Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Opening Statement: Obviously, the thing I always say that you never when you start a press conference is to talk about injuries first. So, (Greg) Salas he left practice with a hamstring, that’s our first soft-tissue injury of camp. Hopefully it’s not a bad one, but he did go in with a hamstring. We had Sterling Moore, he’s in the concussion protocol. So don’t know if it’s a concussion yet or anything, but anytime you have that, he’s taken off the field so he’ll go see the experts. Those are the two today that we had. I believe I’m not missing anybody.

Bad news obviously of today, you know, was Reggie, Reggie Ragland. He is going to have surgery on a torn ACL. He’s expected to miss the season, and you know very unfortunate. But, we have some guys, like I said I feel good about the guys that we have. I think, you know, Zach Brown has been doing a good job and then the addition of (Brandon) Spikes and (David) Hawthorne along with Randell Johnson—I think we have good depth. We have better depth this year than we did last year at that position. So you know, it’s really unfortunate for the young man and for our team because we know he’s a fine player, but guys will step up. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Rex, there’s a report that Shaq (Lawson) will be due to return between weeks six to eight. Can you speak on that?

A: No and again sometimes I don’t know where these reports come. Are they valid or not? I have no idea. I can just tell you what’s told to me. You know, right now he’s on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). We know at some point he’s going to return. Unless there’s something that nobody, you know, sees right now, but we’re excited, we’ll be excited to have him back, but I don’t have a date for you.

Q: When you say expected, are you leaving open the possibility that he may play this year?

A: I’m telling you we expect him to be–we expect him to miss the season.

Q: You held that information, obviously, until you knew for sure today. You must have had a sense even as early as Saturday or Sunday that this wasn’t going to be a good news situation, right?

A: Well, I think anytime you have a knee and when they say, hey we have major concerns here and that’s really — I told you everything that was told to me. And, so obviously we did have major concerns that he wouldn’t be available. We brought in some guys thinking that this was a real possibility.

Q: You said Reggie (Ragland) was probably going to be a three-down player for you. Do think now you’re going to have to work some things and not have a three-down player in that position? Maybe rotate some guy to play to their strengths.

A:  Yeah, we’ll see. Exactly. You can play to strengths of some guys. You know, Zach Brown has got unusual cover skills for a linebacker. So, you know, you can see him/envision him. Is he an every-down player? I’m not sure, you know, could be. He’s doing a real nice job that way. A guy like (David) Hawthorne, or (Brandon) Spikes or Randell Jonson — you know, is that a possibility? Absolutely. But again, we’ll let it play out. We haven’t even had a preseason game yet. We’ll see what happens as we go.

Q: You’ve been in the league 20 years. Do you remember a year where you had your first two picks injured before the season starts?

A: No, I remember there’s times where — guys get hurt, you know. There’s no question that’s part of the game. That’s an unfortunate part of the game. I don’t really recall, you know, off hand about that. But again you know, you build a team, you field the best team you possibly, you know, can. The thing I’ve been impressed with was how our scouting department reacted immediately. How Whales in particular — how Doug immediately had a list, a go-to list, of guys that we felt good about. Did the film study on these guys. We thought that, you know, that they could come in and do a job for us. So, we’ll find out. They look good so far. You know, obviously, (Brandon) Spikes is hard to miss. You know, when you see him it’s like, you guys know, that dude’s a giant. You know, I like the way he plays, temperament, the way he carries himself. We have Randell Johnson who’s no small guy either, I mean, he’s been impressive as well. So, you know, so I tip my hat to Doug Whaley.

Q: From draft weekend and how excited you were to get these guys to where you are now – you know you’re not going to have both of them for at least part of the season. How disappointing is it?

A: Well yeah I mean we’re excited about those two guys. Obviously, we think they’re rare talents and that’s not going to change either based on injury. At some point they’re going to be some rare talents for the Buffalo Bills out there and our fans should be excited about that. That we got the right players. Just unfortunate that we have to be a little more patient than maybe we wanted to.

Q: Does it change your expectations for maybe what the defense can do this year?

A: No. I’ve said all along I believe our defense will be much improved and I’ll stand by that.

Q: (Kevon) Seymour looked like he had a good day today. Did you see that as well? And kind of assess where he is through ten practices here?

A: Really excited about him. He’s a guy that in minicamp you saw the raw tools that he has. You know, he’s got that speed. You know, he’s a smart young man and he’s got a passion for the game, loves to play. So yeah, he’s done extremely well. I can’t remember a bad practice that he’s had. You know, when we had the scrimmage we gave up a completion, but it was ruled a sack, but we gave up a foul down the field and a completion. But that’s about the only thing I can remember the jumped out in a negative sense. The kids really played well for us.

Q: We saw Shady get up and throw the ball at Zach Brown, it’s hot out there. Do you feel the guys are kind of reaching their boiling point, or ready to see another team right now?

