PITTSFORD, NY (WKBW) - The Buffalo Bills returned to the practice field early Wednesday morning following a day off on Tuesday.
Veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb was absent from practice after experiencing a death in the family, and may miss Thursday's workout as well.
When asked whether Kolb will see time on Sunday when the team opens the preseason against the Colts, Head Coach Doug Marrone said it was too early say.
"It’s too early to say that. Right now, approximately, EJ has about 100 more snaps. And then where you get caught up as a player is really on Kevin’s last day was probably his best day. Obviously you want to see it coming back. And a veteran player, having these days off, we expect him to come back in better shape than if he was a rookie," said Marrone after practice.
Also speaking to the media today were defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Nate Hackett.
See the full transcript from the post-practice press conference below, courtesy of the Buffalo Bills:
Head Coach Doug Marrone
Training Camp — August 7, 2013
Obviously the other night, we had a pretty long scrimmage. We went over 100 plays in that scrimmage which is, from my experience in this league, is pretty long. And the one thing I was looking at to see is how the players came back from a day off. I thought today we came back in a morning practice, just got right back to work. I give the players credit. I told them that afterwards. I said I was proud of them with the way they came back. And I think that’s important, get ourselves into a good week and continue moving forward. One of the things we tried to do today, and some of you may have noticed it, from an offensive perspective, we took Cordy Glenn and moved him inside. And the reason why is…we’re not experimenting with him being, not being the left tackle. We know that down the road from now, when we’re dressing seven linemen, we’ll have a swing inside player and a swing outside player, swing tackle and a swing center guard. And what we want to make sure of is if something does occur with an injury, and one of the inside players are injured, then the swing player goes in there, which one of our tackles is best suited to go in there next. That’s why we wanted to work him today and I’m pleased with that. I saw what I needed to see, meaning that he can do that and make that transition. Now you’ll see him just back there, getting comfortable and ready to play. I didn’t want to do it later on once we started working the pre-season games.
Q: What about Thomas Welch? He played some guard today to.
A: We have to move somebody. I think from what we saw today, depending on where we’re going to be better on who that swing tackle is, I think we’ll make a decision once we see how the preseason goes. And I think at least we know now in the back pocket, we can always move Cordy in there. With the swing tackle, we know he has to be able to play both tackles.
Q: How are you looking at Thomas?
A: We’re looking at him as obviously competing for a starting position. If not, then if you’re not the starter, then you have to be able to swing.
Q: How common is it to have a swing guy as a starter, as opposed to a backup guy who plays the utility role?
A: A lot of times you use the philosophy you don’t want to make two moves for one. But if the two moves for one makes you a better offensive line, I think you go ahead and do that. That’s my philosophy on it. Do you like to do that? No. You hope that, hey, if a tackle is injured in the course of a game, whoever you have, is your swing tackle better than your guard tackle, which some teams have. If that’s the case, then the swing tackle, if he’s better than the swing guard, then he goes in there next. If not, and then the swing starter is a better player, then you go that. So you have multiple ways to do it. But I like to have that process kind of set before we go into a season.
Q: Was Kevin Kolb not there today because of injury or personal reasons?
A: Kevin contacted me. We’ve communicated yesterday. Right now, barring any transportation delays, we expect him in late Thursday night, coming back here sometime in the morning, which helps us for the evening practice. And we expect him back and ready to go after he sees the doctor and the doctor says yes.
Q: Have you established how the quarterbacks will be used in this first pre-season game?
A: No, I think I’m going to wait to see how the practices go. Things could come up with that situation. We’ll probably talk about that Friday evening, once we know we’re going into a Saturday where nothing should happen, barring a sickness--a cold or a flu. I’ll have a plan set in place for that then. We haven’t had discussions about that.
Q: Given the amount of time Kevin has missed, is it too early to say whether you might hold him out for Sunday’s game?
A: Oh, absolutely. It’s too early to say that. Right now, approximately, EJ has about 100 more snaps. And then where you get caught up as a player is really on Kevin’s last day was probably his best day. Obviously you want to see it coming back. And a veteran player, having these days off, we expect him to come back in better shape than if he was a rookie.
Q: Is there a chance the injury could keep him out?
