Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison

Monday, September 18, 2017

Q: The first 57 minutes of the game, there were only three completions to wide receivers, that’s coming off a week where you only had four. Why is the offense continuing to struggle to find ways to get the ball to the receivers?

A: I don’t know that you could say it that way, that’s a different statement ‘we haven’t completed a ball, as many balls to the wide receivers.’ You know, we’re trying to get the ball, spread the ball around, do whatever we need to do to move the ball. We didn’t execute very well early on for 57 minutes as you said, we just didn’t move the ball very well. It wasn’t just the wide receivers, [it was] everybody.

Q: What do you attribute that to? Why weren’t you able to move the ball as well?

A:  They played better than we did, right? We didn’t execute. The consistency, you watch play after play, one play we’re doing well, one play we’re not. It’s not any one person, it’s us as a group. We’ll go back, they’ll be corrected on the mistakes they made. We as coaches correct our mistakes and try and get a better plan going and moving forward.

Q: What were some of the problems, do you think, with getting the ball down the field?

A: Just execution in general, again.

Q: Do you want to be more specific than that?

A: I’d rather not.

Q: You don’t have to give the entire game plan just…?

A: Well, you don’t have to, it’s just execution. Whether it’s a wide receiver creating separation or a protection, there’s many things. I don’t have to go through play-by-play for you, we just didn’t execute. We didn’t get the ball down the field. We gave it a try a couple times, the ball went out, didn’t make those plays, so we’ll move on.

Q: This game seemed that there was a perception or a fear or a concern that, if this team couldn’t run the ball, the offense would have problems moving. This game didn’t seem to change that perception?

A: I don’t know that’s exactly true, we had our chances and we didn’t make any plays, running or not. I think we have a talented group that just has to get better at what we’re doing, hone in on our techniques and, like I said, be consistent play-in play-out.

Q: Sean McDermott said that that is a legitimate concern, and something that you guys are looking at?

A: We’re trying, but I still think we have our abilities to push the ball around and a lot of people make plays.

Q: Rick, at the end of the game, in that hurry up situation when you guys were on the Panther’s side of the field, Tyrod [Taylor] scrambled twice for short gains. How did you feel about him doing that and keeping the clock running?

A: Well, I think at that point in time, I’d be okay with one of them, one of them he had no choice. The other one, he could’ve dished the ball. We did have timeouts, I thought we had the clock in control with timeouts and with how the clock was moving. I think getting positive yards is more important than anything, especially with the two timeouts we had in the pocket. We end up with one at the end of the game, which we, throw and catch, would allow us to put the ball in the middle of the field, catch, call timeout, and have a couple shots at the end-zone.

Q: Is this in part the fallout from the changes that you made at receiver throughout the offseason and the fact that Tyrod missed a critical period with that concussion?

A: I don’t know that, that would be complete conjecture. We just didn’t execute, I’m not looking for excuses or whatever. We didn’t execute, we’ve got to do better next time and that’s what we practice for.

Q: What would make this passing offense successful in your opinion?

A: Complete a lot of balls, just keep working at it, keep completing balls. I think certainly some of our shots will come off of play action and off the run game, we have to be successful there. Like I said, there’s still plenty of talent and the ability to push the ball around.

Q: Rick, where is your confidence level right now in Tyrod Taylor?

A: High, I have complete confidence in him. I think he did some good things, even though he did some bad things. He did some good things. [He] managed the team when things weren’t going well, but kept us in the game. Some people might’ve gone south, he kept us all rolling. Had to move, make some plays with his feet when things weren’t there. He’s coachable, that’s what I think. You tell him to do something, he’ll do it right, he’ll fix it.

Q: What was the route that Zay Jones was running on that final play, or the route he was supposed to run?

A: You want me to tell you the exact route? It was a corner route. He was running to the corner.

Q: Was the ball where it needed to be?

A: I think it was execution on both, let’s just put it that way. We have to be better as an offense.

Q: There was a play in the third quarter on a third down where Zay, the ball got him in his hands, maybe the throw was slightly ahead of him, but he did get two hands on it. That one, and then also the final one, are those catches that you need Zay to make?

A: Yeah, we need to make catches, we need to make throws, we need to make blocks, we need to make all the critical [stuff]. Every ball in the NFL is going to be a little contested. That’s just the way it is, guys are really talented. In that particular one, Tyrod was hot. Protection was such that he had a free runner, so he’s going to try and make that throw. We’ll make it, hopefully we’ll all learn from that, both thrower and catcher.

Q: Sean [McDermott] mentioned a couple of times that the confidence didn’t quite get into the rhythm that he was looking for. When you guys are averaging 2.5 yards per play on first down, how tough is it to get into a rhythm when you’re struggling on first down?

A: That is a little bit tough. We have a series of things that we want to start to play with, we had to shoot the first fifteen, we couldn’t quite get into those even. We started the second half with plays that we still had in the first fifteen, plays that we as a staff kind of designed as ‘hey, this will get us going, this is our momentum, this is what we’re going to check with formations.’ We just couldn’t get into that rhythm. From that, we’ll learn. Maybe we need to do something a little bit different, but that’s on us and staff.

Q: How did you feel that Dion Dawkins played?

A: I thought he played well, he had some things that he will grow from, but I thought he did a good job. Certainly, he will give you everything that he has.

Q: Rick, you know this Broncos team and defense well from your time there, just your initial impressions of going up against them?

A: Well, they’re a talented group obviously. They rush the pass very well and they’ve got great DBs, they all have great ball skills. Put the balls around them, they think it’s theirs, so you’ve got to be careful. Like any other defense, they’re loaded with talent. We have our work cut out for us, but just like we did last week, we’ll find a way to move the ball.

Q: What did you say to Zay Jones and what message did you give him after that last play?

A: We’re going to make the next one. Learn from it, make the next one. Hopefully, he will. He’ll keep moving forward, because we count on everybody over there.

Q: Did they take away those cut back lanes a little quicker, or in any way that you didn’t expect them to maybe fill those lanes?

A: No, I think, like I said, you can’t say ‘this is exactly it’. Each play is just a little bit different. They were filling it at times, we didn’t do the right thing at times on the backside. I think we just keep working and learn from there.

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