Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: Did you expect to have the kind of season you are having when you came into this season?
A: No I mean that wasn’t my role, obviously it has changed, but you know now it is just week to week and continue to try to be dominant, be productive, and disruptive. Now teams kind of have like a book as far as like what are my tendencies, what I like to do, how do I get to where I get to the quarterback. So I just have to continue to stay on my fundamentals, continue to understand the weaknesses of the opponent I am facing each and every week and try to exploit those.  Then my teammates are still doing a great job of allowing me to fly around, so with all that I am not surprised that I am still being fairly active every Sunday.

Q: What do you make of this renaissance year for your career?
A: Yeah I mean I think it is just a combination of several things. Finally being healthy, finally getting the opportunity, then obviously being around some great players. Kyle Williams is probably one of the smartest D-lineman I have played with. So just being with him, him allowing me to do some things, and calling out some games, and allowing me to come open, just playing some good hard football. I think I was capable of doing this several years ago but I end up getting hurt. It was just sometimes how God plans things out, and I had a unique story and I think the way of it coming to fruition is a lot better then what, how most people want things. Being a first rounder, be dominate, that is cool and stuff but it is not a unique as being undrafted, bouncing around doing several different things, being hurt and coming back and now at 33 still being tied for the sack leader. I think people are kind of like wow, so it is kind of cool from standpoint.

Q: Rex said you were his MVP and he didn’t hesitate.
A: I appreciate that. I mean I think a lot of that is just coming out of no where so you add that shock value, that unexpected, the expectation that wasn’t there for me. That kind of maybe adds to it, but as you said there are a lot guys on this team that have been dominate and are huge MVPs for this team. I think about Shady (LeSean McCoy) and what he has been able to do when he is out there, being healthy and to add to that run game is one of the guys I would look at.

LB Preston Brown

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: The loss to Jacksonville last year in London, does it still stick with you guys a little bit?

A: Anytime you lose to somebody, it’s like – last year, I mean, we were playing the same teams. We played the Bengals and now we’re going out and playing Jacksonville again. It’s that same thing. We got the win against the Bengals so we got to keep this thing rolling and get another one.

Q: And you did say that you can’t afford to lose to this team –

A: Oh, yeah. We got to go out there and win each and every one of these games. We know what we got to do, because there are teams ahead of us right now who [have] only lost two or three games, so we got to go out there and find a way to win all of these.

Q: How can you guys build off of that ugly win in Cincinnati? It seemed like guys did whatever you had to do to get the win, so how can you feed off of that?

A: It was great. People say it was ugly, but a win is a win. I don’t care what they look like. It’s great to go out there and get a good win against a playoff team from the previous year. We got to go out there and keep it going against Jacksonville’s good offense. We’re going to have our hands full this week.

K Dan Carpenter
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: Your thoughts on being named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week?
A: Yeah, I mean, it’s basically getting congratulated for doing your job. I don’t know. I mean, when I go out on the field, I want to make all my kicks and that’s what I did. It’s nice to get recognized, I guess, for it. But, Colton [Schmidt] held the ball upside-down so that’s why the ball went in, I guess.

Q: You kickers are kind of a little bit of a fraternity in the league. What did you make of what you saw last week with all of those missed extra points around the league?
A: Obviously, it’s surprising. But, at the same time, everyone gets so surprised by kickers missing extra points when that was the whole point of them moving. It’s surprising that there was that many. Is it surprising that there are misses every week? No, not necessarily. There were some less-than-perfect conditions in quite a few places, so that contributes, or helps contribute, to those numbers.

Q: Take me back to the 54-yarder. Was there a line that you wanted, or you told Rex? Was there something that went into that?
A: Well, the line was actually 53 yards. But the line is always changing as the game goes on, whether the wind’s blowing or not, or how I feel. Usually when it’s around the line, depending on what the game situation is – there’s so much that goes into it. How the offense is playing, how the defense is playing, you know – whatever. Sometimes I get the thumbs-up, thumbs-down, yes [or] no. Usually, I’m not like – I can’t remember a time where I was like, “no, no, no, not this one.” So, usually if they ask me, it’s pretty much always a yes.

