Buffalo Bills Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Q: Tyrod, back to the first time you guys played these guys, that first drive was going so well. Obviously, it didn’t end the way you wanted it to. What did you see when you go back and look? What changed throughout the game, why you weren’t able to have as much success as [you did] in that first drive?

A: Lack of execution across the board. That starts with me. I didn’t play particularly well that game. [There are a] bunch of plays I’d like to have back. Across the board, we were a few plays off just by assignments. Just looking back at that film, definitely a lot that we had to learn. Guys, I believe, have cleaned up those mistakes and are ready to go back out there and compete again this weekend.

Q: Tyrod, you’ve been on a Super Bowl championship run with the Ravens. What is your message to guys who maybe haven’t been in this position of how to handle the pressures the next two weeks will bring?

A: Just to take it one day at a time. Of course, the big picture’s there, but you can’t move too far ahead. Take it one practice at a time, empty your tank into one day, getting better that day and going out and executing on Sunday or on game day. Like I said, you can’t think too far ahead. It’s literally one day at a time.

Q: How hard is that, though, when there’s scenarios all over the place?

A: It’s definitely tough, but one thing about it is, you can’t necessarily worry about what other teams are doing. You have to be able to take care of business yourself because that help, or the help that you need, or may need, if you’re not taking care of business on your end, it won’t play out the way it should.

Q: There are roughly 7,000 scenarios of how you guys get into the playoffs, how you don’t. How many of those do you know?

A: I’m just focused on New England this week, to be honest. Like I said, there are so many scenarios out there where, if you spend too much time thinking about it, it’ll take away from your focus on this game. Like I said, I just want everyone, and I’m pretty sure everyone is focused on this game and one day at a time.

Q: Is there something ironic that it’s the Patriots? This is the team, the mountain that maybe you have to climb in order to get where you want to be?

A: It’s a great opportunity for us. When the schedule came out, you knew these last three games of this season were definitely going to be important for our success as a team. That’s something that’s been marked on our calendar for a while. It’s a great opportunity for us and, as a team, we understand that opportunity and we embrace it. We’re doing everything we can to prepare as best as we can do to go out and play a great game on Sunday.

Q: Is there any impact to having just played them? What, if any, impact is there to seeing them just a couple weeks ago?

A: They’re a talented team, so you have to be prepared for different looks that they’re going to show you. Like you said, playing them a couple weeks ago definitely gives you a better feeling just because we’ve seen them recently and know them. Like I said, they’re a game plan team and a very talented team, so we have to be ready for whatever they throw at us.

Q: Meaningful late December football is something Buffalo hasn’t seen in some time. Is there any added pressure to that or does it feel different than year’s past?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s added pressure. You have to go into each game with the mindset of executing as best as you can and taking it one play at a time. I think that’s where this team this year compared to years before, maybe, has done a good job of taking it one game at a time. There’s been some ups and downs through the season, but we’ve been able to battle through them all. We’re in a great position with a wonderful opportunity in front of us. Like I said, this team has definitely embraced that opportunity and I’m looking forward to going out and competing on Sunday.

Q: Here in the community, though, I mean even like yesterday doing events, you know what this means to this town. It’s almost impossible to escape that aspect of it. How much more of a grasp do you understand since this has been the closest it’s been, especially since you’ve been here?

A: Definitely, I fully understand it. This community deserves a team in the playoffs, a team that’s back in the Super Bowl talks. We have to do our job, like I said, week in and week out. This community is die-hard Bills fans and they love football, so we appreciate that support and we’re excited just like they are. Like I said, it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to take that next step.

Q: Do you look forward to the day, if you can, to have people stop talking about the drought, the drought, the drought? We ask you about it, other media, fans, all the time. Is it something that you’d just like to get rid of?

A: Again, that’s down the line. I look forward right now to a great meeting that we’re going to have watching this practice, continue to keep moving forward, and respecting and trusting the process.

Q: Did you change your face mask?

A: Yeah, I did.

Q: What was the reason for that?

A: Just – I actually wore that face mask before. The one I had one earlier in the season was a different one. Just trying something new.

Q: Is it like the old Mike Vick?

A: I guess. Other guys have wore it. Like I said, I wore it throughout high school, college, early on in Baltimore, too. I guess you could say that.

Q: [LeSean McCoy] was saying he gets up for this game a little different. Considering it’s New England and all the success they’ve had, do you similarly approach that in kind of a different way knowing it’s the defending Super Bowl champs and just the Patriots in essence?