A: Absolutely. It’s not going to go by time missed because we’re still in competition. And our goal is to be equal and fair. And there are a lot of things that go into that. And I think sometimes it depends on what our thoughts are with the people around them too, to make sure that when we look at things, we’re looking at it in a fair manner when we make those evaluations.
Q: One of the things you said is that Thomas Welch is competing for a starting job. Is that at left tackle?
A: I’m kind of wired where if I tell a player, hey, you’re competing for the backup job, I don’t think you get everything out of that player. No different than a coach that says, ‘Well, you know what, I’m going to coach my starter like a starter and coach my backup like a backup.’ I’m kind of wired that every player we’re coaching as a starter and every player on that field is competing for a starting role. That’s my more of a philosophy of how I coach and how I view things.
Q: Did Marquise Goodwin get overheated on the field?
A: Yeah, he was just short of breath. He got his breath back and he was fine.
Q: How does Kolb’s absence affect when you would make a decision on a starting quarterback?
A: I would think when he comes back how he is. In other words, we evaluate how he is when he comes back and then obviously if it’s going to take a couple days, then you look at it and maybe that’s a little bit of concern. But I expect him to come back and really pick up (where he left off). Let’s go with that competition. And if anything, the extra 100 reps for EJ should probably help him a little bit more in being prepared.
Q: In terms of naming your starter for the regular season, is it going to push the time back for when you were initially planning to name a starter?
A: I can’t answer that question until I see how Kevin comes back and performs. If he comes back and things are still lingering, then that puts some pressure on that decision process. We know what the end time is for it, we just want that time as coaches to work itself out between the two players as early as it possibly can, knowing that it probably wasn’t going to happen until we started playing pre-season games.
Q: How significant is the injury to Leodis McKelvin?
A: Probably just soreness. That’s what it was. He was sore after the game. We kept him yesterday on the day off. He received treatment and again we’re just trying to be smart. He’s a player who…you saw Chandler come back and limit himself. Kyle came back. You kind of saw Leodis go the other way. Came back from injury and, boom, jump right back in there and took all the reps. There’s that point where a little soreness comes in, but we’re very happy because we have gotten a lot of snaps out of him in camp.
Q: Crezdon Butler and Chris Hogan stepped out for a little bit. Are they okay?
A: Yeah, Butler’s been playing, he got a shot on the nose. So every once in a while when that helmet comes down, you just got to take a step back. And then with Chris, he just got the wind knocked out of him.
Q: Mana Silva, has he been released?
A: I’m going to rely on Scott [Berchtold] for this so I don’t say anything wrong. He’s on the (Exempt/Left Squad) list.
Bills Senior VP of Communications Scott Berchtold:
The deal is (Mana Silva) left camp. There’s a procedure through the NFL that you have to go through on that if a guy leaves camp. That’s where he is right now. We were granted the exemption from it. Is what it is.
I just don’t know what it’s called. I found out, really, when I was on the field, I had to go speak to the quarterback club. I had to go speak to the veterans. I found out in transition there. He did not contact me or speak to me about the decision. Why or what. Again, I’m concentrating on the guys that are here.
Q: In a situation like this, could you see yourself welcoming him back?
A: I’ll be honest with you. I think it’s tough when someone makes a decision, depending on what it is. Obviously, if it’s something that’s a personal thing, I would like to expect the players to come to me and say, ‘Hey, I have this going on. Can I be excused?’ But I don’t know his situation. 99-percent of the time, I’d be like ‘Yeah, let’s clear that up, move on and go.’ But if it’s a case of, I don’t know if I want to be on a team or compete or anything like that, in my experience, I think it’s been very hard to try to talk somebody into playing.
Q: Colin Brown at right guard today. Can we expect him to be moved there?
A: If you see what we’re doing, before we get into the pre-season, we’re just trying to look down the road to see what that seven is.
Q: Is Duke Williams medically cleared now?
Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine
Training Camp – August 7, 2013
Q: You’re shuffling through a number of inside and outside linebackers during the team portions. Are you trying to find the right combinations?
A: A lot of those guys need those reps. We don’t want to give them to one particular guy. A lot of those positions, when we get to the third-down stuff especially, we handle it by committee. A lot of those fit into the cross-training category as well. We are making sure that different players are getting reps at similar jobs.
