Buffalo Bills Media Transcript for Tuesday, Dec. 20

December 20, 2011 Updated Dec 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM EDT

By WKBW Sports


Buffalo Bills Media Transcript for Tuesday, Dec. 20

December 20, 2011 Updated Dec 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM EDT

The Buffalo Bills on Tuesday distributed a transcript of interviews with head coach Chan Gailey, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, wide receiver Stevie Johnson, wide receiver David Nelson, running back C.J. Spiller and linebacker Chris Kelsay in advance of this week's game against the Denver Broncos.

The transcript follows.

Head Coach Chan Gailey

On if he would describe Denver’s offense as unorthodox and what does that do for film study:

It’s different. I don’t know that I would call it unorthodox when you win but it is different. There’s more option than you ever see from any other team. There’s more quarterback run than you see from any other team. So you have to prepare for all of that and that makes it different. It’s still a Wildcat package is what it ends up being. You have to be ready to all of those situations. Plus they run traditional offense which they have to do. If something were to happen to (Tim) Tebow and then next guy has to go in and he can’t do all of that so they do enough traditional stuff that that keeps you honest as well.

On if part of Denver’s success is because teams normally don’t see an offense run like theirs:

They’ve caught some teams off guard. It takes you a while. You can’t practice and practice with the speed that they run all that. So it almost takes you a quarter to get used to it, to see it, to see the speed and the formations and they’re doing a good job because they’re coming up with a new wrinkle each week it seems like that throws you off balance just a little bit.

On what he makes of Broncos QB Tim Tebow:

All it is is a continuation of what he did in college. I was with a quarterback that was like that in Denver myself, John Elway. The whole gameplan was keep it close and let’s go watch John tie it or win it in the fourth quarter. And it happened more times than it didn’t.  When you get a guy like that that has that kind of confidence, the team has confidence in him and it just tends to happen. He’s made it happen. You’ve got to get him credit for that.

On what he makes of the whole phenomenon surrounding Tebow:

He’s a great person. He’s a strong Christian. He doesn’t mind letting everybody know that. I think there are a lot of people who admire him for who he is and what he does on the field.

On what he thought of Tebow after having a dinner meeting with him before the draft:

I had known him before. We recruited him out of high school so I had known him for a long time. His Dad and I were at Florida together. I’ve known him for a long time and known about him for a long time. It wasn’t anything different than I already knew about him. He’s a great guy.

On if he thinks Tebow can last long in the NFL playing quarterback:

I don’t know. It’s been interesting to see. That’s the one reason people have said option would have trouble making it in the NFL because you play such a long season and take so many hits running the option, can a guy last? So far he has.

On teams facing Tebow knowing that in the red zone he will run it and why can’t they stop him:

They have an extra blocker. Normally the quarterback’s handing it off so you gain a defender, now you gain the blocker. So you’re one short. If they do a good job blocking he’s a good runner, big man, he has a chance to get it in there.

On if Denver runs down defenses in the first three quarters therefore Tebow still has a fresh arm for the fourth quarter:

I don’t know that it’s fresh arm or dead arm. I don’t think that’s a factor in the NFL with athletes today. I just think that you get so used to playing that run that all of a sudden it becomes a pass game. You’ve got to play it the same almost. You can’t change and go into sit back mode. You have to still play it the same way you’ve played it for three quarters.

On how Broncos RB Willis McGahee has looked and their running game:

They have three runners. They’ve got three backs that are playing. All three are running well. They’ve got a rookie in there that’s doing a good job. I think just the fact that when you run the option or you’ve got a quarterback that can run it, they make you monitor threads. You have to keep somebody outside for that. So when you have to monitor that thread and keep somebody on the edge so nobody can squeeze back inside and it ends up creating creases up inside. That’s the advantage. It’s who’s handing it off and what he can do rather than them making spectacular runs. They’ve got some creases. Their line’s done a good job, and their backs have done a good job of taking advantage of those creases.

On if there is a specific moment when he realized that Tebow was not your average everyday teenager:

You knew it the first time you met him. You had an idea that this guy was a unique guy. He’s had it hard. He’s been in the limelight since he was sophomore in high school and that’s not easy to handle. He’s handled it extremely, extremely well. You knew he was a special kind of guy the first time you met him. I think the first time I actually met him was when he was a junior in high school.

