon Spikes with the ribs, Kyle Williams with the knee and Aaron Williams with the wrist and neck.

Q: Does Garrison have any chance to miss the game Sunday?

A: We protected ourselves. We brought in two guys today to work out. Our expectation is that we expect him to be in there, but again we just have to cover ourselves and we had two guys in today.

Q: Is there any more you can tell us about why Marcell missed practice today?

A: No. I knew about it last week. He had something come up that was personal for him, so I excused him. It’s nothing related to anything that has to do with him. It’s family.

Q: Will he be back tomorrow

A: Yeah, he should be coming in tonight.

Q: Do you think the team needs to establish an offensive identity? 

A: I think you do when you look into that.. Again, when you switch quarterbacks the identity stuff goes again. As an identity, we’ve always said that we’ve wanted to be a team that’s physical that can run the ball when we choose to run it. I think that’s the most important point. A lot of times you see yardage that we may have – I said this last year with those numbers – we want to be able say, ‘Hey, listen we’re going to run the football and be able to run the football.’ I think that’s important. At the end of the day, from an identity standpoint, you want to be 50-50. You want people to have to defend the pass, as well as the run. You want to be able to, at the end of the day, do whatever you have to do to win, even though it may not seem like that after each game. Some games you’re going to throw more than you run or run more than you throw. A lot of times that’s dictated by what’s going on during the course of the game. You definitely want to be able to establish that, and that comes with progression and getting better at all of the things we need to do.

Q: Have you talked with Mike Williams about his trade request?

A: Yeah. Mike has reiterated that his agent is trying to do his job. My expectation of all players is, obviously, team-first. We say that all the time. They come out here and work to get better each week and that’s what I look for and that’s what I look at.

Q: Does the whole situation annoy you a little bit, with the agent stirring things up?

A: Yeah, I’m not going to lie. Absolutely. Someone else’s problems all of the sudden become my problems.

Q: Are you happy with the run production that you’ve gotten?

A: I think I’ve said it a bunch. I’m not. And we’re not. It’s not just me. It not like I get up there and say, ‘Hey, listen. I’m not happy.’ I think everyone’s not and, like I said before, it’s going to take a collective effort. It starts off with Nathanial [Hackett] and the coaches making sure that we get the right schemes and the right things to do for our players to put them in the best position. And then it goes out to them to execute. It’s not just one person, whether it be the running back, the line or the perimeter.

Q: Has C.J. Spiller done enough for you?

A: When I say improve, we all have to improve. I think C.J. would tell you that, yes, he has to improve on things too, as well as everyone else.

Q: Is there anything that can be done schematically to make the rushing game more effective?

A: Well, that’s what we’re doing. We’re looking at those things right now. Yes. The answer is yes to that. We think that we can and it’s our responsibility and our job to put them in better position.

Q: Are you losing confidence in CJ?

A: No. No. I would say that I’m definitely not losing confidence. I think that happens when everything is right there and the play is right there for you and then someone doesn’t make the play or take the play or finish the block. At any position, when it is right and you’re not doing it then that becomes a problem and that’s when coaches start making decisions and moving different guys to see who’s going to take it. I haven’t seen that yet. We haven’t been in a great situation. Now, are there little things that everyone can do? Even Fred (Jackson)? Even Anthony Dixon? Absolutely and that’s what we’re constantly coaching, constantly trying to get better.

Q: Was Aaron Williams missing the game due more to his neck injury or wrist injury?

A: More neck than wrist.

Q: What have you liked out of Teddy Bridgewater?

A: I’ve seen him a bunch, obviously.. He’s a young quarterback in this league that’s progressing. He’s getting better and better each week. They’re giving him more to do each week. Again, we’re going to have to do a very good job against him. He can throw it and he has accuracy. He can make all the throws. He’s mobile. He can move. So, again, it’ll be a big challenge for us defensively.

Q: Are you discouraged by Sammy Watkins’ performance so far? 

A: I don’t know if he put it on himself to make EJ (Manuel) better. I don’t see the signs of a struggle for him. I see him working. He works his butt off every single day for us. Again, we’ve got to be able to take advantage of it. He’s still a young player and still getting better each week. We have to find a way to, when he’s open, to get him the ball. There’s no doubt about that.

Q: How do you feel like Seantrel Henderson has progressed? 

