Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Opening Comments: Here’s guys that we’re projecting not to practice today; Charles Clay, knee, Cyrus Kouandjio, ankle, Patrick Lewis, knee, Sammy Watkins, foot. All these players we think will be limited in practice; Colt Anderson, foot, Ronald Darby, hamstring, Cordy Glenn, ankle, (Marquise) Goodwin, toe, Greg Salas, groin, Aaron Williams, ankle and Kyle Williams, toe. Those guys will be limited. Alright, fire away please.

Q: Rex, are you concerned about the Kouandjio situation?

A: Yeah, we’re concerned because he does have an ankle and things. We actually signed a young man today—is that that thing out yet? Okay, what’s his name? I’ll never forget, ‘oh what’s his name.’  Yeah, so we got that dude. So we’re a little concerned with it.

Q: Is there some progress with Cordy Glenn? The fact that you expect him to be limited is probably a good sign.

A: Yeah, I think so. The fact that he is limited I think is better than being out.

Q: Do you think that he’ll be able to play?

A: Yeah, I’m hopeful.

Q: Rex you addressed this the other day where you won but Tyrod threw for only 119 yards, which generally isn’t going to be enough to win this league. What do you have to do to jump-start this passing offense?

A: We’re going to run a 9-7-3 combination. We’re going to—no. It starts (with) obviously we need to protect the quarterback and against this group—I think they sacked us one time eight times last year if I’m not mistaken—so I think you got to start with protection first and then we’ll try to get into finding some matchups we like and all that. But I think you’ve got to protect our quarterback first and if we do that, I think we’ll be okay.

Q: How do you feel with who you have at the wide receiver position with the injuries?

A: No, we have some good players still outside. If Sammy—Sammy’s probably a different kind of receiver—but we still have some good receivers I think.

Q: How concerned are you with who plays quarterback for the Patriots?

A: I think where you have to be aware of the differences, especially like, we’re kidding (Julian) Edelman but if he’s in the game, then you probably have to approach him a little different. It’s not that he’s never played quarterback, he was a quarterback, so you got to be aware of it. Obviously they’ll probably have more run-pass option type stuff than you might have with some of the other guys but they’re going to tailor to the strength of their players like they always do.

Q: Does LeGarrette Blount and stopping the run game become a bigger part of it than if Tom Brady were on the field?

A: Well I think you need to step up and stop the run against him, he’s one of the league leaders I think now running the football. Seems like they’re committed to running the ball more than they have in the past so obviously we have to do a good job stopping him.

Q: You have to feel pretty confident with your defense going in against a backup quarterback, right? More confident than you’d be if Brady were playing.

A: I’ll say that’s a true statement. Yeah, you’ve got the best quarterback in the history and then—these guys are good but I don’t know if they’ll rank quite up there with Tom Brady, so yeah, I would. And I’ll tell you what though, my sources tell me that Babe Parilli (former Boston Patriots quarterback) is going to be the quarterback and if he is, he doesn’t move the way he used to and I’d be very confident, so we’ll see what happens there.

Q: I think we talked about this last year but the differences between you and the Patriots way, (Bill) Belichick was on a conference call and all he said was it’s all about Buffalo. (Julian) Edelman was on a conference call and said, “nothing about the past,” and yet you have, I guess, the courage or whatever to go on the speaker phone and ask Edelman a question and just kind of joke around. I mean the differences between the two…

A: Well obviously his style works a hell of a lot better than my style, so I’ll give him that. But you know what? I learned a long time ago, you got to be yourself in this league and that wouldn’t have worked. If I tried to be like Bill Belichick that would never work for me, just like, not that he ever would, but if he’s going to try to be like somebody else, that ain’t going to work for him. And so, at least one thing we have in common is the fact that we know you better be yourself in this league and look, I think it’s hilarious when he’s on there because that’s who he is but it’s great and he does it better than anybody else. Some guys that try to copy that style, they’re phonies. Belichick does it, that’s who he is. (Gregg) Popovich is probably the closest thing in the NBA. Like those guys are classics but that’s who they are and they’re fantastic and I think the record speaks for itself but you talk about a consistent guy, Bill Belichick is the most consistent guy there is and I try to be consistent, albeit in a much different way.

