Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan

Monday, November 14, 2016

Opening Comments: Alright, obviously that was a bad weekend for a lot of different reasons. But really the games, that’s the thing about these games, man, you think this looks good, that looks good, and not that you’re glued to your phone too much but you pay attention to things. There were some unbelievable endings in a bunch of games.

Obviously the Clemson one was a disaster but with that, I think our team, when you come back, we’re excited about these seven games in front of us. We’ll see Cincinnati tonight and hopefully they have a real physical contest tonight, but I’m excited about our team and I think this should be the healthiest we’ve been in a long time coming back off the bye and (we) should have a lot of energy and passion. I thought we showed it the last time we played Seattle, we played as hard as we could but it wasn’t good enough obviously, but that’s behind us and now we move forward.

Here’s some injury updates. I know you guys will be asking me about Sammy Watkins. He is eligible to return to practice this week, however the trainers have said they feel he’s not ready to return this week. So we’ll see how that goes. Marcell (Dareus) is progressing nicely and with everybody on this list, we’ll see how it progresses but our trainers seem to be pleased with him, how he’s progressing. Corbin Bryant with that shoulder, I think we’re moving forward, but it is what it is. (Brandon) Tate is still in the concussion protocol and then Eric Wood, unfortunately with Eric, obviously he had surgery and with these things, obviously it takes a while to heal but he had surgery. So it’s a big loss for us so we’ll see who steps out and who earns that starting job. So we’ll see how that plays out this week. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Should Dabo (Swinney) have punted? (Referencing Clemson’s loss to Pitt)

A: Well it’s easy to say that now but no, you know what, that was a heck of a game. There’s no question about it but Pitt made a ton of plays when they had to. They get the interception in the end-zone and they kept competing and unfortunately for my sake, Pitt ended up winning the game. But we all saw what happened in football. I think everything will still work out for Clemson as long as they win the rest of them.

Q: Have you seen LeSean (McCoy) yet?

A: Oh yeah and it’s unfortunate. LeSean has a bruised right eye from it. (Joking) No, of course. Are you kidding me? It’s tough to keep him in Bills gear this week, he’s got his Pitt stuff on. But no, he’s definitely rubbing my nose in it.

Q: You said that somebody has to earn that center spot and fill in for Eric. Is it a two-man race between Patrick (Lewis) and Ryan (Groy) and if so, how will you split practice this week?

A: Well that’s exactly what it is. Obviously Ryan you feel good about. He replaced Eric when he went down and he’s been doing it, but we want to give Patrick Lewis an opportunity as well. So that’s why both guys will work there. We’re going to have competition in a lot of different spots this week and give guys opportunities to earn starting nods.

Q: What other spots are you talking about?

A: Well, I think there’s several. We’ll let it play out. In the secondary there’ll be competition, maybe the offensive line, but we have to do what’s best for our football team regardless of maybe where we thought. Let’s do what’s best. Whoever’s playing best will be out there.

Q: Eric mentioned on the radio last week that he might be able to return for a playoff run. Is there any hope of that occurring?

A: You know, I’m not sure. I haven’t checked with the docs, I just know what they told me, that these things take a while to heal obviously, but that’s Eric for you. I mean Eric wants to be out there in the worst way and clearly as a team, we would want that also. But not jeopardizing him, he’s got to be ready, but I love his attitude.

Q: Any discussion on if you’re going to keep him on the active roster or put him on IR?

A: You know, haven’t discussed that with Whales (Doug Whaley) yet.

Q: How is Seantrel Henderson doing with his health, weight, etc?

A: Seantrel looked outstanding last week, so we’re going to give him an opportunity and we’ll see what happens with Seantrel.

Q: Was that news you shared on Sammy a surprise to you?

A: I just met with Sammy, Sammy feels fantastic. But we’re going to be smart with this and we’re going to do what’s best for him obviously and until all our medical people are on board with him coming back out there on the field, then we’re not going to practice him. But when that time occurs, and hopefully that will occur soon, then he’ll be back out there.

