Orchard Park (WKBW) The Buffalo Bills opened the practice week on Wednesday with several players watching from the sideline. DE Mario Williams (ankle), DT Kyle Williams (achilles), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring) and CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) were among a group of nine players held out of Wednesday's workout. Safety Jairus Byrd and DT Marcell Dareus practiced on a limited basis.
Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone addressed the media on Wednesday with his team getting ready to host the Baltimore Ravens. The transcript from his interview is listed below. Thoughts from several players on the matchup with the Ravens are also included.
Head Coach Doug Marrone:
Q: On Kyle Williams, is that the same injury as last season?
A: I wasn’t here; they just said it’s sore. I’m not sure if it was from last year. I didn’t ask that question.
Q: Thoughts on having Legursky back?
A: Good, really good. He did a very good job of working during the rehab. Pat Morris and I talked this morning about it; I thought in the individual drills, that he actually looked better now than he did when he was going. Just a matter of looking at him during the week and then making that decision.
Q: What concerns do you have on defense knowing that right now your starting lineup is somewhat unsettled?
A: Specifically unsettled from the standpoint of the secondary, from the back end?
Q: More from the defensive line.
A: No, we’re going to be fine there. We’re fine up front.
Q: The back end?
A: The back end, what we’re doing is obviously Leodis is in the mix still. It’s day to day. While he’s not out there we’re going through different combinations being obviously ready for him to come back, different combinations of players, different combinations of schematics, man, zone, matchup’s, things like that. Seeing what the best thing for us, so it gives us the best opportunity to be successful. So that process is really going to be day to day as we go and practice and evaluate it afterwards. The great thing about it is we do have a lot of flexibility with Aaron (Williams). We’ve got Jimmy (Leonhard), (Da’Norris) Searcy and Duke (Williams) back there. We have the corners and Aaron can go back and forth and Leodis is still in the mix. It’s exciting because people are going to have an opportunity and see what they can do.
Q: When you look at that situation with Aaron Williams being a third year guy who has played two years of corner, with the lack of experience with your other corners, do you almost have to look at Aaron as your corner if Leodis can’t play?
A: I don’t know if I would ever say, ‘He has to be that guy.’ I really haven’t thought of it that way yet. I’m not saying I wouldn’t be thinking that way later on in the week. Like I said, I think I’m at a point where I feel good. I think the way I look at the situation is, I really think Aaron Williams was developing in to a really, really good safety. A potential top tier type safety for us. Moving him back to corner and watching him play, it’s difficult for me because I don’t think people realize it’s obviously much different, those two positions. He went in the game and you watch what he did when they threw the ball his way, he was very good, tight coverage of a position he hasn’t played in a long time. Up on the ball, in somebody’s face and going. For him to do that, I look at it as we’re losing that development from that situation here we know that’s where he’ll be with us back there.
Q: How do you pick up Justin Rogers after his performance against the Jets?
A: We’re all competitors in this game and Justin Rogers is not the first player to have a poor game. The one thing about it is that he’s on this team, he’s out there practicing and like I said after the game is one thing I appreciate is competing. It would be different if he fell down, if he wasn’t near the player, couldn’t do it. He’s right there to make that play and we know it was very close. We just keep pushing him to be able to do that. This sport, you have to be some mentally tough, especially at corner. The two positions where you’re out an island, people talk about corner and left tackle. You’ve got to be able to forget and come back the next play because if you can’t, you’re not going to really last in this league. I think that’s something that you all know. He’s got to shake it off, he went out there today, competed his butt off and that’s what we expected out of him.
Q: Might this week be the week when Jairus Byrd wakes up and is ready to go?
A: I don’t want to use words like wake up and things like that. I would rather say he’s working extremely hard to get back. Again I keep going back to that same statement I said because it’s the truth; it’s a condition that we haven’t been able to get over this one last hurdle. I think when we get over the one last hurdle; he’ll be ready to go.
Q: Can you comment on Alan Branch and what you’ve seen from him?
