HC Rex Ryan

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Q: John Conner and you in a fight. Who would win?
A: John Conner. Hard for me to say that, but I am 52. If I was 22, he’d still win the fight. It’s funny when you look at players, you evaluate players and all that and it’s well known that I was looking for other guys and I noticed this guy as I was looking at linebackers and he was just pummeling them. I’m like, “Wow.” A guy named Joker Phillips was there that I coached with at the University of Cincinnati, he was the offensive coordinator. He said, “You think those are impressive? You’ve got to see him on the kickoff return team.” I’m like, “What? Ok.” So I go back and look, oh my goodness. I mean it was scary some of the hits. It’s always good to surround your; you want your team to have a bunch of guys that you don’t want your kids playing against, you know what I mean? So give me those types of players and that’s usually a good thing. We ended up drafting John and obviously the Terminator is a great nickname for him. Obviously, the John Conner, but he’ll knock the heck out of you. So adding him, when you look at what kind of team are the Bills, well a lot of teams don’t even have a fullback and we’ve got two of them. Two of the best fullbacks in the league are on our football team. So I think that may tell you a little bit about the type of style of football that we want to play.

Q: Can you envision having both of them on the 53 man roster?
A: The good thing, and Doug Whaley and I talk about it all the time, is that we’ll keep the best players. If that means two fullbacks, then so be it. Both (Jerome) Felton and John, can they contribute on special teams as well? I think both guys can. Clearly we brought Felton in to be the guy, but it just so happens that John Conner is still sitting out there and you know what, I know John and he’s a heck of a football player. He’s an excellent teammate, so let’s bring him in, let him compete and I would not be surprised if John makes our team.

Q: Do you have any reaction to the Tom Brady suspension?
A: Was there news on that? I think the big deal is for us we know we’re playing the Patriots in Week Two. No matter who is there, we’re playing the Patriots Week Two and they’re playing us. (Bill) Belichick is going to bring his team in and he’s going to have them prepared. I’ll promise you I’m going to have our team prepared as well. That’s really what I think about it. All the particulars and all that stuff, I really haven’t given any thought to it.

Q: Were you surprised by the length of it?
A: Nope. I’m not. I think when the league, obviously the league knows all the facts of everything and so I’m not going to speculate on it. When the league says the suspension is what it is, then obviously they’ve looked at extensively and that was their decision. So be it.

Q: In all the times you’ve competed against the Patriots, did it ever cross your mind that you were going against a team that sort of promoted a culture of cheating and skirting the rules? Did you worry about that as an opposing head coach?
A: I think your job as a coach is to prepare your team to the best of your ability and that’s what I did. I saw the Patriots as obviously a very capable opponent and that was really how I prepared. There are other things that go in to it as far as anytime you travel to a team you are conscious of leaving playbooks, stuff like that, around. You’re always conscious of that. That would be no different than any other team as far as playing a team. To me, the only thing I focused on was playing the Patriots. Getting my team ready to play against that opponent, not anything else.

Q: Aaron Williams sent out a tweet that he was disappointed that you won’t get to play Brady at home. Do you have that same mentality?

A:  No I don’t.

Q: So beating the Patriots without Brady is the same as beating them with him?
A: That’s what it says on the scoreboard. You just want to beat them. I don’t care who is back there. It’s you playing the Patriots, whoever that have that is the way you look at it. That’s the way we’re going to approach it.

Q: If he is suspended for the full four games, does this change how you view the division?
A: Last I looked it’s still the New England Patriots and they did win the Super Bowl right? That’s the last I looked, but to me we’re focused on getting our team better and I don’t care who we play, who is in our division or anything else. This is about us. We don’t go in thinking well this guys I playing and this guy is not playing or whatever. That’s not how we’re going to look at it. We’re looking at it as whoever is up next, they’re going to get our best shot and that’s how we’re going to approach it. So looking at it, this guy’s not in here, things happen in this league. We’re not assured that we’re going to have this player or that player the whole time also. Through injury or whatever, things happen. One thing I can tell you is that we will be prepared to play against whoever we play. Again, I’m not feeling sorry for anybody. We’re going to play. Whoever shows up, we’ll play against them and we’ll be prepared.

Q: You have 13 receivers on the roster now and inevitably a couple of good players may get squeezed out. What do you think about the competition there?
A: I think it is great competition. I think it’s great for the defense too, to go up against good football players every day. You’re right, we’ll have to cut some. There’s some guys that might not make our team quite honestly. But that is a deep talented group there is no question about it. Especially for the team that’s going to run the ball the way we say we are. But all kidding aside, it is a good group and that might not be the only position where we let some really good capable NFL players go.