Q: It’s not lost on us that you were more low-key last week, especially last Wednesday.

A: I was still myself, I think just part of it. This week, look guys, we know who we’re playing. When you look at the ESPN deal, I think they’re ranked number one—I don’t know. Like I said, they’re number two, but I don’t think we’re ranked number one so—look, we know the task is going to be a big one. The quarterback thing, yeah you got to be prepared and you actually have to be prepared for three different guys. They’re no dummies, they’re leaving it out there, they can know who it is, I get it. They’re certainly not going to do us any favors.

Q: You said on the radio you think you know who’s going to play quarterback.

A: I still do. Yup, I sure do.

Q: Can you tell us?

A: Nope.

Q: Why?

A: Because if I’m wrong it’ll be like, ‘oh, he wasn’t right. What a shock.’

Q: Ten sacks so far this season. How do you keep that up?

A: I don’t know, we just got to keep going. Sacks happen when you get leads in games and a lot of them will happen in fourth quarters, same thing with interceptions. That’s the way things usually work. Our guys are doing a good job of rushing the passer. I think they’re coordinated, they’re all competing, sometimes they realize it’s not about one guy, it’s about the whole group and I think they’re doing a good job of that.

Q: So Rex, you know who this guy is in your mind and won’t reveal it, that’s fine, but do you have to commit a practice plan to that guy or are there enough differences between the three guys that investing one practice plan to one guy can be risky?

A: Well no, it’s not going to be necessarily focused on one. Obviously with Edelman you’re going to have a different attack obviously that you have to prepare for and then you have to prepare for—the quarterbacks, the passing game is the passing game. New England hasn’t changed their passing attack, so all that stays the same. The rushing attack, let’s just say there’s going to be more options and all that stuff. They got an issue too because you think we got to prepare for the option? How about them? Our guy’s the fastest quarterback in the league regardless of who’s back there for them.

Q: Rex, he didn’t play a whole lot last game but Adolphus (Washington), where is this kid as a rookie who’s starting in your defense?

A: I think he’s playing well. He’s not going to put up a bunch of stats because we put different guys in to rush the passer for him but that’s something I think he can do, it’s just we prefer to keep him fresh and rotating guys in there but I think he’s playing pretty well for us.

Q: The main contribution or thing he’s being asked to do is what?
A: Is playing base downs and I think that’s really the way we’re playing him right now.

Q: You have Charles Clay targeted twice, no catches the other day. He showed up on the injury report most of the season. Is it health, gameplan, or something else leading to that lack of production?
A: Well I think some of it, like they rolled their coverage to him a lot this past week, so that was something that we saw. He’s a talent so you’ve got to make sure people are going to attack him certain ways but we’d like to get him the football. With that being said, we’d like to get him the ball more and I think we have the game pretty well in hand a little bit where maybe he would have gotten more targets had the game played out a little differently.

Q: What difference did you see in LeSean McCoy? He almost doubled his season total from the first two games.
A: I thought we did some unique things. We were multiple in what we did, ran the ball inside with him, had some traps, had some sweeps, had some different things. And, you know, Shady can do it all. I thought we did a good job at mixing it.

Q: And what about the way Anthony Lynn has been coaching Shady going back to when he first got him with the losing the weight stuff and philosophies there?
A: LeSean wants to be as good as he can be and that was something that he really focused on in the offseason. And it’s a long stretch these games, but we want him healthy and obviously he’s one of our best players and a lot of the attention is put to stop him, and it will be this week too.

