PITTSFORD, NY (Buffalo Bills/WKBW) - Below are comments after Friday's morning practice at Bills Training camp:
WIDE RECEIVER JAMES HARDY
AM Practice – July 30, 2010
On his progress since his procedure last spring:
I’m a 100 percent. You guys come out here every day, you see things I’m not doing right and you critique me. I’ll definitely go in and watch film and see all the things that I’m doing wrong and correct it, and each and every practice I’ll get better.
On taking advantage of the new offensive scheme this year:
We have an offensive-minded coach. We’ve never had that since I’ve been here. He likes to get the ball down the field. He likes big receivers, so everything is a plus on my end. But at the same time, injuries [have] not let me show my full abilities to him. That’s what I’m doing here in training camp, so he can get a feel of who James Hardy really is because last year no one really [saw] it.
On his performance in practice and his hopes for the upcoming season:
It’s coming. That’s all I can say. It’s coming. Each and every practice I’m getting better. I’m seeing more things than I’ve ever seen before. I’m just waiting on my opportunity. When the preseason games start, even though other people are in ones and twos and threes, when the games start, it’s a difficult time. I’m not a practice guy, I’m a game time player. At the same time, you have to be consistent [during] practice. Now that the injuries are gone, I’m going to show that on a consistent basis.
On the No. 2 wide receiver position being up for grabs:
That’s a good thing for all of us and may the best man win. Whoever is starting in game one, not preseason, that’s the best man, so I’m working my hardest to make sure that’s me.
On Coach Gailey’s remarks that he got off to a slow start in practice:
There’s nothing that Coach can say that could motivate me more than I’m motivating myself. It’s an honor for him to see that I’m coming along, but at the same time, I’m self-motivated. I really don’t need [anyone] to say anything or critics to critique me because I critique myself more than any possible human could do.
On his disappointment with his performance in OTAs:
My body didn’t catch up with my mind. Mentally, I thought I was there, but [I had] nagging injuries. My body wasn’t caught up to my mind and now it is.
CENTER GEOFF HANGARTNER
AM Practice – July 30, 2010
On if he has any hard feelings toward fellow teammate LB Aaron Maybin after the confrontation at practice:
Not at all. Stuff like that happens. No hard feelings. None of it carries over, it just kind of happened. It will happen again with somebody else before this camp is over. I promise you. It may not be me and him, but it will be somebody else. It will happen again. It might happen tonight, you never know.
On why the confrontation happened in the first place:
He [Aaron Maybin] hit our starting running back in the back when he wasn’t looking, so I went over there and let him know that we didn’t appreciate that and the O-line is going to stick up for our guys.
On if he likes the physicality that is taking place in practice thus far:
Yeah, it’s fun. We’re trying to establish an identity on the O-line of being tough and taking care of our backs. So it’s going to be physical and guys are going to have confrontations, and that’s part of football.
On if the confrontation was over with when it ended:
I was laughing at the end of it. It’s over. Over and done. There are no hard feelings. We’re teammates and we’ll move on from here.
On if he thinks training camp has been intense so far:
We’ve only been here for two days. (laughter) It’s definitely intense. It’s a little more physical than it has been in the past. The more physical it is, the more chippy guys are going to be and things like that are going to happen.
On if he likes the intensity:
It was fun. Like I said, I was laughing at the end of it. I thought it was fun. [We’re] having a good time.
On his thoughts about teammates sticking up for one another on the field:
Anytime you have a a tussle maybe or an altercation you always want your teammates to have your back. If it was somebody else, I would have jumped in there with them. I think it kind of builds up the team spirit.
LINEBACKER AARON MAYBIN
AM Practice – July 30, 2010
On his thoughts about the confrontation that took place at practice between him and G Andy Levitre:
It’s a little bit less of a big deal than everyone makes it out to be. But it Is what it is. It’s a physical game.
On if the team has that physical mentality at training camp:
If you talk to anybody there’s basically shoulder pads crashing every play out there. We’ve got some guys that are really working hard trying to earn their keep and help this team win. So, there’s a lot of competition going on.
On if he is surprised that the confrontation escalated the way it did:
No, never with this team. There’s never a dull moment with these guys. You already knew something was going to happen today. It was just a question of what.