Q: You mentioned Marquise Goodwin has impressed you so far this spring. How much does he need to impress once the pads come on to make the team because he lacked productivity last year.

A: Well sometimes you have to be on the field to be productive. I think if you’re not on the field it’s hard to knock a guy for not being productive or whatever. I saw him catch a touchdown against somebody before, but he has great speed, he has all the tools. He can run routes and the pads are nothing. The pads are what you do. You better be able to carry them or you have no business playing in this league. I think he’s not just a track guy. If he was just a track guy you might have those concerns. But he’s a football player. As far as proving things, just get out and play. I would be shocked if he doesn’t play well.


Q: What are your impressions of Duke Williams and how much faith do you have in his ability to step up at safety?
A: I think there is going to be competition at that spot. We’re not handing it to him, that it’s set in stone like you can say about Aaron Williams. But there will be competition there. I think Duke is a guy that has the physical traits you look for, he loves to play and is a tough physical guy and he can run. I think those are obviously some main traits you look for. How quickly he processes and things like that, we’ll find out. There’s probably competition in this building and that will be good for Duke and will be good for our football team.


Q: Speaking of safety, how much is Dawan Landry still on your radar to sign?
A: We’ve been in contact with Dawan, we brought him in here for a physical and things like that, so we pretty much know where he’s at. Does that mean we’re going to sign him? There’s nothing definite about that, but we did bring him. We kicked the tires, so to speak, and we’ll be prepared if that’s the case. If we think he can help our football team, then we’ll certainly look at that.


Q: This past weekend was the first time you saw the rookie draft class go through one of your practices. What did you see from them?
A: Well I was impressed with them. I think mentally they’re on top of it, so I think that’s it. They also realize that they better step up that way or it’s going to be tough for me to perform physically. It’s a good group. I think guys are definitely in their books and they’re running around. We never did the team deal. I think when we looked at it, for us you don’t know how much training guys have done. You don’t know if guys have been on the banquet circuit, guys have been traveling around and going to different clubs. So it’s tough because you never want to expose our team to those 11 on 11 situations. We did run some skelly things, but I kind of wanted to prevent some of that if we could. But I thought it was good from a mental standpoint and that was the important thing for us. Just to get them ready to be out here, albeit just on going through air. But at least mentally to where they’re ready to step in and have a chance to not be too far behind the veteran players.


Q: Did any of them pop out and catch your eye?
A: Yeah, (Ronald) Darby initially. His quickness, change of direction and things like that was impressive. (Nick) O’Leary caught a bunch of balls. Those are the main two guys that jumped out. Tony Steward, you’re doing seven on seven, so there’s not as much inside run and all that stuff. You really can’t show that in these camps. And of course with John Miller, he’s just doing the individual things. But we got him in there and I saw him today he was running with the first team. That doesn’t mean he stays there, but he’s already fitting in to where you put him out there with the ones. Mentally, that’s pretty impressive that he goes in and it wasn’t like we had to slow things down because he was in there.


Q: Your depth behind Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham is pretty young, what do you make of that? Also what are your impressions of Jimmy Gaines?
A: Well I’ll tell you the first guy that I’ll talk about is (Ty) Powell. Powell has been the most impressive for me. He’s just smart, picks things up quick and obviously he was more of a special team’s guy. Quite honestly if he doesn’t play a snap, that is fine by me because that means Preston Brown is playing. But I like Powell, I think he really has jumped out to me. That would be the number one guy. Then obviously we drafted Tony Steward for a reason. We think that he is going to be able to add to us on special teams and provide depth. With Gaines, I think there is another guy that he’s been here awhile, he was also at the rookie camp as well. We’ll see what he can do. I like the look in his eyes, I think he works extremely hard so he’ll add to that competition as well. We got the (A.J.) Tarpley kid from Stanford. He’s back there and this just in he’s pretty smart. I did say Stanford. It’ll be good. I think it will be good competition.


