The Buffalo Bills on Monday issued a media transcript that includes comments from general manager Buddy Nix, head coach Chan Gailey and new defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt.
Comments from several players, including quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Fred Jackson are also included.
The transcript provided by the team follows:
GM Buddy Nix
I know you’ve got a lot of questions and things that you want answered as far as how we feel about where we’re going and what we’re doing. I’m going to meet with you next Monday. I don’t to make a lot of statements right now. I’ve got an opinion about everything. I want to meet with everybody else. We’re meeting with the players right now one at a time. Tomorrow I’ll be with the coaches. Coach Gailey and I will meet and then we’re going to have personnel meetings that will last probably two days. I’ll hear from the pro department and the college scouts. We’ll cover every phase of things and then end up with my annual meeting with Mr. Wilson. We meet everyday just about but kind of a season ending thing with him which we always do. I’d rather not answer anything specific right now. But Monday, I know you’ve got things you’ve got to have answered and you’ve got to talk about and I’ll do the best I can to help you on Monday to tell you everything I know except and there may be some times I may say we’re not going to talk about that. For the most part it will be accurate answers for you.
On summing up his feelings about the overall season:
It was a two part season. We were excited the first seven games. I knew we weren’t quite as far along as everybody thought we were. It was fun. It was fun to see the fans and this city get as excited as they did. Our players were excited. There’s no excuse for losing seven games in a row. That was a complete downer and a complete surprise. I think we did get it back a little bit. We make all kind of excuses; injuries and that kind of thing. Even with that we should have done better. I think we’ve got a good nucleus. I’m excited in talking to the players. I’m excited about how they feel and excited about a new year. It’s time we need to make sure we step up and get it done and I think we will.
On if he’s disappointed in WR Stevie Johnson’s TD celebration:
Again, I will address that Monday. I wouldn’t want to do it today and then I’d have to renege and change on that.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
Before we get started with your questions, I want to announce that we released (Defensive Coordinator) George Edwards today. Dave Wannstedt has agreed to take the Defensive Coordinator job. One of the tough things in this business is doing things like that. Now many of you, and people out there, will speculate that this was set-up way back. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Dave was hired to help me, to help the defense and that’s what he did all year. And it just got to the point where I felt like we needed a change and so we made the change.
On if this coaching change will lead to a different defensive approach:
I just know Dave has a wealth of experience. He’s been around good to great defenses before and I think his level of experience will be able to help the players that we have right now to hopefully have better production as we go into next season.
On the possibility of switching back to the 4-3 defense:
This is again the time of year where we evaluate everything. We’re going to evaluate that whole scenario and see what direction that might take us. And that is one of the thought processes to be able to have that scenario. But, none of that’s, let us evaluate all of that first.
On if Dave Wannstedt’s role increased throughout the year
None, it was the same the whole year.
On if this move creates one vision and one voice on the defensive side:
I think there was one vision and one voice and I think this will be a different vision and voice. If you have too many voices in anything you end up with problems and that was not the situation that I expected to create nor did I think it was created in the defensive room.
On the number of yards and points the defense allowed this year:
We’re in a production business, that’s the bottom line. We need to get better production. George is an extremely smart guy and it’s not all him as it never is. You know, we lost some good players and that’s tough on anybody. But when you just think you need to head in a different direction you have to do what you have to do.
On if there will be any other staff changes:
We’re in the evaluation process of everything right now. That includes everybody.
On if he talked to Ralph Wilson about this move:
I did not, but Buddy (Nix) has talked to him.
On the lack of pass rush this season:
Let me go back and evaluate everything first. I mean, it’s never just one thing. It never is. It’s always a compilation of things that go together to create problems and so you can’t just say, it’s easy to try to put it in a box but you can’t. You can’t put it in a box and say this was the problem. It was a lot of different things that went on.
On if Sunday’s game changed his view on wanting WR Stevie Johnson back:
To say it doesn’t have an impact would be a lie. But you have to look at the whole body of work and not give a kneejerk reaction to something that happened. But at the same time it’s not the first time so you take the whole body of work into consideration when you’re making decisions like that for your football team. Every evaluation is heavy when you are talking about things like this.
On if he would like Johnson back next season:
Yes and with stipulations. You know I mean you love what Stevie does on the field before he scores touchdowns, you know. You just have to decide if he can and we can get that under control.
On if he knows why the penalty was called this year and not last year on Johnson and if he asked anyone:
No. No, I didn’t. I will ask but I did not ask yet. I had a few other things going on.
