Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Opening Statement: First off, we’ll start off with injuries. Really just had the one injury. So the heat was pretty good. But we had (Kevin) Reddick. I don’t necessarily remember what it was. Does anybody remember what it was?

Dan Bylsma: “Lower-body”

Rex: Alright Dan Bylsma says a lower body injury. I appreciate that coach. Nah, it is great to have him back. We’re in different—obviously we coach different sports and all that but it’s great having Dan out here and talking to him. Picking his brain and all that. One thing I understand today is there is no way I can be a hockey coach, eh? Because of the fact he’s got a pregame—he does pregame media and postgame media. There’s no chance. One a day, I can handle. But two of those bad boys, there’s absolutely no chance. But it’s always great having him out here and I know our players appreciate that as well. The French connection was here today as well. Ed Reed, Rob and myself were here. So we were representing the Sabres well today. But with that, we’ll open up for questions.

Q: In terms of the heat, what were some of the things that maybe you took precautions on for the players?

A: Well first off, I think, you know, we had another break in there. So we had two water breaks. Compared to just the one that we normally have. And then we did have two guys come out in sweatshirts, so we had to have to make sure we had those things were removed from those players. But we’re very mindful of it. You know, waters. It’s not like the boys back in the day when we played and you’re like “Everybody go to the water fountain.” You got, you know, for the entire team you got three minutes. You know, you’re drinking and all that. Those days are long gone. There always water prevalent. There’s all that, and we encourage our guys to drink as much as possible.

Q: Who were the guys that came out?

A: I think there was—I think Randell (Johnson), and (Jonathan) Meeks. I think those were the two.

Q: Do the guys like wearing long sweat tops?

A: Yeah they do love wearing them and they’re like, you know, Meeks is like “I’m from South Carolina.” And I say yeah I get that. I get that. But after a while it’s like, guys. You know, this is ridiculous. It’s 90 degrees out. Let’s make sure that, you know, we’re doing things to protect. It’s bad enough literally wearing the sleeves. I can just imagine you know with the long sweat tops.

Q: Coach just your overview of the two minute today. Every series they got wrong there. Offensively, defensively, that went wrong?

A: Yeah you know it wasn’t that sharp. We’ve got to get better. Quite honestly, it’s probably one of the only times we’re going to do end of a half. You know, two minute. We’re going to start doing way more in the game situations since we identify that we have to get better at that. So we’re going to start implementing them more. We had the alignment. You know, the illegal formation on the ones. So that was disappointing. But I did like the fact that we made some plays. The offense was able to overcome a third and long situation and convert it. And we ended up getting two field goals out of the three groups so, you know, that was pretty good.

Q: I know that communication has been a big point of emphasis on defense, but it’s getting sped up there in two minute drills. Where you encouraged by what you saw there?

A: Yeah we did a lot of four-man rush stuff. You know, trying to, you know, trying to work on that exact stuff. You know, the communication in the back end in particular so we’re working hard at it. But I was happy to see us convert a couple of those as well.

Q: What happened to Cyrus Kouandjio?

A: Yeah, not sure. It’s just one of those things where they—I don’t think it’s a serious injury but it’s just something they wanted to keep him out today.

Q: What has Eric Striker done in your mind to get first team reps?

A: Well he was with the threes today. Yeah. So I mean—well I think the big thing is that we love his energy. We do all that. And we’re talking about—hey look. There’s going to be opportunities here. And so we prove it. And I just said I’m going to prove it. All right, Striker’s been two days with the outside backers. I’m going to put you with the ones tomorrow night and let’s see what happens. He did some good things. And then he had like five busts, I think.

Q: Rex, I got two players. Reggie Ragland, talk a little about him, and getting his experience there. What’d you see?

A: I’ve been really encouraged by Reggie. And I’m not surprised by it. We were extremely excited when he was still on the board when we made the trade up to get him. We thought he could be an immediate impact guy for us and he’s working that way. He’s still not razor sharp, but he’s pretty darn good for a rookie right now.

Q: Adolphus Washington, what’d you see in him? Manny Lawson is injured but they’re getting chances to shine and do things.

