Head Coach Chan Gailey
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
On how the team is health wise:
Not bad. I think we’ll have everybody at practice today. I think we’re in pretty good shape.
On QB Ryan Fitzpatrick being the No. 1 quarterback this year coming into the season and if he’s improved since last year:
I think you have to play to figure that out. Exactly how far any player has come last year to this year, I think you have to get in games to figure it out. My feeling is that we’re much more advanced as an offense. We know more of what we’re doing overall offensively. Hopefully that will in turn produce a better offense and more points.
On Fitzpatrick’s character:
I think you have to look at the perseverance factor of a guy like that. That’s what allows him to be successful because he will persevere. He’s very intelligent and he probably could have done a lot of other things with his life and his career, and he chose to stick with it. I think he believes in himself. I think he has a great deal of confidence. When you believe in yourself you keep going even when things don’t turn out the way you think sometimes, you keep going and you keep working. I think that’s what he’s done. I think everybody knows I think the world of the guy.
On if the first few weeks of the season will be different for most teams because of all the new guys not having as much time to prepare as previous seasons:
I think it will be a little different. I think special teams will probably be one of the areas because you’ll have a lot of rookies that have made the team league-wide maybe on potential more than production because you drafted them or you liked what you saw. But they haven’t had much time in your offense or defense but they’re going to be on the 46, so they’re going to be on the field on special teams. It will be interesting to see how the special teams aspect of it plays out. Then otherwise it will depend on how many young players will play on offense and defense. How many do you actually have on the field that weren’t on your team last year, and how that works out. That goes for veteran players that weren’t with you last year as well because they haven’t had that much work.
On who will be the starting left tackle:
Demetrius (Bell) is going to start at left tackle.
On what LT Demetrius Bell did to earn his confidence back:
He played more consistently which is what we said the whole thing was about anyways, being more consistent. Technically and with assignments, he’s been more consistent.
On the linebacker lineup for Sunday:
There’s going to be a lot of different combinations going for us at linebacker.
On the starting cornerbacks:
We’re still talking about that. We’ll see where that goes. The great thing about it is we think we have three starting corners.
On guys who were picked up in the middle of last season and are now starters on the team:
First of all I think that Buddy (Nix) and the crew in our personnel department did a great job of finding guys that fit our system and fit what we we’re trying to do. That says a lot about them. We continually try to upgrade. We say that every week every time you ask me about a roster change. All we’re trying to do is upgrade. That’s all we’re trying to do, continually upgrade. And if we think someone upgrades us we have to do it. There will come a point where you want to stand pat for whatever reason but we continually try to upgrade.
On the kick return role between QB/WR Brad Smith and RB C.J. Spiller:
We’ll have several guys back there doing the kickoff return. We really haven’t pinpointed that today. It depends on how much Brad (Smith) is going to play in the regular offense, how much he’ll be back there. Whether or not we think the guy’s going to be kicking in the end zone all the time. There are a lot of things that go into it now that we’re a lot different than last year.
On what his impressions are on DE Marcell Dareus after the preseason:
I think he’s exactly what we thought we were going to get. He’s a big, strong individual that plays with an edge. He can play the run and convert to pass rush when he reads it. I think he’s exactly what we thought we were going to get. I think he’s going to be a very good football player for a long time in this league.
On the signing of OL Sam Young taking pressure off of rookie OL Chris Hairston:
That was definitely a factor. Walking into the beginning of the season with a rookie that hasn’t had a lot of work because of the situation and because of the injury, making him the only guy you’ve got on your team as a backup tackle right now. When we had the opportunity to get a guy we think can play, we weren’t going to just pick up any slug out there. It had to be a guy that we thought could play. Then we took the opportunity to do that.
On what he knows about OL Same Young:
He’s big, strong, physical, and extremely smart to pick it up, that was another factor. He’s extremely smart and he’ll be able to pick it up quickly. He’s one of those true tough guys that you have to have in football.
On if he was surprised at how long the Chiefs’ starters played in the preseason finale:
Yes, a little bit I guess. Everybody’s different. Everybody’s got a different idea about what’s right and what’s good. I’ve said it before, that’s why Baskin Robbins stays in business, and everybody’s got a different idea about what’s good. You just have to let them decide what they think is right for their football team. Everybody else makes decisions for what’s right for their football team.
On there being a lot on the line for this game because it’s the Chiefs:
I want to win them all. When you’ve been somewhere and they’ve fired you, if you said it didn’t mean a little bit more then you’d be lying. I want to win them all. This is just one of 16. I want to be 1-0 when this is over.
