Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone

Monday, October 21, 2013

Opening Statement:
Obviously it was a good victory for us down there. I think one of the points that kind of got lost through the week that we were emphasizing with our players; we were concerned with the heat down there. I thought that our trainers and players did a nice job during the week, really starting on Monday when they reported, getting the players ready for that type of environment. I thought the guys did a good job. We actually played well throughout the whole game, four quarters playing hard. Really didn’t have anyone cramping up or any of those issues.

I think when you look at the game; I think it’s not that difficult to see. The main thing, like we’ve talked about before and you hear from coaches quite a bit, is just the turnovers. We were plus two for the day; it’s very difficult to win a game for the opponent when you’re plus two. We’re plus five for the season overall, I think that’s what’s given us a great chance right now. That was one of the things that we tried to emphasize when we first came here. It’s one of the fastest ways to lose games, when you turn the ball over. When you look at the turnovers and us being plus two, we were able to score 10 points off those turnovers. Obviously we turned the ball over ourselves and I thought the defense really did a great job of stepping up. They missed a field goal off that. That was a great job.

I think the other thing was from the defensive standpoint, Miami had scored in all their red zone possessions and we were able to get the interception down in the red zone, which I think was a big play for us that was able to take points off the board. I think the other thing that we emphasize with the players has been third down. Offensively for the season on third and 10 or more, we’ve been 1-of- 22 which is not very good. Yesterday we were, I believe, 3-for-7 in third of 10 or more which accounted to 11 yard gain, a 15 yard gain, a 17 yard gain. When you look at third down, obviously your goal is to go ahead and get the first down, but we had six plays on third down where we gained 12 yards or more. I think that was a big thing. Whether it be field position or you keep the drive going and you’re able to score on those opportunities.

Conversely, on defense Miami was outstanding coming in to the game in third down and six to nine. They were converting 57 percent and our defense held them to zero percent. That was a big increase from what we’ve been doing. Third and 10 plus, we haven’t done as good of a job in the past and yesterday we held them to zero percent again on that. The situation itself, third down, we created two interceptions and then overall for the game just on third down alone we gave up 21 yards. At the end of the day, when you look at things and saying what would have been the keys, those two things are really what the keys were for us to win the game.

Q: Can you talk about how opportunistic your offense was? You only got over the 50 yard line four times, but scored all four times.

A: We were struggling, give Miami credit, on first and second down. We weren’t putting ourselves in good situations and it’s very difficult. We were not executing well and then we’re fortunate that when the time was right we executed and were able to make the plays.

Q: Can you comment on the injury to Manny Lawson?
A: It was a hamstring and we feel he’ll be back on the field with us on a limited basis on Wednesday, which is good news.

Q: Did he reaggravate his previous injury?
A: No. It’s actually a different spot than the one before. Same hamstring, but different spot.

Q: How is Fred Jackson’s knee and can you comment on his performance?
A: I was concerned I think like everybody, like every Bills fan when he was on the side there. It didn’t look good. I knew that they were going to take the brace off his leg and then take a peek at it then and I was like, ‘Oof.’ That’s never a good sign. Then all of the sudden he’s running in there and not only did he run in there, but he ran in there and di a very good job. I think he continues to get stronger. Continues to, I always tease him, look younger and younger every time he’s out there. That run, that was a critical run near the end of the game when he basically forced his way through, pushed his way through and was able to get that first down which enabled us to make sure Miami used all their timeouts in that situation. This morning he came in, he looked good and he’s fine. I’m sure he’ll get treatments like he normally does during the week and he’ll be ready to play.

Q: How inspirational is a guy like that to the other guys?
A: I think it’s important, I mean Fred is a captain. From the standpoint of leadership, really the best part about leadership or the best trait about leadership that you can have is by example. I think Fred is an outstanding pro and he leads by example. There’s a lot of youth in him which we’re very happy with.

Q: Any update on (C.J.) Spiller? He looked like he was hobbling more than normal.

