Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Did not participate: Scott Chandler with an illness. Limited participation: Dan Carpenter with a groin, Duke Williams is still going through the concussion protocol, Jarius Wynn with a knee, Chris Gragg with a knee, Da’Norris Searcy with a hamstring, Stephon Gilmore with a shoulder and CJ Spiller with a shoulder. Full participation: Boobie Dixon with a chest.

Q: How did CJ Spiller look today?

A: I’m not going sit up here and say he didn’t look good. He looked good, but he’s still working his way back into the football part of it.

Q: Will it be a challenge for him mentally to take that first hit?

A: I’m sure he’s preparing himself for that, but he’s been eager to get back on this field for a while. My conversations with him prior to this upcoming week, he was excited to play so I’m sure he’s gone through that.

Q: What’s your sense of what your offensive line has done up to this point?

A: I think, obviously, we have to get better. There’s been times in games where there’s been spurts where you think, ‘Okay, here we go. We’ve finally got it going,’ but there’s been a setback, for whatever reasons. Those guys will continue to work hard. We need to challenge them this week. We’ve got a tough challenge going against Oakland’s front. We’ve got to be able to respond well and play with that consistency that they need, where people will say, ‘Hey, you know what? Those guys are doing a good job.’

Q: You have a lot of guys on the roster who have gotten second chances. Is that reflective of what you believe?

A: I think it could change. I think, sometimes, it can work either way for you. I think Jerry Hughes is one of the best examples. I think sometimes change lets things happen. A lot of times, usually after the first time, let’s say things don’t work out for a player, they either learn or they don’t. I think it changes from player to player, but generally that’s what I think.. Then, all of the sudden, when that light goes on, you can get yourself a pretty good football player on your active roster. I think it’s case-by-case for the most part, but generally you only have a certain amount of time to show what you can do. Once you get the stigma of not being able to play on one team and then go to another team and not be able to play, it becomes difficult.

Q: Are you more aware that some of the issues are just mistakes guys made when they were teenagers in college?

A: There’s always that possibility. Like I’ve said before, I think you have to do your homework and I think it has to be addressed with the player one-on-one. I think there has to be a greater sense of structure of what’s expected and what will not be tolerated moving forward.

Q: Was the off-the-field stuff the biggest obstacle you saw from Bacarri Rambo making the team?

A: Doug [Whaley] and I talk about it quite a bit; of what’s going on. Then, we try to do our research with the schools and things of that nature just to make sure. We want to get all of that information first. We try to make the best decision for our team, for the organization. It doesn’t always come down to just talent. I’d be lying if I said we don’t look at things like that and take that into consideration.

Q: What have you seen from Seantrel Henderson and what has he done so well?

A: It’s well documented of why he was a seventh rounder. Obviously, he’s not a seventh round type of talent. I think everyone understands that. He’s played extremely well. Now you see he plays right tackle, but the league has changed so much, where you can get dominant pass rushers on that side. He’s played against the Cameron Wake’s, the Von Miller’s, the Julius Peppers’. He’s played against those players and has played well. He’s continuing to get better. The only concern I had was him being able to get through the season, because he really didn’t play a lot of games last year at Miami. He’s done a good job of holding up. I don’t think he’s even been on the injury report, to my knowledge. He’s going under-the-radar because of where he was drafted.

Q: How have things been going with him off the field? 

A: So far everything is going well. I just think it’s something that you always have to be aware of. I don’t think you can ever put it away. I just think that you’ve got to keep educating, keep reminding and make sure that they’re accountable. That’s what we try to do with myself as the head coach and the assistant coaches. Paul Lancaster does a good job. It’s on all of us to keep educating. It’s no different than what the NFL has done with the whole league.

Q: What makes the defensive line click together so well?

A: What makes it so difficult to defend those players is that they have both strength and speed. That’s the combination where they can beat you multiple ways; with power moves or speed moves. I think that when you have that capability and when you possess that talent, you can cause an opponent a problem, just like other people we’ve played have done that to us.

Q: How much does their good chemistry help them?

