Buffalo Bills HC Rex Ryan

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Opening Statement: Good? Alright. Here we go. Here’s the projected participation list. These players will not participate: [Lerentee] McCray, still in the concussion protocol; Kyle Williams, back [injury]; [Lorenzo] Alexander, that’s an [non-football related], so it’s his veteran day off; Preston Brown, foot [injury]; Charles Clay, knee [injury]; Sammy Watkins, foot [injury]. Limited today: [John] Miller, hip [injury]; [Jerome] Felton, foot [injury]; [Cordy] Glenn, back [injury]; and then Tyrod [Taylor] is full, groin [injury]; and then Shaq Lawson, foot [injury] is full. Alright? So, fire away.

Q: Sammy Watkins, obviously, it has not been the kind of year you were hoping for – or him. Since he’s been back, do you think he really has been at top efficiency? Because the numbers clearly show that he’s not really been that effective. Do you sense that he really can’t be the player that he thinks he can be?

A: Well, no. I don’t think he’s 100-percent – I think that’s a given. But he still affects the game. Last week, a lot of coverage rolled to him. He had the best corner on him, so I think he’s affecting the game but is he one hundred percent? I would say no.

Q: When you look back, how much have you looked back at maybe the tape – or maybe you didn’t – but how much does what Jay Ajayi last time in this game –

A: Oh yeah, we watched plenty of it.

Q: How tough was it to watch?

A: It was real tough to watch, but you’ve got to give that kid credit. I mean, he took it to us. [Their] whole team did. It’s not like it was a Timmy Smith thing – a once in a lifetime deal. The guy did it the previous week, so the guy’s a quality back. There’s no question about it. Very physical, downhill-type runner with good vision.

Q: Rex, how much of what happened in that game with his running do you attribute to, again, poor tackling/effort and how much schematic? And looking at it this time around, what else can you – are there specific things you can do setting things up to prevent something like that?

A: Well, we think that we’ll be much more effective this game. Let’s just put it that way. Hey, I know what happened. To me, I think effort – that’s making an assumption that “oh, your guys never put the effort [in].” That’s not the case. That’s never been the case here. Were we tired? Yeah. I don’t know how many snaps they had, but it was a bunch and it was about a hundred degrees out there. But I don’t think that will be the case this week.

Q: How similar to the Pittsburgh game was [the first game against Miami], in your mind? You did cite some schematic things in the Pittsburgh game that, in hindsight, you said were wrong. Are there similarities between the two games in your mind?

A: I think there are, in some cases. Like in some situations where you play a lot more seven-man spacing and they took advantage of that – second and long, or whatever. But, you know, like I say, this is a different game. It’s the same opponent, but it’s a different time of the season. This team’s red-hot. They’ve won eight of their last nine. But honestly, they’re going to get our best effort. There’s no doubt about that, and our preparation started today. We feel good about our plan, and we know it’s going to be a very physical game. We’ll see if we’re up for it.

Q: Rex, as a defensive coach, is what happened in the Pittsburgh game and the Miami game – where there’s 200 yards by one back – is that as bad as it gets for a defensive coach? We all know a guy can pass for big yards, but to get run on like that, is that maybe the worst thing as a defensive coach?

A: For me, it is. I think so, for me. Probably not for all coaches just cause that’s happened to probably everybody, but for me it definitely feels that way because I don’t think it’s ever happened to me previously in about 20 years of coaching.

Q: I guess it would speak to how they out-physicaled you that day, and that’s probably what picked at you the most.

A: Yeah, because we built a team. We want to be physical and they took it to us. There’s no question about that.

Q: I know you just said effort has never been a problem, but after the game, LeSean [McCoy] said players weren’t always giving 100% effort in preparation. He said it needs to be more accountable. What was your reaction to him saying that?

A: Well, I disagree. I think the effort’s there. I think it’s always been there. The preparation, I guess you’d have to talk to others. But I think when guys are in the building, I see the preparation, I see the work, I see all that. I guess you’ve got to talk to each individual.

Q: LeSean said that it’s not up to you, as coaches, to hold players accountable. He said players have to hold themselves accountable.

A: I think we’re doing a good job. I think the accountability is in the building. It’s not just – it’s what we owe each other. Every individual has to take the responsibility of being accountable to his teammates, and I think that’s just following coaching. I think that’s what I try to talk to the team about. It’s on each individual, so that’s probably where that’s coming from. But I feel responsible – don’t get me wrong. I’m responsible for everything that goes on on that field and I take one hundred percent responsibility.

Q: Have you had any reassurances since Sunday from ownership or upper management that your job is safe?

A: No.

Q: Coach, is Matt Moore’s skill set noticeably different from [Ryan] Tannehill’s to change their passing game in any way, shape or form? Or is it largely the same? I know you only have one game to go on here.