A: He did take a lot of snaps. We obviously had to put him in there with Marcell coming out. We were planning going in to it to work him in to more snaps. We were kind of forced to do that. We don’t think it’s a very high number for him, but he’s productive. He’s very difficult to move, he’s a big bodied guy. He might get upset with me for saying that, but big bodied in a good way. He can cause things, cause problems, hard to move, frees up linebackers. Has a pretty good pass rush for a big guy. We’ve been very happy with that acquisition and he’s been a very good professional and very good for the young guys.
Q: What are your thoughts on the run defense right now?
A: We just have to tackle. We’ve got to be able to tackle. When we’re tackling better and squeezing more and not overrunning some things, I think that it’s all a matter of, it’s easy if it was just one guy. It’s really a combination of making sure we’re squeezing, pressing, getting off blocks up front. Linebackers make sure we’re filling; make sure we’re taking advantage of what we see. If we see it, we need to go get it and then obviously tackle better.
Q: Is the way you’re running your offense keeping the defense on the field too much?
A: I think that what’s contributing to that is third down. I think third down from both sides. I think when you’re talking about 46%, what our opponents are converting on third down and offensively we’re only converting 31%, I think that’s what equals the time of possession and the amount of plays.
Q: In the Jets game, you got the ball with 1:40 left in the first half and had a quick three and out which gave them the ball back with enough time to get a field goal before the half. What are your thoughts on being more conservative in that type of situation?
A: Well the situation was this, looking back at it. I’m no different than the players; I have to look back at the game management portion of it. We had a pass interference call on that series that led to a Jets field goal. That’s not the point of this conversation. The point of the conversation was where we were prior. Here’s a situation of exactly what was going through my mind. We were going to get the ball in the second half; I tend to be aggressive before that. What happened was we took the sack for minus-nine, we come back, we make it up on second down so we get nine or 10 yards and then we get another short throw, now we’re down to a manageable third down. We actually wanted to take a shot vertically down the field and we wound up throwing an intermediate route incomplete. That was the thought process going through it at that time, trying to be aggressive and make something happen. In hindsight, looking back and going through it, when we took the sack and we were at second and 18 or 19, I told this to the team that we all make mistakes. In hindsight, we go back we take the sack, the percentages of making second and 18 to a first down, run the football, they either use the timeouts or the time runs down and we go. You’re exactly right. I’m not going to sit up here and defend it was the right decision. It was the decision that I also questioned after the game.
Q: Besides two big runs, the running game hasn’t been producing much. What has to change?
A: If I’m not mistaken I think we’re fifth in rushing yards and eighth in rushing average.
Q: Yeah but you take out those two huge runs, it just seems like it’s been a lot of carries of zero or negative yardage.
Q: We have been. I don’t disagree with that. I would disagree with the overall thing because they all count, but you’re right we do have to be more consistent. We have to do a better job of running. I think it’s a combination of everything again. I think we have to do a better job up front, I think we have to do a better job of running it and I think we have to do a better job of putting in situations, game planning strategically, getting more looks, getting more situations and running the ball more.
Q: Do you see the line creating gaps, the running backs have had trouble it seems just not picking the right hole and getting sent outside.
A: I’m going to go back to the same thing. It’s very difficult to get a question like that and say, ‘This is the one problem.’ It’s very easy to fix, or easier to fix one problem. One play it may be that and the next play we might not get a push and the next play we might get beat. I think that’s what is going on, the consistency of the run game, is that everybody has to win to a certain extent. If one person breaks down and everyone else is doing the right thing it’s a negative play. That’s what makes it such a great team sport. We have to do a better job of all those phases, but that’s something that we’re definitely working on. And schematically putting them in better situations.
Q: How do you balance teaching or mentoring EJ (Manuel) in handling pressure, like what he faced against the Jets and what he may face against the Ravens?
A: I think we’re very much aware of that and those conversations take place. I don’t mean this in a poor way, but those conversations are private. We work on that, we work together on that. Myself, I’m heavily involved in that in talking to him about that.
Q: You must be confident that now he’s seen it, do you feel he’s more capable to handle it?
A: I’m confident. I am. I think here’s a player that’s going to get better and better.
Q: Can you talk about the play of Manny Lawson?
A: He’s done a much better job than I saw him do last year on film of setting the edge in the run game. I’ve seen him do a very good job of being off the ball and playing some dime for us. He’s on the field, I think he’s done a great job, he’s earned those snaps. He’s someone who has gotten some extra snaps.