A: It’s a tough deal. It’s a little bit tougher to protect your tackles at some point. There’s sometimes you look out there and you’re like, ‘Wow, he’s doing a great job.’ Sometimes you look out there and you say, ‘Hey, it’s experienced now. You have to do a better job. You have to learn this and learn that.’ I see him getting better each week with the experience that he’s getting. It’s the same thing with Cyril [Richardson] on the inside. He’s progressively played better for us each week and we’ve got to keep pushing those guys. We’ve got to keep pushing them because they’re playing and they’re playing a lot. They’re starters in the NFL. The experience that they’re getting now is unbelievable and it’s a great opportunity for them. We need them to get better. That would be the foundation moving forward. Cordy [Glenn] is a young player. Eric Wood signed a contract. Erik’s [Pears} up next year. Kraig’s [Urbik] up. You have a pretty good corps, as long as those guys keep working.

Q: Are you getting to a point where you might want a more experience player on the offensive line? 

A: No. Not at all. They’re getting better and, as long as they continue to get better, it’s only going to help us. They’re playing at a level where I wouldn’t say that they’re hurting this team individually, so we’re trying to make sure that we form that group, build on that group and go. Now, if something happens—and I’ve seen this before with young players—where they get in there and they play against a player that just totally dominates them and they lose a little bit of confidence, then you’re going to have to put a different player in there and take a step back with them. I haven’t seen that with them and they have played against some really good players so far.

Q: How have you seen the Vikings attempt to re-establish their ground game since Adrian Peterson was taken off of the active roster?

A: I don’t know. I really can’t answer that question, because I’m not on the other side.

Q: Can you speak on what you’ve seen from the film?

A: I really can’t. I know that they have the new quarterback with Bridgewater in there now. I know they have weapons in there at the skill positions, obviously, with the receivers and the running backs, even though they went through it. [Jerick] McKinnon can take it to the house. He’s very fast, very quick. You’re going to have to tackle well. It’s better for someone else to answer how they want to establish their identity than it is for me.

Q: Do you feel that you can get after Bridgewater with your pass rush, given the amount of sacks they’ve given up the past two games?

A: I think you’ve got to be careful.. When you get behind in games and you’re trying to get the ball more vertically down the field, you open yourself up to those types of things. We go with our four guys and we try to rush the four that we have. If they throw the ball, we’re going to try to get to him and, obviously, cover the receivers.

Q: If you don’t win then this will be three losses at home.

A: That, to me, is more important than point spreads and things like that. We’ve played some good teams here at home, but you’ve got to win the home games. It’s an advantage for us when we play at home. It’s important to win your games at home, especially in this league, because it’s twice as hard to go on the road and win. There’s no doubt about it. We understand that as a team.

Q: How do you reconcile the fact that you’ve won more on the road than at home? 

A: I go back to it being the performance on the field. What’s fresh in my mind is, obviously, the turnovers. You can’t do that. When you get really far into it, there are a lot of different factors, but at the end of the day, you know you have to win at home. If you don’t win at home in this league, I don’t know. I don’t even know how teams have gone to the playoffs without a winning home record. I’m sure someone did, but not many. We preach that quite a bit.

Q: Was your team-first message a team-wide message or just a message for Mike Williams? 

A: Team-wide message to everybody.

Q: If that’s the case, how disappointing is the trade request to you?

A: Mike told me that came from the agent and not him.

Q: Is your feeling that Mike is content here?

A: I just watch by the actions and I would say yes right now.

Q: Do you anticipate him playing this week?

A: For the decisions of inactives and stuff, we’ll see how the week goes. I don’t want to get myself in a bind.

Q: How do you view the next six games as a way to make a push for the postseason?

A: I’m not really even thinking about it, to be honest with you. All I’m really thinking about is Minnesota. I really don’t look far beyond that.

Q: Can you concern yourself when a player isn’t happy that he doesn’t get to suit up for a game? 

A: If you take a team that’s healthy, there’s going to be seven people that are going to be upset, so you understand that there’s going to be some type of emotion there. At the end of the day, you have to be a pro about it and work hard and put yourself in a position where the coaches have to put you out there. It’s called being a pro. That’s what they do and that’s what all players need to do.

Q: Do you have to cover Cordarrelle Patterson differently from a normal receiver? 