A: Definitely. You definitely get pumped up for this game even more. This team has been at the top of the NFL for a while, so whenever you get a chance to play against considered one of the best teams, great franchise, you take those opportunities very seriously. You try to pour all your time and effort into preparation and going out there and having a great game and ultimately winning those games. It’s going to take us all, and we’re excited for this opportunity.

Q: One of the plays making the rounds from last week Ndamukong [Suh] reached out and got you in the helmet on the play. Did you feel –

A: He closed his fist, it wasn’t an open hand [laughs].

Q: Yeah, I’m asking you, did you feel it was more of a football play or a love tap, extra love tap?

A: It happens. I didn’t really put too much thought into it. Looking back at it, I don’t know if it was dirty or not, but it’s part of the game. That’s why I wear a helmet, why I wear a face mask. So, it’ll be alright.

Running Back LeSean McCoy
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Q: Another Pro Bowl. Does it still mean what it used to mean? Does it mean a little more now that you’ve been around a little longer?
A: I think the first Pro Bowl was the most important one. You always want to get into the game, into the Pro Bowl, so the first one is always the most special. But it’s always good to get in. It’s tough. It’s always a younger crowd coming up so it’s nice.

Q: Does it validate that you’re still one of the best in the league? I know that you’ve stood here and told us throughout the year that everybody wants to throw all the love to the younger guys and the new guys. Does that kind of validate that you’re still one of those guys?  
A: Yeah, I think so. I believe that. I’m sure a lot of coaches and players believe the same thing. Each year, they’ll always do that; they’ll vote the younger guys in there and the new guys that have another six, seven years. Us older guys, each year is – that year is more important. It is what it is. I like the challenges.

Q: How good is it, how nice is it for you to see Richie [Incognito] go again with you and even Eric [Wood] as an alternate?
A: Nah, it’s cool, man, because those guys, they earned it. The guys up front, they’ve blocked well this whole year. Richie, his reputation as being a dog, as being a tough lineman, physical – he deserves it. I’m happy he’ll be there with me, and hopefully Wood can get a shot to get in because Wood’s lights-out. Wood plays well. A guy that’s athletic, that can move, that can pull. He’s very intelligent and he’s kind of the key to our running game and to the offense. He’s like our quarterback on the line of scrimmage.

Q: What makes this year’s Pro Bowl special to you personally?
A: Well, you know what, each Pro Bowl is important to me and it’s just getting there. Each week, you battle, you battle. You look at all the running backs that you’re competing against. After the games, you look at the scores and then you look at the stats, so it’s always good to get in.

Q: LeSean, you’re a guy who’s been in playoff races and made the playoffs before. There’s a lot of guys in that locker room who haven’t. What’s your advice to them on how to handle these next two weeks?
A: Just let them know how important it is. Each week is important. The preparation is key. Being prepared, knowing your assignments, knowing what to do, and around this time, we’ve got to play smart football. That’s how you win games. We need a big win. It’s a big game for us, so that’s just the biggest thing you should know about trying to get into the playoffs. This game right here is important so you’ve got to be smart and got to prepare.

Q: How do you manage the pressures of trying not to do too much?
A: Sometimes it’s tough. Sometimes I get carried away with trying to do too much, trying to make the big play. A team like this, everybody has to handle their job. Be disciplined, be focused and be prepared. I can’t try and go out there and do too much. Just stick with the game plan, hope the guy next to me is doing his job and we’re playing together as a team.

Q: I’m not sure if you saw the play in the Patriots-Steelers game by Jesse James.
A: I’ve seen it. Man.

Q: As a player, what is a catch? What do you think a catch is?
A: I think if the guy catches the ball, has possession, turns and he crosses the line, it should be a touchdown. But I don’t make the rules. I thought it was a touchdown. I guess if a guy runs and then he crosses and he hits the ground, it’s a touchdown, but if he catches it, I don’t know. I would’ve called it a touchdown. Plus, it’s against the Patriots.

Q: What changes would you like to see to the rules based on that?
A: I don’t really get involved with that. They’ll make the rules. We’ve got to follow them. Simple as that. You’ll stress yourself out trying to make the rules.

Q: Is it good to know that even if you don’t win this game, you have a 50/50 chance to make the playoffs if you beat the Dolphins the next week?
A: I’d rather just stick with this game, get a win, control our own destiny. I like that approach better. This is a team that we can beat. This team is a team that we can beat. We can beat them. Sure, it’s tougher. Sure, it’s a hard task, but it’s doable. I mean, Miami beat them a couple of weeks ago, so we’ll see.

