Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Q: Is Chris (Williams) here?

A: Yes, Chris is here, yes he is, and I know what he looks like.

Q: Well that is good.

A: Yes, that is good. He’s a big dude.

Q: We know he had the back surgery and he really can’t work, but did you get the explanation as to why he’s not hanging around a little bit to get to know the new staff and the new coach?

A: My conversation I’ll just leave as a private conversation with Chris. You know there is voluntary camps and all that type of stuff obviously we knew Chris’s situation with his rehab and things, but like I said I know what he looks like now.

Q: Was Seantrel Henderson in the building today?

A: No, he had some travel issues and was not in the building.

Q: Your reaction to that?

A: You always tell guys especially when you’re coming up, you know heading north and all that type of stuff, always try and prepare a little bit, and I’ll talk to him about that.

Q: Do you expect him back tomorrow?

A: I do.

Q: Is there any idea to when Chris Williams will be cleared or ready for the start of training camp?

A: Yeah, I’m not real sure right now. Our trainers will obviously let me know as he does physicals and things like that.

Q: Sammy Watkins took one rep in 11 on 11 today, where is he at health-wise?

A: He looked good.

Q: Is he closer to being fully cleared for team drills?

A: Yeah, we had to put him in because he got that softball rep. You know, that was good news bad news. Good news, he hit a home run. Bad news he K’d once. But, no he’s getting close, he’s right where we want him to be and like we’ve always said, by training camp we expect him to be ready to roll.

Q: Does the word mandatory imply that you step it up a little bit before you close out?

A: Well I think that’s what the word would imply, but I think it’s real similar to what we’ve done as far as, you know, we’re still going to take care of each other and things like that. The thing that I want to see though is the obvious mistakes be eliminated by now, and they weren’t. Like today we had some, I gave a couple of examples on offense, a couple of examples on defense, but that’s kind of what you’re hoping will ratchet out these next two days, that hopefully we can start eliminating some of these, as I think, obvious mistakes.

Q: What is Leodis (McKelvin)’s progress right now and do you think he’ll step right into the starting corner when he’s ready?

A: Well there’s always competition at every spot, but Leodis is a guy that played extremely well last year, we do expect him to be ready to roll for training camp.

Q: What was the thought process behind (Andre) Fluellen’s addition, adding depth?

A: Well, yeah you can’t have enough good players and I think when you add to the competition you know those are real positive things. You know I just saw him out there I’m like,” Hey, who’s that young kid?” He’s played in the league a little bit but he can run, he’s got some movement skills, I don’t like the fact that he’s a Florida State guy like half the roster, we need to get more (Clemson) Tigers in there.

Q: How do you think Corey Graham has been transitioning to safety?

A: It’s not surprising that he’s really taken to it, he’s smart and I think that’s obviously the pre-requisite of that position but he looks good to me. But anyway, he does look good.

Q: Have you seen Duke Williams rise his game up?

A: Duke had some good moments today and things like that, probably had a couple of mistakes that we got to get ironed out as well.

Q: Bacarri Rambo is getting a lot of first team reps at that same spot, how is he looking so far?

A: I think all those guys have, you know, they all have had some real positive plays, but I still think we still got to get better as we go, before I’m real comfortable with any guy really taking over.

Q: Does Aaron Williams fall under the same category as those other guys in that you expect to have him ready to go for training camp?

A: Yeah, absolutely. Aaron will be, he should be ready to go and yeah that’s one where, you know, it’s like he’s sitting in there in the meetings and all that and it’s tough for some positions, like Leodis I think will come in and play corner like it’s nothing, but playing safety is more of a challenging position mentally and the communication part of it and all that and obviously with Aaron not being able to go we’ll see how it goes, he seems to be sharp and I look forward to seeing him get on the field.

Q: Yesterday when Russ (Brandon) announced the team has set a record for season ticket sales, as exciting as that might be for the franchise, does it reinforce the amount of tension and pressure that is placed upon this team?