On if he’s satisfied with what DC George Edwards has done with the defense considering all of the injuries and young guys filling in:

This is not the time to discuss all of that. We’re all doing the very best that we can and trying to put guys in position to be successful. Everybody, in all three phases, that’s all we’re trying to do is be the best we can and try to win this game and the next one. That’s the goal. That’s the only thought right now.

On Edwards getting criticism and his thoughts on that:

Everybody’s getting criticism. If you lose this many games in a row we all get criticism. There’s nobody that escapes criticism when we’re doing what we’re doing right now.

On TE Scott Chandler and NT Marcell Dareus’ injury updates:

Scott Chandler is going to practice today and hopefully he’ll continue to get better. I have hopes for him playing Saturday but I’m not 100% sure but it looks better this week than it has at any other time. At least he’s getting on the practice field. Marcell will be out there. We’re going to have to really protect that hand to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged any further.

On WR Stevie Johnson’s groin injury:

It’s better. We’re going to hold him out today. He says he can go but we’re going to hold him out today. That’s why I held him out at the end last week so we can have him for these last two. I didn’t want him to go out there and really hurt that thing. We won’t have him today but I think he’ll be back at practice tomorrow and Friday.

On if he can explain why there have been so many injuries this season and if it has something to do with conditioning or not having an off season:

No. I mean you could but it’s a guess. Nobody knows.

On the challenges that Denver’s defense presents:

They’ve got great outside rushers. That’s one of the things they have going for them is they have those two speed guys off the edge. That’s a challenge for our offensive line. A lot of times you might just say that’s a challenge for our tackles but it’s a challenge for our whole offensive line because if we slide one way we’ve got to get some help. It’ll be a challenge for everybody. And they’ll put one of those two guys inside from time to time as well.

On if LB Von Miller has progressed the way he thought he would:

He’s exactly what we thought he would be. He’s an impact player. That’s what he is. And I think maybe, we had him in the Senior Bowl so we had a little bit of an advantage but we thought he would adapt to outside linebacker fairly easily and he has done that.

On RB C.J. Spiller playing very well these past few weeks:

C.J.’s getting better. He really is. He’s seeing things better. He’s having more patience running the football. He’s catching the ball extremely well. He really has improved a lot since he’s been able to play quite a bit.

On re-phrasing what he said on Sunday about Spiller not being able to handle 25-30 carries in a game:

He really didn’t play the whole first half, first two-thirds of the season. I don’t want to put 25-30 carries on him right now. At some point he may get 25-30 carries but if he’s going to be involved in the passing game he’s going to touch it 15-20 times and that’s what he needs to do. We need to try to make sure he touches it some way shape or form 20 times a game. That’s what you hope to have from a guy like that. Again, he’s not a 215, 220 pound back like Fred (Jackson). You can’t expect him to be one. If all his runs are edge runs he might carry it 25 times. If he’s going to run it up inside like we want him to do, he’s going to take some pretty good licks and I’m not sure I want that at this point in his career, maybe in the future but not now.

On DB Justin Rogers energizing the kick return game:

Justin has done a great job, but you’ve got to give some credit to those guys up front that are blocking, too. They’ve done some good things has well. But Justin hits the crease hard and he gets North and South with the football and that’s what you ask a kickoff returner to do. He’s got to be fearless a little bit and when he sees a small crease hit it. That’s been one of the real positives in the last few weeks is his kickoff returns.

On if he recruited Denver WR Demaryius Thomas out of high school and what he thinks of his play this season:

Yes I did. He’s been hurt a lot. That’s hampered his progress but he is a big, fast man that has good hands. He can go up and get the football. He is a great person. I speak to that personally. I know what kind of work ethic he has. He has an ability to make plays all over the field. As I just told their press, I really wish the best for him but I hope he has an off day Saturday.

On if he can articulate the emotional toll a seven game losing streak takes on a player:

Probably not. You probably couldn’t explain to anybody how hurt and disappointed you are that that happens and how you have to be in a mindset of how to fix it. That’s what you have to do. People ask me why and I say well there’s some reasons but reasons sound like excuses and I don’t ever want to make an excuse for what we do on the football field because my job’s to get NFL players ready to go win a game and we haven’t done it. But you feel like you haven’t done your job when you don’t win.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

On going against QB Tim Tebow and the Broncos:

It’s great. I guess they’ve been on quite the roll lately especially with what they’ve done in the fourth quarter. I think obviously Tebow’s getting a lot of coverage. I think their defense is playing great, making big plays. They get after the passer. They’ve got two great edge rushers. They’ve got one of the best shutdown corners in the game, if not the best in Champ Bailey. Hands full again this week. They’ve been playing really well and we haven’t. They’re on quite the hot streak other than the setback last week.

