PITTSFORD, NY (WKBW/Bills) - Below are transcripts from Bills Training Camp (provided by the Buffalo Bills):
WR Mike Williams
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Q: How does it feel for you to be at Bills camp?
A: It feels good. It’s camp, just finished the conditioning test and felt really good, great even. I think I got an “A+” and I feel like I’m ready to go.
Q: How do you feel physically coming back?
A: Good, I think I’m one hundred percent fully ready to go. I’ve trained this whole offseason, there really is no offseason because I had to get my leg feeling better again. I had to get to feeling like Mike again. Today running that conditioning test made me feel like I was Mike again, so I’m ready to go.
Q: How do you size up this receiving core after seeing things in minicamp and heading into training camp?
A: I think we’ve got a good receiving core. We work together especially well, we help each other. We’re all here for the same goal, and we’re competitive with each other to bring the best out in each other.
Q: You’re one of the more veteran players in the receiving core, but also the new guy on the team. Could you weigh that dynamic for us?
A: It’s kind of hard because there are a lot of guys asking for advice, but at the same time I’m trying to learn what’s going on and learn the offense, learn the plays and ask them questions because they’ve been here, so it’s a weird balance. I just need to get caught up and master the playbook to a level where I can teach it.
Q: What have your impressions been of EJ [Manuel] so far?
A: I can see him progressing as time goes on. He’s feeling his way through right now. Like you mentioned earlier there are new guys on our team, new guys he’s going to be throwing to. It’s almost a whole new offense when you put it together like that, but as I’ve seen him play he’s been getting better and better.
Q: How has your connection with him been thus far?
A: I was making a little joke with him in the meetings earlier to just throw it in the clouds and I’ll go get it. He said he saw that with me too, and that those are the types of passes I seem to be able to come down with. We’re starting to get that communication down and I’m just now starting to feel one hundred percent. Through minicamp I was always monitoring myself and sitting out certain drills because of my leg, so now we can really see how we play together.
Q: How long does it take to build that chemistry with a quarterback?
A: One day. That’s all it takes, one day. You get a few looks at press coverage, some looks at off coverage and that’s all it takes.
Q: What about Sammy Watkins? What do you see in this kid so far?
A: He’s good. He’s a guy that can run routes, he’s big, he can go up and get the ball, it’s just about learning for him now. Once he learns the little things like settling down in spaces, knowing that this is the NFL and everyone has talent, once he realizes that I think the sky is the limit for him.
DE Manny Lawson
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Q: Coming into camp, do you feel like you know where you’re headed with your role?
A: Yeah, I think that like you said, we had a little taste of it. I think during minicamp my role was defined. Now it’s just up to taking it underneath my wing and rolling with it.
Q: How do you feel about the opportunity for more pass rushing and less coverage drops?
A: I love it. Forwards is faster. Forwards is faster than going backwards, so anytime I can go forward I’m all for it.
Q: Can you talk about how your length contributes to your pass rushing abilities?
A: My arm length, my wingspan is over seven feet, so if I can get my hands on you first, more cases than not you can’t touch me. At that point in time it’s just whether to use your momentum against you or actually just bull you over. At that point, you look at me, you think he’s small, but I’ll come with a little bull rush and switch it up with a spin move, power move, pass rush move, speed move and then make my way to the quarterback.
Q: This year, do you have to shift your personal focus to pass rushing?
A: I’m definitely focusing on that skill set, being that I’m primarily a defensive end right now and that’s what defensive ends do. That’s the role that I’m playing. That’s the role that I want. That’s the role they’ve given me a chance to play.
Q: What is the line in regards to being tougher and more physical in training camp versus being smart?
A: I think they go hand-in-hand. This is a physical game, as you said, and as we play we have to take care of one another. It’s not all about going in there and trying to blow somebody up, but just give someone a thud and let them know that you would’ve made that tackle. Instead of just trying to go in there like a speeding bullet, just go in there, thud them up and show them that you made the tackle. I think that will take care of both. It improves your run defense, it improves the offense and it gets the job done.
Q: Is there any nostalgic feeling lining up next to a former NC State teammate in Mario Williams?
A: Honestly, with the talented guys that we have at end, anybody can play. I think we have a good group of guys where we can just rotate, spell guys whenever they need it. So, you know you never know. We might be on the field together. We might not.
Q: Can you explain how Jerry [Hughes] can provide a change of pace that will keep offensive tackles off-guard?
A: Jerry is compact, but he’s speedy also. The type of game that he brings, he brings just his will, his hunger, his drive, his passion. He’s going to give offensive tackles a hard time. He’s more of a get in close to your body type of guy, where I would rather stay away from you, use my length against you. Having those two tandems, offensive tackles are going to have a hard time. They’re not going to know. They’re going to see one. They might see us both.
Q: How much of a rivalry should there be in camp between offense and defense?
