Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman

Monday April 13, 2015

Opening remarks:

Hey guys, thanks for coming out today. The first thing I would like to say is, I’ve heard a lot about Buffalo, but I’m meeting a lot of people in the community: at the store, getting my car washed, getting my hair cut, having dinner–all that. It is as advertised. A lot of great people, a lot of excitement in the community as well as inside our building but, what a great place to live. Any questions?

Q: Since you’ve arrived, a whole lot has been added to kind of the toy chest that you’re going to use as offensive coordinator. Start with LeSean McCoy and what role you see him in, how you see utilizing him and just your thoughts on having him to work with.

A: Well he’s a really good running back and we know that. He’s played really well at other teams and for other coaches and all that. And, right now we’re in the teach phase of our offense and getting to know him, his style of learning, communicating and whatnot. He’s been aces, he’s been great. He really has the whole offense. LeSean is a dynamic guy and he’s going to end up, when it’s all said and done, running to daylight and that’s what I like. That’s what I’m all about.

Q: Greg, talk about, as a coordinator, what it’s like to have a guy like (Percy) Harvin, who can do a lot of different things and doesn’t really have one set position but can do a lot of things. As a coordinator, from a creativity standpoint, talk about him.

A: Percy is a world class athlete that’s a very tough, physical, strong football player that we envision being a big factor for us at the receiver position. And I personally think his best days are ahead of him as a receiver, down-in and down-out. Now, his skill set and his skills and his abilities, they can let your imagination go. There’s not a lot with Percy where you can say, ‘We better not do that with Percy.’ You can really just kind of let your imagination run wild and see how it ends up. So, I think Percy can make plays behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defense. There’s not a lot of guys that can do that.

Q: Greg, with all these weapons, how do you incorporate a game plan in which the game football is premised on having one ball. How do you keep everybody happy?

A: Just get two balls. Change the rules. (Laughs)

Q: Have you petitioned Commissioner Goodell for that?

A: It’s in the works. No, these guys want to win. That’s our prime directive. That stat we are about is winning. Everybody understands that in a team sport, sometimes you’re doing the dirty work and sometimes you’re getting the glory, but if it all ends up in helping the team win then everybody benefits, and it’s pretty obvious. However, I think you have to have guys, character guys, and I believe we have those guys. So, it’s a great problem, if you want to look at it that way. But, that’s the fun. Who do you stop, right?

Q: Greg, when they were doing this, they were bringing guys in, it seemed like every week a new weapon was being brought in. Were you up in your office, like doing a private dance? All these guys they’re giving you to play with.

A: Was there a camera in my office? I’ll tell you what, our front office did a tremendous job. We presented a vision of how we would like to look and be and they went out, and we’ve got a new staff, it’s a totally new beginning here. And they understand that, and they understood that, and they took what we communicated to them and went out and tried to create that and find those pieces. We’ve got a lot of work to do, we’re in day one, day two of the teaching phase. But I think our front office did a phenomenal job finding the right pieces, finding the right fit, for the vision we have.

Q: Did you have a list of guys that you thought would be a good fit?

A: No, I just think we tried to paint a picture of what we wanted to be and they could probably extrapolate by watching some San Francisco, and maybe some Stanford, or whatever, and then fit that into what Rex (Ryan) and myself talk about. And then they just had that one vision with us and went out and got some really good guys. Again, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but I have to commend the players. The participation, the attendance, the focus, the engagement of them has been outstanding.

Q: How does Charles Clay, speaking of that fit, he seems very specific, we’ve heard, to what you want to do. Walk us through how that fit is right for him versus other styles of tight ends.

A: Well I think tight ends are like running backs in the sense that they’re all very unique and they all have a different style. I think Charles has shown that he’s a very multi-dimensional type player, and he can function at a high level in the run game and in the passing game. He’s what we look for, he’s a football player, he loves playing the game, and that’s what we look for. He’ll probably be doing a lot of things; he’ll have a lot on his plate. He’ll be studying a lot at night.

Q: I know the benefit of the extra three-day mini-camp coming up soon. How do you plan on divvying up reps, or assigning practice time, to the four quarter backs?

A: I think that’s something we’ll get a little more specific with as we go, but they’ll all get work and we’re all very happy that they’re here learning. We’re really in a teaching phase right now, and we’ll kind of address that when we get a little closer.

Q: What about your quarterback situation, it’ll be the topic de-jour, going right into training camp. What are your thoughts on how this competition is going to play out and what do you need to see from the winning candidate?

A: I think all four are doing a very nice job in our meetings and in communicating, as we are in a teaching phase. They’re all going to have ample opportunity to get out there and practice. When we start evaluating then we’ll start to play around with things a little bit, who’s with the first team the one day, and the next day, and so forth. Everyone will have a chance to work with the first team and everybody’s going to have ample opportunity to put their best foot forward. And then we’ll have a good feel for it as we go.

Q: What do you think of a situation like EJ Manuel? A guy who seemed to be discarded by the previous coaching staff and is now getting a fresh start here. How do you approach him, given that he was in a completely different system and on the bench to close last year.

A: Again, that stuff doesn’t matter to us. It is truly a clean slate. It’s day one of week two of our teaching phase and that’s where we’re at. That’s as far as it goes. Whatever happened prior, good, bad or indifferent, it doesn’t factor in. It’s really simple: here we are, fresh start, new everything, and let’s see what we got.

Q: Greg, as best you can, explain the philosophy of this offense. We hear ground and pound, and we hear this going to be a power run dominated type of thing. Obviously, you’re going to throw the ball sometimes. In your vision, explain how that works. This is thing you were the architect of in San Francisco as well. How does it all come together?