Q: What’s the impact of having just played them a couple weeks ago, if any, in this game? Does it help?
A: Nah, it really does. You don’t have too much time to kind of get different game plan or make a drastic change. What you see is what you kind of get. They’ll do different changes, but don’t really have enough time to change that much. Hey, we know them, they know us. When you break down the last three years of tape on each other, you see small changes, but it’s almost similar. A lot of some guys are [still] there, a lot of the same plays, same calls, so you know what you’re getting. It’s just a matter of going out there and beating the guy in front of you.

Q: Does going against New England bring out a different gear in you or light even more of a spark?
A: I think so. I think [it does] in everybody. It’s a big game, even with the Patriots not only being a division game, but who they are [and] the success they have. I think every game they play, guys are going to give them their best. You look forward to playing the better team, the best team, I should say, in the league in the last couple of years. It’s a challenge. Everybody likes challenges.

Q: What’s the significance of giving the offensive lineman the ball in the end zone after you score touchdowns?
A: I mean, they’re linemen. They don’t get no press, they don’t get talked about. They don’t get no jersey sales and things like that, so it’s always a plus to give them a chance to celebrate. They’re 300-pounders, they want to celebrate. It’s always good to give them a little love.

Cornerback Tre’Davious White

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Q: What lingering thoughts do you have after what happened a couple of weeks back with the hit and all that?

A: I don’t have any.

Q: None?

A: No. I’m thinking about winning [and] trying to get into the playoffs. So yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about right there: one game season, getting into the playoffs and trying to end that 17-year streak.

Q: Five days after it happened, you had some thoughts and you questioned whether [Rob Gronkowski] is a man.

A: No, I didn’t say that.

Q: You said ‘a man doesn’t do that,’ if I’m correct.

A: No, you got me twisted up. I didn’t say that.

Q: What did you say?

A: That I’m focused on winning and we’re trying to get to the playoffs. Stuff like that. It’s all about the team.

Q: Knowing that you guys did face the Patriots a couple of weeks ago, how much do you look back and pull from that game to take in to this week?

A: It’s a lot of learning that we did. I feel like we played great as a team in the first half as far as stopping the things that they like to do and they did a great job of going into the halftime [and] making some good adjustments. We’ve got to try to make some adjustments at halftime also because we’ve got to come out and play a different game too.

Q: Did you feel snubbed by not getting into the Pro Bowl?

A: Oh, absolutely. I’m a competitor and I feel like my play speaks for itself. You never know how that stuff goes but I definitely was disappointed in it because I felt like I was well deserving of being in.

Q: You talked to SiriusXM Radio yesterday about the change of heart when it comes to what you think of Gronk and what happened. What went into the thought process of adjusting your opinion on that?

A: It’s just getting over it. The week of, it was just still lingering on me but just as I got a chance to think about it. That was just childish. It was childish. I got over it and I’m past that. I’m just focused on winning.

Q: Has [Gronkowski] apologized to you personally?

A: No.

Q: Do you expect him to?

A: Uh, no.

Q: Are you going to play him the same way?

A: Yeah. I’m a competitor. I go out and compete.

Q: Get right up on him?

A: Yeah. That’s what I do.

Q: You ended up being the subject of his frustration. Do you understand his frustration?

A: As far as what?

Q: You know, he’s so frustrated that you’re up on him that he has to deliver that hit to you?

A: No. I play the same way every game and every play. I go out and compete no matter who it is. I’m out there too and I’m one of the best doing it; I feel that way and he feels like he’s one of the best doing it so I’m going to go out and compete. I don’t care who it is.

Q: Why is he so difficult to handle?

A: He’s big, strong, a big physical guy. It’s hard to get around him and he does a great job of getting guys off him.

Q: Justice doesn’t work this way, but if you had your choice that he missed that next game [against the Dolphins] or he misses this game, which would you have preferred?

A: I want to play against him. I want to be out there [and] I want to face the best guys. He missed, what, the next game he missed? Yeah. We want to see him. We want to get them at their best.

Q: Do you think you’ll have anything to say to him?

A: No.

Q: Except for the fact of what happened with him hitting you from behind, do you enjoy getting under opposing receivers’ skins?

A: No, that’s something that I don’t feel like it’s a big deal in the game. I don’t talk trash or –

Q: Oh, I’m not saying that – just holding them up and frustrating them that way. When they get frustrated, that must mean you’re happy.

A: No, I’m happy all the time. I get to play the game that I love. I’m just going to play the game at a high level and try to compete each and every play and come out on top.

Q: Tre, just to clarify what you said before. You said ‘it was childish.’ Did you mean what Gronk did or how he reacted?

