PITTSFORD, NY - (WKBW/Bills Press Release) Below are quotes from members of the Bills following their first practice of Training Camp 2013:
Head Coach Doug Marrone
Training Camp Practice – July 28, 2013
It was interesting, obviously being here for the first time, it was really an exciting atmosphere. I know this being a night practice, but there were a lot of fans here. Great enthusiasm by them. We got ourselves off to a start. We have a lot of work ahead of us on the football team, that’s what I talked to the players about. We just have to concentrate on getting better each and every day.
Q: Did you like what you saw today Coach?
A: Yeah, I do. I like the players. For me to come back and to say “Hey, they’re gonna come in here and go 110-percent,” it wouldn’t be right for me to expect that out of them. We’ve had two days; we’ve been sitting around all day, getting out here. Finally to get out here, now we’ll get in to a good program with a lot of structure. We’ll get used to it, start going out and we’ll get better each day.
Q: What was the situation with DE Mario Williams?
A: Mario reported to our athletic training staff he had a sore foot. So what we want to do, we wanted to make sure we decided the hold him out of practice and let our medical staff evaluate him.
Q: What foot is it?
A: I’m not, I apologize, I can’t.
Q: Is it disappointing to be ramped up and ready to go and not have a guy go out there?
A: I want to make sure that I use the right word. It is not a disappointment from a standpoint of I wish the player was out here for the rest of the team, it is more of a disappointment for the individual. Mario has put in a lot of hard work and has really went in the playbook, did a lot of work this offseason, so I always have initially the disappointment for the player because I think we tend to forget how much work they put in and you have a player that definitely wants to be out there.
Q: What can you say about what you saw from the quarterbacks?
A: The quarterbacks, we’re working EJ (Manuel) in, get the reps to 50-50. I think it’s the same as everything else, I don’t mean to be cliché about it, but there was some good things in it. Again, this is the first time throwing to receivers in a period of time. We have to work on our timing. We had a lot of work pre-practice before we got in to the teamwork. Again, we’re going to have to do a better job, both in our receiving, throwing, protecting. Just work to get better.
Q: From a practical standpoint, when do you feel like you need to have a decision made on that front?
A: Again, you like to sit there as a coach and say you’d like that decision to just come up in front of you. Really if you can get 10-12 days prior to that first game, that’s when you’re going to get pressed for time and have to make a decision on a quarterback. That’s when you’re probably going to start preparing 10 days out of the first game.
Q: As an offensive coach with this style of defense, are you going to expect stretches where you take some sacks?
A: There’s two things, the catch 22. Our defense is showing us a lot of different things. We’re seeing a lot of different things. When you’ve got to game plan it becomes a little bit easier, so for us to see those things now, it’ll just get better and better at picking it up. Do I expect that people will come home and come free? As an offensive coach, absolutely not. I think it’s good film to work on and get better at.
Q: What is the status of DT Kyle Williams?
A: Kyle, we’re working him back in. He didn’t participate, obviously, in the OTA’s. SO just from a standpoint of worked individual, we kept him out of team, kept him out of the one-on-one’s. You’ll see him progress in to the practices as we go.
Q: Did Mario say how he hurt his foot or when it happened?
A: I do not know that.
Q: Is there a timetable of how much time Mario may be out?
A: Our medical staff’s going to evaluate him. So I don’t know that information.
Q: QB Kevin Kolb got the reps with the first team. Is that something that is going to continue? Are they going to be switching on and off?
A: No. We’re going to keep pushing forward, but again we have a young quarterback in EJ and we’re bringing him along. At the same time we have a lot of time before we get to the preseason games to get that thing to 50-50. But EJ did take some snaps with the first group today, but you’re right Kevin did have more.
Q: What was your reaction to TE Scott Chandler’s play today? He looked good out there.
A: He did. Scott, that was another person that we limited today. Again just coming back. He went in there and I was excited for him. He’s really put in a lot of hard work to comeback. He’s comeback quickly from that injury and you saw it today that he has the ability to make plays. I’m excited because I think when you’re coming off that and you get in there you want to make that play and he made a nice play today. A couple of them.
Q: Did you like what you saw today out of the receivers?