CB Stephon Gilmore

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: Last Wednesday, it was “Nothing’s getting done, nothing’s going right.” What did that do for the confidence? Maybe you guys were confident, but to silence a lot of critics – is that what that performance did last week?

A: I mean, we’re here to win. I’ve always been a guy to show you what I’m going to do. It’s what I’m about, and that’s what this secondary is about. We’ve got to have strong minds in the secondary. You’ve got to have a short-term memory to bounce back.

Q: Off that performance though, is that something that you want to remember and feed off of? I understand short-term memory, but can this be something that you guys can say, “Hey look at what we did, we shut down a playoff-caliber team from last year,” is that something that you can take going into Jacksonville?

A: Definitely, but we know that that was a good team. We handled our business in the secondary and as a team, but we know that we have to put that behind us because it’s a new week. Next week, there’s talent on the offensive side of the ball, so we’ve got to be able to handle business.

 Q: I understand you’re on defense, but what’s the overall morale of the team seeing Sammy [Watkins] back in practice and back in pads? What’s the morale like?

A: Sammy’s a great player. He’s going to help the offense out tremendously and probably going to score and help people get open. Sammy’s one of the best receivers in the league when he’s on the field, so I’ve got much respect for him.

G Richie Incognito
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: Having Sammy back what can he do for this offense?
A: Sammy (Watkins), he is another dynamic playmaker for us. He is a guy that can really put a lot of stress of the defense. He is a big, long, strong, tough, physical receiver and it is exciting to have him back because he is another playmaker.

Q: What does it do for the morale of confidence getting your best wide receiver back with a struggling passing game?
A: Yeah it is huge. He is a big part of this team, and he is a big part of what we want to get done. So anytime you can add a dynamic playmaker like that everyone gets excited.

Q: Rex said he hasn’t forgotten the way the Jacksonville game ended last year, has it stayed with you as well?
A: Yeah it was a crappy ending man. We traveled all the way over to London last year and it was just a  crazy game. We spotted them 21 points, we fought all the way back and then we had the pass interference call at the end that kind of controlled the outcome of that game. So yeah it left a bad taste in our mouth, we definitely aren’t overlooking them.

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: How much has that [loss to Jacksonville] stuck with you for a year?
A: It stuck with me for a little while. Especially on that plane ride back – it was a long plane ride back. It stuck with me for a while, but now, I get to get my revenge a little bit. I’m glad this week is coming up going against those guys. [It’s a] great group of guys, though.

Q: Can you break down the three guys a little bit? [Allen] Robinson, [Allen] Hurns and [Marquise] Lee, and just kind of the differences between the three?
A: Yeah, well Hurns, 88, I feel like he’s the best receiver on the team. Real good guy, big, tall, can run, run all of their routes. Robinson, 15, is a good receiver. He can move, got some good little speed on him, probably not the fastest of all three, but he’s a great receiver. Got great hands, let the ball in, he’s a go-to guy too. 88 and 15 are like their go-to guys. 11 has got more speed – Marquise Lee. I played against him a lot at USC, so I kind of know him already. [He’s] got good speed, can run routes, but I can see they’re trying to give him the ball a little bit more than normal. They’re trying to spread the ball around. Blake [Bortles] loves 88 though. He loves 88, he loves 15, so he’s going to try to get those guys the ball.

Q: When you see a quarterback like Blake, young guy who’s been struggling and giving the ball away a lot, is there a tendency to try to be too aggressive because you want one of those yourself, and do you have to guard against that?
A: Well, first off, you’ve got to understand that the offense is going to protect him a little bit. It’s going to be cold, [and] it’s going to be windy. They’ll probably contribute to the running game a little bit more, but when the ball is in the air, we’ve got to make them pay. He’s got like 13 interceptions so far this season, so we’ve got to really exploit that when it comes on Sunday when he puts the ball in the air. Get him under pressure, then he’ll throw it into coverage or whatever. He’ll try to throw it to the guy he’s most comfortable with. As far as his performance so far, I feel like to be their franchise quarterback type-of-deal, he’s got to play better. On Sunday, we’ve got to exploit his weaknesses.

QB Tyrod Taylor

November 23, 2016

Q: Tyrod, how did Sammy (Watkins) look to you, just off your observations for being out there for the first time?