A: I think it helps quite a bit. I really do. I think that you see a group of guys that keep each other accountable, that are playing at a high level, that have high expectations of how that unit should perform. I think all of those things go into the group playing well. The rotation has helped us too.

Q: Is it easier to play sometimes when you have nothing on the line and no pressure?

A: Our focus is on ourselves. We need to get better. We haven’t played that complete game that we’re looking for, so we’re striving for that. I know I’ve been other places where we’ve been out of it late. The places I’ve been that hasn’t been the case. Once you have that name on your jersey, the pride kicks in. We’re all professionals. You guys have heard all that. I’m concerned to make sure that we’re getting better. We’ve made mistakes and need to clean those things up and continue to get better in certain areas, which will give us a better chance to win and compete.

Q: What are your thoughts on Khalil Mack?

A: He’s got a lot of tackles for loss, makes a lot of plays in the backfield. He was a good pass rusher to begin with, but you see how he’s maturing just by experience and coming along. He’s becoming one of those players, even for us, when we go into the game, we’ve got to watch where our matchups are with him.

QB Kyle Orton

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: Talk about the position this team has put itself in given its lengthy drought and the excitement that it’s generated in this town.

A: I don’t know about the drought, but I’m excited to have a chance. I’m excited to be where we’re at. I’m excited to be winning football games and there’s nothing better than coming down the last couple of weeks knowing that you have to win.

Q: You must’ve had starts and games played in Oakland. Is there anything different about playing in that stadium? Is it an intimidating place to play?

A: There’s a lot of history there. Fun to play there. Mr. Davis really…revolutionary guy if you go all the way back to everything he did in this league…a revolutionary guy in this league and I certainly appreciate that fact.

Q: What do you appreciate about him? His passing game concepts?

A: Everything…just his approach to his team. Branding his team. Some of the things that he did as a coach before. I just think he’s a great football mind.

Q: Have you given much…I’m sure you have looked at video and seen Khalil Mack some…As far as a pass rusher, what do you see from him? Where does he come from?

A: Behind the end of the line of scrimmage and they like to bring him as the fifth man quite a bit. He’s got good matchups against running backs, he’s got good matchups against tight ends and certainly has pass moves to beat D-Tackles as well so he’ll be a big part of the game plan.

Q: He comes from both sides typically? Weak side? Strong side?

A: Yeah. He’s all over.

Q: Where do you feel this offense is at right now going into this game on Sunday?
A: Really just the same thing; a weekly battle to improve and improve consistency and that starts with me.  It’s our job to score points and we’ve got to do a better job at that and that means that I’ve got to do better, so I’ll work as hard as I can to get my own game and to get this offense where they need to be.

Q: The potential of having C.J. (Spiller) back: what could that mean for you?
A:  It’s huge. Obviously everybody knows he’s an explosive player, a dynamic player, good in the receiving game and in the running game so we’re excited to have him back.

LB Nigel Bradham

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: You might be experiencing a polar opposite with respect to the quarterback. You go from one of the best in the league to one of the rookies, neophytes in the NFL that doesn’t have a whole lot of experience. How do you go from one to the other in the span of a week and still play your same game?
A: You definitely can’t sleep on him. (Derek) Carr is good quarterback. He’s hot and he’s going to be a great quarterback in this league. He’s learning. Like you said, he’s a young guy and of course he made some mistakes…rookie mistakes like we all do so you have a guy like that back there who has potential, you never know what you’re going to get. He made some great throws too.

Q: Is that part of the reason you have to play him straight up because one week he’s making plays and the other, he seems to be struggling. He’s kind of a roller coaster so you don’t know what you’re going to get from him.

A: Right and they’ve got the run game going for him to help him out so taking a lot of pressure off him so we pretty much just have to make him one dimensional and try to pressure the quarterback like we’ve been doing all season.

Q: You haven’t been to the “Black Hole,” have you?

A: This will be my first time there. I heard a lot about it. I heard it’s crazy, but it can’t be nothing like the Ralph.

DT Marcell Dareus

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: What makes the front four so successful?

A: I guess it’s the guys they have. The guys they put with each other. Me, Jerry, Kyle, Mario and even the guys…Stefan Charles, Corbin Bryant. It’s the room. The mentality we go about playing the game. We just love it.