A: Yeah. And we’ve been encouraged by him as well. You know, both those guys. We thought we really helped ourselves in the draft this year. We knew it was an important draft for us. And really all three of those guys, we expect big thing from and he’s doing a really nice job. Love the way Corbin Bryant and (Leger) Douzable—both those guys are veteran players and they’ve really taken these young guys and are kind of running the show. In the absence of a Kyle Williams and a Marcell Dareus. SO I really like what I see.

Q: We’ve got video of at least five minutes of Kyle working with Washington. What does that do for you when you see you’ve got a guy like Kyle stepping up?

A: I think it’s fantastic and he knows we need this young man to play for us and he’s doing a great job. I know Kyle is itching to go and he wants to get out there and get on the practice field with his teammates. I’m sure we’ll do that when the time comes. In the meantime, how can I help our team? And Kyle is always that kind of guy. And he’s always been that kind of guy since I’ve known him.

Q: Rex, is there an updated timetable on Marcell (Dareus) or even Kyle (Williams)?

A: You know, I expect them, you know, to transform into the, you know, practicing and all that kind of stuff. Transition, I guess, is a better word. Transform’s not as good. Nah, he’s—but, I think when you transition into the practice those guys are on, you know, on schedule. Everything looks good and wouldn’t be surprised to see, you know, Marcell, even, later in this week.

Q: What about Sammy Watkins? There’s a report that he might be back on Monday.

A: I don’t know we’ll find out if that report has any validity. I’m not familiar with that right now. You know, each day we get the update and we know he’s doing well. But, I haven’t—I couldn’t tell you if that’s accurate or not right now.

Q: You mentioned back in the owner’s meeting in March that you had no idea how to cover Gronk and Martellus Bennett. Now, after Reggie Ragland and Preston Brown are there you any more encouraged now with what you have at linebacker covering those guys?

A: Well, I’m encouraged by it. But, you know, I think we’ll see how tough it is to cover those dudes when we get that chance. But they’re all – the thing that gets you is they’re two giant red zone threats, like, that’s probably the biggest thing. You know, Gronk being the number one red zone threat in the league and Bennett is probably just below him. So, it’s like that’s going to be a nightmare for any team, not just us.

Q: Rex (Jamari) Lattimore has been out for the last couple of practices.

A: I forgot to tell you about that. He got his nose broken. You know—and no, there wasn’t a punch or anything. It was a — we were actually through, just walking through a drill and a player slipped and when the player did he fell back, like this, and his knee came up and actually UFC’d him right in the nose. So, it was like, it was a, you know, it was an accident, but it’s just one of those things that happens.

Q: Which player got him?

A: I think it might have been Randell, but I mean, he felt terrible. It wasn’t like he just went out and, just purposely, and tried to get him.

Q: Hey Rex, you just mentioned some of those red zone threats. Charles Clay today had a nice red zone grab there. That’s more of what of what you need to see from him though. He’s got to be that guy, right?

A: Well, you certainly want him to be, you know the defenses know that he’s out there and things, as well. But, the thing that I was most impressed with, was the throw by Tyrod (Taylor). I mean, he had to put the ball on the back-shoulder and that’s exactly where he put it. It was a nice grab by Charles, but I was really more impressed with the throw.

Q: You know you talked about it the other day, that Charles (Clay), you know, nice first year, but he’s your big red zone guy. You signed him to a big deal. You need more from him this year than you got last year. 

A: Well I’m not sure. I think we, you know, sure we’d sign up for that, that’d be great. But, we’ll see how it plays out. You know, I will say this, you know, most of our things last year were more outside, outside the numbers in the red zone throws, but Tyrod (Taylor) is doing a great job throwing the ball to the middle now. So, I think that’s something that we’re going to see more of and that’ll probably include Charles, as well.

Q: Rex, we’re more than a third of the way through camp right now, are any receivers stepping up?