Q: Does he bring some leadership?
A: I think he’s an outstanding pro, someone that we tell a lot of our younger players that they need to talk to about being a pro.
Q: What stands out about the Ravens defense and how similar are they to the Jets?
A: There’s a difference from just a pressure situation. Not to say that they wouldn’t do the same, those things happen, you’ve got to be prepared for that. The Jets defense is one or two right now in the NFL; I think the Ravens defense is obviously up there quite a bit. What I see is a tough defense, I see a defense that has not given up a touchdown since the first game, that’s very difficult to do in this league. You’re talking about eight quarters. They have not given up a rushing touchdown. They’re tied for first in that. I believe that you see a team that is, I think they might be number one versus the rush, either one or two. They’re built from the standpoint of they’re strong, powerful and they’re fast outside. Again I think obviously this is a very challenging situation for our team, we’ve been challenged the last couple weeks, every week is a challenge for us to go out there. We’re playing against teams that are in the top 10. I’d rather do that now and see where we are against them.
Q: With how you play offense, you’re not going to win time of possession a lot. Would there ever be a time where you would consider modifying your style if these numbers persist?
A: If that’s what it takes to win, absolutely. I would say I’d be careful writing that it’s not ever going to be that way because I think that we’re able to see last weekend that Denver held the ball five or six minutes more than Oakland and they were running a no huddle type of attack. That’s why I always go back to, I believe it’s the third down conversion rate what you need. Obviously if you’re running at a 46-48% third down conversion rate on offense and you’re somewhere in the 34% on defense, you’re going to have the time of possession in your favor.
Q: On EJ, can you be specific on what he needs to work on in terms of pressure?
A: I don’t see anything specific. I was addressing a question to more of confidence and educating, that’s how I was answering that question. If that question was asked in the way you are, then that was wrong. It’s overall. He’s no different than what I might be saying to Robert Woods. What I might be saying to all the younger players that are playing. I think it’s very important. There’s ups and downs in everything that you do. People are different. Some people, they react differently to things. I just want to make sure that they understand where I’m coming from, what’s expected of them, what this league is, what goes on on the outside, what is said and trying to help them with my experience being around of maybe how to handle some of those things. Paul Lancaster we have him obviously, he’s our (director of player engagement), I think there’s a big difference in first year players then I think there’s another category of second and third year players and then I think after your third year, I think you’re a veteran player. Those are three phases that the players go through.
Q: So do you think EJ, among your rookies, is having to become accustomed to off the field responsibilities? Obviously there are adjustments for all rookies.
A: I think for the whole league. I think for everyone that’s playing, all of us, all 32 teams are doing a very good job with their player development program. We all work together in making sure we’re developing those players to become better adjusted to what the NFL is. It goes back to being a pro and that’s important. We have some great examples on this team, Murph brought up Manny Lawson. We also have some great examples on this coaching staff; we have Ike Hilliard with us. There are a lot of good things with that because I think we may tend to forget that’s an important part of how we’re developing them. Not just on the field, but more so off the field. It comes to every asset of their life and I’m a big believer in that. I’ve always done that everywhere I’ve been as a position coach, a coordinator in the NFL; it’s not just something that happens in high school and college and in the youth football program. What’s interesting about being around players and I don’t know if anyone gets to appreciate it because I don’t know if you’re around them enough, but you can put yourself in a position where you can learn from them also. I tell them all the time that I learn a good bit from the players in becoming a better persona and how they react and speak with me.
Q: As competitive as he is, is he trying to bite off more than he can chew?
A: High competitive nature. High competitive nature. It goes back to I talk to him all the time, ‘Hey I have a high expectation of you’, he has a high expectation of himself. He’s extremely competitive and at the same time I think anyone who is extremely competitive, you have to channel that to being productive.
Q: What do you make of Joe Flacco?
A: He can make all the throws. I mean he can throw it. When I watch the film and I look at it, I’m thinking he can throw that thing around. He can flick it out there; throw it around, he can move well enough in the pocket to get it done. I think they’re big and strong up front to protect him. When he gets hot he can put it on those guys. He can put it anywhere on the field. I’m very, very impressed with his arm, I really am. Even when we were watching film with the defense, when I was watching with the defensive staff, I was like, ‘Look at that throw. It’s coming out there.’
