Orchard Park (WKBW.com) The Buffalo Bills started the practice week on Wednesday with Ryan Fitzpatrick taking first team reps at quarterback. Fitzpatrick was named the starter on Monday by Head Coach Chan Gailey as the Bills try and snap a two game losing streak to start the season, and a 13-game skid to the New England Patriots.
Trent Edwards will be the backup on Sunday against the Pats. He talked about being benched for the first time on Wednesday.
Below are the transcripts from Bills Media Day, as the team gets ready for week three.
QUARTERBACK TRENT EDWARDS
On his thoughts about being the No. 2 quarterback heading in to Week Three:
I’m frustrated and disappointed, but it’s a long season. I’m going to do whatever it takes to help this team win, to help Ryan [Fitzpatrick] win and that’s what Ryan’s been doing for me. That’s what my opinion is so far.
On if he was surprised with the quickness of the decision:
It surprised me. I understand that it’s a business and we need to win and we need a spark. That’s what I was told by Chan [Gailey]. I told Chan that I’m going to handle myself as a professional and I’m going to get here every day and, like I said, find a way to help this team win. That’s the bottom line. I’m not going to hang my head. I’m obviously frustrated and disappointed, but it’s a long season. Things can change and I’ll still be ready to go.
On he feels like he was given a good explanation to why he is the No. 2 quarterback:
I don’t think that’s really the point. I don’t think that’s really an issue. The decision was made and it doesn’t really matter what the explanation is, and that’s kind of part of the situation we’re in right now.
On if the past 12 months have been frustrating:
Yeah, it’s been frustrating. But you guys know me well enough where I’m not going to wear my heart on my sleeve. I do a good job of internalizing a lot of my emotions, but don’t let that come across that I don’t care. I do care a lot about this team and I care a lot about these guys. I probably care a little bit too much. That’s just the way I handle the situation. I keep a lot of things in, but I care a lot about this team and this organization.
On if there are things that he regrets with making decisions on the field that he would change if he could:
To be honest, no. There are still plays that you wish you could have back, but nothing off of the top of my head. I’ll be ready to go, whatever capacity that is and I’ll be here to help the team win.
On always having to be ready to go as the No. 2 quarterback:
Sure, you’ve always got to be ready to go and that’s the situation I’m in. That’s the position I’m in. I’ve got to be prepared I’m going to get in there and that’s kind of the situation we’re in right now.
HEAD COACH CHAN GAILEY
On how different he would characterize the offensive approach with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter:
Just things that he might handle a little differently, but basically not a lot is different. We’re still trying to become a good, solid football team offensively. So, [there’s] not really a lot of change at all.
On if he sits down with his QBs Monday or Tuesday to get a feel for what they like and what they don’t before he develops his game plan:
No. I don’t do that. I never have done that. If I don’t know what they like and what they don’t like by now, something’s wrong. Every now and then I’ll have quarterbacks give me some of their thoughts after they’ve watched film and ask for input as we watch film, things like that. As far as sitting down with them on Monday or Tuesday and asking them how to do the game plan, no [I don’t do that].
On if he would maybe sit down with them on a Thursday after two days of practice:
Yeah, sure. There’s a lot of [talking about what works and doesn’t work in practice]. We do a lot of that when we set up red zone [offense], second and long passing, third down passing – there’s a lot of give-and-take and input as to what they like, don’t like, do we need to throw something out – there’s a lot of that.
On if he cares at all between the history between the Bills and Patriots:
All I understand is that neither one of them likes each other. We don’t like them. They don’t like us. I talked about that this morning in the team meeting, to understand that there’s that feeling between the two teams and we’re going in to a hostile environment and you’ve got to get ready to play.
On if he mentioned anything about the losing streak against the Patriots in the team meeting:
On if the losing streak is significant among the fans:
It is and I totally understand that, but it has nothing to do with this year and this team.