A: He looked good. Of course we know he can catch the ball, but as far as running routes he looked comfortable getting in and out of breaks. Just taking it day-by-day throughout the week and see how he progresses throughout the week.

Q: How much different do you think this offense becomes when you’ve got him at your disposal?

A: I mean the type of playmaker he is definitely puts a lot of pressure on defenses. The way they have to play against him, corners fear Sammy (Watkins) as far as a deep threat for sure just as an overall receiver. His presence on the field definitely gives us different looks on the back game.

Q: I know you want everyone and yourself to be as healthy as you can when they’re out there, but does the fact that Robert (Woods) is hurting with the knee put more pressure on this passing game to get Sammy (Watkins) out there and get some help?

A: Losing Robert (Woods) is definitely, is tough. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as it actually looked, but his presence on the field this year has definitely been big for us in the passing game and I’ve spoken about it, as well as him. Blocking as well too. So hopefully we can get him back, but if Sammy’s able to play this week he definitely as another playmaker to our offense, but other guys definitely have to step up whether Sammy (Watkins) plays or doesn’t. Other guys definitely have to step up and take the challenge.

Q: Tyrod, what was your sense of LeSean (McCoy) today? Was he able to do mostly what you guys needed him to?

A: Yeah, LeSean (McCoy) I mean he’s told me he’s a full go. He’s able to catch the ball. Of course he looked well running the ball too, but he was able to catch it. I’m expecting him to play Sunday.

Q: Tyrod, how impressed have you been with the job that (Mike) Gillislee has done in the times where LeSean (McCoy) has gone out? I wouldn’t say that the running game hasn’t missed a beat, but there hasn’t been a big drop off.

A: Two different style (running) backs, but close in production as far as him going out and creating plays, creating big plays for us and getting in the end zone. I mean last year he had to make the name in the locker room as Touchdown Mike because every time he got the ball he seemed to find the end zone, but having a guy back there like Mike (Gillislee) definitely helps our running game and it takes a load off of Shady as well too.

Q: Did you see what happened with him and his hamstring today?

A: No I didn’t. I wasn’t down there.

Q: Tyrod, I know that everything seems fine, you’ve been practicing, but Rex (Ryan) said that you have a little bit of a sore shoulder or general soreness as a result of a couple of the hits that you took on Sunday.

A: I took a couple hits. More so soreness after the game I was fine today when I woke up this morning. It didn’t bother me throwing a football today so that should be cleared soon.

Q: Tyrod, what can you do whenever Sammy (Watkins) comes back, whether it’s this week or next week, to make sure you pick up right where you left off?

A: It’s my job to get him the football. Like I said, he’s a tremendous receiver as far as route running. One of these match ups he’s definitely going to do that, so it’s definitely my job to get him the football and I have to be conscious of that one on the field. Am I going to force feed it? No. Of course I’ve got to let the game come to him, but you’ve just got to understand that some of those plays #14 is definitely going to make. It’s just my job to get the ball to him.

Q: What does it do for you mentally to have a guy out there like Sammy (Watkins)?

A: Like I said, his presence on the field is definitely a positive thing for me and a positive thing for this offense. He makes us better. Do we have guys that can play and that can have production as well? Yes, we do. We’ve been able to have production with those guys throughout the year, but Sammy’s definitely a special talent and a playmaker that just makes the team better and having him back on the field will I hope make our offense more explosive.

Q: Can it help watching the film this week since you played them last year because obviously Coach Lynn didn’t play them last season.

A: Yes, we’ve been talking and watching film. We watched that game, we watched it a number of times last year even this off season, I’ve definitely watched it this weekend. I talked to them about it, but we talked just as much as we talk each and every week about our opponents. As far as what he saw, I can pretty much pick that up from watching film. We’re definitely in constant communication and just trying to make the QB better, the QB room better.

Q: With Robert Woods down that would seem to give Charles Clay a bigger role, what do you think the reason is he doesn’t have more yards yet this year?

A: I can’t pinpoint a specific reason. I’ve always said this, “courage dictates where the ball goes”. I know he’s excited to come out there and play once he’s given the opportunity for the big game. We’ve been able to give him the football and some touches here and there. Haven’t been able to get him the game that he’s looking for and we want him to have that. Just gotta continue to keep pounding away and hopefully we get that game.

