Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Opening Statement: Alright guys, there’s only one player that’s not expected to practice today, that’s Corbin Bryant with a shoulder. And then all these other players will be limited: Marcell Dareus, groin, (Jerry) Hughes, hand, (Walt) Powell, hip, Brandon Tate, concussion and Robert Woods, foot. So we’re, like I said before, we’re about as healthy as we’ve been all season, so we’re all excited about that. But with that, I’ll open it up.

Q: You lead the league in sacks. How does your defense compare to last year’s?

A: I think we’re better. I think we’re still not where we want to be and I think there’s room for improvement and I think we will improve as we get going. We’ve done some decent things. I think in some areas we are much better. I think we’re much better in the red-zone, I think we’re much better on third-down, so I think the defense has improve but I don’t disagree with the fact that I think we’ll get better. These last seven games, I think we’ll get better.

Q: What does the sack production mean to you?

A: I have never said sacks are an indicator of wins and losses. Sacks, to me, a lot of it may be an indication of pressure but I’d much rather be this way than last year.

Q: To clarify with Sammy Watkins, is he out for this whole week or day-to-day?

A: Well I just wait for the experts to tell me. So our medical staff, if they decide that he can practice on Thursday or Friday, then so be it but we’ll leave it to them.

Q: One issue you’ve had on defense is struggling to generate turnovers. When you were winning, you were forcing turnovers.

A: Well it’s no surprise. If you can take the ball away on defense and prevent turnovers on offense, it gives you a great chance. It’s a no-brainer but that’s the case and yeah, it’s something that we have to do a good job at. When you look at Cincinnati lots of games, they’ve turned the ball over a couple of times, which is a big deal. Andy Dalton is a great quarterback but if we get the opportunity, we’ve got to make the play.

Q: Your concerns about the defensive backfield?

A: I think the big thing is, what makes a big difference is teams aren’t fearing throwing the ball vertically against us, and I think that’s kind of what, when you look at why we’re not as good or whatever, I think that’s the biggest issue. You got to be able to make plays down the field and when people are throwing jump balls out there, the biggest difference is they’re making plays and we’re not. And so that’s the biggest challenge we have. This is a vertical passing team that we’re up against this week, probably as good as anybody at doing that. So until we start making people pay down the field, we’re going to keep getting those.

Q: How is the competition going so far between Ron Darby and Corey White?

A: Well really haven’t seen a whole lot yet…

Q: Yeah, I know…

A: We’re going to give everybody an opportunity, well not everybody, but we’re going to give those two opportunities, we’re going to give (Kevon) Seymour opportunities at the nickel, we’re going to give different players opportunity at safety because we have to play better. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. We have to play better, get more production at the backend than we’re getting. It hasn’t been all bad. Part of that sack reason is because our coverage has tightened up. But, the thing that we really have to get better at is playing the deep ball.

Q: Are you already at a place of figuring out who the front-runners at those spots are?

A: We’re not going to say anybody’s a frontrunner. We’re going to give guys opportunities to run with the ones, so we’ll evaluate it then. We’ll play the hot-hand, there’s probably a good possibility that guys will play; it won’t just be one guy out there all the time. So let’s see. Prove it on the practice field and on the game field.

Q: You’ve had (James) Ihedigbo in the past. Does he factor into the safety equation yet?

A: Yeah, I mean we can look at him but basically, as we say, he’s coming in off the couch. He hasn’t really had that, but James is a physical player, I think he started in, what, two Super Bowls as a safety, so he’s got a proven track record. Very physical player, but we’ll see what he can handle. We’re not just going to give him a bunch of stuff, but we will get him in there somewhere.

Q: Thoughts on Ihedigbo?

A: Well I think it’s good and as we’ve mentioned, he’s played in this system for a couple of years, so I think that helps. He’s not as behind as just picking up somebody, so it gives him an opportunity. But I like having that. It’s not a whole lot different than bringing in a Lorenzo Alexander, a (Leger) Douzable, somebody like that. A good veteran player that has experience. I’m not saying he’s going to have the impact that Zo’s had, that would be nice, but I think you’re getting a real pro.

