Orchard Park (WKBW.com) The now 3-and-0 Buffalo Bills returned to One Bills Drive on Monday to look over Sundays big win over the New England Patriots. Several players and Head Coach Chan Gailey met with reporters on Monday, below are the transcripts from the interviews.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
On what it feels like to be the last unbeaten team in the AFC:
It feels like I want to be that way again next week. This is a league about what have you done lately and you can’t rest on your laurels, you’ve got to go to work this week. It’s not anything you dwell on. It’s great. I don’t want to downplay it but at the same time it’s not the end all. That’s not where we want to be.
On being the “loveable losers” last year and now being in a different position:
You’d rather be a loveable winner. I’d much rather be that.
On if the start last year bonded some of the players together:
I think the fact that they decided they wanted to fight through it helps. I don’t know how much impact that had on that. I think they wanted to fight through it. They wanted to fight through the tough times. You look at everything that’s transpired in the last three weeks does come from what we built last year, it does. The way those guys fought and came back the last half of the year, it all builds on it. You look at that game yesterday and you’re so happy for those guys that have endured a bunch of those losses. I told the team that I was happy for those guys and I’m happier for our fans, they’ve stuck with us. They’re Bills fans through and through and I’m glad for them, too. I think that was good but now you’re on to the Bengals, that’s where you are.
On injury updates from the game:
Aaron’s (Williams) going to be a while. It’s not season-ending but it’s going to be a while. Chris White looks like he’ll miss a few weeks. He pulled a hamstring, looks like he’ll be out.
On if it’s a collarbone injury for CB Aaron Williams:
It’s that area. They tried to explain it to me but I didn’t understand exactly what it was. I think they’re going to call it collarbone. I don’t know if it’s a break, strain or separation. I don’t know what all that is. It’s bad enough to keep him out a few weeks.
On if any of the guys that missed yesterday’s game have a chance of playing this week:
Terrence (McGee) won’t make it back next week but Urbik’s (Kraig) got a chance this week and so does Morrison (Kirk). Troup’s (Terell) got a chance this week.
On being short at the cornerback position:
It leaves us thin there. Justin Rogers has to come on. He just has to get ready to go.
On the two man communication between the guards and tackles up front:
Anytime you can use the same terminology two years in a row, those guys gain confidence in talking to each other and they can even use code words now they all understand. It’s better that you’re not using the same word every time you walk to the line of scrimmage. You can use three words for some calls you might have so that the defense can’t pick up on it. That communication is vital. I’ve said all along, the cohesiveness and the communication of the offensive line is the most vital part of your football team… for those guys to be able to have that continuity.
On getting off to a fast start:
We want to do that. The objective is to win the game, whatever you have to do to win the game. But we do need to, we’d like to not have to set records for coming back. You’d like to have it a little closer or be ahead if you can. Week one was easier than week two and three. You’d like to have that, yes.
On the high offensive stats that they have right now:
I give a lot of credit the o-line, to Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick), to the receivers, to Fred, to the tight ends. The coaching staff’s doing a great job of getting them organized, communicating what we want on the field and a lot of it has to do with what Fitz did with a lot of those guys during the summertime. There was a lot of that stuff worked out even then.
On describing the mood of the team today:
We talked about where we are and what’s going to happen from here and I think that there was not any type of euphoria. We were pleased that we won, great win, let’s go to the next. I don’t think there’s any sense of sitting on our laurels with this group right now.
On Chris Kelsay’s request of extending the 24 hour rule for celebrating a win being denied:
It was (granted) for him (jokingly).
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
On being the only undefeated team in the AFC:
It feels good. That being said, we’re three games into the season so there’s still a lot of games to be played and a lot of work. There’s a lot of stuff we can correct from this last game. The goal to get better every week and we need to continue to do that.
On if they feel good about the work that they’ve put in so far this year:
We talked about it last year, fighting through those hard times and losing some of those close games and getting some of those wins at the end of the year. We really are drawing from a lot of those experiences from last year and drawing from the lessons that we learned and applying those to games this year. And it’s been nice to see some stuff going in our favor this year. Guys are learning and getting better.
On the character of this team by being able to comeback from large deficits two weeks in a row:
We never flinch I guess is part of it. We prefer not to do it that way but the last two weeks that’s how it’s gone. It takes a great team effort to overcome deficits like that. You’ve got to be able to have the defense making plays, the offense scoring. It says a lot about the guys in this room. There’s no panic and nobody’s flinching. That’s the kind of team that we are.
On HC Chan Gailey building the character of this team:
A lot of times your coach’s personality rubs off on you as players. You see the kind of guy he is. He’s definitely stoic and doesn’t get up, and doesn’t get down, just tells always to continue to keep playing.