On the injuries sustained this year and how it affected performance:
Yeah I think so, but I think what happened, I think every team has experienced depth issues. I’m not sure there is any team that can avoid it completely. It’s just whether you get the injuries or not and can you stay healthy during the course of the season with your best players. So that’s the key for any team I believe is to try to stay as healthy as possible to make it through the season which you can some years and you can’t some years.
On how he will evaluate the situation at running back:
It’s a great situation we have at running back. We have two very good players, which one of them about seven or eight weeks ago you were asking me why he wasn’t productive and why he wasn’t a good player. I think we all found out that he is a good player and that he is productive. Hopefully now we have two good weapons to use going forward.
On if there is an easy way to effectively reduce the high number on interceptions that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw:
I think if we catch the balls we’re supposed to catch. If we are not having to heave-ho at the end of games to get back in them, I think we’ll cut down on our interceptions tremendously.
On Fitzpatrick’s inconsistency of play this season:
I think Ryan will be, as we continue to get better as a football team, I think Ryan will continue to get extremely proficient at his job. I have a great deal of confidence in Ryan and what he was going to be able to do at quarterback for us in the future. I made this statement before: If the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick was my biggest problem I would have many problems. I know the statistics, you can look at statistics and you can turn them anyway you want to turn them but he’ll play just fine as we continue to be a good football team.
On if he feels he has an answer at the LT position:
I think we have potentially two guys there and I think only one of them is under contract. It’s a work in progress at that position right now. Demetrius (Bell) unfortunately has not been able to stay healthy completely through his time here and Chris (Hairston) was a rookie this year that we tried to play there. Andy (Levitre) went out there as an emergency. That’s not something we anticipate to happen at all.
On if he met with WR Stevie Johnson today and how he would characterize the meeting:
Yes I did meet with Stevie. I told him exactly, not exactly what I said in here, but pretty close. We have to get things under control. That’s going to be important going forward. Whether he’s here or not he needs to get that under control.
On if he expects LB Shawne Merriman to be back next season:
Yeah, I sure do. I expect him to be here. Hopefully full go, healthy and ready to roll. That’s what you hope. Now whether that happens or not I don’t know but that’s what you anticipate.
On if he anticipates C Eric Wood, NT Kyle Williams, and RB Fred Jackson to be ready for training camp:
Oh yeah. I think, trying to think who might be the furthest out from that crew and I don’t know which one to be honest with you. Probably Fred’s the closest right now. I anticipate having every one of the players that had surgery this year I expect everyone one of them to be at training camp.
On if he has any further news on TE Scott Chandler’s knee injury:
It’s not going to require surgery. I think he’ll be fine in a few weeks.
On Stevie Johnson telling his teammates he was sorry for what he did yesterday and what kind of an impact does he think was made with benching him:
I don’t have the answer to either one of those.
On this team being better than last year’s team and the reasons why:
I think we’re stronger in the lines. I think we’re stronger in the offensive line and the defensive line than last year, when we’re healthy I think we’re stronger there. I think we have a year under our belt offensively where we’re continuing to gather some pretty good players at all positions. We took a fairly significant jump from year one to year two offensively. I think we can continue to get better there and be more consistent there. I think we’ll continue to improve defensively. I think we’re stronger in the defensive line there and I think we’ve got some very good young players on the defensive side of the ball.
On if WR Derek Hagan will be a player that gets a longer look at training camp this season:
Derek (Hagan) played well at the end of the year. He merits a strong look going into training camp next year, he does.
On rookie CB Aaron Williams’ play this season:
Aaron (Williams) played fairly consistently for a rookie. Yesterday wasn’t his best day but he played fairly consistently for a rookie when he finally got his chance. He battled injuries all year long and that’s always tough on a guy. That’s the one thing that we’ve got to hopefully do is train him in the offseason and get him where he can make a whole season without the injuries. I thought he showed potential to be a very good corner in this league for a long time. He matches up well size-wise.
On how the team can go from winning four to six games a year to nine or 10:
We have to be consistent. And yesterday’s game was a microcosm of our season when you get down to it. We started fast and then didn’t finish. And we’ve got to learn to finish – whether it’s the three point games that we were in or the seven point games we were in – we’ve got to learn to finish. And the year before we didn’t even get started. At least this year we were in it but didn’t finish. So if we can learn to finish, I think that’ll be one of the things that helps gets us over the hump.