A: I think you’ve got to find out what your players do well and really focus on that. I think everybody understands that. So it can look a lot of different ways. I think we definitely want to challenge our opponent. We’re going to challenge ourselves throughout the spring and summer, we’re going to challenge ourselves, and then hopefully we’ll be able to present enough problems to challenge our opponent, because we show a lot of different personalities. How do we do that? I can’t come out and tell you that or else you might take my job. It’s something that we want to be multi-dimensional, but we want to be physical. We want to be a balanced problem for people. We don’t want them to say, ‘Hey, all we have to do is stop this guy, or double this guy, or overload this side of the line.’ We want 11 men out there that could impact that game. So, we want to really start with balance.

Q: Do you think you have the offensive line? Because you had a big, physical one in San Francisco, do you think you can replicate that here? What do you feel you have now in terms of what your line look like now, to that end?

A: Like anything else, we’ve got to get out on the field and really evaluate how they take the classroom and apply it to the field. I think it’s too early to make any statements on that. But, I really like how they’re engaged in meetings and that they’re here working hard.

Q: You have players, a couple who are here early, but you also have the draft coming up here in a few weeks, how much of that are you dividing your time to between draft prospects, current players, how’s it work?

A: We’ll be fully prepared for the draft, but when we meet next week, as an entire staff with Doug (Whaley) and his staff, we’ll all be on the same page by the time we walk out of those meetings. It’s definitely a division of time: half a day here, half a day there, but, you know, those guys have done a great job of leading the horses to water, so to speak, and who we need to focus on in our studies and evaluation and just leaving no stone unturned.

Q: With how much you’ve seen on film of Cordy Glenn, in your estimation, will he be a tackle or guard?

A: I think he’s a good football player and I think he’ll bring to us the ability to play him at either position, really. That’s a high compliment because that’s not easy to do. I think Cordy has both the physical skill set and the ability to play in space and in a phone booth. And that’s a rally, really great thing, as a player, to have. We’ll see how that unfolds.

Defensive Coordinator Dennis Thurman

Monday April 13, 2015

Q: Corey Graham, he’s been around this defense for the past year, obviously around a lot of great defenses. Do you see him as more of a cornerback or more of a safety?

A: Well, the phase we’re in right now, we’re in a teaching phase, so, we’ll ask a lot of him, but we’ll find the best fit for him. If it’s corner it’s corner, if it’s safety, it’s safety. Right now, it’s all about teaching and getting these guys caught up.

Q: Dawan Landry is a guy who was in here last week on a visit. What do you know about him?

A: I know a lot about him, but right now he’s not here. So all we’re doing is coaching and teaching the guys that are here, so, that’s about the only way I can handle that or answer that right now.

Q: They brought back Jerry Hughes since we last spoke to you. When you came in, you knew there was a chance to lose him. Getting him back now, that’s got to be nice for a coordinator?

A: Oh yeah. Getting quality players is what everybody’s aspiring to do. Jerry’s one of those guys, he’s put himself in a position to be amongst the elite and we expect him to play that way this year.

Q: Is he going to be a stand-up rush end in this defense? How do you see him fitting?

A: We’re in multiple defense. We’ll play some 3-4 and we’ll play some 4-3. We’ll utilize him the best way we see fit. He’s a talented individual who can do a lot of different things and we expect to use him that way.

Q: Coach, I know the roster is far from set, but how do you work through your head, the numbers you’d like to have at specific positions as you get ready for camp and when do you really try to whittle those numbers down with coach (Rex Ryan), in terms of where you want them?

A: The actual numbers usually work themselves out. We’re going into phase two in a couple of weeks. So we’ll have a chance to do a bit more. But, overall, numbers you really don’t get into them until after the draft when you start looking how you want to approach training camp. So the actual numbers you don’t really talk about then until the draft is over.

Q: What are your initial impressions of a guy like Kyle Williams, and the leader he is in that locker room?

A: He’s everything I thought he would be. Tremendous competitor, he has some toughness, guys respect him, we expect him to be one of the bell cows that we lean on, and our expectation is that he will continue to play at a high level.

Q: What’s different about this defense, actually coaching it rather than seeing it on the other side?

A: Well like I said, we’re in a teaching stage right now. I haven’t seen them on the field. I’ve been impressed with their knowledge and their want-to. The aptitude and attention to detail in meetings that they’ve shown so far, and you can’t ask any more than that, because we’re very limited in what we can do at this point.

Q: What are your thoughts on two of your top, young linebackers, (Nigel) Bradham and (Preston) Brown? They had real strong years last year, how do you envision them performing?

A: Yeah, taking another step forward. Our biggest thing, with any athlete, with any player on this squad, the thing that you want, you want to see improvement year-to-year. Usually, young guys take quantum leaps, major leaps, in between years one and two, but usually the real jump is usually between two and three. So our expectation is that every player on this roster will improve, and our job is to help them improve and become the best football players they can become.

Q: Everybody knows about the starting four on the defensive line, but what about the quality of the depth behind these guys?

A: Well you always want to develop quality backup players, guys that can go in and perform and get the job done in case of a broken chinstrap, but you never know. Our job is to develop every player that is on this roster, and we expect to do that. We expect to have a team that has quality frontline players as well as quality backup players that can go in and get the job done. We don’t want there to be a fall-off if someone was to say, break a chinstrap.

Q: Have any of those backup players stood out to you, just by watching film?

A: Yeah, we evaluate every player at every position. I won’t tell you what our thoughts are on those players right now, but we’ll see how they progress throughout the offseason. And once we get into training camp, we’ll find out how good those guys are.

Q: Is Corey Graham a fit at safety?

A: Corey Graham is a fit on this defense.

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