A: Right. But I’ve also gone against [Moore] before. He had a good day against me one time. He’s a veteran quarterback. He throws a really good deep ball. He may throw [the deep ball] better than Tannehill does. Tannehill’s probably a bit more athletic, but they’re still going to run the same system.

Q: When you look at the tape of the Miami game, does the reminder of what happened to Aaron Williams just pop out to you? Are there any lingering thoughts to the Jarvis Landry hit?

A: I think, even he’s talked about it. Obviously it was a big hit, it was an unfortunate thing. Like I said, I got a lot of respect for that guy as a player. He’s a great player, physical, all that but the fact of the matter is Aaron hasn’t been able to return. Hope it’s not his career or something but those hits are what we’re trying to take out of the game, that’s what the league’s trying to take out of the game. But for us, we want to win the game and it’s not about getting somebody back. We’re trying to win a football game.

Q: Looking at Aaron, how big of a loss has he been to your defensive secondary? The numbers seem to be dropping ever since he’s been out of the lineup.

A: I think we’ve had six safeties that have been out or something like that but obviously he’s a guy with an unusual skillset. He’s got tremendous talent but again, I’m not going to say—because it’s going to look like, ‘well I’m making excuses.’ I’m not making any excuses. So to me, it is what it is. Yes, he’s an outstanding player and it’s unfortunate we haven’t had him healthy.

Q: Granted that they are good teams for a reason; Baltimore, New England, Seattle, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Miami. These are teams that have winning records, but for whatever reason, the Bills haven’t been able to beat. It’s been close sometimes. Have you been able to put your finger on the why that is or what it’s going to take to get over that hump because you have an opportunity this weekend?

A: Right and that’s good. I’m excited about the opportunity in front of us. I don’t think there’s a hotter team than Miami right now. Winning eight of nine I think would qualify as a hot team. How they took care of us the first time we played, we’ll see if there’s a difference in their team. We’ll also see if there’s a difference in our team.

Q: Not being able to win against the teams with winning records, how would you describe that?

A: Well there’s probably a reason those teams have won all those games but we haven’t been consistent enough in some of those games. As you mentioned, there’s a lot of close ones or whatever but we haven’t been able to get over the hump.

Q: Maybe your talent’s not good enough. Would you ever admit that because there’s been leaks that they certainly think they’re giving you enough talent?

A: Again, I just coach the team. I like the talent that we have and we get a shot this week to see how our talent stacks up against their talent.

Q: After more time, what do you see on film of Mario Williams?

A: I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to get into another player. I know the angle you guys are taking and I see that their team’s won eight of nine. I can tell you that much.

Q: What have you seen from Marcell Dareus since he’s been back?

A: He’s playing fantastic. So that’s what I see. He hasn’t had the sack numbers or whatever but the guy, he’s an outstanding player. I mean, just outstanding.

Q: Where would this offense be without LeSean McCoy?

A: I don’t know, but I’m not going to waste my time thinking about it. I know he’s a huge factor in the success that we have had in some areas. He’s (a) slam-dunk Pro Bowl player. He’s having an unbelievable year.

Q: He said he still thinks he has three or four years of prime play left.

A: Well it’s hard to doubt him. I mean the type of year he’s having now, I would say the way he keeps himself in shape and all that—I told him the other day, I’m like, “golly, it’s like your second or third year in the league.” I mean the guy’s having a phenomenal year.

Q: Is it almost a helpless feeling to not control your own destiny and have to root for other teams?

A: Not a helpless feeling. We’re just going to have to do our best to win our games. That’s what we can control and that’s where the focus is and I think there’s some excitement about (it). We have two games left and this one in particular, like I say, hottest team in football, so bring it on.

Q: You’ve gone on 10 days of talking and answering questions about your job. You’ve done a good job of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody else here answered a few questions or talked about it? Why does everything have to come through you?

A: I don’t know, I just answer the questions you give me or something like that. If people thought it was appropriate, I’m sure they would but right now we know we have these two games and man, I’m excited. I’m excited about playing against a team that quite honestly, they were more physical than us. They took our blueprint and outperformed us. I mean they ran the ball, they did a great job so that was at their place, we’re at our place and I’m excited to have them in our building.

Q: Wouldn’t be reassuring though if someone came out one way or the other?

A: But it doesn’t really matter to me. My job’s to coach the football team, that’s what I’m going to do and there’s no focus anywhere else. This is it. I truly believe we’re going to play a great game and we’ll see if it’s good enough but we’re going to play a great game.

Q: Did your experience with the Jets help prepare you for this?

A: Maybe so, but I think being around the NFL as long as I have—I forget how many years. I think somebody was saying maybe 45 years, a Ryan’s been on the sideline of an NFL game—that might have something to do with it. I really know the business and to me, the important thing is do the very best job you can with that’s right in front of you, and that’s what I do.

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