On dealing with inconsistency:
Not dealing with it very well. And if I did deal with it very well I shouldn’t be here. But you get in this thing to be the best of the best. The NFL is the world’s best football and you want to be the champion of whatever the best league is. And that’s why you get in it. If you don’t get the opportunity to do that than being in the playoffs is the way you get the opportunity to do that then you don’t feel very good about what you’re doing.
On if he believes QB Ryan Fitzpatrick can lead Buffalo to a Super Bowl victory:
Yea, he can. We have to be good. We have to get better as a football team, but yes he can.
On if he can say what area is of need the most in the Draft:
No. Let us evaluate all this stuff. And plus Buddy’s (Nix) going to answer that. I’m not.
Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt
On his reaction to his promotion to defensive coordinator:
Everything has happened obviously very fast from our game yesterday and the emotions of the season to be quite honest with you. [Those] are the primary focus at this point. Talking with Chan [Gailey] this afternoon … I’ve done this for a long time and we’re kind of at the stage now where you sit back and evaluate things. Everyone’s curious about what changes will be made, what’s going to be different, and a time place will come to talk about that. Right now, it’s more of sit back, try to catch our breath, evaluate players, evaluate our scheme, and take a look and see where we can improve. It’s really not that difficult. We’ve got a lot of room to improve. We have some good young players, we have some good veteran players and that will be the next step.
On if there was any hesitation to jump back into a role like this again:
To be very honest with you, when I took the job here a year ago, it was just what Chan described it as. I came up here to jump back into the NFL; I wanted to be in an environment that I felt like I could be of value. I think that the discussions that Chan and I have had on-going was from defense, to practice schedules, I mean everything. It was just kind of a sounding board for him and having worked with Chan I was very comfortable with that. I really had no further thoughts really than coming up here and trying to help in any way that I possibly could and that’s what I did this year and anything that Chan asked me. We communicated, I gave my opinions, and now it’s changed. I look forward to obviously rolling up my sleeves, and as I said earlier, finding ways to where we can start improving and go forward.
On if he intends to maintain the defensive terminology:
That’ll all be in part of the evaluation. There will be a time and place to talk about that. Like I said, things have just happened so fast that it really wouldn’t be fair to you to just throwing out an answer for that. You keep the good and try to improve on the bad. That’s the simple answer.
On if he’d agree that the last two months of the season the defense mostly ran a 4-3 scheme:
Well, in certain situations. For the most part with Bryan Scott in there, when he was in there he was kind of an outside linebacker at nickel back. And the league’s changed a lot from the standpoint of what offenses are doing and I think we’ve got to be flexible that way and we still played our 3-4 in certain situations with some pressure and I think being able to not do too much but obviously you have to be flexible enough to use your personnel to get the most out of them.
On if this move was made in time for him to address the players:
No. The players were gone. Chan and I just talked literally an hour ago in detail about this. I haven’t talked to any players. Zero.
On if his title will now be assistant head coach/defensive coordinator:
On how encouraged he is that this defense, with him in charge, can make some kind of a significant improvement:
I’m very confident. I think we have good players and we had some injuries this year to a few key guys. Obviously you continue to develop. At one point this year we had, I think, five rookies on the field defensively when we were in our nickel package. I look forward to developing those younger players and we have free agency coming up, and the draft coming up, so there’s a lot of exciting things to look forward to from a coaching standpoint that you say ‘hey, these things all contribute to giving us an opportunity to take a nice step forward’, and that’s the plan.
On if Coach Gailey has given him license to make changes to the defensive staff:
Chan and I will talk about that. I’m not even sure how much the defensive coaches are aware of anything. Like I said, it did truly all happen real fast.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
On how he would sum up the season:
I think disappointment is probably the best word to describe it. I think the last nine weeks have been pretty rough around here and it’s unfortunate the way the season turned out especially with how we started with the energy in Buffalo and in this locker room and it’s tough. Its two years in a row now where we kind of had two separate seasons and that’s something that we’re going to have to figure out and address. I think if you look at to try to figure out some positives from this year, next year we’re going to be another year in the system. We’re going to be another year comfortable and won’t be starting from square one. I think we gained a lot of depth. We’ve had guys play this year that maybe weren’t expected to play or guys that may not be starting next year but are going to be called upon at some time. We gained some valuable depth there and just all the learning experiences. For me, this is the first time I went into the year as the starter as the guy and it was a very up and down 16 games obviously for me. But I learned a lot. I think as a quarterback you continue to take those lessons and from game to game, from season to season and you have to continue to learn and get better. And for me I think the season was great for me to be able to be the guy from Day One. We didn’t have the offseason, but to carry that into a year to take that role as a leader and as a guy people look to, I just need to continue to grow in that aspect and just in becoming a better player. I think I will and I’m excited for next year already.
