Orchard Park (WKBW.com) NT Kyle Williams(undisclosed) and QB/WR Brad Smith (foot) were held out of practice on Monday as a precaution, but the Bills welcomed back a couple of injured players. Wide receivers Roscoe Parrish, and Donald Jones returned to the practice field. The Bills also tried to get newly signed LB Kirk Morrison adjusted to his new team. More in this edition of SportsBlast 7.0. The transcripts from Mondays workout are below.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
PM Practice – August 29, 2011
On QB/WR Brad Smith:
He twisted his foot. I don’t know if we can call it an ankle, but he hurt his foot in the ball game the other night. He finished the game but it just kind of got sore on him so we’re being precautionary and we’re holding him out right now.
On NT Kyle Williams:
Same thing. He played in the game and did fine but we’re being precautionary with a few things right now.
On getting a lot of guys back at practice today:
They’re limited. We’re just breaking them back in slowly. They got to practice today but we’re going to be very careful with those guys.
On the addition of LB Kirk Morrison:
He’s a veteran linebacker that’s played MIKE linebacker a decent amount. He’s been productive over the years. He brings some experience, he brings speed and hopefully he’ll bring some good play to our football team. It’s going to take some work to get him involved, get him in there and get him acclimated. We’ve got a little bit of time so we’ll do the best we can.
On the veteran experience at the linebacker position:
We’ve got some guys that have played in games before and know their way around the game. We feel pretty good about that and we’ve got some good young ones. It’s going to be an interesting fight to see how that turns out.
On if he’ll use Morrison the same way he used Reggie Torbor:
I think we’ve got to evaluate that whole scenario. Let’s see what he can do first, see what he can grasp and go from there. That’s the most important thing.
On how pleased he is with the starters’ performance on Saturday:
I feel good about where we are. We don’t need to cancel practice but I feel good about where we are. We’ve got some things that we can continue to get better on and we’ve got to re-work some of the guys back in to the flow. The Donald’s (Jones) and the Roscoe’s (Parrish) have to get back into it now. There’s still a lot of work to be done before we get to the first game.
On if there’s a final decision on left tackle:
On how LT Demetrius Bell performed in the game:
He did better. He played better in this ball game. And Andy (Levitre) did a good job too.
On if this will be a typical fourth preseason game regarding starters playing time:
They’ll play. What happens is, if you don’t play them a little bit they kind of lose the feel of the game. And I don’t want them to lose the feel of the game, and playing more than two weeks away. So you let them get a few reps and then get them out. Hopefully everybody stays healthy and we accomplish something on the field.
On if this is the toughest week of the year regarding making final cuts/decisions:
Yes it is. Cutting, I’ve said it every time I’ve done an interview and somebody asks me about it, releasing players is the hardest job I have. People put so much into it. It’s hard.
On if the attitude in the locker room was different after the preseason win:
I don’t know that. To be honest with you, I think our guys go out and work every day. They have some underlying confidence in what they can do and where they can be. Even though we hadn’t done as well as we liked I think they believe in themselves and I think they came out here today not with anything special or different, but with that confidence renewed a little bit.
On if the confidence level has changed based on the first team’s performance Saturday:
I guess I’d be lying if I didn’t say yes. I feel better about it. You want to go out and play good every time. It’s been more disappointing the first couple of times than it have been any kind of feeling of accomplishment. But it was good to get one under the belt that felt good and that looked good.
On if LB Nick Barnett is finding a comfort zone:
Probably he is. You’d have to ask him, but it looks like he is to me. I tell you what, he enjoys playing the game and he enjoys coming to practice.
On if he was still surprised that Morrison was still a free agent:
I think there was a lot of people that were shocked that a guy like him was still out there and on the market. We were fortunate. I think there were other teams that were after him. I think we were fortunate that we were able to get him on our football team.
On how disappointed he was that WR Roscoe Parrish couldn’t make it through training camp and these last preseason games:
Losing him the last part of last year is the thing that hurt us. Not having him in this camp and then some games has hurt our timing. I think his knowledge is fine. I think we have a comfort level with him but there’s nothing like working on the field. We need to get those reps in, as many as we can between now and the first ball game. We can continue and pick up where we left off.
On how confident he is that Parrish can pick up where he left off:
I’m very confident he can do it. Whether we do it remains to be seen, but I’m confident he can do it. If I wasn’t confident in that I would’ve been working some other people really hard to take that spot.