Q: It looks like you’ve had trouble with tight ends. Do you write that off on Aaron Williams not being out there? Or is there a flaw somewhere with your coverage?

A: Well, I don’t think – first off, we don’t use it as an excuse that a player’s out. Recognizing that Aaron is an exceptional talent, but it’s not us. It’s every team in the league. It’s hard to defend against that type of talent and those types of tight ends. We’re not the only team in the league that struggles with really good tight ends.

Q: As far as the offensive line, similar questions arise – much like the secondary. Can you give us a sense of how that process –

A: We’re going to work some guys in there. Obviously, at center, we have to make a decision there and then we’ve got to make one – I think Jordan Mills is a good player, but I think Seantrel Henderson has looked really good in practice so we’ll see how he steps up. Get him some reps, and maybe [Cyrus] Kouandijo as well.

Q: Let’s go back to these deep balls. You had seven passes for 50 yards or more. That’s higher than what you want to see? When you look back, is it more technique? Is it more communication? Is it guys not in the right spot? Where do you put that as far as what has happened?

A: Well, I think technique is the biggest issue. That’s the one that we have to get fixed. Communication – we’ve had much better [communication]. That’s why I said our defense is way better than what it was last year, in my opinion. I mean, I’ll be honest. I’m shocked that the numbers aren’t better. But, that part of it we’ve pretty much straightened out. We obviously had one glaring mistake in the New England game, but we were beaten more physically against Seattle than we were busting coverages. We never played coverages the way we wanted to play them, I can tell you that much. Your job is to – whatever happens, you don’t get beat deep on a certain call. That’s what we should go to the bank with. That’s what our football team should be able bank on, and if you give up a deep pass then there’s an issue. But I think from a technique standpoint – you know, we’re not getting the exact – people aren’t playing us the exact same way that they played us last year. Offenses make adjustments and on defense, you have to make adjustments and sometimes it’s through your technique.

Q: From this team’s standpoint, is there anything you can do to help the passing game get better? Does that mean more safety help for those guys, or does it come down to the individual play?

A: Well, it’s hard. You can get isolated if you just want to chuck it up there regardless of what you call. You can run blitz, you can run corners, you can run two – eventually, It’s going to come. You can get what you want in a one-on-one matchup down the field. But your protection had better hold up and all of those things. That’s part of it. We just have to do a better job and once we start making guys pay down the field, we’ll get less of it.

Q: It’s kind of a complex thing, but how do you balance – with [Ronald] Darby – teaching him his lesson, you know, saying, “Alright, we can’t give up these deep passes,” and putting his job up for competition, and also while thinking long term and saying, “Alright, we might need this guy for beyond just this year or beyond these seven games.” How do you not shape his confidence so that he’s not just thinking about the first 10 games?

A: Well, the big thing is that it’s not just about his confidence. It’s about our confidence. We’re very serious about it. Ronald Darby is an outstanding talent. We need Ronald Darby to play the way he’s capable of playing and what we think he’s capable of playing. If there’s a reason he’s not, and just throwing him or anybody else behind [Stephon] Gilmore or whoever, we’ve got to ask ourselves, “Why? Why is this happening?” First off, it’s understanding how teams are attacking you and the technique that you have to play to offset that, and that’s what we’ll do. But it’s my responsibility to play the best guys out there – to get guys that give us the best chance to win. Regardless of if it’s Ron Darby – if Kyle Williams wasn’t doing his job, if so and so wasn’t getting it done – it’s my job to give us the best chance and that’s what we’ll do.

Q: Is Gilmore involved in this?

A: You know, I think all of the players are. We’ve got to play at a high level, so that’s what we need to do.

Q: When you talk about the corners, Darby is not playing well but Gilmore has been struggling –

A: Well I would think, against Seattle that would be a fact. But there have been times where Darby has outplayed Gilmore and all that. We’ve just got to be more consistent, and going into this year I thought that was going to be a real strength of our team, is the play of our corners. We have to step it up. These last seven weeks, we have to step it up and make that a true fact.

Q: Does the bad play on the back end reflect the switch from Donnie Henderson to Tim McDonald?