A: You’ve got to know where he’s going, where he is on the field and what they’re trying to accomplish with him. There’s no doubt about that. He’s a playmaking type player. You see it on the kickoff returns. He’ll stand at the back of the end zone, he’ll jump for that ball and he’s taking it out. He’s been very good running the football. A lot of missed tackles on him. A lot of missed tackles.

Q: What are your thoughts about Chris Hogan in a more enhanced role?

A: Yeah. I think he’s taken advantage of the opportunities that he has out there and I think he’s been practicing well.

QB Kyle Orton

Wednesday, October 16th, 2014

Q: Kyle how important is it for this team to bounce back and get a win?

A: No doubt, especially back-to-back home games. I think we’re just excited to get back out on the field, another chance for us to get better and go out and get a good win.

Q: Kyle, how important is it to get the running game going this week?

A: We just got to play a full game on offense, running the ball, passing the ball, and taking care of the football. I think when we do, we can be a really really good offense. Cut down on the turnovers, run the football, and throw the football; that will open up the play action game a little bit more and I think we will get rolling.

Q: What do you see of the Vikings defense on tape so far?

A: Good defense, fast linebackers, fast secondary; attacking style defense. Obviously third down anytime you play Coach Zimmer, third down is going to be an issue with their blitz package. We’re going to have to do a good job on early down. I think that’s the thing that looking back when we do well on first and second down and kept ourselves in good third downs, we’ve executed and gone down and scored so I think that’s really a focus.

Q: Finding success at home Kyle, Coach talked about a couple of losses here at Ralph Wilson Stadium and getting back on track and defensing your home territory.

A: No doubt you have to play well at home.. You only get 8 of them, and you can’t waste them. Everybody knows that, everybody is making an emphasis to get out to a fast start, play well early, keep the crowd in it and I think we’re going to do that.

Q: Kyle, what does Mike Williams bring to this offense?

A: Mike’s a good receiver. He’s a big play guy, good red zone receiver and he’s a guy that’s made plays for a while in this league. I look forward to having him out there.

Q: Any plans to use Scott Chandler again like you did last week?

A: Well yeah, I think we tried to get everybody involved and Scott had a great game. Obviously anytime you have a big tight end like Scott working the middle of the field; it’s a huge comfort level for the quarterback. He’s seen a lot of looks, he’s a good tight end and he finds a lot of ways to get open.

Q: Is that last week more of a scheme going into the game or did it kind of more develop for Scott as the game went on with you?

A: Yeah, I think every week that’s just how it develops. I don’t think we go into the game saying this is going to be the guy or this is going to be the guy. We call plays, we’ve got good plays called that can get a lot of guys open and it’s my job to find the open guys and get them the football.

Q: In your two starts you’ve found Chris Hogan pretty regularly, a guy that hasn’t gotten a lot of offensive snaps until recently. Can you talk about him and what he brings to the offense?

A: He’s a good slot receiver and he ran some really good routes on the outside. He had a big third down conversion for us on a deep in cut, which was a great route. Smart player, very good route runner and he’s really quarterback friendly in all of his routes so like I said, I enjoy throwing him the ball.

Q: What does that mean quarterback friendly?

A: I think some guys run routes and get to the spot that they know the quarterback wants to get them to. We’ve practiced a lot of different looks, and sometimes during the game different looks show up and guys that can see the field the same way as the quarterback and get to that spot is always a good thing to have.

Q: What type of a distraction, if any, might there be with the Mike Williams situation?

A: I don’t think there has been any.. We’ve got 53 guys in this locker room preparing to win a very big game for us and I think all of the focus is on that.

Q: Over the last couple week, now that EJ has had the chance to sit and watch you. How has your relationship developed and how do you help each other get through the week and on Sundays?

A: Oh, it’s been fine as a whole in the quarterback room we’ve got a good relationship. We watch a lot of film together, all three of us and we always communicate on the field so it’s been good.

Q: Kyle, playing behind a pretty young offensive line. Can you talk about Cyril and Seantrel and what you have seen from those guys being rookies now 6 games into the season?

A: Yeah, they’re doing well. Everybody has their rookie moments and that’s fine. Every young player that plays this game, you learn hard lessons on the field there is no way to avoid it. I did it when I was young; it’s just the nature of the game. When you have got to play young, the game teaches you a lot of lessons and some of the times it’s not very fun to learn on the field but their grinding, their battling through it, their getting better every week and we need them too. We need them to be a big part of our offense.

