Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey, along with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, wide receiver Stevie Johnson, linebacker Chris Kelsay and safety George Wilson addressed the media on Wednesday.
The following is a transcript of those interviews provided by the Bills:
Head Coach Chan Gailey
On where the team’s confidence is right now:
I think you have to have the old 24-hour rule, I think you do. Win or lose I think you have to get back to being a pro and doing what it takes to get yourself ready to play. Each guy has that responsibility and I have the overall responsibility to make sure we’re headed in the right direction. It’s not easy. Nobody likes to lose. You have a lot more confidence when you’re winning. You deal with it and that’s part of it. You deal with it.
On the play of rookie LB Kelvin Sheppard this season since becoming a starter:
He has made a lot of strides this year. He’s still making mistakes that rookies make from time to time. He’s aggressive and he’s getting better at his reads. He’s getting a lot more comfortable playing every day and I think that he is going to be a good player as time goes on. I see improvement each week in him.
On WR Stevie Johnson’s hand injury:
On CB Aaron Williams and TE Scott Chandler’s chances of playing this week:
Aaron’s going to practice today. Scott is not going to practice today. I have a lot of hope for Aaron. I don’t have much hope for Scott making it.
On having to simplify the offense because of injuries:
It’s probably more of making sure we try to get guys up to speed than it is simplifying because if you simplify too much then all of the sudden you become predictable and that’s not what you want to be. One of our advantages is we have a quarterback who can do a lot of different things because he is an intelligent player. So I don’t want to take away from him. I think we’ve got to challenge our other guys to get up to speed with everything.
On the Dolphins playing after the whistle and how to balance having an edge against extra-curricular activity:
I talk about playing smart. This game is an emotional game and if it’s not you’re in the wrong business. It’s got to be an emotional game but you’ve got to play smart. You can’t retaliate. Retaliation gets you in trouble and gets the team in trouble. You have to be smart about making sure that you are striking your blows and making your hits from snap to whistle and not afterwards. I can’t control what other people do but you can always control what you do yourself.
On the team having extra motivation after being embarrassed the first meeting:
I hope so. I think if you’re a competitor you feel like things went as bad as they did in all phases in that ball game, you want to rectify that. Lots of times you don’t get that opportunity and we get that opportunity to do something about it.
On if he expects the Dolphins to stick to their “MO” after the coaching change:
I don’t know what to expect, I really don’t. I’ve never been in this situation that I can recall. I probably have been but I can’t remember a time I’ve been in this situation. So I don’t know what to expect out of their team.
On if they can exploit things a little more in the pass rush being that it’s the second time around:
That’s what you hope. You hope that you can create pressure. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. I know that that’s up in the air for them right now. I don’t think it matters who it is. We’re always trying to do that. We have not done a good job of that this year. Hopefully this is a week we can do a good job of it. We need to get that done. It helps your whole football team when you do that.
On what he knows of QB JP Losman:
I don’t know anything. I did not watch the film yet of last week’s game. I don’t know really anything.
On the job that RT Erik Pears has done and his new contract:
Erik has done a great job. He really has. He’s been very solid and very consistent. He’s brought a level of toughness, a work ethic to our football team and to the offense line in particular. He’s done a very good job. I’m glad Buddy (Nix) and the front office were able to get that done. He’s going to be part of our future.
On if something clicks better with the defense in the second half:
I think that once you get a better familiarity with what a team’s trying to do you do a good job and a better job of slowing that crew down. I think that’s inherent in most defenses. And the key offensively is to not use everything in the first three or four series then keep them a little bit off balance if you possibly can.
On if he throws the game plan out once getting down so early on in the game:
Not that early. You don’t that early. You do think about throwing it a little bit more than you think about running it when you get behind. Sometimes, not every time, but sometimes that’s the quickest way to make a big play and try to get yourself back into the ball game.
On what he has seen from DE Alex Carrington this season:
Alex made a big jump early this season. He’s leveled off the last two or three weeks. I still think that as time goes on he will continue to grow and be a good player for us. His production has fallen off in the last two or three games. A lot of that is circumstances. The ball hadn’t come around him or they haven’t run in his gap. I think he’s a little bit of a victim there but at the same time I think he’s a very good player, a solid player and a guy that we’re going to have to have play extremely well in the future.
On NT Torell Troup’s back surgery:
I talked to the doctors, this is one time I talked to the doctors I just happened to be in there when the doctor was there. He explained to me the surgery and thinks he’ll be full go by May.
On what thinks of NT Marcell Dareus’ rookie season:
He’s had a very, very good season for a rookie or for a vet he’s had a very good season. He came in here with an idea that he was going to make an impact on our football team and he’s done that. We’ve got to keep him playing at that level and higher as time goes on and get everybody to get up to that level. That’s what we’ve got to have.