Q: What do they expect in seven to eight weeks to heal that six weeks couldn’t heal?

A: You know, I’m not real sure but I’m no expert in those things. But I know he feels great so hopefully that’s a positive sign.

Q: With all the injuries you’ve had, was this the most you’ve ever needed a bye-week?

A: It’s right up there, I don’t think there’s any doubt. You know, we really could have used it the previous week, we were running on empty, but the effort that we displayed, it’s unfortunate we never got the results because, man, they laid it out there. There’s no question about it and it’s tough to suffer a loss like that where you did compete with everything you had—I mean every ounce that we had. But now I feel like we’re healthy and feeling good and we got to be rolling now. But we did, we absolutely needed our bye.

Q: Putting aside the one week at a time mentality, do you consider that you’ll probably have to win six to get in?

A: Well that’s what the normal math is, the normal thinking. That’s always been the number that you put out there, that generally 10 (wins) gets you in. It’s not all the time, but generally that’s what happens but with us, I know we want to get away from the, whatever—our focus has to be on Cincinnati, and that’s it. You can’t worry about getting to 10 wins. Shoot, we have to worry about getting five wins so I think that’s where we have to look at. We haven’t earned the right to think about anything further than that.

Q: With respect to Marcell, you said progress. Does that mean practice yet or are you still waiting on that?

A: We’ll see how it goes. Today we have a light workout or something but I think probably Wednesday will be a better judge that.

Q: How encouraged were you with what went on in the passing game and the potential for that to lead to a more balanced offense?

A: Well I was very encouraged but let’s face it, we got guys back. We got Marquise Goodwin back, we ended up having Robert Woods feeling much better than he had previously, so that’s going to help you in the passing game and when we added Percy (Harvin), and albeit he played 21 snaps, hopefully that role can increase. Those are all encouraging signs for us.

Q: When you look at the film, Percy had 21 snaps but was not targeted once, no touches. Can you explain what was going on there?

A: Well I mean he wasn’t able to run a full route complement, I mean we never felt like he was really ready to do that football-shape wise, but I think we feel better about it moving forward. But Percy won’t just be a decoy for us.

Q: How is your long-term outlook for Seantrel Henderson changed from the beginning of all this? Are you more encouraged now than when you first learned of his diagnosis?

A: Well I’m encouraged right now (with) the way he practiced, especially last week. Like that was the guy that I remember, a special athlete. Hopefully he can continue that way, but I was really encouraged with how he looked last week.

LB Lorenzo Alexander

Monday, November 14, 2016

Q: Have you talked to coaches about tapering off special teams to keep you as fresh as possible?

A: No. It’s hard for me to ask the coaches to take me off something that I thrive in. Obviously being out there I can help the team. These last couple of weeks when I haven’t been out there, I felt like I’m letting the guys down because I’m part of that unit. So anytime we can win the field position battle, because that’s really hurt us these last two games, giving up two or three big returns in the last two games, has put us in some bad situations defensively. So I definitely want to be a part of that because I still consider myself as one of the top guys in the league as far as covering kicks.

Q: A lot of teams self-scout during the bye-week by looking at what they can do better. What did you learn about yourself this week?

A: I mean the biggest thing for us is just playing consistent football. I mean, we go out there, give up 28 points in the first half, make some adjustments in the second half and give up three. So we have the ability and the talent to go out there and be talented but right now we haven’t been able to show that consistently game-in and game-out. That’s why we’re 4-5, right in the middle of the pack with everybody else. You see the teams at the top like the Patriots, Seattle, those teams each and every week you know what you’re going to get out of them. They’re going to play good, quality football and not beat themselves and that’s what always separates teams in this league.

Q: How do you capture that as a team?

A: I mean it’s really just repetition. Guys just really growing up, taking accountability if it happens to be them making the mistakes, whoever it may be, and going out there and executing, being a pro. Really looking in the mirror, evaluating yourself honestly, where do you fall short and picking it up in those particular areas.

CB Ronald Darby

Monday, November 14, 2016

Q: For you personally, how would you assess how the Seahawks game went for you?