On the difficulty of finding positives in a season that had “great” hope:
Especially right now it’s hard because everything’s so fresh in our minds. The stuff that is fresh in our minds is all the losses that got piled up and not the beginning of the season. So it’s hard to find the silver lining but as we evaluate the season and what went right and what went wrong I’m sure we’ll find a lot of positives and a lot of things that we can carry into next year hopefully and continue to get better at it.
On the mental state of the team:
We talked about that at the beginning of this year… how do you move from hoping to win to expecting to win? And that was the thing is you win. That’s how you do it. You go out there and you gain confidence by playing well and winning. That’s what we did at the beginning of this year. I felt like we really gained that expect to win thing that we hadn’t had in the past and we just have to go into next season and start fast again and that’s how you build it. I feel like we did lose that over the last half of the season obviously but it’s something we’re going to have to get back. The only way you can get it back is by going out there and doing it.
On his individual season of over 3,000 passing yards and 23 interceptions:
Turnovers are not good and that’s far too many interceptions for sure. It’s something that I’m going to have to take a look at and focus on cutting that down next year, I think that’s obvious. I don’t know if there are a lot of things that have been disappointing this year. I don’t know if the interceptions are the most disappointing thing. I think turnovers really hurt us this year and a lot of that is me. And to be honest I feel like that’s something that I can fix. I feel like that’s something I’m going to get better at and I guess that’s why I’m excited standing here right now for next year. The prospects of going out there and playing, getting some of our guys back in there and if it’s just depending on me getting better and that’s going to make us better then I feel good about next year.
On how much WR Stevie Johnson makes him better:
If you look at what Stevie has done with the two 1,000-yard seasons in row, it’s really the first two years Stevie has played. Me and him. I feel like a lot of what I’ve done and a lot of the success I’ve had since I’ve been here has been because of him. And the success that he’s had has been, a lot of it has been because of me. We have that relationship where I hope, I don’t know what’s going to happen and obviously I’m not a decision maker, I’m not going to be involved in that process. I know that they know I want him back, he knows I want him back and he wants to be here. But we’ll see how it turns out. But I’m a better player with Stevie on my team and I think he’s a better player with me as his quarterback.
On what happened with Johnson during the game yesterday:
I have no issues with Stevie. Yesterday was a tough situation obviously and it’s probably something he regrets doing and something he had done in the past and didn’t get flagged for. Stevie’s a guy that brings a lot of the attention onto him and when he gets the flags and things it really does hurt the team and he knows it. But I’ve played with a lot of different receivers and guys that sometimes they’re not fun to play with. Stevie’s always a guy that he’s got a good heart. He really does mean well. Everything comes from a good place from him and he’s not a difficult guy by any means to get along with during the week, during the offseason or during a game. He really is a good teammate and it’s been unfortunate with all of the negative attention that he’s had from the Jets game and from this last game and he’s brought it upon himself. All of that attention comes from him bringing it to himself. I love Stevie as a teammate, as a guy and I hope we have him back.
On the offense possibly without Johnson:
It’s hard to speculate at this point. I mean he’s our best receiver, so I think if you ask anybody in the league, “If we take away your best receiver are young going to be worse off next year?” The answer is yes. But you don’t know who, if he doesn’t come back, who replaces him or any of that stuff. So I want my best receiver back.
On seeing what Chan Gailey does to get RB C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson on the field at the same time:
That was a challenge that we had at the beginning of the year in trying to get them both touches. It ended up Fred was having such a dominant year that we had to get him the ball as much as possible. But when Fred goes down C.J. steps up and you see the dynamic playmaker C.J. is when he has the ball in his hands, so it’s a good problem to have. To have two very dynamic, explosive running backs, yeah it’s going to be interesting to see how we draw it up to get them both the touches that they need but it’s not a bad problem to have.
RB Fred Jackson
On his view of how the season went:
We got out to the way we wanted to start, but we didn’t finish right there in the middle when we lost seven games in a row. You can’t do that thinking you want to get to the playoffs. You have to get over that, so that was tough. And then with all of the injuries we had and losing a lot of key players I think that added to it. Hopefully we can keep from doing that. I think that if we do that we have an opportunity to get into the playoffs like we want to. But it was tough sitting on the sideline and not being able to go out there and help my teammates because that’s what we do this for. We want to be out there helping each other and I definitely miss being out there with them.
