Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan
Thursday, August 15, 2016

Opening Statement: On the injury front, obviously IK (Enemkpali) has a torn ACL and he’s going to be out for the season. So, really unfortunate but that’s where we are there. Aaron Williams is in the concussion protocol. Dez Lewis has a shoulder contusion and is listed as day-to-day and that’s pretty much it. I think we had—I think Robey (Nickell Robey-Coleman) tweaked an ankle but he seemed to be fine. So other than that, that’s the news on the injury front. Today’s practice, you know, it’s good to get back. There’s more focus on specific things that we have to get better at so you’ll see what we call a dealer’s choice. It’s almost like offense is servicing the defense and vice-versa. That little split period, that’s what that’s all about. And then as far as the game, pretty much what I thought it was when we talked about it the other night. Really impressed with some of the things defensively. I thought—we gave up 1.3 (yards) or something like that per rush and I think the running backs averaged under a yard, so I think that was really a positive thing. Gave up two monster plays and other than that, I thought the defense played really well. Offensively, really poor as far as our third downs and it really came down to what I thought. We had a couple mental errors, three of them I can remember off hand that really hurt us and then we had some key drops. That’s why it never looked as sharp as we wanted it to look on offense because all of a sudden you start converting those things, when you got a chance to get into a rhythm and I never thought we really got into a rhythm offensively in the game. Made some penalties that we’ve addressed with the team, went over every penalty through video in the team meeting today, and we clearly have to get better at that. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Rex, especially with what’s been going on in the position across from him, how important is what Jerry Hughes is going to do for this defense this year?
A: Jerry’s a special talent. I think when you look at the skillset, he’s a complete outside linebacker—he’s not just a one-trick pony. He can do everything you ask, he’s smart, obviously very physical player and we all know about his pass rushing skills but he also can play man coverage and he’s good in zone. So, he’s a complete guy and yeah, we’re very fortunate to have him.

Q: What might have attracted you to Kroy Biermann?
A: Well I think right now we’re looking at—I know you guys assumed that we’ve signed him, it’s what it sounds like to me, but as far as I know he hasn’t signed yet. But we are looking at exploring every option.

Q: I know you mentioned Aaron Williams is in the concussion protocol but is there any concern about his neck?
A: No, this was a concussion. That’s what it was. It’s not a neck injury.

Q: Rex, Karlos (Williams) came back. One, what does it indicate to you in terms of the work that was necessary to get to this point and two, just the state of Karlos right now?
A: I think he’s happy he gets on the playing field, I think that’s the main thing, but sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for the individual and protect the player from himself and right now we feel good about where he’s at and he’s able to do some good things without those small tissue issues and all that stuff. That’s kind of what we’re looking at but right now he’s worked hard and we’ll see what happens.

Q: Do you think there’s a chance he gets in the game Saturday or is that out of the question?
A: I wouldn’t say anything’s out of the question.

Q: Given the fact that he’s going to miss the first four games of the year, what can the team do to prevent a similar situation from what happened in the spring?
A: I think we just—He’s ready to play, he’s been cleared to participate and that’s what he’s going to do for these next weeks and obviously when he’s not with us for those four weeks, that’s another thing. But right now we feel good to have him and we’re just going to proceed. We’re excited to have him back there.

Q: With all the talent that he does have, is your attitude toward him—do you see a guy in your mind that’s maybe had a turning point or off the rails thing that’s come back? Are you still concerned about him? How do you view him as a guy that can or can’t handle doing the right thing?
A: Well I think we’re all excited about the talent he has that you mentioned. It’s clear this is a really talented young man and yeah, we hope that he’s here for a long time and does the right things and handles himself well off the field. So that’s something that we’re counting on from him.

Q: Rex, can you talk about (Jarrett) Boykin and what you saw from him Saturday?
A: He did some good things in the game and quite honestly, I was excited about him in the mini-camps and the OTAs and all that, and then he looked like he kind of leveled off there but he picked his game up right at the end and I thought he had a pretty good game for us.

Q: After you watched the film, can you give us a little more of a breakdown on Cardale (Jones). I know it was these against threes out there but for his first time out there, but after watching it again, any further impressions?
A: Really exactly what we thought last night or a couple of nights ago. I mean he played extremely well, very poised, confident, and really, almost a leader. Like guys were into it and they all believed that he was going to make a play and that’s encouraging to me.

