Head Coach Doug Marrone
Monday, September 29, 2014

Q: Injuries?
A: Scott Berchtold: The injuries from yesterday are the same three that we announced during the game. Nigel [Bradham] and Kyle [Williams] both had knee injuries. Both had MRIs. We don’t know any more at this point, other than the fact that they had MRIs. Ron Brooks had a shoulder.

Opening Statement
A: Obviously, as a head coach you have to evaluate everything and, at the end of the day, you’ve got to make the right decisions with your mind, with your heart and things like that. The one thing is that when you go to bed at night you have to make sure that you’re making the best decisions to help our football team win. In saying that, we’re going to make a change at quarterback. Kyle Orton will go in there. When you make a change at quarterback, the one thing that I hope we all understand is that it’s not all EJ’s fault, but we need to get better production out of that position. We have to make adjustments. We’ve got to make some changes because we can’t keep going in the direction that we’re going. The one thing I’ve said before, and you guys have heard me, is we need to get better every week. If we’re not then the onus goes on me, as the leader, to make changes that can help our team win.

Q: What does this mean for EJ Manuel’s career?
A: I think there are things that are going on right now that we discussed today that gives him a chance to just step back for a moment and look at things that we can work on and correct. Again, he’ll have to have some thick skin through this and you’ve got to fight. That’s what usually happens in life. To get what you want, you’re going to have to fight for it. I think that he’ll be able to grow. I think that he’ll be able to handle it well, from my conversation with him. And he’ll be able to continue to grow as a quarterback.

Q: Barring injury, is Kyle your starting quarterback for the rest of the season?
A: Kyle Orton is our starting quarterback right now and he’s going to go in there and play. I don’t know if Seantrel Henderson is the starting right tackle for the rest of the season or things like that. That’s a very difficult question to answer. I don’t want to answer that question of saying, ‘Hey, Kyle Orton can go out there and if he has a bad game are we going to pull him?’ We’re going to give him an opportunity to go in there and play.

Q: What went wrong for EJ?
A: I think, again, it wasn’t all his fault. I think that when you look at it, we just need more overall production from that position.. There are things that you can point to and we all have to do a better job.

Q: What are the things fundamentally or otherwise that you need to see from EJ before he goes back in there?
A: Like I said, it’s going to be some time. We have to work with him. I don’t want to get into specifics with that. Obviously, it’s a difficult situation right now. We have spoken to him about it and we’ll get to work on those things.

Q: At what point did you realize that you had an issue at quarterback? Is this a move you anticipated making after bringing in Kyle?
A: We were going to bring a veteran quarterback in earlier. That was a decision that was made even last year when we were looking to see where Thad [Lewis] was and where that backup quarterback position was. That move was done before. Then I think what happened was I came in today, looked at the tape and then made a decision. Like I said before, we have to make a decision or I have to make the decision that gives us the best opportunity to win. At the end of the day that’s what I have to do, no matter what position it is.

Q: Where is Kyle at, having been here a month?
A: He’s ready to go.

Q: How did players respond to EJ’s first four games and how have they responded to this decision?
A: Just to give you a little insight, I spoke with EJ first. Then I spoke to Coach [Nathaniel] Hackett, Coach [Todd] Downing. I talked to the staff and then I talked to Kyle and then I talked to the captains. And I’ll address it to the team on Wednesday.

Q: How heavily does this weigh on you since you claimed that you guys were ‘All In’ with EJ and now you’re making a switch after four games?
A: Every player that we have and we put out there we’re all in with, at every position. When you look at it, we’re all in to win and I think that’s what it comes down to at the end of the day. We’ve got to do the best thing for us to win. For us, it’s the same thing I’m going to say again, we’re going to go ahead, we’re going to work with him, develop him and, at the same time, Kyle has the ball and he’ll go out there and play for us.

Q: Were there any players that came to you and expressed frustration with EJ at quarterback?
A: Since I’ve been here I’ve never had, whether it be a player or management or personnel, come to me and say anything in those regards; not just about EJ, but about anyone.

Q: Are 15 games enough to make a judgment on a quarterback in the NFL?
A: The judgment is, again, it’s not an overall judgment to say, ‘That’s it.’ The judgment is, is he playing well enough or productive for us at that position now to win? That’s what it comes down to.