Q: How sustainable is that just having Anthony, you know it was his first game out of the box and it went incredibly well. But how sustainable is the plan as teams are obviously focused on what you did?
A: I think we have a good plan. I mean we do have a plan. We’re multiple in what we do. We can attack you differently in the running game and obviously our passing attack, we think—you know, we haven’t had a whole lot of success this year in our passing attack. You know we’ve thrown some deep balls, which is good, but we’ve got to be more consistent I think in the passing game.

Q: What would it mean to beat Belichick at this stage when you’re embattled to go and beat him there?
A: Yeah, I just hope to find out. You know, if we win the game, then ask me the question after the game and I’ll let you know.

Q: Has Colton Schmidt been punting the ball the way you hoped? Maybe he had some shorter ones, and I know there’s gameplan and specific things that go into that, but how would you assess that?
A: Well I’d say he’s done a good job with us. This past game through, I don’t know what happened. It wasn’t his best performance but we do lead the league in punt return…I don’t know what it is. Somebody come up with it. You guys know what it is. Average. So we’ve done a good job sometimes kicking the ball out of bounds and pinning guys to the sideline. That’ll be important this week obviously with the two returners, really three returners that they have. All average over 10 yards a return, so that’ll be important.

Q: How does getting the win after the change in coordinators lift a team?
A: Well I thought that our mood in the locker room and everything else—like we believe that we’re a better football team than our record. But it was important to the fact that man, you didn’t want to drop another game. You’ve got to get better and the preparation and all the hard work and everything else on a practice field, you know, the commitment you see outside of meetings like other things that they do, you know, have been impressive. But it’s got to show up and I think it’s great that it did show up.

Q: What makes it so tough to stop Legarrette Blount at this stage in his career?
A: Just a big, mean, physical back. That’s how he runs, that’s how he’s always run.

Q: Is it fair to say that your defense is doing more with less than last year, on paper talent?
A: I like the talent that we have. I think our guys have, you know, we put together a talented team. I believe that.

Q: Are you guys smarter defensively?
A: I think we’re playing smarter and that could be a combination of a lot of things. Number one thing is, not that it—well I’ll say it. I think the commitment from our players has been great. And I love the way that the players, coaches, everybody’s interacting. We have plans, we study. This group is studying a great deal. They study, like I said, after hours. They’re studying. They’re here all the time. Gym rat type guys. We want to be good. They’ve committed to each other to be good. And that’s why I think we’ll be a better defense this year.

Q: Is it tougher to stop an offense that spreads the ball out like the Patriots?  As opposed to a team that targets a receiver 10-15 times a game?
A: Depends on who that receiver is. If you’ve got Antonio Brown or someone like that, I’ll stop the team that spreads you out. I’d rather do that. But I think they’re all difficult. I think the talent in the National Football League is—I mean these quarterbacks are accurate. The receivers are fast, big. Every week it’s a challenge.

Q: How do you change your approach not knowing who’s at quarterback?
A: I just think you’ve got to—they’re going to have to game plan specific for the quarterback so we understand that and, you know, we’ll be prepared. It may take a little more time than normally what it would, but I’d rather do that than face Tom Brady. So I’m ok with it.

Q: What’s your reaction to Tim Tebow hitting a home run in his first at bat on the first pitch?
A: First pitch? Man, that’s great for him. I mean it really is. He’s a good kid, I really liked him. It’s funny because we used to talk baseball all the time. As all of you know I was a great baseball player. Nah, just kidding. But I do love baseball but he played on a team, they won the state championship and I think he had two first round picks on his team. But I think he was, as my understanding was, he thought he was the best player on his team. Man, you know darn well he would never say that so I don’t want to throw that in.

RB LeSean McCoy
Wednesday September 28, 2016

Q: Obviously the running game was working great last week, but as you move forward how important is it going to be to get this passing game going for it to be complementary?
A: Yeah, well I think the biggest thing is we got the running game going so, I’m sure there will be teams that will come out here and stop it and when you do that you kinda add an extra guy in the box. They put more emphasis on stopping the run in practice for the whole week, so we’ll have opportunities to get guys one-on-one match ups. Get guys over the top, so that’s one of the things, you call it as the game gets going. As you get the flow of the game we’ll give them similar looks and we’ll take some shots deep.