LB Preston Brown

Wednesday, October 15th 2014

Q: Obviously you probably have a pretty good idea of what Teddy Bridgewater can and cannot do.  How are you using that and spreading the knowledge with the rest of the D?

A:  I’ll tell them little things here and there about what he likes to do, but I mean the guy can spread the ball off anywhere around the field so he can make all the throws, it’s just you have to get him off that spot because if he can it back there, he’ll pick you apart so you have to make sure you get him off that spot and make him run around and create some havoc.

Q: Have you guys talked at all this week?

A: No.  I haven’t talked to him.  I’m going to try to wait till Sunday.  If he texts me, I’ll text back but I’m not going to try to text him.

Q: How big of an advantage is it really?  Because he clearly is running different things than he ran at Louisville?  How big of a difference is it?

A: It’s still kind of the same, kind of the same aspects of what they do with Norv Turner.  It’s still doing the same kind of things.  He still loves the check down.  He’ll get that guy the ball.  He can run it.  Guys got a lot of catches when he’s back there and he does a little zone read when they are in eleven personnel so he did that a lot in high school, a little bit at Louisville but I know he knows how to read that type of defense well.  He’s doing things well.  He just took a lot of hits last week so we’re just trying to do the same things this week; get after him, make him move off the spot.

CB Stephon Gilmore

Wednesday, October 16th, 2014

Q: Stephon how important is it to bounce back especially at home when you have lost a couple at home this year?

A: Very important, that’s the main goal is to win no matter how it comes. At the end of the day you want to win, so whatever it takes to win, that’s what we’re trying to do.

Q: Cordarrelle Patterson, they move him around a lot, they put him in different spots, does that cause problems for you? Do you stay in one spot? How will that happen?

A: It depends on the call. Wherever he goes, we have an eye on him because we know they try to get him the ball. Whenever he gets the ball we just have to make plays when he gets it.

Q: Is it tougher defending a guy like that where you kind of don’t know where he’s going to line up or does it not really matter because the scheme just calls for it?

A: Yeah, it doesn’t really matter like I said the call could dictate everything. So whatever the call is, we’ll adjust and make plays from there.

Q: What have you seen about him on film that impresses you?

A: He’s just an athlete once he gets the ball in his hands. Like I told him, he’s their kick returner and stuff like that so once he get’s the ball in space you have to make sure you tackle him because he’s an athlete, he can break tackles so you have to make sure you hit him.

DE Jerry Hughes

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Q: What have you guys seen on film from Teddy Bridgewater?

A: He’s doing a great job of getting the ball out of his hands fast getting to his playmakers so we really just have to find a way to just corral this guy.  He does great job of just really getting it out quick.  You really don’t see that too much out of a young quarterback so it’s just really just finding a way to just get back there to him and just create pressure.

Q: Might put a little more emphasis on your guys’ pass rush this week on getting to him earlier?

A: Absolutely.  We definitely want to get to him on the early downs to try to force him into some longer downs situations that to just open up things for us.

RB Fred Jackson

Wednesday, October 16th, 2014

Q: Fred, the often point is that the running game is such an important part of this offense, how do you get it back to where you want it to be?

A: Just keep focusing on what we need to do. We have been inconsistent in all areas of the game. If we get longer drives, sustaining drives I think it will open up the running game so it’s on us as running backs, we’ve got to hit the holes. If there is one yard there, we have to get three. It’s just on us, we’ve got to make it go, there are no excuses for it. We’ve played some good defenses that’s true, but for us to be where we need to be and for us to be successful like we want to, we got to get the running game going again.

Q: Do you think the offense has been kind of predictable for defenses in recent weeks?

A: Not at all. I think you have got to give the defenses that we have played credit, they’re good defenses. They came in to stop the run and they’ve done that. It’s on us to meet that challenge, whenever we play a team they’re going to try and stop the run, they’re going to do what they can to keep C.J. (Spiller), and I and Boobie (Dixon) from getting going. That’s just a challenge on us we have to be better at. For us to win games, it’s what we know we have to attack and be better at.

Q: Is it more important for you guys to establish an offensive rhythm early in games?

A: Without a doubt, we’ve come out too slow at times and it’s putting us in a hole. We definitely have to come out, be faster, get that rhythm going earlier and it allows us to do a lot more as an offensive unit and put up more points.