Q: Jacksonville’s defense is ranked in the top ten, what do you see out there when you watch them?

A: A very talented bunch. They have speed across the board. A couple free agent pick-ups that have made their defense even better. They just play together as a team. Their main thing is that they’re a fast group and even catching the football on them, they corral to the football as a team together. Definitely have to be disciplined and go out there and execute is what it boils down to every week.

Q: What do you make of (Jalen) Ramsey that young corner that they have there?

A: He’s a talented corner, big body presence, strong guy, physical. He definitely has a bright future in this league.

Q: Does he do the, where you kinda put him on one guy a lot?

A: Yeah, typically that’s their best corner. Prince (Amukamara) is a good corner as well too, but typically (Jalen) Ramsey travels with the best receiver. They give him those challenges and he steps up to the plate each week and he’s handled his challenges well.

Q: How much of a similarity do you see with what they do on defense and what Seattle does?

A: Similar, of course they have the Seattle background. Different players, but same scheme in some ways, but they have their own wrinkle to it too, but definitely a lot of similarities.

WR Sammy Watkins
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: How do you feel?
A: I’m feeling great. Just first day of practice, getting all the butterflies out, moving fast and really just trying to get back on the same page and have fun with the game.

Q: Is some of this mental too? Because you went through what you went through in the beginning of the year, so you feel good physically. Is some of this mental to know that you’re going to be okay before you push it?
A: I think I had eight weeks to go the mental part. I think 90 percent of the game is mental and I think I’m over that hump. Really, I just got to get back out there running routes, being with the guys, catching balls. Right now, I’m not feeling normal out there but I think two or three days I’ll start feeling back to myself and moving and running around.

Q: Do you feel football ready?
A: Like I said, I probably ran twenty-something plays today, ran them pretty fast, moving at a high rate of speed so I just got to let the trainers really do their job and see what they see, watch film, see how I’m cutting and see how I’m planting. I think I should be fine.

Q: Is anything limiting you?
A: As of right now, no.

Q: What happened to the foot from the start of the season to sitting out?
A: Honestly, I don’t know. I just feel that I wasn’t prepared or ready mentally and I wasn’t over the hump and I think just sitting out eight weeks and letting it heal and letting myself and my body heal, I think I’m over that hump and I’m back to ready trying to play football. That’s about it.

Q: Did you dial it up to 10 today or are you waiting until later in the week to try that?
A: You’ll see on Sundays. Right now, I’m trying to get acclimated to route-running because eight weeks is a long time out of football, so it’s really about the fundamentals. Watching the ball, that’s what I had to do today. I wasn’t watching the ball the first couple of plays, so I had to go back out like, “hey, I got to watch the ball.” So, it’s really about getting back to football shape, getting in shape and getting on the same page as the wide receivers and the quarterback.

Q: Doug Whaley said sometimes we have to save players from themselves because they’re such great competitors. Has the training staff had to pull you back a little bit? What was their advice?
A: Be safe, because I’m a guy that has to do everything full-speed and now I learned like hey man, you don’t have to do it full-speed, just go out there, run it pretty fast but you don’t have to be all-out like gameday every rep. The plays I thought I need to run full-speed, I did. The plays I didn’t think I needed to run full-speed, I didn’t.

Q: So it sounds like you’re almost having to re-teach yourself how to play football. Is that a stretch?
A: Not to the extreme of teaching myself, it’s just doing it over and over and get your body to say, “line up, I can run that play,” without thinking about the steps or the yards. It’s more so natural for me and I think once I keep running those routes, it will be normal and natural again.

Q: How frustrating is it for you? You’ve had injuries in the past and you’ve had to miss this chunk of time. How frustrating has it been to miss these eight weeks?
A: At first I was upset, angry, mad but it’s honestly been a blessing to sit out and heel my body and mentally get over that hurdle like I said with the injury. I’m not injured anymore, I want to just say I’m over that and I’m just trying to move forward and play.

Q: So your sense is you’re playing Sunday?
A: I don’t know, they haven’t told me yet. I’ve got to go watch the film and they got to see if I’m babying the injury or whatever, if I’m not. I’ve got to let them deal with that and see what I’m going to do.