On if this is one of his biggest challenges, taking his team to New England with a new starting QB:
I’ll tell you what, I’ve been through a lot of challenges in this league and this is another one.
On QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ability to freelance and make plays when the original play breaks down:
Well, what Fitz showed in the preseason, especially, is if it wasn’t just like it was drawn up, he would move out of the pocket and try to make something happen. He did that on a touchdown in Washington and he’s done that before, we’ve seen that. So, he does that. It’s not something that we coach. It’s something that he just does. If it turns out great, then yeah, it’s a great play, but if it turns out bad then you wished something else had happened. He will ad-lib at times, which you understand that with him [is being] a positive more times than a negative.
On if he encourages his quarterbacks to extend the play when nothing is there:
I’m just like anybody else in that respect. If it turns out OK, I’m very happy with it. If it doesn’t turn out OK, let’s talk about why we made that decision.
On what QB Ryan Fitzpatrick brings to the table with his mobility:
He does have mobility. He has a good feel in the pocket. He understands protections and coverages very well and I think he feels things in the pocket real well. He can get out of trouble or feel the pressure on the back shoulder and has made some things happen on the edge or up inside, or up and out – however you want to determine that or say it – he’s made things happen that way.
On if RB Marshawn will get the start and bulk of the carries:
It depends on the package and it depends on which packages we start with.
On the injury update on G Andy Levitre:
I don’t think he’s going to practice today, but we think we’ll get him back tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see when we get closer to Sunday.
On if there is any update on LB Paul Posluszny:
Poz is not going to make it this week.
On if there is anyone else that could sit out vs. New England:
No, not that I know of. I think there might be a couple of guys limited, but I don’t think anybody’s sitting out.
On how well G Cordaro Howard filled in for fellow G Andy Levitre:
He competed very hard. He played a like a non-rookie at times and he played like a rookie at times.
On if being ranked last in the power rankings motivates him to motivate his team:
If it takes outside influences to motivate you, you’re in trouble, in my opinion. If your motivation isn’t where it needs to be to start with, you ought to get out of the league. The goal is to be the best of the best, to be a champion. If that’s not your goal and that’s not what you’re working toward every day, if it’s taking something outside to get you going, or to get you more going – you mean I was 90-percent before – well that isn’t fair to the team. So, no, that doesn’t affect me.
On if he is open to making a personnel change if it helps the team:
I’ve made this statement and it’s the same statement I’ll make today, I’ll make before and I’ll make three years from now: We are always trying to get our football team better. Whatever we need to do, that’s what we’re trying to do, is to get our football team to championship caliber.
On if Green Bay had a safety on top of WR Lee Evans all game:
Not a lot. They did some, but not a lot, maybe more on third down than in first or second down.
On how important it is to get Evans the ball:
Well, you’d very much so like to get him involved in the game plan and things that you’re trying to get done. He’s a proven veteran receiver that’s made a lot of great plays around here. So, you’d very much so like to get him involved.
On if he can get a feel for the losing streak against the Patriots:
No, I probably haven’t been here long enough to feel that to be honest with you. I know it’s there and I know it’s real, I just haven’t been here long enough to feel it.
On what dictates the starting running back for the week:
Well, it depends on the packages we go with. It could be somebody different with each package.
On how discouraging it is that he had to make a QB switch after speaking so highly of QB Trent Edwards a few weeks ago:
It is [discouraging]. Anytime you’re a coach and somebody doesn’t play up to where you think they should, you feel like you haven’t done a good enough job. So, obviously something needed to change and we needed to have a change of the look of our offense or the feel of our offense to try to get something going differently. Back when we started this whole quarterback thing, we had to have a pecking order going in to training camp. It’s hard to get three guys equal reps when you go to training camp. But the margin of difference between all of them was not that big and nobody did anything to change that margin in training camp. All of them did a pretty good job when they played. If it would have been a huge difference in the two, it might have made a difference, but in my mind and in our mind there wasn’t. So, [I wanted] to give the guy a shot and see what he can do.
