Head Coach Doug Marrone
Training Camp — August 12, 2013
Really, the day after the game, as far as injury status goes, really the only guy that wasn’t out there today who played yesterday was Dorin Dickerson. He had an ankle, so he wasn’t out there today. During practice, really, T.J. Graham and Kourtnei Brown just had a little pull in their groin, so we’ll just see how that goes. But again, everybody that was out on the field, I think it was important to, you know, we were on a short week. We got ourselves off to a good start. We still have a lot of work to do. I said that yesterday. I told that to the team. Today they came out there and they worked extremely hard. So, they’re hungry to get better. We’re hungry to get better just as a team.
Q: Did (Kraig) Urbik get hurt on that last play?
A: If he did, Bud (Carpenter), the trainer, did not inform me of that. Usually what I try to do as I’m walking off the field, Bud will tell me. And this way, when I come here, I’ll be able to answer those questions. But he did not tell me.
Q: What about Kevin (Kolb)? Where is his progress?
A: He’s just coming back so we’re working him into it. So, I just wanted to see that and then I think it will just get better and better as we go through because really, he hasn’t practiced in quite a long time. Today we were just working him back in there.
Q: What was the decision behind giving Crezdon Butler first team reps today?
A: He did a good job. Again, we’re rotating guys through. Obviously with (Ron) Brooks, he’s our starting nickel right now. We want to make sure that, just because Leodis (McKelvin) is down, and he had been running, and we’ll see how he goes. But we don’t want to lose sight of Ron’s position as playing nickel and being maybe that third corner and just working people through there. It’s really nothing more than that.
Q: Do you see Leodis (McKelvin) as the other starter?
A: He has been when he came back and when healthy.
Q: Is Chris Hairston any closer to returning?
A: Again, we meet with the doctors on it. I think it’s just a matter of when he feels good and he’ll be out there. It’s a day by day and we’re looking forward to him coming back. I’m really just waiting for the doctors to say, ‘hey, put him on that field.’
Q: Do you foresee Kevin (Kolb) having a chance to appear in Friday’s game?
A: I mean that would be looking at it a little bit with a crystal ball. But the way I’m approaching it with the quarterback situation is really my focus right now is getting better at all those little things, which are quite a bit, and really concentrating on the practices now. And then as we get closer to the game, once we start preparing for Minnesota, then be able to say who is playing and who is not. And then just really watch him during practice.
Q: So, is it too early for you to say?
A: It’s too early for me to say.
Q: What is the decision behind having practice the day after a game?
A: We’re in a critical point. Maybe critical is not the right word. But we’re in a window of really in the evaluation process to get the players ready. I think that it’s a short week. We came back. But then again, you might’ve looked it as a practice, but we tagged off every drill, wanted to get them running around. And normally after a game, you come back, they do a heavy lifting, heavy running to flush their body out. And the players did a good job of that. Again, we may be practicing and it might be called a practice, but we’re being smart about it with the players.
Q: Would you add anything to what you maybe had to say about EJ’s (Manuel) performance yesterday?
A: Pretty much after the game, the comments I make are pretty accurate of the things that I see. Again, I was very pleased. I think we were looking for certain things in it, the intangibles. We know that he has the ability to do it, so we were looking for the reaction. And again, you saw him settle into the game and then really start to do some really good things. Again, there are a lot of things that we need to work on. We tried to get a couple of vertical passes early. It wasn’t a thing that we were really trying to protect him. But I know some people had asked me. But we had two vertical shots early on and we just couldn’t get outside the pocket. We got a little bit of pressure. Robert Woods ran a stop-and-go and won and we just couldn’t get the protection to get him out there. I’m happy with the way he has played and I was happy with the way Jeff (Tuel) played. I think it’s the same thing. It’s just consistency and progress. Those are the things we want to see and those are the things that both of those players have been doing. They have been practicing every day.
Q: How about Kiko Alonso. What has he shown you so far?
A: I think you see a player that’s progressing. The play he makes in the end zone is one heck of a play. You see him going making tackles, sidelines, see him playing special teams, playing quite a bit. Then you see the little things, back cheats out a little bit. He has to get a little further out. And those are some of the things you learn when you first come into the league. Again, his ceiling is high and our expectations of him are high.
Q: Is Justin Rogers getting closer?
A: I think I would still consider it a short time. I don’t foresee him being up this week. I think that I’ll know more the following week before the Washington game.
Q: How do you see Alan Branch fitting into this defense?
A: If you saw the play where they tried to quick trapped, a big body inside. Again, very difficult to move, can play the nose, play the three, can get some push for you, plays the run very well. He’s a stout body in there. Those guys are tough. And him and Marcell (Dareus) and obviously with Kyle Williams. Those are three pretty darn good players right there.
QB Kevin Kolb
Training Camp – August 12, 2013
Q: How does the knee feel?
A: It feels pretty good. It’s getting better every day. No setbacks. That feels good and hopefully tomorrow it’ll be the same way.
Q: Was the knee wrap uncomfortable – you took it off during practice?
A: I felt pretty good during the warm-ups and the game on Saturday with just the sleeve. I took the wrap off. It didn’t feel near as good as I thought it was going to be.
Q: Are you medically cleared to do whatever you need to do out there?
