Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Did not participate in practice: Marcus Easley with a knee. Limited participation in practice: Ron Brooks with a neck. We’re happy he came back. Da’Norris Searcy with a knee, [Fred] Jackson with an ankle, Brandon Spikes with ribs, Kyle Williams with a knee, Aaron Williams with a wrist, Nigel Bradham with a knee and Chris Williams with a back.

Q: What are you expectations for Kyle and Nigel playing Sunday?

A: I get in trouble every time I talk about expectations. I’m waiting for the doctor to say they can go ahead and play fully, but right now they’re limited. As the week goes on and they progress, they’ll tell me later in the week. We make plans of being with all of those players and then, obviously, we make plans for being without them. That’s the way we have to practice.

Q: Brooks being able to participate at all is a pretty good sign. 

A: Oh, I think it is. I mean everyone saw that. It was a tough situation for everybody that was able to see it. Nerve-wracking. We all had those feelings with that for all the players and everyone that was watching the game. I think there was a great sigh of relief, at least on my part, when they said he was able to be released. That’s the first step and then today, obviously, he’s running around. That’s a great sign.

Q: Can you share your thoughts on the sale of the team today?

A: Obviously, we’re excited. We addressed it with the team this morning. We’re excited about that, but we understand that our focus is on the game.

Q: Could you ask for a better game than playing New England?

A: It’s a great challenge for us. Everyone knows what’s gone on in the past. I’m not going to bring that up. We talked to our players. We’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to play extremely well. They’re an outstanding football team. They’re coached well. We know that we have to play extremely well to win.

Q: What changes for you with Terry Pegula taking over? 

A: I’m not sure. We haven’t really sat down and spoken about anything yet, so I really don’t know.

Q: How much easier is it, from a coaching standpoint, when you have a guy like Tom Brady playing quarterback? 

A: I want to recognize that yes, it’s a lot better because that player is doing a lot of things for you in the locker room, outside, on the field. Those types of players, I really believe this, make everyone, including the coaches, more accountable. I think that’s the biggest asset that they bring, outside of how well they play on the field.

Q: What has Brandon Spikes brought?

A: I think he’s brought toughness, unity, a lot of things from a leadership standpoint that are valued. I think those are the characteristics and he has brought very good play for us on the defensive side out of that position.

Q: How do you keep the team even keel with Brandon playing his former team?  

A: My expectation is that I understand that that stuff is there every week, no matter who you are; whether you’re a coach or whether you’re a player. My expectation, as the head coach, is to make sure that we prepare and we go about ourselves where that doesn’t become a distraction and it doesn’t become an area where we’re not playing within the scheme of what we’re trying to get accomplished.

Q: What sort of insight have Pepper Johnson and Brandon Spikes given this week?

A: It’s very limited from that standpoint. Really, the insight that we’re looking for is basically on the tape of what we’re trying to see. Having competed against them for the times that I was with New York and having spent time when we were out at the Pro Bowl, they coached the opposite team. There’s really not a lot of insight that you’re going to get because what you have to do is you have to prepare for what you’re seeing on the tape.

Q: How much have the Patriots changed over the years?

A: Even though you may see them as what we may perceive as change, they still attack you the same way defensively, offensively and special teams-wise. Matchups, leverage, things like that. Physical, toughness, formations, quick counts. They’ve been successful for a long time because they’re going to attack what your weaknesses are and they’ve done an outstanding job of that. They’re not going to turn the ball over. They’re going to create turnovers. They’re plus six, the same as we are. From all of those things you’re not on that type of run if you haven’t created a great foundation of how you’re attacking teams and how you’re winning games.

Q: Do you think people were a little quick to write off Tom Brady a couple of weeks ago?

A: I don’t want to speak for other people, but I can say, for myself, that I wouldn’t write anybody off, especially in this league. He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. They’re a hell of a football team. I think, when I was looking at it and people were saying that, that’s not what I’m seeing on the film. They’ve won for a long period of time. It’s hard. New guys come in and they’re ready to win and it’s a winning culture. It’s difficult to go out there and defeat those teams. It’s a great challenge and that’s what you’ve got to be up for.  

Q: Do you expect this week to be more special than other weeks because of the ownership change and it being for the division lead?

