Pittsford (WKBW.com) WR Stevie Johnson found himself on the injury list on a steamy day at St. John Fisher College. Johnson was held out of a portion of practice on Friday after experiencing some tightness in his groin. Below are the transcripts of the interviews following practice.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
On LB Kelvin Sheppard’s participation in practice:
(Sheppard) came back and pushed through. He did not look full speed to me. But he came out and got work in, which he needs to do.
On T Cordy Glenn getting extra reps:
We were trying to get (Chris) Hairston some at right (tackle) since (Erik) Pears has been out. We have been trying to find a way to get him some at right, so that made more reps for Cordy. We were trying to get a three man rotation a little bit in those first 12 (plays).
On if it is a major concern that T Erik Pears has not returned to team drills:
I am not ready to put the word major on it. It is a concern.
On the team’s work on the red zone offense and defense today:
We installed our red zone offense and red zone defense. Our situation today was talking about how to handle it when the quarterback scrambles, what you do. It was all geared around red zone today. We have had some reps of it in OTAs. Today we were very rusty in doing what we needed to do. Hopefully we will get back into it. We will continue with some red zone a couple more times.
On why WR Stevie Johnson sat out a portion of practice:
He did not even strain it, just his groin got tight. We just backed him out of there for that.
On if that is a small concern since he has previously injured his groin:
(The previous injury) was the other side.
On if RB Fred Jackson got nicked in practice:
Yeah, he got stepped on or something with his ankle. They said something with his foot. He finished. George Wilson got stepped on and he finished. There are a couple of guys who are going to be in the training room. But they finished.
On if WR Stevie Johnson will miss any practice:
I do not know. Let me see what they say after treatment tonight and tomorrow.
On if tomorrow will be a standard live practice:
We have goal line. Goal line goes in tomorrow.
On what CB Leodis McKelvin’s status is:
Leodis has been a guy who has played in a lot of football games. Hopefully he can help (our young corners). At the same time, he is in competition with them. We are trying to play Leodis in there in some nickel situations because he is a good athlete. We are hoping he will get his confidence level up. Back there he would struggle some outside last year. So we are hoping to get his confidence level and then he is going to compete for an outside job, too. He will compete out there.
On C Eric Wood’s progress back from injury:
Very well. Today I think he had taken more than he took all of team camp. So we will evaluate how he feels tonight and tomorrow morning to get a better feel of how far we are able to push that.
On free agent S Jim Leonard’s workout with the Bills:
To be honest with you, I did not see him. I knew he was here. Buddy (Nix) keeps me up to date with all of that. I did not watch any type of workout or anything like that. I just know what Buddy had told me and it is probably better to talk to Buddy about that. If he is here I will coach the dickens out of him. If he is not here I will not worry about it.
On G Kraig Urbik’s strengths:
He is a big, strong man. I mean he is a barrel-chested, strong human that has got better good movement for his size and is a very versatile player. He is one of those tough guys that you have to have inside. That is what I think Urbik brings to our football team. He brings toughness and some strength to our football team.
On naming LB Kelvin Sheppard to the middle:
If you recall that, everybody says that I said that. All I said is that I know Shepp will be in the middle. He will not be on the outsides. He will be in the middle. If he wins the job, he wins the job. He will be in the middle. That is where he is going to play. That is his position, is middle linebacker because he is a big, strong guy that can go North and South to fill gaps. There are no real locks for a lot of places on our football team right now. But we feel like he fits the best at MIKE linebacker.
On all of the drops today by the receivers:
It was not a little case, it was a huge case of the drops. The quarterbacks had to be, they would never say it but I’ll say it for them, that is unacceptable. We cannot have that. If we drop the ball that much we will not win any games.
On CB Terrence McGee’s health:
Getting a little better. He could not play if he had to play today. But he is getting a little better. It is not big leaps, no major breakthroughs with Terrence’s health. It is little gains that we are making right now.