A: I think so. I think you always want to scrimmage against other people. You are pretty tired of going against your own guys. But it’s a grind, you have to push through it and you know we had some other ones and a little shoving or whatever, but that’s kind of what the time is. Shady’s a very competitive guy and you know he was just reacting. It wasn’t a big deal.

Q: How is Reggie (Ragland) handling this whole process?

A: He’s really hurt by it, you know he wanted to help. You know the thing is, selfishly he wants to play and show everybody the kind of player he is and believe me he wants to show off, he knows he’s an outstanding player. He wants to prove he’s the best linebacker in that draft class, but more than anything he want to be a part of this team and help this team and I think that hurts him more than anything.

DC Dennis Thurman
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Q: Coach, with the time you still have before the regular season, is it enough to make adjustments and find the best answer in terms of replacing (Reggie) Ragland in the lineup?
A: Oh, we don’t have a choice. You know, it’s one of those situations where an injury cannot derail you from the mission that you’re on. So, we have some guys that we’re going to work with and best man wins.

Q: Do you think the scheme has to be tweaked at all in light of you may choose to stick in there?
A: No. No. We’re on a pace and we’re doing things that are really, really well on defense right now, and we just have to stay on track. If we stay on track, we’ll be fine.

Q:  How three down capable do you see Zach Brown?
A: We’ll find out. I mean that has to be determined by how he’s performing.

Q: What do you like about Brown and his game?
A: Everything. He’s an athlete. He’s physical. He can run. He can cover. Just got to stay focused.

Q:  (Brandon) Spikes hasn’t been here a long time. Has he been what you thought he would be?
A:  Oh without question. He’s big, he’s physical, he’s picked the system up pretty quickly, and he’s a veteran. He’s been around the National Football League and he’s been in the war. Yeah, so he’s doing a great job.

Q: Rex keeps saying that he’s seen a lot of improvements in the defense from last year to this year. What have you seen, being able to work with them a little more closely? Has it changed from last year to this year?
A: Just understanding the concepts of what we’re trying to do. This is a defense really, if you understand conceptually what we’re trying to do, it’s a fun defense to play in. And right now, the guys are doing a great job with that.

Q: Dennis, obviously Reggie is a big loss. When you were looking at him initially, how good was he compared to how people were talking about him so far?
A: He’s playing well. There’s nothing Reggie can’t do. You know, we hate that it happened but it happened. We’ve got to move on. And everybody’s going to say “next man up.” Hey, if we have to do it by committee, we’ll do it by committee, but we’re going to get it done.

Assistant Head Coach/Defense Rob Ryan

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Q: You’re disappointment on losing Reggie Ragland? I’m sure you were excited to coach him this year.

A: It’s a shame when such a great young man works so hard and was going to have such a vital role for us and such a student of the game. To see a guy like that go down, you just feel terrible for the young man. In this business, in the NFL, you got to always have a replacement ready to go, and a couple, and we’ve done a great job of that. It’s just so unfortunate for him personally and in this business, it’s the toughest of the tough and when guys go down with injuries, you have to be ready.

Q: With the skills and role you envisioned with him, how does that change what you want to do? Will it be by committee or maybe go out there and see if Zach Brown can do it all the time?

A: Well I think we’ve got really great pros behind him and that was by design by Doug Whaley and Russ Brandon, so you always have to have that vision for the team and the right 53 for your team. By no means were we not ready for this and we’re excited about the guys we got and thank God we got them.

Q: So coach, you’ve got the first contingency plan in place now in light of what’s happened but should that plan not play out with the guys you envision, when does the next contingency get devised or is it already laid out just in case?

A: Well I think, shoot, it’s not quite two weeks in, we haven’t even played our first preseason game, so again, in the preseason, you’re constantly evaluating your roster to find the right 53 and then exactly what the strengths and weaknesses of our players are. I just love the work, love the group, how hard they’ve been working, how together they are, and the excitement of this. It’s going to be a great year for us and we want to be great and our guys keep working hard to do it.

Q: What have you seen from Zach Brown?

A: With Zach Brown, he’s got a unique skillset. He’s an excellent cover guy, he’s also been a very effective rusher in the National Football League. So we’re excited about him. He’s doing the little things. This is a unique defense and we’re excited about him, what he can bring to us, his skills and also everybody on this roster. They’re all competing to play and the big thing for us as coaches and the scouts is making sure we keep the right guys to give us the best chance to win.

Q: You have familiarity with David Hawthorne with coaching him before. I know you guys are mostly working at the WILL (linebacker) so where do you see him, his fit, and are you encouraged by some of the carry over you’ve seemed to apply?

A: Oh yeah. The one thing with David is he’s very smart. He’s always been a really sharp guy. Nicknamed ‘The Heat’ because he brings the heat, he’s always been a thumper, which is a perquisite for this defense to play linebacker. I think he’s done great. I think he and Brandon Spikes have done a great job with Bobby (linebackers coach Bobby April III) studying extra, two hours a night, to get caught up and they’re doing a remarkable job of just coming in on just such short notice. They’re two pros and they’ve done a great job. We’re excited about these guys. They’re both going to bring toughness and quality in personnel.