A: I address it as, ‘Hey, this is who we are. We’re 3-2, we’re playing a divisional opponent in a very important divisional game.’ Really that’s the way I addressed it with the team today. I think when you start putting too much on a lot of things, it can hurt you somewhere down the road. We’re trying to build ourselves into a team. We’re trying to put back-to-back wins together and now it happens to be a divisional opponent. It’s going to be at home, which we’re excited about. We know the fans will be extremely excited. They can play a big role in this game. I really believe in them helping us because they’ve done it before. We’re going to need everybody. We need to go out there and play well and we need our fans to go out there and get some stuff done for us too.

Q: What are your expectations for Sammy Watkins lining up against Darrelle Revis? 

A: I think it will be an outstanding task.. Darrelle Revis is, if not the best that’s played the game, he’s one of the best that’s ever played the game. He’s very physical, he can run. He has routes. They matched him up before. They matched him up last week on Cincinnati. If they match him up on Sammy then it’d be a great challenge for him and I think that will tell us a lot about where he is.

Q: Is there any part of that plan that has Sammy being used as a decoy to open up other guys?

A: We’re trying to win games. I don’t know if we’re good enough to put decoys out there yet.

Q: Are you guys no longer listing Sammy on the injury report?

A: No.

Q: Is that a sign that the ribs have progressed?

A: That’s what I would say from the doctors who said that there’s no injury there.

Q: Would you agree that this is a game that people could point to in order to show that the arrow really is trending upwards for the Buffalo Bills?

A: I don’t get into that. I really don’t. I’m the coach. I’m into what it is today. What we have to do today to get better, what we have to do tomorrow, what we have to do to win the game. Putting labels about things and talking about things, it’s a divisional opponent, which is a difference. It is bigger because it’s a divisional opponent and that’s really it. I hate to be boring, but that’s who I’ve always been anyway.

Q: What are the key things you need to do to win the game?

A: Score more points than they do is the first one. If we do that then that’s the only thing we need to do to win.

Q: What did you see from their running game against the Bengals that you saw when their running game was so successful against you last year? 

A: One of the backs had over a hundred yards against us in the first game. In the second game, I think he had quite a bit more. I think that in anything that you do you want to stop the run, from a defensive standpoint. Offensively, you want to run.. I think anytime you make someone one-dimensional, it’s very difficult to be successful in this league. They’ve done a great job of being balanced. When they win, that’s one of the things they’ve done well. When they’re able to run the football it makes everyone, not just them, much better.

Q: How did Fred move today on his ankle?

A: Limited.

Q: Does his ability to play through injuries stick out to you?

A: Yes. I would say yes on that. Again, there’s a great amount of respect for players that can go out there and play with those things. Not everyone can go out there and play when they’re in discomfort, so I do think that. When we were with Curtis Martin and he led the league in rushing, he was banged up pretty good; to a point where, afterwards, they were shocked at how he was able to get through that season. I think that’s the first time in my life where I ever really experienced something like that. Fred’s isn’t as drastic as that, but Fred has that type of toughness that Curtis has. That’s saying a lot for anyone that knows Curtis Martin.

Q: Did Kyle Orton do any more audibles than you did with EJ (Manuel)? 

A: In this day and age you’re going to need to get yourself out of bad plays. You’re going to have the ability to do that and we’re always going to have the ability to do that within our system. I think we have to be careful how much we do, even though Kyle has been in the league for a long time and has a great amount of experience. We don’t want to put that much on that position right now. But do we do it? Obviously, everyone does in this league.

Q: What do you guys talk about when it comes to the sale? 

A: Today I said, ‘Hey, it’s going to go to a vote just like everyone has reported, so it’s going to happen. Obviously, we’re all excited. The region’s excited. You may get questions on this from media and that’s fine. Answer those questions, but remember today is about getting ready and getting prepared for New England.’

Q: Have some of the veteran guys talked to the younger members of the team on what this sale really means?

A: We’ve addressed that internally, but I wouldn’t know if they talked to them personally about that.

Q: At the end of the first half did you think about accepting the five-yard penalty and going for it on 4th down?

A: I was looking for it, but then I didn’t want to get them that field position where they could take one play and be able to kick a field goal and go up. Those talks always go through and we try to make decisions on that and where we are in the game, but I did think of it.

Q: What have you seen different in Marcell (Dareus) this year, especially considering his off-the-field issues?