Q: With Legursky being a full participant, is a candidate for some first team reps?
A: I don’t think we’re at that stage yet with him.
Q: When he gets to that stage might he?
A: We’ll see how he’s doing.
Q: How difficult is it to establish the next man up philosophy with the injuries you’ve had?
A: It’s one that is a fact, but you don’t want to keep saying it. It’s the reality of the situation and we don’t get a chance to deal in hypotheticals, we have to deal with the reality of the situation of players being injured. We have to be prepared for it. It’s tough because you’re always trying to manage it and get the players healthy. The philosophy that I have is we have players on the practice squad, that’s where we want to bring them up from. If we don’t have players on the practice squad, then obviously Doug Whaley and Jim (Monos), they have a list of players for us to bring in.
Q: Is it getting exhausting with the injuries?
A: Here’s a situation. If I came up here today and said, ‘Oh gosh, we don’t have this guy, we don’t have that guy, I really don’t, I don’t really know…’ Now the team is looking at you and what are they going to say? “I don’t know if we have a shot.’ It’s important. This is a great challenge, this is a great opportunity. We say it all the time, players when they come out and they’re new, they’re going to be targeted. That’s the way the league is. It’s been that way forever, so it’s not anything new. As you become targeted, you also get an opportunity to show that you belong in this league. That’s the exciting part about it and we’ve seen that year in and year out with players. I don’t know, he practices okay, we’ve got to get him out there, but he can’t beat this person out and that person got him. He gets injured and we feel sorry for that, but if that happens now this player goes in there and all of a sudden you’re going to know. You want an opportunity to be a starter? Here it comes. That’s really how I look at it.
QB EJ Manuel
Q: After watching film, considering what happened on Sunday, how much more better do you think you are prepared to deal with that kind of pass rush and the pressure that other teams might be giving you?
A: Yeah, I learned a lot from that game and the mistakes I made. Obviously throwing the ball out of bounds when the pressure was coming, those are things you can’t do. I learned from it, worked on it yesterday on my own and tried to simulate it as best I could. Just move forward from it.
Q: It must be exciting and also a daunting challenge to try to wrap your head around an NFL pass rush like that.
A: Yeah, definitely when they’re bringing the house at you, it’s definitely a tough thing to deal with, but none the less you have to deal with it and I think it’s just a part of maturing in the position and understanding that that’s what the Jets are going to do every time we play them, and I’m sure a lot more teams are going to try to amp it up a little bit too. I think the biggest thing to do is showing them that you can handle it and that’s when they will stop doing the blitzes.
Q: You guys have been pretty inconsistent in the running game, you’ve busted a couple big ones, but really by large it has been pretty inconsistent. How important is it going to be that you guys start finding some consistency?
A: Yeah, we continue to stress that in our offensive meetings and just saying, ‘Hey we have to get this running game rolling and make it more consistent.’ Like you mentioned saying its inconsistent. I think once that gets on ball with everything else we will start to roll more as an offense, start to get more of those third-down plays. Instead of being third and eight and third and nine, it will be third and two, which is a lot more manageable, so if we can get those early down runs, get four or five yards a pop that will really help us.
Q: EJ, when you said you worked on that on your own, what did you come in here and throw?
A: Right. Jeff (Tuek) and I came in yesterday, lifted weights and that kind of stuff and then after that we watched film, but yeah we worked on throwing the deep ball. Not necessary a deep ball, but if you’re getting blitzed like crazy and just throwing the ball up, not necessarily out of bounds but just giving a guy an opportunity to catch it.
Q: Did you have a 250 pound linebacker coming at you?
A: No, we didn’t have that, we couldn’t simulate that one, but like I said the best we could. I felt like today we handled it, we had some type of blitzes that Baltimore will throw at us and we handled it well today in practice.
Q: Coach said you had really high expectations of yourself in practice today, but do you sometimes have to be patient like everyone else is being told?