A: No, I’ll tell you what, I was excited about it and I’ll tell you why. I think the commitment by our fan base is tremendous. I knew before I even came here, I knew how awesome these fans were. This is just another thing to reinforce it. We’re all excited about this season and it’s not, look at our schedule, I get it man there’s a lot of good teams on our schedule that we’re playing here, but our fans aren’t coming to see the opponent, they’re coming to see the Buffalo Bills. They’re seeing their football team. And that’s what is exciting me, because when you come here, you’re not just playing the Bills, you’re playing this entire, you know, this fan base, you know, our fans, you’re playing our football team obviously, but you’re playing the community, and I think that our community takes a great deal of pride in their football team. But this is, this is about us and, you know, was I excited about that? Darn right I was man. Like come on in here and get a piece of this.

Q: But after 15 years of not making the playoffs, the expectations are at an all time high here.

A: Yeah, and they should be. We got a good football team and great coaches, and an average one.

Q: Andre (Reed) and the other coach fellowship were out here, was it sort of an observation thing, what is their role going to be today and the rest of this minicamp?

A: Anytime you can bring guys like we’re bringing in, people that can add to us and it’s going to be great for them, it’s a win-win, it’s great for the individual to come in here and get the experience on this level, coaching these guys, but also what can they bring to the table, so when we go through and Anthony Lynn heads up our minority internship program and we want to bring in really good people that can add to things, we got Chris McAlister here too, you know, him and Andre, and those are two excellent players but they also know the game and I think that’s part of it. When you can bring in that kind of expertise to add with the coaches we have, man I’m excited about that.

Q: Did you feel like today was a step up forward for the QB’s as a group? Specifically Tyrod (Taylor) seemed to have a high completion percentage today; can you you’re your observations of him today?

A: I think, you know, the thing I really like most is when there was a mistake made by the secondary we took advantage of it offensively. Now unfortunately, the defense took advantage of the mistakes the offense made, so I think there is kind of a little of that, you know stuff goes on. Like I said, we have some guys we might not have the elite of the elite at that position but we have some good players at that spot and the competition I think is just going to bring them all up, and that’s exactly what you want, and we’ll see what happens.

Q: Do you get the sense that there is a level of concern at the QB position amongst the fans?

A: Yeah I get it, but also there’s a level of excitement about the quarterback position as well.  You have some competition at it which I think is good, that’s going to make guys better, and I think there’s a comfort level with the fans, just like me, there’s a comfort level in knowing that somebody’s going to have to earn the job, and I think that’s good. I think our fans also look at our roster and they get really excited at that spot that you know what, it’s just not about one position, it’s about our football team and we’re pretty darn happy with what we have.

Q: Is it concerning to you that there hasn’t been any separation between the three, or is that ok at this point?

A: No it’s okay at this point, there’s not going to be any separation until the pads come on, you know I think that’s, is somebody a little ahead in the classroom, does somebody look a little better in skill, does somebody look, whatever. That’s fine. But it’s not going to be one until we get to playing real football.

Q: How do you weigh the benefit of getting a QB in place early vs. picking the right guy?

A: Well I think the number one thing is to pick the right guy. You know, we have some right guy’s but the right guy might be in the number one spot, the two spot, whatever the case may be. But that’s the number one thing. So, you know, is time on our side a little bit? Yes it is. In an ideal world would you already have your quarterback name by now? Yeah, that’s an ideal situation, but you know what, we’re not there, we’re in an ideal situation to have competition at that spot and I welcome it.

Q: When it comes to Greg Roman, how important was it for you to come together and be together?

A: Well I slipped him a phone call in there and said that, but you know what, in all seriousness we’ve had, you know, it’s a critical hire for me in particular a guy that’s going to be in charge heading up your offense. Is he surrounded by very confident coaches, great things? Yeah, that’s part of it, they wanted to be a part of him too. So you’re getting guys like Anthony Lynn who’s got a chance to be a head coach in this league down the road, you’re looking at Chris Palmer whose already done those type of things, you know, for him to come here says a lot and you get a guy like (Aaron) Kromer, I mean it’s a heck of a staff, when I said it’s an all-star staff but part of the draw, was that these guys would be able to coach under and coach with coach Roman, and so that was huge for me, obviously I think he’s as good as there is in this league. How long we have him here in Buffalo, I don’t know, but we’re going to enjoy having him as long as we have him. I think he’s going to be a head coach in this league real soon, and were going to take him, his expertise, and ride him.

Q: How key was it coming here knowing that you had an OC in place?

