Buffalo (WKBW.com) The Buffalo Bills hit the field for day one of voluntary organized team activities on Tuesday.
It was the first of 10 workouts scheduled over the next three weeks and a chance to get a closer look at some of the newest additions to the team. Defensive End Mario Williams participated in his first formal workout with his new team. Click on the video for a full wrap from day one. See below for transcripts from interviews with Williams, Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
On what he thought of the first OTA:
A lot of energy and a lot of quickness. We looked and we felt bigger on the field. It felt bigger on the field. It felt quick on the field. We've got a lot of work to do. Initial observations were good.
On his thoughts about DE Chris Kelsay:
He's a good football player. That's the bottom line for Kelsay. He's just a good football player. There's going to be a three or a four man rotation in that group all year long, hopefully. Hopefully everybody stays healthy and we've got a great rotation going there. In my mind they're almost all starters.
On what QB Coach David Lee can do for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick:
Technicalities. Some things that Fitz was throwing some balls across his body and he's been able to help him technically get a little sounder. Working on some little things about getting the ball up and over linebackers, things like that. We just didn't get the opportunity to do as much with because we had no offseason last year. So it's good to get some of those things worked and work on the technical aspects of the game.
On if this is the time of the year to work on the technical aspects for a quarterback:
Yes. You don't change things in the fall. You can change things and help yourself this time of year but you don't change it in the fall.
On DE Mario Williams looking big on the field:
A couple of those offensive linemen on the field are pretty big, too. Overall it felt bigger on the field.
On the progress of NT Kyle Williams and participating in individual drills:
It surprised me. They just said he can go out there and do some individual drills. He did that today. With Kyle you have to be careful not to push it too fast. He wants to be out there today, yesterday. You have to make sure that you just don't go too fast. He'll get himself ready and get himself in shape, all the little fundamental things he can keep doing right now that'll help him in the long run. But we don't want to push it too fast
On if he's seen a leadership quality from Mario Williams:
His work ethic has been outstanding. He comes to work every day whether it's just lifting weights or running, whether it's practicing out here. He's done a good job not only fitting in but taking a little bit of leadership role. I think we're going to be a little fortunate in that we have quite a few guys who have leadership ability.
On if DE Shawne Merriman will be ready to practice:
He was gone today. Today was the only day he could see the doctor for final clearances on some stuff. He'll be back Thursday. It depends on what we hear from the doctor today.
On what his timetable is on WR Stevie Johnson:
Training camp. I don't see him making mini-camp. I'd love to say he would but I don't know if he will or not. We'll see.
On if Johnson's injury is something they can't rush:
You don't ever want to rush it to the point where you have a chance of injuring a guy further so we'll try to be smart about it. If he can work we'll work him. He needs it. He's like everybody else, we all need it.
On with the new CBA schedule if he'll be able to get everything installed he wanted to before training camp:
Yeah, we will. We adjust. That's what he we do. Everybody adjusts so you get it done. You may be going a little bit faster a little bit more than you wanted but you'll get it done. Fortunately we've got quite a few guys that have been in this offense for a while. I think defensively we've got plenty of time to get done what we need to get done.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
On how the first day of OTAs went:
It was good. It was very basic on our end install. Defense was very basic on their install. We're just trying to get everybody out there playing fast and in the right spots, understanding the concepts and things that we're trying to get done. As we progress it gets a little more interesting with the different route combinations and different things the defense will throw at us.
On how it was with QB Coach David Lee out at practice:
He's great. He stays in my ear the whole time just in terms of challenging me in making sure that sometimes if the completion isn't good enough. It's the ball location, it was six inches off. He's a guy that's going to stay on me. He's going to challenge me and really just try to get a lot of the fundamental stuff that we've been doing and get out there and do it in those team-like situations. He's going to be really good for me this year.
On what Coach Lee stays on him about:
Mechanics. At this point in my career reads are more of a discussion I think where the mechanics are something that he's really after me about and making sure I stay on with what we work with. When I miss throws a lot of the times it's easy to tell why. He's going to be a guy that stays in my ear about mechanics a lot.
On if he's surprised that there's still work to be done on mechanics this far into his career:
Not at all. You guys have seen me throw. I just go out there and throw. That's what I've done my whole life. No one's really every taught me how to do it. Now for a guy to come in and say, "This is why you're missing that throw low". For him to actually have evidence for me to look at and say "OK. It looks like that's something I really need to work on." And for a guy to be as respected as he is to be as knowledgeable as he is, that's somebody that I'm going to listen to every time. I knew I had a long way to go with my mechanics but I just didn't know how to find that person or how to improve at it. He's going to be a very big help for me this year.