A: It’s been up and down. Like I said before, we just monitor him during the week and see where he’s at and if it continues to get better we go out there and then we go play. There’s going to be a setback when you play the game, he’s not going to come out of there 110 percent. I think it’s a situation that we’ll keep monitoring and if there’s a point where during the week it doesn’t feel as good as it should, then I think we’ll look to see what we want to do. As long as he’s getting better when he’s in there, he obviously has the potential to be productive, which he was. He had a run; one or two runs over 10, good distance there. Obviously the Cleveland game he had the big run for the touchdown. We just have to look to see, just keep trying to get him better each week.

Q: His level of production is not approaching what it was last season and obviously the injury has something to do with that. You still feel like what he’s able to give you at whatever percentage he is, is valuable to the team and worth more than any additional carries you could be giving Tashard Choice?
A: To answer the question, I would think the injury has everything to do with it, not some of it. I think that it’s the same thing. We’re looking at the production, seeing if he’s getting better and not putting him out there in jeopardy. Yes, him being out there, he can produce. You look at Cleveland, the run against Cleveland, the run even the other day that he bounces outside and takes it up the sideline. Not very many people can do that. That’s the one thing we’re trying to balance the whole time.

Q: Can you explain why you called a timeout before first down after the long kick return they had near the end of regulation?
A: What I did was I called a timeout to make sure because you’re out of challenges and there was a question that I had that I wanted to make sure they were going to go to the replay booth and look at it. I had the timeout, so I figured I would go ahead and use it. It was at that point I knew I had three in my pocket. I’d rather make sure if I have a timeout, talk to the officials, are you going to look at the replay booth at what just happened, so that’s what I did?

Q: To see a spot for the ball?
A: To see if he was down by a knee or if his hand went down.

Q: Did they look at it?
A: Yeah, they look at all the plays. It’s just a point of wanting to make sure that it’s done.

Q: Have you ever had a similar season where every game has been essentially a one possession game?
A: I don’t know if the score indicates that in the season I’ve been involved with, but as far as the players playing, I’ve been around that before. Everyone is just playing as hard as they possibly can. When we have a good opportunity or make the best of our opportunity we come up on the right end of the score at least from our standpoint and sometimes when you don’t. I think one of the things we look at is how the players are playing. It’s not like we’re out there, we have made mistakes, we do need to improve, we have a lot to work on, there’s no doubt about that. As far as our effort and trying to get things right, that’s there. Despite all the injuries and adversity that we’ve had.

Q: What about the way that your team has come through in some of these close games?
A: I’m extremely proud and that’s a credit to the players and the coaches, to get the guys ready to play and go. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not adding years to my life or any of our fans as they watch it, but at the same point we’re a team that’s fighting and trying to get over this. We haven’t been in the playoffs in twelve years. We know it’s out there, it’s not the elephant in the room, we talk about it all the time. We’re fighting, fighting, fighting and that’s what we’re going to keep on doing. At some point it’s going to start to break. It’s going to break to go over the top. Once you get there, now it’s another challenge to be able to stay there. That’s what you’re seeing right now. You’re seeing a group of guys that care about each other, at least that’s what I see when I’m around them. Obviously Thad (Lewis) is out there playing, they believe in him which I think is a very very important thing. I say that all the time, when you have someone at that position and the players think you can win with them, that’s very important. You see the defense, Jairus Byrd has come on now, he’s playing well. A lot of guys have stepped up in that secondary. Guys up front, doing a good job. Offensively, we’re just fighting through all the nicks, bumps and injuries. That’s really been the storyline. Really deep down inside I think you look at the players and you appreciate it, at least I appreciate it as a coach, how they handle themselves professionally. How they go about and how they’re playing. Again, granted we’re not happy with the record or where we’re at, but we’re working at changing that every single day.

