Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan
Monday, November 21, 2016

Opening Statement:
Okay I think looking at the game there was some real standouts. I thought defensively obviously (Stephon) Gilmore is an obvious one with the two interceptions, but he played a very physical game, I thought might have been the best game he has played since I have been here. Really took the challenge, did a great job. I thought (Ronald) Darby played really well and it allowed us to do some things on defense were we put those guys out there on an island more than we actually planned on. And then also having Marcell (Dareus) in there made a big difference. I don’t know if it was noticeable, he played, he was outstanding in some of the things that he did for us. Obviously Kyle Williams. So really guys played extremely hard but guys really played well too and that was great to see on defense. And then on offense I thought out offensive line did a really good job, Geno Atkins is one of the better defensive tackles in this league, I don’t recall, he didn’t make a whole lot of plays, one tackle I can recall. So we did a great job, I thought Richie (Incognito) was outstanding in particular and I tip my hat to (Ryan) Groy, I thought Ryan Groy did a nice job. You guys asked me how he played, I never noticed him. So that is real positive, but I thought he did a good job. I thought (Mike) Gillislee stepped in and (Jonathan) Williams in particular did a good job when Shady (LeSean McCoy) went out. So I thought those two stepped in and did a nice job for us. I know everybody asked me about Tyrod (Taylor) I think with Tyrod as I mentioned after the game, there are going to be some throws he wished he had back, there is no doubt. He also made some plays that kept us in it and really helped us in some things. With that I will open it up for questions. By the way I think the star of the game was (Dan) Carpenter, because after watching 12 missed extra points in the league, just set a record, it was great we made all our kicks including the 54-yarder which really in my opinion that was the biggest play of the game. So with that I will open it up for questions.

Q: The report Shady had surgery this morning and his status for Sunday?
A: Well he actually had surgery last night. I guess we will see how he progresses through the week, but he did, he had the surgery on his thumb last night.

Q: Was that in Buffalo?
A: I believe so.

Q: There seems to be expectation from the media that he might play Sunday, what is your expectation and how big might that be?
A: Well it would be big for us obviously because I think right now he is playing as well as any back in the league so yeah that would be nice if actually is indeed ready, is going to play that would be great for us.

Q: With Sammy this is going to be the first week he can play, is he ready to get back to practice?
A: You know our medical staff is continuing to monitor all of Sammy (Watkins)’s deal and I guess we will see how he progresses through the week, but I know our medical staff is on top of everything.

Q: Robert Woods?
A: I think really with Robert (Woods) it is a knee sprain, so the official thing I am looking at right here it is a knee sprain. With all these things we will see how they progress through the week but it is probably doubtful he will be playing this week.

Q: If you don’t get Sammy back and Robert Woods is out what do you make of the wide receiver situation?
A: Well hopefully Walt Powell, hopefully he will be ready to go to step back up and then you got (Justin) Hunter, (Brandon) Tate, and Percy (Harvin) will be around. We will be okay.

Q: If Sammy was cleared to play is it reasonable to think he could step in and play?
A: You know I really don’t know how realistic it is. I think I speak on behalf of every Buffalo Bill fan we are hoping he can play some. But we will see, we will see how it goes. We obviously wont put him out there if he is in no condition to play.

Q: There is a report he will have another test on his foot, are those accurate and will you that tell you more about whether or not he can play?
A: Yeah I am not, I don’t feel real comfortable commenting on something that is led by the medical staff. They are on top of all of it.

Q: What is the situation with Robert Blanton?
A: It is, he has got a foot injury. And I think, he, to my knowledge he is still going under evaluation the extent of it but I think you could it would be doubtful he plays this week too.

Q: If that is the case will you look to make another move at safety?
A: I am not real sure. Having James Ihedigbo in now for another week I think he is really a sharp kid, I think he will get the base and sub defenses and things like that. I think he will have a better understanding of what we are trying to do, and then you still have (Jonathan) Meeks. So we will see how it goes.

Q: How happy are you with Ihedigbo that he was able to come right in and contribute?
A: Yeah we put a couple new packages for Cincinnati specifically and I thought James (Ihedigbo) did a real good job in some of those things.

Q: It was split right down the middle with Henderson and Mills, what did you think of their performances?
A: I thought both of them played pretty well, they weren’t perfect but I thought both of them played well for us.