Q: Bill Belichick likes to take away a team’s best option, best weapon; would you expect him to do that against you this week?
A: Yeah they’re a team that’s been very well coached for a long time. I mean Belichick’s one of the best for sure so he’ll have a pretty good game plan for sure. As the offense we’ve got to go out there and execute. I think he’ll make adjustments he’ll bring things out we haven’t seen and we’ll bring some new things out that they haven’t seen so it will be one of those types of games. I think with this game something that will be big is just the management of the ball. Management of the ball, throwing the field. Them not having their top guy out there on defense they’ll do a lot of unique types of looks, blitzes, but you know as offense we’re gonna have to put points up. I think the more points we put up, puts a lot more pressure on that offense.

Q: How much did you feel a bit of your young self, last weekend?
A: I think just different plays, giving me the ball deep let me be able to use my vision and read the blocks and get more one-on-one opportunities. Coach Lynn did a great job at making some different calls for me and we showed a lot of different things. I think it was with the option and the guys up front, man they really sold out and blocked very well so that gave us the difference.

Q: LeSean you said with giving you the deeper sets and helping you will vision, are some of those basic principles really in place to make it more sustainable for you to do what you’ve done? I know you adjust to appointment, but do you see that as a fundamental change that can work well beyond just one game?
A: Yeah for sure. I think that when you get the ball deep and in the I, you can do some different things off the I set. Even with throwing the ball, play action when you have some success throwing the ball the defense; they see that. They prepare for that and then you just kinda add on as it goes. You develop passes, you develop more runs, but you also give the running back a chance to decide if he wants to go inside, outside, bounce. You know, however you feel. That’s why I’ve always like that better, and we also do a good job with mixing it up. Some in this direction, some up the middle, we actually have some plays going lateral, so it all is about what you do and how you play it.

Q: What would it mean to get to 2-2 as the launching pad for the rest of the year?
A: Well for sure I would think it would just be excellent to go out there and get a win, be 2-2. It’s a tough start of the year, I mean the good thing about this league is that it’s a long season and history shows that a lot of teams have started slow and ended hot, so it’s a matter of just going out there and getting this win each game at a time. This is a divisional game, so it’s definitely a big game for us. We’ve got a tough task ahead of us, it’s a good team; well coached team, prepared team, so we’ll just see how it goes.

Q: Does it mean anything know that Arizona was probably going to come in to stop the run, you know given that Sammy (Watkins) wasn’t on the field and the fact that you guys put up more than 200 yards?
A: I mean, when you look at talent across the board for a team like that; they’re one of the most talented defenses that we’ve seen for sure. We just had a good day. I think our assignments were perfect. I think the guys out front, the guys outside and Tyrod (Taylor) and myself, we won our one-on-one battles. You know, we just played well together so I think that means a lot, but that doesn’t mean too much if we go out there and land eight, so you know it was a good win, but that week’s done, so we’ve got a whole new game plan, new team and they’re different. They play very well together, they play tough, so it’s another good team.

Q: LeSean would say in light of this past week where the changes had been made to the offense and for the defense for that matter, plus you see New England winning with a quarterback that’s not Tom Brady and a rookie quarterback, how important has coaching come into the equation especially in your case, your teams case and your case individually. Does it show how important coaching is in this league?
A: Oh for sure. I think you always need players to win, but coaching it goes a long way. Like what you just said; you only have the guys that you have and you’ve got a find a way to get these guys to play at the highest level, you’ve gotta put them in position to make plays, put them in position that they’re comfortable with, simplify the offense, or simplify the game plan for them and let them loose. I think if you have a player that’s thinking, he’s not sure, you know the rookies you talked about I’m sure they’re out there just playing. They’re thinking, they’re making it simple for them and they’re just going and the coach is big. If you can get a coach that can do that, that’s the difference between the good coaches and the bad coaches.