On how the o-line has handled the different sets without any backfield help:
They’ve done a tremendous job. Again this week they’ve come out of the game, I think we’ve given up one the whole year, one sack. I can’t say enough about those guys. They’re putting in so much work during the week, just working together. Passing different line games and things off and there’s so much that goes into it for those guys. All five of them have to be on the same page working together and I think that’s probably the biggest thing is they’re doing a great job together. Whether it’s two guys passing something off or the tackle knowing there’s something inside, they’ve done a good job at that.
On getting a lot more national recognition:
I mean I don’t love it. I mean it’s cool, it’s good for our team and it’s good for our city to get some recognition. I was just fine how it was last year, being able to walk around here and talking to like three of you guys. It’s a good problem and obviously I’d love it to continue because that means that we’re winning games and we’re still competitive.
On if he knows what the 3-0 start has meant to this community:
I don’t know that really, until after the game yesterday, that the significance of that game and beating that team for our fans, for the city. I don’t know if I really realized or had my head around what it really meant. It was good to see after the game and you could definitely, as players, it meant a lot to us but you could tell even more to our fans. That was pretty cool to see.
RB Fred Jackson
On what this start has meant to the Buffalo fans:
It’s a time where they have something to be happy about. They’ve been great to us just out in the community. We’ve had a lot of guys and people coming up to us saying, “Congratulations”, and “You guys have given us something to cheer about on Sunday.”, and things like that. It’s huge. We know that we want to continue to have success, not only for ourselves but for them.
On taking satisfaction in what kind of stats the Bills has put up these first three weeks:
I think that’s the number one thing, it’s just three weeks. Even with that big win we had yesterday, we’re 3-0. We had more wins last year than where we’re at right now. That’s kind of how we’re approaching it. We’ve gotten off to a great start, no doubt, but we have a lot of work that we can still look at and see where we can improve as an offense even with the stats we’re putting up now. There are a lot of plays that we look at on film that can still be made by us.
On the consistent play of the o-line this year:
They’re doing a great job. Not only in the running game, in the passing game. They’re doing a great job picking up blitzes, keeping Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) up on his feet, opening up holes for C.J. (Spiller) and myself. As long as they continue to play well, we think we’ll continue to play well as an offense. That’s where it starts is up front with them and they’re doing a great job as you said being consistent. Play in and play out we don’t have to worry about “Are they going to get it right this time, are they going to get it right the next time?” As long as they continue to play as well as they are I think we’ll be ok offensively.
WR Donald Jones
On the big plays he made on Sunday:
I guess I came through big for the team down the stretch but you know I had the big drop in the first half that they picked off and ended up scoring off of it. So I have to do a better job of catching the ball in the beginning and not putting the team in a position that we did in the beginning.
On if the drop was a motivating factor for him:
I really got it out of my mind after it happened. I didn’t think about it anymore. Like I said, I just have to do a better job of squeezing the ball. I came up big down the stretch for the team and I’m just doing my job out there.
On holding himself to a high standard:
It’s a concentration thing, just plucking the ball out of the air. I dropped my concentration and the ball went straight through my hands. As a fan I guess you can look at it as straight concentration in the beginning of the game.
On having his first 100-yard receiving game in such a significant win:
It’s big. It’s definitely real big confidence wise against a team like that to be able to do what I did yesterday. I’m sure it gives Fitz a lot of confidence in me to go to down the stretch, like he did yesterday. I plan to do the same thing for the rest of the season.
On if it feels good to justify the coaches’ faith in him:
It definitely feels good to be able to silence the critics somewhat. The first two games I only had one touchdown. I didn’t have too many targets, so I was starting to get a lot of critics out there. To be able to go out yesterday in a big game and come up big for the team was big for me.
C Eric Wood
On the difference between last year and this year so far:
We know what it feels like to be on the losing end. We were kind of the loveable losers last year. Everyone rooted for us because we tried so hard, but that’s not what it’s about in this business and that’s not what keeps you around. I’m glad we’re winning ball games this year.
On what the element is on this team that allows the team to respond like it has:
We persevered. I got hit with two penalties early. Those are close calls. Just because I don’t agree with them I can’t flip out. We showed maturity on offense that we were able to bounce back. Those were drive stoppers, both of them. Fortunately for me we were able to come back and get some drives going. The same as last week, we dug ourselves a hole. We knew we had good things going offensively and we could move the ball. The first play of the game we hit a fade, then the tipped interception. It was unfortunate how it started out but we have to end that streak of getting behind because it’s not going to be easy coming back like that every week.
On how the O-line is being graded every Monday and if OL Coach Joe D’Alessandris is nitpicking:
He’s always nitpicking but the grades are a lot higher this year than they were at times last year, I’ll say that. These meetings have been a lot more friendly than they had been in the past. We have a good group of guys that workout. You can say whatever you want about our o-line but we work and we get after it. I feel like we play the game the way it should be played.