Buffalo Bill HC Rex Ryan
Friday, November 4, 2016

Opening Comments: Here’s the guys that did not practice today; Kyle Williams, that was a non-injury, he’s got an illness. (Corbin) Bryant with a shoulder, (Brandon) Tate with a concussion. Everybody else was limited; that’s Cordy Glenn, ankle, (LeSean) McCoy, hamstring, (Jerry) Hughes, hand, (Charles) Clay, knee, (Robert) Woods, foot, (Lerentee) McCray, knee, (Lorenzo) Alexander, hamstring, (Reggie) Bush, groin and (Marcell) Dareus, groin. (Marquise) Goodwin was full-go today, concussion. That’s what it says here. Alright, let it rip.

Q: Thoughts on Marcell?
A: You know, when we say limited, we mean really limited. But hopefully—you know the fact that he was out yesterday, he did a little something today, hopefully that’s a good sign.

Q: How about with Shady practicing?
A: I feel like he’s really close. Hopefully—I’m thinking he’s going.

Q: If he does go, would you anticipate working (Mike) Gillislee more into the rotation? It seemed like Shady had most of the snaps in the first half against Miami.
A: Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see how the thing plays out but I think if we put him out there, he’s full-go. But I mean he looks full-go to me. We’ll see. Obviously the experts will handle it but he looks pretty good to me.

Q: Just with (Percy) Harvin, is the big question here endurance for him not having been in the football setting?
A: Yeah I think that’s the big thing, in being in what we call ‘football shape.’ It’s a different kind of training than running or whatever but he looks good, he did more today than he did yesterday so it looks good. But I think endurance is part of it, I don’t think there’s any doubt about it, and just doing the football specific stuff.

Q: You went to Game 7 of the World Series, not a shocker being a Cubs fan and all. Going to the game that night, and Cleveland’s not that far, can you just talk about that on a so called ‘work night?’ Did you have to manage your time in preparation for the game accordingly?
A: Oh yeah. It almost was a perfect situation for us because obviously having a Monday night game, all our work, it’s not like I was—regardless of the Cubs being in Game 7 or not, if there was work to be done, then by gosh, I would have stayed and done the work but it worked out perfect where I was able to get out and scrounge up some tickets late and get down there. So it was good. We had a little bus trip down there, so it was good.

Q: There was a photo with you and Dennis (Thurman). Did other coaches come with you?
A: Yeah. We had a big group go down there. Like I say, I don’t want (anyone) to think anything (about) preparation—everything’s done. Believe me. But yeah, it was an opportunity. (I) called my agent, was able to get some tickets and a bunch of us went down there.

Q: How many approximately, would you say?
A: Gosh, I don’t know.

Q: A dozen? Half-dozen?
A: Yeah, probably a dozen.

Q: Did you end up staying the entire game? There was that rain delay.
A: I hate to admit it. I hate to admit it.

Q: You left during the rain delay?
A: We had to because we had to get back to work, you know what I mean? So we had to get back to work, we have the rain delay and I’m like, “you have to be kidding.” And then when you look at it, it’s like alright, when’s it going to pass? And I’ll be honest, I was wanting to stay but I was like if this thing’s in delay for a couple of hours, there’s no way. We got to get back and the radio wasn’t working so I called my brother, who actually did not go with us. So anyway…

Q: Was he in the office?
A: He was actually in the office—because he’s crazy.

Q: So you had it piped in by phone?
A: Oh yeah. And so I’m listening to my brother give us play-by-play. So, “Cubs win!” So it was good.

Q: How much were you kicking yourself when it was only a 15 minute delay?
A: I know! Well the thing that was funny—we leave, we’re in the bleachers there and we slide out and I’m like, “God we got to go,” and as we go we hear that it’s clear that the rain stopped and all that but by then we’re like no, we’re heading out. But yeah, it was disappointing.

Q: When it comes to Stephon (Gilmore), he continues to say that coaches told him it wasn’t his fault on that Chris Hogan touchdown and that it was a busted coverage. But when it comes to showing his frustrations in the end-zone and yelling at a teammate, that seemed to be a bad look, wouldn’t you say?
A: Well it was a bad look but it was a bad result and I think his teammate wasn’t at fault either, so that’s the biggest thing. We’ve avoided communication issues for the most part this whole year, maybe had one or two and unfortunately that was one on a third-and-forever situation where we should have been off the field. Instead we gave up a big touchdown and that thing right there kind of put us on our heels and we have to avoid that. At all costs, we have to avoid that.

Q: Has he, in your mind, been among, as he puts it, the elite corners this season?
A: Yeah, I think he’s had some moments where he’s been absolutely outstanding. You know, he’s probably had some things where he probably wishes he could have a play or two back, I don’t think there’s any doubt, but again, we’re halfway through the season. We’ll see how he does the rest of the season but I would not be shocked if he doesn’t play outstanding.

Q: Where do you think Shaq Lawson’s progress is going into his third game?
A: I like where he’s at. I think he’s getting better each day on the practice field and I think with him working with some of the other players, I think he’s getting a great feel for that now.