A: Just started off rough and that’s how it went.

Q: When we were out there earlier today, you were on the side talking to Coach McDonald (defensive backs coach). Was that something different?

A: We were just talking. It wasn’t as deep as it seemed. We were just over there talking.

Q: During his press conference, Rex said there might be competition in the secondary and offensive line. Is there any change in your position at all?

A: It is what it is at the end of the day. I’m not sure. They’re the coaches; I’m just out here to play.

Q: Just preparing for AJ Green and the Bengals offense, what kind of challenges do they present?

A: They have good receivers and a good quarterback, so you’ve just got to come ready to play.

DT Marcell Dareus
Monday, November 14, 2016

Q: How are you feeling?
A: I’m feeling pretty good.

Q: What did you do on the bye week?
A: Just sat around, got treatment, stayed here at the facility, worked with our guys hand-in-hand just to be as healthy as possible when we get back.

Q: Are you close? Do you think you have a good chance of playing Sunday?
A: We’ll see. We’ll see.

Q: You were out doing some stuff in the fieldhouse today. How did that feel?
A: It felt pretty good. I felt pretty good, just still trying to work out the kinks. Don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even worse and then be out for the season, so just trying to maintain and be ready to go.

OL Ryan Groy

Monday, November 14, 2016

Q: You can pretty much play any position on the line. How does that help you now as a center because you have to make all those calls?

A: Well it’s great. I mean, even at tight end or fullback I know where they’re going. So from there, it’s kind of counting off, “he’s got here, he’s got here, okay,” so that’s the call. So knowing different positions, knowing most of the offense, it helps everything.

Q: I think you played one game at center in college. How much experience do you have at the position?

A: Quite a bit. I was a backup in college and I played for a couple of years when I wasn’t starting at guard so I’ve played it quite a bit. And then yeah, started one game but played quite a bit.

Q: How did you feel last game when you had to come in?

A: I thought it went well. We had a couple communication errors and I could have done some things better but coming in, obviously we’d like to finish that drive and obviously I have to look at myself and take whatever blame I can but we got to finish better and I’ve got to do better to get that job done.

C Patrick Lewis

Monday, November 14, 2016

Q: Is practice challenging or exciting?

A: Every practice is challenging, exciting. You never know when your number’s going to be called. As far as the competition, I’m just trying to earn the coach’s respect, earn the player’s respect with just knowing what I’m doing and just try to go out there every day and just give my best to the football team.

Q: Obviously there’s never a good time to lose Eric Wood but to have it happen before the bye-week, has that given you and (Ryan) Groy extra time in the classroom?

A: We attack it every day like we’re going to start. Everybody. You have to being in the NFL, being on an active roster. You have to attack every day, every meeting like you’re going to be a starter that weekend. You do that, you don’t really have to get ready, you’ll be ready. Right now, we’re just trying our best to catch up. It will be hard to replace a guy like that, an all-pro, very smart, great leader on this football team. Groy and I, we’re just going to try our best.

Q: The mental aspect, the familiarity and communication of Eric Wood will be hard to replace. If you’re able to get in there, will a lot of that fall to you do you think?

A: Yeah, definitely. That’s what the center position is. It involves a lot of communicating, making sure everybody’s on the same page and, like I said, there’s a lot of good guys around us and we’ll just collectively try to get this done.

CB Corey White
Monday, November 14, 2016

Q: First off, what have you been told your role is right now? You had some first-team reps today.
A: We’ll see. Right now we’re just competing in practice to see who starts on Sunday.

Q: How excited are you for this opportunity?
A: Very excited. I’ve been playing—this is my fifth year in the league. I’ve been there and done that, I’ve seen everything really. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it.

Q: Has coach actually said it’s an open competition this week?
A: Yeah, it is open. Definitely.

Q: How tough is it to be a backup that gets thrown into a game?
A: It’s tough. The main thing is just stay focused mentally and stay in shape. Like I said, this is my fifth year in the league. I’ve seen everything, been there, started, came off the bench, everything. So it’s nothing to me, really.

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