QB Tyrod Taylor
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Q: Hey Tyrod, I know it’s a couple of days away, but last year’s first preseason game, you didn’t know how much time you were going to get. Now that that’s out of the way, just explain your role coming out in the first preseason game Saturday.
A: Just to execute at a high level. Definitely looking forward to playing against another team. We’ve
battled against each other now for about nine or 10 days so definitely looking forward to seeing another color jersey across from us. As far as mindset going into the game of course, like I said before; just execute. Not sure how long we’re going to play but whichever group is in there, we want to go out there and play at a high level and move the ball up and down the field.

Q: What’s a fair amount of time to play? How much would you like to play?
A: I’m not sure. That’s up to the coaches. I don’t make that decision.

Q: How important is it to maybe get a touchdown or be successful before you come out of that first game?
A: Definitely big for us to move the ball up and down the field, build confidence and as well as just going out there and executing our plays that we’ve worked so hard on each day in camp. For us to take our practice and translate it into a game situation definitely is big for us and the next step for us on Saturday.

Q: You found Sammy today for a nice touchdown. You know the steps he’s trying to take and the mental hurdle he’s trying to clear. What kind of communication in that situation is the right communication from the quarterback?
A: I’m real big on just being positive, just trying to bring to light what guys are doing well, noticing that guys are working hard. He’s definitely spending a lot of time this offseason working and trying to get back on the field and he’s back out there making plays. Just across the board, guys are competing each and every day and I’m not one to shy away from telling them that. Whenever I can pick a guy up that’s down or something, I’m the first to do it. I like what Sammy’s out there doing on the field, he’s taking it day-by-day. Just as an offense, a lot of guys are going out there making plays.

Q: The offensive line with two guys out, you have a lot of moving pieces right now. Has that been a problem the last couple of practices?
A: No. Those guys that run out there have definitely played well. They have a big set of guys going against them each day of practice and it’s making them better, but they’re definitely holding their own. I know they’re excited for the opportunity to show the coaches what they can do and it’s the perfect guys to go against. You got Marcell (Dareus); (Ryan) Groy and (Cyrus) Kounadjio going against Jerry Hughes and Kyle Williams as well too. We have a bunch of talent on the other side that’s pushing those guys and making them better day by day and they’re accepting the challenge.

Q: Tyrod, can you explain what you were thinking when you were leaping into the air over (Mike) Gillislee and getting into the end zone and having everybody on the sideline, including Rex, holding their breath?
A: The flip, that wasn’t necessarily planned. People that watch practice have seen me go into the end zone and basically do my finger roll and that’s basically what I was doing and the running back got blocked up underneath me moving forward, just stayed on the ground.

Q: I think everybody was saying, “Tell Tyrod, don’t ever do that again during practice.”
A: Yeah, in practice. Save those types of moments for games, I agree.

Q: Tyrod, there were some drops today. Maybe the two-minute drill didn’t go as well as the starting offense wanted. Were there maybe some mental lapses out the today? What did you see?
A: Today was a grind and it’s something that I told the offense at the end. Everything is not going to be pretty, we got to find a way to make plays when things aren’t pretty and continue to keep grinding. Take it one play at a time. Brush the last play off and days like this are the days that you learn and get better as a team. We’ll dissect it in the film room, get better from it, and bounce back tomorrow.

Q: Marquise Goodwin had a very long season last year. What have you seen from him this camp? It looks like he’s shined.
A: His approach off the field, paying attention to detail in the meeting rooms, staying after to watch extra film and get on the same page as the quarterbacks is definitely something he’s dedicated himself to and it’s shown out there on the field. He’s been making a lot of plays. Of course with him, he’s a speed guy. Once you get him the ball, you know it’s going to be a big play, so we just need him to continue doing what he’s doing. He’s having a great camp. Continue that over from practice to games.

Q: As far as skill position guys, you have just about everybody out there right now with Sammy easing his way back in. How good is that to see that out there and build it in, to see what can happen when everybody’s healthy and on the same page?
A: It’s very good to see everybody out there practicing, getting chemistry down, believing in and trusting one another. Definitely can see how dynamic our offense can be. We’re just taking it one day at a time and continue to keep grinding. We didn’t play so many games with together last year, so for us to build on the reps that we have now, definitely is going to help us for the season this year.

Q: Players and coaches have said that you’re more vocal than you were last year. Would you say that you’ve taken a whole new leadership role?
A: For sure. Last year of course was my first year around the guys, still learning the offense. I’ve always been a lead-by-example guy and I still am now but whenever there’s an opportunity for me to speak and I feel that the opportunity is right, I definitely will put my two cents in, whether it’s correcting a guy on the field, just getting everybody on the same page. The things that have to come from the quarterback as well, too. With all that being said, none of that is necessarily or actually respected if you’re not doing the things that you’re doing on the field and I say my preparation off the field definitely helps me get my message across a little bit better.

Filed under: Buffalo Bills

Tagged with: , ,

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.