On if Tebow’s style of play surprise him as a quarterback:

Even though it’s on ESPN all day every day I really haven’t seen that much of it. I just know that they’re winning games. A lot of that, the quarterback gets credit for a lot of that. He must be doing something right over there, but I haven’t seen a lot of it to really get in depth and comment on it.

On if he’s surprised at the craze that has become of Tebow:

David Nelson played with Tim at Florida. There’s a cult following. He’s got quite the fan base. You saw that even with some of the footage they had with his rookie year at training camp. For him to go out there and have some success in the NFL and win some games, obviously that fan base is just going to grow. It’s been interesting to see and to hear about this year.

On if he gets a kick out of the Tebow craze:

Yeah, the SNL skit and all those things. It’s one of those things that people have made light of a little bit. It’s hard not to laugh at it.

On if people wearing beards to support him would be the equivalent to people “Tebowing”:

Yeah, I guess so. Which obviously his has caught on a lot faster than mine has.

On how he can avoid the heat and the criticism he’s getting along with the boos he heard on Sunday:

Oh I heard them. They were deserved. I wasn’t playing well. We certainly weren’t playing well as an offense. The fans, they’re out there to cheer on our team. But when we aren’t playing well they’re going to let us have it. I thought they were well-deserved at the time. That being said, it’s not something… I’m human, I listen to it, I hear it. It’s not something that bothers me that much. As a quarterback I’ve certainly been booed before and I will be booed again, I’m sure. You work thorough it. You know that you have the guys in the huddle. You have to have their respect and the confidence of those guys. That’s the most important factor when you’re out there. In that game things didn’t go well for a long time to be able to get some positive energy and momentum in the huddle at the end I think was a good thing for us because it was such a rough game, rough start to the game for sure.

On the tempo of the game and trying to get back to the way they were playing in the beginning of the season:

We’ve done a decent job this year when we’ve been in sort of that hurry up mode and even hurrying up and calling plays at the line and seeing what the defense has given us and changing the play. We’ve been successful at that this year. At times, like you hinted at, some of it is because of what the score is. Some of it is they’re hanging back trying not to give up the big play. I feel like sometimes we work better as an offense at a higher pace and that’s something that we’ll continue to look at. It’s something that maybe has some merit. We’re running out of games here obviously but it’s something that we’ve been decent at this year.

On how long the hit he took from LB London Fletcher in October affect him:

However long I showed up on the injury report. I’m good to go now.

On what the emotional toll is on an individual of a seven game losing streak:

Especially this year with the way that we started it’s been a drag. It’s been very hard on me and very hard on the players in this building and the coaches and everybody because there was so much excitement and optimism. Obviously that has been gone for a while. We feel like we have good players. We feel like we’ve been affected for different reasons this year. I still believe with all my heart that we’re headed in the right direction and that’s probably hard to hear with the seven game losing streak. We have good players. I think we have the right stuff and we just got to go out there and do it.

On how much he thinks injuries and the loss of players hurt the continuity of the offense:

I think it hurts. The big thing and he kind of started a rough patch even when Fred was playing, but to lose somebody like Fred, everybody knows what he means to our offense and to our team. He’s a very dynamic player. He did a lot of things for us and made a lot of big plays for us. That was obviously something that hurt us a lot. It kind of changed some of the stuff that we’re doing and changed some of the stuff that we were trying to develop throughout the year. That being said I think C.J.’s done a good job, not only running the ball with his touches but getting some of those catches in the pass game and doing something with it. He did a good job with that.

On if he’s worried about the team drafting a quarterback in the first round of next year’s Draft:

No, not at all. It’s just something I can’t worry about. Just like last year I wasn’t worried about them drafting a quarterback. I’ve sat down with Chan and I’ve talked to Buddy. We’re trying to get this thing going in the right direction right now. It’s a lot of different things. The thing that I can control right now is me playing better. That’s something that I have to do. It’s through practice. It’s through the communication with the guys in the film room and just getting out there and doing it. For me, my main focus and the thing I’ve learned in the NFL is you control, you have to be able to put all your thought into what you control. I can’t control any of that. All I can control is making sure my guys are where I want him to be. Making sure I’m putting the ball where I want to put it. Making sure everybody’s comfortable with what’s going on. For me it’s been a process this year. I think I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot. Hopefully these last few games we can end it on a good note.