A: Well, first off, and let’s see, “let’s blame it on the coach or whatever.” In my opinion, I think we’re pretty well coached in the back end, and in all levels. Our linebackers, I think that’s a given. But in the back end, it hasn’t appeared. You know, I get it. We’re looking for someone to point blame, or whatever. But we’re not making mistakes. The middle mistakes are much less than it was in the past. We just have to make a play or two. That’s the big thing. And I think, once we do, the confidence level will get better.

Q: After the Seattle game you said Ronald Darby was feeling a bit under the weather, and that’s why he played the way he did. Now he’s fighting for his job.

A: But it’s not just him. Nothing changed. I pulled him out of the game because of that. And I should’ve pulled him out before that. You know, and that’s on me and I’ve said that since day one. But to me the competition, it’s not just singled out. As I mentioned I’m going to put Seymour in there at nickel, I’m going to put guys, you know (Jonathan) Meeks in there, whoever to battle. That’s what it’s about. It’s not just point at Ronald Darby. That’s not it. You’ll see when we go on the practice field. That’s not, it may be perceived but there’s going to be real competition. And I’m tired of mistakes and I think we’ve got to get better physically as well. And if that’s through technique and all that, that’s what it’s going to be. I’m not here to make friends, man. I’m here to win.

Q: Zach Brown wasn’t at practice Monday, but you didn’t list him.

A: Yeah, it was personal deal that he was dealing with.

Q: How would you assess Tyler Eifert and compare him to guys like Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski?

A: Different kind of guy. Probably has more speed than those guys. Definitely doesn’t have the size mismatch that you know Gronk has. But he’s really a tremendous player and you know he is a red zone threat like those guys. It’s just, his game is different than theirs. But he’s a real talent. You know he missed six games. I wish he missed ours. He missed six games and it’s hard to replace a guy with that kind of skillset.

Q: Jerel Worthy playing with his hair on fire in Seattle, does that warrant a further look from you on game day?

A: Absolutely. Yeah, he played a really good game. There’s a lot of guys. And I’m not going to dismiss the fact that our pass rush was just “oh well.” No our pass rush has been exceptional. And we’re doing it maybe a little unconventionally. But Worthy I think is really playing well. And then as is a lot of these guys. Kyle Williams is playing unbelievable. And will it be fun to get the big guy back inside with Kyle? I’m sure Kyle is looking forward to that so people don’t slide the protection to him 100 percent of the time, because that’s what’s happening. So hopefully we get Marcel (Dareus) back and we get those guys rotating. And that’s the thing. There’s competition there and every one of them has to get better or you don’t play.

Q: Was the Seattle game a step forward for Tyrod Taylor?

A: Well you know I’ve been a big supporter of Tyrod’s, you know, and I think he’s a heck of a player. I think the fact that, you know we had our receivers fairly healthy, I think that was a big part of that. Of why he looked impressive. You know it’s tough to play when you’ve got four, five of your receivers out. But I think that was it. But I’m not dismissing the fact that we went against a really good defense and were able to control the game. 480 yards of offense against the Seattle defense. I don’t think that’s been done very often. 30 first downs, was a great game by Tyrod. It was. I think after the game I never realized, really those stats. I was like “oh my god.” I guess it was better than I thought. I think Tyrod is, you know, an outstanding quarterback. I really do. Hopefully we’ll find out soon if we really have a full deck of how good this kid could really be.

Q: Having this be his third week on the roster, is it time to unleash Percy Harvin with the offense and give him more responsibility?

A: Yeah, I would say that’s a fair statement. Yep.

Q: Going back to what you said about Ronald Darby. You said it’s not about his confidence, it’s about our confidence. Is that to say the team is confident in Darby?

A: Well I’m just saying, and it’s not just Darby, but Darby and whoever. We’ve got to make plays on the deep ball. And we can’t just sit back each week and say “oh he missed another opportunity,” or whatever. No, we’ve got to start making plays and making teams pay for just throwing jump balls up. I mean I’m tired of seeing it, and I’m sure our fans are as well. We’re playing pretty good defense but that’s killing us. That part of our defense is killing us.

Q: What do you think about AJ Green?

A: He’s right there at the top of the list. I know we play (Antonio) Brown from Pittsburg coming up but I think he’s probably the best receiver we’ve faced all season.

