Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan

Monday, December 07, 2015

Opening Statement:

Took this morning to review the entire game, offense, defense, special teams. As I mentioned to our team going into it we need to play our best game in all three phases. At moments, at times there we really did a tremendous job, all three phases. Offensively going into that game you have J.J. Watt, you got a team that can really rush the passer, disruptive team. After listening to the media a lot of times not everybody in the media, but a lot of the media, you thought we were playing the ’85 Bears. I don’t think we were but with that said it is a good defense. Love the plan that we had. I think Aaron Kromer, you know has done a tremendous job. All three of our offensive line coaches, we have a lot of offensive line coaches but they do a great job. It is just a credit to the guys that were in there, with the challenge that they had in front of them. Just really did a great job. And then I think on defense, the thing that is overlooked we had some issues obviously in the second half with a lot of injuries, we had injuries going into it. Then we had Tony Steward go down, we had [Stephon] Gilmore go down, and then late [Ron] Brooks go down. But the guys stepped in. I think they had eight possessions in the second half, which is a high number. But six ended up in punts, one was intercepted, and then they had the touchdown. Looked like we had perfect coverage, just the kid made a great play for a touchdown. Anyway, so I was proud of that. Proud of the way both sides played. And then we had a big return and unfortunately we get the penalty on the back side of the return, which negated a huge return by [Marcus] Thigpen. I thought our punter, we are going against Shane Lechler who is a possible Hall of Fame type punter, and at the end of the day Colton [Schmidt] had a better day than he did. Which is really saying something. I don’t believe we gave up a single return yard on the punts that we had. So that really is a tremendous job. So with that I will open it up for questions.

Q: Injury update on Gilmore?

A: We will see how it goes. He did leave with a shoulder.  A lot of times when you don’t return to games that is usually an indicator that it may be a stretch. But we will see how he feels. Obviously he is a guy that if he can go we need him out there. There is no question about it because he is a tremendous player for us. And then same thing with [Ron] Brooks we will see as the week goes on how he is. Tony Steward, they all get the tests, the MRI’s, the all that other stuff they have. Bunch of letters. But you know hopefully we will come out of this okay. Clearly when you don’t return during a game sometimes it seems like through my experience that a lot of times guys don’t come back. But we will see. We are certainly not giving up hope that they will be able to come back.

Q: Is Gilmore looking more like a week to week thing versus a season thing?

A: Well I don’t believe it is season ending. I think you can rule that out.

Q: This has to be the LesSean McCoy you envisioned when you guys got him?

A: Yeah. I mean he can make you miss in a phone booth. Like he is just a rare guy. There is no question about it. He made some runs yesterday against a good run defense that was, just leaves you scratching your head. Left them scratching their head, and picking something up off the ground. Because it was, he was just unbelievable moves that he makes. And then our quarterback does the same thing. He makes some great moves in the open field as well. So we have some talent there, there is no question about it. The young kid we put in, the young back from Florida did a couple of good things. Hopefully we get Karlos [Williams] back this week too.

Q: The other guys that missed the game are any of them possibilities for next week?

A: Yeah I think so. You know I am not sure about John Miller. But Seantrel [Henderson] we are hopeful that he will be able to come back and Karlos [Williams] we will see how he is.

Q: Nigel?

A: Doubtful. But that guy they say, there is a hockey player with the exact same injury they say will be eight weeks for him. Nigel [Bradham] two maybe. That’s how, this dude he is like a Jeep as long as you got one or two lug nuts on it he is going to play. He is going to be out there, so we will see. He is a tough guy now.

Q: How much of a relief is it to have an offense with the big play ability when the defense has this many injuries?

A: Oh yeah no question. I think you know this is what we talked about building a team. Where you know it is complimentary football and that is what you want. You want to have a defense that can close out games.  You want to have a defense that can keep you in games. And then you want an offense that can control the ball, go to a four minute mode and still win games that way. And then the big plays you mentioned. I think we see what Sammy Watkins does to you too. Obviously he has the three big catches that he gets credited for. His best catch he made we had unfortunately a holding call. But that might have been his best catch of the day. But he drew double coverage almost the entire game. And you see what that does to you in the running game. It opens up the running game for you. So we will take it.

Q: The most counter intuitive stat is I think you guys are 5-1 when you get less than 20 first downs, is that a reflection of the big play?

A: Well I think so. It says you are doing things on first and second down. But I mean…oh you are not talking about third downs you just talking about first downs in general?

Q: You won twice with 13 first downs, you haven’t won one with more than 22?