On the injuries and how they affected the season:
I think we have players on this team that can compete with anybody in the league. I think if we stay healthy it gives us the best opportunity to go out there and play football. So hopefully we can avoid some of these injuries and we’ll get right back in the thick of things.
On having the expecting to win mentality:
I think we still feel good about the way we approach every game. That unfortunately did happen for us but you know a lot of the guys in this locker room still believe in what he’s trying to do and what we are capable of doing as a team. We go out expecting to win games knowing what we have to do to make plays to win games. So I think we still have that winning mentality about us. I don’t think that’s been phased at all… We have to come back and try and build off of what we did at the beginning of the season, not necessarily that seven game losing skid we had.
On his injury making him even more focused and determined:
It’s not the way I wanted this season to end and I felt like there were a lot more plays for me to make and a lot more opportunities for me to take advantage of. And to have that taken away like it was only added fuel to the fire so to speak. I’m sure there will be a lot of questions about how I’ll come back from it and things like that and again that’s just fuel for the fire and more motivation for me to come out and play well.
On the possibility of him and C.J. Spiller sharing the backfield next season
He’s (Chan Gailey) definitely got some thinking to do. You know that’s what he does. He’s an offensive-minded guy so it’ll be interesting to see what he does.
On how soon he wants his contract to be taken care of:
Well obviously as soon as possible, but we’ll see what happens with that. Like I said, I’ll just put faith in Buddy (Nix) and see what happens. But, you know, the sooner it happens for me, the better for myself.
On if the contract talks have progressed with Buddy Nix:
You know, we haven’t talked at all. So, you know, they’ve had a lot that they had to take care of so we’ll see where it stands. Hopefully I’ll get a phone call soon or something like that. We’ll see what happens.
On his workload next year with the emergence of Spiller:
I expect to go back to playing the way I was. We’ll see. He made plays. He’s a playmaker without a doubt but I also felt like I did enough to show what I’m capable of doing and we’ll see what happens. But, you know, we’re going to need both of us to play well to win football games.
On his concern with there being multiple offensive free agents on the team:
There is. There’s a lot that has to be taken care of but we know that it’s usually like that at the end of every season. So hopefully we get as many guys back as possible on offense because we felt like we were able to do some good things so we’ll see what happens.
On his reaction to WR Stevie Johnson during yesterday’s game:
He was told that the next time that we get a penalty like that, that we would be sat the game. I don’t think he meant anything malicious by what he did. I think he was just wishing everybody a Happy New Year but at the same time he got a penalty for it that hurt the team. So I think Chan did what he said he was going to do and I think everybody in the locker room respects what he decided to do. I think Stevie obviously said he would take it back if he could so I don’t think anybody has any hard feelings towards him. And we all have his back and we want him to do better by making those types of decisions and I think he will.
On if Johnson told the team he wishes he didn’t do the celebration:
Yeah, I had a conversation with Stevie and that was something he told me. Like I said though, it wasn’t something he was doing to be malicious. It was just another touchdown celebration that he had.
RB C.J. Spiller
On his role this season:
I played receiver, I did returns. I did everything that these coaches asked me to do. I did it with a big smile on my face. Hopefully I can continue to build on this momentum.
On if he feels like his confidence has been increased:
My confidence was never low when Fred was having a great season. I just wasn’t getting an opportunity because of what he was doing. I just stayed the course and believed in what I was doing. My time was going to come sooner or later and it did. I just tried to take advantage of it. I think the coaches knew all along what I was capable of doing. Like I said we had a guy playing at Pro Bowl level. I hope they didn’t lose confidence in me because I was playing. They drafted me to be able to help this offense out.
On what he expects next year when RB Fred Jackson is back healthy:
That’s up to Coach Gailey who will make those decisions. I’m just going to come in and work out. Go out there and run the ball. We know that we’ve got a good one-two punch. If possibly the best one-two punch in the NFL if we know how to use it.
On if he’s talked to Jackson about the possibilities of what they could do together next year:
No I haven’t talked to him about that, about next year. I think he’ll kind of let me just focus on the season. We might sit down and have that conversion but we both understand each other well. We both know we help each other out a whole lot. We’ll see what happens.