On if that’s the expectation that he had when taking Dareus so high in the draft:
Yeah, sure it is. There was a spot, a readymade spot for him. That worked out well too. He already had a spot that he was very comfortable with. It worked out for him to be immediately successful. You don’t get that every time. He had that opportunity and he took advantage of it.
On if Williams will get the start at corner this week:
Let’s see how he does in practice. I think we have to wait and see how he does in practice before we make that decision.
On if WR Marcus Easley will be ready to play next season and if he would be cleared health-wise:
That’s up to him. We’re going to give him every opportunity but that’s up to him. Every player gets an opportunity. What they do with that opportunity is totally up to them. No question he will be healthy.
On the speculation of the team taking a quarterback in the first-round of the draft:
Talk to Buddy about that kind of stuff. I don’t believe that’s anywhere in the thought process.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
On simplifying the offense because of injuries:
We have some new guys in some new spots. I think anytime you’re out there thinking on the field it slows you down. I think simplification is probably a good thing just in terms of making sure everybody’s on the same page and getting everything in practice versus multiple looks. I think that’s where we are right now and it’s probably a good thing to do that.
On if it’s dumbing down the offense or just simplifying:
It’s probably; those are probably similar in terms of teaching an offense to guys.
On this game being an opportunity to match the Dolphins physically unlike the first game:
They really handed it to us in the first match-up. We know they’re a physical team but they did a great job being more physical than we were. They created the turnovers and really beat us up pretty good. For us it’s going to be about a little bit going out there and remembering what happened to us last time and trying to take care of business here. Anytime you face a team and they embarrass you a little bit, you want to get back at them. Luckily we’ve got the opportunity to do that because they’re in our division.
On if the Dolphins extracurricular play from the first meeting give them a little edge for this game:
You have to play within yourself. You can’t get into those games. There were definitely some big shots that were taken in that game whether there were flags or not. We’re going to play within ourselves. That’s something that we still have got to be a disciplined team. We still have to go out there and fight and play between the whistles.
On if he recalls guys throwing in the towel during the first game at Miami:
We were getting beat pretty good. They beat us in all three phases. They certainly embarrassed us when we played there. It’s hard to be on the field and be embarrassed by another team. We’ll think about that. We’ll take that into account. It doesn’t mean we’re going to play any harder. We’re going to out there and give our best effort. We’re not going to forget about that last meeting and we want to have a better memory of this game.
On how playing from behind has played into the struggles on offense:
It’s discouraging. It’s happened for more than just the defense has given up plays. It’s turnovers, it’s putting them in a bad situation and stuff that’s happening on special teams. It’s definitely not just one phase. That certainly changes the way you approach and attack things. You can’t, I was talking with Buddy a little bit today, I think it was Philip Rivers that said, but he basically said that you can’t go out there and throw a 14-point touchdown. You have to play within yourself and I think that’s the biggest thing. Looking at some of those games where they’ve gotten away from us, looking at some of those turnovers that have occurred when we’ve been down, you have to play within yourself. You have to continue to make positive plays rather than digging yourself a bigger hole by trying to force stuff and trying to stuff you don’t need to.
On if he has had to change the offensive game plan early in games from being down:
Chan has said, in some of them we’ve gotten away from the run a little bit because we’ve had to. That’s a big part of what we want to do. I’d say yes in the sense that we fall behind and you’ve got to sit back there and throw on all the plays. It’s one of those things where that’s what’s made this streak of losses very difficult. We haven’t been able to do some of the stuff we wanted to especially in the second half just because we’ve fallen behind like we have.
On how important this game is for him personally:
I think anytime you have a bad effort like I did last week you want to get back on track. These last three games, although they don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things in terms of getting us to the playoffs, they do mean a lot in terms of how we’re going to approach the offseason, the attitude we have going into next season and the feelings we have in the locker room going into next season. These last three games are very important for us in that regard and in getting some of that confidence back not only for me but for everybody on the team. Gaining some of that confidence and swagger that we had at the beginning of the year and being able to carry that over into the offseason.
On the possibility of losing to Miami this week and being at the bottom of the division:
It’s a goal of ours now looking at what we have left to go 3-3 in the division. We certainly don’t want to end up 1-5. That was something coming into the year you’ve got to be able to handle those teams. Unfortunately the two losses to the Jets and the one to Miami, we haven’t done that and that’s a lot of the reasons we find ourselves in the position we are in right now. This is an important game for that reason.