Q: Adolphus (Washington) seemed to have a strong game. Your assessment once you looked at tape?
A: I thought he played well. I thought a lot of those guys up front did some decent things. Adolphus, I think some of those, I don’t know if the camera was on him or whatever, but it seems like I’ve had a lot of questions about him, how he played better than he practiced—I don’t believe it, I think he’s about the same. We’ve been impressed with him, that’s why he’s in that starting lineup.

Q: What do you like in particular? Where do you think he’s shown you through the whole body here at camp?
A: I think the big thing is he gives you is he’s an athlete, he’s not just a stay-at-home type guy. He can penetrate, he’s got some pass rush ability and he’s smart. He works well with our two studs, Marcell and Kyle, so he seems to fit right in with the guys we have and that’s been impressive.

Q: Rex, I know it’s next man up with IK now down but now it’s like your next man’s next man’s next man. How concerning or disappointing is it given that he’s down?
A: Well I think that it’s a concern. I think we’d all feel a lot better if Manny (Lawson) was practicing, but he’s not and until he does, you don’t have that comfort level. I will say and I’ve mentioned to you guys before about Lorenzo Alexander, he would’ve been the guy we would’ve played if we started the game. He would’ve been our starter, so I feel great about him. But that isn’t why we brought him in. We brought him in here to be a dominant special teams player and to contribute on defense and that’s the plan we have for him.

Q: Rex, the competition with or without Aaron’s injury at safety seems to be really good right now with Jonathan (Meeks) and Duke (Williams) and Robert (Blanton). Can you kind of assess that position behind the top two?
A: We’re still letting it sort out because you’re right. Duke, I thought, had a really impressive game, physical. Like that’s the Duke Williams that I’ve been wanting but right down from his attitude and everything else, he’s been a different guy this year. He’s all-in and I think that’s the best thing, whether he’s running with the ones, twos or threes. It doesn’t matter. He’s doing as good a job as he can and you see a little bounce in his step. The physical talent that he has is impressive. I think Meeks is a guy you keep waiting for him to really pick it up and you’re starting to see it. He has size, speed, tough guy, so that’s been good. Blanton’s been steady. Colt Anderson I think is underrated. We all know he’s a tremendous special teams player but I think he’s a good football player as well. So all those guys are playing pretty decent.

Q: Do you think you’re getting the value you thought you’d be getting from the helmet cameras? Is that something that’s working? Give me an impression of what you’re seeing and is it any different?
A: Well the quarterbacks seem to like it and I think that’s the main thing. And if it can make a little difference, then it’s big for us and we’ll do everything we can to help our guys and I talked to Tyrod about it and he really seems to like it.

Q: I’m assuming that’s a separate film session, right?
A: Yeah, absolutely. It’s not– we don’t necessarily go over it every single day either. But, we definitely do it. The quarterbacks will look at that. But yeah, you’re right it’s not in the body of meetings.

Q: Just a last thing on that, is that more useful for seeing the patterns or seeing the coverage? What do you think the greatest use of it is?
A: Well, I think its just for your eyes in general. You can literally tell the eyes, like, where he’s looking. So, you can see that, you know and if it’s not if you’re supposed to be looking at the safety, you know for instance you’re running a curl-flat—you’re looking at the curl first thing going to the flat, or whatever it is. I think that’s the main thing. You can tell and then, you know, can you see it? You can visualize there’s no question, but the number one thing to me is you tell where the quarterback’s looking.

Q: Rex, you mentioned that (Lorenzo) Alexander would step in for IK. With that said, Manny Lawson is there potentially a target time for where you want him back and work him into practice?
A: I think the big thing is you want him, you know, we want to get him out there when the season starts. I think that’s the main thing. No specific time yet. He’s got to heal and that’s the number one thing and then we’ll adjust from there. But you know, yeah, you want him out there, but we want him out there healthy. That’s the main thing.

Q: Same with Dez Lewis?
A: Seems to be doing good. You know guys are—he hasn’t had any setbacks, but again I can’t give you a timetable on him.

Q: Could you give an update on Reggie Bush?
A: Yeah, Reggie was— it’s a personal thing for Reggie and you know it was something we had discussed.

Q: Richie Incognito was working out on the bike. How close is he to coming back?
A: See, I’ve learned through the years that you don’t say, hey he’s going to play this, then all of a sudden it doesn’t happen. So, I don’t want to give you a timetable, but it’s still the ribs that he’s working through.

LB Lorenzo Alexander

Monday, August 15, 2016

Q: I know that coach (Rex Ryan) has spoken highly of you—proven veteran and all that stuff. Just in terms of coming in as a new vet, how does that change the dynamic for you, if at all?

