PITTSFORD (WKBW) It was a busy day at Bills training camp on Wednesday. A suspension, and extension, and the weather were the main topics of conversation during and after practice.
The NFL announced Wednesday that Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham has been suspended for one game for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy. This stems from an incident last year when Bradham was pulled over and found with a small amount of marijuana. He will now miss the season opener, but is eligible to practice with the team and play in the preseason.
"My whole thing is to stay positive. It's something that followed me from last year, a decision I made. I regret it. I apologized to my teammates. Sorry that we've got to go through this again," Bradham told reporters.
Also, during a weather delay at practice, the team announced that running back Fred Jackson had agreed to a contract extension. Jackson tells Channel 7's Shawn Stepner it is a one year extension worth $2.6 million
The team is back on the practice field at 8am on Thursday.
For more on Wednesday's practice, the suspension and extension, below are transcripts of Doug Marrone and Fred Jackson, courtesy of the Bills.
HC Doug Marrone
Thursday, July 30, 2014
Q: What do you think of Fred Jackson?
A: I love Fred. I think Fred’s been a great pro. In my time here with him he’s been a very good leader and very productive. I’m excited about him. I heard the news coming here. Scott [Berchtold] told me that they signed him. I just heard that now and I’m happy for Fred and I’m happy for his family.
Q: How do you think he looks for a 33 year old?
A: I wouldn’t say that to him, to his face. I don’t think you would say that to him either. Age is a number for him. He really doesn’t seem that way. The way he runs and the way he prepares himself is a credit to how he takes care of his body.
Q: Can you talk about Nigel Bradham’s suspension?
A: Yeah, you know I heard about that. Obviously, it’s unfortunate, especially since Nigel has been playing very well. Like I said before, I’ve probably seen the biggest improvement in him. And when I say that I’m not just talking about him as just a football player, but just maturity. I think, now when you look back and you think about what happened, maybe it took something like that for him to grow. Obviously, you learn from your mistakes. I think he’s learned to make better decisions and I hope it’s from that and I hope it’s something we don’t have to go back on. Especially with the way he’s been performing on and off the field.
Q: Does it surprise you that they NFL waited a year to do something about this?
A: They have their rules and I play by their rules. That’s all I can say.
Q: Can you just talk about how practice went?
A: I think it went well. I was a little concerned. Obviously, we were off the other day. In the past we haven’t really come back from our off days and had good practices. But that’s it the past. They came out and they were ready to go and we were having a good practice. Obviously, lightning caused us to get off the field, which could happen during the year. It’s happened to me in games before and you’ve got to kind of wait it out and get yourself ready. It was good for us to practice that situation and our goal is to get as much work in as we can. And that’s what I told team. I was happy with the way they came out after that break. We got everything in, from the standpoint of the plays we wanted to run. I think that was important and I told the them we’re a team that needs to work. The one thing about if we would’ve called it or hadn’t been able to get it in, that’s work you can’t make up.
Q: Do you know what happened to Chris Hairston?
A: They told me it was his back
Q: Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore sat our team work. Was that to give them rest?
A: Yeah, we’re just really watching them and getting a good look at the other players.
Q: What did you see out of Cyril Richardson today?
A: We moved Chris [Hairston] out to take some reps at left tackle earlier on and Richardson has earned a spot to see what he can do working against our first team defense. We’re taking a look at him and there is competition there
RB Fred Jackson
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Q: Congratulations, what is your reaction?
A: I’m extremely excited. I want to thank Russ [Brandon], Doug [Whaley], the late, great Mr. Wilson for the opportunity to be able to play here. Every player’s dream is to be able to play with one team for their entire career, and this extension gives me the opportunity to do that. I’ve had a lot of support with me throughout the years, obviously you see my kids are here, they’re always here. My wife has done a tremendous job supporting me, doing everything she can do to make sure I’m able to come out here and compete with these young bucks, so I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue to come out here and play and get this thing turned around. Hopefully we can do that sooner rather than later.
Q: How do you do it? You’re one of the oldest backs in the league, how do you stay young?
A: I just love to play this game. Usually when guys get to be my age they’re just about ready to kind of shut it down and not come out here and get beat up like we do at training camp, but I wake up every day and I love it. I’m blessed to have an opportunity to play for a team like the Buffalo Bills and I try to take advantage of that whenever I can. I think the number one thing that keeps me motivated is the love for this game and I don’t want that to end anytime soon, so I’m going to come out here and continue to work and show that I can continue to compete at a high level
Q: How do you feel at this camp, now at age 33?