A: I think they are two different things. He’s always been a heck of a football player on the field. Obviously, he went to the Pro Bowl last year. I think it was big for him with Kyle [Williams] being out and being able to step up. Those other players stepped up. He’s doing well. I think those are better questions for him to answer, as far as what the difference may be.

Q: Is it early to expect Chris Gragg to become a bigger part of the offense?

A: I think we’ve got to look at a decision based on who is up and who is down each week. I think its tough where we are, depending on how far the limited stuff comes with some of these players.

QB Kyle Orton

Wednesday, September 8th, 2014

Q: What do you see from the New England Defense in terms of on tape?
A: They’re a good defense that we’re going against.  Really good secondary.  They like to play man coverage so we’ll have our work cut out for us outside going against some really good defensive backs.  Big physical linebackers and an aggressive front like to get after the quarterback.

Q: I believe you’ve played Belichick’s defense once or twice, perhaps?

A: Yeah, maybe once.

Q: Is there a key to beating a Belichick defense?

A: I think our key is just going out and focusing on ourselves.  We’ve got good players on offense.  Going out and executing the game plan.  Staying in good situations.  I think last week, I think you go back and look at the tape…way too many second and longs.  Way too many third and longs.  Made it seem like whenever we were able to succeed on first down, we kept drives alive and stayed on the field.  I think this week’s all about focusing on us and doing the things we have do to play great.

Q: How much can a win like that boost momentum and give you guys extra confidence?

A: It’s all about this week.  It’s all about focusing on the process.  Focusing on putting together three solid practices.  I thought we got off to a good start today and obviously tomorrow and Friday are going to be crucial in tightening up the third down package and the red zone package and playing great situational football because that’s what they’ve strived on probably for the last decade.

Q: You’ve shown that you guys can stretch the field specifically in the fourth quarter with that play to Marquise Goodwin. Do you expect to do more of that this week now that your comfort level is a little bit higher with the team?

A:  I think we try to throw it to the open guys whether it’s down the field or short, throw it to the backs.  Try to throw it to the open guys, stay in rhythm and get the ball to the playmakers so there’s a number of ways we can do that and we’ll just keep on working to get better.

Q: Were you a little amused by all those reports a couple of weeks ago that Brady was washed up?

A: I focus on this team really and that’s about it. I know he’s a great quarterback. He has been for a long time and he’ll be great for as long as he wants to be.

Q: How much does it matter to a team when you’ve got a guy like Brady; he’s been there for so long and he’s been so good for so long.  How much easier is that for the whole team when that position is solidified the way it is there?

A: Anytime you have a Hall of Fame quarterback, I think that’s what any franchise would love to have.  There’s not too many of them.  He’s one of the best that’s ever played and like I said focus on our process this week to get ready to play a great football game.

Q: You talk about playing and focusing on this game but you as a veteran though, there’s a lot of stuff going on with this team with the sale of the team, with the top of the division, you got New England coming into town. How do you keep everybody even keel and focusing on just playing the game?

A: Certainly our head coach has done a great job of just letting us focus on the process and just win today, win tomorrow, and win Friday.  Anything else really outside of that, really doesn’t concern us too much.

Q: Has the team talked much about the sale process at all?  I know you haven’t been here too long but has there been any discussions in the locker room about it? 

A: We’ve had three or four team meetings about it.  Whatever needs to be addressed has been addressed.  Everybody’s excited for the new ownership and other than that, we’re ready to play a great game on Sunday in front of our home fans and certainly the focus is winning a home division game which is as big as it gets.

Q: Doesn’t it seem fitting that the opponent is kind of the Bills’ main rival of the last fifteen years given the new owner? 

A:  When we play at home, the focus is just playing great and getting the crowd into it and we’re just excited to be at home.

Q: It seemed like the fourth quarter, you guys did move the ball a little bit better offensively.  Was there anything to the fact that you haven’t played with your receivers in a real live game for a while or was it really just situational that you got better by happenstance?
A: I just think we limited the penalties and some of the missteps early on in the game.  We had plenty of chances to move the ball early and kind of stubbed our own toes.  We’ll work hard to fix those and be better this Sunday.

Q:  I’m not sure if you’re aware of the history of this rivalry and it’s been one-sided for quite some time.  Can you appreciate what it might mean to some players here who’ve lost a lot to the Patriots and especially the fan base, what a win and a statement this weekend might make?