Q: In that way, how much did Anthony Lynn help you? You talk about him wanting you to lose weight and him wanting you to play lighter as you get older.
A: Yeah. Well, Coach Lynn is good at that. We’ve talked even before he was the OC (offensive coordinator) about different things he would do and how he would do it and this last game plan was excellent. He was cutting out plays a lot. A big dramatic volume of offense. He made it simple, left it at so the players could showcase their talent and let them go, let them loose. And there wasn’t a lot of thinking, just more playing. There were opportunities that we missed, opportunities that I missed and it could have been an even bigger day for us. But it’s a good thing that he’s letting us have that other option, just let us go. Not having as much volume at offense, letting these playmakers play.

QB Tyrod Taylor
September 28, 2016

Q: Bill Belichick likes to take away what a team does best, for you guys it’s the running game; do you expect him to make some plays that forces you to lean on the passing game more?
A: Definitely, like you said the Patriots definitely do a good job of taking away what you do well and them forcing me to have to stay in the pocket is definitely something that we have in mind when thinking of the game plan this week, so we have to be better at the execution. We look forward to going out there and accepting the challenge.

Q: Do you recall them last mixing a lot, somewhat, not so much, and if so can you explain?
A: They mix it up and definitely we’re anticipating them mixing it up this time around too.

Q: In order to win this week with the tough start, what would winning this week mean?
A: It would definitely be big for us. Each week is definitely a big opportunity for us to take a step in the right direction and getting a win on the road first time this year would definitely be big for us. We’re putting in the work. Still dialing away at the game plan. Guys are still trying to get better, still trying to get better from last week, but definitely looking forward to the challenge we have ahead of us.

Q: You’ve got one week now where you and Anthony (Lynn) have worked together with him at OC and you obviously at quarterback, is there an advantage going forward now that you’ve got that first week done. Is it going to be easier now going forward every week?
A: Each week is definitely going to bring its own challenges. Us having a week under our belt as far as being together with him as the play caller, definitely getting more comfortable with each other. Running what we like to do best and what he feels is best for our offense. We’re just taking it day-by-day trying to get better and learning together.

Q: It’s no secret that visiting headsets up there have had issues do you guys, with Coach Lynn being new to the communication game have something in place in the event that that doesn’t work?
A: For sure, yes. I mean it’s a good thing that I wear a wrist band, but each week we go into the mindset of the game as if something happens we can just go off the wrist bands and the signal will come from the sidelines. We’re prepared for that to happen.

Q: One of the things that was mentioned on the radio this week is that you want to keep your eyes more down field especially in the pocket more often instead of going outside, where do you think that is going to be incorporated as part of you game?
A: I’m just doing whatever it takes to get a win. Can I be better? Yes. We can be better, and I can be better personally, but we’re doing whatever it takes to win.

Q: What did you think of the tempo of this past weekend?
A: I think the tempo was a good one for us. I think we changed it up sometimes, we went no huddle a couple times in the first half and was able to get a score out of one of the drops.

Q: About when do you make your mind up about the play? Is it really when you kinda have to make that split decision or is it you have it in your head before the ball is snapped because you’re kinda reading somebody, kinda walk us threw that?
A: Some of the time it happens in the last second. It’s hard to predetermine when you’re gonna pull those. It’s strictly off your read key. Some teams so play it, so it affects how quickly you can read that mesh. It’s definitely something that you can’t predetermine.

Q: Is that something you would like to continue to do using the offense going forward because how effective do you think that was?
A: I think we have the weapons to make that play work especially with the guys we have in the back field and the dynamic receivers we have on the edge I definitely think we have the players to make that work.

Q: Its more of a dangerous calling plays like that, there’s more danger in making sure that you have the danger in how teams around the league view it, there’s still danger though?
A: Yeah I mean it’s high risk, high reward too, so you gotta pick and choose when you call those that you got to understand the consequences if it goes bad as well.

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