On how he would characterize what makes Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s defenses so good:
They’re very physical, especially the front seven. They’re very, very physical. He always gives you something unique and new every week. They very seldom give up the big play. They play physical is the biggest thing. Every time we’ve gone up against him with teams I’ve been with, there’s always been a unique defense, or look, or coverage for that week. He does a very good job of taking away your strengths.
On if Patriots DT Vince Wilfork is the main guy to account for on the defensive line:
I don’t know if he is the guy, but he’s in the top one or two. He’s not hard to find him. Most of the time he’s sitting over the center, but you better be able to block him because he is a big, powerful man that can get to that ball.
On if he is expecting to see him line up as a defensive end:
Yeah. I would expect to see that I little bit. I don’t know how much, but I expect to see that some.
On what that does for the Patriots defense, moving Wilfork to the end position:
It discourages you from running over to that side, that’s for sure, because he can hold a couple of gaps on that side. So, if you turn everything toward that direction, then it frees up guys on the other side. I think that’s what their thought process is.
On containing the weapons on the Patriots offense:
There’s another quarterback that’s been in the same system for quite a few years and has been very successful. He knows the ins and outs of the offense. With [Wes] Welker, they’ve got to underneath threat, the screen threat, the great third down and short threat. With [Randy] Moss, they’ve got the deep threat that can get down the field and make the big plays. They do a good job of utilizing those people and in those areas. They do an excellent job with that. What happens is you start to concentrate on that too much and Welker will slip deep on you or Randy will run underneath and catch one on the dead run. So, they do a good job of running their offense. They’re very clean. They don’t make mistakes, they don’t turn it over, they don’t have penalties, they do a good job with their offense, but they’ve had a lot of people in place for a long time in that thing.
On his thoughts about the Patriots rookie tight ends:
Well, the way they can run, the deep threat, has really helped them a lot. [Aaron] Hernandez, I think he had the longest play last week. He’s really come on as a guy that can get down the field and make plays, which he did in college as well. So, both of those guys have been a big plus for their football team.
On how critical DE Dwan Edwards is to the other defensive linemen adapting to the new 3-4 scheme:
The good thing about him is he can line up in a couple of different spots for us. He can line up at the nickel-end, he can line up in the 3-4 end and he gives you 100-percent effort all of the time. He’s where he’s supposed to be. He’s a good, solid veteran football player for our football team, in the leadership aspect. He’s a great player on top of that, but the leadership aspect that he gives us has been extremely good.
On how the players and QB Trent Edwards have responded to the quarterback change:
Well, Trent handled it very professionally. I called him in and told him what we were going to do and why we were going to do it, and he handled it very professionally. He and I have been very up front with each other since the first day he and I met last March, or whenever it was, and I told him exactly the lay of the land every time we’ve visited. So, he handled it well. If you’re any kind of competitor you don’t like it, but he handled it well.
QUARTERBACK RYAN FITZPATRICK
On starting against New England:
It’s a division game so obviously we’re in an 0-2 hole right now. The division part of it and it being against New England makes it that much more important. We have a good plan, guys are in here ready to work and I think that’s the biggest thing. We just got to get to work and figure out how to get this thing right.
On being prepared:
I have to be. I have to prepared and ready to go. We’ve got a week of practice here just to kind of work on some of the routes and things we’ll be doing and the different looks we’ll be seeing from their defense. It’s just the role. You’ve got to be ready when you’re called upon and I’ll be ready on Sunday.
On having more reps this off-season:
It’s probably similar just because in the past I was the two and this off-season three of us were rotating. Probably pretty similar but all that stuff doesn’t matter as much. I’ve seen it all, I’ve gotten in there and had a chance to do it all in the off-season and get some practice under my belt this week just to feel more comfortable with the guys.
