PITTSFORD, NY - The following transcripts from Bills Training Camp were provided by the Bills:
Head Coach Doug Marrone
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Q: Can you talk about Landon Cohen?
A: He’s been around a lot. We’re looking for that right situation for him to make the team and make plays. He’s made some plays for us. He just needs to continue to show that he can make more plays and he’ll have an opportunity to make this team. We have a lot of football left. He’s quick off the ball, he gives great effort and he’s done a very good job.
Q: He looks like he’s overmatched size-wise sometimes but he isn’t, right?
A: I guess you can say the same about Kyle [Williams] with the stature of those guys, but don’t fall asleep on them. You can’t fall asleep on those guys. I say it all the time, that’s the reason those guys put an NFL uniform on. Those guys are just relentless and they go about their business like a professional. It’s tough because there are a lot of guys that if you just look at them you’d say, “Oh, this guy should win just on size.” But that’s not what happens. Leverage is a big part of this game.
Q: Can you talk about Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel in competition?
A: It’s been up and down. I don’t think you can say that someone has really gone ahead of everyone. It’s kind of been back and forth, so we’re just going to keep looking at the situation.
Q: When would you like to see the decision between them made?
A: In fairness, what you want to do is have enough information as a coach to be able to present to the player where we’re going, the reason why and be able to show them that. If you can’t do that, then it’s not time to make that decision.
Q: And you can’t do that yet because it’s been pretty good competition between the two of them, right?
A: Absolutely. It’s been back and forth. One will have a good day and the other one won’t have such a good day and the next day it will flip flop. So they’ve kind of been going back and forth.
Q: How big of a long-term concern is Chris Williams’s injury at this point?
A: I’m not worried about it long term.
Q: Should we read into Aaron Williams playing a lot in the second team today?
A: We’re just watching how everyone communicates together in case something happens where they have to be on the field at the same time. Don’t look into that as Aaron’s performance or anything. He’s done an outstanding job for us.
Q: Anthon Dixon was getting first team goal line reps. Is that a reaction to some of the team’s struggles there in preseason?
A: No, it’s not a reaction to that. Again, we’re just getting an evaluation process of what we’re doing. When you look at it, it wasn’t really as much on the backs as we put the emphasis on the offensive line.
Q: What do you see in Antoine McClain to give him some first team reps?
A: Injuries in front of him is one. It’s an opportunity. Whenever you get an opportunity you’ve got to take advantage of it.
Q: As a rookie, are there things that Sammy [Watkins] still needs to improve upon?
A: Just going out there and doing it in a real game on a Sunday. Other than that, he’s been outstanding and has done everything we’ve asked, so it’s very difficult to me to say where he needs to go. Obviously, there are things we all need to work on, but he really has been outstanding. From a maturity standpoint and from a production standpoint in practice. Obviously, he got involved in the last game where we’re not really game planning yet to get him the football. Like I said, you saw it today. Not many guys in this league can make that catch. There’s a couple, but not everyone.
Q: Did you do a little more red zone work today than normal?
A: We do. We do. That goes back to what I talked about before with the opportunities. We’ve worked hard to get some opportunities, however they’ve come about. Whether it is a turnover or we drove down the field to get in the red zone. We’re not at a level where we want to be at to get to our goal, so we’re going to spend that time and work on it. You saw that today.
Q: After all the trouble Mike Williams had in Tampa Bay, how well has he adjusted to life as a Buffalo Bill?
A: He’s been outstanding. He really has. I think, and Mike knows this, I think it’ll be a big transition when we go back to Buffalo for him. I don’t think you could have asked for anyone to have had as good of an attitude, worked as hard as he has, have made plays like he has. What’s that saying? It’s better the second time around. For me and him, it’s much better the second time around. We really need to keep it going. He’s done a great job.
Q: Are you concerned about him when you do get back to Buffalo?
A: I think, again, I’d like to be able to sit here and say I’m not, but I’m concerned about everyone when we get back. I really am. We’ve had a good camp and guys have been doing an outstanding job of working hard and you hope that they continue that when you go back. It’s not necessarily the players you get concerned about. You sometimes get concerned about the people that are around them. Whereas here we’re a little bit more sequestered. But, when we get out there, a lot more people from the outside can get to them. That’s where I think the maturity and discipline comes in for each one of those players.
Q: Can you talk about him [Mike Williams] having friends in Buffalo?
A: I think it’s no different than with anyone else. Sometimes when you’re in your hometown there’s a little bit more pressure and there’s a little bit more people that tend to think that they should be taken care of. But, I think that Mike has learned a lot and Mike’s got to be able to take care of that. The one thing that Mike knows is that if there are any issues or anything, we’re here to help him with that.
Q: Do you think Cordy Glenn looked good physically during his first few practices?
A: Yes. He looks good. I think he was just chomping at the bit.
Q: Aaron Williams and Lee Smith got into it a bit at the end of practice. Do you like to see that competitiveness?
A: I wouldn’t say they got into it. There’s no way they got into it. I know both of those players. They did not get into it in a way of it being combative. It was just competitive between them. They were having fun, which I don’t mind. Practice is tough, it’s hot. You want to make it where it can be fun for them.
Q: Are the players looking forward to hitting the Steelers instead of their own teammates?