Q: You know that with Robert Woods hurting with the knee and with the Bills having the worst passing offense in the NFL, is there anything saying you can go out and help the situation? Is there more pressure?
A: Of course there’s all the pressure. There’s always pressure on us athletes but not to go out on the field and not feel good, I’m not going to do that. But if I feel good, of course I’m going to go out there and play and I’m going to do my best but it’s really about being healthy. If I’m healthy enough to play and they think I’m healthy, then I’m going to go out there. I’m not going to go out there unhealthy.

Q: If the game was tomorrow, would you play?
A: That’s a good question. Probably not. At first I was handling it, saying, “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay,” when I’m not. I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m going to let the training staff do their job and go off what they’re saying.

Q: Are you holding out hope for Sunday?
A: I’m not hoping, I’m just really listening to what they’re saying and I’m going to go about what they say.

Q: When did you stop feeling pain in your foot?
A: Just sitting down, just really, rest. I don’t think it was really the pain, we looked at it and it’s not ready. Now, we keep looking at it and it looks just about ready and we just got to keep doing treatment and doing the right things toward the injury.

Q: Since you’ve been gone, they’ve changed coordinators. Have you had to change things or get on the same page as the offense?
A: I mean I’ve been watching the play and watching film so nothing really changes. Different little tweaks here and there but it’s the same offense. Just different guys and different mentalities.

Q: From here going forward, is it more of a strength thing?
A: It’s really getting back and seeing if I can run 60 plays full-speed. I don’t think it’s the injury or what I can or can’t do, I just think it’s what can you do this Sunday. Can you go out there and run 10 plays, 15, 30, 60? We don’t know yet. We got to keep getting on point. Got to get in shape.

Q: Are you saying you can do 20?
A: I don’t know. Like I said, I did 20 today. Some of them were full-speed, some of them weren’t.

Q: How much concern that this injury can linger long-term?
A: Not really concerned, that’s what I got the surgery for. If I feel like it’s not healed the right way, just go get surgery and come back the next year and be healed up but right now I feel pretty good.

Q: Is offseason surgery still an option?
A: I don’t know yet. Like I said, if I finish the season healthy, if I can get to play and finish out healthy, why get the surgery? We don’t know yet.

DT Jerel Worthy
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Q: Was it nice to play in Cincinnati in front of family and friends?
A: Man I was so excited to go back home. Having members from church there, members from high school, it was really heartfelt and I was grateful to be there.

Q: Seeing Sammy back on the field, what kind of lift does that give to the whole locker room?
A: The fact that we have our playmaker back on the field is exciting for us. We want him to get back into the groove, get back into it as fast as possible. We need him to open up the field for us, take some guys deep for us. We are excited to have him back out there. At the end of the day if we can get him the ball that is going to be good for us.

HC Rex Ryan

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Opening Statement: Well, we’ve got news. Dan Carpenter got the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, so that was impressive. I got nothing else to say, so I figured I’d start with something. Had to go somewhere.

Here’s the injury update, guys. These players are not expected to participate today: [Robert] Blanton with a foot [injury]; Charles Clay, knee; Robert Woods, knee; and then these two players will be full today: Shaq Lawson, thumb; Tyrod Taylor, right shoulder – and we put him on the list because he’s a little sore, but he’s fine. Guys that were limited today: will be Lorenzo Alexander, ankle; Corbin Bryant, shoulder; Jerry Hughes, hand; LeSean McCoy, thumb; and Sammy Watkins, foot. So with that, go ahead and fire away.

Q: Sammy [Watkins] being cleared to practice but still on IR, just give an assessment of where you think he is and how realistic is it to see him on the field Sunday?

A: You know, I really don’t know. We’ll know a little more today. Obviously, we’re encouraged by the fact that he has been cleared to participate. I think that’s a good sign. He feels good, so we’ll see how it goes. We’re not going to run him until his tongue’s hanging out. We’ll be smart with him in how many plays we do. We’ll limit him today, but then we’ll see how he progresses. Is there a chance that he could play? I hope so.

Q: What’s bigger for Buffalo sports: Sammy Watkins coming back or Jack Eichel being back on the ice?

A: Well Sammy Watkins, for me. As much as I love Jack Eichel, he’s not paying any bills for me. Technically, [Eichel] is paying for somebody else in the organization though, isn’t he? But I think, [with] my season tickets – I’d like to see Eichel play. It’s a great question. Obviously, Sammy is such a great talent for us, but man the Sabres need scoring. Tough call.

