PITTSFORD, NY - (WKBW/Bills Press Release) Below are quotes from the Bills following their practice on Saturday, August 3rd:
Head Coach Doug Marrone
Training Camp — August 3, 2013
Obviously today was our first time with the players having live contact and I was very pleased with that. We had a short-yardage session of it, a goal-line session of it and a four-minute session of it. Again, it’s always good to play or practice like we’re going to play. At times, the offense got on a roll. Sometimes the defense got on a roll. So it was good work against each other. One thing we have to do is be consistent, be ready to go right out from the snap on both sides of the ball. Obviously with Kevin [Kolb], Kevin slipped on his way transferring from field to field. He bumped his knee and he’ll just be day by day.
Q: You scored like seven out of eight times.
A: We’ll look at it strategically, scheme and everything. And then at four minute, we got the one first down with the second group. And the defense did a good job there. So again, that’s what I’m talking about with how offensively we did a good job in that period, and then the next period four minute where we don’t want to give the ball up and we want to get it back, we want to be consistent all the way through. So if you’re an offensive coach, you want to be good throughout all the drills and if you’re a defensive coach, you want to be good throughout all of it. So that’s when I talk about being consistent. Offense had the better day at the goal line. (The) defense pretty much stopped them on the four minute.
Q: Do you think Coach Pettine took too kindly to you throwing out the two tackle-eligible plays?
A: We’ve got some tight ends, with Mike being out for a little bit until he’ll be re-evaluated in a couple days. We just have to do that for the roster and have those tackles in there, but when you’re a tackle and you go out there and you get a ball thrown to you, you don’t usually get many opportunities like that. So, they did a good job.
Q: When you jumped in the huddle, the offensive got going and seemed to respond pretty well.
A: I think that’s probably the old o-line coach in me coming out. Just our demeanor and how we break the huddle and stuff like that, so I try to make sure I work both sides of the ball and just trying to get the most out of the players. That’s what we’re trying to get accomplished.
Q: If Kevin [Kolb] is day-to-day, it doesn’t look down?
A: No, exactly right.
Q: What about Stevie [Johnson]?
A: He’s going to be out for a while. We’re going to make sure we work hard to get him back as soon as we possibly can. He’s going to be out for a while and what I mean by a while is it’s going to be at least a week and after that I’ll probably come out with something and see where we are by then.
Q: Did they give you a severity on the strain?
A: I don’t know the difference between pull and strain. I think it’s just, ‘Hey, he pulled his hamstring.’
Q: The good news is that Kevin [Kolb] is not going to be out that long, but it has to be frustrating for a player who is trying to rid himself of the injury bug and have something freakish like that happen.
A: Sometimes when I look at players, especially the quarterback position, Kevin has played that position and taken some big hits. I think anyone in that position probably would’ve sustained the same amount give or take a little bit here or there the amount of that. It’s just disappointing when you get labeled like that because the one thing I do know about Kevin, he is a tough son of a gun. He’ll get back out there quickly if it’s up to him.
Q: What about EJ [Manuel] now that he gets extra reps in practice for the next couple of days?
A: I think the first thing you look at is obviously when an unfortunate incident happened with Kevin, you look to see how EJ [Manuel] and Jeff [Tuel] would react, both of them, to see where you are. It was a very smooth transition, which is a positive. It’s one of the positives from both of those players. And the team just went on with practice. And I think that certain other situations when you have that quarterback and those things happen, it can affect a team. Where I didn’t see that (today). And I didn’t see it affect the two guys behind him. So that’s a positive.
Q: What is your impression of Robert Woods?
A: My impression of Robert, having been around young receivers, and I think you guys have seen the same thing. A lot of times with young receivers when they come into this league, you’re always talking about, ‘Hey, have some patience in your routes and in what you do.’ And that’s the one thing about Robert, it’s a great trait from him. So when I think when even pre-draft, when people talked about Robert being NFL ready, I think that’s what people were talking about. Just that patience of finding the zone, patience in running the route and not being too quick. And the talk and the label that he’s NFL ready, and he’s not done anything to disprove that right now. And we’re just working on the consistency and he has been very consistent for us.
Q: Can you talk about Robert Woods’ versatility?
A: He’s one of a couple of guys that can play all three positions (slot, outside and punt returner) and I think that’s important especially in a league that’s based on match-ups.
Q: From the perspective of the quarterback, how important is that young receivers can step into any position?
A: It is important because you need that versatility. When you have that versatility, you don’t have to slot someone in. You can take your best five or your best six and they can make the squad. And you can know that you have three guys that can play slot and three guys that can play outside and at different positions. When you look at Stevie (Johnson), Robert (Woods) and Marquise Goodwin, those are three guys that can play all three and throw Brad Smith into that too. And you look at a guy like T.J. (Graham), who is an outside guy. We have guys now, and we’ve talked about this before, I feel comfortable with the speed we have at that position. Now it’s just a matter of what you spoke about: how they get with the quarterbacks, how they run routes. Right now, they are so young that it doesn’t really matter to them who the quarterback is, but eventually we’ll start seeing that later on.
Q: Can you talk about the impact of having Mario Williams back out on the field?
A: Right now, he is acclimating back towards practice. Same thing that you’ve seen with Kyle Williams getting himself back in there. Today, he was active during the individual drills. We just want to make sure we’re being smart with the players as we bring them along. You’ll probably see him increase as we keep working.