Q: How do you manage the next seven games?

A: We can’t back up anymore. We can’t afford to slip up. We understand that. So we recognize what’s behind us, but we’re moving forward and we have to find a way to win. And against a team that’s gone to I don’t know how many playoffs in a row, but they’re as healthy as any team. I can’t believe how healthy they are. But that’s a healthy team and they play extremely well at home with a good quarterback, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. But with that being said, we still got to find a way to win this game and that’s our intention.

CB Stephon Gilmore
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: Schematically, is there anything you guys can do different or does it come down to players at this point?
A: Coaches got players in position to make plays and you got to make plays, that’s what it comes down to. So that’s it. We play a lot of man-to-man, I don’t know another team that plays as much man (coverage) as we do, so we got to just make plays. Like I said, when we pick some balls off and have a couple of pass breakups, people are going to stop doing it. So that’s what it’s about. Playing corner, it’s not easy. You got to make plays.

Q: Have they put you guys in any off-coverage at all?
A: It’s whatever we want to do. Whatever you think is going to work as a player.

Q: Nickell Robey-Coleman said in the secondary you guys have to have tough skin because if there’s a problem that breaks down, it always looks like it comes back on you guys. Do you guys think you’re playing fine? Is the media making this a bigger deal than it is?
A: That’s how it is. Corners, safeties, when the ball’s in the air, that’s when it matters. So, we got to play our game, we got to play physical, we got to make plays. Our d-line’s going to get to the quarterback, linebackers got to do what they do and go from there.

S Corey Graham
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: Seven passes of fifty yards or more.
A: Really? Oh no, that’s terrible. That’s what you can’t do. This league is pretty simple, as a defensive back. Keep the ball in front of you. However you look at it, keep the ball in front of you and you’ll be okay. I mean, guys aren’t going to throw slants and hit you all the way down the field. At some point, they’re going to try you over the top. So I’ve always been taught to stay deep as a defense, and eventually you’ll make a play. If you just keep the ball in front of you, we’ll be alright.

Q: You seemed surprised when I said “seven.”
A: Yeah, because I didn’t know that. I didn’t know we gave up seven plays of over fifty yards. That’s crazy. And it’s simple. I mean, keep the ball in front of you. If you take away the deep ball, nine times out of ten there aren’t too many quarterbacks that are going to take you all the way down the field. Eventually, they’re going to take a shot. You stay high, you make the play on the deep ball, and you’ll be okay. We’ve got to make more plays than we have been making. Those guys have been doing a lot, and it’s more technique. When you look at it, it’s really not communication or things like that. We might have had one or two communication errors the whole season, but that’s nothing. That’s going to happen. The holding play was a communication error. But other than that, it’s just guys have to focus on their technique and when the ball’s in the air, you’ve got to make a play.

WR Percy Harvin
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: What did you do over the bye week to take advantage of that extra time to prepare?
A: Just doing the same things I’ve been doing since before I came. Yoga, massages, running. Mentally, I worked on my routes and watched a lot of film from the game and from past games. Just trying to tune the body and put in as much knowledge as I can in this short period of time.

Q: Are you still progressing and trying to ramp things up or have you been here enough to be full-go this Sunday?
A: From what I’m hearing, I think I’m going to be full-go. How many plays? I don’t know yet. I definitely practiced the whole time today. Got a lot more reps and a lot of reps with the [first team]. So I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and keep preparing myself. When game time comes, I’ll let the coaches handle that part.

Q: How did you feel on Tuesday, the day after the game, physically after going through the battle for the first time?
A: I surprisingly felt really, really good. I thought I was going – I woke up, kind of a little slow to get out of bed, but I got up and after taking a few steps, it felt all good. Didn’t feel any soreness. It was very positive, so the next day I went right back to work. Still no soreness, so I think I’m over the edge as far as the knee and the hip and the whole deal.

T Seantrel Henderson
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: Is this as close as you’ve been to getting back on the field since the end of last season? Do you feel like you’re pretty close right now?
A: Yeah, I feel like I’m real close. My last two or three weeks of practice, I’ve been progressing as far as my craft and my technique. It’s all of the little small things that a tackle has to do. Feet, hands, being aggressive and fast, and things like that. I’ve just been coming along with everything and I feel good with where I’m at right now.