On quarterbacks getting too much blame when they lose and if he feels like that now:
It’s part of the position. I’m a guy that I don’t mind taking the blame to be honest. It’s a hard thing for a lot of guys. I’ve been there before. This is my seventh year. This isn’t my first year in the league. I’ve been a part of a lot of teams, whether I was playing or not playing, where there have been a lot of struggles. I think one of the main qualities of a quarterback is you can’t let what’s happened or what people are talking about affect your play week in week out. When you have a bad game I’m not driving in my car listening to the radio getting ready to drive into Lake Erie. That’s not me. I’m a guy that’s going to go home, going to get away from the game a little bit, going to enjoy my family and then I’m going to focus on next week and getting better and figuring out how we’re going to beat the Dolphins. That’s the way you have to approach it and the way that I know how to approach it. The criticism is always going to be there. It’s a lot easier when you’re winning. It’s a lot easier to come in and wake up at 5AM and drive to work when everybody’s patting you on the back and happy. That’s part of it as a quarterback being able to do it all of the time, not just when things are going well.
On being part of a coaching change in the middle of the season:
I’ve been part of that more than once actually. When I was in St. Louis I was part of that and then being a part of it here. Every situation is different. If anything it might give the team a little more energy just to play hard for the new guy. I think that’s probably what happened with us when Perry (Fewell) stepped in. There was a renewed sense of energy and optimism if you will. Every situation’s different so I’d hate to comment of their situation not knowing about it.
On former Bills QB JP Losman possibly starting for the Dolphins on Sunday:
I don’t know JP (Losman). I wasn’t here with him. I definitely heard about him and know about him from other guys. It’s one of those things where I’ve got a lot of things that I have on my plate that I’ve got to correct and that we’ve got to do to get this thing moving in the right direction that it’s not even something I think about or worry about.
WR Stevie Johnson
On the Dolphins talking after the first game about the Bills physicality:
I think the fact that they got their win and they beat us which is obvious. Then you go out in the media afterwards and talk about being soft and this and that. You won, you won that’s it. Any other team comes out and gets a win nobody’s saying anything. You do your job and that’s it. They felt the need to come out and say stuff that’s really irrelevant and started a little fire in me and hopefully it did with the people around me, so I’m looking forward to playing this game and coming out with an attitude. It’s not like we don’t come out with an attitude but a little more just for what was said.
On how to use that attitude:
Nothing, it isn’t anything illegal. Just come out and be more focused. We’re not playing for playoffs or anything but to play for this, you have to have heart and show heart. You’re not going to let anybody come into your place and talk crap about you, just going out and playing, focus.
On feeling disrespected by Miami:
I don’t know if they hit after the whistle, but just the words that were said basically I felt like that was irrelevant. That’s a part of the game and you can’t really complain about it. You just have to go out and make plays on those guys.
On getting that extra motivation for a game with no playoff implications:
It does but really it’s the NFL. You come out every week and you have to be able to be ready to ball. But just to answer your question, yeah you talk trash. You want to go out even though you’re not going to the playoffs, let’s make it interesting and let’s make it fun.
On making positive steps these last three games:
You know for us, we know we put in work. We work hard every day but just for the fans so they can see that this is a team that is not giving up even though there’s no playoffs in the future. We could still end the season on a good note and maybe things will roll over to next year. We’ll see how that goes but for this season and just for the fans so they can see this team has no quit.
On looking to next year for himself:
Yeah, I’ve thought about that as far as being a Buffalo Bill. I want to be here, period.
On simplifying the offense for the younger players:
Everybody that’s in our room I think we’re all caught up. As far as receivers go we came in young anyways. This is most guys’ second year in the league and they have a big burden on their shoulders just being in this league and making the plays they’ve made in the position that they’re in. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem with guys stepping up or making plays because guys have already done that. With the offense being simplified it’s still an NFL playbook, so it’s all the same to me.
On if he thought a deal would have been done earlier:
At first yeah, that was months ago but now it is what it is. We know it’s a business. We’ll see what they do. They have plans upstairs to maybe make moves and then bring me back later on so we’ll just see how that plays out.
On possibly hitting the free agency market in March:
If there’s nothing going on here then we’ll have to see what happens after that. I’m ready to just play these games and just see what happens from there. I don’t really want to. We already tried all of that months ago and we’re just ready to play these games now and see what happens later on.
On if the Bills approached him about his contract, would he listen during the season:
I guess so if everything was right then, yeah why not? For the most part we’re just trying to play the rest of these games and see what happens after that.
On if he would approach the Bills about a contract:
No, we’re good. We’re just going to ride it out and see what happens the rest of the season.