A:  Well I don’t know about a statement.  I don’t think there’s any bigger games during the season than playing divisional opponents at home.  You can’t lose those games.  I think that’s the important and the past is the past but this is as big of a game that we’re going to have because it’s a division opponent at home.            

DT Marcell Dareus

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: Where are you now compared to a couple years ago in terms of your physical makeup and your knowledge and approach to the game?

A: I’ve felt the same.  Just kind of continue to work hard and being around something so long.  I just kind of just have fun and just do me and try not to be anybody else…just play the game and just go out and play it and have fun.

Q: You’ve had a lot of good moments in your career but do you feel like you’ve hit another level?

A: You guys watch.  You see if it went to another level or not.  I wake up every day the same person.  I feel like I approach the game the same I always have approached it since I was eleven years old.  Just have fun and do the best I can do to try and help my team.

Q: Patriots are coming off a game in which they ran the ball pretty well.  What do you have to do to stop them from running the way they ran on Sunday?

A:  Stop it.  Stop the run.  Be in the gaps they trying to run it in. 

Q: Some people seem to think that Brady may have lost a step with his offense.  What do you think?

A:  Brady’s a pretty smart guy..  He knows exactly what he wants to do with his offense.  How he wants to speed them up or slow them down.  There’s so many ways he can approach the game.  I’m always excited to play against them.  He has such knowledge of the game.  I just can’t wait to see what he’s going to throw at us.

CB Corey Graham

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: In terms of the sale of the team, as someone who kind of grew up here and understands what the Bills mean to this community, how has that kind of filtered for you and some of the other guys?

A: It’s special for all of the people of Western New York to know that everything is final, that the Pegula’s bought the team and you don’t have to worry about that anymore. It’s a special moment for everybody, everybody is excited about it. I’m pretty sure this week especially playing the Patriots is going to be exciting for all the fans and everybody out there.

Q: As a veteran, how do you make sure it doesn’t become a distraction for younger players?

A: Oh, it’s not. Not for us, we don’t really worry too much about that stuff to be honest with you. We have enough to worry about with Tom Brady and those guys, so we don’t really worry about the sale of the team or anything like that, we’re just playing ball.

Q: Is it one of those things where it doesn’t matter where the team is or who the owner is you still have to play?

A: Yeah, that’s the thing about it. It really doesn’t matter at all for us, we’re just happy we have a job here and we’re going to go out there and get ready to play the Patriots.

Q: Personally is it exciting?

A: Yeah, it’s more important for Western New York, for the fans. I grew up a fan of the Bills so obviously it’s important for me. Knowing that the teams going to be here, knowing that it’s not going anywhere and knowing that even my kids are going to have a chance to watch some football games years from now.

RB Fred Jackson

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: Do you think they’re vulnerable?  Because there was a lot of talk two weeks ago.

A: New England is New England.  They’re going to show up and they’re going to be ready to play.  Everybody thought they were going to get beat badly by Cincinnati last week and you saw what they did to them.  This is a team that’s coming in and we have to be ready to play and we have to be ready to match that.

Q:  Did you watch that game?

A: I did watch it.  I’m a fan of football so if there’s a game on, I’m going to try and watch it.  They did some things that they’re accustomed to doing. Tom Brady is Tom Brady and he’s finding his tight ends in the seam and their defense played well. That’s what they’re going to do.  We have to go out there and do what we can to keep that defense exhausted, keep Tom Brady on the sideline, and win a football game.

Q: How did you feel today going through practice with the ankle?

A: I’m good.  Everybody’s sore this time of year and I’m no exception but I’ll be ready to go and do everything I can to get a win on Sunday.

Q: The ownership transfer: potential distraction or potential incentive?

A: It won’t be anything for us.  What we have to focus on is just playing on Sunday.  It’s great for the city.  It’s great for the organization and we’re extremely excited about that but what we have to focus on is going out and playing trying to win a game in this division  and setting up ourselves up throughout the season.  Like I said, we’re extremely excited about it.  The city’s excited about and they should be but if we don’t go out and win a game on Sunday, it’s going to be a bit of a downer.  

WR Mike Williams

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: How exciting is it that you guys have the opportunity to move to 4-2 against the Patriots?

A: We’re very excited. It’s an opportunity for us to get ahead of our goals. We want to win the division and we know that if we win this game, we’re in first place so our goal is right in front of us. All we have to go is take advantage of it.