Q: We saw before practice when guys were stretching out, you kind of had a little bit of an extended conversation with Stephon. What was that about?
A: No, I talk with players all the time, so just normal I guess.

OC Anthony Lynn

Friday, November 4, 2016

Q: Just the challenge of working with a depleted receiving core?

A: Well you can rest assure those receivers are working hard and that’s all you can ask for those guys is to come in and compete every day, work hard and do your job and at some point, that hard work is going to start paying off.

Q: Coach, I don’t know if you’ve had a lot of time to look at it, but third-and-medium seems to be less of a problem than third-and-short, which kind of defies common logic. What is challenging about third-and-short?

A: I think some of it is situational in the time of the game where we go for those third-and-shorts. It may be in passing situations where we’ve only been stopped once running the football on third-and-one. I think that was in the Miami game but I think some of that has been in the no-huddle offense. Just situations.

Q: Shady practicing, give me some observations of what you see from him in terms of readiness and how that influences what you’re going to be able to do Monday night.

A: Well you have to be conscious of his conditioning because he’s been for a couple of weeks, hasn’t played, hasn’t practiced a lot. But he looks good in practice. His stamina, his quickness and just the rest, he’s had two weeks to rest, so I feel confident that he’s going to be able to play and play well but I have to be cautious of his conditioning.

Q: What are the expectations for Percy Harvin after seeing him in practice?

A: You know, I’m going to wait until the end of the week to evaluate that and see how we’re going to use him and if we’re going to use him. The guy’s been out of football for a year, comes back, practices for two or three days and then go play in an NFL game. That’s asking a whole lot.

Q: How does that decision making chart flow? Maybe the medical staff has some advice on a guy who hasn’t been in football shape for a whole year, maybe Coach Rex says yeah, you’ll only have him for ‘this.’ How does that work?

A: Well you don’t want him to come in and get hurt and then you don’t have him for a month, so you really have to watch him. But he’s been working. I mean he knew he was coming back to play in the NFL and he looked better this week than I thought he would look and so, like I said, at the end of the week we’ll sit down and evaluate him, see what he can and can’t do and see if he’s going to play at all.

DC Dennis Thurman

Friday, November 4, 2016

Q: What are your thoughts on Stephon Gilmore? He acknowledges that he had some ups and downs. How do you assess his performance when it comes to being a part of that elite company of cornerbacks?

A: Well we’ve all had ups and downs this season. I mean it’s been inconsistent as a defense. We played some good games and some not so good. So it’s not just one guy. You know, he has a job to do, and we all have a job to do. So that’s the best way I can answer that. The expectation is that all 11 that are on the field will go out and perform at a level that’s a winning level, and we’ve done it four games and we haven’t done it four games. That’s why we’re sitting where we’re at.

Q: It seems like the whole stuff last year, I think you were asked about this on a weekly basis, communication which works too, seems like it got locked down. So through this year, and then in the New England game it wasn’t. What do you think changed and what were some of the big issues?

A: I mean it wasn’t an overall breakdown in terms of communication. There were some in the game. It probably happened two or three times. But we’ve been good. You know we’ve been good up until that point, and it came out and it bit us. But we’re always trying to overcome that. I mean we all have to be on the same page. You know, we have a saying. As long as we’re all singing out of the same hymn note, we’ll be fine. But when we’re not, we’re susceptible of giving up big plays as anybody.

Q: Shaq Lawson says he’s more comfortable with every practice. What have you noticed about his progress?

A: Well his assessment of himself is accurate. When you come into this league and you’ve missed OTA’s, you’ve missed minicamp, you miss all of training camp, and then you miss almost the first seven games of the season. And you’re a rookie? You are way behind. He’s starting to understand what we’re asking of him. It’s not going to be perfect because he’s missed so much time, but you can see the talent. You can see his physical gifts. He wants to do it. He’s working towards that and we’re expecting him to grow and get better.

Q: Is it possible to structure his role, at least now, in a way that sort of limits what you’re asking him to do just because you don’t want to overload him?

A: I mean we monitor what we’re asking of him right now. But the things we are asking him to do, he has to learn to do them. And like I said, he’s been working towards that. We expect him to grow, but his upside is tremendous, and he’s an exciting young guy to be working with because he anxious, and sometimes as a young player you want to go faster than the pace you’re ready to go. We’re holding him back some but he is getting better, yes.

Q: Zach Brown plays in a position that is stat friendly in the scope of your defense but still he’s making so many plays. Is that due to the speed that he’s gifted with that gets him to places faster? Why is he making more plays than initially anticipated?

A: I mean, I don’t know. I mean he’s adapted to the defense pretty quickly and easily. He’s playing a position that’s an athletic position. He’s an athletic guy. He can run, he can hit, he can cover, he can blitz, and we’re using his versatility. This defense has always been based on guys that are versatile, that are athletic, that can do a number of things. Right now, Zach is one of those guys and that’s why I think he’s playing at such a high level.

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