A: Well, it was knowing that I wanted one. See, a lot of times going through this process there will be coaches like you can say, “ Hey I want Buddy Ryan to be my defensive coordinator,” Buddy’s not coming. So there’s a lot of that that goes into it. Some guys say yeah I can get you this guy I can get you Dennis Thurman. No you can’t. You know what I mean. You can’t get him. But everybody has him on the list. Every single coach, this is funny, this will give you an example of how not a clear science it is. Every coach that they brought in brought 12 guys in right, or something like that, I think ten of them had Anthony Lynn as a running back coach. Looks good in theory. He wouldn’t leave with me, I can promise you that, because I made sure, you know, money talks and everything else walks, ok. We put the money on the table to get him and, but that’s it, and you know it looks good, “Hey I can get this guy I can get” no you can’t. So, you have a stack of what you think you can get but Greg Roman was clearly the number one guy. The second I took the job, we were trying to get Greg Roman and Dennis Thurman.

Q: With Seantrel (Henderson) out, Cyrus (Kouandijo) was getting all of the first team reps at right tackle, what do you think of his progress?

A: Well I think he’s done extremely well, we’ll see when the pads come on, I think he’s done about as good as you can do in the weight room, in the classroom, and carrying out over to these OTA’s, he’s done a tremendous job. Now the big thing is let’s see what it looks like when the pads come on.

Q: What can a guy like Sammy Watkins learn from Andre Reed?

A: I’m just now new to having Andre, being around Andre, I just saw him after practice working with somebody and the young man comes out and he says, “Well that’s what I’m here for, to help.” And that’s the beauty of Andre, you know. When I just saw that little thing in there with Andre that was it. You know to where it’s like, he gets it, so well see, but adding obviously, this is a hall of fame receiver, is he going to be exactly, can we mold Sammy Watkins into the next Andre Reed? Maybe not, but Sammy is pretty darn special anyway. I think anytime you can bring a guy like that, and not just for Sammy’s sake, but all of them, and on top of the fact that you got Sanjay Lal as a tremendous receiver coach it can only help.

Q: Tom Brady is coming back into the news next week with his hearing. In any way, has this whole thing tarnished Tom Brady’s reputation?

A: No, I mean I just know the kind of quarterback that he is. You know what he’s meant to me personally. You know the guy, I’ve got nothing but respect for the guy, so I mean, obviously he’s a first ballot HOF guy, that could go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game.

QB Matt Cassel

June 16, 2015

Q: Even in really limited action on team drills, just to have a Sammy Watkins on the field does what for a team?

A: It’s exciting.  To have Sammy come back out here and be able to run through drills – it’s great for us, it’s great for him. I’m sure he’s excited to be back and get caught up on just the terminology, route running, and everything else. 

Q: How much are you putting in on a daily basis? Like how much is today compared to yesterday, and how much will tomorrow be compared to today, offensively?

A: Everyday there’s been subtle changes and there’s been a lot of install throughout the entire offseason. So I’m sure there will be a point of emphasis tomorrow, I don’t know what that will be at this point. But today was nice because it was actually our third go around after this entire off season of introducing and all that stuff. So hopefully I think we had a better grasp today of what we had in the past, and it was good, hopefully we can build on that. 

Q: Just from our observations, it seems like there is a lot more formations being piled on every day.  Is that one of the biggest things you really have to get use too?  All the formations, especially for the newer guys?

A: There’s no doubt.  It’s the terminology, it’s the formation, it’s how we want to run particular routes, how we want to read them and were still familiarizing ourselves with all those things. It’s very early – I mean it’s late in the off season, but at the same time it’s early in the system.  So we still have to study really hard and I think this times critical for us, especially as we grow towards season.

RB Fred Jackson

June 16, 2015

Q: You’ve been through this drill many times before, how are you feeling out there physically and everything? It’s early on in the process obviously, but conditioning and all that stuff?

A: Good.  We have a great strength and conditioning group of guys – they do I think the best in the league getting us ready to go.  So I think everybody’s feeling good, you know we got guys that are trying to get back out there and working with our training staff.  Right now is all about trying to get in the best shape that we can be in. 

Q: How would assess where you guys stand in picking up a new offense and refining that?

A: You know, they’re throwing a lot at us right now and it’s on us to retain it all so that once we start fine tuning things will be ready to go.  But, you know we got a lot thrown at us – guys are doing a tremendous job getting in the playbook, and knowing what were supposed to do and where were supposed to be and were working with three, four quarterbacks.  So it’s a juggling game trying to figure out who were gonna be playing with, but also we have to know what we’re doing when we get out there.