A: Well, I mean, each day a guy might pop out, but to say that anybody has really separated themselves – I don’t think so yet. I think when we start getting into the preseason games and the scrimmages and all that, maybe then we’ll see somebody separate. But, you know, Greg Salas is a guy that, you know, he made a great catch on a third and two, today. Tyrod was really patient he took away the first three options, then hit the deep and he makes a great catch. But, he’s got some savvy, great hands, so there’s a comfort level there. But then you get a guy like (Greg) Little who shows up, making some big plays and (Jarret) Boykin’s had his moments, you know, we talked about Dez (Lewis) already. But to say all that the answer simply is no, nobody has separated themselves, I guess.

Q: Can we get an update on (Kolby) Listenbee at all, if you expect him out here anytime at camp?

A: Not really sure. You know, we’ll see how it goes. I think the trainers aren’t comfortable putting him out there right now.

Q: Salas you see that savvy that he has, I mean, he’s been a kind of guy that’s bounced around. He never had traction anywhere yet. But, what are some of the things you noticed with him?

A: I think first off, this is my second team that I’ve had him with, but he’s a guy that we know darn well can catch it. He can get open and he can catch it. He doesn’t have great separation speed, but he’s crafty and he knows the game. He recognizes coverages quickly and again if he doesn’t have the best hands on the team, he’s right there with them.

LB Preston Brown
Thursday, August 4, 2016

Q: In mostly a four man front today what are your thoughts on communication in those situations?
A: We definitely need to work on some things. It was a little shaky here and there, especially when we got a little longer into drives, guys getting a little tired and not hearing the play. We got to make sure our communication’s correct so we can get off the field.

Q: There was one instance where it looked like you were yelling to the coaching staff and said, “Personnel.” Is that something where you’re still waiting on the personnel call there? What was going on?
A: Yeah. We’re just trying to know which personnel is coming into the game because we’re whipping and running and guys are coming in and out. We just got to make sure everybody’s lined up but if I don’t have the right personnel, I just go with what we got.

Q: Preston, when you got a guy in your group like Eric Striker, kind of an underdog story, do you ever root for a guy to overcome and make the team when the odds are against him?
A: Definitely. I’m always excited to see guys make plays, so especially a young guy like that who’s small and short but he definitely brings an aspect to the game that some people can’t. He’s definitely like a little fireball, a little Jerry (Hughes) so he runs around and makes plays. So it’s fun to see him and definitely root for him.

Q: What’s it like as the leader of the linebacker group with two rookies coming in?
A: It’s fun. Young guys really don’t complain that much, they just go with what you say. So it’s good to have those guys, not the old 12-year vets who say, “Oh I don’t want to do that.” We got the young guys who are going to listen to me now so it’s fun to have those guys out there. They listen and they’re ready to get better.

Q: Who didn’t listen to you?
A: Who didn’t listen to me? (Brandon) Spikes didn’t listen to me that much but he was always fun to be with.

Q: During the 9 on 7’s, you had some run periods up on the other field, you don’t have Marcell in there, you don’t have Kyle Williams in there right now, how are things fitting together there and they’re vets, they know what they’re doing, how do you feel the other guys are fitting so far?
A: It’s good. There’s run fits over there. We know we got safeties who can tackle and we got d-line who we can rotate in and out with CB (Corbin Bryant) and then we got Adolphus (Washington) going in there and we know when Kyle and Marcell come back, it’s going to be a big difference. But those guys are going in there and playing right now and they’re doing good.

Q: On the red-zone drills, especially on the Clay (touchdown catch), you may have wished you had another inch or two, but you turn around on the other way, are you encouraged to see your offense make that kind of play with a weapon like Clay in the red zone?
A: Yeah, it was good. I think I was trying to be too cute backside. I was trying to bait him. He was going to throw it either way so that’s me. I got to burst in and make a play on the ball but it was a good play. Good pass and good catch.

Q: Rex said back in the spring he has no idea how to cover Gronk and Martellus Bennet. Are you more encouraged than him that you’ll be able to cover those guys?
A: Yeah. It’s definitely going to be a difficult challenge, those two twins going to go down the seams, it’s going to be hard. It’s like what they used to do back with Aaron Hernandez. It’s going to be interesting, but we’re not there right now so I mean I know the coach is going to talk about the Patriots, but I’m worried about whoever we got Week One.