A: I think we’re looking forward to going in against an organization that is a physical team, that is a tough team, a team that has won in the past. I think we’re excited about being able to compete with them. That’s how I think we’re looking at it.
Q: What have you seen from Ross Cockrell since he’s gotten first team reps?
A: I just think, again, there’s some injuries with some players and we’re resting some players. Probably a little bit more from that standpoint of resting some players than actual injuries. We’re just working him in there and he’s done a nice job. He’s played well and he’s good enough to play. We’re looking for consistency out of him.
QB EJ Manuel
Sunday, August 10th, 2014
Q: What did you think about today’s practice?
A: I feel like we looked great today. We scored a lot of touchdowns and that’s one area we want to be more consistent in. These past two games we haven’t been able to capitalize in the red zone and on the goal line so, we added both of things to practice today, and there’s no better way to get better at it than to get after it in practice, and we did a great job at it today.
Q: Can you speak to the camaraderie you’ve felt with Mike Williams?
A: It’s been great, Mike has truly come through on that comment where he said, “Throw it up in the clouds, I’ll go get it.” He’s done it day in and day out, he’s been consistent tracking the ball whether it’s the fade or the deep ball or the post. I think a great example of that was in the game, the corner played off him a little bit, I just stuck it on him and he went up and made a great catch. Having that as a security blanket at receiver is awesome for us and what he can do, Sammy Watkins can do it too, a bunch of those guys can go up and make plays, but Mike has done an excellent job at it the past two weeks.
Q: With Mike Williams, did you find a point in the past two weeks where it clicked for you and you started to trust him when he says to throw it in the clouds?
A: Not necessarily, I think the work we’ve been doing after practice has really helped us. A lot of times, that’s the only way to get better at stuff is to take extra reps after practice when everyone else is leaving, and take an extra twenty minutes to do some extra stuff down in the red zone or out in the field. It’s paying off dividends for us already.
Q: Is a player with his sort of skill set something you think you’ve missed thus far in your career?
A: Not necessarily, I think it’s also me growing as a quarterback and me feeling comfortable putting the ball in a place where they can go get it. I think we’ve always had receivers who could do that, that’s what they do, they’re hungry for the football. I think it’s really me growing alongside them and giving them the opportunity to go up and make a play. That was something I really wanted to amp up in my game, I said that during one of our first press conferences after watching film of other quarterbacks around the league. They give those guys opportunities to go up and make catches and they’ve been doing it.
Q: So you would describe yourself as a little bit hesitant last year?
A: Not necessarily hesitant, I was just a rookie last year. Now I feel more comfortable giving those guys an opportunity.
Q: What are your thoughts on this Pittsburgh trip coming up?
A: I’m excited about it. I know a bunch of teams have already had dual practices with other teams, so I’m looking forward to getting together with the Steelers, I’m very good friends with Coach Tomlin, we’re from the same area. I saw him a few weeks ago before we came here. He told me whatever look we need as an offense he’ll give it to us. It’s going to be very competitive, we’re going to try and treat it like three days of a game. Each day of practice, we’ll try and treat it like a game.
Q: Is there a fine line between getting ready and over extending?
A: Well, as a quarterback, I embrace it because the more looks I can get live the better for me. The more reps I can get against a defense that isn’t our own, because we’re not going to play our own guys on Sunday’s, we’re going to play against someone we don’t know. I’m just going to take advantage of that each and every day I can, I know our offensive line is excited about it, they can’t wait to go against some other defenders, so we’re looking forward to it.
Q: Another great catch from Sammy today, does anything he does really surprise you anymore?
A: That one was kind of surprising because it was behind him and high. He made a great one handed catch with his left hand. Sammy is an excellent receiver, Robert Woods has been doing the same thing down in the red zone with those one handed catches. We as quarterbacks are feeling very confident with our receivers. Like I said, we’re trying to give those guys opportunities to go up and make a catch, and they’re bringing them in.
Q: How did you run into Mike Tomlin?
A: We’re from the same area, so I went to his fundraiser. It was in Hampton, Virginia, and that was in July before I came in to camp.
Q: What has your relationship been with him?
A: Well I met Coach Tomlin when I was in high school, he was the head coach for the Steelers at that point and they had given me an award for an accolade in high school that I had gotten, he was there and he gave me a lot of words of wisdom before I went to Florida State. He had worked with Coach Fisher before at Cincinnati, so he gave me a bunch of info on Jimbo and that kind of stuff. From my area, we’re very proud of the people who've had the opportunity to make it to the NFL, NBA, MLB, whatever it is, and we always support each other.
Q: Do you have confidence in Robert Woods and Chris Hogan in the slot position?
A: Definitely, those guys have done a great job whether it’s the drag route or the seam route. It’s not easy to go across the middle as a receiver, those safeties and linebackers will try to hit you, you kind of put your body in harms way. But they’ve been doing a great job of it, we try to protect them with the ball and they’ve been coming down with some great catches.
Q: It’s been getting pretty competitive out there in practice, Aaron Williams said he was trying to get in your head, was it working?
A: We were having a little fun, no it didn’t work at all. We were just having fun talking a little trash in the red zone, something we do at the end of every practice. We embrace it, it’s kind of like you're playing 21 outside with your friends, you get to trash talking and all that kind of stuff. We still executed our offense and went three-for-four on touchdowns so that was good for us.