A: Well I think, yeah…that is the first I heard of it. So you caught me off guard with it. I think when you look at our team if we have the ability to run the ball and be successful running to our standards we are going to be successful in games. I think that is a big one. Sometimes if we are under 30 pass attempts I think we are undefeated, you know at that. So that is kind of how we built this team, if that is what you prefer if you get into where we have to pass it every down. I don’t know if that is the best scenario because we got a lot of talent and we can run the ball. I think we have shown, our quarterback I think is the fourth rated quarterback in the NFL, ahead of some pretty decent guys. I think that is a good indication that we might actually have a real quarterback. Sometimes when you evaluate quarterbacks, sometimes it is good to look at how they perform in the fourth quarter. And I think our quarterback is number one in the league, in the fourth quarter. I think we have the skill set and the talent to throw the football but also we want to control the game, the pace of the game with our running game. I think that is the great combination of playing team football.

Q: If Gilmore can’t play I guess you go to McKelvin is it good to have a guy like that?

A: Yeah there is no question. It is great to have Leodis [McKelvin]. He has been a huge contributor for us, when he came back. The fact that we have a guy, a starting corner, and not just a starting corner a good starting corner that can go in. That is absolutely huge for us. Obviously if Stephon [Gilmore] can’t go Leo will have to step right up in there. And we will be fine with it.

Q: What did you see from him in the game?

A: He did a good job, he did a really good job. As I mentioned I think it is overblown we gave up a bunch of yards, gave up 60 I think in that last drive. Kind of tilted it a little bit. But I thought the performance overall by the defense was really good. Especially in the second half when we, it was tight there for a while. Obviously they tied the game up but we kept hanging in there. I mentioned Manny [Lawson], Manny was all over the place. Manny had to play inside linebacker, defensive end, outside linebacker he was all over the place, but he is smart. And guys stepped up and found a way to get it done.

Q: Rambo seems to have a knack for making big plays have you seen that as well?

A: Yeah absolutely. He is becoming an all-around safety. A real, he is an intelligent guy too guys he can run the show back there. He has been, his game has really stepped up as the season gone on he has gotten better and better.

Q: Will Aaron Williams play this week?

A: Yeah Aaron [Williams] won’t play this week. He will continue to condition, he won’t be on the practice field running with the pads on, everything. We like where he is at. Hopefully at the end of the year we will be able to use him, and he will be able to play for us. But we are not going to put him out there till we know, and our trainers are on top of it. He has been working out with our strength coaches, and conditions and all that as well. So we will see how it fairs out late in the season. But don’t expect him to play this week, he won’t play this week.

Q: Is it a 50-50 chance he comes back at all this season?

A: That is probably where it is.

Q: The Texans seemed surprised by your running game, what did you do to keep him off balance?

A: Well it was great we opened up our playbook quite a bit. We went to some direct snap runs that helped us. I think we went to some wild cats things as well, kept them off balance. Had a nice counter load option that we run. We had our traditional runs as well. But we are also able because of the guy we have at quarterback you can do different things. I think we really utilized that. We ran a quarterback trap play to success to get a third down run. Ran a sweep on a third down. So we did a lot of things that way and we are tough to defend because if you want to lay them back there and play all pass defense, play pass coverage we can run the ball on you.

Q: How good has that left side of the line been with Cordy and Richie?

A: Yeah they are playing pretty well Cordy [Glenn] is doing a great job. I think Richie [Incoginto] is playing better than any guard in the league. So I think that, actually I think he is up so he has been average also.

Q: You didn’t get a lot of help on the scoreboard from other games, is that something you look at?

A: Yeah definitely you don’t concern yourself with it. We have to, and I gave you a true assessment of it that at the end of the game when you guys asked me about the Jets, I promise you I had no idea who they were playing. It is just all about us. And that is where the focus has to be. I know we say hey one game at a time and all that, yeah well better be one game at a time. You know you focus down the road you don’t have to worry about it. To me it is all about this week’s opponent and putting everything we have into it.

Q: When do you know you have a quarterback?

A: Well I think when you, it has got to be played out. You got, you can’t just judge it on one game or Ryan Leaf would have been a star. So I think it just has to go, you let it play out. I think we have a pretty good idea of who he is. We have gone through how many games now that he has started so you get a pretty good indication. And then as they get going, I like that fact that he is the number one quarterback percentage wise in the fourth quarter. That tells you it doesn’t get to him, the pressure doesn’t get to him. He is a cool customer that is how he plays. That is important to play that position. There is always a next step you hope you get there. You have to see how he plays if you earn your way into the playoffs too. Because there are some, sometimes that is a different also.

Q: Have you ever felt this good about a quarterback?

