Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Opening Comments: Alright guys, I’ll guess we’ll start, an obvious thing where to start, is the Tyrod Taylor mouthwash thing. I think that’s the obvious starting spot, right? He does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback. But no, he got hit in the mouth and he was using that just to—he was bleeding or whatever—just to clean up a little. But for real, I’ve been asked that question so I figured I’d start with it. Thought it was a good one.

Alright, is this thing on? Brutal. Alright here we go guys. These guys are not expected to practice today: that’s Charles Clay with the ankle, Marcell Dareus, hamstring, Cordy Glenn, ankle, (Lerentee) McCray, knee, and Robert Woods, foot. Guys that will be limited today: Cyrus Kouandjio, ankle, Patrick Lewis, knee, (Kevon) Seymour, shoulder, and Corey White, shoulder. Alright, so we’ll go ahead and start.

Q: How much concern is there for Sunday over Clay and Woods?

A: I feel pretty good that hopefully our guys will play. I don’t think I’m overly concerned with anybody, but with that being said, anytime you’re not able to practice, there may be some concern there.

Q: Would that include Marcell then?

A: Yeah. Well no, I mean I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful all these guys play.

Q: What’s the likelihood that Shaq Lawson makes his debut?

A: We’ll see. As we know, he hasn’t been to one practice yet, so we’re going to see how it is. Obviously we’re going to err on the side of caution, but if he’s ready to roll and we feel great about it, he feels great about it, the doctors feel great about it, then let’s let it rip.

Q: In your mind, what’s the biggest difference for your team over the past four games?

A: Well, it’s hard to say. I mean I thought we prepared extremely well the first two weeks of the season, it’s just we’re executing our plan much better and I think that’s the big one. We were embarrassed beyond belief, especially after the second game, and the first too. We never played to where we thought we’d be playing. We thought that we’d play much better, but I think—we knew the only people that could dig us out were ourselves. Everybody wanted us to do better; our fans, everybody else, but no more than we did. And we knew that the only way to get better was through hard work and preparation and our guys continue to do that.

Q: Do you think part of so many guys being hungry is because guys have a lot to prove?

A: Yeah, we have a lot of great team guys. There’s no question about that. And guys and veteran players have been through the ups and downs and it’s never a smooth (path)—at least it’s never been for me. I’ve never been on a team where it’s just been, oh man, we just show up and win and everything’s great and everything goes according to plan. The year that I won the Super Bowl in 2000, we went five straight games and never scored an offensive touchdown, so I mean, there were some bumps in that year too. But I think that’s just the way it is and you just stay the course, believe in what we’re doing. I think that’s what the whole team does, and just find a way to get better.

Q: Going back to Shaq, how much practice time do you think he can get knowing that you have to get your starters ready? And how do you balance that?

A: That’s a good question. We are going to put him in there in some different roles just to have him run with the ones some and some of the packages and we’ll see how he does, how he fares.

Q: Rex, what’s the greatest obstacle he’s going to face just this week alone in his first practices?

A: Well, I think he’s in shape but it’s the ole getting into football shape, and we saw that with Marcell. Marcell might have been in shape but then trying to get on the football field, he gets the hamstring, so we have to get through that. His is going to be about timing. You have to defend yourself, but you got to attack. You’ve got to get off blocks, all those kinds of things on the NFL level. So he’s got a lot.

Q: Rex, given the timing of this whole thing, how valuable is the time that he’s missed in terms of making the transition to the NFL?

A: Well, I mean it’s huge. You miss an entire training camp—and albeit he was in meetings and all that. So I think that process, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. He knows what he’s doing but just getting out there and physically doing it, I think it’s a big deal.

Q: With a young pass rusher, is there a way you can limit what he’s doing but make him effective in certain ways? Like putting him in certain packages or whatever to get after the quarterback and not make it too complicated for him?

A: Yeah that’s probably what we’ll do. It’ll be shortened up a little bit and get him out there physically and just basically get his feet wet a little bit.

Q: Hey Rex, Justin Hunter, you talked about him briefly last week, he played a lot more in this game, 46 snaps I think, but was only targeted twice. Is there a reason why that would have been? Is he able to win battles, what do you see there?

