PITTSFORD (WKBW) The Bills got back to work Monday after a day off Sunday, as they begin preps for their preseason opener. Channel Seven's Sports Director Jeff Russo has a full recap, just click on the video link.
Below is a full transcript of player and coach sound from Monday (release):
Former Bills WR Andre Reed
Monday, August 6, 2012
On practices being different nowadays than back when he played:
I think you have to realize that nowadays the protection of the players is probably the number one key to what the league wants to do with the concussions and all of that. Training camp is training camp, it does not matter. It is a grind. It does not matter when or where it is. Definitely protection is number one. You are not going to see that much hitting. Some teams will do more than others but it is a lot different than when I played. My rookie year we were in training camp two and a half, three weeks before the vets even got there, full pads. That is just the difference of it.
On what his expectations for this Bills' team are:
Nobody expected them last year to do anything and they were 5-2 last year. They got a little bit of the injury bug and kind of lost a little mojo there towards the middle of the season. Definitely expecting some big things. With the addition of Mario Williams and how he is going to work with (Marcell) Dareus, Kyle Williams and how is (Shawne) Merriman going to be this year. Expectations on defense are phenomenal.
Offensively you just have to rely on your main guys. Ryan (Fitzpatrick) doing what he has to do. It will be interesting to see what they do with the running backs with Fred Jackson and (C.J.) Spiller. I think in the league now you have to have two guys who can do different things. Both of those guys are phenomenal at what they do. If Chan (Gailey) does it right, uses those guys right, it will take a lot of pressure off of Ryan and the passing game.
On what he sees in WR Stevie Johnson:
I see a little bit of me in a way. Maybe not some of the little antics he does. Stevie is one of those players where he is just consistent. I think he definitely brings that experience. You look at the roster and you look at the receivers, it is not a lot of experience on the field that they have. He is five years in the league. It is kind of the peak of his career right now. They are going to look to him. You never know who is going to be that number two guy, but that is a battle that is going to go through training camp. It will be interesting to see who is going to take some pressure off of him.
The bottom line is it all comes down to the guys blocking up front. You need to have a stud left tackle and I guess Cordy Glenn is doing a good job. We will see who they plug in. That has been a problem for them the last couple of years, the left tackle spot. Again it will be interesting to see who that guy is going to be.
They have the veterans here that they can do it. Stephon Gilmore, I have heard a lot about him as a defensive back, what he can and what he brings. Just watching him today, it is just a lot of confidence. And for a rookie to be on an island like that, you have to have the confidence. And it looks like he has it. It is going to be interesting to see him too.
On interacting with the fans and their expectations for the season:
They love it. Definitely. I think with the addition of Mario (Williams), it went from 70-percent to 100-percent really quick. It was like Bruce (Smith). He is a Bruce Smith kind-of-guy. He has a track record of what he did in Houston. He is going to bring whatever he has to in order to make that defense better. It should be the best defensive line in the game if they are all healthy at the right time.
On if he has an opinion yet on the quality of the team's receivers aside from Stevie Johnson:
Not really. I have watched a little bit and saw that T.J. Graham can run. Who cannot run nowadays? I think (Derek) Hagan, (Marcus) Easley and all those guys are fighting for the number two and three spot. We are going to see in the preseason and training camp who is going to come out in the lead there. You go into camp every year with the expectation that there is going to be a guy who is going to be on that bubble. Who is that guy going to be-is he going to be able to step up or not?
On the necessity of having two quality receivers:
The first few (years of my career) I had nobody. Then here comes (James) Lofton, (Don) Beebe and all these other guys. You guys know, I played in the right time. Even though I was a number one guy to a certain point, I had number one guys around me all the time. That is the mentality you do have to have. Those guys help you, you help them. We are all number ones.
On being up for induction to the Hall of Fame:
(Laughs) No, I do not even think about it anymore. It is not that I do not think about it. My Twitter was going crazy yesterday and the day before. There were a lot of Bills fans there in Canton even though nobody got inducted from the Bills. Just getting a lot of love from Bills fans and people all over the country that say 'next year we want to be here when you are here.' When it happens, it happens. This is eight years now. So it is no different than any other year. I did a lot of media last year and I think this year I am probably not going to do as much of the media thing. I will talk about it a lot once it comes up a little bit more. I'll be more interested in watching this team this year. Getting out of this 13-year funk of not being in the playoffs. That is just not acceptable around here, definitely.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
PM Practice - Monday, July 6, 2012
On the day off allowing injured players to get back on the field:
Yeah, it was nice. To get all of those guys out, I thought they pushed through well. The only one we did not get for any prolonged time was, I think, David Nelson. I think pretty much everybody else came out and stayed maybe longer than I thought they would.
On the secondary's performance in practice:
I thought they made some plays. Both sides made plays today. I think that was a positive in some respects. Offensively you want to eliminate the turnovers and defensively you cannot allow them to get in the end zone. There were plays on both sides. We had some guys that went out and did a good job today. I thought there was a little bit more pep in their step today after a day off as well.
On the team not just going through the motions during training camp:
No, they are not trying to make it through, they are trying to get better. That is what we challenge them with every day. Come out here to get better. You are going to be here. You have got to be here. If you are going to be here, why not try to be your best. That is what we challenge them with every day.
