HC Rex Ryan

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Opening Statement:

As we know with the weather here in Buffalo obviously there’s a reason to be indoors today clearly. (Laughs) We had to go in today because it’s too nice out. Maybe we’ll be out here tomorrow, we’ll see. It is funny though because they’re like, “well the field’s not ready,” and I’m like, “What? It looks pretty good to me.” But hopefully we’ll be out here.

Today, it’s funny because when you get the rookies in you realize just how far they’ve got to come. From a mental standpoint, they’re coming in from ground zero. A lot of these guys may play one or two defenses. Here we put in like six or seven in the first day. Offensively, it’s the same deal. So obviously it’s a huge challenge that way. We challenge our players to give themselves a chance physically. I think by doing that you have to be on top of it mentally. If you’re not, you’re always going to look a step slow on everything else. That’s a big challenge.

It’s always exciting to me because a as teacher you enjoy days like this and the time you get to spend with these rookies. You’ve got three days with them and seeing how from day one where they can be at the end of day three. That’s always as a coach, but it’s one that I look forward to.

Q: You mentioned that John Miller impressed you mentally. Did that translate over to the field today?
A: Well actually those guys never got to play with anybody. The offensive line and the defensive line, it was all individual. We only have four offensive lineman, so you couldn’t do any team drills or anything. I haven’t really checked with Aaron (Kromer) on it, but primarily for them it’s going through some paces, but it’s learning the individual drills and things like that. I’m sure, from what I saw from him just observing the individual drills, he’s a quick learner, he knows what the coach wants and he’s engaged. I expect him to be on top of it.

Q: You’ve talked about the mental side of things. You know about (Nick) O’Leary’s lineage, do you think growing up in that family of competitive people can carry over at all to football?
A: I think anytime you have that kind of lineage as you said, it can’t hurt because I think the big thing is the competitiveness in those guys. It seems to go through families and things like that regardless of the sport. You look at Grant Hill and Calvin Hill, all those type of guys. So I’m sure that’s a positive thing from a competitive thing, how you practice, and all that type of stuff. A big stage, it’s probably not that big for him because he’s played in a National Championship game. Obviously with his grandfather being Jack Nicklaus, who was decent under pressure I’d say, we hope he’s close to that. It appears he is. He was always a guy they went to on third down and things as well.

Q: Despite the deficiencies of speed, what do you see from him in regards to what he brings to the table?

A: We all saw it on tape, this guy wins the Mackey Award, has more receptions and yardage as a tight end than any guy I think two years in a row, so clearly we know what he can do. He can definitely catch the football and you’re right, he caught one in tight space with two guys on him. He had another one where he was up the seam. One thing we know, if it’s around him he’s going to catch it.

Q: Did you see yourself focusing on (Ronald) Darby, especially in the seven on seven work?
A: Yeah, his movement is outstanding. He can run with probably anybody in this league, so that’s no surprise. We’ll see how things get in. It looked like he grasped things pretty quickly. I heard Donnie (Henderson) was already talking to him about the interception points and getting his head around and things like that. Instead of just sticking on a guy because if you do that the guy will throw it right behind your ear. In each route, generally there is an interception point that you try to find and if not you locate your guy again. That’s something that we’ll really work on. I think Donnie Henderson does it better than anyone and it’s one of the hardest things to do as a DB. Having a guy that can mentor him I think is going to be a great plus for him, but certainly he has all the physical tools. I know his body fat, he was under two percent. It’s been a while since I’ve been that, but I was like, “Really?” 190 pounds and he’s under two percent body fat. So we’ve got to fatten him up. There’s some places around here that I think I’m going to recommend to him.

Q: Is that part of the transition between college and NFL? It seems like he has it in his head that he needs to know where the man is the whole time, where here you have to go get the ball.

A: Well part of it is a game where if he’s feeling for you, there is some of that down the field. The big thing is he can only hit them inside of five yards, but some of the things he was doing today was when he’s adjusting for you, you can adjust for him. There’s a feel for when the guy is running deep, go catch it. With his speed, he’s got that kind of thing where if they throw a deep ball that ought to be ours. That’s how we have to think.

Q: What is the biggest transition for a corner from college to the NFL?

A: I think there’s a lot of things. Number one, you have to get your contact early. You can’t get it downfield. I think that’s a big one because past five yards is a penalty here. So double moves, things like that, a lot of times guys are taught that after he sticks it and goes back up you hit him. You can hit him in college and you can’t do that here, it’s a penalty. That’s a big transition. Then the coverages, you’re much more multiple coverages on the pro game. All of it from the mental part to the physical part and the talent of the receivers you’re going against and certainly the talent of the quarterbacks.

Q: How curious of an observer are you in to the investigation and findings in regards to Tom Brady and his ball issue?
A: For me to spend any time thinking about it, obviously that’s a league issue and I guess when they determine whatever it is, if anything, then maybe I’ll have some focus on it. But right now, my focus is clearly on this football team and trying to get this thing better. Whatever the league comes up with, obviously we’ll address when that happens.

Q: You do play them in Week Two.

A:  We do.

Q: Can you speak on the opportunity that the undrafted pass rushers have without the veterans here?
A: It’s tough in particular with the d-line because really not going against the offensive line at all, it’s harder to evaluate. They’ll be working with a great coach in Karl Dunbar, so that’s obviously a plus. But sometimes the numbers translate and quite honestly sometimes they don’t. It’s the skill of the opposition. For instance if a slap rip worked in college, you might have to incorporate something else. You might have to go chop slap rip. A lot of times there’s some additional things. These guys are, this is what they do for their living and obviously the talent level picks up, so we’ll see.