On the surprise of the quarterback decision:
Yeah, but I didn’t have much time to think about it just because I got thrust into that role. I’ve got to shift gears now and start thinking about how I’m going to perform and what we’re going to do to beat New England. I’ve moved past that now and I’m thrusting myself into the game plan.
On how only four current Bills have scored a win against New England:
Yeah, obviously it shows a great team. And in recent history they’ve been very good. So we’re going to have to bring our best in order to beat them and to compete with them and that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.
On the goals this week:
It’s another football game and there’s not much. You can’t think of it that way. You’ve got to think about it as we’re going to go out there and we’re going to get first downs, move the ball and put points on the board.
On the team’s attitude toward New England and the series history against the Patriots:
We have a lot of new guys here. I think everybody understands the significance of it just like everybody understood the significance of the Dolphins game. I think anywhere in the division it’s a big game. It’s one of those that’s almost a twofer, as Chan puts it, because it’s a division game and it’s a 1-0 or a 0-1 on the record. So it’s extremely important for us.
On the “off script” difference between Trent and himself:
The way it went last year, I think there were a lot more things, like communication that I think as the season went on and I got comfortable with the receivers and they got comfortable with me, I think there were some things that went on where we had a lot more communication on the line as the play was going on. So I don’t know if that’s what he’s referencing but I’m a guy that’s been in a lot of systems and I know the type of things I like, the kind of throws I like to do and seeing particular defenses and how to exploit those. I feel like that’s something that I try to get done. So in that regard I think I am a little bit more.
On his mindset:
You don’t want to throw the ball to the other team that’s for sure. But there are times when you also want to give your guys a shot to make a play. I think if the situation is right then I’m willing to throw it up and a guy like Lee, or Stevie, or Roscoe or whoever it is let them make a play one-on-one on a guy.
On decision making:
You’re right and that’s why it’s hard to play quarterback in this league. You don’t have much time to make those decisions and that’s what separates the good ones from the bad ones.
On the key to jumpstart the offense:
First off, it’s staying on the field. I think we put together a drive or two here in the first two games and we’ve had a hard time staying on the field. And that’s a variety of reasons but keeping third downs manageable and being able to handle on third down all of the movement and all the different things that they’re going to do. But really staying on the field is our biggest thing. In order to use all of those guys and all the running backs we have and the receivers on the outside we have to be on the field to get them plays.
On preparing for Belichick and New England:
He always has a wrinkle and there are always adjustments in-game that you’re going to have to make. That’s one of the more difficult things of playing them is you really never know what you’re going to get out of them. That being said, you kind of look at what they’ve done this year just as you do with every team. We prepare off of a lot of that and from that you have to be able to adjust on the fly.
On getting the ball to Evans:
If he’s open, yeah. Obviously, Lee is a great talent and a great threat for us. I’m not going to force the ball to him but when we get the chance to throw the ball to him we want to throw him the ball.
On Evans being more involved:
Lee is a big part of our team and if you watch the film it’s been great just last year and this year even for him to be as unselfish as he is and blocking for the running backs. The stuff that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet but stuff he’s willing to do. It’s a guy we want to get the ball to but it has to be the right situation to get him the ball.
On New England’s passing vulnerability:
We know both of those teams well. Obviously, the Jets and the Patriots from playing them twice a year and the Jets did some good things. It’s one of those deals where we’ve got to go out and do what we’re comfortable with and do the things that we think are right to get our guys the ball. We’re not going to copy what the Jets did buy they certainly showed how to move the ball down the field and that’s something we’re going to try and do.
On the quarterback competition in the off-season:
He named Trent the guy and throughout the whole off-season we got equal reps and that’s the way he saw it going into training camp. And that’s the way it went down.
On if the touchdown to WR Terrell Owens Owens last year to in Jacksonville was a line call:
On relationship with Edwards:
We have a good friendship. Some of the stuff that’s happened, it’s been hard and it makes it a little awkward at times but we’re very good friends and this isn’t going to change anything. It’s hard on a
day-to-day basis. He wants to be out there and I want to be out there, but it’s just part of the business and he understands that as well, as I do.