Q: Do you think your strength is back to where it was?
A: Oh yeah. Yeah, most definitely.

Q: The doctors, have they told you about anything that you have to be careful of or have to watch for with football?
A: No, I’m pretty much healed. My stomach is pretty much healed up. That would’ve been the only thing. I wouldn’t be able to practice if it wasn’t, so I’m fine.

G Richie Incognito
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: Can you talk about the challenges you face without Eric Wood?
A: Yeah, it’s huge. Eric’s a great player and he’s a great guy. All of us have to pick up the slack. All five of us on the offensive line, we all have to be in tune with what we’re doing. We’ve been kind of blessed with Eric because he tells us what to do on every single play. There’s a ton of familiarity with Ryan [Groy] and I expect him to play very well and step into those shoes. I’m excited to watch him play. Ryan’s a really good guy, a good teammate, and he’s a hardworking guy so you like to see guys like that get an opportunity.

Q: What challenges do Geno Atkins present to you?
A: Yeah, Geno’s an avid pass rusher. He’s stout against the run. He’s one of the premiere defensive tackles in this league. We have to know where he is on every single play. We’ve got to get bodies on him and we can’t let him shut this thing down.

Q: In terms of Tyrod Taylor, it looks like he took a nice step forward in the fourth quarter, despite coming out with the loss. What have you seen from the past couple of weeks in terms of growing into that franchise role?
A: I think the thing with Tyrod is consistency. He’s been consistent since his first day here and he’s a playmaker for us. He’s our leader. He’s our unquestioned leader and we follow Tyrod.

RB LeSean McCoy
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: How healthy are you, coming out of the bye week right now?
A: I feel good. I really do, just today in practice. Having the whole bye week to give me some time to get healthy, get back out there, get fresh, so I can’t wait to get rocking.

Q: Losing Eric Wood at center, obviously is a big part of what you guys do with run communication and everything. How do you think the offensive line will adjust and is there anything that you have to do to adjust?
A: You’re right. I think the most important player on our offense is Eric Wood. I mean, everybody will tell you that. As a whole, we just have to be dialed in, study a little harder, and be for sure. We put a lot of pressure on him to make the right calls and put us in the right protection and right schemes. I think, as a whole, we have to do a better job of that and of knowing ourselves, instead of letting him tell us what to do, and just be a student to of the game. We have a lot of veterans on offense, so we should be fine.

Q: LeSean, with five losses, you guys are looking up at a lot of the other AFC contenders. How do you focus on the task at hand, which is just this game, and not worry about the what-if’s and scoreboard watching and all of that other stuff.
A: It’ll be hard, but the main thing is winning the game. In this league, the only thing you can control is what you can control, and that’s to win games. Be a good offense, a smart team, no penalties, move the ball and score touchdowns. That’s all that we can do. At the end of the year, we’ll just [take] each game at a time and hopefully have a shot.

Q: I know you had a week off, but your offense [in Seattle] seemed to be moving the ball maybe the best it has, and everyone seems to be getting healthy. Can you still take that momentum into this game against Cincinnati?
A: Yeah, for sure. I mean, they have a good team and a good defense. I feel like our offense is playing well right now. Like you said, guys are getting healthy off the bye week. [We’ll] take care of this game. Hopefully, we’ll have our big dog back, in Sammy [Watkins], as another tool to this offense. And like I said, we can control our offense. Put points up, control the time of possession – that’s always key. Do those things, and we have a shot at winning this game. Each week, [we] build more confidence.

Q: How much contact have you had with Sammy over the past couple of weeks and how close do you think he is to coming back?
A: I’m not sure. I know he’s close. We see him all the time [with] his development of working out and getting prepared, so we don’t want to rush that. We want to make sure he’s back healthy. But he’s doing a great job and when he gets back, he’s full-go, and that’s always a good thing.

Q: LeSean, when you watch Mike [Gillislee] play out there, he’s obviously been doing a really good job out there. But how much does that help you, knowing that you have a guy that can spell you and can really help out in situations where you have to come off the field?
A: That helps out a lot. It takes a lot of pressure of myself. I don’t have to do everything. Also, it builds our team with depth. A lot of the better teams you see, guys go down and you see guys step up and make plays and they replace them. That’s always key, to have a lot of depth. The good teams have that.

