Buffalo (WKBW/Bills) Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey and defensive End Mario WIlliams addressed the media in Arizona on Wednesday. Below are their comments, including thoughts on the loss of DE Mark Anderson to a knee injury.
Bills Head Coach
On the decision to spend the week in Arizona and how it has been going:
I had talked to a couple of teams who had done it like this before when you have back-to-back weeks on the coast. They said that they felt like the trip back-and-forth twice took a lot out of you as a football team trying to adjust to time and all of that. So they had stayed on the East Coast while they had done it. People who had done it went west to east. I had never done it but it made sense to me that it takes some wear-and-tear off of your players being on that plane. We have a good facility and it has worked out well thus far.
On how much of a logistical challenge it has been:
It has been a logistical challenge. It is not as easy as if you were at home with everything sitting there perfectly. It is not about logistics being a problem for all of your people. It is much more of a pain for your video people, your equipment people, your medical people and your coaches than it is for the players. That is why you are doing it, is for the players; for them to be as well rested and on top of your game as they can possibly be.
On losing DE Mark Anderson:
He has been a very good addition to our football team. You hate to lose people that have his kind of energy and have been playing the way that he has been playing. It hurts your depth, it hurts your pass rush, and it hurts every little thing there. Next guy in line has to step up.
On the offensive line being banged up:
Yeah, that was one of the strengths of our football team we felt like going into the season. We had nine offensive linemen that had played in games for us and had experience. We really felt good there and all of a sudden we are down to five or six that have played in games. It can happen that quickly. It is one of those things where you have to deal with it and you have to be able to roll with the punches or you will get beat badly in this league.
On Arizona Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb’s toughness:
I do not think anybody has ever questioned his toughness. He (has been) throughout his whole time in the league a tough guy. And he did (get hit Sunday), he took some shots last week. It is a testament to him and I know that his teammates respect him for it.
On how the players are responding to last week’s loss:
I think that they are hurt and if you are not hurt, you are probably in the wrong business. We are not injured, we are hurt but we are not injured. Injured means cannot go. Hurt means you learn to play through it and you try to overcome the deficiency that you have to continue to be successful. I think that is where we are. We are trying to continue to be successful even though we have taken a couple of hard licks the last couple of weeks.
On if he thinks the NFC West has vastly improved:
Yeah, I do. I really do. I was able to watch them a little bit on film last year, and to me this year it is really different.
On how DE Mario Williams is playing:
He has not missed one day of practice, he has not missed a snap of practice, and he has not missed a game. It is one of those things that everybody has bumps, bruises, kinks and something like that. It is just something you work through.
On a Bills defense and Cardinals offense that are both ranked low in the league statistically facing off:
I think I cannot worry about the Cardinals. I think I have to worry about our football team. I think we have to go play our game and play the way we are capable of playing. That is who we need to be. If you get concerned when you are not playing well, you get concerned about the other guys. You can lose focus on what you can get done to get yourself better as a football team.
On when he says hurt he means as much mentally as physically:
Yeah. I mean your soul is hurt. You hurt in your heart. You hurt in your brain. You hurt everywhere when you do not play well. If you are any kind of competitor you are hurt. You want to go out and try to rectify it. We played fairly good in the first halves; it is the second halves that have gotten us. We have to find a way to get that changed.
On if he has figured out what has caused the poor second halves:
Nope. If I had, I would have already fixed it.
On how to cut down on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s interceptions:
We just have to be smart about where we throw the football and when we throw it. He has some people in his face sometimes and we have to do a better job of protection. I think Ryan has shown through the last couple years that if you can protect him, give him the ability to read the defense and see what is going on then he can be a very effective quarterback. We just have to keep working in those areas.
On what he thinks of Arizona’s defense when he sees it on film:
They are fast and they play tough. I really appreciate watching them play because they play hard every snap. They will hit you. They will come after you. They do a great job of mixing things up. You do not know what is going to happen next. They have a very good balance of speed, quickness, and diversity on their side of the football.
On if the big plays the Bills have been giving up is unavoidable or just going to happen:
Both. It is going to happen and you have to learn from it. A couple of those plays though, people just threw it up and they made the play. It was not like they were not covered, running wide open or it was a bust. It was just an unbelievable play that happened to them.
On how he is responding to the loss against the 49ers on Sunday:
The focus is this game in front of us. Going out and the biggest thing for us or any team is that it is all about where you go right now. Those games are behind us. There is nothing we can do about it. We can sit here and talk about it all day amongst the team, but that is not going to change a loss to a victory. I think the biggest thing for us we are focusing on right now is doing what we can do right now in the present.
On what he can do better:
My biggest thing is I feel like I need to use my hands better. I need to get my hands, in general, healthy because I am a hands person. I am a power person and I think the biggest thing for me is being able to adapt and being able to use my abilities of what I do best in these times that we are going through right now.
On how his wrist is feeling:
It is the same spot, but it is something that I have been given basically. I am going to take it. I have to realize that it is there for a reason, but I cannot do anything about it and it is what it is…With what I am going through, just being able to come through it and play. Go out there and try to find a way to culminate and make up for it with the rest of my body.
On having to prove to the league that this is not a defense that regularly gives up over 600 yards:
We went out before and we played our defense. We know what we can do. Those last two weeks it does not show it and from that standpoint we have to go out, execute and make tackles. We cannot give up big plays. I think the last few weeks the big thing for us is we are giving up huge plays. You cannot be a good defense if you do that. It all comes down to us players whether it is covering somebody, rushing the passer, tackling the running back or filling our gap--it all comes down to us.
On his confidence that this team can turn things around:
I am extremely confident. My faith never waivers no matter the cards we are dealt. I think the biggest thing for us is to believe in ourselves especially in this time when nobody else does. I think that for being here in Arizona for a week and us being around each other every day constantly, I think it will be a great thing for us.
On the Arizona Cardinals struggling to protect the quarterback:
At the end of the day the Arizona Cardinals are a great team. Their record shows that. I think the biggest thing for us is unless we go out and do it, unless we go out and execute, nothing is going to happen. [We] Cannot go off of what has happened before and go out and play ball. [It’s] The same thing in the sense of what has happened to us. [If] You go into the game thinking that you are going to do that just because you could be in for a rude awakening as well. I look at it the same way with them and the sacks and everything. If we go out there and think ‘Oh, well it is going to be this easy because the last two teams did this’ we could be in a rude awakening. We have to go out and do it ourselves.
On filling in for an injured DE Mark Anderson:
It is going to be a huge challenge. Mark is a great player. Having him, his intensity, and his demeanor out on the field is definitely going to be a (challenge) for us. We have to be able to pick it up. Not just us needing to do it for ourselves, but to fill in his place and the injuries we have been faced with. Go out and play better.
On if offensive tackles are doing anything different against him:
No, not really. I always get doubled, get chipped or get triples—it is what it is. At the end of the day, the biggest thing that I have to do different than the past is use my hands and overcome the whole wrist thing. Find a way because that is what I do. I am a hands person. I think the biggest thing is what I am doing physically has been different. I have to find a way to make that happen.