A: Not really. You know, like you said I’ve been around this league a long time, I’ve known a lot of these guys, competed against them. Obviously when you first walk in this is Kyle Williams locker room, Manny Lawson’s locker room. So, I’m not trying to come in and take over. I’m trying to come in and find my space and over time getting to know guys, them getting to know me and trust me and who I am day-in and day-out that respect comes and guys start to follow. So, that’s what I’m about.

Q: At the same time, you’re one of the only vets on the field, at this position. So maybe just talk about bringing some of the young guys like (Eric) Striker and (Bryson) Albright along making sure they’re crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s.

A: That’s the biggest thing. When you’re a young guy you’re athletic, you can run all day, but to win this game you have to be mentally sharp. That’s often times how you lose games especially in the fourth quarter, in that two minutes, ‘cause guys have mental relapses. So as a veteran, I’m always trying to stay on them, making sure they know their assignments, know their checks, so they don’t have to wait for a DB to tell them. Because the quicker they know it the better our defense is going to run and guys can run to the ball and we can be great.

Q: Did you expect in your wildest ideas to have a chance like this — to have so many injuries in one spot?

A: Not really, but I’ve started in this league before. This is nothing new. I’m a football player and I’ve had to step in at inside linebacker, d-tackle, wherever– that’s kind of been my role throughout my career. So, I try to stay ready, stay mentally sharp at all the positions so when I am called upon and I have that opportunity my exposure is positive.

RB Karlos WIlliams
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Q: So how good does it feel to be back Karlos?
A: Very good. It felt good to touch a football again, especially being around teammates and being in live action. Taking live reps, getting back down on special teams, going through drills with coach Crossman. Just a really great feeling just being back on the football field.

Q: How hard of a process was the physical part of this thing to get to where you could be cleared to come back? You had to put a lot of work into it.
A: It was very tough. More mental than anything. Playing the game of football, you’ve got to be mentally tough and you’re going to have to go through thing whether it’s getting back in shape or whether it’s still trying to learn the playbook and learn the process stuff quick. And I’ll be able to rack fast on the football field. But it was more mental than anything. I had a lot of confidence in myself that I’d be back on the field in a short amount of time. A lot of support from my teammates, coaches, ownership so they make the process much easier. Also with my support of my family, made it a lot easier.

Q: In terms of the physical you passed today, what was the last hurdle that got you over the top?
A: The whole thing. Just like I said before, trying to be mentally focused on things, keeping my mind like that, you know, I can bounce back and I’m going to bounce back. The things that took place is behind me. I’m moving forward. I’m just happy to be back on the football field.

Q: How much of a reminder is this because you’re going to be out for four weeks come the start of the season. How much can remind you that you’ve got to be on top of your conditioning?
A: It doesn’t stop. Conditioning still continues. I’m up in the morning at six o’clock, getting conditioning in. We lift after practice usually, offense and defense alternate days. Condition after walk through every single day. So it’s just going to continue to get better. I’m going to continue to be with the strength and conditioning staff during those four games so nothing is going to fall off. Going to stay with the playbook, stay in the film room as much as I can, and so week five comes around I’ll be back to play.

Q: Has it crossed your mind just how tough it’ll be to watch?
A: I watched the past two weeks our team to play the first preseason game, so I can imagine that feeling. I’m going to miss a Thursday night game against the Jets. It’s going to be a crazy environment. It’s going to be something I wish I could be a part of. It’s going to be tough, so there’s no easy way to describe that feeling. It’s going to be tough. It’s a process and you live and you learn. I’m learning from it and you live and you learn. I’m learning from it and it’s time to move on.

Q: Have you had to make any big changes around this conditioning program? Diet-wise, or are there any other nutrition things? Are there any other elements to this thing that you had to truly like lifestyle change?
A: Eating habits have changed. It’s not really what I was eating, but when I was eating. The time of day I was eating. So that really hasn’t changed. I eat foods that I like to eat. My taste buds are not mad at me so I can’t complain about that. Nothing really has changed. Conditioning has definitely pumped up a lot and it’s going to continue until I get back to football in week five.

Q: Do you think you can play Saturday afternoon?
A: Oh yeah. Most definitely. I want to play and that’s the goal for me. It’s to prove to the coaches that I’m in shape and that I’m ready to play, I know the plays, I can line up, line assignment technique and I can perform at a high level, the way they want me to.

Q: What has changed in your diet?
A: Smaller meals. More meals throughout the day. Not eating bigger meals at the wrong time. Late. That just definitely changed but I’m not eating anything that I don’t like, that I wouldn’t eat myself. So like I said, my tastebuds aren’t mad at me. It’s just more meals throughout the day.