A: Rivalry is tough, but the competition, being competitive is always there. If somebody is having a good day, you’re pretty much going to hear chatter about it from the other side. The other side is going to have to respond to that the next practice or the next thing. In some way, some shape, some form they’re going to have respond to it. That is a good thing. Instead of just having one side of the ball always dominating, going back and forth, offense winning then defense winning, builds camaraderie and builds a team.
WR Chris Hogan
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Q: What are your thoughts, coming into this camp?
A: I’m really excited about this camp. I feel really confident, having a year under my belt and an entire offseason, this offseason. I had a lot of good opportunities this offseason and put in a lot of good work, so I feel really good coming into this camp and I’m excited to get to work tomorrow.
Q: Do you feel like you are playing faster? To what do you attribute that?
A: In the NFL, obviously, you want to play as fast as you can and see everything as quickly as possible, but that all comes with just being comfortable. Now that I’ve been in this offense, for my second year, I get more comfortable each year and the more I get invested into this. This year I felt a lot better on the field with timing. Obviously, with all that stuff, you’ve got to put in a lot of work, especially since we’re trying to do a couple of different things offensively. As long as I’m out there on the field and I’m feeling comfortable, I’m going to be able to play as fast as I can.
Q: How have you adjusted to the step counts that Coach [Rob] Moore and Coach [Hackett] have implemented for the receivers?
A: I adjusted well to it. Doing the steps is just another way for me, and I think a lot of the receivers, as we’re out there, another way for us to be in tune and key on our depth and be precise on our routes. There’s no in-between now. We know on all of our routes we’ve got to be at this depth, this many steps, which I think is good. It’s going to help E.J. [Manuel] and it’s going to help all of the other receivers be on time and know where we have to be in the certain spots running the routes.
DT Kyle Williams
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Q: What is your mood and your feelings getting ready for day one?
A: Good. Physically, I feel good. Another one coming into it. Looking around, we have some things to be excited about I think. I’m ready to get started.
Q: Are you more excited about where this team is heading than previous years?
A: I think we need to get some work in before we get too excited. First day is always the first day. We have a long day to go. I think when you look around there are some things to get excited about, but we have a long way to go and I think we can get there.
Q: How much does training camp serve to develop a team’s attitude and set a tone?
A: I think it matters a lot. I think, more than that, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve been working out or how much you’ve been doing. You’re not ready to play football until you put pads on and practice and get some of that under your belt. It’s a different level of conditioning and a different level of shape. Obviously we’re going to be in good shape because we’re going to practice a lot against a no huddle offense. They’re going to have to be in shape because they’re going to run it. So I think it’s going to be good for us two fold. Young guys are learning assignments and where they need to be and some of the technique things to work on. There are guys that have been around and played in this defense before, so my lineman knowledge is pretty good with it. It’s always getting in and polishing and working on things and getting ready for September.
Q: What is your sense of the tone that Jim Schwartz sets?
A: During minicamp and OTAs, it was intense. Getting after guys and expecting a lot out of guys, which is great. It’s what we need. You have to push guys and challenge guys. It’s what you need as a leader and as a coordinator of the defense. I think we have some really good players and a guy that can do that and push guys and get them going is going to be an asset to us.
Q: Do you sense a difference in a guy that has been a head coach and now he has gone back and is doing this?
A: Maybe so. You don’t really know until you really get into it when the season starts and then you see how they handle things off the cuff when things go a little bit awry. That’s an encouraging thing though, knowing that he’s been a head coach. He’s really seen it all. We’re not going to see anything that’s going to surprise him. He can kind of keep us down and keep us even keeled and going. That’s an encouraging thing for sure about Jim Schwartz.
Q: Talk about the challenges of losing Kiko (Alonso).
A: It’s a blow. Kiko’s a talented player. I think the main thing is that if you’ve been around long enough, you’ve seen guys get hurt, you’ve seen guys leave because of contracts. All kinds of different issues come up. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you and nobody is going to wait on you. We’ve drafted some guys, we’ve signed some guys, so it’s next guy up. It’s time to get in there and play and to make plays and minimize that drop off if any. I think the main concern about Kiko is obviously your second year is always a big year for you. The second and third year, you grow a lot in those years. I think it’s going to set him back a little bit, but not too much.
Q: Is there any benefit in coming right into camp knowing that he’s not here?
A: It’s not as big of a surprise. So guys can mentally get ready for it. Team wise, you can get prepared for it as far as front office and who we’re going to bring in and do different things like that. It’s much better than happening three or four weeks into the season or the last week of preseason and it helps his recovery time.
Q: What are your thoughts as a veteran about being here for over a month?
A: The hard thing for me about being here is having four young kids and they know I’m gone now. When they were younger they were none the wiser but now they’ve gotten older and they know I’m gone. I think that’s the hardest thing. But once you’re here and you get in the swing of things, it’s all kind of the same as far as your schedule, your practices and all that kind of thing. We’ve got an opportunity to come in here and work for essentially a week or more than everybody else and I hope that will help us get some of the bugs out. As far as being here that long, football wise, it doesn’t bother me. My kids aren’t a big fan of it and I don’t like being away from them that much, but football wise it’s fine.