On if he is someone who enjoys the physicality of the game:
I’m never one to shy away from the contact portion of the game. So if there’s nobody that’s going to be willing to get the practice started, I’ll start things off for us.
On if he feels like he has something to prove this year:
Without question. This season, I definitely have a lot to prove. There are a lot of people wondering what to expect out of me and what I’m going to be able to do for this team this year. For a guy like me, that’s just exciting to have that opportunity to come in and show everybody my capabilities.
On if he thinks Head Coach Chan Gailey is looking for some physicality out there:
Well, who knows what the coach is looking for. But, right now, we’re just trying to make sure that we prepare ourselves as best as possible to make sure that we’re ready for the season to start.
On if the confrontation will linger in the locker room or not:
It’s over and done with. We’ll go about the rest of our day and then we’ll come back out here, practice tonight, and get back after it again.
On what it says about the camaraderie of the team and how everyone has each other’s back:
As teammates, you have no problem with something like that. Offensive players look out for each other, and exactly after it happened there were defensive guys that were sticking up for us. That’s just the nature of the game. You’re going to have guys stick up for each other but, truthfully, as a team that’s what you need. It’s never a positive thing to have a whole lot of fighting going on, but just the fact that there is camaraderie on the team and there is that willingness of guys to stick up for one another, that’s always a good thing.
WIDE RECEIVER LEE EVANS
AM Practice – July 30, 2010
On his thoughts about fellow WR James Hardy:
James has been working hard. He’s been working hard for a long time. Right now is where he gets a chance to come out here and show it. Show his hard work and make it pay off. He’s definitely a lot more in-tune to what’s going on in the playbook and grasping the offense. I see a competition.
On if he thinks it’s been tough on Hardy because of the injuries he’s had to go through:
A little bit, but I think he’s learned a lot. He’s learned from his first year, and then last year when Terrell [Owens] came in, he learned a lot from him as well. It’s been a learning curve and a learning process for him, so now is his opportunity to put it on the field. See what he’s learned and put it on the field. We’ll just see what happens on game day.
On if he anticipated QB Trent Edwards to be the No.1 QB at the start of training camp:
I didn’t know for sure. I thought that Trent would be starting and it turned out that way.
On his thoughts about QB Brian Brohm:
I think Brohm has certainly gotten a lot better. He’s certainly a lot more confident than he was. When you come to a team mid-season you don’t really know a lot of people. It takes you a little bit to get acclimated to everybody. He’s done a good job.
On where he thinks QB Trent Edwards stands with the new coaching staff:
With Chan [Gailey] running the offense, he’s very precise in how he wants it ran. A lot of it starts with the quarterback. He’s doing some things that really haven’t been done here in a while and that’s keeping quarterbacks in rhythm in the pocket and understanding where to go with the football. I think it will be good for Trent.
On his thoughts about confrontations at training camp:
They happen from time to time, but you try to minimize it as much as you can because we’re all in this together. Nobody wants to get hurt out here, but they happen. Everybody is out here competing. It’s a physical game, so the people that get into fights understand that after the fight, you’re dead tired. You try not to get into them that much.
On if he likes the intensity out on the practice field:
That’s the way these practices are structured. That’s just kind of what it is. It just brings out the competitor in everybody. When you have the pads on every day, you’re going to have some fights.
On his thoughts about the competition between WRs Steve Johnson and James Hardy:
He [Steve Johnson] certainly has a tremendous amount of talent. He has a good knack for going over the middle, getting balls, getting off the line of scrimmage – he’s very good at that. With James, like you said, he’s coming back off some stuff. He feels like he has a chip on his shoulder. He feels like he has a lot to prove. We’ll see. I think it will be a great competition between the two, and they will bring out the best in each other. I’m going to be right in the middle of it trying to get the best man on [the field]. It will be a good competition to see and how it falls out in camp.
On if he feels like he has something to prove after a season with career low numbers:
Absolutely. For a lot of people, not even number wise, just to be able to play up to the potential that we know we have. We really haven’t been able to do that over the last few years, and now we’ve got even more weapons. I think the offensive staff realizes that. You’ve got a lot of balls to spread out to a lot of playmakers. The good thing about it is that everybody is in it together. The bottom line is trying to win.