Q: Is there competition among you? To be there and make the play in like a friendly type of bond.  Is there internal competition?
A: Everywhere I’ve been in football, it seemed like there was internal competition on the D-Line but here we wanted to change that. Mario will get a sack. Jerry will get a sack. Anybody who can get a sack or make a play, we’re so happy for them because we can’t wait to get a sack and make a play as well and we want you to be just excited as I was when you got your play because if we’re all excited about making a play, as long as we’re making a play. I’m just as happy as anybody so…and the plays when you’re not against each other.

Q: Is that the key to having a successful defense? Playing for a singular goal?

A: That’s success anywhere in life. If you get a group of guys together and you’re all playing for one common goal, how can’t you be successful? To me, that’s like communication. We’re on the same page.  Nine times out of ten, you get it right.

RB Fred Jackson

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: How much fun is it for you guys to have this kind of opportunity in front of you to go out and win a couple games and really give yourselves a shot here?

A: It’s a lot of fun. It’s what we suit up for. It’s what we play this game for…to get into the playoffs and win a championship. Hopefully we can take care of our business and some things fall our way for us, but what we have to do is continue to win games. Focus on Oakland this week. We get to travel out to their house..  They’re going to be ready for us and not going to roll over for us so we have to come out, match their intensity, and try to get a win.

Q: What is it going to take to get the offense back on track being very productive again?
A: We have to get that running game going. We get a weapon back for us this week in C.J. (Spiller).  We get him going. We get myself going. That opens up some play action…allows Sammy (Watkins) to work safeties. Get Rob (Woods) involved in the game. If we do that on offense, our defense has been playing well all season and that gives us a good opportunity to win a game.

Q: What are you saying to your younger guys about…(staying humble)?

A: That’s the number one thing we have to do. We have a team…you look at them on paper, they’re not that good but if you watch them on film, they’re making plays. They beat two good teams…in I don’t know…the past two weeks. They’ve beaten Kansas City. They’ve beaten San Francisco…in the last three weeks. You have to be ready for them. They’re a team that’s going to come out fighting and do what they can to win a football game and we have to be ready for them.

S Bacarri Rambo

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: Considering how long it took is there a thought or realization that this may be the last chance to play in the NFL with this team?
A:  I don’t know. I’m just going out there and playing every down like it’s my last down. I’m going to give it all I got each down so I can’t be the judge of that. I just put everything in God’s hands.

Q: What did you do that was so bad that teams would give up on a guy with your talent? The whole league.

A: I don’t know. I’m not asking questions. I’m just thankful and blessed to be here with the Buffalo Bills and I’m just very thankful and blessed for the opportunity that they gave me. The second chance.

Q: What do you think led to the release from Washington? You started three games last year, right?

A: I guess I gave up too many big plays and I wasn’t participating in special teams. I can’t really answer that question. You’d have to talk to the general manager. All I know is I’m happy I’m here with the Buffalo Bills and I’m thankful and I’m just going to play and have fun here.

LB Brandon Spikes

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: What have you seen from Derek Carr and their offense?  What challenges do they present?

A: I think he’s been doing well over the weeks, he’s been doing better.  Making better decisions.  The ground attack the last few weeks, they’ve been doing well with that too.  They’re very big up front.  Physical and they’ve rocking off the ball so that’s definitely going to be a challenge for us to get that run stopped and make them one dimensional.

Q: With so much on the line, how do you guys avoid scoreboard watch and staying focused on the field?

A: I think it’s a little bit much for the veteran players who have been around a while.  Any given Sunday…it’s kind of the same thing when everybody counted us out against the Packer and we opened some eyes but we just have to keep pushing, keep grinding, and try to get better every single day and control what we can control.  You can’t really control what the media’s saying or any of that stuff.  All we can control is what we control and that’s doing our jobs and paying attention to detail and trying to focus on the small things to help us get the victory on Sundays.

Q: How you figured out the scenarios? There’s about 20 of them.

A: No.  Not really but like I said, I just try to keep it simple.  Have fun.  We’re playing a game we all love since when we were little kids.  Just to have that opportunity, we’re grateful of that.

