Opening Statement: A few in the crowd in here, huh? I thought we did some good things [in this] first preseason game. It’s nice to see us get off to a good start in the first half. In the second half, [it was kind of] the tale of two halves. The second half, some of our young guys came in and, at times, I thought we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and some dropped passes and poor fundamentals. Those are things that I expect we’ll learn and make adjustments [to] this week in practice. With that, I’ll open it up to your questions. 

Q: Sean, what did you make of Josh [Allen]? It was sort of the ‘big ticket’ thing for the fans. What did you make of his performance in the second half?

A: Yeah, I thought, not looking at the tape obviously, I thought he did some good things. You obviously could feel the energy in the crowd. That first pass, I thought it was a great call by Brian [Daboll]. It was a good throw, good catch, [it was just] out of bounds. There were times and some things he needed to work on, but overall I thought he moved the ball at times and [it was] good to see him in that two-minute drive. That’s valuable experience for him. All three quarterbacks, I think, [led a] touchdown [drive], which was good to see.

Q: Did you get nervous at all with him putting himself at risk at all? He got hit a couple of times, [like] when he made a fourth down play and went all over the place.

A: Yeah, [at] quarterback, you’re going to take some, but hopefully, with his athleticism, he was able to extend some plays, which was good to see as well. You’ve just got to be smart and know when to get rid of it. These guys are big, fast, and physical. I think he’ll learn from the film.

Q: Sean, why was Nate Peterman the starter tonight? Both him and AJ McCarron were rotating [with the one’s], so what made you go with Peterman tonight as opposed to AJ?

A: You know, first of all, all those guys have been great, Nathan, AJ, and Josh [Allen] in terms of communication and the understanding and respecting the situation here. I just felt like it was the right thing to do for us right now. We’ll go back and look at the film, evaluate, and move forward.

Q: Since Nathan was [the starter] tonight, does that mean AJ will be [the starter] for the second preseason game just based on the rotation?

A: Yeah, we’ll see. I understand where you’re going with that. We’ll see [once I] put my eyes on the film and take a good, hard look at it.

Q: You always talk about competition [and] having that at every position. Tonight at quarterback, with Allen and his ability and what he can do overall and having that much competition with all three guys…

A: Yeah, what’s your question?

Q: In terms of what that does for you as a unit, having all three guys and watching that manifest at quarterback tonight.

A: Yeah, it was good to see. Quarterback is such a key position to play. I thought all three guys certainly had things to work on, but to your point, I thought all three did some really good things. As you mentioned earlier, all three of them [led a touchdown drive], which is good from a confidence standpoint, if nothing else. All three moved the ball at times. I liked the energy around all three. That’s one of the pluses coming out of the game.

Q: Coach, [Brian Daboll] said he likes having things multi-dimensional. There’s guys coming on and off, there’s personnel grouping left and right. What did you think of that, just at first blush. Obviously, you had some idea of what Coach was going to do. Just your initial impressions and the functionality of guys getting on and off? [You] didn’t really have any issues substitution-wise.

A: Right, another position here coming out of the game, having eleven on the field. I was asked that a couple days ago [as to] what was one of the important keys. One of the important keys was having eleven on the field because of the substitutions, offensively, defensively, or special teams. That was important from our game management, operations standpoint. To your question, in respect to what he was doing, I liked his feel [and] I liked his rhythm in the first half in particular. Sometimes, that comes with more and more reps and I think Brian is off to a good start as far as that goes. You see him moving with different personnel and whatnot. That [Carolina] is a good defense. I was there, so I know the talent they have on that defense. They have some good players, and it was good to see us move the ball early in the game.

Q: How encouraged were you that you were that varied the first time out and your players handled it?

A: Yeah, very encouraged. That’s kind of one of the games within the game, substitutions, game management. We had a couple situations where we had to burn a couple timeouts; one [was] intentionally, one, I believe, I really didn’t want to burn the timeout. Those are things that we have to clean up, where you want to have three timeouts as much as possible before you go into half or before the end of the game, because they’re so valuable from a time standpoint.

Q: We’ve seen Coach [Bill] Teerlinck in training camp coaching the [defensive line] to get their hands up maybe even more so than we’ve seen starting last year. We’ve seen that kind of manifest itself in practice, and we saw it early in the game tonight when Shaq [Lawson] got his hands up. Can you just talk about the change there or the greater emphasis on that in terms of the pass rush?

A: Yeah, that’s a key. There are a lot of different ways to affect a quarterback and that’s one of them. If you can’t get there you need to get your hands up, and I like what we’re teaching as far as that goes. And you’re right, you see the dividends a little in practice and you see the dividends paid tonight a little bit with knocking some passes down and that’s important. There’s a lot of ways to affect a quarterback, some of which is that vision. If you can’t knock it down you change the arm slot of the quarterback or you get in the vision of the quarterback, so that’s important for us.

Q: Marcus Murphy’s contact balance. He’s built so low to the ground it just seems that even though he’s not a big guy he can still slip through initial hits. What do you see from him and his running style?

A: Competitive. He’s a competitive guy and he’s fun to watch every day at practice. What you saw here tonight is what we see every day at practice. Whether it’s playing special teams or playing the running back position, he’s selfless and a team guy and I really appreciate that and I love the way he played tonight at least at first glance.

Q: It seems like he’s a guy that you line up a little bit of everywhere on offense. What does that kind of bring to you even in the confines of a preseason game where you’re vanilla, but you still want to get things done too?

A: Yeah, I mean part of the preseason, part of training camp, and where we are right now is starting to really try and understand who our guys are, what their strengths are, how we can put them in positions of strength, and how we create certain situations offensively, defensively and on special teams. Part of our to-do list is to find out what every guy does best and put them in positions of strength. 

Q: Coach, the run defense looked good on paper at the end of the game. I know you’ll probably have a better handle on it after watching film, but the run defense initially from your view from the sidelines it looked like you guys were locking things up pretty good.

A: Yeah, I thought so. When you look at the number, I can live with a number, there’s some times there where we weren’t finishing plays enough. And then just making sure that we’re establishing a line of scrimmage on the defensive line; that’s important so that the linebackers and the secondary aren’t affected. We’ll get a better feel for that by looking at the tape. I thought there were times where we established a line of scrimmage and I though there were times where we could’ve done a better job.

Q: Josh [Allen] will get all of the attention, but what did you think of the other first-round pick, Tremaine Edmunds? This is really the first time we have gotten to see him hit somebody.

A: When you play the middle linebacker position you’re so embedded down in there it’s hard to really evaluate. It’s a lot easier to evaluate a quarterback at times just by watching where the ball is. With the middle linebacker does a lot in-between plays getting us lined up. So that’s part of the evaluation and I thought he did a good job there with getting us in and out of the huddle for a young player in his first NFL appearance out here. Didn’t look like it was too big, and I’m sure he’ll want some of those plays back, but overall there’s a lot of plusses there in terms of his performance tonight.

Q: Real quick about Josh tonight. What was the mindset about having him chuck it deep early like that [on his first play]? Was that just first NFL experience, get in there, play the strength?

A: Yeah, you have to love that, right? I think the fans appreciated that. I appreciated it. We’re out there, these guys are having fun and I thought it gave the crowd some juice. I didn’t like the series overall; I think we let them go three-and-out or close to three-and-out after that. I would’ve liked to have seen it completed in-bounds and then maybe we would’ve had even more juice. But I like the aggressiveness of the play call.

Q: Do you like [Allen’s] overall mentality, like even on a third-and-twenty, just sling it and hope for the best?

A: If it’s a completion, yeah.

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