Pittsford - The Bills went through a morning walk-through at St. John Fisher College on Tuesday. Below are the transcripts from interviews conducted after practice.
Former Bills LB Darryl Talley
AM Walk-Thru – August 2, 2011
On training camp today:
Everybody used to talk about us and say we had “Camp Marv”. I would say they’re truly in the lap of luxury right now. I don’t see a whole lot of hard about anything they’re doing. It’s a matter of making it through one practice a day.
On training camp in Fredonia:
We had to make our own fun at Fredonia. We had two practices a day and we hit everyday. So, I’m waiting to see how the full contact goes, what actually transpires. It’s going to be interesting.
On not having two-a-days anymore:
I don’t know because I don’t know the makeup of the personnel that they have. I don’t know if they can get their bodies used to that grind. That would be a grind for that first three weeks of training camp. Once you got through that, everything backed off and you knew what they expected in the middle of the year, and then end of the year, when it’s going to get tough. So you know how your body’s going to feel then and how to recoup it or how to get it to recover. Right now, I don’t know. Guys are getting hit and looking around and going, “ok, that hurts.” Sometimes it hurts for a little while but it goes away.
On the new CBA regarding practices:
I don’t know because I haven’t seen it. I would say that guys are having a harder time staying healthy during the year so what I’m thinking is that they’re trying to find a way to get guys to stay healthy longer. Is it good for them, yes and no. Yes it is good for them because they’ll give their bodies a chance to recoup. But, mentally or physically, do they know what that punishment is going to be like to when it gets down to the fourth quarter or even overtime, and their body hurts, what are they going to do? They’re not going to have been tested by fire. It’s going to be virgin territory to a lot of players.
On what he thinks of the make-up of his old position:
I have no idea. I’m just waiting to see it like you guys right now. The additions of Barnett and Merriman are great additions. You got two guys who can play the game, they play it very physical. They will be great assets.
On how he feels about the Bills now:
What I think Buddy did this year was he went out there and filled the team’s needs. He addressed the defensive side of the ball because he thought he had a pretty good offensive side of the ball. It’s a matter of now letting everybody mature together and getting them into a system in which they can be comfortable with and everybody knows what they’re doing. Drafting the right kind of character guys to put out there and play.
Assistant Head Coach/Inside Linebackers Dave Wannstedt
AM Walk-Thru – August 2, 2011
On what he sees in the players as of now:
When I first came up here, not even just people in house, but people outside (the organization) talked about the attitude of this football team as the season wrapped up last year. How they did improve and took some steps forward. There was never any negativity. The guys hung together, they believed and kept working hard. Without having an offseason, it’s been real positive to see how the guys have showed up here, mixed in with the young players, and we do have a lot of young players. They have worked extremely well to this point. We obviously had to adjust to the schedule because of the circumstances. Attitude is good, we’re working hard and we’re just taking it one day at a time.
On what his role will be this season:
We haven’t gotten that far. My role, truthfully, is to help Chan and George Edwards and the other guys on defense. Really work with those inside guys, try to make them better players; anyway that I can contribute defensively. That’s why I’m here and that’s my motive. Obviously outside of that, things come up that I have obviously been through being a head coach, whether it is personnel or off the field issues. Chan and I have such a good rapport that the two of us can talk about it and hopefully I can give him some thought on past experiences
On having a fresh start for his career and personally:
The only reason I ever went back to college was Pitt because it was my Alma Mater. I had 17 years in the NFL. I would like to have thought that I was a hands-on head coach from the standpoint of being involved with the defense and the players. But now it’s nothing like running a meeting from start to finish, and you truly do get to know the players on a more personal basis than you do from the big picture of being a head coach. So I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been great. Buddy Nix and everybody in the organization have been super. I’m happy and excited.
Defensive Coordinator George Edwards
On the 3-4 being used more as base defense this year:
We are trying to see what our players can handle and what their strengths are. We are going to adjust to whatever our strengths are, work with the people we have and try to put them in the best position possible.