A: The whole incident, it wasn’t the way things should have been handled or how the game plays out or however the things after it happened played out. It shouldn’t have been that way but it happened and I’ve moved on from it.

Q: So you can forgive and forget?

A: Yeah.

Q: You’re saying the way it played out on both ends between you and Gronk should not have happened? Is that what you’re saying?

A: I’m saying I can’t control what nobody else does. I only control what I do.

Q: Regarding the Pro Bowl, do you think you were hurt because you’re a rookie? Do you think you were hurt because you’re playing in a small market? What do you think happened?

A: I don’t know man. It’s probably because I’m a rookie. Vets feel like we [the rookies] have got to come in and earn our stripes and get a couple years under our belt. I don’t feel like it should be that way. I feel like the best guys should go, but I’m just getting here so I’m learning the game. 

Q: Tre, Preston [Brown] talked about this defense and this secondary as a family. How does the family keep from wanting to get your retribution this week and how do you guys hold back and stay focused on winning this game?

A: We know that if we go out there and try to do anything selfish or anything to hurt the team, we can cost ourselves a playoff spot or cost ourselves one of our main players by going out there and doing something stupid. We need everybody. It’s going to be a total team effort. We’re going to definitely need everybody on the field to beat this team so we’re going to put [the situation] on the backburner and just focus on winning.

Q: How much do you have to bite your lip to not say anything controversial?

A: I say what I want, whenever I want.

Center Eric Wood

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Q: Going up against New England again. I know you guys saw them a couple of weeks ago, so how much does it help getting ready for such a meaningful game?

A: You know, we’re definitely familiar with them personnel-wise. Schematically, they can always give you something different but we’ve seen a lot of their fronts. They’re always a challenge. You’ve got to play a sound game any time you play a team of their caliber, whether it’s them or another elite team in the league. We have to really prepare this week.

Q: What is it like playing meaningful, late-December football?

A: It’s great. It’s a big game for us this week and obviously we have two big weeks ahead of us but it helps with the preparation. It gives you a little bit more excitement leading up to the game.

Q: Pressure. I mean, these are probably two of the most meaningful games any of you guys have ever played. Do you feel it? How do you manage it?

A: You can’t get too high or too low from it. Football is naturally an emotional game and anytime you get too up or too down, generally a bad play is coming. It’s about staying even-keeled, keeping your composure and doing your job each and every play.

Offensive Guard Richie Incognito

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Q: We haven’t talked to you about the Pro Bowl yet, but three years in a row?

A: Three in a row, yeah, here in Buffalo. It’s been a great run. I’ve just been surrounded by some great guys: Eric Wood, Tyrod Taylor, Kyle Williams, Shady [LeSean McCoy] – they just keep me humble, keep me grounded and help me be the best version of myself every day.

Q: You’ve spoken about this many times, but as a career move, this has turned out to be a pretty good one for you, no doubt?

A: It has. It’s really just been a good fit. Terry and Kim Pegula extended an opportunity for me to establish myself back in the league. Rex [Ryan] and Doug Whaley provided me the opportunity and I wanted to make right on it. When we originally talked about this, we talked about making a positive out of this. One of the big things was controlling what I can control, being a good teammate, and playing well on the field. I held up my end of the bargain and it’s nice to be rewarded.

Q: How much different does it mean to be going straight in instead of going through the alternate way?

A: Yeah, it’s great going straight in. It’s the first time for me, so it’s very special. Usually, it’s just a Chinese fire drill at the end of the year, when you find out like a day before and it’s like ‘hey, 20 people need to go to Hawaii tomorrow at 7 a.m.’ It’s like, ‘hey, here’s my credit card, charge, charge, charge, meet you in Hawaii.’ My mom was on an eleven-hour flight from Newark. We have a little time to plan, and it’s awesome. Orlando is fun I’m going to get to go see some old buddies in Taylor Lewan and a couple guys, and like Wood just said, I hope we’re still playing.

Q: Meanwhile you have a playoff run here ahead of you. Are you excited about that?

A: For us, the playoffs started two weeks ago. These are all must-wins. This is, especially, an important one because they’re so good. The New England Patriots, they’ve had our number for so long. It’d really just be huge for us to go into their house, beat them, keep our hopes alive and just keep winning and get to the playoffs.

Safety Micah Hyde

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Q: How does that sound: Micah Hyde, Pro Bowl Safety?

A: Oh man, it sounds weird, doesn’t it? [Laughs] it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s just a blessing, and I love every bit of it.