Q: Having looked at the tape of the strip sack and Kyle (Williams) falling on that fumble. I’m assuming you’re happy he didn’t try to run?
A: I looked at it, it was really very smart. I think when he first went in there he tried to pick it up and then realized that he wasn’t going to get a clean exchange with that. I think maybe a younger player; someone who’s not as savvy would have tried to pick it up again. We’ve seen many a times and the other opponent falls on it and they get the ball back. He went to pick it up the first time and figured, ‘Hey, a lot of people are going to be getting close,’ and then fell on the ball and made sure we had possession. I actually think it was a very good play by a very good football player and a veteran type of play.

Q: What did you think of Nickell Robey’s interception and touchdown and the play he’s given you as an undrafted rookie?
A: It’s great, you get a guy that’s an undrafted guy, we knew a little bit more about him, I’ve said that before. Having faced him in college, him making that interception was more of an it’s about time because he’s been doing that and has been very close. I actually told him, ‘Gosh you should have had another one later in the game.’ When you start talking about that, it’s great because you have someone who has very good instincts, someone who can make those plays. You’re looking for him to do that more often.

Q: When was the last time you exchanged texts or phone calls with Sean Payton?
A: We talk. Obviously I had a great experience down there, I have a great appreciation. I played there in ’89 and went back and worked there through a tough transition after Katrina. Those memories are always going to be there and I have all the respect in the world. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have or had spent the time that I did down there. Like I said, I have a great appreciation, I wish them the best and we’re going to go out there Sunday and compete against them.

Q: Did you think Stephon (Gilmore) looked more comfortable in his second week with the cast and do you have any idea how much longer that will be?
A: I don’t know, that’s really the surgeon’s call. It’s not even really our doctors, it’s the surgeons call about when that comes off and stuff. There’s no doubt he definitely looked much more comfortable. I think he’ll even be more comfortable this upcoming week. It’s one of those things, I think like any of us, the more we can wear whatever we have to wear that’s different than how we played before, we just get more comfortable with it.

QB Thad Lewis

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: Did you get a chance to reflect on getting your first win in your hometown?
A: Definitely. It’s always good to get a win, period, in the NFL, but to do it at home made it even sweeter. It’s just another game that we expected to go down and get a win. It was a team victory, so we were happy with that.

Q: Outside of this locker room, there were a lot of people that weren’t expecting you to win. What does it show about the makeup of this team?
A: It’s about the relentless individuals that know that we have what it takes to win and we’re going to go out and do everything we can week in and week out. As long as we believe we can win, which we do every week, we’ll be fine.

Q: Can you comment on how this team has adopted the mindset of just living for the next play and not worrying about the consequences of bad plays?
A: Yeah, you’ve got take it one play at a time and then you have to have a short term memory if it’s good, bad or something you didn’t like. We just take it a play at a time, the defense played well, our offense did what we had to do and even special teams. When you put it all together like you said last week it’s easier to get a win. You won’t be sitting here saying we shoulda, coulda, woulda. That’s the nature of the business, that’s what we’re going to try to do.

Q: Yards were hard to come by on first and second down. You guys converted more third and longs than usual yesterday, what helped you guys do that?
A: You’ve got to attest to the other 10 guys on the field, as well as myself. We just went out and executed. Played within the scheme and guys made plays, the line blocked, and that’s what you have. You have playmakers on this offense and they went out there and know in order to help the defense out we have to keep drives going. We can’t go three and out, we can’t let them get tired. The guys took that mindset in to the game and converted third downs.

Q: What has Fred Jackson showed you?
A: A level of toughness that a lot of people can’t describe or know how tough this guy is. He’s so relentless in his pursuit of excellence, it’s ridiculous. It kind of feeds off on all of us on the offense. We feed off him, we saw the things that he did yesterday and he actually brought some extra energy to the offense.

Q: The run to pick up the first down to set up the field goal, could you believe he was on the field, let alone carrying the ball and moving it?

A: It’s crazy, but nothings impossible. Nothing’s impossible. He told me when he sprained his MCL, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m going to tape it up and keep going.’ When you’ve got a guy like that behind you, you’re just as comfortable as can be.