A: Well yeah I mean we ran the ball 41 times, so I don’t know what the percent of pass to run were with him in there, but yeah. We’re not going to game-plan where it’s just, hey, we’re going to get Hunter the football. He’s not at that level. He’s a good football player, he’s got a chance. As somebody said, he reminds me of Chris Carter with the Eagles, yeah right. But anyway, we’ll see, I think he’s getting a better handle of what we do offensively. We want to see that urgency on the practice field and catching footballs.

Q: Rex, what vindication do you feel knowing that this defense at this point is statistically and on the field performing better without Mario Williams?

A: That doesn’t mean anything. I think with us, we knew we had to improve a great deal this year defensively. That was one of the main priorities we had going into training camp and all that. I was confident we would get better and I’m confident we’ll get better still.

Q: The whole “All In” deal that you went with this year – and I know it had to do with more than just Mario [Williams] – but it became pretty public and pretty obvious that there was a lack of buy-in there, to whatever degree, last year. Compare the two situations, and the results seem to speak for that.

A: Well, I mean, I think it was important that we have to be all in as a football team. Every single person. Coach, player, anybody in this building. That mantra was for everybody, not just for this player or that player. [Williams] wasn’t here when we came up with that mantra.

Q: Are you worried this might be one of those games where [Williams] actually shows up this week?

A: I’ll say this about Mario. Mario’s been a really good football player in this league for a long time. He really has.

Q: How much does [LeSean McCoy] spark this team when he’s doing what he does?

A: Well, he’s such a charismatic guy and you’ve got to love him. He’s tough, he’s a fighter, and man, oh man, is he – his ability is rare. We love him. I think guys definitely feed off of his energy.

Q: [McCoy] told you prior to the season that he didn’t feel like he gave Buffalo his best last season. Do you think this is much closer to what he intended to do and is as good as he can be?

A: Yeah, I guess so. I thought he was fantastic last year. I knew he was fantastic last year. But it was more based on health and everything else. He wanted to come in in the best shape of his life, and he wanted to sacrifice for his teammates and he’s done that.

Q: Rex, a little off topic, Dennis Byrd passed away last week. I know he came to your Jets team once and spoke, or something like that. What was your memory of him and his inspiration?

A: Well, of course, I’m a fan of football. I really admired him from afar. Obviously, you know, the tragic – when he got paralyzed and all that – I was aware of that. The way he came in my life was – I got a package from him, and I was sitting back and I’m like “Gosh, you know, hey! Dennis Byrd! This is interesting.” And it was his jersey that they cut off of him. That was amazing. I read the letter, and I’m like “Shoot, I need him to speak to our team.” And so he did. He came out, spoke to our team, and he was amazing. So he inspired me, and he inspired the whole team too.

Q: Was that the jersey he was wearing when that happened? Why did he send that to you?

A: I’m not going to get into it.

Q: Where is that jersey now, then?

A: I couldn’t accept it. No way. So, I think the Jets have it.

Q: You’ve won four straight in Miami. What’s your secret?

A: I don’t know. Good Mexican food, I guess. But I really don’t know. It’s, um, [laughter] you know me. That makes sense to me. We’re ready to play and the guys compete well down there.

Q: Are you worried about the heat down there? It’s always been tough when coming from Buffalo.

A: Yeah, we’re very aware of the heat. I think the key is that you’ve got to hydrate the whole week. It’s not like one of those things where you go out there and you hydrate the day before or the day of. You’ve got to be getting your rest, got to hydrate, and getting off the field on third down would help, also.

Q: Rex, with how good the defense has been over the past four weeks, being a defensive guy, knowing that you’re getting your first round pick back, knowing that Dareus hasn’t played yet, are you foaming at the mouth – knowing what this defense could possibly be when you get everybody back?

A: We’re just trying to win this game. Whatever happens, happens. Yeah, it’ll be exciting to have those two players mesh in with what we’ve already got going. That’d be great. Like I said, we can win without those players but we’re better with those players.

Q: Rex, you guys are favored to win on the road in Miami, which hasn’t happened in almost a decade. You also have a chance to go and win five straight, which hasn’t happened in over a decade. What does it feel like to be in this unchartered territory for a Buffalo team?

A: It really doesn’t feel like anything. We know that we have a job to do in front of us this week, and those four games that we won in a row mean nothing. We have to win this one. We’re trying to win one game in a row this week, and that’s kind of our approach to it. You know, after the fact its one thing. But right now that’s really how it feels.

Q: You’ve probably been asked this, but does Lorenzo Alexander remind you of someone else you’ve coached?