RB C.J. Spiller

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: What do you think about your possibility of you having a chance to play on Sunday?
A: I feel good.  I’ll see how the rest of the week goes.

Q: Do you have a say in it?  Do you consult with coach?

A: I’m pretty sure they’ll consult with me and see how I feel and we’ll make a decision.

Q: Was today about carrying your pads a little bit?  I saw you had your pads on at the beginning of practice and then you took them off.  Was it just about getting used to the weight on your body or what was that? 

A: Yeah, just getting used to it again.  It’s been two months since I’ve had them on so I just wanted to see what it felt like to put them back.

Q: When you were hurt, this is what you were hoping for that you’d get a chance to play in meaningful games..  Knowing that that’s the case, how much is that driving you toward looking at Sunday?
A: Obviously that does drive me a bit harder but at the same time, I have to be smart about it.

Q: What’s going to be the determining factor?  What makes a difference of whether you play or not?

A: How I feel.

WR Sammy Watkins

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: Being overconfident for a two win team that you’re probably supposed to beat whether the game was there or here or on the moon…

A: Yeah, I watch film and they don’t look like a 2-10 team.  They have a good defense that comes out and plays hard and we going to have to be prepared.

Q: Is it different for this team to be in the spot of not being over confident?  To go into a game where you are clearly the superior team?

A: Yeah, most definitely.  We have to really humble ourselves because they beat good teams.  They beat San Fran and Kansas City. So we have to come out and be ready because they are a sneaky team.  They’ve been playing good ball but they haven’t been finishing teams, but I’ve been watching film on their defense.  They have a good defensive line.  Their linebackers that fly around.  Their cornerbacks; they’re going to challenge you.  They’re not somebody that you can just run by and beat for 90 yards.  They compete.

Q: Have you looked at all at the playoff situations?  I know you guys have to take care of your business first but are you aware of what else needs to happen for you to get in?
A: No, I’m not aware at all.  The only thing we can do is just win out and let everything else control itself.  We just have to keep playing hard and we just have to beat the Raiders and go off to New England.

S Aaron Williams

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: Is it hard to get a read on this team because of their inconsistency?  If you look at their two Chiefs games, they kill them the one game and they get killed in the second.  Does that make it hard to get a reading on them?
A: No.  Not at all.  We’re not looking for how consistent this team has been.  We’re looking at what would they have been doing and what kind of big plays have gone to the point where they’ve scored touchdowns and what mistakes they’ve made.  Regardless of what kind of momentum they’ve had coming in, consistent or not, we’ve got to be to ready regardless.  We don’t want to underestimate this team with Derek Carr.  He still makes the throws that he can and the receivers still get open so as long as we do our job, everything should be fine.

Q: After the last couple of weeks, are you guys licking your chops about the idea of going against the rookie at quarterback?
A: No.  Not at all.  We’re excited to up against a young guy but at the same time, once again, we’re not looking at the past in his athleticism and what he can do.  He’s out there for a reason.  If he didn’t make plays and control his team, I don’t think Oakland would’ve started him.

Q: When he’s at his best, what are some of the things that you’ve noticed him doing well?
A: Controlling the game.  Game management.  Time management.  Having guys under control.  He’s actually made a few checks at the line of scrimmage to where he reads the defense pretty well.  We have to mix up our disguises and the coverage and cough…mess around with him pre-snap.

C Eric Wood

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Q: You, among others, have had to keep it together.  Just talk about the big picture and the challenge of the first fourteen games.

A: We just keep striving to get better each week no matter who’s in there and luckily, knock on wood, we’ve had some luck with injuries after Chris (Williams) went down, we haven’t had any since and that helps but we just look to keep getting better each week and just keep trying to improve.

Q: What is it like to be playing meaningful football here late in December?

A: It feels good.  We have to continue to do things like we always have this year.  Keep preparing.  Keep striving to get better each week but it definitely makes these games a lot more interesting.

Q: What do you think about the rookie Khalil Mack?

A: I think he looks good.  He looks as advertise.  Quick, strong, explosive and just a good player on their defense for sure.

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