Q: What’s it like going up against a guy like Vontaze Burfict, who’s kind of nasty on the inside and he’s not afraid to kind of tow the line with those physical hits?
A: Well, I mean, it’s football. It’s a physical game. We play against a lot of physical, tough players on defense. That’s the name of the game. Everything within the white lines – if it’s legal, it goes down. That’s football.

QB Tyrod Taylor
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: Was the start of practice this week, feel a little bit like the start of training camp?
A: Well, yes. The quarterback exchange was definitely different when I was out there. We always do a good job of rotating, even when (Eric) Wood’s out there, just in case of emergency situations. Of course we miss a guy like (Eric) Wood, but we have guys like Pat (Lewis) and (Ryan) Groy that are ready to step up to the challenge.

Q: Tyrod do you think in Monday’s game and how well the offense handles things like that, do you think that can give (Coach) Anthony Lynn and anyone else like that more confidence for what you want to do moving forward?
A: I mean we definitely did some very good things during the game. We didn’t come away with the outcome we wanted, but there were definitely some things to look back at that game and build off of. I think moving forward we have to, being the team we want to be. We just have to continue making plays week in and week out.

Q: Tyrod, what is the biggest challenge without Eric (Wood) in the lineup for the offense?
A: Just his presence. He’s a veteran. He’s been playing at a high level for a long time. His leadership on the field. His communication, getting everybody on the same page up front. Like I said, we have guys that have been studying under him. I mean (Ryan) Groy, closer to two years now and then Pat (Lewis), for a year or for a half of a year. Those guys are ready to come in and play and we have tremendous belief in those guys as well.

Q: There is a report out there that says you are dealing with a groin issue, is that true? If so, how much will that hold you back?
A: That’s about as true as me wearing the diamond mouth piece last year. I don’t know where that report is coming from. I haven’t had a groin issue.

Q: Tyrod, Rex (Ryan) said you played exceptionally well in that last game and part of the reason he thinks you’re doing so well is because you finally have some help. Do you also feel that momentum shift now that players are getting healthier and coming back to help you out?
A: We’re just taking it one game at a time. The guys are getting healthy and that’s making the team better. I mean it’s not just about me, or those guys. If those guys are healthy we can go out there as a team and put our best people out there on the field and make plays. Like I said we play well, but just not good enough to win. We don’t want to hold that as our standard, we want to continue getting better and fix the things that we didn’t do so well as a team in that game to come out with a win moving forward.

Q: The losses margin error is smaller now, do you feel that guys are able to come away, play loose on Sunday and just play your game? Do you feel that that’s an issue for you guys?
A: I don’t think that’s an issue. We understand the circumstances, we understand that it’s a must win, but it’s not that we’re putting pressure on ourselves and we have to go out there and play for our lives we play our style of game the smart way and go out there and be physical. And you can’t put too much pressure onto the game, we have to go out there and be ourselves.

Q: What stands out with the Bengals defense?
A: That’s a group that has been around for a while. As far as the team chemistry, those guys know each other like the back of their hands and they’ve been playing at a high level for a while. They have a great rush, some tall guys up front and even inside with Geno Atkins. You’ve got back men that have been playing at a high level for a while and the corner and a younger athletic guy on the other side. Like I said, they’re just a veteran group that plays well together and we definitely have to execute. The challenges are always the same on the road, communication and execution and that’s something we have to be on top of.

Q: With Groy in particular, how do you think he did against Seattle, he was kinda thrown into a tough spot there. Just how comfortable are you working with him going forward?
A: Very comfortable working with Groy. I think he came in and competed his butt off. He’s had plenty of playing time throughout the year, just not at the center position. He’s a confident player. Like I said, he’s had a week to think about the opportunity that he has before him and I’m pretty sure that he’s dialed in and today going into practice he was definitely pumped up for the opportunity that he has and I’m happy for him.

Q: Is it your understanding that Groy will be the guy in the center on Sunday?
A: As of right now they have been rotating, but I’ve had more work with Groy and that’s who I expect.