Q: You also brought in Wes Miller. Did you pretty much have to sign him because he looks just like Jim Leonhard?
A: He does look like Jim Leonhard and if he’s half the player we’ll sign up for that as well. He does have some of the same characteristics.  He’s smart, sharp as a tack and I like the fact that when we had him he said, “I just can’t wait until the pads come on.” I’m like, “You’re five foot nothing and you can’t wait til the pads come on?” That’s how he feels about himself, but you have to be that way. He doesn’t realize he’s 5-9.5 and one hundred, what is it, seventy-five pounds or whatever. He’s so sharp mentally that it just jumped out. When you’re out at practice with the guys out there, he clearly jumped out at us as a guy that was really on top of things. Mentally that is probably one of the most underrated things in the NFL game, is how sharp mentally you need to be. Some guys can have all the physical traits in the world, but if you can’t handle it mentally then you’re really bringing the team down. So he’s clearly a guy that really got it and I’ll be excited to see how he progresses as we go. Obviously it’s a very deep group back there. What are his shots of making the team? I don’t know, but we never put a regulator on a guy that he can’t make it. I’ll never say that because you mention a Jim Leonhard, here’s a free agent that had over a 10 year career or something. So that would be great, I’ll sign up for that right now.


Q: How important is it to have a guy like Donnie Henderson coaching your DB’s? Why did you hold him over from the last staff?
A: Well I’m familiar with Donnie, number one, we were together in Baltimore and won a Super Bowl together. So I know the kind of coach that Donnie is. Dennis myself and Donnie were together for a lot of years in Baltimore. He’s one of the best fundamental coaches that there is. He cares about his players, he coaches them hard, but he gets the most out of them. He cares and I think that’s a big thing. Let’s not forget that we also have Tim McDonald back there who is an outstanding coach in his own right. So when you have those two guys, that type of expertise and your coordinator is Dennis Thurman, that is impressive. There is no question about that. I would put that group with any other in the league.


Q: When you’re putting together a depth chart given the competition at wide receiver and running back, how important is it to have a mix of different types of players? Are you going to look for a guy that brings something different?

A: There’s where you get (Marcus) Easley. You get Easley who is a special team’s phenom. He’s as good as you get on special teams and that is a huge part of it as well. He’s also a big receiver that might be able to do certain things for you offensively. But yeah, you want the combinations. When you look at a Goodwin, he’s got world class speed. That adds to the table. But if all he can do is run straight ahead, then what is the value. He’s a better football player than that. Percy Harvin, you’re trying to say that he can’t do something, I don’t believe that and I haven’t seen that. I’m not willing to say that somebody can do something that he can’t, I’m not so sure that’s possible. Robert Woods, oh by the way Sammy Watkins is decent. We have a deep group of talented guys. (Chris) Hogan. If we ever have to play lacrosse he’s probably our first pick, so I think we’re in good shape. He’s a talented guy. Good athlete, catches the football, smart, productive. It is going to be tough to make this team. There is no question about it. Different roles for things, yeah possibly. But I don’t want to limit anybody to say that this guys is strictly a slot receiver. I don’t want to do that. Let this thing work out and at the end of the day if that is the case, so be it. I just want to see it with open eyes and believe what I see.


Q: Can you go over why you brought back Alex Carrington?
A: The first thing that jumped out at me is this is the guy that blocks all the kicks. It is unbelievable. It is such a knack for it. The only guy that I remember that did it better was a guy named Alan Page. Now if we can get Carrington to play like Alan Page as a defensive tackle that would be fine. That is what jumps out at me. Athletic, big, smart, let’s bring him back here and see what he can do. Working under a guy like Karl Dunbar, he’s going to benefit from as well and let’s see what type of player he can be. But I’m excited about that group. You’ve got (Corbin) Bryant in there, you’ve got (Stefan) Charles, you’ve got different guys. You’ve got (Jarius) Wynn. So that’s another group that we have some good football players there.


Q: What is the most beneficial part of all this offseason conditioning?
A: Well I think especially as a new staff you get to teach your systems. So I think that’s a big benefit. You’re going thru it at a walk through pace, but you’re doing your individual drills so they’re getting to be with their coaches that way. You’re put in your systems so when you do finally get to kick it in to gear, your guys are ready to go. From a strength and conditioning standpoint, I really like our strength coaches. When you get in there I think it’s an advantage to us that anytime our players are in the building, I don’t think you can go out somewhere else and get a better teacher, a better system than what we already have in place here with Eric (Ciano) and them. So obviously that’s good. You look around and our guys are yoked up pretty good, so I like that. The tough part is when you leave. Now you have a month before you have a month before you see your players. Probably five weeks before you see your players. That’s a tough thing because they’re either going to get better or worse and maybe stay the same. But you want to get our guys better which is hard to do. Right now they’re getting a great base for their strength and conditioning and they’re getting a great grasp of our systems.