Q: Which do you think has the advantage?
A: You know what I am not real sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t continue that in some way. But I thought, and then there were times we put one of them in as a tight end. I think Jordan Mills went in there a few times, I think Seantrel (Henderson) did as well. Sometimes it is good getting those big bodies out there. Obviously it limits you in you are not going to run a route with those guys necessarily but they can protect the quarterback and it gives you a bigger body at the point of attack.

Q: How concerning is the amount of injuries that are piling up on offense?
A: Well it is concerning but I think we are forcing, I think we have a deep roster. The guys that are feeling it wont replace those guys at that level but they are playing well for us. I thought Ryan Groy, I’ll tell you what he studied, like you thought he was a quarterback the time he spent in this building last week, but it paid off I thought he did a real nice job for us.

Q: Your defense the last two games after halftime have really shut the other team down, what adjustments are you making and how do you use that time?
A: I think a lot of it is our guys upstairs do a nice job preparation wise. We will get together with the staff and we will discuss things. We are doing that even up until halftime, you are trying to make some adjustments. But if you are going to make major adjustments you get that opportunity at halftime. I have been impressed with our guys, because when you do step up in front of them it is not a panic thing at all it is just some things that you will see. There were some adjustments we needed to make when (AJ) Green went out of the game. Our plan was basically to double him every snap and then when he is hurt, well we are not going to double Scott (Berchtold) you know what I mean. We had to change some things. As it played out Marcell (Dareus) really hadn’t been playing that much so I went it I was like that dude can handle everything. So we went to a lot of seven man spacing calls and let them run the ball and let Marcell do what he does, make every play. So that was part of the adjustment and then locking them down on the outside, putting some traps to the insides. There was some different things we did with our plan and the guys for two weeks in a row have done a really good job with it.

Q: Would you consider what you’ve done the last two weeks “major adjustments?” Because the results have for themselves.

A: Well, I mean some of it. I mean some of those, you’re—we don’t treat them necessarily as major adjustments but they’re things that you haven’t even worked on, you know, during the week. So sometimes you can tweak what you’re doing. I like to do that anyway coming out at halftime so you keep the offense off balance a little bit.

Q: In the last two weeks, Charles Clay has four catches for 67 yards. In your opinion, why has he struggled and why has your team struggled to get him the ball?

A: Well it’s not forcing the issue. We’re not just focused on getting him the football. We’ll look at the matchups. Sometimes it’s more favorable than others. But when you have 480 yards against Seattle, I think that was a positive regardless of how many catches he has or whatever. But we’re just trying to find way to win and be efficient with our offense. Sometimes the tight end is going to be a focal point and sometimes you know depending what they do coverage wise, or the matchups that we have elsewhere, we may think we have a better matchup elsewhere.

Q: With Oakland in two weeks, how do you make sure that the guys don’t overlook Jacksonville?

A: That’s the best two win team I’ve ever seen, and that’s the truth. I don’t get it. I mean statistically they’re the seventh rated defense in the league. So they’re ranked higher than we are on defense. Their offense is 21st in the league, but now they’re healthy. Outside, they’ve got three guys that can really play. I mean they’ve got way more top 100 players than we did last year, you know looking at all that stuff, I thought it was the Jacksonville show. But you know you’ve got a franchise quarterback, that’s what they all tell me. You’ve got Chris Ivory at running back, who’s a great back. I had him with the Jets. I know all about him. He’s a handful. Then you got you know (Allen) Hurns, (Allen) Robinson and (Marqise) Lee is really playing well. Probably the best game that Lee has ever had. So they definitely have those types of weapons on offense. And then they’ve got a big offensive line, physical offensive line. And then on defense, like I said, they’re seventh in the league, with a lot of talent so to think we’re going to overlook them, there’s no chance. I mean I don’t understand it necessary. I think it probably comes down to their turnover —you know, I think they’re at -15 maybe or something like that. And I think that contributes to their record probably more than anything else. But this is a dangerous football team.

Q: How much does what they did to you guys last year in London stick with you?

A: Was it what they did, the officials did, what? I don’t remember. Third and 15. I don’t know. Obviously we had our own issues then you know? But we’ll see. We’ll line up and play them. But now, we’re going to be motivated because of something last year? I don’t think so. Maybe a little.

Q: Do you have any comment on the Vontaze Burfict hit on Robert Woods? Whether it was late or not?

A: After looking at it more, you know what? The kid is just trying to go in and make a play or something. But it did make helmet to helmet contact. But I think he’s trying to go in and get a piece of it. I know we had some where—our helmets were—they’ve got to fit our helmets or something. I don’t know what happened there.