Q: Have you noticed Seantrel’s (Henderson) progression week by week now that he starts to come back, does he seem like he is where he was a year ago?
A: He’s been putting in the work in the weight room and on the field, even in the classroom. As far as getting himself back to ready to play, we know what type of talent he is. He could be very special for our team if called upon. I’m just taking it day-by-day with him and trying to get him back on page.

Q: As a quarterback is changing at center the hardest thing to do? Wide receivers you’re going to throw passes to those guys differently, but (Eric) Wood has been your guy. Is that the hardest position for you to replace?
A: It’s definitely tough. The relationship that a center and the quarterback has is definitely one of a kind. The good thing is, we’ve still got veteran guys up front. We have Richie (Incognito) we have Cordy (Glenn), you have John (Miller) going into his second year to help and bring along Groy in the challenges he will face. I mean, I’m there as well too, but he’s up there with a great group of guys that are willing to help him be successful in any way.

Q: I know you didn’t play against them last year because you were injured, but it’s kind of a funny situation because they are a non-division team, but you were in the division with them. How much has their defense changed since you were in Baltimore and how much easier do that make your job this week?
A: Scheme wise they’ve been successful on defense, they’re doing the things that they’re comfortable with and they’ve been fortunate to keep a lot of their guys around. Like I said, they know each other well and they play well together while watching film. It’s going to boil down, like each and every week, execution on our end and taking care of the football on our own.

Q: How are you expecting Percy Harvin to increase this week?
A: Well, a player like Percy is definitely one of a kind. I’ll definitely have to get him the football, whether it’s running the ball or throwing and when it comes to throwing that’s on me. I’ve got to do a better job of getting involved and I’m looking forward to going out there and seeing him make plays.

DT Kyle Williams
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: What concerns do you have about the back end of the defense?

A: We all have to play better. And I think the thing about it is if we’re able to rush and get sacks, it’s because they’re covering well. You know if they don’t have to cover well, it’s because we’re rushing well. So it all works together. You know we’re all in this together and it’s not going to be any kind of finger. If they can play better, we can do better, we all have to do better.

Q: The offense won’t point fingers but they’re on pace for the most points since the Super Bowl years.

A: Well I’ll point a finger at us for them. We need to play better we need to do better. Point blank.

Q: Long passes have become a concern. Seven over 50 yards. How do you address that?

A: Like I said earlier, I think it’s attention to detail and your job. You know, knowing exactly what your job is, front end, back end, everybody. So like I said, we all play a part in eliminating big plays no matter what they are. So we really have to have attention to detail and our job and execute the game plan.

DT Jerel Worthy
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q: I think you’re always trying to prove more than another guy in that you come in in the circumstances you did. Is that the mindset that you’ve always got to fight that battle?

A: Absolutely. Just because you’ve always got to prove to your coaches that you’re ready to play. You know the starting lineup, it is what it is and they rely on those guys but when the lineups change and the next man up has to come in and they have to know more than the starter because you never know what position you’ll be placed in. Essentially along the d-line I have to know every position. You never know who’s going to go down. I’m just excited to be out there. Any time I get a chance to go out there with my brothers and sweat and grind, man. It’s definitely an honor.

Q: How do you assess what you bring to the table?

A: Well I just play with a lot of fire, passion. I just try to play with good energy and speed and d line coaches that I had in the past have always said if you run to the football, and you’re explosive, then good things happen. So just try to be as disruptive as we can. And Rex allows me to go out there and play my game. Doesn’t limit me in what I do because I’m a backup and at the end of the day, we just try to out there and fly around. The defensive line, we work well together when everything is firing and we just try to put the pieces together.

Q: How do you maintain that energy?

A: Well being in the same locker room as guys like Kyle (Williams). Listening to his speeches, listening to how he talks to us, watching how he takes care of himself and how he goes through his daily activity, I try to be just like that. Our attributes are kind of similar and I just try to play with the same passion as guys that come before us and at the end of the day I want to get him to the playoffs because he’s earned the right to be there.  He’s worked hard for this organization and he’s worked hard for our defensive line. So at the end of the day, anything I can do to help this team win, I’m going to do it.

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