Q: The question was more from a theoretical standpoint.
A: I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but we kind of have to be in the now. Theoretically, philosophy-wise you’d like to do some things. You like for things to pan out for you. You’d like for things to on this merry road, but you have to endure. This league is going to throw you a lot of different bumps in the road, whether it be productivity by position, whether it be injuries. Whatever it may be, you just need to endure it, you need to fight through it and you need to go. We worked ourselves to wins the first two and we’ve lost the last two games. For us, we’ve just got to go back in there and work our way back to winning.

Q: Do you view this as a quick fix or is this more of a long-term development project?
A: It all depends on how fast you can do it. I think it’s a great opportunity for him to sit back and really look, go back. We’ve got a lot on film. See the things that he has to work on and go ahead and work on it. From that standpoint, I think it’s about the player and how he goes about his business or how he goes about correcting those issues. We’ll work with him.

Q: Do you think you can run a faster paced offense, like you did last year, now that Kyle is in at quarterback?
A: We’ve always had it in each game. It’s just a matter of what we wanted to do matchup-wise; how we wanted to play the game. We have that ability no matter who the quarterback is because everyone’s ready. I think Kyle, obviously, can do it, so I think that’s always still in play for us.

Q: What have you seen from Kyle that made you confident in naming him the starter?
A: Through practice and what he’s done. The way he’s handled himself and really just how he’s practiced. Now it’s just a matter of being able to go out there and doing it on Sunday. He’s been out there before. It’s not like he hasn’t been out there. He has an opportunity now and we’re with him and we’re going to put him in the best position we can put him in to win games.

Q: In what ways do you expect the offense to be better?
A: We’ve got to get better in a lot of situations; just the overall offense in itself. You can start on first down, which we’re not doing a very good job of. Third down. Red zone touchdowns. I think all of those things that you see, again, it’s not pinning it just on one player, but we all have to a better job in those areas.

Q: Was there agreement throughout the coaching staff and front office on this decision?
A: I didn’t ask for an agreement. I just went in there and said, ‘This is the direction that I’m going,’

Q: How did this whole decision get made?
A: I went to Doug [Whaley] after I had made the decision. I went to Doug and I said, ‘Listen. This gives us the best opportunity to win.’ We talked about it. We looked at some things and we were in full agreement of it.

Q: When did you make the decision?
A: After I had gotten all of the information and after I have gone back and looked at a lot of different things. I made the decision probably sometime after I got done with the coaching staff watching the film twice. So probably a little later this afternoon after lunch time..

Q: Did a sense of urgency expedite this decision?
A: I think you want to see progress week-to-week. In this profession it’s always have to win now, so I don’t think that really came into play. I think that’s how we’ve always thought.

Q: Do you believe this to be a playoff-caliber team with Kyle Orton?
A: Absolutely. I believe that we have a playoff-caliber team. I think that we have to play better than we’ve been playing the last two weeks.

Q: Was this decision based on Detroit’s game plan?
A: No. This decision was based on giving us the best opportunity to win.

Q: Do you think that benching EJ Manuel this early in his career suggests that he wasn’t worth the first round pick?
A: No. I’m not suggesting that at all. I’ve always said this before. You draft people and then the best players play. We’re putting the best players that we feel give us the opportunity to win.

Q: Could you share some of the general sentiment of your conversation with EJ and his general reaction?
A: I thought he handled it very professionally. It’s never an easy thing and I think that’s probably what I’d like to say about it. I think [it’s] how you would normally think someone would react to it. I’ll tell you what; he showed a hell of a lot of courage. He really did an outstanding job. He really did and that’s a credit to him. He’s got a tough road ahead of him. It’s going to be tough. Everything is going to be reported. Things are going to come at him and he’s going to have to fight through this thing. If he fights through it, he’ll be fine. If he doesn’t, then he’s not. That’s not any different than a lot of players that this happens too. It’s just more magnified when it’s the quarterback position.

Q: When you see your receivers react negatively to a poorly thrown pass, how does that make you feel?
A: My overall philosophy has always been, and I’ve always said it and I’m sure you guys that have been out to practice have heard me say, ‘Poor body language.’ And I think that’s an indication of everything from what the philosophy is from my background of just how you break the huddle. A lot of times when you break the huddle you can say to yourself, ‘Okay, hey we’re ready to go.’ Sometimes when you break the huddle you’re like, ‘We’re not going well.’ My point in seeing that is poor job by them. When they make mistakes, I’m not out there pointing them out or I’m not giving poor body language, nor is any other player. That’s not what you do if you’re a good teammate.

