HC Doug Marrone

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q: Has Sammy Watkins been cleared to play?

A: Scott Berchtold: We’re just going by today. He practiced today. We’ll go through how much on Wednesday. That’s when we’ll do that.

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Two guys didn’t practice today. Randell Johnson didn’t and Lee Smith. Randell was an ankle and Lee Smith was a toe.

Q: How does bringing in Kyle Orton affect your quarterback situation picture from where it was last week?

A: Better. It’s better. Kyle is much better for us. He’s an experienced veteran. He’s what we were looking for and we were fortunate to get him.

Q: What’s realistic on how fast he can pick up the offense?

A: I think you’d be surprised of what he can do. I think we’ll go work during the week and see how much he feels comfortable with handling. [It’s] probably more than what most people think because of his experience.

Q: How much of a setback is it that the quarterbacks you brought to training camp didn’t pan out?

A: I don’t know if I’d label it a setback, but we wanted those guys to step up and play better. When they didn’t, we had to go out and make some moves.

Q: How early were you targeting him?

A: Early. Very early.

Q: What led to the delay in signing him?

A: I wasn’t really involved in that.. I’m not trying to pass the buck along, but Doug Whaley would be able to answer what held it up a lot better than me.

Q: You went after Orton very early. Did you have some concerns in regards to the backup’s development?

A: I think that when you start seeing things unfolding, you have to have contingency plans. Doug and I have always discussed things just in case. ‘What about if this doesn’t happen or what about if that doesn’t happen.’ No different than when we discuss, ‘What happens if this player is injured when we play on Sunday. What are we doing? Oh, this player is injured.’ I don’t think that’s abnormal for teams to discuss that if someone’s not playing well, what options they are going to have.

Q: How do you feel Leodis’ health is? Do you feel like he’s ready to go for the regular season?

A: I do. I think we’ll see when we get out there on Sunday, but we just wanted to make sure we got to this point where he’s feeling better and better each day, rather than have any real setbacks.

Q: How has he looked to you?

A: Better and better. I think, when he came back it was more of a rust type of injury. [It was more] shaking the rust off than it was working through pain.

Q: Do you think you would use him as your punt returner.

A: I think so.

Q: How are you going to divide punts and kickoffs between Jordan Gay and Colton Schmidt on Sunday?

A: I think one’s a punter and one is a kickoff guy.

Q: Will Colton be the punter?

A: Yes.

Q: There’s an article out of Syracuse that says Las Vegas has you at 8:1 odds to be fired. How do you feel about that?

A: We’re always under the gun like that, so I think that those things happen. We’re all used to it that are in coaching. Hot seat in college, hot seat in the NFL. You just keep going about your business. My focus is on the team, not about what people think.

Q: What do you think about the group of guys selected as captains?

A: I’m excited. That’s a team deal. That’s who our team voted for. I’m excited for them. It’s an honor when you’re voted by your peers and it’s a lot of responsibility.

Q: Is there any significance to the fact that EJ Manuel isn’t a captain?

A: No, not in my mind because of the fact that the players did it. If you look at it, it’s mostly veteran guys that have been around. I think that position has leadership qualities in it just by the position itself.

Q: Brandon Spikes and Corey Graham are new to the team, yet they are captains. How much does that speak to what you’ve seen from them in interacting with their peers?

A: I think they’ve done a very good job. I think I’ve said that publicly that they’ve done a good job, both on the field and off the field with the way they’ve handled themselves. I don’t want to say they were rewarded for it by being named a captain. I think that’s what people saw. They saw that leadership and they saw that they can handle things and that’s why they were elected by their peers to be the captains.

Q: Did you bring those guys in for their leadership abilities?

A: We had them in to better our football team on the field. Whatever you get from that standpoint is a plus for me, but that’s a great thing. Going into it, it wasn’t, ‘Hey, let’s bring these guys in to be leaders.’ It’s always based on who can help us win football games first.

Q: Are you aware that any surgery is being planned or has already been done on Lee Smith’s toe?

A: Scott Berchtold: Not that I’m aware of. 

Q: How much can we expect to see Corey Graham at safety during the season?

A: I think that all depends on the plans and what we’re doing. I think that, obviously, we have a player that can do a lot of different things for us. I think week-to-week it’ll change.

Q: Would a starter at safety right now be considered Da’Norris [Searcy]?

A: Yeah. On our depth chart we have Da’Norris as our starting safety and Aaron Williams as our other starting safety.

Q: How comfortable are you with playing with only two tight ends if Lee Smith is unable to go on Sunday?