Q: What has Alex Carrington showed you?
A: Consistency. He’s probably been our most consistent player on the grade sheets, very rarely gets a minus. He’s probably our most technically sound guy up front, plays at great pad level. As you saw in the scrimmage, he’s a guy that usually quiet. But when it’s a live situation like that, he gets pretty fired up. Our guys fed of his energy a little bit and made some plays. It was fun to watch.
Q: What do you see out of Marcell Dareus?
A: He has come out every day and is looking to get better. He’s got some technique things he has clean up. We are trying to get him to be a little more aggressive and roll off the ball and use his size. Sometimes you get big guys that think they’re little guys. Some of their moves are that way, where he has to understand at times he needs to use his size and his strength. He is, learning curve wise, where he should be. I think he’s having a pretty good camp.
Q: What were you impressions of him when he was entering the league?
A: Very good. He was very high on our board.
Q: What is your assessment of Leodis McKelvin?
A: He’s shown that he has elite cover ability. He’s got great feet, and for a guy his size, he is not afraid. The toughness part is not an issue. He’s not afraid to stick it up in there. There are times when I cringe when he goes up in there with the big guys. But he’s been impressive so far and I’m looking forward to having him out there.
Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
Training Camp — August 7, 2013
Q: Has this always been you? Can you tone down the enthusiasm at all?
A: No. I can’t do it. Always has been. You should see my son. My son, all my kids are wild, I don’t know how my wife does it. I’m telling you, you think I have energy? You put all the Hackett’s together, oh my goodness. Then you add my dad in there; he’s still the same way, too.
Q: A practice last week ended with a touchdown bomb, which led to two chest bumps by you.
A: I almost pulled a hamstring. That was a long, long run. Those throw and catch by 88 (Marquise Goodwin) and 3 (EJ Manuel), that’s something I hope we get to hear a lot. Then you get to hear that sweet song, Buffalo “Shout” song and be in there. I can’t wait to hear that and see that go down. I’ll be up in the box though and I won’t be running down the stadium to go give them a chest bump, so I’ll have to stay up there for that one. Anytime you score a touchdown, it’s unbelievable. It’s hard to score a touchdown; I don’t care what anybody says. In practice versus defense, on the field, it doesn’t matter. Anytime you score, you can celebrate and you should get used to it. The more you celebrate, the more you want to do it, the more touchdowns come.
Q: What can you say about the play of EJ Manuel so far?
A: I can’t compliment that young man enough. I just can’t. He’s having so much fun out there and from a coach to be able to come in and give him a new system, something he’s never really done before and not only see him really work hard and try to get it, but his enthusiasm about it. Just the want and the desire and the work ethic. Then the fact that he can come out here and he can put it on the field. All those things are things that as a coach, it’s great to work with him and Jeff (Tuel) and Kevin (Kolb). All those guys are doing a great job. We still have a long ways to go in my opinion. I think that we can still get a lot better.
Q: What can you say about his ability to throw the deep ball?
A: It reminds me of me when I used to throw deep like that. Like I said, especially with 88 out there and 11 (T.J. Graham), when those two guys are on the outside, I mean literally you’ve got to go back there and you’ve got to throw it as far as you possibly can. We actually were having a bet who could out throw one of these guys first and it actually ended up being Kevin actually overthrew I think it was Marquise, overthrew him, and we were like “Oh we did it! We can actually out throw them”, but that’s probably not a great thing. You’re just excited to see that we have some arm strength there.
Q: With Stevie (Johnson) down, the focus has turned to the young receivers. What has been your impression so far on them?
A: It’s going to be a constant evaluation. I think that with even the young guys and the older guys I think the way we do it, the way that Coach Hilliard does it, he’s doing an awesome job of getting a lot of guys in there at a lot of positions. Just so we can evaluate and we can see what they’re going to be capable to do out there and what routes they’re good at and so forth. So I thought Brad Smith had a very good day, number 10 (Robert Woods), 88, 11, all those guys they’ve really been thrown in to this. They’re going out there, we’re going fast. Those guys run a lot. I can’t say enough about that crew. It’s fun for a quarterback and a coordinator to be able to dial up another throw when you’ve got guys like that out there.