ORCHARD PARK, NY - (Bills/WKBW) Below are postgame quotes following the Bills 16-6 loss to the Detroit Lions:
BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK RYAN FITZPARICK
On being ready for the regular season:
I think so, I mean, we had two opportunities today to kind of get the ball deep that didn’t happen early but, I think we’re ready to go. We’re feeling confident we’re going to have everybody back and healthy for the opener and you know tonight was one of those games where the young guys are working so hard it’s good to see them get time on the field to show what they’ve done. It’s a hard time because you don’t know who’s going to be here, and who’s not next time we show up. So, it’s kind of an antsy time for a lot of people.
On drops by the receivers:
That stuff is easily corrected, and one of those things that happen sometimes. We got to be able to forget about the drop and move on and you know, it’s going to happen.
On the first team offense only having two three and outs all preseason:
The three-and-out is something that hurts you. If you’re not going three-and-out, even if you’re not scoring, you’re bettering your field position. Especially this year where we’ve seen in the preseason the kickoff rule in starting every drive at the 20 either at the beginning of the game or after a score, field position may be an even bigger factor this year and its going to factor into the strategy I think. So, not going three-and-out is a big thing.
BUFFALO BILLS Head Coach Chan Gailey
On if he felt they got everything accomplished that they wanted to:
Never. You never do. Unless you go out there with your first group and stop them, and the next group doesn’t let them get a first down and don’t let them move the ball an inch, you don’t accomplish what you want to accomplish. I thought that we did some decent things. It was good to get some people back out there like Merriman (Shawne). It was good to see Morrison (Kirk) and Sheppard (Kelvin) play a bunch in the ball game that was good. We were able to get things done special teams-wise that we needed to work on. There were a lot of positives but we can’t drop passes, we missed a couple tackles and we let one long run out of there. Those things you can’t do and hopefully we’ll learn from it.
On if he was disappointed with the offense:
Yes. It was a mess, to be honest with you. I thought Fitzpatrick (Ryan) made good decisions. C.J. (Spiller) ran the ball good the time he got a crease in there. Stevie (Johnson) dropped a pass. That’s not going to happen a ton. I think we had a chance to take that one in and score if we catch the pass. We need for Tyler (Thigpen) to play better. We got to keep working on those things.
On if tonight’s starting lineup is what we will see in Kansas City:
That’s what we did tonight. Don’t read too much into anything.
On how QB Tyler Thigpen needs to play better:
He was not accurate with some of his throws early in that ball game when he went in. He was leaving the ball too far inside and we talked to him in the second half about getting the ball outside and he did a lot better throwing the ball second half. He just needs time to throw with these guys and understand exactly where they’re going to break their route and things like that. It’s just a feel for the game.
On if there were any injuries:
I don’t think so. Carrington (Alex) limped off but I don’t think it’s anything big at all. They didn’t come to me and say that he’s done or anything like that. I think we came out ok.
On the young linebackers that he has on his roster right now and the difficult decision it will be for cuts:
It’s a hard decision. They’re making it very difficult, by all playing fairly well. Not because they’re not showing up. They’re all playing pretty well. It’s going to be a very very difficult decision for us. We all know things like injuries play a part in this, special teams plays a part in this, there’s a lot of things that go into this. It’s a very difficult time of the year for me.
On if it was true that more guys have a chance to lose jobs than win jobs in the second half:
If guys don’t perform when the lights are on that’s the biggest stage that we’ve got thus far to make a decision. So if a guy doesn’t go play well, he’s got a chance to lose a spot on the field.
On how he looks at his roster to make cuts:
What we do is we keep the players that we think can help us go win at Kansas City. Once we get that group down, then we go to the next group of players that are going to be backups, that are going to play special teams, that are going to be involved down the line, potentially some things in them that make them players down the line. You’ve got probably your 48 that you know are going to go out there and play and be involved in the game this week against Kansas City, you know that. It’s those next six or seven guys that you have to make decisions on.
BUFFALO BILLS LB Shawne Merriman
On his mindset coming into today knowing he was only playing a few snaps:
One of the main things that I wanted to accomplish is just getting ready for the game next week. Get a groove going to get ready, it’s all about preparation. Eventhough we only had a few plays today they allowed me to stretch at the right time and go out and warm up at the right time and just get ready.
On if he had his speed back:
Yeah that is god-given ability. Not playing for so long I sometimes forget that is still there but you don’t have those opportunities to go out and do that. It was good.
On his play against the running game:
That is one of probably the most underrated things about me but I am going to keep doing whatever I need to do in order for us to be better and that is holding the run up front and setting a good edge out there so the rest of those guys don’t have to worry about who’s out there doing their job.
On if he accomplished what he wanted to this preseason:
I think so. I’ve seen a lot of preseason games and I’ve been around long enough to know how to prepare so you don’t need to go out there for 30-40 snaps to get ready for the season. Throughout these next 10 days are going to be key for me and for us.
BUFFALO BILLS LINEBACKER KIRK MORRISON
On his first action with his new teammates:
You know what, that’s my first time in a game situation, actually in pads, since the first week of January, when I was in Jacksonville we played the Houston Texans. Today was my first time making a tackle, making a hit in a long time. I just finished up my seventh camp, if you want to call it a camp. I’ve only been here a week. So I had to learn a lot of defense in a week. I thought that there’s some things I’ve got to correct, knock the rust off on a couple plays, but for the most part I felt comfortable, I’m healthy. Now it’s all about looking forward.
On how he feels so comfortable already after being “laid off” during the off-season:
I’ve been around for a long time. This is my seventh year. Actually the last two years I haven’t played much in the pre-season. I think combined over the last few years I’ve only played in maybe three or four pre-season games. It’s all about getting the body ready for the long haul. We’re talking about 16 weeks, being able to be consistent and play every single week. Being healthy is the most important thing right around this time of camp.
On if he has had enough time to prepare for the regular season:
Yeah definitely because in training camp it’s all about learning the basics, learning what you’re going to do as far as stuff you’re going to rely on. We know in the NFL it’s a week-to-week game. Game plans change every single week. Next week going up against a Kansas City team, arguably last year they were the number one running team in the NFL. So a guy for myself, you already know what it’s going to be. They’re going to try to come run the football. Matt Cassel has been a great guy who can manage football games and I look forward to that challenge.
On what he has to work on this last week before the regular season begins:
Right now I got the basics down, and I’m still learning on the fly too. One thing about going forward, we’re going with a game plan now. So you know the specific calls and the specific things to look at, more as trying to get the whole defense down to what we can run, to now you narrow your package down to this is what we’re going to go up against next week. Like I said, Kansas City, we already know what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to run the football. So there are certain calls that we’re going to have for that and there’s going to be certain calls that we run when they bring in the tight end. They also have some capable tight ends with getting the ball down the field, and two wide receivers that I think are some of the best in the game.
BUFFALO BILLS WIDE RECEIVER STEVE JOHNSON
On how he took his role with the team when Lee Evans left and if he feels the Bills had faith in him:
Most definitely, that’s how we felt, but at the same time he’s been around since I’ve been in the league, he’s been here. So it’s kind of tough seeing a friend go, but when you look at it on the business side it’s like OK, they seem like they have a lot faith in what’s here now. They put a lot of pressure, not bad pressure when I say pressure, but they put a lot of pressure on us to show that we belong.
On what he feels some of the young guys are going through as they try to make the team:
They’re going through the same thing that I’ve been through. Not knowing what’s going to happen next, just putting it all out there on tape and let’s see what happens in the upcoming hours. If you make it, you make it. If not, then I know they’ve put in much work to be seen around the league and have a chance playing somewhere else.