Q: Do you fear that you could risk losing the locker room if you stuck with EJ?
A: That doesn’t really come into my mind because my mind’s always thinking, “Okay, how can get this team ready to win a game? What’s the best way to do it?’ So when a decision is made, it’s made just on one thing: What puts us in the best position to win. It’s not made on somebody’s feelings or someone’s thoughts or someone, whatever they may say. Again, it’s tough. You’ve got to make these decisions with your mind, with your heart. You put a lot of time into it. [It’s] not an easy decision, but, at the end of the day when you look at it and you need more production, that’s what you have to do.

Q: What’s the prognosis for Chris Williams, Kyle Williams and Nigel Bradham? Will they have a chance to play Sunday?
A: With Chris, yes. The other two, we’re going to see on Wednesday where that’s at.

Q: Do you think they’ll have a chance to come back and practice on Wednesday?
A: I will give you the honest answer like I always do. I really haven’t had a lot of conversations from a medical standpoint. Obviously, you can tell where my thoughts have been. When I say I really haven’t, you can imagine what this day has been. I really don’t know. Wednesday we’ll be able to do you where we are and where we are at.

DE Mario Williams
Monday, September 29, 2014

Q: Where is the team at following that loss yesterday?
A: We’re 2-2. That’s pretty much where we’re at. We’re back to the drawing board and ready to get on to the next game. Watch this film and prepare and go out there and play ball.

Q: What is the biggest difference in your run defense this year?
A: Simply just being fundamentally sound. At the end of the day, if we just play ball and do our responsibilities, we’ll be just fine.. The biggest thing for us so far has just being in our gaps and not doing too much.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge going into Detroit?
A: Winning. That’s the only thing. That’s the biggest thing in our minds.

Q: What does their offense present?
A: We haven’t even studied it yet. We’re going to put this game away and we’ll start breaking it down after this. But we haven’t even looked at the last four games.

RB C.J. Spiller
Monday, September 29, 2014

Q: Where are you guys at 12 hours removed from another disappointing loss?
A: You’re still emotionally drained from it. It was a great game, besides the loss. Two teams going at it and a game going back-and-forth and, obviously, we had our chances to come away with a win; to get our second win on the road. Unfortunately, we fell short.

Q: What do you have to do offensively to be more consistent?
A: We’ve just got to develop that killer instinct. That’s pretty much what we’re missing right now as an offense.

C Eric Wood
Monday, September 29, 2014

Q: What is it about the stunts that have caught you guys off guard the last couple weeks?
A: Yesterday was tough on the road. Communication was tough. They got us on some stunts and we all know that. They beat us in matchups up front and we’re all to blame.

Q: Is there some different method of going about fixing that problem this week?
A: You just keep working and keep drilling it. We’ve got a lot of young offensive lineman new to positions and they’ll keep getting better.

Q: 44 pass attempts don’t make it easy on you guys.
A: When you get behind and early on we weren’t running the ball as effectively, you’ve got to be prepared to pass block. I’m not going to sit here and complain. It’s the nature of the business. A lot of teams in this league throw 44 times every week. We’ve got to do a better job.

S Aaron Williams
Monday, September 29, 2014

Q: What is the mentality of this team after a second straight loss?
A: Get ready for Detroit. There’s nothing else that really needs to be said. It was a heartbreaking loss for us because I felt like we had that game. We let that game go, but we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and get ready for this week.

Q: When you force three turnovers as a defense, don’t you feel that you did your job to win?
A: Absolutely. I feel like any team in this league, if they ever force turnovers to give their offense the ball then there’s a pretty good chance they’ll win. But, like I said, the game can change in one play. That’s all it really takes. I’ve seen crazy games where it was just like what happened to us with EJ [Manuel] throwing to Mike [Williams]; one play and we’re back in it. We can never relax when we have the lead. We’ve got to keep pushing.

Q: Coach Marrone pointed out that it’s either a team win or team loss. Does it get discouraging when your offense is struggling?
A: No. We’re not going to go down that route. We’re not going to divide this team. We’re not going to blame one person, like Coach said. When the team wins, it’s a team win. When the team loses we all loss. There are a lot of things that the defense should’ve done to help our offense out and vice versa. We’ve got to help each other in any way possible. We’re not going to point fingers. We’ve just have to work stronger and finish stronger as a team.

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