A: You know, initially, when I was trying to get him with the Jets, he reminded me of Adalius Thomas – a guy that I coached. A great athlete, big, huge guy, a dominant special teams player, and a guy that did a great job. He probably should’ve been Defensive Player of the Year in ’06, but wasn’t. But [Alexander] kind of reminded me of [Thomas] because he could rush from inside, he could rush from outside, and he was a dominant special teams player. And so, I lost track of him as it went on, and when Doug Whaley recommended him, I was like “Really.” I said, “I remember that dude.” He came out, I met him, and he’s not nearly as big as he once was. He was like 300 pounds or 310 pounds running down the field and just smashing people. But I was like, you can tell. His face and everything else, he’s a pro. When we brought him in here, clearly I knew that he was going to be leading the league in sacks – which I had no clue. But Doug Whaley thought he still had some traits to him, and it became obvious what we were getting when he was at training camp. He just makes plays. He’s smart, he ties in super well – like, him, Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes, all that group, [Leger] Douzable – all those guys, they’re just a team. These guys build off each other. [Alexander] will be the first to tell you that he wouldn’t have the success without Jerry Hughes opposite him. He’s been phenomenal. But as a player, he kind of reminds me of Adalius Thomas when I had him in Baltimore.

Q: Why didn’t you get him with the Jets?

A: I don’t know. He hated New York, or hated the Jets. So, he fits in well now.

Q:  Why couldn’t you get Lorenzo Alexander with the Jets?

A: Eh, I don’t know. Hated New York I guess or hated the Jets. So he fits in well now.

Q: Did you need to sell this group on going one game at a time, and take nothing for granted because of how hungry

A: You know I never thought of that way but I guess it makes sense. You know, me, it’s just like the embarrassment that we still feel over those first two games I think is the—we don’t want to let each other down, and that’s another reason.

Q: For the past 10-15 years now we’ve heard what a quarterback league and passing league this is. Now we see teams like you and Dallas starting to run the ball again and establish that formula for winning. Is that a direct result of defenses going smaller with faster players to counter what offenses were doing a few years ago? Is it cyclical and going back the other way?

A: Yeah it could be. I think, you know when you look at the success that Seattle—Seattle’s built on running the football and playing good defense. I still think that the Giants won a couple Super Bowls based on that formula as well. But for us, it was the right thing for us to do. We came in here with a vision of what our football team would look like. You know, Doug Whaley came from the Pittsburgh style. Run the football, play defense, protect the quarterback. All those types of things is what we try to do and I guess I was from the Ozzie Newsome, that Baltimore tree, and believed in the same thing. And so we kind of had a vision of what we wanted to look like and now I think we’re starting to see that.

Q: Do you see that linebackers are getting smaller in response to spread offenses? There’s linebackers now at 220-225.

A: Oh yeah, and there’s guys—you’re bringing safeties and drafting them in the first round to play will linebacker for you. That’s happened two weeks in a row we faced Baron, we faced (Mark) Barron, we faced (Deone) Bucannon. They’re fine football players, but I see what you’re saying. The kid the Jets took, smaller guy but he can run. So yeah. And you do have to have that combination. You’ve got to be able to do both. Size to me—it’s still a size, speed league, and as I’ve heard people quoted before, everybody hears about the hey you know “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Not in this league. The bigger they are, the harder they hit in this league. So that stuff really doesn’t fly in this league.

Q: You mentioned Rob (Ryan) and his role with the red zone defense. Can you describe and take us through what his role is?

A: When it’s all said and done, we’ll go over exactly what his role was but just start by looking where we rank number one or two and you’ll figure out where his role is.

Q: Are you worried that with the success that Rob and Anthony Lynn are having that you might lose those guys?

A: I hope we do. I hope we do because they’ve earn it. You know, that’s what you want. You want guys to move on and become head coaches. That’d be awesome, and I hope it happens. And they ain’t good anyway. We can replace them. (Laughs)

Q: With Miami coming off a fairly impressive win against Pittsburgh, what did you see from them?

A: That wasn’t fairly impressive, that was like super impressive, and obviously you’re going against a great team in Pittsburgh and they pretty much dominated that game. So it’s a—they’ve got a lot of good players, a lot of good talent on both sides of the ball. So we know it’s going to be a huge challenge. The running back gets 200 yards rushing in one game, against Pittsburgh, so that got our attention also.

Filed under: Local Headlines

Readers Comments (0)

Sorry, comments are closed on this post.