On if he had a broken rib at any point this season:


On what his take is on religious public display like the way Tebow shows it:

I’m a guy that kind of tries to keep to myself. Other people don’t bother me and it’s not just the religious stuff, it’s in general. You’re your own man. You’re going to do what you’ve got to do. As long as it’s not something that is in your face, doing it for reasons other than you and trying to get your message out and what you believe in, I think its fine.

On if he thinks Tebow is a genuine person:

I don’t know him. I’ve never met him. We do have the same agent but I have never met him. David Nelson would probably be a good guy to ask that to because he knows him. I’ll just deflect that question to him. I don’t know him.

WR Stevie Johnson

On having QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s back:

We don’t have any doubts at all, no negative comments about Ryan.  It’s been like that since the beginning and since he took over last year. I don’t think anything is going to change.  But when you’re losing games like we have you need somebody to basically put some sort of blame on and I really don’t think it’s fair that he’s get the majority of the blame.  I think you can come on some of the receivers like myself or anybody else to spread it around. But with him being the guy it’s understandable that they put it on him.

On how to get everybody out of the slump they’re in:

I don’t think he’s struggling. It’s really as a team. He throws the ball, he puts it in there, but we have to be the ones to make the plays as receivers, as running backs and as an offensive line. We have to make the plays for him.  When you look at it I think he’s having a pretty good season. It’s not like he’s terrible out there.  He’s been making plays for us and giving us opportunities.  We have to win as a team. We can’t really win as individual players and Ryan can only do so much just like everyone else.  We have to just come together as a team and when looking at last game on third-downs, you have to stay on the field on and that’s pretty much where we hurt ourselves.

On if Fitzpatrick is down on himself:

No, never. I’ve never seen him down.  Sometimes he’ll get, like he’s probably the best at forgetting things.  You’ll see him down for probably one play and after that he’s right back.  He’s never been one to hold things.

WR David Nelson

On playing with Broncos QB Tim Tebow at Florida:

He’s one of those guys where he’s very motivational. He’s very intense. He approaches the game differently than anybody I’ve ever seen in the game of football.  He does a great job of getting his teammates ready to play. He’s one of those guys he knows the attention is going to be on him, but he does a great job behind the scenes letting his teammates know that he appreciates them and letting his teammates know that it’s not about him and that the reason why they win is because of his teammates. And so he tries to put the pressure and some of the attention on him behind the scenes.

On maybe taking a look at Tebow on Sunday when Denver has the ball:

It’s the same as every other week whenever you have a good friend playing on the other team.  Not only was he a teammate of mine but he was one of my closest friends in college.  We stay in touch, so just like any other friend I want him to succeed until we play him.  I’ll definitely be watching him play and try to see how he does. But at the same time I have to stay in focus and stay focused on what I have to do.

On Tebow in clutch moments:

He’s just wired differently.  There’s something different about him than anybody I’ve ever seen before.  He believes no matter what happens, no matter what the situation, he can get the job done.  He thrives on people telling him what he can’t do and then he also tries to prove people right when they say he can do it.  Like I said, he’s wired differently. He believes in himself differently than anybody I’ve ever seen and he approaches the game of football differently than anybody I’ve ever seen.

On being on the receiving end of one of his “iconic” passes against Oklahoma:

We joke about that a lot and that’s something he always talks to me about. That’s definitely something we’ll share for the rest of our lives and it’s definitely a memory I’ve always cherished and I will always remember and it’s something he’s enjoys as well.  He’s had so many memories as far as his career and everything goes like that so just to have that memory with him and to be able to share is special.

On “the promise” after the Ole Miss game at Florida:

It definitely wasn’t something that we knew was coming.  It was definitely something that we saw after the game.  It was definitely a tough loss for our team. We saw it after the game and actually as a group we kind of appreciated it.  We talked about it the next day in the locker room and we came up to him and asked him what was going through his head. He kind of explained to us what was going on and I think as you can see how our team played after that moment and after that game we definitely came out, played hard and played well as a team. But that’s the kind of person he is.  When he comes out and says something he means it with all his heart and he’s going to do whatever he can. He motivates his players to play and he’s a great leader for every football team he’s been a part of.

On how the Bills can beat Tebow and the Broncos this weekend:

I think he’ll be the first one to say that he’s not the reason why they’re winning and it’s not just because of him. They have a great football team over there.  Their defense is playing really well, their running backs, and their offensive line is doing a great job of giving him time.  Receivers are getting open and he makes plays whenever plays needed to be made.  So, he’s just special like that. He’s the kind of player where in the clutch he thrives and he’s not the only one doing it. But at the same time he’s making plays whenever they need it the most.