A: Better than I have in a long time, that’s the number one thing I was talking to my agent about. I was telling him I haven’t felt this good in a long time. So, hopefully I can continue to feel like that and get into this season and make some plays for our team, that way it’s all worth it, them giving me this extension.
Q: Why do you think you feel so good?
A: Well one of the main reasons is that I’m not coming off of any major prolonged injuries. I had a tremendous offseason with our strength and conditioning coaches, I think they did a great job getting me to where I am today, so I’ve got to give those guys a lot of credit. I’m hungry and motivated. I think a renewed sense of getting this thing turned around, with some of the moves we made in the offseason putting the pieces around us I think that’s got to have a lot of guys excited, and I’m one of them.
Q: Do you ever think about the ownership status?
A: Not at all, there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can focus on is playing football. Our job is to come out here and win games and give this city something to be excited about. We can’t control who the new owner may be. You won’t catch any guys in that locker room focusing on that. If we’re focusing on that we’re not focusing on the task at hand.
Q: It’s rare that a professional athlete plays his whole career in one city. It’s looking likely that’s going to happen for you, is that important for you to be able to accomplish?
A: Absolutely, that’s one of the number one goals. That’s why signing this extension is so special. It gives me that opportunity, I’m one step closer to being able to finish my career in Buffalo and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
Q: Are you glad you were able to get this deal done before the season started?
A: Yes, it’s something you don’t want to have to focus on. I’m glad that it’s done. Now I’m happy just going out and playing football and trying to make plays for this team.
Q: Kids come into this league and think the goal is getting to their second contract, you’re getting close to double digit contracts now…
A: Yeah, it’s one of those things, you always want to know what that second contracts going to be like. To be able to say you’ve done an extension multiple times is something you can be proud of, it means you’re doing something right. I just need to continue to work at it and continue to produce on the field and we’ll see what happens next.
Q: Did you have to have any minor clean ups from your knee injury last year?
A: Nothing at all, I didn’t have to focus on that. Our training staff did a tremendous job getting me ready to play week in and week out. There were no surgeries needed. I’ve been blessed enough in this league that I’ve yet to need to have surgery. Hopefully we can keep it that way and I can continue to stay healthy.
Q: Do you have a number in mind for the number of years you want to continue to play?
A: I want to continue to play as long as possible. If I can get three or four more years I’ll be happy, but we’ll see what happens.
LB Nigel Bradham
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Q: Can you just clarify if this relates to your arrest last season or is this something different?
A: Last season. It’s related to what happened last year. The commissioner said I wasn’t disciplined from the NFL last year so I guess it rolls over into this year.
Q: What was the outcome of the court case last year?
A: Everything was dismissed and I’m not in a substance abuse program or anything. Since everything was dismissed it’s kind of shocking and kind of disappointing that it came back again.
Q: Have you gotten an explanation of why they did this to you since everything was dismissed?
A: I tried to appeal it but the appeal was declined.
Q: So you already worked through the appeal process?
A: Yeah, I went through the appeal process.
Q: So a year later they can still bring it back up?
A: I guess so.
Q: When did you go through the appeal process?
A: The appeal actually just happened probably a week ago.
Q: What’s your attitude about all of it?
A: My whole thing is to stay positive. It’s something that followed me from a decision I made last year. I regret it and I made a mistake. I apologize to my teammates. I’m sorry that we have to go through this again. And hopefully I just get past it and come out for game two ready. I’m just going to keep working everyday out here at training camp and getting better.
Q: You said you learned from it. Do you feel your more mature now a year later?
A: Most definitely. I’m a lot more mature and I know my decisions determine my destiny. That’s one thing I learned last year after the incident.
Q: Was the league in constant contact with you throughout the past year or was this kind of out of the blue after your appeal?
A: What happened was they sent a letter home to my hometown. I got the letter, which said that I’d probably be suspended for one game or I had the option to appeal it. So I went through the appeal process and they still declined it even though they looked over my case and saw everything was dismissed and I was dismissed out of the NFL Substance Abuse Program.
Q: With the strides you’ve made do you get angry about this decision?
A: I’m definitely not proud of it. I definitely want to be out there game one with my teammates but it’s out of my hands. I can’t control that.
Q: Football-wise, where are you at now in terms of how your camp is going so far?
A: It’s definitely been a good camp for me. I feel like I’ve been getting better everyday and that’s the main focus point. I have my focus and I know my potential and it’s up to me to reach it. It’s one of those things, I just wanted to come out here and get better. Hopefully I end up starting and hopefully we have a great season.