Q: I know that this was kind of the second chapter of your career, signing with Buffalo – could you have envisioned it playing out better, at least for you personally right now? I know there are some team things still on the table here with two days to play, but with how it’s played out for you personally, the decision you made back in the spring, could you have envisioned it going any better?

A: No, no, I honestly didn’t even think about the whole Pro Bowl stuff coming into the season. I just wanted to help out the team the best way I could. Whatever position, or whatever it was, I just wanted to help this community get to the playoffs. The whole individual accolades and stuff, that was never really brought to my attention, I guess. I just didn’t think about it. It’s just a blessing. I’m excited that, around the league, I’m gaining the respect and stuff, from other players, other teams, other coaches and what not. At the same time, the opportunity that was presented to me from Sean [McDermott]; Sean brought me in and just gave me that opportunity to come out here and be myself. Put what went on in the past in the past, and told me to go out, have fun and play football. That’s what I try to do. Playing alongside someone like Jordan Poyer, we’ve both gotten better because of each other; talking; communicating; watching film together; being on the field through the losses and the wins. Being a part of that together, he’s a big reason why I’m able to call myself a Pro Bowl safety. I wish he was a part of that also.

Q: You kind of outlined some of the reasons why you feel you’ve been successful this year already, but is there anything to be said for this scheme and the way that it fits you, for maybe being one of the reasons why you’re able to be as productive as you have been this year?

A: I think that when we first got here in April, we talked about scheme and all that stuff. You’re able to make plays, especially as a secondary player, you’re able to go and get the ball because the front-seven, you know they’re going to do their job and get pressure on the quarterback. So, when that ball is in the air, you have to make plays. If you saw it this year, I think three of my five picks have come off of tips. That’s just from getting pressure on the quarterback from the front guys. Kudos to them for doing that. Like I said, Sean brought us all here for a reason, and he said to the defense, ‘you have to go out there and make plays, you just have to execute well’.

Q: The last one for you, just the way this secondary was really faced with a challenge with four new parts, all four parts are new to the scheme, having to blend together the way you guys did – heck, E.J. [Gaines] came in late – outline for me how the four of you embrace that challenge and why you’re able to come together as a unit and perform so successfully as a pass defense?

A: Well I just think that we all enjoy each other’s company; that’s the number one thing. I’m not even talking about on the football field, I think off we enjoy being in meeting rooms together; we enjoy talking and helping each other out; seeing the same thing. Like I mentioned with Jordan, we came in together and we said, ‘this is our opportunity, let’s just go out and do it’. We both have been to other places before where we kind of got – I don’t want to say overlooked, because people knew what we could do – but at the same time, I don’t think we got the same opportunities that we got here in Buffalo. We’re able to come together as one between me and Jordan. Then, from there, getting the other guys on board, they’ve been playing lights out. I guess, Tre’ Davious [White], he never really had a choice because he got drafted here, so he was going to have to make it happen no matter what. It’s just awesome to see all these guys, including myself, just go out there making plays, trying to help this defense and trying to help this team make it to the playoffs. We know these people in Buffalo are dying for that opportunity to be in the playoffs and stuff like that. It’s been remarkable, we love each other’s company on and off the field.

Linebacker Preston Brown

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Q: How about the instant chemistry that [Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer] seemed to have developed?

A: Yeah, I think they became family. The whole defense, we’ve all been bonding more than they have when I’ve been here. It’s great to see. Everybody’s just hanging out more, not just in the building, ‘I’ll talk to you,’ but outside, people hanging out, doing everything; Wives, girlfriends, all together. So, it’s pretty good to see.

Q: Is it going to be difficult to reign in any lingering memories of what [Rob Gronkowski] did?

A: No. I mean, we know what he did, you can’t erase that. The best thing for us is to go out there and try to hold him to no catches, not to go out there and try to do anything dirty or be anything like that. We know what we got to do. The best way to hurt them is to not let him beat us.

Q: Can you describe how difficult of a matchup he is? We know how good Gronk is and everything, but to actually be on the field and have to deal with it, how do you attack that? How do you even hope to contain him at all?

A: There is no blueprint because he gets 168 yards, it seems, every week. We have to find a way to do it. Nobody has throughout this year, but hopefully we’ll be the first ones to do it. He’s going to find a way to get open, Tom [Brady] throws perfect balls every single time, it seems like. We just got to have perfect coverage, and that’s what we’re trying to do each week.

Q: Is Gronk’s success as much a product of having Tom at quarterback as it is to what he can do on his own?

A: They’re both great at what they do. When you have two great players, they’re going to make each other better. He’s won Super Bowls with people I can’t even name so now that he has a great tight end, he’s making it work.


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