A: I think we’re taking it slowly and carefully. I’m trying to push the envelope. I’m trying to get out there and be a little part of this fun.
Q: How tough was the slip that caused your knee injury?
A: I was coming off my best practice probably and feeling really comfortable. I had just gone through telling everybody that that was the most comfortable I’ve felt in a while. For something goofy like that to happen was very frustrating. And of course, with the family situation, having to leave the team for a while, it wasn’t a good time. But you fight through those struggles and have to move on.
Q: Did you jam your knee?
A: Yeah, a little bit. I’m not sure how much Doug (Marrone) went into it, but I slipped. I ran the day before and my front leg went out and my left knee came in a little bit. A little knee cap damage there.
Q: How do you feel your mechanics have been impacted by the injury?
A: It gets better as practice goes on. But what I don’t know want to do is push myself and create a bad habit where I overcompensate. There’s a fine line there. I'm trying to weigh that out and make sure I am playing without any pain. And if I am playing with some pain, then don’t let it affect me when I’m fully healthy because I don’t want to create a bad habit.
Q: How has Coach Hackett helped you avoid creating any bad habits?
A: I think he trust me that I know what I’m doing. It’s more of a feel thing for me really because whenever this changes, the arm angle and everything up here changes. You may come down a little more because you have a stiff leg and you’re trying to protect that knee. Those are the types of things that I maybe can feel them before he can see them.
Q: Is it hard to toe that line between further injuring yourself and wanting to get back out there?
A: Yeah, especially when you’re a hard head and competitive and everything else. All that comes into effect and that’s the way I feel. When they said they were going to ease me in, I said no you’re not. I want you to put me in. That’s the way I feel. They’re going to play it smart and they can see my progress probably better than I can. Hopefully I can take the pride out of the deal and let my injury just comes along.
Q: How tough is it to miss as much time as you did?
A: It’s harder than anyone can imagine. You come back and you feel the front for the first time and you’re like ‘woah.’ It’s blurry all of the sudden. It takes a couple of days to get back in that rhythm of identifying things and understanding things and vocalizing things. A long weekend will do that to you, much less four, five, seven days, whatever it has been since I was back on the field. That’s why I didn’t want to waste another day. I wanted to get out there, even if I only got a few reps, I wanted to get some live bullets again and see what it’s like.
Q: Can you get it all back between the time you returned and Friday night’s game?
A: I hope. I think that’s the plan. That’s what I’m pushing for, but I have to let my body tell me what I can do. Again, it’s not an ideal situation.
Q: Can you gauge your chances for Friday?
A: I don’t think I can really do that. A lot of it depends on how I feel tomorrow coming back from a full practice. I would love to tell your right now that I’m playing for sure, but that’s not necessarily correct.
QB EJ Manuel
Training Camp – August 12, 2013
Q: What’s the biggest thing you took away from watching the game film?
A: I think I take a lot of confidence moving forward from (watching) it. I was glad to get that first one in the books and I’m glad we came out and got the W.
Q: How much confidence do you gain from a two-minute drill?
A: You definitely gain a lot of confidence taking that away and going into the half with some positivity. I didn’t necessarily get the drives I wanted early in the game so to finish the half like that, I was very happy.
Q: Is getting off to a faster start in Friday’s game a goal of yours?
A: We will definitely watch this one that we had yesterday and move forward to get ready for that one.
Q: Does training camp feel different today after a game like yesterday’s?
A: You have the normal soreness from a game, but I don’t feel any different.
Q: How did you feel when your helmet ear-piece shut off?
A: I just called another play. We know our offense. We try to know our offense as well as our OC. When it didn’t work, we didn’t freak out or anything. We just called another play.
Q: Because you’re not accustomed to that in college, how important was it to not freak out?
A: You just have to rely on what you know and what you have learned. We didn’t take a step back or anything like that.
Q: Did your 24-yard run help to relax you?
A: Each play, I felt more relaxed, so I can’t necessarily say it was that one run or anything. I feel like each play I got better.
Q: What is it like seeing a guy you work so closely with so well? Did Jeff Tuel’s performance push you?
A: I wouldn’t say it necessarily pushes me, but I’m happy he went out and had success. I think he was almost at 95 percent or something like that. He did a great job. All of those guys who didn’t necessarily play early in the game like Kendall Gaskins and (Brandon) Kaufman and all those receivers they had a chance to go out there and do well. I was happy to see it.
Q: Are you looking to complete more deep throws?
A: I’m fine the way it went. I would love to take some shots downfield, but if it’s not there, you take what the defense gives you.
Q: What the main differences from playing in college to the NFL?
A: I think it’s just (you have to) know that it’s the show. In the NFL, this is big time, this is the elite of the elite. Playing against and playing with guys you grew up watching on TV on the opposing team and on my team. It’s a great feeling and once the first snap was out of the way, it was football.
Q: Comment on CJ Spiller’s performance against Indianapolis.
A: It helped a lot. Seeing him in the ACC on the other side of the ball for a long time, I’m happy to be on this team now. It’s a great feeling.
Q: What do you make of CJ Spiller’s game at this point?
A: I think he’s done a great job. I didn’t necessarily see a lot of him when I was in college, but C.J. has done a great job. He’s helped me out a lot with the protection and things like that. We communicate in the backfield. He’s done a great job and I'm happy to be one of his teammates.