A: Yeah, definitely I think that’s something I battle with myself, obviously having high expectations and high goals for myself. One, I don’t like to lose. I think our whole team, you know everybody doesn’t like to lose but I felt like the big thing for me was I felt like I should have been more composed, like you said I am hard on myself and sometimes it’s unfair and sometimes it’s not. I think it’s really more so trying to get better and understand there’s stuff to learn, your still three-games-old like Coach Hackett said, and not that were making a pass for not playing well or anything like that, but it’s the truth and I will continue to get better with each game.
Q: Even Ravens QB Joe Flacco has five years in-between coming into the league and the Super Bowl, and even people still are saying ‘Can he really do it?’
A: Yea, I mean you’re always going to have questions, unless you’re wining every single game and completing every single pass. Nobody’s perfect in this game, especially thing game, so like I said for myself just continue to get better each game.
Q: Is it a matter of learning the nuance between accepting and excuses?
A: Yeah, I mean I’m a no-excuses kind of guy. From the way I was raised, not just in football but in life, so I think that’s a big part of me being hard on myself not trying to make excuses and not letting anyone make excuses for you, nobody’s going to feel bad for you. If you lose a game, you lost it, and you have to move on to the next week. We have 13 more games to play, and hopefully the playoffs ahead of us, we just have to move past it.
Q: In a weird way do you think last week was good for your maturation process?
A: I guess, you have to take something good from losing, but definitely I think seeing the looks, understanding that, like I said that’s what the Jets are going to do, other teams are going to do it, understanding you have to handle it, still giving the receiver opportunity to catch the ball, and that’s very easily said but it’s another thing you have to continue to work on and try to perfect it the best you can.
Q: Are you trying to duck around within the pocket, do you think you need to get yourself out on the edge more often and give yourself a clearer lane to throw as oppose to dancing in the pocket to find the lane?
A: I think it’s just a matter of how the rush is coming at you, the only reason I do is to get to an open receiver, so it’s not like I’m dancing around to dance. I think the biggest thing is trying to find an open lane, and if that doesn’t show up, obviously take off or try to run to the sidelines so you can get out of the pocket and throw the ball away.
Q: What have you seen from film at the edge of pressure that Baltimore is going to generate?
A: Yeah, they do a great job at getting pressure not just at the edges but upfront with the big guys they have in the middle, as well as (Terrell) Suggs, I’m sure will be a hall-of-famer one day as well. I think that will be a great test for us, knowing that they are the defending world champions and I think it will be a good bar to see where we are going against some of the best teams in the league.
Q: EJ, how do you think your team is doing with injuries early on? Injuries are a part of football, but you guys have been hit here and there with some.
A: Yeah, injuries are going to happen but the biggest thing is you try to get back from as soon as you can. I know Coach, he mentions, you know, next guys up. Can’t necessarily sit and dwell on who’s hurt and try and wait for guys to mature, if it’s your time to go you have to come in and help our team.
Q: You talk about learning from mistakes, but at the same time are you and the rest of the team angry a little bit at how things went down against the Jets last week?
A: Yeah, I mean we were angry, I know I was angry yesterday and the day before. It wasn’t a fun plane ride home, definitely the night after and then watching the film wasn’t a great feeling but like you said we’re definitely angry but we have another game to play this week, the Jets game is over with and we have to get ready for Baltimore now.
Q: How was the communication?
A: Yeah, I thought we did a good job communicating the protections and things like that, the best we could. Obviously it was a little louder considering we were playing away, but I thought we did a good job communicating.
Q: You all stress the third-down conversions, how do you improve that?
A: You improve on first and second down first, I think that’s the best way to do it, as I already said, the running game if we can get that amped up, try to get four or six yards per carry that will definitely help us, and those early downs, but don’t try to necessarily do too much, don’t take negative yardage, sacks, and penalties, that’s what hurts you especially in those early downs, if you can get four to six yards in those first two plays or first two downs it will really help you in the third down efficiency.
Q: EJ what do you see from the Ravens secondary as far as zone looks versus man to man and just how much they change things up?
A: I would say it is 50/50. They have great guys that can run, track down other receivers and things like that, they’re a great defense. They have always been known to have a great defense and I think it will be a good test for us.
Q: Do you worry at all about putting the defense out there too much?