On the dynamic of other quarterbacks:
You spend so much time with those guys throughout the off-season, in the film room and during the season. I see Trent pretty much or more as I see my wife during the season. So it’s one of those things where you’ve got to have a good relationship with those guys and it certainly makes it easier.
On setting up to be a hero:
I’m excited for the opportunity. Like I said the past few days, I’m looking to take advantage if it’s there but it’s not one of those where you’ve got to go out there and throw for 600 yards and throw it down field for every play. It’s how are we going to win this football game? And whatever that takes. If we have to run the ball on every snap, if we have to throw it deep, whatever it takes is what we’re going to do and we’re looking to get a win.
On if the offense will be dramatically different with him as quarterback:
We’re not going to rewrite the offense. Chan has a proven track record with the things he’s done and we have good stuff. It’s just a matter of getting some more practice with it and getting comfortable with everybody, everybody doing their job on each particular play and going out there and executing. We’ve had good stuff the last few weeks and it’s been a few things here or there. So it’s putting the pieces together and staying on the field to be able to run that stuff.
On his time in college in Boston:
I had a great four years right there in the Boston area at Harvard and obviously the Patriots were the team while I was in college in terms of the Super Bowls. It was exciting to watch them and just get into that whole thing with the town, just the way the town rallied around them. It makes it a little more special for me I guess just because I spent four years of my life in that area to go out there and play. I think there’s that little bit of an added element. It’s just another game versus a quality opponent so I’m looking to go out there and play well.
On if playing in New England will be a big moment for him:
It was surreal when I showed up my rookie year and I was throwing to Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Marshall Faulk but since then, six years in now, I’ve kind of gotten away from that a little bit
WIDE RECEIVER LEE EVANS
On QB Ryan Fitzpatrick being named the starter:
Obviously things weren’t moving the way we expected them to, so they felt like they had to make a change. I think it’s one of those things where we know what we have offensively and we’re trying to get there and coaches are doing whatever they can to help us get there. And they feel like this move was the key to doing that, so I guess better early than late. We still have a chance to do a lot of good things and we’ve got a big one this week to start with.
On what Fitzpatrick brings to the offense:
He’s completely different than Trent and just a completely different quarterback. He does things that sometimes you may not advise but he just plays. He sees the game and he plays. And he’s very witty and he just plays, so with that you have a chance.
On if he freelances more than Trent Edwards:
He’ll freelance a little bit more. He’s not afraid to get in the huddle and trust what he’s seeing or to tell somebody to do something else or however he feels. He has a good feel for the game and he’s played under some guys, some very good quarterbacks in this league that he’s learned from and that’s just part of his game.
On if it helps knowing that the Bills won five games with Fitzpatrick at quarterback:
Absolutely. He’s no stranger to us. We know who is, we know what he likes to do and at all times you’ve just got to be ready because he just plays and gives you a shot.
On what he meant by Fitzpatrick doing certain things “you may not advise”:
Just to the fact that against certain coverages, sometimes he feels like he can fit a ball in and he’ll try and it’s basically just that simple. He just feels the game and reacts off instinct.
On if receivers like that style of play more and are more likely to forgive interceptions with that style:
Absolutely. With Fitz or Trent, both of those quarterbacks are going to compete hard and do all they can to win. Fitz just has a different demeanor about him than Trent does.
On if he feels good about the chemistry between himself and Fitzpatrick:
Yea, absolutely. I think we have a very good rapport being able to talk on and off the field, different looks, so I don’t think that’s a hurdle that we have to jump over to try to figure out who we are. We know who each other are and it’s about making plays and having the opportunity to make plays.
On if he was surprised on the decision to bench Edwards:
It’s a little bit surprising but like I said, I think the overall feeling was that we aren’t playing up to potential, being as good as we can and they felt like they needed to do something quickly and they made the decision.