Q: Your passing game, obviously, has really struggled. You’re dead last in the league and you don’t have Robert Woods. Is it kind of imperative that you try to get Sammy out – even if he’s not 100% – just to get him out there and maybe cause the other team to have to be concerned with him?

A: I think the health of Sammy is the big question. Whether Robert is healthy or not, make sure Sammy’s ready to go before he’s out there. As much as we want him – obviously he’s a difference-maker when he’s out there – so I get it. You know, 32nd in the league? Again, stats sometimes – we’re also number one in rushing, so there’s going to be a balancing thing there. We expect to be better than 32, but we don’t have to be if we’re able to run the football. So, we’ll see.

Q: Rex, over the last eight weeks, what has Sammy been doing? Has he been here, in meetings? Has he been elsewhere rehabbing? What exactly has he been doing for the last eight weeks?

A: Well, I can’t speak for the entire eight week cycle or whatever, but he’s been here. He spends a ton of time with Sanjay [Lal], and then he’s been rehabbing his injury the entire time. He’s been doing everything that’s asked of him.

Q: Four games into his career now – Shaq Lawson – we see the two sacks and he’s getting playing time, obviously. It seems like he’s been getting more. Can you assess – I know it’s only been four games – but where the kid is and are you getting what you hoped you would get, given his injury situation?

A: I feel really good about him. I think, you know, you’re right. He’s going to get more playing time as we go. It’s down [on the injury report] as a thumb – he made that tackle for a loss and it kind of hurt his thumb and it bothered him during the game. He probably would have played more. But I’ve been pleased with him. I think, if you will look at point production per play, he may be number one on our team in the plays that he’s had, so that’s a really good sign.

Q: You said a couple of weeks ago that you are seeing what you saw at Clemson, in terms of [Lawson’s] getting after the quarterback play. Why? Why do you think he’s been able to do that?

A: Well, I see this in his overall play. He’s got a great motor, he’s more physical and plays with more power than maybe he looks like he’d play with, but he’s fitting right in and he’s doing a good job. He’s definitely not out of place. Sometimes you’ll get that – you know, with his situation, to me I never really knew exactly what we’d get because you’re a rookie and all of a sudden, now these are grown men that you’re going up against – and he hadn’t practiced. So it was like, “we’ll see how he does.” He looks just fine to me.

Q: In assessing LeSean McCoy – now, I get with Sammy it’s a run-of-the-route and seeing how he does – with a guy who’s got a bad thumb and has to handle the football, albeit it’s not in his right hand, how do you go about that? What are you looking for? What are going to be some of the telling signs to know if he can go for Sunday?

A: Well, I think we’ll just lean on him and we’ll also keep watching him as he goes. I think the big thing is making sure his thumb doesn’t get infected. That’s the number one thing. If that stays clean, then there’s no issue there. I think he’s going to be okay.

Q: Is it safe to say that catching the ball might be a little bit more of the issue just because of the [wear-and-tear] on it?

A: I honestly can’t tell you. I don’t think it’s like that pitcher from Cleveland (Trevor Bauer), when he came out there. If it’s like that, he probably won’t play as much.

Q: When you go back and watch, how do you think Marcell Dareus played, overall?

A: Oh, forget it. The guy played great. That’s what we’ve been expecting. When you look at our defense and how Wells and I – we talked about building this defense, one of the central pieces was that nose tackle and having that big man in there as a dominant player. Well, he dominated that game. There’s no question about it.

Q: Is [Lorenzo] Alexander going to be limited on special teams again?

A: Yeah. The only thing – you know, will you see him on kickoff? I’d say you’re definitely going to see him on kickoff. We weren’t as good last week in that area and this team, with [Marquise] Lee back there, I think he’s averaging over 26 yards a return. It’s a big threat, so we’ve got to put him out there. I think with taking some plays off of him, we played him too much last week. We played him 70 snaps on defense and that’s too much. We need to get Shaq more into it on defense – whether he’s backing up Jerry Hughes, backing up Lorenzo Alexander, all those guys – that could also give [Alexander] another opportunity to help us more on special teams as well.