Q: Is it fair to say that Rex brings a different kind of enthusiasm than any other head coach you might have been around?

A: Without a doubt.  He’s a guy that’s highly confident in himself and I think a team can feed off that.  You often take the personality of your head coach so when you have a guy like Rex, you start to get the confidence that he has.  Guys are coming out here doing what we gotta do, knowing what we gotta know, and were taking that next step. This is minicamp so we gotta fine tune everything and do the best we can right now.

QB EJ Manuel

June 16, 2015

Q: Rex said last week that the competition between you three could last up until the regular season opener, what did you make of that?

A: I figured you know, that’s what it kinda would be anyway. Just because of the way we have been rotating throughout OTA’s and even today.  It is what it is. I think the way you have to go into this thing is do your best with the reps that you get, and at the end of the day they’ll make the best decision for the team.

Q: It would seem to indicate that they believe that the race is really close between you three.  Do you feel that way as well?

A:  Oh yeah I think so, I think we’re all doing a good job. I think everybody’s being very sharp, obviously picking up the offense like Coach Roman wants us too, pretty quickly.  So you know when you’re playing against good competition in the league that’s how it is.  It’s the little small things that I think will separate all of us. 

Q: How are you going to approach that month and half off?

A: Just keep working.  I think the biggest thing is to continue to go over the scripts that we have from OTA’s and go over the scripts that will do this week in minicamp.  I think it’s all about the mental.  You know you just gotta continue to go over it and really match the offense because I think Coach Roman’s looking for a coach on the field, so that’s what he wants from the starting quarterback.

Minority Coaching Intern Andre Reed

June 16, 2015

Q: Is this something you always wanted to do, Coach?

A: Well, I have a lot to give back to the game and I had a feeling I wanted to do something after I was done playing.  Even before that, but my kids were too small and I think as they are older now I can devote more time to it if I want too. Being in Kansas City two years ago and here now.  I feel a little more comfortable here, as you guys know I played here – So first day was pretty good.  I got just a great welcome from Rex and the staff; it’s really nice – really cool. 

Q: Is it a feeling out process as to where and when to insert your expertise?

A: I already did.  You know I told the guys if you need anything, just about anything, it doesn’t have to be about football–I just am opening myself up to them to talk to.  If they want to talk to me about anything, I’m not an expert on anything, but I think if they want to talk to me about anything they’re going through as far off the field, on the field, you know I can help them out. 

Q: Sammy (Watkins) and Chris (Hogan) were quick to bend your ear.

A: Oh yeah. We did a little bit of stuff here with Stephon (Gilmore) after practice, and I think just the little small things – I told a lot of these guys you know you’re going to do what you do on the field, but the smallest things really put you over the top.  When you do the extra work and all that kinda stuff, it makes a difference in how you practice and how you go out and play games. 

QB Tyrod Taylor

June 16, 2015

Q: Assess your day today–How do you think, evaluating yourself, you performed today?
A: I felt good out there, I think I handled the offense good as a unit.  I think there’s some things that I could do better, some things we could do better as a team, but it’s the first day of minicamp and I thought we did a good job.  Hit some touch downs on the seven vs. seven, team moved the ball up and down the field pretty well, but it’s still some areas we can improve on. 

Q: Can you comment on just advancing in this offense, to the point where you trust everything that you see.  That seems to be a hurtle that all quarterbacks need to clear in a new offense. 

A:  Yeah I think it comes with just building trust in the receivers, knowing the type of guys you have around you – just knowing the type of play makers that you have around you – and I mean it’s my job to get the ball to them.  We have a bunch of speed on the outside, a bunch of guys that can get the ball and do very well in the space, so it’s my job to get the ball as quickly as possible and that’s mainly what I’m trusting when I go out there.

Q: Rex said last week that it could go up to the first week of the regular season before a starter is named at the position.  What do you make of that, what do you take away from that?

A: That’s all up to the coaches.  All I can do is control my daily performance, and how I prepare and that’s the main thing I’m focusing on right now – just prepare as much as possible, move the offense, and just take care of my job.  I can’t let any of the other stuff affect how I prepare or how I go into a practice.

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