On practicing with crowd noise:
Today and tomorrow we’ll do noise in practice. We’ll have to use our silent (snap count). It’s loud (there). It’s very rabid fans there. I know it’ll be loud when we get there, so you just have to understand that and go back to business.
On NT Kyle Williams helping out rookie DE Marcell Dareus:
That’s helpful for Marcell. He probably doesn’t even realize how helpful that is at this point to have a guy like Kyle in the room with him. It’s not only Kyle but it’s, Dwan Edwards and a lot of those veteran guys who are true professionals to be able to sit in there and help him. Marcell is extremely smart. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like he needs help, but I think in four or five years he’ll look back on it and realize how good it was to have those guys in the room early.
On the type of guy Dareus is and getting respect from the veterans:
It’s give and take. A lot of times if you don’t want to take advice or you don’t want to take suggestions you’ve got a pride issue. He’s got confidence but he doesn’t have a pride issue and there’s a big difference in those two.
On his thoughts about not many people giving the Bills a shot this year:
I expect it. I think our players expect it. If you don’t expect it, something’s wrong with you. If you say, “Well I hope we’re a little bit better than last year,” you ought to get out. That’s wrong. I expect to win every one of them. I expect to be undefeated. That’s the way I’ve always been and that’s the way I’ll always be. I want to be 1-0 after this one and who ever we play second I want to be 2-0.
On what it means to be playing on September 11th:
I had a talk with our players this morning about that. I’m not sure that everybody understands the significance of September 11th to our country, especially young people who don’t realize it. I hope they realize the significance of this and there’s going to be something going on in every stadium around the league. I just want them to take it with solemnest and pride; whatever else it is that you do when you’re an American to understand what this is all about.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
On if there’s a different feeling on being the number one guy going into week 1:
I guess just being the un-questioned starter going into the year, that’s a big deal for me. In terms of viewing this game any different than the starts I had last year, not so much. Really excited and I know that the guys are excited. It’s hard not to be for the beginning of the season. Right now there’s so much optimism and so much hope. We really think we have a good team. We think we improved a lot from last year. We’re looking forward to showing everybody that we’re a better team this year.
On if he’s proven that he belongs as a #1 guy or is that to be proven this year:
I feel like I’m always going to have to go out and prove myself. I’m the type of guy where I’ve come from and what I’ve done, I’ve always had to prove myself in the league. I’m never going to get the benefit of the doubt. I’m not a first round pick; I’m not a big school, big name guy. I’m never going to get the benefit of the doubt. I have to go out there and show on the field that I belong, what’s going to happen with me week in, week out and every year as well. That’s kind of how I look at it.
On if every week he would go into the opener wishing he was starting:
Especially recently, I think my first few years I was a little wide eyed and still trying to figure everything out. I feel like me getting the opportunity to sit behind some people and watch and kind of work my way into the league, work my way up from three to two and now to one. That was really helpful for me. I know initially, even though I played as a rookie I wasn’t ready to play. The last few years I’ve been real antsy to be out there on opening day and really looking forward to it.
On Kansas City’s defense:
They’re good. Upfront, stout, they’re really a true 3-4 team which you don’t see a lot of. Obviously LB Tamba Hali one of the elite pass rushers in the league. He’s a guy you really have to account for on every play. Their secondary is young but really good. Their corners, maybe the most underrated duo in the league. You really don’t hear a lot talked about CB Brandon Carr and CB Brandon Flowers. Their very very good. Maybe a top two or top three corner combination in the league and the obviously with the high draft pick DB Eric Berry, what he brings at safety. They’re young back there but they’re very good and they showed it last year.
On what he sees from last year’s film that he has to do better this season:
I think consistency is the big thing. I talked about putting so much time into it right now; in the film room, on the practice field with the guys. Really getting ourselves to where we need to be, so every rep out here matters, every rep out here can translate to game day. So for me, being able to do all this during practice and then translate it to the game. In the game, not everything is going to go the way you want. You’re not always going to have the perfect protection; you’re not always going to have the perfect coverage versus your routes. You’ve got to be able to react. I’ve said it before, sometimes it’s an incompletion, and sometimes it’s getting the ball out and not taking a sack. Just being consistent and the thing last year, part of it, was not being able to sustain drives at times. I feel like my play was inconsistent. That’s going to be a big thing this year. Big word for me to keep harping on is just being consistent and playing well over a long period of time.