A: Yeah I sure did. I felt great about Steve McNair. Oh you mean being a head coach. Okay. Look I feel great about Tyrod [Taylor] I really do. I have for a long time. He is doing a great job. I love the fact he is taking it on. His teammates see him now as a leader. So I think you got to earn that. Every step he has done. He is earning that. I think part of that is through preparation and everything else. It is to winning every single sprint in the conditioning things. It is all those type things and they are adding up and now when he talks they all listen. So I think that is a great thing. Two great examples that I was going to give our team about extra preparation and what these guys have done. We were struggling a little bit with our timing on the wild cat. So I look out there, this is after practice. And you guys probably notice it too. You see Eric Wood out there, Shady [LeSean McCoy] back there taking the direct snap and he has got the motion receiver coming over [Marcus] Thigpen and they are working on the timing of things. So that is great to see. Then you see Robert Woods out there with Tyrod [Taylor] and [Jonathan] Meeks. I see Meeks over there playing the DB. And they are working on the route that he caught the touchdown on for about 20 minutes and it was just him. Then when you see it on game, it shows up. Timing is great on the wild cat, make the great throw. It is those types of things that I am starting to see. Our team wants to win in the worst way. When I tell you in the absolute worst way. And not just for ourselves, I keep telling you it is not just for ourselves. We feel responsibility here and our guys take a great deal of pride and everything else. I said from day one we don’t want to let our fans down and we are doing everything. When I say we are doing everything in our power, I mean everything in our power to get there. It is not going to be easy by any stretch and we get that. But we are trying to get in the playoffs, and that is where our fans want us, that is where all of us want to be.

Q: Safe to say Shady is going to be a team captain?

A: Oh why would I do that. Then I’ll be…I don’t think so. I think it is safe to say that he will not be a captain. (Laughs)

Q: This one seems to have some personal feelings involved with how he left?

A: I don’t think. I think it is more, I think with him he is from Pennsylvania. That was a huge thing for him, he was drafted by the Eagles and some great years with the Eagles. He loves the fans and he has got you know a great rapport and respective for his former teammates and things. So that is why I think it is going to be a huge game for him. Just because you know because of all those factors that I mentioned.

Q: There is some social media chatter that your brother Rob is in town to visit?

A: Well I think it would be obvious if he was. There is probably some truth to that rumor.

Q: Pro Football Focus said J.J. Watt was the best player on the field, did you come away with that same opinion?

A: Yeah. I mean he is the best, I think he is the best player in the league, I do. Now there are some pretty darn good players when you talk about Shady McCoy in there, you talk about [Richie] Incognito as an offensive lineman, you talk about Sammy Waktins, the [DeAndre] Hopkins kid. You know and any other Clemson receiver, just throw them all in there.

Q: Did he impact the game more than the stat sheet indicated?

A: Oh yeah. I mean absolutely. It is just like Sammy had a huge impact on this game. It only showed up as three catches. Okay but Sammy Watkins had a humongous impact on this game. He dictated coverage, they doubled him almost the whole game, and when they didn’t they paid the price. So it is, but yeah obviously you know where that kid is at every time.

Q: Carpenter missed a few kicks, where are you at with him and the kicking game as a whole?

A: I think you look around the league there has been, moving that thing back there is a lot people that miss kicks. Their kicker missed a kick.

Q: Nine missed kicks on PATs only yesterday.

A:  Now I wish I could say see I told you. I had no idea it was that high I guessed. But it is, I think it just shows you we got a veteran kicker that you guys know he can kick the conditions. Not everybody can do that. I think obviously the one kick you can’t kick it better than he kicked it, the 51-yarder. So you know that is fine. The extra point obviously we wish we had it back. We kind of joked about the holding situation we have a good holder in Colton [Schmidt]. I said he is the second best holder I know. But you know I think Colton probably wishes he had that hold back a little bit. I don’t think it was exactly where we want it. I think we ended up kicking the laces on that one. But we are not getting rid of Dan Carpenter.

Q: Does it alter your thinking about going for two?

A: No.

Q: How the season has unfolded not just with Carpenter?

A: No, I mean I say no but obviously if there is, a you know, a gale force wind or something that shows up, which we are hoping for these last two games of the regular season, then maybe. If the conditions are what they are, what they were this past weekend, no we will just go ahead and kick it. I am confident in Dan [Carpenter].

Q: If Seantrel Henderson is healthy is he still your starting right tackle?

A: Yeah if, but he has got to be able to practice, he has got to be able to do those types of things.

Q: You talked about finding consistency how do that when you have no other choice at this point in the season?

A: Well that is it. That is what we are shooting to do. I think the big thing is what we talked about that work, the preparation and everything else goes into it. Don’t take anything for granted. You focus on the task at hand and that is it. I think that where we will see that consistency.

Q: Have you ever had a more complete offensive at this time?

A: I think statistically you know I think when you look at it. I have led the league in rushing a few times. So I am not sure we will see where it measures out at the end. I just want to lead it in wins. I think we got our work cut out for us we just got to keep winning. That is all we care about.

Q: You have got to be happy with the penalty situation recently?

A: When we are talking about the consistency things that is a big factor right there. That we know, penalties we have seen how it affects us if we don’t play well, generally the penalties are up. And that is something that we got to keep working on and keep harping on. You can see just the way our guys played and that it killed us. We get the penalty on [Ron] Brooks or whatever it devastated us. So we are doing everything we can, special teams what they have three or four the same things illegal down the field, man down the field or whatever. You know our guys, like I said before we are working our tails off to get better at that. We want to be the least penalized team not the most penalized team. And that is something we know would be in our favor.

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