Pittsford (WKBW) The Buffalo Bills got back to work at training camp on Tuesday night. The team practiced under the lights at St. John Fisher College trying to shake off a 17-13 loss in the exhibition opener to the New York Giants.
Tight Ends Scott Chandler (groin) and Tony Moeaki (hamstring) both returned to practice in a limited role on Tuesday. WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) also returned.
The Bills have a quick turnaround this week with a game against the Carolina Panthers set for Friday. The team trying to improve after an up and down performance in the Hall of Fame Game.
Below are the transcripts from interviews after Tuesday's practice.
LB Brandon Spikes
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Q: What has your impression been of the young guys in the linebacking corps?
A: They are very smart players, for them to be as young as they are. I feel like, physically and mentally, they can do it all as far as being able to interchange with each linebacker position. They’ve been doing a great job. I’m kind of impressed with them in the way they’re taking in the new scheme. It’s fun to see how they get in and carry themselves like professionals. We definitely can count on those guys if somebody goes down.
Q: Are you relishing the veteran leader role after being a younger guy in New England?
A: Honestly, I always take the approach of being a professional. At times when I was younger, I had problems with that, learning the Patriot Way and stuff like that. My hat is off to them. They showed me how to be a true professional on and off the field and how to conduct myself and be a professional. Watching film, taking care of my body. Those are things I’ve been doing as a vet, which I should, but I’m just trying to pay close attention to that.
Q: How did you think the defense looked in the Hall of Fame Game?
A: I think the defense, as far as the first unit, went out and dominated. As far as the whole defense, I think we definitely have some improvement, some stuff we need to clean up. Like I said, it was good to see the young guys go out there and compete. Like I said, we’ve just got to keep working.
Q: Do you feel like the first unit defense’s progress is where it should be at this time?
A: Honestly, I’m a professional so I want us to just go and get three-and-outs every single series. We’ve just got to keep pushing it. I take a lot of pride in playing well on defense the whole way. If we can go out there and just dominate and get the ball back to the offense, those guys are very explosive over there, I think will have a chance to play well in this conference.
C Eric Wood
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Q: Can you talk about what we saw tonight? It didn’t look great from an offensive standpoint.
A: There were some ups and downs. The defense made some plays and I credit them for those plays that they made.
Q: You got a lot more reps than the other starters on Sunday. Do you think that’s because you need more work?
A: Not necessarily. We just go out and do what the coaches want. A lot of times, when you have five preseason games, that’s kind of status quo.
Q: It’s relatively early still but what’s the level of frustration for you? You seem to think you should be a little further along.
A: I’m not necessarily worried about where we’re at as an offense. I have a lot of confidence with where we’re going. A lot of the mistakes were easily correctable. There were some mental errors and such, that moving forward will get corrected. It’s not necessarily guys getting beat as much physically as it is some mental stuff.
Q: So you’re saying that some of the incomplete passes shouldn’t be looked into too much because it’s still early?
A: Right. I think EJ [Manuel] has had a great camp so far. It’s tough to get into a rhythm for two series and there were a couple bad balls that were on us. So, it’s kind of a group effort.
RB CJ Spiller
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Q: How much have you thought about your future and what that might hold with this organization?
A: I’m under contract. I knew that was going to come up, I saw the article that came out today. I don’t really pay any attention to that. I’m a Buffalo Bill through and through. I love this place, this organization loves me. I’m here until further notice.
Q: How frustrating is it, all that you’ve done for this organization and you still have to address this stuff?
A: It’s just one of those things. Everybody sees things happen. I’ve had some good conversations with Russ Brandon and Doug Whaley. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t believe everything out there and I don’t. I don’t pay any attention to that, the only time I hear about it is from one of my family members or one of my friends. I’m not going out there seeking it, trying to find it. I love this place, I love being here in Buffalo, I love the people. Just to see the reception that Andre Reed got at the Hall of Fame, that’s the only thing I’m worried about, coming out here and getting ready with my teammates, getting ready for September 7th against the Chicago Bears.
Q: How do you think Sunday went?
A: We lost. There were some good things that we did as an offense, but there are things we can get better at, and we know that, and we’ll correct that, and try to have a better performance this Friday night against the Panthers.
Q: How would you assess where the offense stands after tonight’s practice?
A: Today probably wasn’t one of our best days, I think everybody’s still feeling it a little in their legs. It’s just one of those days where you have to push through. We know where we wanna go as an offense, we know the things we want to get better at, we’ve had some great days, it’s just things that hurt us last year that we’re trying to work on like 3rd down, the red zone and two minutes. There’s different situations were trying to get better at as an offense and we understand that. As we get closer and closer, we can’t have some of the mistakes that we saw today.
Q: How helpful is it to have the extra preseason game?
A: I don’t know, this is my first rodeo doing this. It gives the young guys a chance to show what they can do. We have to pace ourselves, but once you're on the field it’s all out. You can’t go out there and try to play cautious. When I step out between those white lines, it’s all out for the guy standing next to me. We’re excited, we embrace it, and we’re moving on.
WR Robert Woods
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Q: How do you think you played on Sunday?
A: I think I played pretty well. I could have made one more catch over the middle, but I think I played well.
Q: We’re you surprised being out there so long or did you like getting all those reps?
A: Every time I’m on the field, I’ve got to enjoy it and make plays whether it’s the whole game or one drive. I was just out there trying to make plays.
Q: How much of a change will it be for you working out of the slot?
A: It’s still a receiver position, nothing’s really different. Things just happen a lot quicker, you see more passes. I just have to be an open target for EJ [Manuel].
Q: How much does it feel like last year, learning stuff over again?
A: Not at all, we move a lot, we interchange positions. Whatever change it is, whatever the rotation, just move quickly.
Q: There are more wide receivers this year, more competition. Do you like that?
A: It brings out the best in everybody. You just have to accept the challenge, challenge each other to be better and more consistent. The more competition the better the team is.
Q: How would you asses the progress of timing up your guys footwork with the football of the quarterbacks?
A: I think it’s working out, we’re seeing the change from last year. As soon as we snap up the balls in the air, so that’s better for us. It’s just a lot quicker.
Q: Is it allowing you guys more space to win after the catch?
A: Yeah it does, when we’re breaking out of our routes and the balls already in the air, there’s less time waiting on the ball and more time to make the defender miss.