A: I do. And I said before the one thing I think we’ve helped ourselves, as a receiving core is that we have more speed now at that position. Now it is just a matter of people separating themselves, seeing what the best combinations are, seeing who runs the best route concepts to what we want to do.
Q: Would you have liked to see better coverage from your defensive backs?
A: There was a lot of man coverage out there today. I think it’s very difficult in the one on one periods. I think you have a lot of space out there to cover and the quarterbacks sit back there, they’re not under pressure a lot, so no I wasn’t disappointed in the way that our defensive backs covered today. They actually had, I believe, three interceptions or two for the defensive backs, which were nice plays. They were tipped balls that were close and even the ones that they didn’t make they were close with.
WR Stevie Johnson
Training Camp Practice – July, 28, 2013
Q: How did you feel under the lights with all the fans out here?
A: I felt good just being out here with my guys. Everybody looked good. We came out here, worked and played fast for the first day. I think the fans enjoyed it and we just got to build from here.
Q: Does it matter to you guys when a decision is made about who the starting quarterback is?
A: Not really because the tempo that we’re playing, we pretty much get a mix with both quarterbacks. I think it’s on us as professionals to work that mix and whoever the coaches pick to play QB, then we’ll just roll with that.
Q: What did you see out of the two quarterbacks (Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel) tonight?
A: They both made passes that were pretty good, some on the sideline. They read the defense pretty well but at the same time our defense was on point also. I think we’re just getting better and we just have to work our way up from here.
Q: It seemed that everyone was pretty hyped up. Did it seem that way to you?
A: Yeah, that’s the intensity that the coaches bring out here. They brought that here. They challenged us and we’ve just been challenging the DBs and it’s fun. You got to make it fun and compete with each other. We’re out there talking trash and getting stuff going because it is pretty much us against the world and that’s how we feel right now. So we go out there and compete with each other and then take on the world when the season starts.
WR T.J. Graham
Training Camp Practice — July 28, 2013
Q: It seemed like you had some early chemistry with EJ Manuel. Can you take us through that?
A: Well, he throws the ball far and I run fast. So he just throws it as far as he can and I run underneath it. And that’s pretty good chemistry.
Q: How do you think he came out and looked as a rookie tonight?
A: Playing against him in college, I’ve seen him a couple times now. He’s pretty good. He has a really strong arm and really good feet. He is going to be good.
Q: How do you feel about the chemistry being built with the quarterbacks?
A: It feels like we’ve been together for a long time. Going back to when we started voluntary mini-camps, (Kevin) Kolb has been around and we’ve been kind of just moving off of there. EJ came right in and didn’t skip a beat. So, I don’t know, it is just really good chemistry. It might be that the offense translates to the offense the other two were in, but we have pretty good chemistry out there.
Q: What are your goals for this year?
A: Last year, I was just trying to get my feet wet. A lot of uncertainty of whether I could play in the league or not, coming in as a rookie. Coming in and being behind guys like Stevie (Johnson) and Brad (Smith) has taught me a lot in the offseason. I’ve just been building off what they have taught me and keep it moving. Coming in to year two, there are a lot higher expectations. I know I feed off the pressure and I like it, so I took a lot of time off in the offseason to figure out what was wrong and improve off of that.
TE SCOTT CHANDLER
Training Camp Practice – July 28, 2013
Q: In lieu of other injuries that have occurred in the preseason, does your mindset change as you take the field?
A: No. If you sit there and think about it all the time, you’re not going to be a very good football player. It’s part of the game, and you feel bad for all of those guys. You see guys like (Jeremy) Maclin, and on the business side, it’s bad for him, too. But it’s part of the game and we all know what happens to guys out here. And if you’re thinking about it, you won’t be playing very fast or very physical. You have to block it out.
Q: Is today another milestone in your recovery?
A: This is the most I’ve done in a while. Like I was saying, this is the first time that I have gotten my hands on somebody and blocked them, and the first time I’ve run a route against somebody. But it felt good. It’s what I expected and hopefully I can get out here and continue to build on that.
Q: Did you think your recovery would take up until the start of the regular season?
A: I always wanted to be ready for the first game. If I could be ready for training camp, I thought I would be better in the first game. That’s what I’m looking towards. I want to be as good as I can when we play the Patriots (in Week One).