On the game last year and guys feeling like they didn’t show Kansas City their best:
I think there might be a little added incentive because of the history there, not necessarily because of the game last year but a lot of our coaches being familiar with them and being over in Kansas City, there might be a little. In general, there’s so much excitement going into the first game. We’re watching that film and when we watch that film we’re thinking, “Boy, we really made some mistakes that could have made us better.” Maybe to that point, especially me, I didn’t have a good game and there were some plays that I could have made to put us in a situation to really win that game. I guess in that regard, watching some of that stuff from last year gives me extra incentive to go out there and play better.
On where he thinks the offense will be this year:
I mean a few of the games, really the last game, some of those games really had, and we didn’t have many yards. There were some of those games that stuck out that probably hurt the average a little bit. I think we played better than that. Over the course of the year I think we were better than that statistic but we’re still not where we need to be or where we want to be. Being a year older, year experienced and having the same guys out there on the field, I think you’re going to see a better product and that’s what you’re hoping for.
On the no name receiving core that is here in Buffalo:
I mean fantasy football people know Stevie (Johnson) and other than that there aren’t probably aren’t many people that can name another receiver on our team, maybe Roscoe (Parrish). That’s the way we like it. We are the no names, the goon squad. That’s the way we like it. We’re looking to surprise a lot of people this year. I expect guys to not respect our receivers because they don’t know who they are. They’ve never really seen them play and that’s what we’re hoping for. We know we need to go out there and earn the respect of the league. None of that is given to you. Those guys in that room understand that and I understand that. We’re looking forward to it because I think we have a great group. To be honest I’m a lot more confident going into the year than I was last year with the guys we have out there.
LB Shawne Merriman
On if this season opener is different than others that he has had in his career:
Yeah this season opener is different because I haven’t played in awhile. The first game is always one of the biggest because you don’t know what the other team is going to do and your emotions are running high and the adrenalin is going. It is going to be huge for us to go out there and have a good game.
On if this is the first time in a long time that he is not worried about injuries:
I really haven’t thought about it. Just having all the practice and the preseason we had, that mental aspect has changed a lot since then.
On how he feels physically:
Good. Just going through camp and getting better and getting adjusted to things. One of the biggest things was getting back to playing football again and being comfortable.
On the faith that the Bills showed him by resigning him this year:
One of the biggest things for me, especially last year being banged up and not being able to play, was them having the faith in me going out and being that guy again. That meant everything to me. It meant more than they probably know and more than a lot of people know for them to just trust me and be able to go out there and do what I need to do.
On how confident he is that the defense can stop the run this year:
We have a task this week. They are one of the best rushing teams in the league. There is no better test for us to go out and have a little game against guys who not only are known as the best but are physical. They have two great backs that can make things happen, so it is going to be a challenge for us to go out there and play well.
On if he feels he has something to prove this year:
If anybody that knows football has been watching you know that I am back playing and I shouldn’t have to tell anyone “Hey I’m back” or these big articles that come out and say “hey Shawne says he’s back.” But if you turn on those preseason games, you’re out here at practice and you know what I’m doing you can pretty much say this guy has been playing pretty well. I am probably doing some things better than I was back then.
On if the nagging injuries are behind him now:
Well, it’s football. The first time you touch the field you are never going to be a 100%. The first time that whistle blows and the first snap of practice, you are not going to be 100% during the whole season. I kind of expected the groin and hamstring things or whatever it is but I am pretty much over the hump of getting back in the groove of things and playing football. So all that stuff is behind me.
On the people saying the Jets and Patriots are the favorites to win the division:
Good. Being in the situation when I was in San Diego you expected to come out and win the Super Bowl every year and be top dog. It’s kind of good to fly under the radar a little bit. People overlook us and then you go out and shock some people. It won’t be a shock to us in this locker room. It will be a shock to other people who didn’t think we would do so well.
NT Kyle Williams
On his new contract:
Like I was talking with Buddy about it is I kind of feel like it was something that was earned and just have to keep it up type of deal, keep playing the way I’ve been playing. I think the good thing about it is it wasn’t like I was a rookie that got drafted and it was a shot like ‘ok well we’ll see if they can do it’, I think I’ve done it and just have to keep doing it. It wasn’t a deal where I got drafted high and [they] were like ‘well we’re going to pay him all this money; we hope he can do it.’ I’ve been there; I’ve been productive and just got to keep doing it. Keep playing the way I’ve been playing and try to make some things happen.