A: Definitely, I think it’s two-fold because, one, our offense we move very fast but it’s a tough part because if you don’t get the first downs and your going three-and-out, that definitely hurts the defense. You don’t want those guys out there. You don’t want teams getting a ton of possession to win that battle by eight or ten minutes in the game. I think that’s just something we have to work on, especially this week.
S Jairus Byrd
Q: Are we anywhere close to getting over that hump and having you on the field?
A: Yeah hopefully. Like I’ve been saying since day one, I’m just going out there, getting treatment and seeing where I’m at each day.
Q: Did you do anything more today?
A: I don’t know give or take more, just seeing where I’m at. Going through all the movements, seeing how it feels, responds the next day and seeing all that.
Q: Is this something you were dealing with last year?
Q: What’s different?
A: It is what it is, it’s just there. Something that needs to get healthy, get right. The more you’re out there on it…it’s your feet so you’re not going to get it right.
RB Fred Jackson
Q: Baltimore is a tough defense to run against.
A: Oh yeah. It’s one of the things they pride themselves on. They talk guys out of running the ball early. We’ve got to continue to plug at it and take some pressure off of everybody else on this offense.
Q: How different is that team without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed?
A: It’s always going to be different when you lose two guys like that, but they’ve reloaded and they’re still a good team. It’s going to be a challenge for us. They’ve got guys that have stepped up, that are athletic all across the board, so it will be a good test for us.
Q: What’s the key to finding consistency in the running game?
A: I think we’ve just got to keep plugging at it. We’re not going to get 18-20 yard chunks. We have to be content with three, four yard carries. If we can do that it puts us ahead in the downs and that gives us an opportunity to make some plays and stay on the football field.
LB Manny Lawson
Q: It’s your 100th career game this weekend. Thoughts?
A: Man, I didn’t know. That’s a lot of games.
Q: Are they going to have a gold watch for you or anything?
A: No, no, no. Nothing special. Just go out there every Sunday and put on a show.
Q: You’ve played in 77 consecutive games. Availability is very important, being around to play.
A: Saying it like that you make me sound old. Yeah I mean I’ve been around a lot and I just try to make myself available for whatever the team needs and whatever my job is as far as what I have to do, I’ll do it.
Q: You really manage to set the edge in the run defense. Can you talk about that?
A: Very much more so. I pride myself on stopping the run and trying to be a dominant force out there, someone that they can count on. As far as setting the edge, we just have to focus on hand placement, getting the right technique and knocking whoever is in front of us back a little bit. Making sure our head is on the outside of the ball to discourage any runner or anybody that’s trying to take it outside that you have to take it inside.
CB Leodis McKelvin
Q: What steps are you taking to get on the field?
A: Just get prepared; about to go do some treatment, try to strengthen it up right now. Get myself ready.
Q: Seeing the struggles Justin Rogers went through against the Jets, what do you say to him to get him back on track?
A: I believe in him. I believe in him, I have always believed in Justin. Justin is a guy that’s not going to let anything bother him. He’s going to bounce back real big. He’s a great athletic kid. Just a bad day, he’s going to bounce back, going to come back from it.
Q: Any extra push to get out there just because the secondary is thin already?
A: It’s part of my strength, my speed, so what would you do? Would you put yourself out there without being able to go out there 100 percent especially with what you do is be able to run fast and be able to cover people. You have to watch it very closely, especially with your hamstrings. I’m going to work my behind off to get back out there.
DE Mario Williams
Q: How’s the ankle?
A: It’s good, getting better.
Q: Did it happen on the extra point in the fourth quarter?
A: It happened the first time in the first quarter. Just go through, fight through it, it happened again.
Q: Will you be good for Sunday?
A: Oh yeah. Definitely going to be ready. That’s not even on my mind as far as worrying about that.
Q: Can you talk about the loss of Alex Carrington?
A: It’s going to be tough, he’s a great player. We’ve got guys that can definitely come in and pick up the slack and step in from behind him, but he’s obviously a great player, a great teammate, a great person. It’s going to be something that we’re definitely going to miss. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.
Q: Is it frustrating seeing the injuries pile up?