On if he would be ok with playing the same role next season as he started with this season:
If that’s what they want me to do then that’s what I have to do. It’s like having a diamond in the rough on the sideline.
On looking back at some of his performances this season and knowing that was the player he is:
I will. I’ll look at that and see what I did good and then of course see what I can always improve on, especially catching the ball with Fitz on the move. I had two crucial drops this year; one yesterday with the pick and then one in the back of the end zone. It’s a lot of things that I’m going to look at and see what I did good and correct things that I didn’t.
TE Scott Chandler
On how his knee is feeling after injuring it yesterday:
I feel sore right now. I’m going to get an MRI today and figure out exactly what happened.
On if he thinks the injury is serious:
I don’t think it will require surgery, so that’s good. They wouldn’t let me go back in the game.
On being frustrated on the sideline after he got hurt:
Yeah, it’s just frustrating. It’s an end of the year injury. I came back the week before and wasn’t close to 100-percent. Yesterday I was a little close, still wasn’t quite there and then this happened. It’s just frustrating for me.
On how he feels about the season and having established himself as a player:
Personally it was great to get the opportunity to go out and play. Just to get out there and show what I can do. Obviously we started out in the beginning of the season was a blast. We would have liked to finish a lot stronger but hopefully we can come back from that next year and put a good full season together.
On his thoughts about being an unrestricted free agent:
I don’t really have much comment as far as that goes. That kind of stuff will work itself out.
On wanting to be back in Buffalo:
I had a great year here. I love the team. I love the guys. I’d love to be back.
C Eric Wood
On how is progress is injury wise:
I’m walking around fine. Rehab is progressing well. I met with the doctors today and they said it looks great for six or seven weeks. I’ve got a lot of rehab ahead of me but I obviously won’t be back for OTA’s or anything but I’ll be around town. I just hope to be back for training camp.
On if his goal is to be ready for training camp:
I’d imagine it’d be similar to when I had my broken leg to have some good days and some bad days at training camp. Possibly needing a day off here or there to get back. I’m planning on going full go at training and trying to get better and trying to get back where I was this year and try and pass that up.
On if he feels like he’ll be the same player when he comes back:
Yeah. That’s the plan and it hopefully works out and hopefully I’m playing better ball. With a year of experience at center I’ll hopefully get back to my natural position and hopefully excel at my second year at it.
On how frustrating the season was for this team after the way it started:
It was a whole lot of fun. We started great and then we gave a couple away that we knew would come back to haunt us and it did. Maybe if we were in the playoff hunt the last few weeks things might have gone differently in games, you know 12-16. You can play the “if” game all you want. It’s definitely where we wanted to be. It’s not where we expected to be. After those first few weeks I thought we had probably turned the corner in this franchise in expecting to win and then I had been home for a few weeks and from what I have heard it kind of felt like the old days. We’ve got to get out of that and get back to expecting to win. I think we can get there. We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us. We keep a good core group of guys around here and build on it; I think we can do some things.
On his thoughts about keeping the o-line together:
I think we’re about set. We’ve got some depth. We have got some backups with some experience. We’ve got five starters that played very well this year. A group that led the league in least amount of sacks and then turned around a really high yards per carry on the ground. In a few games towards the end of the year we were in two minute offense so. We had pretty remarkable numbers. I would love to have the same group back. That’s what we’re hoping. There are a lot of things and there’s a lot of business side that we have no control over. Ideally we’ll come back with the same group we’ve got this year and hopefully just build on this year.
NT Kyle Williams
On his injury update:
I’m feeling good. I got my walking boot off last week so I’m back in a tennis shoe. As I walk I know that something’s not right but I’m only six weeks out. It’s a pretty long rehab process so we’ll start more intense rehab process now. I have to tell you I feel good. Hopefully it will keep progressing the way that it has and I can hit the ground running.
On how this injury has affected his offseason:
Rather than getting in and running and lifting and trying to get as physically prepared as I can, I’ve got an extra mile to go. I probably won’t start any kind of running or anything like that for two to three months. I’ll be lifting and trying to get ready. My offseason will start earlier. Usually this time of the year is when you’re taking off. I’ve had that. I’ve had two or three weeks when I couldn’t do anything when I was home on crutches. I’m starting to get going now. Hopefully I’ll just build and build and when we get back here hopefully I can do some things in OTA’s. It’s kind of been a “we’ll see” type of deal but hopefully definitely when I get to training camp my foot will be better than its felt its whole career. I’ll hit the ground running and hopefully play the best I have in my whole career. That’s my plan.