On guys that make money and never earn it and this being opposite of that:
I think the way that the draft has been for so long I think that a lot of times that happens. The draft is a crap shoot any way. I think, like you said, this is an opposite deal where ‘ok, we’ve seen it on film in this league that you can do it’ so hopefully we can keep him here longer and he can keep doing it. So that’s kind of where I’m at. I feel good. I feel healthy. I’m excited about the year.
On how much better the run defense can be this year:
A lot better. It can’t get any worse, I don’t think. We’ve added some good players. I think as you watch the film, it looks different in practice, our fits look different, our control on the line of scrimmage looks different, and it looked like that in the preseason game. So there’s no reason to believe it won’t be tons better. I don’t want to be a little bit better, I want to be tons better. Talking about 30 spots better, I’m talking about a lot better, that’s what I expect, that’s what I want.
On if it’s frustrating being talked up around the league and playing for a low-ranked defense:
I think it’s frustrating for everybody especially a lot of times with all the runs that we got killed with. It’s not like we’re getting two tight ends and that were running power and they’re just blowing you off the ball… that’s when I think it’s frustrating. When you’re getting those slash plays, they’re running outside and then they’re cutting back off the thing, now I think that’s when it gets frustrating it all comes down to a fits department. I think everybody here is motivated by that, I think, kind of a breath of fresh air. We’ve got some good guys in the room, on the defense. We’ve played a little bit better. I think we go down there and we get a good test from these guys. They led the league last year. So we can go down there and kind of see where we are, keep building, hopefully win a football game, get a little momentum going, and momentum in this league can be contagious and we’ll see what happens.
On how much of an impact he thinks Marcell Dareus can have:
I think he’s going to help a lot. He’s as big and talented a guy as you’ll ever be around. You can see that by the way he moves for being as big as he is. I think he can create some things for me, hopefully, I can create some things for him, us for the outside guys, and hopefully them for us. I think it’s a better deal where we have some guys who can make some plays all along the line and you can’t just focus in on one guy or two guys. There’s a lot of guys that you have to honor, you have to put hopefully more than one and then when you get your one-on-one opportunity say they decide to double me and not him on a play, that’s all you can ask for is to get more one-on-one opportunities and that’s where you make your pay and your place in the league.
On what he’s taught Dareus so far and what he can be taught that he doesn’t know already:
What he has that can’t be taught is how big and how well he moves for being 340-pounds or so. As far as what I’m trying to teach him is how he’s looking at things pre-snap, formations, different things, trying to get him to see things that I see before the play. To study things the way that I study them so he can take that explosiveness and use it to his advantage rather than being in at a disadvantage in the middle of a play and helping him get out of trouble. If he can do it at the beginning of the play, he can use it to put them in trouble at the beginning of the play rather than him having to recover he can put them in a bad spot. Just trying to talk about formations and tendencies, what are you looking at pre-snap, not getting too focused in on the guy in front of you, trying to see the whole scheme. If we can see things fairly similar we’re going to play better off each other. We’re going to know where the other one is going to be and make some plays.
LB Nick Barnett
On his level of anticipation and excitement for the defense to get on the field this weekend:
I am excited; it is going to be fun to play football again. I was hurt last year so I have been waiting a long time to get back on the field and to battle so it is going to be fun and this team we have so much stuff to prove to ourselves and others. We are excited to go out there and do what we are supposed to do.
On if the defense is looking forward to the test with Kansas City this week:
We look forward to every week, at least I do, to play whoever it is and the challenge that they present. This week for sure with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones and what they have done with their offense to lead the league in rushing, this is going to be a good test for us to go out there and see where we are.
On if it is more difficult to prepare for the two backs because they are different types of backs:
No, you just prepare for two different backs. They are different in some aspects but they still run the same run plays and you have to prepare for how to stop those run plays and hope everyone stays disciplined and keep their gap responsibilities. No matter whom the back is, if we are all in the gaps there is nowhere to run so we just have to stay disciplined and execute what we are supposed to do.
On if he is excited to see all the changes to the defense on the field Sunday:
From the outside looking in there are a lot of changes to this defense but for me I just got here so this is the defense I came into and we have a lot of players and young players that are going to get their opportunity to play this year. With Shawne (Merriman) coming back, I’m out there, Andra (Davis), Kirk Morrison and the guys up front, it is going to be fun to see how we gel and how the chemistry is out there.
On what needs to be proven to others:
Really we only have one thing to prove and that is to prove it to ourselves. We have to prove to ourselves that we can stop the run and we can be a good defense and team. Once we prove to ourselves then all of you guys can jump on board too. I now you guys are a little scared to jump on board or on this train but I had a coach once that said if you don’t jump on this train then you are going to get left behind and that’s what our plan is, we are going to take off regardless of who believes in us or not as long as we believe in ourselves the train is going to take off.