Q: For the first time you’re getting the chance to get in a routine that ends with you starting at the end of the week. What’s that like?
A: You just kind of get in to the groove, you’re probably a stranger to starting every week, but not coming in and preparing and doing the things that you’re doing. Might take a few more shots than usual, so the recovery will be a little more rigorous with getting yourself recovered, but other than that it’s fun. I’m just enjoying the moment.

Q: In an odd way does it feel good to have to recover on a Monday?
A: Yeah, it does. You’re getting back in to the swing of things; this is what football is all about. You feel good when you can go out there and help your team. Then come back and recover with the guys that you fought with in the trenches.

Q: Talk about your emotions after you got your helmet knocked off and you bounced right up?
A: Let the team know I got y’all back, just like y’all have my back. It’s one thing, the quarterback position you have to be tough. I saw Stevie (Johnson) was in man coverage and he’s getting open, so I sacrifice myself and my body to get a first down because third down was a big conversion. We needed it and that’s just instilling the toughness in this offense. Look, we’re tough no matter what’s going to happen we’re going to stand in there and do what we need to do.

DB Aaron Williams

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: The defense has 12 interceptions, how can you explain that with how many different roles different guys have had to play?
A: Preparation. Just go out there and give it your all. I feel like if we prepare right, we have a chance to make turnovers every week. We’re really emphasizing trying to get turnovers every week so we’re trying to go after the ball. We’re doing a real good job of getting interceptions, but at the same time we have to do better in other aspects of the game: tackling better and getting off the field.

Q: Do you feel the communication has gotten better in the secondary?
A: Most definitely. I feel like our chemistry is a lot stronger and the communication is a lot better. There is some stuff that we still need to work on, but at the same time I feel like we’re doing a great job on the field. We’re not really stressing when we get off, when we have to do some corrections. We’re not really stressing with what they’re doing or what new looks, we just say what we have to say, relax, take a breather and then go back out and get the job done.

Q: Everybody is hurt in this league, but is there a different level of toughness that this team is showing this season?
A: It shows we’re a tough team. You saw it from Fred (Jackson) yesterday. Somebody told them to bring the cart out and he said, ‘No, I’ll be fine,’ and got back in the game. That’s with every position. We rely on guys behind us, we trust in every guy in this locker room to go out there and do their job to the best of their ability. There’s no worries, say if one guy goes down, we know that another guy will come up and step up.

CB Stephon Gilmore

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: Is the cast something you’re going to get off soon?
A: Hopefully I get it off soon. I don’t know, I’m just listening to the doctors. They’re just trying to protect me, so I’m just trying to get out there and do whatever I can to help the team.

Q: Are you having to re-learn how to play the position a little bit?
A: Yeah definitely. I think it’s helping me out in a way for when I get it off. I think it’s helping my game be on another level. I think I’m learning a lot playing with it on.

Q: Do you have to play more with your legs?A: Yeah, I have to use my legs more. I can’t really use my hands like I want to. I’ve got to really win with my feet, so I think it’s helped my game a lot.

Q: It seemed like you were staggering your stance a little bit, is that because of having to play with the cast?
A: Not really, it’s something that I always kind of did playing. I’ve just got to mix it up a little bit and I think I’m getting my hands on them, but I can’t get them like I really want to. Like I said, I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win.

RB Fred Jackson

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: How’s the knee?
A: it’s definitely sore today. We’ll do everything we can to kind of manage that. Take the rest of this week and see what happens. I expect to be out there, I’ll do everything I can to be back out there.

Q: Is there any fear that you can do more damage to it?
A: There’s always that possibility, but I try not to approach it that way. I want to be out there helping my team, help my teammates and do whatever I can to help them. We’ll do whatever we can. The doctors will give me advice, let me know what it is I can do and I’ll continue to put knee braces on and hope that helps. Number one thing is I want to be out there and contribute and help us win games.