LB Kirk Morrison
On what was going through his mind this offseason:
It definitely was a different offseason for me. I’ve just been at home training, working out two or three times a day and doing everything I could to be prepared for when my number was called. I knew a team was going to call me. I had a lot of interest from other teams but I was looking for the right opportunity that I could go out and be a positive leader on a football team. Buffalo was always a team that had called me from the beginning when free agency first started. They were kind of deep at linebacker, and as the numbers kind of got thin I said, “That’s a team that I’d like to play for.” Shawne Merriman did a good job of calling me, keeping me in the loop and kind of recruiting me down here. I’m excited I came down here though.
On how he feels about the veteran linebacker core:
I’ve known Nick (Barnett) for a long time. He’s been in the league for a long time. Andra (Davis) has been there for 10 years. I’ve watched Kyle Williams grow up a little bit, Chris Kelsay as well. Guys on this team, if you’re a football fanatic you know a lot of these guys. You’ve seen them work being down here. It’s a hard nose blue chip football team. I’m definitely excited to be a part of it. I know the work that they put in and the kind of guys that they are. I’m just excited for the opportunity.
On if he was surprised at how long it took to get a call from a team:
No, it’s not a surprise. There are a lot of young guys in this league and a lot of guys that were drafted. From the teams that I’ve talked to from the beginning they’ve seen my work. I’ve got six years of film and they can evaluate that to see what kind of player I am. As far as a lot of the guys they haven’t seen, they were drafted around April 30th and not one team had a chance to see them in person until the first week of training camp. So the evaluation process was sort of a quick one for a lot of teams. And teams told me to be patient. They just had to see what those guys (rookies) could do before seeing decisions on where I would be at.
On where he will be playing linebacker:
I’ve got to play a lot of catch up first. The good thing about it is that I’ve played a lot of football in this league and I know a lot of different defenses. I’ve played for, going on my seventh year, this is my fifth head coach. I’ve been in a lot of systems, fourth defensive coordinator, fourth linebacker coach, so I’ve seen the game through a lot of different eyes. I’m excited to bring my knowledge of what I’ve learned over my first six years, and I know being around Andra (Davis), Nick Barnett and a lot of those guys who have been around the league too, it’s good football minds thinking together.
On what kind of player he is:
I’ve just been a consistent player. I’ve started the last 95 consecutive games of my career. I’ve never missed a game in the NFL. One thing is that I study hard and I work hard. On Sunday you can count on me to be there. That’s how I’ve always been. My role here is still kind of up in the air because I just got here. I’ve got to do a lot of catch up, learn a lot of the defense and until that happens I’m definitely comfortable with sitting behind Andra (Davis) and Nick (Barnett) and being a part of a rotation. You still have Kelvin Sheppard, too, who is learning, seeing him out there working. We’ve got a good group of guys and we’re going to learn and feed off of each other.
On if guys like NT Kyle Williams and DE Marcell Dareus helped him choose Buffalo:
If you’re a linebacker, the first thing you want to know if who’s in front of you. Talking to Shawne (Merriman) he said, “It’s myself, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Chris Kelsay up front. We’re going to keep you clean. We’re going to keep you free.” When you hear a guy like that talk and tell you things like that you get excited as a linebacker. One of my mentors has been Ray Lewis since I’ve been in the league. The guys that he had in front of him, Terrell Suggs and guys of that stature, he said that that’s the best way to play football because you have guys in front of you who are going to work their butt off and keep you clean.
WR Donald Jones
On how it felt to get back out on the field today:
It defiantly feels good to be back out there. It stinks to have to sit out for practice and games so it definitely felt good to get back on the field, catching passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick and being back in the huddle with Stevie Johnson and Roscoe Parrish.
On how he is looking at this game in terms of playing time:
This last preseason game like you said the coaches want to get the starters out quickly but they want to make sure guys keep that feel for the game. Going in to the game the starters know what they have to do so really it is for the younger guys to put forth their best effort and try to make this team.
On if he wants to play a few more reps this week than normal:
I’m back on the field today but we are still being careful and they are not trying to get me back out there too fast. If you have one (concussion) and you get hit too fast you will be back out. I don’t really know how much I will play out there. We will just have to wait and see come Thursday.
On if he would be shocked if they held him out until the season opener:
I definitely would not be shocked if they held me out, especially talking to the doctors. They are trying to be as careful as they can be with how bad my concussion was. So I would not be shocked if they said that I would have to sit out this one, too.
On if he has ever had a concussion:
I had one last year against New England. I didn’t blackout. But it is definitely scary for me and for my family. Anytime you see someone blackout the way I did, it is scary. I was out of it for a little bit but once I got it all together, I didn’t really have any memory loss or anything like that so I’m fine.