Orchard Park (WKBW.com) Here are the transcripts for interviews conducted following the Bills practice on Tuesday.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
PM Practice – August 30, 2011
On starters playing time in Thursday’s game:
We’ll play them somewhere in that six-to-ten play range. We don’t want them to go from last Saturday to two weeks plus a day of playing. Just enough to keep a feel of the game, so to speak.
On WR Felton Huggins:
He sustained a concussion on the practice field yesterday so he’s out for a little while
On what he’s expecting from the young guys who are vying for a roster spot:
This is the game where they’ve got to make their final statement. There are a lot of them who are sitting there, and we’re trying to make decisions on. Special teams will have a big part of it as well as how they play offensively and defensively. Then there are some guys like Sheppard (Kelvin) and Morrison (Kirk) who need to play to play. They haven’t played at all. There are different scenarios in the game, but we all need to see exactly what we have from those guys that are not the starters right now.
On players that have come back from injury this week:
We probably will not play Roscoe (Parrish) or Donald Jones in this game. Johnny (White) will play, and we’ll try to get Shawn Nelson in there. We’ll try to get a few players like that in there.
On if LB Robert Eddins has surprised him in camp with his play:
Completely surprised me. I had no idea really who he was. The coaches and scouting staff said that we need to take a look at this guy, he’s got something to him and they were right. The guy has really done a great job. He’s continued to impress. You can’t just be a flash in the pan, you’ve got to do it consistently, and he’s done some consistent things on the field.
On G Craig Urbik being prepared:
I think he’s gone against a pretty good one (DE) in training camp. I think that he’ll be up to the task; I’m not worried about that. If that’s my biggest problem then I wouldn’t have a problem. Urbik has done a good job.
On LB Shawne Merriman playing Thursday:
He’s going to play. He needs to play. He hasn’t played in a couple of years. He wants to play. He seems to be physically fit. If he wasn’t we wouldn’t put him out there so, we’re going to let him go try a few plays.
On the importance of the offense’s sync and rhythm:
Well you’d like to have as many of your starters play together for the communication aspect of things and for them to feel cohesiveness on the field. All those things are important. The more they can play together, hopefully the better we will be.
On T Chris Hairston
He played left tackle in college so he’s had a comfort level at left tackle. I think it’s worked out well for him to be able to play both. The way we sit right now he needs to know both, so it helps us from a depth perspective as well. We’ll keep him at left this week just so he can hone in on that for an extended period of time and see how he does.
On when he will make his decision about left tackle:
It’ll be after this game. We want to practice the way we are going to play the whole practice time.
On if the decision of the No. 2 receiver will be made after this week’s game:
Yes. We’ll make that decision.
On QB/WR Brad Smith and DE Kyle Williams injury:
Kyle is simply precautionary. We’re resting him. He’s played and practiced hard. He’s had a little nagging injury and we’re just protecting him and letting him get completely healed before we play Kansas City. Brad (Smith), we’re going to try to get him back as soon as we can, probably will not play him in this game, at the wildcat anyway. If we play him, we’ll just play him at receiver in this ball game.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
PM Practice – August 30, 2011
On what he wants to get out of the game Thursday:
I just want to maintain the rhythm and for everybody to stay healthy I think is the biggest thing. We have bigger goals in mind than this game. This game is really one that some of the younger guys get a lot of playing time and it is a good chance to really show what they worked on through camp and how they improved. For us starters it is about getting out there, getting a few snaps in for that game-like atmosphere and getting everybody out of the game healthy.
On carrying over momentum from Saturday:
I think that is going to happen in practice. We went out and had a good run today. And we will continue to have good practices hopefully and that will carry some of the momentum into week one rather than the few snaps we will see this Thursday.
On if the starters didn’t have a few snaps this week if it would hurt them for week one:
I don’t know if it would make us any worse off. But with that being said when you go out there and are able to communicate in the game-like situation I think that it helps. I don’t know if it will make us worse off if we don’t play in this one but it will be good to maintain the focus for the week preparing for the game and then getting out there and communicating with each other.
On how the good performance last week will help him build towards the season opener:
I think that was good especially since we are such a young team and young offense. I think that confidence is a big thing with us. To be able to go out there and do it in a game situation that is going to build confidence. In that regard I think it was important for us to go out and play well and gain some of that confidence going into the regular season.
On if he feels good with the receiving core:
Yeah I feel good about the guys. We are very young and there are a lot of guys in that group that are unproven and haven’t done much. But it is the same situation we were in last year and I have a ton of confidence in our guys right now and I think we are gearing up for a really good season with that group.
WR Marcus Easley
PM Practice – August 30, 2011
On what he’s looking to build at this week’s game:
I’m pretty sure the starters are not going to play too long. I’ll probably get extensive amount of time from missing so much time last year and not having OTA’s, so I’m sure I’m going to play a lot. I kind of want to keep the ball rolling and build upon everything that happened last week.
On how it felt to be so successful in Saturday’s game:
It was definitely a confidence booster but at the same I didn’t play a perfect game. I left a few balls out there and a few plays that I could have made. Like I said before, I want to learn from the mistakes and correct the assignments that I did miss. Hopefully repeat the performance and play even better.
On if he still feels like he’s playing catch-up after the time he’s missed:
Definitely. Time is something that you can never get back. I definitely took a step back last year not being able to participate, especially with the whole lockout I lost even more time. Now I’m just trying to take advantage of the little time that I do have and take advantage of this next opportunity on Thursday against the Lions and get ready for Week 1.
On what the biggest thing he has had to work on trying to get back to where he wants to be:
When you get hurt, it’s definitely a physical thing. But after a certain amount of time you heal up and you’re good to go. I guess it’s the mental aspect of making that transition of being injured to finally being able to come out and compete. Especially for my position, being able to cut, running and opening up your stride, and breaking out was my biggest concern.