Q: Can you speak on the transition that Chris Manhertz is trying to make from basketball to football?
A: Well as soon as we put a block out there and put some paint out there he’ll feel more comfortable. It’s such a huge jump and transition. I love the competitive type thing, obviously he was a tough guy and competitive guy on the basketball court or he wouldn’t even try football. It’s a long road man, it’s so different. It’s like speaking a different language, it really is.

Q: Have you done this before?
A: Yeah, I spoke French. (Laughs) We actually tried it with a rugby player and that was interesting. He was pretty good, he actually figured it out a little bit. It just takes time. We tried it a few times and maybe once or twice it works. More times than not, it doesn’t. But we’ll see how it is. He certainly has the desire to see this happen. There’s a lot of things that go through it and he’s got to stay positive. It’s not going to come just like that for you, it never does. Even for (Antonio) Gates, I’m sure it never happened like that. So we’ll be patient with him, but it is a long process.

Q: Is it tougher to be patient because the NFL is always about right now?
A: Well yeah, but there’s so many things. There’s practice squad and whoever can come up to speed, that’s great. We don’t take a guy assuming that he’s going to get it immediately. It’s just even getting in to a stance, it’s a lot that goes in to it. But he’s shown some things. He’s got the size that obviously you look for. We wouldn’t have brought him out here if we weren’t intrigued by him.

Q: You already have so much talent at the receiver position and you add some more here. How exciting is it going to be to watch that play out in camp?
A: It’s such a deep class and we have a deep group of receivers. That’s going to be great for everybody, even on the defense because you’re going against guys that are talented. I think that’s a good thing. So it’ll challenge them that way. The more competition you bring in, generally you find through the years that competition is the best for everybody. It’s best for that player, the guy he’s competing with and against. That’s a good thing for us.

Q: Have you guys given any thought to bringing in another camp arm? Austin (Trainor) might be getting a little tired.

A: Yeah, I think that was pretty obvious today. And the fact that David Lee looked like he was going to try to kill him (laughs). So yeah, we’ll bring the poor guy in here. At the end he couldn’t get out anything. He was dragging, but we’ll definitely bring another arm in.

CB Ron Darby

May 8, 2015

Q: How did it feel to be a pro for your first-time?

A: It felt great. Just being out there, people out there as hungry as me, went out there fighting for a spot and a place here in Buffalo. Today was a lot of fun.

Q: How much is what you’re being asked to do in this defense similar to Florida State?

A: The scheme is pretty much different, the way the formations are and how we are flipping it and things like that. (Donnie Henderson) was pretty much just telling me when the ball is in the air do not worry about the receiver. Just look back and play the ball. That is the main thing.

Q: Working on ball skills—do you anticipate that will be a theme through this weekend?

A: Yeah. I want to perfect my craft so that is something I am going to continue to work on. I am going to perfect it.

G John Miller

May 8, 2015

Q: With it being limited for lineman, did that leave you kind of disappointed today?

A: Not at all. I know we have not hit full gas with us short on offensive lineman. The most important thing I try to take from today is really learning the coaching techniques and the coaching points. It is good like that because it is kind of slowed down. You kind of get a good feel for what you are trying to do and what coach wants from you.

Q: How much are you trying to take advantage of the extra coaching attention from these three days?

A: I am trying to take full advantage of it. It is great to get down there with coach. Getting that one-on-one attention. It is good.

Q: Feet and hands are what you have to focus on right now?

A: Yeah, just want to make sure you get the proper footwork down. Going to the next level it is critical you know how to work your hands, your hand technique, hand placement and all that good stuff.

TE Nick O’Leary

May 8, 2015

Q: What did you make of your first day?

A: It was fun. It was a little different than college. Went out there and had fun.

Q: How is it different than college?

A: The practice is just a little different. Go out there, get your work in and have fun.

Q: Was today the first time you got exposed to what kind of stuff they want you to do?

A: We had a couple meetings. We do the same stuff through our meetings over onto the field. Starting to get the hang of it.

RB Karlos Williams

May 8, 2015

Q: Did you have butterflies when you first stepped out there or is football, football?

A: Football is football at this level. It is a business now. I had a lot of fun at the college level playing with a lot of great teammates and stuff like that, but now it is time to get down to business. You can get sent home at any time whether you are a draft pick, undrafted guy or a guy coming in trying to make the team. It is all about business and all about trying to get the job done.

Q: How was the cram session during meetings?

A: It went by very fast. Extremely fast. It reminds me of my first day of college going to class. Trying to pick up the material fast. I believe it is going to slow down the more I start to retain, the more I start putting things together and categorizing things. Things start feeling familiar to me, I believe it will slow down. It is part of the learning process. Rookies do have a hard time adjusting, but it is part of the process and I am ready.

Q: What kind of learning style do you feel you have?

A: I like being able to go through the stuff. Being out here on the field. Sitting in the classroom or the meeting room, you kind of get a gist of it and you look at it on the board. Until you actually go run through it and you hear the calls. Now the play calls are a lot longer than they were in college. You have to know what side you are on for protections and protections change—stuff like that. I have to definitely go through it. I have to sit down, look at it and also be able to go out on the field and execute it. I believe I started to do that very well towards the end of practice.

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