A: It’s a part of football. It’s going to happen. You hope that it doesn’t happen all at once especially in certain positions where you have older guys, guys who’ve been around, know the ropes a little better. It forces us to have to put younger guys out there who might just not know it as well just because of experience. It’s something that we definitely have to go through, we have to face it and be able to hit it running.
CB Justin Rogers
Q: Are you able to move forward after your performance against the Jets?
A: Yeah, I think I’ve been able to for the most part, you know it was unfortunate and I was hard on myself but the thing about this game is you have to move on. I think my teammates, and especially coaches, have really been pushing me to move on. So with them by telling me to move on, short-term memory and getting out there today, being able to practice and kind of put it behind me.
Q: Looking at the film and being a competitor that you are, where do the adjustments have to cover?
A: It just is mostly technique. It is stuff that’s easily correctable and being in position…When it comes down to it, it’s just making plays, you have to get off the field, its stuff that’s not something that serious, just little technique, getting my head around and getting my eyes in the right position.
Q: How much does it boost your sprits when you have a whole new set of assignments?
A: It’s a part of moving on, that game is one that kind of got away from us, but you can’t do anything about it. It’s just now looking at film on the Ravens, preparing for the Ravens and preparing for their receivers.
RB C.J. Spiller
Q: Talk to me about the running game as a whole?
A: It’s kind of been like a roller coaster. Hasn’t been consistent and that’s what you really want. We just have to take what they give us and don’t force it. That was really my big improvement from Week One to Week Two is that I went back to just being patient and not looking for that big run and just letting it happen. Freddy (Jackson) on his play he just did a great job of just keeping his legs alive, he continued to play through the whistle and those guys stopped or thought they had him stuffed and he just kept it alive and he was able to see a seam and get a big run. The biggest thing for us is just don’t force it, just let it happen.
Q: You know as running backs that you had a rookie quarterback and it was going to fall to you to produce early, has it been a disappointment through three games?
A: Well numbers wise you can say that, but we understand it is going to take some time. We just have to get a feel for what’s going on. I can only speak for myself, it’s just take what they give us and don’t try to get that big one every time and just be satisfied with a one to two yard gain. We definitely have to take some pressure of our quarterback and we know that. Teams are going to continue to do it until I guess our passing game gets up to par, not saying that it’s down, but teams will feel like this guy can actually beat us with his arm too so until that happens teams are going to continue to put more in there. Our job is just to take what they give us and make those extra guys miss.
DB Aaron Williams
September 25, 2013
Q: How are you preparing for the changes coming up for this week’s game?
A: Not getting the co-placement of just being safety, now I have to work on two positions now that were down DB room, so now I’m just getting ready for both.
Q: Did it come back to you, it looked like you haven’t been away?
A: Yeah, three plays, I didn’t feel too rusty, it’s a natural position so it wasn’t anything unfamiliar about it being out on the island.
Q: Confidence wise, do you feel you can go back there and play cornerback if they asked you to play it, after what happened last year?
A: Yeah, I mean last years over with, last year’s gone. It is in the past I don’t even think about it anymore, if they need me at corner back I’m going do my best to cover my guy and help this team out in this situation.
C Eric Wood
Q: What’s your view of the Ravens front seven and how is it to run against them?
A: They’re extremely tough. A lot of talent, good players that have been making plays for years. We’ll definitely have to be tight on our technique and trust what we’re doing will work. Not try to do too much against a really good player. Just stay within yourself.
Q: Have you talked about having even more spread formations to get the running game going?
A: I think spread formations are great for running the ball, but you have to have some kind of balance and that’s where we kind of get in trouble in the past. When teams would play regular personnel against our sub packages we didn’t really have an answer. That’s where this year we’re trying to be more consistent with our base runs so when a team does that we have an answer.
Q: How do you think EJ responds after seeing such a pass rush last week?
A: Hard to say. I think he’ll rebound well though. Just working with him for the past few months, I think every time a challenge has presented itself he’s kind of stepped up and things that he had done wrong, whether it had been an assignment or whatever, he’s not generally repeating mistakes and that’s one of my favorite things about working with him. He’s working hard daily to improve, kind of like we all are. We’re all fairly new to this offense and there’s some different things for all of us to do individually. The key is to improve as the year goes on.