Q: Do you want to take the opportunity to make some people eat some crow? The last time you were standing at that microphone you had a Cavs hat and jersey on and they were down 3-1.
A: Yeah. A lot of people making fun of me with my Cavs stuff on, all those memes or whatever you want to call it. So it was good to see LeBron (James) come through. I told everybody he was just playing with everybody like Serena Williams. They get down in the set and come back and win the whole thing, so it was good to see him. All of Ohio was happy. It was good to have it happen.

Q: Preston, what’s your relationship like with Reggie (Ragland)?
A: With Reggie? He’s a good guy. He’s definitely fun to be around, always joking, running around, he’s got great energy. It’s good to have him around. In the meeting rooms, he brings good candy so he’s good with me.

Q: Was it weird for you not to have the hoodie today? How were you battling the heat? How did you deal with the temperature today?
A: Yeah, the coaches and the training staff told me to take off my hoodie, but I wear my hoodie because I keep candy and gum in there, so they kind of made me take it off but I found another shirt with some pockets in it.

Q: Wait, is that the only reason you wear a hoodie?
A: Yeah, that’s the only reason. Everybody’s thinks I just be trying to swag. I just wear it because I hide candy in it.

Q: What kind of candy does Reggie bring?
A: Reggie’s got some good candy. He went to Target and got all the big fun-size, big Halloween style stuff. So he’s got candy for days.

Q: Do you guys ask him to do that as a rookie?
A: Oh yeah, he has to do it. He has to go get the candy. Everybody goes through the candy year.

Q: Who started that?
A: I don’t know. I mean, they’ve been doing it for as long as I know. I mean, I had to get it for Spikes and Keith Rivers and all those guys. I think I was the best candy-getter but he’s second place right now.

Q: Preston, you don’t keep chocolate in there, do you? That would be soup by now. It’s got to be something else, right? Hard candy? What kind of candy is in there?
A: I don’t know. They’re like little gummy bears. They come in little wrappers so they’re nice, sealed, so just in case no one’s looking, just pop one open. You might catch me one day.

Q: In terms of anchoring the defense, you said in the spring that you need to do a better job of communicating and kind of taking over that middle linebacker role. How do you feel now a week into camp here?
A: Definitely need to improve. There’s still areas I need to improve and communicate, especially to the corners out wide when we’re in two-minute (defense) and stuff, guys not getting the play just because they’re so far away. So, we got to make sure the hand-signal and my voice has to echo to make sure everybody knows what we’re doing.

Q: Rob Ryan said in the spring you’re going to be a star. Did you hear about those comments from him and what kind of affects has he had on you?
A: It was great to hear your coach speak positive of you. I mean I haven’t been a star since I was in little league, so it’s been a long time since I’ve been a star, so I’ve got to put the extra work in and get to what he says I should be. If he wants me to be a star, I got to be it.

Q: What kind of relationship do you have with Rob?
A: A great one. He’s always around so just talk to him learning about the game. Just sitting, talking to him for hours about different stories. I mean, he’s got different stories about every single thing you can imagine, so it’s great to be around him.


LB Reggie Ragland

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Q: I know it’s just been a handful of practices so far, but how do you feel you’re picking up on things?

A: I feel like I’m coming along very well. Each day I feel like I’m getting better. There’s always something I’m messing up on but I’m going to go back in the film-room and get it done and talk to Coach April and coach Rex and everybody I need to get it done so I feel like I’m catching on very well.

Q: It’s just your first camp. Is it what you expected?

A: I wouldn’t say that.

Q: What’s different?

A: I’d probably say it’s less time because the meetings get out so early, but it’s great. Everything’s about the same except less time but for the most part I’m having a good time out here and I feel like I’m getting better out here.

Q: How’s your relationship with Preston Brown?

A: I have a great relationship with Preston. We talk all the time. If I have a question, I can call him. We’re always joking around, having a good time when it’s time and when it’s time to work, we work. For the most part, I have a great relationship with Preston.

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