Q: Is it good to know that the coaches aren’t mad at you anymore?

A: No, I don’t think they’re even mad. I think it’s more disappointment because the way I performed last year. You put a rookie in that situation and play behind a great back like Shady and you give him the ball and he’s tying rookie records and he’s putting the ball in the endzone that many times. You kind of instill a lot of trust into him that he’s going to take care of his business. But I can just say a lot more disappointed than I would say upset.

Q: Two weeks ago it looks like you were taking a walk to talk to some veterans about what happened and some disappointment was talked about. Who have you talked to in the locker room the most about what was going down?
A: I talked to Marcell [Dareus]. He’s a captain and leader on the team. He’s been here a while. Just how to deal with trying to bounce from things that hit you in a negative light. I also talked to Kyle [Williams] about balancing. I have a big family. I have four little ones and a fiancée. He has a wife and five kids so kind of almost the same feel. How do you balance? How do you get them to understand when it’s time to play football and when it’s time to take care of my friends, take care of my family? Pretty much got that I can’t take care of my family if I can’t take care of myself first. So that’s really something that I’m trying to change about the atmosphere of my family now. I have to take care of me before I take care of you guys and the better I am, the better off we’ll be.

Q: When you look at the position group, Reggie Bush is in there, you know Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Williams. It’s just a good competitive group. Does that inspire you to be on your game?
A: That’s exciting. I think that’s when the best comes out. When you’re in the backfield with guys like that, all explosive guys, all can make plays, all know what they’re doing and they’re confident in what they’re doing. It puts a chip on your shoulder, and everybody has that chip. It’s a competitive chip but not an angry competitive chip against the other guys. More a “I want the best out of him. I want to push him and see if he’s going to be that kind of guy that we’re going to have on the team.” I had the same kind of backfield at Florida State with Devonta Freeman and James [Wilder Jr.] was there with me. We were all juniors at the same time and we played running back. We had to split carries. I believe all of us had over 500 yards that year. More than seven touchdowns a piece. So I’m used to being in a competitive backfield. It’s just a drive, a push and it’s something I’m ready to be a part of.

Q: You can be on the team? Meeting with strength and conditioning coaches?
A: Not sure on details yet. When that time comes I’ll be ready to deal with that. I’m sure I’ll talk to my agent and I’ll talk with the ownership and the team and we’ll get that squared away and find out what I can and cannot do. But until then, I’m just trying to get back on the practice field. Happy to be on the practice field. Happy to be taking live reps and be out there with my teammates, and continue conditioning and getting ready to play.

Q: You got into with some fans on twitter. What was it like to feel like some of the fans were starting to turn on you?
A: I wouldn’t say turn. I believe it’s all good fun. Social media is all good fun, you see people post funny comments and some funny pics all day. You have to roll with the punches and I roll with the punches. I joke back. You have to have tough skin in this business. You have to be able to take jokes and really have to be able to deliver them back. And some people like taking jokes well. I take jokes very well. I’m a funny guy. I make a lot of people laugh in the locker room. So, if I joke back with you, I don’t want you to take it personal, that’s just how it is. It’s just social media. Things are going to get taken out of context. That’s just the way it is.

Q: So you’re not talking to (Brandon) Spikes about his vegan diet?
A: No definitely not. I can’t go vegan. No. Can’t do that. A lot of chicken. A lot of bird. I like red meat, I like steak, I like seafood. Love seafood. Oh, I love seafood. But a lot of chicken. I’m being very strict. Running backs actually went out a couple times and I chose to stay in. I can’t go to a restaurant and see something on the menu and I want to eat it. So I chose to stay back and just trying to be really strict on myself and be very disciplined. It’s been hard but that’s a part of the process. Part of growing pains and something I want to do to get back on the football field.

Q: How much did it mean to you to have guys like Kyle and Marcell talk to you about things, and that they would take the time to help you out?
A: A lot. A lot because Kyle doesn’t really talk to younger guys, you know. He leads by example. He can be vocal at times. Only in live action have I ever seen Kyle be vocal. Doesn’t really talk to young guys, but I really asked him for a lot of great family advice. You know, trying to mature and grow up very quickly. You’ve got to do that in this league and so he gave me a lot of good advice and there’s things I’m changing about myself and my family and my atmosphere around me. It was very good. I enjoyed the time around him. We talk. He asks me how I’m doing each and every day and it’s something I really appreciate.

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