Q: What’s the outlook on Mike Caussin?
A: We’re going to look at Mike again in a couple of days and reevaluate him to see where he’s at and see whether he’s able to get back out here or not or maybe it’ll be a little bit longer. In about five to six days, we will reevaluate the situation - he took a shot on the hip – and then we’ll probably go from there and I’ll have more information on that.
Q: Can you talk about Zach Brown and his decisiveness as a young running back?
A: I thought Zach and Tashard [Choice] did a couple of things today, nice things. Obviously, we’ve seen Fred [Jackson] and he really stepped it up today. Because we’ve sort of been in a thud, you never know where it’s live. You understand that Fred is going to react to it, but those young guys, you’re looking to see who you haven’t seen on tape in a game. I thought Tashard and Zach did a nice job going in there. And some of the ones behind them, the younger ones, have a little bit of hesitation on it. But again, it’s the first time doing it; they’ll just develop and get better at it.
Q: How did EJ Manuel respond to getting more reps on the first team after Kevin Kolb’s injury?
A: Like I said before, I answered that question, the one thing you look at is how he transitions into that and you may look around to the team. I thought he transitioned very well. He had a good day today.
Q: Were there any other injuries today beside Kevin Kolb?
A: [Crezdon] Butler took a shot, and that’s all I know. Nothing I would even talk about being an injury.
WR Stevie Johnson
Q: How are you feeling?
A: I’m feeling alright. Mentality is still locked in. Now obviously I’ll be doing more mental reps than the physical reps.
Q: How would you describe how bad is it?
A: I don’t know. I just know it is pulled and just getting the right treatment for it. So hopefully I can get back soon.
Q: Do you feel a little snake bitten? These things seem to be pestering you.
A: It has happened every training camp. Every training camp I’ve had an injury but working with the guys they’ve always got me out there for Week One and for the rest of the season. Hopefully it is the same thing, just something that affects me for this amount of time and then when the season comes, I’ll be ready to go.
Q: Knowing the stop and start nature of your route running, is there the possibility that they might be even more cautious with you than other people?
A: Yeah, but at the same time, the way I run routes, there are other players in the league that run routes like that. We’ve got guys on this team that run routes like that. It is just a situation where it just so happens on that play and to me. I don’t think any receiver should change their game just because of some things that happen.
Q: Was it a misstep or something?
A: No, just cut, burst off of my left and I just felt it pop. It was a wrap from there.
Q: How would you characterize it?
A: I can’t even say I’m frustrated right now. It is more something else needs to be done. I feel like maybe I need to get in the book more. Maybe I need strengthen my legs more for the season because we may be playing even longer. I’m not frustrated really. If it was during the season, I’d be pissed. Right now, I don’t want to sound like that player, but I don’t want to force anything and hurt our chances in the season to have me.
Q: Is there enough groundwork laid in terms of chemistry with the QBs where you feel when you do come back you can pick right back up?
A: Right now, no. I feel like no. Later on, we’ll have to make that. I think it’ll be easier for all of us at the end of the day when we have our 53 and we get into those weeks where we know what we’re going to run, who is going where. Then you can communicate a little bit more with your quarterbacks, so that’ll come. Did we want it to come now? Yeah, that’d be good. That’s ideal. But unfortunately it’s not happening that way for me. The other guys are still on point though.
Q: Is there a silver lining that the team gets to see the guys behind you battle?
A: Yeah, definitely. It is just like myself. I was in this situation when James Hardy went down. I was thrown in for a few more reps. It’s the same situation. Our guys are getting an opportunity and hopefully they make the best of it and they can help us out in the season.
Q: What have you seen from Robert [Woods]?
A: You guys see what he does out there. Even the little things we watch are amazing. I’m happy that we have him on our team.
Q: Is there a timetable when you can get back on the field?
A: Timetable was within a week or a few weeks. All on how my leg feels and we’ll just go from there.
Q: Are you pretty optimistic that heading into the season, you’ll be ready?
A: Yeah, definitely. The season is where the money is made and I’ll be out there to play.
WR Robert Woods
Q: With Stevie [Johnson] out, the focus shifts more to you young guys. How do you take this opportunity?
A: I think this opportunity is great for us rookies to come in and all the other receivers as well. It is a great opportunity to put more on film and get more reps. Stevie is down right now, more stuff to put on film for the coaches to look at for their review.
Q: Was the percentage of snaps you had in the slot low at USC?
A: We switched every now and then.
Q: You look pretty comfortable in the slot.
A: Yeah, you’re working against nickels, linebackers, safeties, guys who aren’t used to covering like that. We have a two way go inside outside, so that’s the advantage for us. I see it as another position at receiver. I came in to play receiver, not just outside or slot receiver, to do it all and have the opportunity to do so.
Q: On the outside, you had a couple good battles with Stephon Gilmore. How tough is it going up against a corner like that?
A: I definitely love that part of it, going out here and competing against one of our best corners. He’s going to give me the best challenge out here, so every chance I get to compete against him, I love that opportunity and try to make a play against him.
Q: What do you make of this competition and the strengths of these young guys?
A: When you look at it, there’s a lot of talent in our room. Guys who can run, make big plays, go up and get it. But I would say everybody is different in that sense. Everybody can make plays in different styles of ways. It is just a lot of talent in that room so everybody is giving their all, busting at it. Like you said, we’re all young, still fresh trying to make plays.