On the general tone of his conversations with Tebow:

Usually the conversations are about just life - asking about his mom, his dad and his family. He likes talking about his foundation and his charity work a lot.  He asks me how my season is going, how my family is doing and how I’m living.  Usually it’s just catching up, just touching base. Yesterday I was kind of joking with him telling him I was going to give some embarrassing stories about him.  I knew that this was going to happen, so I told him that. I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to relay and it was just joking around a little bit.

On meeting Tebow for the first time:

I definitely remember it.  The first time you meet him as far as when he’s in the weight room or on the football field you’re kind of like what’s wrong with that guy. It’s like there’s something off about him and for about the first week or two I was like there’s something weird about him just because of the way he went into the locker room. He was like that his first week there he was a freshman and he was just jumping up and down screaming just getting after it in the weight room.  Most guys are in the weight room just to be in the weight room. But he was actually all about it and as enthusiastic as you can be. We were all like what’s wrong with this guy but then as we got to know who he was and what he’s about we realized it wasn’t fake. It was really genuine and that’s how he approaches everything in life.  He goes full-speed ahead at everything he does and that’s why he’s been so successful.

RB C.J. Spiller

On the offense struggling and getting out of this slump:

You just go back to practice, try to correct the mistakes that you make and try to go out Sunday and limit those things that we did wrong from the previous week and build on the things that we did good.  That’s really the only way that I know how to eliminate them and try and get out of this funk and get things going.

On the criticism of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has received:

He’s the leader of our team and we heard the boos. It’s very disappointing when your hometown booing you.  I don’t think they’re just directed at him. I think as an offense as a whole we haven’t really given them too much to cheer about. But the boos you hear you’re disappointed as a player and I don’t really get caught up in what the people out there are saying about our quarterback.  We know what type of player he is. He’s the same guy that had us at 5-2 and everybody was loving him and doing the same things.  So, now we as a team are in a slump and everybody knows that he’s the quarterback and he’s going to get the blame but it’s not just a one person thing.  As an offensive unit, we’re just not playing up to the standards that we’re supposed to be at.

On playing the number one rushing offense and trying to match them on Sunday:

I’m not going to get up and try to go out there and get caught up into them being the number one team and we want to prove we can run the ball, too.  Our main job is to go out there and try and execute.  They have a great offense and they do some things differently from what other offenses do in this league. Our main thing is just trying to go out there and put points on the scoreboard so our defense can have a better chance.

On improving as a running back every game:

Certain areas, like I said after the game. I’m still making my moves too early but overall I’m getting better.  I think I’ll have a better understanding of how I did over these last six weeks after we play the Patriots. But on a weekly basis I think I’m doing ok. 

On being more patient with his moves:

It’s very hard but you can still control it.  You don’t have to do it too early, especially when you’re about eight yards away from a guy because there aren’t too many guys you’re going to make miss when you’re eight yards away.  That’s the thing that I’m trying to constantly work on.  Getting closer and just hitting with a one step and go. 

LB Chris Kelsay

On how much of a “craze” Denver QB Tim Tebow has become in a short time:

What he’s done and what he’s been able to do with the opportunities he’s been given, he’s taken full advantage of that.  Do you get tired of hearing it every time you turn the TV on? Yeah, I’m sure some people do.  Luckily for myself I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t pay real close attention to the media so I haven’t been caught up in all that.  He’s done a great job with opportunities he’s been given.

On Tebow fitting religion into his position in sports:

It’s definitely at the top of his list.  It’s obvious; it’s where it should be.  He just speaks more openly about it. I have a lot of respect for that because it’s tough to do sometimes and he’s using his platform wisely with the gifts that he’s been given.  Like I said, I commend him for that.

On what he sees from Tebow on film:

Very talented obviously. He’s a big quarterback. Everybody knows what he can do running the football and you look over the course of the last few weeks he’s gotten better throwing the football, too.  He’s maturing and growing and he’s doing good things for that organization, but we have to be ready.  They have a great running back in Willis McGahee. They’ll run your traditional running plays as well as all the different variations of the option, so offensively they do a lot of different things.

On Broncos RB Willis McGahee this season:

I thought he looked trimmer and he’s moving really well.  He’s done some great things for him this year.

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