On what the dynamic is like between him and QB Vince Young:
I don't have the tats that he does. He's 6'5. He's a big guy. We're actually similar personalities. He's a real nice, easygoing guy. Obviously the relationship with him, with a lot of the other new guys it will grow as we get going. It's a good quarterback room with Tyler (Thigpen) and Vince and Brad (Smith). We all get along well. That's something that's important. You want to be able to be there for each other. That's kind of the number one thing you look at in a quarterback room as a quarterback.
On what degree the offense has been tweaked or adjusted this year:
That's something they always spend a lot of time during the offseason reviewing what happened last year. Really figuring out the things that went well, why they went well and the things that didn't go well and the reasons for that. It's hard to put a percentage on it. There's obviously a lot of carryover and a lot of similarities to what we've been doing since he's (Chan Gailey) been here. In knowing me as a player and knowing our personnel and what we think we have, we're tweaking some stuff just to fit guys better and really take, which he does well, really take advantage of everybody's talent. There's definitely going to be a little bit of a new look. We're doing a lot of the same stuff and just hoping to do a lot of the same stuff better than we did last year.
On how much different the defense looks this season from his perspective:
Those guys look big and mean. I'll tell you that especially that front four flying around. There's a difference. I think one of the biggest differences across the board for us this year, not only on the defensive side but I think at every position, is there's so much competition right now. Guys are competitive. That's just the nature of a professional athlete. You just see it every day here. There are guys competing against other guys that are just as talented as they are. That's been something that has slowly been changing since I've been here is the talent level from top to bottom. I feel like that has gotten a lot better and is going to continue to get a lot better because the better you are on defense the more it challenges the guys on offense and vice versa. I think we've done a good job of getting that done and now it's a matter of taking care of what we need to do in these OTA's and hopefully staying healthy but challenging each other with competition on the field.
On if he gets a sense of how high the expectations are throughout the community this year:
There's a big change already with just people coming up to me, neighbors, or people at Walmart when I'm buying my flannel shirts, stuff like that. People are excited about the team. There's a lot of expectation around here. For us I think we expect more about this team than anybody else does. That was the case last year. I think that's the case again going into this season.
DE Mario Williams
On how it felt to be back on the field:
It was great to get a chance to come back out and run around the guys. Like you said, finally step back out on the football field. It was great.
On if he felt 100%:
Yeah, I'm good. I feel great. I've been feeling great for the last five months. I'm doing pretty good right now.
On how he liked his burst during team drills:
Just trying to roll off the ball. That's the most important thing to a defensive lineman is getting off the ball. I'm basically trying to get a feel and get back to the fundamentals of getting off the ball.
On getting knocked in the knee during practice:
I took a knee to knee. That's never good. That's all it was but I'll be fine.
On if the knee to knee worries him happening on the first day:
No. That's the last thing I'm worried about. The little things like that happen. You just would like for it to be from the offense and not your own defensive player (laughs). It is what it is. We're all going hard and just trying to get the proper reads.
On if this practice has any special meaning for him being his first practice with his new team:
I don't even think about anything else but going out and working and then day by day and game by game. Honestly the significance is just us coming out here and performing together and fixing the things that we need to fix and working hard.
On saying he wanted a fresh start and today being that for him:
Yes, definitely. But I wouldn't say it's from the draft to free agency to the first day of being here. Technically we've already been in here working out. We've already been here studying and things like that. That was my first thing is getting here and getting into the books and talking to the coaches.
On his impression of the talent on this defense:
We have a boatload of talent. At the end of the day I think the biggest thing we want to get across is this mentality. Coming from the defense from last year that's what it was about. The coaches that we had in there with their scheme and philosophy and how they do things and having to understand them on the field is what it's all about. Once you get that understanding and expect you've just got to roll with it.
On how he's getting along with his other teammates on and off the field:
It's all about leading by example. You don't have be a hooting and hollering guy. It's all about going out there whether we're working out. There is no limit. The sky is not the limit. We don't see that. You've got to go past that. The way we see it and the way I see it is anytime I can be around the guys and I can work out, we do drills or we're playing, you've got to give it everything you've got. It doesn't matter what you're doing. If you're in the meeting room and your coaches are asking you questions. We've all got to be on top of our game and know what we're doing. To me it's just about going out there and giving everything I got.
On how he's enjoying Buffalo so far:
I love it. I'm from a small town about 2,000 people or so. I think this is just small city, big town. It's where I see it.
On if he likes the weather:
It's hot right now. I'm about to start sweating actually. I think the biggest thing is I'm not in that Houston heat. We were outside, I'm pretty sure they were outside earlier today. My weight's been staying on me pretty good. We're getting after it in the weight room. Coach Gamble definitely has us going. Everything's working out.
On if he senses that the guys feel it's different because he is here:
I mean I can say yes but I guess any addition you're going to feel different. When Mark (Anderson) came, when Vince (Young) came. It doesn't matter whether they're going to be labeled as this or that, a starter or whatever, we feel something from that. It definitely just shows that we have more tools and we have more weapons. I guess if you were to say that I guess. I guess that I'm all about getting after it.