RB C.J. Spiller

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Q: I know it’s only been a couple of games but this game in particular, you yourself, had a tough week.  How frustrating has it been?

A: Obviously as a group it’s been very frustrating.  At the end of the day, other teams do a great job of having a good game plan for trying to come in and stop our running game and like I just said in the interview, it’s going to take a group effort.  Everybody has to do their job from the offensive line to the running backs to tight ends to the receivers blocking.  It’s not going to be one person that’s just going to wave a magic wand around.  It’s just all the magic on the chain.  It’s going to come from a group effort and we will.  We are working hard at it.  We had a great day today and looking forward to tomorrow so the good thing is we have another shot on Sunday to try to go correct the mistakes.

Q: How hard has it been…you know you haven’t had the same group in front of you from the start of training camp.  Not only that, you had a lot of guys, two guys in front of you that are rookies…haven’t even been in the league before..  How difficult is it to get that group up and ready to go as fast as you can be?

A:  This is the NFL.  Some guys are great motivators.  I’m more of a lead by action type.  If you can’t get yourself up and ready to go play a football game and go out there give it your all for your teammates then I don’t want to be on your team because if I had to do that each and every week then we’re in trouble.  I don’t think guys need that on this team.  I think guys are very self-motivated and like I said, we’re going to get our running game turned around.  Everybody around here talking bad about it.  It hasn’t been what we wanted…in previous years how it’s been but we still have ten games left.  Obviously it starts this week with another tough opponent with the Vikings.  Like I said we had a great day today and we’ll correct the mistakes and we’ll go from there.

Q: Does it take a long time to figure out…

A: No. We only have ten games left.  We can’t keep coming in each and every week saying, “We have to fix this, fix that.”  We have to do it quickly because sooner or later the season will be over so we want to make sure we’re up and running when that cold weather hits here.   

WR Sammy Watkins

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Q: How much are looking forward to a little bit that you’re not facing Darrelle Revis this week?

A: I think it’s the same thing. You’ve got guys just being in your face. Pressing every play. Guys that are going to be physical and with the offense we just have to really go at those guys and make them feel, make them feel like they’re uncomfortable and until we do that we have to make those guys feel like we’re threatening them and just get them on their toes.

Q: Orton put up 308 yards two weeks ago.  Put up 299 yards last weekend.  What are you guys doing better that’s letting those stats slide a little bit higher?

A: Really just passing the ball a lot. I think we have one of the best groups at wide receiver and we have a lot of guys that can make plays and we just did a great job of just attacking the guys and being physical and beating our guys off the line.

Q: There’s a little bit of stir this week with Mike Williams.  How does that much affect you in the locker room when another player asks for a trade?

A: I really don’t try to get into it, but it definitely affects our group a lot. We feel like he’s one of our leaders. He’s a guy that means a lot to us since we’ve been in here in camp. That’s one veteran that we actually look up to on the team. It just hurts to see him, I don’t want to say hurt but it’s bad to see things like that go on but I think this team and the leaders we have are pretty stable in just trying to win. 

Q: It seems like you guys have a pretty good relationship going. You probably don’t want to see him go, I’m guessing. 

A: Nobody on our wide receiver group do. I think he’s one of the leaders. He’s the one to keep us together, movies, out to eat, anything….he’s there. Picking us up during practice, meetings. Anything that has to do with leading, he’s our leader and I think it would hurt all of us. I won’t even lie to you, it would hurt everybody that’s in our room. I mean it’s not hard just to come in here every day. Come in to work every day and if everything is going good. He actually motivates us and makes our group go out there and go out there have fun with it. We go out there and have fun and play around and practice making plays and it happens quickly with Mike being out there.     

C Eric Wood

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Q: Does someone requesting a trade disappoint you a little bit as a veteran guy?

A: I honestly don’t even know the whole situation to comment that much on it.  I’m worried about one thing this week and that’s getting a win versus Minnesota and anything like that, I don’t put a whole lot of thought into.

Q: So not a distraction?  It’s not going to be something that’s going to be a problem?

A: It has not distracted me one bit.

Q: How about the team?  From the team’s perspective?

A: I’m not sure.  I can’t address maybe his position group or what not but I know as a team, we’re not worried about it.

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