Q: You’ve always been a leader on this team, have you always strived to lead by example like you did yesterday?
A: Yeah. What better way to do so. You want guys to step up and make plays for you; you’ve got to do it yourself. That’s just what I try and do. I love this team, I love being a part of this team. The way to show that is to be out there with those guys, competing with them. That’s what I tried to get done yesterday; hopefully I can continue to do so.

WR Stevie Johnson

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: What was the difference in getting over the top this week?
A: They made a mistake at the end. We just capitalized on it. We ended up pulling out the win.

Q: Did that feel like a game that this team doesn’t win two years ago?
A: I can’t call it from last year; we’re a totally different team. It’s just this one week right now; we’ll see what happens next week when we go in to New Orleans. If it keeps rolling we may have something. As of now we went out there and beat a real good Miami team and we’re looking forward to playing against the New Orleans Saints and seeing how we match up against them.

Q: You’ve been able to avoid the snowball effect where if one or two bad things happen it would just get bigger and bigger. Would you agree with that?
A: Yeah, I pretty much credit the defense on that part. It’s primarily been on the offense to play as good as the defense is. When we get off the field and the defense comes up with a big play, just like yesterday they came up with a big play and they gave us hope, gave us a chance. This time we clicked.

DB Nickell Robey

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: First interception of your career goes for a touchdown. How’s it feel?
A: It feels good. Just feels good to get this win. Come in, we go out there yesterday and had a lot of fun. Executed well and got some turnovers which was very important to the game. Got a win and celebrated. It was fun, it was cool.

Q: Coach Marrone kind of joked that it was about time you got an interception because you had been in position. When he jokes at that and you look back at some of the opportunities you had, how nice was it to go and grab one?
A: It feels great. For the most part I just feel like I made my teammates happy. Just being a rookie and making a big play like that, it shows the older guys that I can play and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stay on this defense. I really proved that yesterday. Just to know that my teammates, we play more as a team and we got even tighter throughout the game. You can feel it and we’re really just trying to go on this big run now. I feel like this game sets the tempo, it set us up for success and so we just have to follow through and keep doing what we’re doing.

Q: Is there a process that you go through as a rookie to come around to truly trusting what your eyes are telling you?
A: Yes, that’s huge. Coach always talks to us about that. Just really saying to yourself, ‘Can I really trust myself back there in the secondary?’ You talk to yourself and you tell yourself I see it on film, so I really have to go get it. Just let everything go, so one screw up it isn’t like practice where you go over it three or four times. It’s one play and when that opportunity presents itself, you’ve just got to seize the moment. That’s what I think we do a better job in and I feel like yesterday I did that. My teammates congratulated me and that was the biggest feeling that I can feel from my teammates and from the coaches.

C Eric Wood

Monday, October 21, 2013

Q: What were your thoughts on the performance by Fred Jackson yesterday?
A: Yeah, I was surprised. After I heard, we came to the sidelines and I asked him how he was doing, he said he was hurting, but give him a couple series and he’d be back. Either the next one or the following, earlier than even he expected, he was back in the huddle and fighting his butt off for us.

Q: What did he continue to show you?
A: That pretty much just solidified what I think of Fred as a player and a person. Just a great guy, a great teammate. Willing to put his body on the line for the good of the team and that’s how you stick around a franchise for a long time. We’re not giving up Fred for anybody, for anything. He’s a guy that we want around and he shows that week in and week out.

Q: What about this team’s resolve? To have won three tight games, what does that say about this team?
A: Obviously we’d like to be sitting better than 3-4, but we’re fighting. We’ve had a lot of adversity. There’s not a ton of teams playing our schedule, against the defenses we’re playing with a pretty good rotation at quarterback, we missed Stevie (Johnson) for a game, we’ve missed other receivers for games, two dinged up running backs, shuffling the offensive line and still putting up points and still going out there and fighting week to week. Playing every team tough and putting ourselves in position to win. We’re not making all the plays at the end, which we need to do a better job of, but we’re out there fighting. Credit to the coaches putting us in good position and the guys go out there and try.


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