A: I’m comfortable. We did it quite a bit last year. Obviously, we have two other tight ends on our roster so they’ll have to play.

QB Kyle Orton

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q: What have the last 72 hours been like?

A: Just like anybody else in the NFL, you never know where you’re going to end up and things come up. I’ve been grinding and trying to catch up with these guys and try and get these guys to know what I’m all about.

Q: What were you doing for most of August?

A: Just enjoying family time. We’ve got a three-year old so it was a good time to be with her and, to be honest, I needed it. The past is the past and I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to be around all these guys. To work with EJ [Manuel], to work with Jeff [Tuel] and do anything I can to help the team.

Q: Why did you feel you needed that time?

A: If you’ve got kids I think you kind of know that they just like being around you. But this was the right decision for me. This was the right team for me. This was the right organization for me.

Q: What made it the right fit this time?

A: The more you’re around you just get that feeling that you’ve got the right fit. I didn’t really think of many other places. When this opportunity arose, I jumped at it.

Q: Timing-wise does this compare to any other stops in your career?

A: I did a mid-season switch to Kansas City. You’re kind of right in it right away. Mentally I’m going to be fine. I got some good work in today, physically and we’ve got six days to go. I’m excited to go.

Q: What made the process of signing you take so long?

A: I don’t know. Six weeks ago seems like a long time. I just try to concentrate on the last three days and just focus forward at that point.

Q: Can you comment on your departure in Dallas?

A: We play the Bears and I play for the Bills. I kind of stick with those two teams for now and I worry about that.

Q: What is realistic to expect on how long it’s going to take you to get up to speed?

A: This week and I think I’ll be ready to go. [I] really put in a lot of work the last 48 to 72 hours, mentally. Physically, it went really well today and I’ll be ready to go on Sunday.

Q: What are your first impressions of this offense?

A: Great. Good coaches, good players, good young talent, good starting quarterback and we should have a chance to be a really good offense.

Q: What is the hardest part about joining a team late like this?

A: I think, more than anything, just being comfortable with the guys and letting them know what you’re all about. Just being yourself. Don’t try to be anything that you don’t want to be and just be a veteran presence. I’ve been around for a while now, so I’ve been in every situation that you can be in.

Q: What can you do to help EJ along?

A: Like him, I started as a rookie and know how tough that is. But also, I know how great your second year can be. I didn’t get a chance to start my second year. I was back on the bench, but the growth curve from year one to year two was great. Your confidence grows. I’m just here as a sounding board for him. I don’t think I know everything, but I’ve seen a lot of looks, been around a lot of different offenses and played a lot of defenses. Any questions that he has, I hope that I can help him.

Q: Are you here to compete for a starting job?

A: My role on the team is a backup and to be ready to play whenever I need to be. Job number one is to help EJ and that’s what I plan to do.

LB Brandon Spikes

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q: What are your thoughts about coming into a new team and being named a team captain?

A: Honestly, I don’t know. I guess it’s the way my teammates and peers view me. They see me coming to work with my lunch pail, trying to get better each and every day and they respect that. I know a lot of guys I played against the last few years, as well. They just know what I bring to the table. It’s an honor

Q: Do you feel like you can take some of the things you learned in New England and have them rub off in this locker room?

A: Absolutely. I always respect them for drafting me and I took a lot of stuff from them. They taught me how to be a professional each and every day, on and off the field and how to conduct yourself as a professional. I try to bring it over here for the younger guys to learn.

Q: You have some young guys in the linebacker room that could use that guidance, don’t you?

A: Absolutely. Just as far as the ins-and-outs; all the smaller things that people take for granted. You’ve got to really work on that to keep you around for a long time. You just don’t get away from fundamentals, technique and film study. That’s what makes you a professional.

WR Sammy Watkins

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q: How do you feel?

A: Pretty good.

Q: Pretty good?

A: Yeah. I feel just about normal. I had a great practice today. I felt normal. It felt pretty good out there.

Q: Are you anticipating the use of a flak jacket when you come back?

A: Yeah, we’ll try just about everything; whatever helps me. We’re just going to see how fair I can go and I just think pain tolerance I have to get through and be prepared for.

Q: How sore are your ribs?

A: Just about any other rib injury. Just the soreness of it. Nothing happened to the ribs, so you’ve just got to go out there and be strong and finish the game. If I need to take a breather or take two or three plays off from being hit then that’s what I’m going to do. 

Q: Do you anticipate being able to play against Chicago?

A: Of course. That’s a winner’s mentality. I hoping I’m going to be out there on the field playing, getting reps with the guys and go out there and try to fight for a win.

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