FB John Conner

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Q: Being reunited with Rex Ryan, how does that feel?

A: It feels good. Rex is a fun coach to play for. I am sure all the players who have played for him I speak for when I say he is a player’s coach, great person and just a great coach all around.


Q: Where does your style of play come from?

A: I like to play the game physical. I like to be the most physical player on the field. Just enforce my will on the other team. I think that is how the game should be played. A lot of people call me an old school fullback so I guess you can say that.


Q: Tell us about playing fullback in a league that it is not a very valued position anymore.

A: Yeah, it is tough now. I like to say, if you are a good football player you will hang around in this league. As a fullback, I just try to be a versatile as possible whether that be catching, running the ball and getting the short yards—all of that. I do everything I can just to try to stay healthy and keep myself around in the league in this day when it is a pass happy league.


RB Boobie Dixon

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Q: How do you view the addition of LeSean McCoy?

A: It is just motivation. Shady—he is a great player. We all know what he has done in this league. It just motivates you to want to step your game up some. He came in and we are all working together trying to build chemistry. Rex already pretty much laid out to us what our roles are going to be. It is just up to us to learn the offense and be ready when our number is called.


Q: What is going to be your role based on what they told you?

A: Basically continue what I did last year. Make plays when my number is called. That is what it is. Make plays when my number is called. Play special teams and make plays on offense when I get the ball.


Q: How has already having played under Greg Roman been helping you?

A: It has been helping me out a lot. I am ahead of the curve, but at the same time I still have to put in the work every day. I am still just trying to master the offense. I did master it when I was in San Francisco, so I am trying to master it now. Trying to know everything about it.


T Seantrel Henderson

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Q: How much different is year two from year one? How improved is your comfort level?

A: It is improved a lot. It is just no more being nervous. You know what you are coming into and what you have to do to be successful in the game as far as workouts, drills and just being around the team with what the coaches expect from you. Everything like that. It is not like leaving college and you do not know what you are about to get into…I am just enjoying it.


Q: How has the transition been for you under a new line coach?

A: It has been going pretty good, just as far as learning a whole new playbook, getting to know Coach Kromer and the rest of the coaching staff. I had to do the same thing when I was in college. It is not anything I have not done before. I have been enjoying everything. Enjoying meeting all the new guys that just came in. Just being around the team again period. In the locker room, getting to see the guys every day. I am having a good time.


Q: What positions have you been practicing at?

A: I have been playing right tackle this day, left tackle this day. That is fine with me. I need more reps on both sides just so I can get that comfortability back.


CB Leodis McKelvin

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Q: How does your ankle feel?

A: It is getting better day-by-day, week-by-week. It is getting better and getting stronger. Continue to work on it and get better every day.


Q: How tough is to have to overcome an injury like that especially as a player who relies so much on speed?

A: It is not my first rodeo of me breaking my ankle. This is my third time. I did it back in college and then my second year in the league. It is just a routine for me getting back stronger. My speed is not going to go anywhere. I am naturally fast. I have a God given talent to run fast so I will be able to come back to my ability.


Q: Do you feel like you can pick up where you left off last year?

A: Most definitely. I feel like I can come back and put those back-to-back seasons from when I was working with Mike Pettine in a defense similar to this defense right now. That year I did pretty well as far as completions coming my way. I told myself the next year I was going to start working on getting more interceptions so if I put those two seasons together, the sky is the limit.


LB Ty Powell

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Q: How do you view the competition at linebacker?

A: I do not really compare myself to other guys. I just try to come in everyday and do what I am supposed to do. Learn the scheme in itself. Now with the new scheme you have to learn it. You do not want to start counting on, ‘Hey I have to be better than this guy at this.’ You want to do your best when you get the opportunity to go out there and do it.


Q: Do you feel you are now truly comfortable at linebacker?

A: Six years since I started college I have played six different positions. Last year I played Mike, and I am played Mike again this year but it is in a new scheme. They had this scheme in my first year here. Now I am inside so I really just refer back to Nigel (Bradham) because Nigel has been in this defense so I am really learning off of him. I do feel like this is my natural position.


Q: Do you feel like this is the year you show what you can do in more of a defensive role?

A: Yeah, you always come into the year hoping that you can show yourself more. I love playing special teams. I want to play special teams so if that is what I am going to have to do, I will play special teams. I want to be on the field.



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