Q: How much did you follow the sale of the team, if at all?

A: Well I really didn’t follow it, I tried to stay focused on the season and things like that. Just to keep everything in the locker room so to speak, but I’m very happy where it’s at. I’m sure the fans are happy where it’s at and I can’t wait to have the first game under the new regime.

Q: When they announced they won the bid, the Ralph was pretty crazy. Do you expect that again?

A: Yeah, definitely. It’s going to be even crazier because it’s a division game first of all; it’s a chance for us to be in first place in our division so I think the game is going to be crazy just within that. But to be under the new regime and everything, it seems like a start over for everybody, it’s going to be crazy Sunday.

Q: Did you go up against Darrelle Revis in practice in Tampa Bay?

A: Yeah.

Q: What makes him so good?

A: His patience, and the way he studies the game. He’s the type of player that studies splits, studies route combinations and things like that. He’s already won half of the battle before the snap of the ball so it’s kind of easy for him when he already knows. But I think that’s what makes him so good.

LB Brandon Spikes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: You have to be excited for the first time playing against them (New England)?

A: Absolutely. It’s my former team.  I have friends still over there.  I’m excited.  I’ve been waiting for this for a while.

Q: When the schedule came out, was this where your highlighter went first?

A: Of course.  Like I said, they drafted me. I’ve spent a lot of time with them…a few years.  I’ve had a lot of success.  I’m anxious for this.

Q: For four years, you knew what it was like to beat the Bills except for the one game, you guys lost from the comeback but the Patriots have owned this franchise since 2000.  What’s it like to be on this side of the field now?

A: You know what?  I’ve always had a great a deal of respect for this organization and the players here.  I’ve played a lot of these guys in college.  They all playmakers.  For me to come over, I want to contribute and do my job and get it done at a high level and help out and get this win.

RB C.J. Spiller

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: What are your thoughts on that officially being your new ownership group?

A: I’m excited for these people. The whole team is excited about new ownership. I thought if this team would’ve moved, I thought it would’ve been a devastation to this region because after you’ve been here for a while you kind of realize the importance that this team has on this particular part of the country and now everybody can rest at ease knowing that the Bills are not going anywhere and we’re excited about getting a chance to meet them and moving forward.

Q: It seems like a lot of guys haven’t paid an extreme amount of attention to the sale but the focus is on the division game against the Patriots and getting this win under your belt?

A: I don’t think anybody really paid full attention, we were always updated throughout the process by Russ Brandon and he kept us informed as to what was going on. Our main job is to focus on each opponent, that’s what he stressed to us and that’s what we got done.

Q: It’s a celebration for the fans, but is it a celebration for the players too?

A: We want to celebrate in February.

WR Sammy Watkins

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: A big road win like you guys got in a hostile environment in Detroit, how much of a carryover do you expect on Sunday now?

A: I expect it to be wild, crazy. I expect the fans to be engaged in the game and help us out on defense. Hopefully we can rally up a win and be in the number one spot in the division and then keep winning.

Q: How big of a difference is it now that you’ve had a full game playing with Kyle (Orton) and do you expect more of a jump here in the next week?

A: It was great. He played a great game, he wasn’t perfect, and we weren’t perfect as a group. The more reps we get, the more live reps we get in a game. I’d say we will have more chemistry and hitting what we’re doing and I’ll know what he is thinking at the same time. We just have to keep practicing the right way and getting on the same page.

Q: Sammy, you were taken off the injury report today. How well would you say you have progressed physically since the injuries?

A: Yeah, I think I’m one hundred percent now. I didn’t get hurt in the last few games and I felt okay. Now it’s time to really unleash, make plays, and get yards after the catch.

C Eric Wood

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Q: How exciting is the sale of the team for the team and for the community as well?

A: It’s great for the team, great for the community. I’ve heard nothing but good things. I look forward to meeting them, but obviously can’t focus a whole lot on that this week with a big game coming up and I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Pegula feel the same way.

Q: Is this a game that people can point to and say that the arrow really is trending up here if you guys can take care of business against New England and go to 4-2?

A: We’re not worried too much about what other people think. We’re trying to go out and get a win this week and that’s all we’re really focused on.

Q: The offense played progressively better last week, what do you think that was a testament too?

A: Sometimes stuff is not working early and you just have to stick with it. Eventually we were just able to get it going.

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