Q: You guys were penalized in week three for ripping a quarterback’s helmet off in the same situation, just trying to make a tackle, and the same thing happened here to Mike Gillislee.

A: Like three times in the game. I don’t think Gillislee plays with a facemask I guess. I don’t know what it is.

Q: What are your thoughts about being “in the hunt” coming off an important win?

A: Oh I don’t know. We’re just in the hunt for this week. We know we’re going to have a big challenge in front of us and there’s no question about it. Like I said, it’s an extremely talented team, but we’re playing at home so we feel great about that. I hope the weather is like it is today. It’d be perfect. Nice, windy, cold. It’d be just what the doctor ordered.

Q: What are the dangers of playing a two win team?

A: Well no. I think you guys are right. I get it that hey, you’re going to look at, “hey their record is…” This team has only won two. Well hell, we’ve only won five. So I guess you can look at that but who are we to look at a two win team? I don’t care if we’re playing West Seneca. It makes no difference right now. We know what our job is. We have to win and we recognize that and we know that. For us to have a chance to win, we have to play to the very best of our ability and prepare to the very best of our ability.

Q: You mentioned Sammy Watkins. After the game, Preston Brown said that Sammy will probably be back next week. I don’t know if he has a PHD or not but—

A: Well he’s involved in the medical department I think. (Laughs)

Q: What are your expectations of Sammy? Do you have a percentage or anything?

A: No I wouldn’t begin to give you a percentage. I think we’ll probably just lean on those experts, the medical people, and Preston.

Q: You’ve said it’s doubtful that Robert Woods is going to play but would you make the same statement or not in regards to LeSean McCoy?

A: I never did, did I? So there you have it. I’m just trying to be honest.

Q: Percy Harvin’s snap counts were up. What did you like from what you saw?

A: Well he made some big plays at some big moments there. I mean when he made a great catch and he got smashed on the third down play. But it set up a fourth and short for us that we went for down there, and we ended up kicking a field goal anyway, but I thought it was the right call at the time. I felt good at what we were doing offensively. I thought we could get the first, we did, and if we could’ve knocked in a cross for a touchdown, I think it really, it wouldn’t have been the game but it really would’ve been close. But we had to settle for the field goal. I thought it was the right call. But I thought that was a clutch play that he made. The reverse that he ran was vintage. That was just, that’s Percy Harvin right there, and he has that big gain for a first down and you know, we went to him the last play too. The game’s pretty much over if we get that third down pass, but you know we came up a little short on it. The ball was—that’s one of those balls where I think, you know it’s tough because Tyrod’s not going to jeopardize putting this team in a bad situation. But if he would’ve stuffed that ball a little tighter on Percy and let him make that play, I think we might have been a little spooked by what happened in the end zone to us. You know when the kid made the play, knocked the ball down on a similar play. Wasn’t exactly, but a similar play. So you just want to make sure that we’re the only team that could catch it, or nobody is going to catch it. So I understand it. And then they’ve got that 6’7” guy that you’ve got to throw over. So it was a little more difficult than maybe what it looks like, you know, playing Madden or something.

Q: What did you make of Kevon Seymour’s first extended playing time? Will he continue playing in that nickel role?

A: Yeah, I think when you look at it on certain matchups, I think we’ll take a look at it. You know, we played both of those guys. (Nickell) Robey-Coleman and Seymour, we played both of those players, but sometimes matchups might be more favorable to play Seymour than they are Robey-Coleman and vice versa.

Q: Bortles is an aggressive quarterback and throws a lot of 50-50 balls, do you prepare your guys differently for a guy like him?
A: Well no you know what is funny you are right he does. Part of their plan they do a ton of back shoulder fades, they we will see you in cover 1 and the guy will throw back shoulder all day long on you. So it is if you are short he throws the vertical, if you are on top he throws the back shoulder and he throws it well. But you get a few more of those things, the kid has a big arm. He has had some bad luck too. He threw a ball and it got kicked, he threw one and guy tips it and intercepts in so he has had some bad luck as well. But you know we got to be ready for it, if there is a mistake out there on that field we have to take advantage of it. And that is what I thought was good about our game. We challenged our guys hey look we got to attack that football and make them pay down the field. Well our guys did such a good job coverage wise  we didn’t get a whole lot of deep balls thrown at us because of the coverage. When they tried to hit us on the sticks route (Stephon) Gilmore makes a great play steps up and makes a huge interception for us.

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