On if it eats at him that he could have been out there to help his team:
The thing that eats at you is you sit at home and you watch the game on Sunday and you see a close game. The first game that comes to mind because I’m still not settled with it is the Giants game. When you lose a close game like that you never know what one, two or maybe three plays would do in a game. I think I’ve got that many plays in me, things where I can make a difference in a series or two. Maybe I could draw some attention where somebody else could. So it eats at you. You think about things like that. I sit there and all of the work you do. All offseason leading up to go out and plan and play good and be the best that you can and be the best player that there is at your position. I was going through offseason last year. We got into camp and they started to back me off because the foot was getting worse and worse. I hated sitting at home but I wasn’t doing myself much good or my teammates any good the way that my foot was. It was only going to get worse. It was one step from being the worst where I was going to be out a long, long time. We’re talking about at least a calendar year is what I was getting close to. My foot feels better now walking than it has in my whole career. I hope that means it feels that much better when I hit the ground and we start playing football and that translates into play. I’ve never been one that’s needed to be shown to be appreciated for what I do and have it taken away from me to understand that. I’ve always understood that. It’s just made it that much harder for rehab. But like I said, my plan is to get as healthy as I can, as strong as I’ve ever been, as quick and fast and come back and put the pedal to the medal when it comes time.
On the way the season went and injuries playing a huge role:
I think in pre-season we felt like we had a chance to be pretty dang good. It didn’t start off well and I think when things start bad maybe some doubt creeps in. Some frustration creeps in and those are the worst two things that can happen. It kind of snowballed. I’m sure there will be some adjustments and some different things that we’ll try to do. I don’t know what that is yet but my job right now is trying to get healthy and getting ready to go. It’s been a long road up to now and we’re just at the end of the year so I’ve got an even longer way to go now.
LB Chris Kelsay
On how much the seven game losing streak chipped away at the chance of having a good season:
It’s definitely frustrating. You’ve got to find a way to get out of that lull, however you do that. It just takes hard work and confidence and reliability on the guy next to you. We started strong and didn’t finish very well. Last year we started really slow and came back and won a few games. We just have to change that culture and continue to build on what we’re accomplishing here. We have a lot of optimism and respect for this coaching staff and the direction that they’re leading us. It takes every man in this locker room to do their job and pull each other up and be professional. Coach Gailey talks about that quite a bit. You can be in this league as a professional in football but not necessarily at your trade. If we can get everybody to approach it as a professional on and off the field then good things will happen. If we don’t, then it’s tough to win.
On if he feels good about the team’s mental state going into the offseason:
It’s hard to say right now. We just got our behinds kicked by our divisional rival so a lot of us are frustrated, especially the older guys that have been here. We just know how hard it is to work throughout the season and not be rewarded in the end. Every offseason I approach with optimism just because next year’s a new year and a new team. There’s going to be a lot of new faces. We’ll just wait and see how that all plays out. I think everybody kind of has that disappointment lingering inside them so that will give them some added fuel for this offseason with working out, getting to know each other better and continuing to grow as a team. We get a full offseason this year that we didn’t have last year. Like I said, I have a lot of confidence in Buddy (Nix) and Chan (Gailey) and the coaching staff. We’ll get it going.
On his thoughts about the defense being hybrid again next year and it affecting where he lines up:
I know one thing, whatever the coaching staff does and whatever Buddy and Chan decide on, is in the best interest for this football team and this organization as a whole. However I fit into that I’m going to bust my tail to help us win football games, whether that’s defensive end or outside linebacker, whatever it may be. I’m at the point in my career where all I want to do is win. I want to get to the post-season. I think that’s on the horizon of this team. Regardless of if it’s a hybrid, if it’s one of the other, I don’t care. I know that we have to add some pieces to the puzzle. I think the leadership of this team is good from upstairs down to the locker room. I think we’ll all come together and find a way to win games. As far as how I fit or what direction they want to go is entirely up to them.
On if coaching changes are what’s best for this team, particularly on defense:
I don’t know what’s best. I know that every year coaching staff’s change. Even winning teams make some additions or alter their staff in some form. If that’s the case for us we’ll rally behind it. We’ll place our confidence in Buddy and Chan to make the best decisions for this organization. There’s nobody that wants to win worse than them. The guys in this locker room affect the guys upstairs. It’s the business. It’s a production based business. If you aren’t winning guys aren’t going to be around. They know that, we know that and we’re going to do everything we can to win football games. If that means different means, or it means different coaches, I know that management is going to make the right decisions.