On if he thinks Fitzpatrick will help facilitate him more in the offense:
Possibly. I think that what he does when he’s in there he just kind of feels the game and if he wants to give you a shot, he’ll do it. Regardless of whatever he’ll throw the ball up and just want you to make a play for him so hopefully so.
On his assessment of how the Green Bay defense played him:
It really wasn’t anything complicated. It wasn’t like they clouded me up or two-manned me up all day. It was pretty simple looks. They played man, they played zone, one-high you know they rolled it, too a couple times. But the looks weren’t very complicated.
On if Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick rolls his defense to the number one receiver most of the time:
He has in the past but he’s also done one-high or done three. This is a completely different team from year’s back where they could just play cover two and their front seven would just run everything. They still have a very talented defense but they do different things now. So it’s hard to say that they’ll do just one thing or another. They do a good job of mixing things up, mixing coverages up and we’ll still see something we having seen before.
On if the 13 game losing streak to the Patriots is embarrassing:
It’s not good at all. We really haven’t done enough to win against them. We’ve played some close games against them but we just haven’t found ways the win against them in the past. So hopefully if we get in that situation again this week we can find ways to win. That’s really the bottom line.
On why the Patriots have been able to get the best of the Bills:
They’ve just made plays later in games to win football games. I think that’s the bottom line especially in the close games. I think that’s really what the story of this league is, you come down the stretch, who can make plays down the stretch, against them they’ve made more plays than we have.
On if Coach Gailey mentioned the history between the two teams in the team meeting:
A little bit. He addressed it just basically for the guys who have been here who haven’t really won against them. But I don’t think he’s really concerned of what has happened in the past. It’s more so what we need to do to win this one.
On how discouraging it is to be 0-2:
It is tough because I don’t feel like we’ve played up to potential and up to the capability that we’re capable of playing. That’s the most frustrating part. I don’t think we’re really far away. We just haven’t gotten there yet and if we expect to do anything this will be a big week for us.
On if Coach Gailey is more willing to make changes if needed than past coaching staffs:
I think that like I said before I never expected for anything like that to happen this early but it did. They felt like they needed to make a change and they didn’t really hesitate.
On if the coaching staff looked to him for his opinion on the quarterbacks when they first arrived:
Not necessarily. They asked me about personnel in general and I pretty much told them what I thought about it and that was pretty much it. It wasn’t really a consultation but they asked me about personnel in general.
On how Edwards is handling the quarterback change:
We haven’t really had a sit-down, but just checking him out around the facility he seems to be upbeat, talking and still into it. I don’t think he’s going to look at this as a put down or anything like that. I think he’s going to come out here and prepare and if he gets the opportunity you step in and play. So that’s the way he’s carrying himself now.
RUNNING BACK FRED JACKSON
Locker Room - September 22, 2010
On his thoughts about the change in quarterback from Trent Edwards to Ryan Fitzpatrick:
It’s just something we’ve got to roll with. I think [Trent] got a lot of the blame and that wasn’t necessarily his fault. I think, as an offense, we just struggled like a whole and it’s like always – the quarterbacks get too much blame or [they get] too much recognition at times. So, I think we’ll do whatever we can to try to move forward and help Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] out there as much as possible.
On if he thinks two games are too soon to make a change:
You’re always surprised when anything like that happens, even with whatever time frame it may be. So, like I said, we’ve got to go out there and do as much as we can to help Fitz be successful and this offense be successful.
On his thoughts about QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and what he brings to the table:
His athletic ability. I think he’s an athletic quarterback. He’s going to keep stuff alive with his feet. He can make some runs. So, we’ve always got to stay alive. He’s going to keep stuff alive and we’ve got to stay alive for him.
On if he was happy with the way the running back rotation went at Green Bay:
Well, I got more touches. So, I think any running back is happy with the more touches they get, but they’re going to be limited with the three of us out there. I think we’ve just got to make the most of the carries that we do get and every time we get out on the field try to make a play for the offense.