On playing more 3-4 this year when the team played more 4-3 last year as the season went on:
Some teams we face, especially in our division, have several open sets. Sometimes, you have to move out of the 3-4 because they force your hand that way. We’re looking at our players’ strengths and trying to get the most out of them.
On having more options match-up wise to show more looks on defense:
As early as we are in training camp this year, anything can happen. We are trying to figure out where people are and put them in positions where their skill sets can best help them.
On NT Torell Troup:
He really came into camp in good shape this year. He is very mobile at his size. We are just looking for consistency from him as we move through training camp and we will see what situations we can put him in as we progress through training camp. We are pleased where he is right now and are looking for him to keep improving.
On the abundance of quality cornerbacks at camp:
We have good competition. That brings out the best in all of our guys because they are big, tough competitors. They know they need to go out and perform each practice.
On using CB Terrence McGee in the slot:
It’s something he hasn’t done in a while and we’re working on with him. We know what he does outside. We are trying to use a lot of different parts right now and have him learn the different parts of the defense.
On having Assistant Head Coach Dave Wannstedt around:
It’s a big bonus to have someone in this league and the different situations he has been in. It’s going to make us better because he has been in certain situations many different times. His experience is going to be a bonus for us.
Wide Receiver Lee Evans
AM Walk-Thru – August 2, 2011
On knowing that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be the full-time starter helping the offense:
This year, with things in place, you get a sense of optimism that guys are a little more in tune with what’s going on. They can understand how plays are run, where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do. That gives you a good feeling. We’re all on the same page.
On WR Stevie Johnson having a good year because he drew coverage last year:
It takes everybody. Obviously, Stevie is looking to improve on last year, too. It’s going to take everybody to come in and do their part. It takes more than one person to win a football game. As long as everyone is on the same page and working on the same goal, it gives us a chance to win.
On being able to play better than he did last year:
Anytime you go 4-12 you can't look back and say you did everything you could. Everybody can improve in one form or another. That’s what you come into training camp looking to do. You can get a little better and try to find ways to help the football team win.
He has a knack for the game. He’s a game time player. He is a guy that goes out there and lays it on the line. He is very smart and knows what’s happening on the field at all times. Whatever he says you trust him and you want to play with him.
On proving he can be a No. 1 receiver again:
That’s why you go out and play. You don’t come out here to think about last year. You come out to play. Whenever you get an opportunity, you have to make a play. That’s always been my mentality.
Linebacker Arthur Moats
AM Walk-Thru – August 2, 2011
On his experience this training camp compared to last year:
There’s not that much, but from the season, there definitely is a lot. As the SAM linebacker last year, I had to know all the coverages. Last year, I had to learn everything from the outside. This year, I’m learning everything from the inside. It's definitely a lot easier.
On the differences between inside and outside linebacker:
There’s a big difference, but coach Wannstedt has made it a lot easier for me. I’m basically just mirroring the back and using my instincts. It’s definitely helping out a lot. He’s telling me where to focus more. Last year, I was looking everywhere because it was my first time being off the ball. This year, instead of looking at everything, I focus on one person in one place, which makes it a lot easier.
On the veteran linebackers helping him transition to inside linebacker:
The veterans have helped me a lot, especially Reggie (Torbor), who has moved from outside to inside before. He can relate to me. Andra (Davis) has helped me out because he has played for so long. Even Nick (Barnett), who just got here, has been helping me out.
On increasing his weight from 252 to 259:
It’s all lean muscle. I feel good and that’s all that matters.
On Coach Wannstedt:
He’s a great coach and has been around for a while. He is proven, so you can believe what he’s saying and listen to what he is telling you to do. He is very good with the young guys. He is not too hard on us.
On the competition at linebacker:
You want competition so people are pushing to be the best that they can be. If you go in there as the only guy, you might not work as hard because you don’t have to worry about anybody taking your spot. Right now you have to come out with your “A-game” everyday.