Q: [Alexander] has been your MVP, considering all that, hasn’t he?

A: Yeah he has. No question.

Q: I’m probably thinking too much of this, but it’s kind of like a quirk in the schedule. Last year, you played Cincinnati and Jacksonville back-to-back and this year, again. Last year, you lost both and it seemed to be a critical juncture of the season – same thing now.

A: Yeah, well hopefully we win both. That’ll be a switch. We need this game in the worst way. Our preparation, guys – we had some good meetings today. We’ve got to move forward. I know having Thanksgiving on this Thursday will alter our schedule just a little bit. We won’t have afternoon meetings, but we’ll have our morning meetings, our practice – everything will be business as usual. Albeit, we’ll take out those things but we will catch them up on Friday. We’ll extend our meetings on Friday to make sure we make up for everything. But everything is about this. It’s great to have Thanksgiving and all that – some family time – but this game is far too important for us not to put everything into it, and the preparation’s got to be tight.

Q: When was the last time you and Rob [Ryan] were together on Thanksgiving?

A: Oh, I won’t be with him on Thanksgiving. No chance.

Q: In retrospect, how big were those two losses back-to-back last year, when really looking at your schedule? It seemed to be a critical juncture at the time.

A: Yeah, I mean – what’s that thing in Casa Blanca? I can’t remember that, but it’s – obviously you lost two games in a row. That was a big loss for us and obviously, that’s way behind us. It’s all about this year.

Q: Why is Jacksonville the best two-win team you’ve seen?

A: Just from a talent standpoint. Usually, you think, “Hey, a two-win team. Maybe the team would be short on talent.” Well, not this one. This one, right here, is loaded. You’ve got three really good receivers – two of them were in the Top 100 last year, voted by the players. You’ve got two excellent running backs, and you’ve got a franchise-type quarterback. So the skill level is there. And then, on defense, they’re loaded on defense. They picked up the kid from Denver last year, [Malik] Jackson. You’ve got linebackers that are speedy-type guys that can run and hit. You’ve got [Jalen] Ramsey – one of the best players in the draft – so this is a very talented roster.

Q: Coach, what did they do last week? They really locked it down against the run against Detroit, but they had been a run defense in the bottom third of the league. Did they change anything dramatically last week compared to what they usually do?

A: No, I think they’re playing a lot of young players. They’ve got three rookies starting in things, and sometimes, it looks like they’ve got a good feel of what they’re doing right now.

Q: Rex, there’s been a lot of talk lately about some technology changes maybe to help out some things that have happened recently. Fixated cameras down the sidelines because of some of the calls in some of the games, and maybe a chip in the ball to help out with first downs and things. Do you think we’re to the point where maybe that technology needs to start happening in the league?

A: Well, I think certainly the ones – if you can put a camera on the goal line – that would be a great thing as long as it’s not – I would think we would be able to do that. I think that would be a huge one. You know, the chip? Who knows. Whatever it takes, man. What are you going to – what, put a chip on both ends of it or something? Beats me. Somebody with a lot more intelligence than me figures all that stuff out.

Q: What are you expecting from the Bills crowd, especially with the return of Doug Marrone for the first time?

A: I don’t know him. I know the team played hard when Doug was the head coach here. How things worked out – I don’t know. Doug’s not this team’s coach anymore. I am. I’m blessed to be the coach here. It’s a measureable experience for everybody. We want to win, man. I think our fans are – this is as loyal of a fan base as there is. It’s going to be – we want to create that measureable day for people. The fans are a big part of it.

Q: When you took over as head coach here, you made comments along the line that you wanted to be a coach that the fan-base deserved here. You intimated that the last guy willingly walked away. Would you ever imagine a scenario where you would willingly walk away from an NFL head coaching job?

A: Nope. I don’t know all the particulars of things but I can tell you this spot right here, like I really know the fan-base. I grew up—I spent eight years in Toronto, my dad was coaching with the Jets—I am very familiar with the fan-base here and the loyalty and just the spirit of this fan-base. That was one of the big reasons that attracted me to this job and let alone Kim and Terry Pegula. That’s why I wanted this job and they’re going to take me kicking and screaming out of this place and one of these days it’ll happen and I’ll be doing it that way, but I’m not worried about that because that’s not going to happen for a long time.