LB Chris Kelsay
On a chance to play against former Bills QB JP Losman:
Yeah you know (Matt) Moore went down, I think with a concussion. They said something about back spasms, but regardless we’re preparing for whoever they play. They both are mobile. Matt can scramble, obviously JP (Losman) is known for making stuff happen with his legs when he was here. He’s got a strong arm that can make the throws so I think preparation-wise really isn’t too much of a difference for us.
On seeing Losman get another chance in the NFL:
That’s good for him. I mean I don’t really think much of it. I’m looking at what we can do and an opportunity to win a football game. I’m sure that he’s excited to get an opportunity if that’s what happens for him.
On Miami giving up nine sacks and the struggles of their offensive line:
We obviously look at their pressures and the sacks they’ve given up but at the end of the day we have to do the same. Obviously we haven’t been able to do that the last several games. There are times that we’re around the quarterback, we’ll have him brought to the ground and it’s tough because if you make a team one-dimensional it helps your defense tremendously. But if they’re allowed to run the ball, set their play action and throw the ball downfield it opens up their entire play book. So, the onus is on us getting to the quarterback when we have the opportunity.
On what kept the Bills from being effective the first meeting at Miami:
It’s a bunch of things. We have to work better together as a four-man rush. It takes four guys to rush the quarterback. We don’t have a guy that’s going to go out and get you 10, 15, 16 sacks. So, it’s something that we have to come together as a group. We have to prepare hard this week and realize the different looks that we’re getting. And when we do get those looks we have to take advantage of it because every team you play has weak links along the line and if you can see who those guys are and take advantage of the weaknesses and work together as a unit good things will happen. But, again, the onus is on us to recognize that and then to just work hard to get to the quarterback.
On being aware of Losman’s weaknesses:
I don’t know how many of us are left that played with JP. I know Spencer (Johnson) played a year with him. He’s been known to hold the ball which is good for a defensive line that’s rushing the passer but they’re going to have schemes and plays that are designed for him to excel. Defensively we have to be able to counter that and get to him… Again what JP (Losman) does, what they do with JP (Losman) if he is the one that plays that’s their business. Really our business this week is preparing and playing our game against them.
On the rivalry with the Dolphins:
It’s a huge rivalry, it’s a divisional game, I think anybody that’s been around here long enough realizes that. Obviously the fans realize that and to go down there earlier in the season and lose the way we did, you know it stings. I’ve been around here a long time. We’ve won some games and we’ve lost some games against them, but the rivalry is there. The way they kind of called us out after the game saying that we quit and just laid down, we don’t have a good taste in our mouth so we’re going to give them everything we got.
SS George Wilson
On possibly facing JP Losman on Sunday:
I haven’t played with JP (Losman) in his time here in Buffalo. He has a great arm, has a lot of arm strength and can get the ball down the field. He can scramble, but at the same time he hasn’t been in there a whole lot so he’s not that comfortable in their offense just yet as far as seeing game action. But with (Matt) Moore possibly being banged up, we know he’s probably getting a lot more work this week in practice and them preparing him to be able to come in here on Sunday and possibly being able to play more snaps then he has been.
On seeing the Dolphins give up nine sacks last week:
We’re hoping to get pressure on the quarterback but pass coverage and pass pressure goes hand in hand. The front has to do their job and us on the back end have to do our job of covering those guys up to give our front more time to get there as well as the front getting to the quarterback so we don’t have to cover all day so it goes hand in hand.
On the Dolphins-Bills rivalry:
I’m not for sure what was said but just watching the tape there was a lot of extracurricular activities so to speak going on after the play, after the whistle. We’re very mindful of what they’re trying to do, you know like I said I don’t know what exactly has been said but they have to come into a different environment right now that’s not going to be sunny and tropical coming in on Sunday. So we’ll see how they handle those conditions as well as having to see us again.
On matching their physicality and taking advantage of the second chance to play Miami:
Any time you’re able to play a division opponent the second time around you know you are able to go back and see the tape and how they attacked you the first time you met, so that’s what we’re doing now. We know that for the most part they’re going to stick to their guns even though they had a change in head coach over this last week. We think they’re still going to stick to the core things that they do best and that’s just trying to run the ball and get the ball to their playmakers in the passing game.
On the morale of the team right now:
We’re just fighting and scratching to get one, get a victory. I’m not even sure how many consecutive loses it has been but we’re certainly working to get that bitter taste out of our mouths. It’s definitely tough looking back on where we were at the beginning of the season and where we are now. It’s definitely frustrating to see the opportunities that we let slip through our grasp throughout the season but we’re trying to finish this thing out on a strong and positive note. We have three games remaining starting with the Dolphins this week.