On the play of the Bills’ young linebackers:
We have got a good problem right there. There is a logjam of some very good young linebackers at all three positions. That is going to be a battle. And it is going to be a battle for us if they continue to play as well as they have played and progress as well as they have progressed about what we do there. That is going to be a tough decision. We already have some other tough decisions, that is just going to add to it.
On what he saw from WR Derek Hagan and where he has come from:
I said it yesterday, I do not care where he has come from. I really do not. If somebody wants to come here and perform, we will take a look at them and give them an opportunity. We are open to anybody winning a job anywhere. We do not care. If you can play well, you will probably have a spot on our football team.
On the chemistry between Hagan and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick:
From time to time, I do. It is not as consistent as we need right now. We are working on it and it is getting better. I saw flashes yesterday and then not as much today. We have to get some consistency going there.
On having six different coaches in six different years being difficult on Hagan:
Yes, it can be very difficult.
On what he does to try and help Hagan:
The best thing I can do to help a guy be consistent is be consistent myself. If I am consistent and he hears the same things every day, then he knows what to expect. And there is nobody giving better effort out there on our football field right now than Derek Hagan. And that is a great thing for him.
On why rookie OL Zebrie Sanders took first team reps:
I think what happened is we got winded there at right tackle and he was the next guy up so they put him in there a couple of reps. It was not planned to happen during the course of the day that way.
On practicing in the extreme heat:
You would take more than one (of these days) and we are supposed to get another one tomorrow, so it will be good. You have to fight through mentally and physically on days like today. Four practices in a row with pads or afternoon after a night practice, you have to fight through that. I told the players that. You gain toughness for finishing in the fourth quarter in December now. That is when you gain it. If you can mentally push through this, you know you can push through in December in the fourth quarter. Hopefully we are using this as a building block.
WR Stevie Johnson
On why he left practice today:
I just got pulled out for a little ding.
On if it is his groin:
Coach will talk about everything when he comes up to the podium.
On how frustrating it is to be all the way back and then be limited today:
It is very frustrating. But I will be back though, so I know it is nothing major. I guess they are just looking out… They do not want it to be anything like it was last year, where I play through it and something happens. I might be playing through an entire season with something. So we are just being extra cautious.
On when he first felt it:
Individuals. I do not know exactly what it is. I went in, got a few tests and everything and I think they gave everything to coach. He will come up with everything.
On if it was his groin acting up a little or something else:
No. My groin is good. My groin I had surgery on, I do not feel anything over there. But it is just, I guess through individuals I felt something (different).
LB Kelvin Sheppard
PM Session – Friday, August 3, 2012
On how it felt being back in team drills:
It felt pretty good, of course, to get back on the field with my teammates and everything like that. So I just have to continue to progress every day.
On if he is full-go now:
Yea, I am back at it. But just like I said, just have to take it day by day.
On how he feels:
Good. I finished practice, didn’t I? (jokingly)
On the how his transition to middle linebacker is going:
Well it wasn’t much of a transition. I have been playing the middle linebacker spot for a couple years now. This is almost the identical defense that I ran at LSU, so I am kind of familiar with it. It is just getting into the groove with these guys and the new defensive personnel, really.
On how worried he was about missing an extended amount of time like last year:
This is nothing like last year. This is a totally different deal. I am healthy, body-wise, so this is a totally different deal.
On the biggest difference between what he is doing this year compared to last year:
It is pretty much all that bottled up in a jar. Responsibility: being the middle linebacker, making the calls and checks. And the confidence: I have to have the swagger that I am out here, I know my playbook and I can help anybody. They should be able from the D-line to the secondary turn to me and ask me questions, and I have to answer them on the spot.
On if his skillset is better suited for this role than last year’s:
Like I said, the 3-4, that was my first and only time ever being in a 3-4 defense. So I guess I have to say so.
On if the injury bothering him these last few days was the same thing bothering him at minicamp:
Yea, it is similar.