Q: How big of a step back would it be to lose to them again?

A: It’d be a big step back because we can’t afford to lose, really. We know what we want to get done this year and obviously whether it’s them or anybody else, we can’t afford to lose any games. We recognize that and we’re just focused on this one.

Q: You coached Chris Ivory. What kind of running back is he?

A: He is a man-child. He’s a load. He packs it in there and he’s tough. That was one of the best moves that we made when I was there. We were able to trade for him. What a power back and he loves it. Just give him the ball, he’s as physical as it gets. We know what we have there.

Q: Defensively, how do you address a team and quarterback that turns the ball over a lot? Do they give the ball away or are they forced?

A: Well some are forced. I think sometimes you get behind, sometimes you’ll force an issue more. They’ve also had some bad luck man, let’s face it. I think they had two interceptions that were kicked, so they’ve had that, but with that being said, we’re going to attack the football, there’s no question about it and hope we get some opportunities to make some plays.

Q: With Sammy being the designated-to-return injured guy, Aaron (Williams) will not return. Any thoughts on his long-term plans?

A: Really, no idea. I think the main thing is just getting him healthy and as this thing goes through, the young man, first off, has to decide what does he want to do with it? Does he want to continue to play football, whatever. That’s going to be up to him but right now, it’s about him getting healthy and I think that’s the biggest step.

Q: Has he been in the facility? Is he around here?

A: I haven’t seen him lately. I’m not sure if he is or not.

Q: To what degree does the loss to Jacksonville last year still bother you?

A: Well I think first off, I don’t know what the turnover is, but there’s probably a third of the guys, the roster probably turned over a third of the players and it really means nothing right now because it could be like hey look, we lost to them, we thought we should have won the game, there were some contributing factors that went along with it but we got beat, that’s just the way it is. What we’re trying to do now is just make sure we don’t get beat this game and so our focus is on this opponent, this year’s opponent and find a way to get a win.

Q: In what ways has that offense changed since they changed coordinators?

A: There’s some subtle differences but I’ll say this; they’re getting the ball more to (Marqise) Lee, so they’re finding ways to get him the ball more, get him more involved. Maybe checking the ball down more than they have in the past, but it’s similar.

Q: What challenges do they present?

A: Big challenge was, I’m not going to get into specifics, that’s probably not the smartest thing to do. I think there was a little bit more no-huddle than what we’re seeing out of Jacksonville now. We’ll be prepared for it, but that was something that seemed to be what they wanted to do. I think the challenge, back in those days, (if) we don’t turn it over seven times we might have a better chance to win. I think that was part of the issue.

Q: You said you wanted Lee when you were with the Jets. What did you like about him and what prevented you from getting him?

A: Well it’s where he picked. So he got picked in the early second (round), we were picking behind. We couldn’t get it. We tried to move up, we couldn’t get anybody that would really do it. But he’s a real talent. I really like the kid. You can tell he loves to play and he can run and he’s competitive. I think all their receivers, maybe the biggest thing is the way they compete for the football. The way that (Jarvis) Landry kid at the Dolphins, (DeAndre) Hopkins (Texans), I’m not saying they’re as good as those kids because I don’t think they are, but they’re pretty darn good.

Q: Is there a specific difference between the three wide outs or all they all pretty similar?

A: I think Lee has a little more speed and I think the other guys—obviously Robinson has got the size. The other two have got more size but they all go after it.

Q: How will the safety spot go this week?

A: We’ll see how it goes through the week but we’ll have plans for all the guys.

Q: Monday I think you referenced the (Nickell) Robey-Coleman pass-interference call last year. Does it linger with you?

A: Oh yeah. Anytime you get a loss, you’ll remember all your losses, specifically one that you think is—it was ridiculous. We all know it. I mean it’s third-and-15, so now it’s going to bring up a fourth-and-15. You get off the field, the game is basically over, and so that was a tough one. There’s no question. You go all the way to London to get that? Have it come down to that, you battle all the way back, yeah, it’s still in there for me, I’ll tell you that much. And I see the guy that made the call. I still see him and you’re never going to assault somebody, but you think about it.

Q: Did you hear from the league about it?

A: I’m sure we did. It’d be hard not to.

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