DE Marcell Dareus
On his thoughts on going into his first regular season game:
I am kind of ready to get out there and test my guns. I had a good time in the preseason and I thought I did pretty well out there doing what I could. I got to see the blocking schemes and the speed of the game, so I think I did pretty well and I think the defense overall did pretty well. I just can’t wait to get out there and put the scheme together and see what we can do.
On if he thinks he knows what to expect from the season opener:
I have a good feel of it because the veterans, especially Kyle Williams, are really keeping me on it. I have really just been taking it all in like a sponge and doing the best I can with it. There is a lot to take in but I see now that it is a whole lot different than the preseason and I am ready for it.
On the expectations he has for himself:
I really don’t have too many crazy expectations other than going out there and doing the best I can. I have the same motto every week, go out and get better at something every day. And when it is time to show it off you just go do the best at it you can. When you’re going to throw a rip, throw it to the sky.
On if he thinks the expectations for him are too high:
I don’t know. It is a lot to put on me but they brought me in here for a reason and I believe I can handle it. As a defense, it is not just a one person game. There are 11 people out there and we are all playing together. Everybody believes that we have a lot more communication and we are watching more film than last year. We are going to be better together, not as individuals.
On if he remembers where he was on September 11th:
I was in 6th grade at Banks Middle school. I was sitting in the classroom and they told us that the planes hit the Trade Center. And us being that young we really didn’t know what was going on but our teachers were going crazy and there was a lot going on. It is crazy how it impacted the United States and it was a big tragedy that went on at that time.
On if he feels honored to have his NFL debut on September 11th, the 10th anniversary of the tragedy:
Our coach went over what we are going to do out there before the game and I think it is a great honor for me to come in at this time. We are all going to try and just take it in as a team.
RB Fred Jackson
On what the biggest thing is that has to happen as an offense:
Finishing games. We were in a lot of games last year. As an offense, if we get on the field and we have the opportunity to go win a game I think that’s what’s going to put us over the top. That’s what we’re looking forward to and I think we have the confidence to put up a lot of points and our defense is a lot better so if we do our part I feel like we’ll win a lot of games.
On QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s comment on hoping that other teams don’t respect the wide receivers and if they don’t then other team’s defenses will be in trouble:
They will be. That’s kind of been the M.O. of us. A lot of no-name guys that people don’t really know anything about. But that’s something that we like to take advantage of so hopefully we do get single coverage and like Fitz said I’m excited about that. Those guys will make plays for us and Fitz is going to put them in the right spot and he’ll be able to read some defenses and make some plays as well.
On if he’s comfortable with the game plan for Week One:
It’s time to see where things go. I’m excited to see what we do this weekend. I think that’s the number one thing is going out and making plays for my team. That’s what we’re looking forward to, that’s what I’m looking forward to, and hopefully we can get out there and get that first ‘W’ this weekend.
On if his pre-season concerns have gone away:
It’s one of those things where it’s just time to move on to the next step and see what happens. That’s what I’m looking forward to and more than anything we want to get started on the right foot and get a ‘W’ this weekend.
On being listed at the top of the depth chart and if he expects to be the first running back out on the field:
I do, even after the talk I had with the coaches, I expect to be out there number one. That’s where things look like they’re going so that’s how I’m approaching the game.
WR Roscoe Parrish
On being excited for another season and to get going:
I’m very excited. Me, personally, I missed all preseason. (I missed the second half of last season) with a wrist injury so I’m very excited and looking forward to Sunday.
On if he feels healthy:
Yeah I’m ready to go. I feel healthy. I was fighting a hamstring during the whole process of preseason but I stayed on top of my rehab and been out there moving around. I’m feeling good and am ready to go.
On if he expects to play this Sunday:
On if he feels he has something to build off of coming off of an injury last year:
That was the most playing time I had ever got at wide receiver since I’ve been here and not just being a package guy. Basically that’s what it came down to, but it’s very exciting that I’ve got that to build on and just continue to move forward with that opportunity.
On how different it’ll be not having any preseason repetitions going into Sunday as far as game action and if there’ll be any rust:
You either have it or you don’t. ... As long as you’ve got a good week of practice in then you don’t have to worry about anything.
On not minding being an unrecognized group of receivers:
That’s what it is. When it comes down to it Steve had a good season last year before that you didn’t know Steve so it’s all about getting an opportunity and just proving everybody wrong and that’s it. And as a player that’s what you want.