SS George Wilson
On how he would sum up the season:
I don’t think you can really put it into one word, or a few words. It’s just tough knowing that we got off to a fast start, but in the middle of things, late October, the entire month of November where you’re suppose to set up your December run, we didn’t get the job done and that’s why we’re going home.
On what the team needs going forward:
I can’t…that’s above my pay grade. All I can do is focus on what I can do better. I know I can be even more consistent in pass coverage, in making tackles and making sure that I’m doing my job the best that I can do. With this being the first year that I’ve been a starter from day one, I’ve been very appreciative of the opportunity and I’ve just tried to make the most of it each and every day; just from the learning experiences from this season I’m eager to get back to work even though this is day one of our offseason. I’m eager to get back to work because I really feel like I’m just coming into my own at the safety position and that I can stride and work to do even more to help other guys as well as to try to help our team to be more consistent when we are out there on the football field.
On the injuries and how they changed the season:
We can always talk about ifs and buts, but like they say, ‘if if’s and butt’s was candy and nuts everyday would be Christmas.’ We are what we are, we can’t speak in hypothetical’s. We just didn’t get the job done.
On giving up a franchise record for most yards allowed:
We definitely have to cut the production of our opponents moving forward so that we can win more games consistently. We definitely have some work to do, it all plays a part. Everybody’s involved, you don’t go 4-2, 5-2 and end up 6-10 without enough blame going around for everybody so nobody is excluded. You know, we all have to own up to it, accept it, and accept the challenge of getting this thing on the right track. We have to, it’s a must.
DB Bryan Scott
On the defense and its future:
The defense, obviously the numbers didn’t show it, but it’s just the little things here or there. We’re just knocking on the door. I still want to be a part of it. I think we started something and we made progress. I just want to see it through.
On how he’s going to handle the uncertainty of where he will play next season:
To be honest you just kind of roll with it. Like in life, you roll with the punches. Whatever hand you’re dealt you just kind of take it and move with it. I’m not really a spring chicken when it comes to free agency. I’ve been through this before. Just kind of sit back and be patient, wait and hopefully when the time comes you end up where you want to be.
On his thoughts of the work that he’s put together while with the Bills:
I just enjoy coming to work. Obviously you know, running new positions, different positions it really doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been playing this game of football for a really long time and I just love it, even more so this team and the guys. You have an organization where it’s very rare you don’t have guys that are bigger than the team. You don’t have any Hollywood guys. Just guys that come to work. We’re all dedicated and trying to give this city and the fans just something to be really proud of.
On if this season is any more frustrating than others just because of the way the team started:
Not making it to the post season is just frustrating period. Twice now I’ve been here where we’ve started fast and then we didn’t end the season very strong. There have been a few times where we started slow and we picked it up towards the end of the season. I think there’s a lot to be learned from this year. I know we’re so close to just putting it all together, putting that magical season together.
LB Andra Davis
On his two seasons in Buffalo so far:
These two years here in Buffalo have been a great experience. I’ve had an opportunity to play for a great organization and play with a lot of great guys. These guys are more than friends, they’re like brothers. These last few years haven’t been going the way we wanted to but off the field I wouldn’t trade this experience. I’ve had a great time.
On being a free agent and how he looks at the whole picture:
Regardless of whatever happens with me, I’ve been so fortunate. I’ve been so blessed. As a kid coming from a small town in Florida to be able to play in this league for 10 years I have no complaints. This game is so good to me. Like I said, I’m just so grateful. I just thank God for these past 10 years.
On if he wants to keep playing football:
Yes, definitely. I’m going to keep playing. I’m not going to stop. Looking around the league seeing guys like Spikes (Takeo), Urlacher (Brian), Ray (Lewis), those guys are still playing at a high level. I know I can continue to play as well.
On if his role in Buffalo is enough for him:
I’ve been fortunate enough, I started for nine years. At this point in my career I just want to go help contribute however it is in whatever role that may be. I just want to go out there and help. My role got cut short this year playing-wise but I feel like I was able to help mentor Sheppard (Kelvin) along and help a lot of the guys on defense. It all starts with practice during the week. We had a lot of fun on scout team, whatever role that is. I definitely want to be out there playing and want to help out but at this point in my career I’m just grateful for the opportunity to walk through those doors every day.