On if he is happy with how the team is responding to his messages:
Yeah, I am but it is going to go up another level when all this live stuff starts Thursday night. Some of these young guys have no clue, to be honest with you.
On who will start at right tackle against Washington with OT Erik Pears out:
I do not know yet. We are going to make that decision tomorrow or the next day. Somewhere like that. If Erik cannot play, which it looks like right now that will not happen, both of them will play quite a bit. (Chris) Hairston and Sam (Young) will both play.
On Pears' injury status:
Yeah, it looks good to be honest with you. (Pears) saw the specialist and he gave him some things to work with and it looks like it is going to pay dividends. He was trying to get out here to practice. I do not know if he made it out at all or not. I think it looks a lot better than it did three days ago. That is for sure.
On the status of the other injured plays:
I would say we will not push David (Nelson). We will not push Eric (Wood). Terrence (McGee) I do not know about pushing him. He was supposed to take a few more reps today. I do not know. We will see what happened with that. We will see how that plays out. The two I would know right now are kind of those two.
On WR Stevie Johnson's status:
Stevie looked like he made it through. If there is no residual from today's work, I do not see why he cannot go.
On if Shawne Merriman is full-go:
On QBs Tyler Thigpen and Vince Young's completion percentage rising in the last couple of practices:
The installation has gone slower the last couple of days so we are getting to repeat some things. When you get to repeat them, you get sharper and crisper on your reads and it has paid dividends. They are seeing things and doing some things with the football that are a lot better than the first few days.
On if LB Nick Barnett is alright:
Yeah, he got cut on his arm the other night and he had a couple of stitches in there. I do not think he missed a rep today. That was impressive.
On how much the starters will play against Washington:
Somewhere around 15 or 18 plays. Something like that. That is what the plan is going in. If they are in the middle of a drive, we might keep our ones out there. If we are in the middle of a drive, we might keep our ones out there. If it is 13 and they have played well, we might get them out if it is the end of a series. Somewhere around that 15 or 18.
On looking forward to how the defense will match up against Redskins QB Robert Griffin III:
Somewhat, but you do not game plan for this game. That guy is going to make his plays, just because he is a great athlete, great player. I want to see if communication is good. If effort, if our tackling is good. Those are the things that you are looking at. The fundamentals. Much more the scheme than how many plays are made or not made. You want to make them, do not get me wrong. But you want to see the fundamentals take place in the ball game this week on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game.
On what his opinion of Griffin is:
I do not know, he is a great athlete. I saw him when he was coming out but I did not pay him much attention because we were not going to draft a quarterback.
On how rookies handle the first preseason game:
Depends on the guy. I do not think Stephon (Gilmore) will be flustered a lick being out there in the first game. Some of the others might be a little bit more wide-eyed. But (Gilmore) has lined up in big games, in front of big crowds and I do not think it will bother him a lick.
On what makes a great player:
The greatest players I have been around, for the most part, have been the hardest workers. And that is what I try to remind them. There are a lot of talented people, but those that end up being great which means you have a chance to be in the Hall of Fame are hard workers. I try to tell them, if we get in that conversation, I try to relate that to them. I have never seen a great one that did not work hard. Only substitution for hard work is a miracle. And I believe in miracles but they just do not happen that often.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
PM Practice - Monday, August 6, 2012
On there being good plays on both sides of the ball today:
Yes there definitely were. It was one of those days, looking at it offensively; a lot of it was feast or famine. We made a lot of plays but we had some turnovers, too. That is the kind of stuff that we are trying to avoid. We need to have the consistency come out and make some of those big plays and avoid the bad ones. Obviously that is what football is about and that is something we are continuously trying to work on.
On FS Jairus Byrd being a ballhawk today:
The guy stepped in his rookie year and had nine picks. We all know he has a great nose for the ball and he has done a great job this entire offseason in terms of being a guy that is in the right spot and always seems to be making plays. He is certainly a guy that we are going to hope makes a lot of plays this year.
On anything that stands out about Byrd and his development:
Jairus is a guy that is always putting in the extra effort whether it is working out, taking care of his body, or coming and asking questions. From me, studying other players, talking to other players, he is a guy that just wants to be better. It is easy for a guy to rest on what he did his rookie year but he is a guy that has continued to improve. Even the physicality of his game, to me from the sideline watching him, he has become a much better player. He has continued to get better every year and we are hoping for big things this year.
On if TE Scott Chandler can be just as good as the wide receivers:
We are hoping Scott is going to be a huge contributor for us and there are obviously a lot of guys, Stevie being number one, and after that a lot of different guys we are going to hope contribute and have big years. That is how Chan's offense is. You have got to be able to spread it around and rely on a variety of guys to make plays and sometimes it is the running backs out there, too. But Scott has done a great job in the offseason and this camp, and I feel like our relationship and chemistry on the field is just continuing to get better.
On WR David Nelson most likely not going to play Thursday night:
I am sure David would want to be out there. We have played enough and we have a few games remaining here in the preseason where he is going to have plenty of time to get back to it. The biggest thing is to have him healthy for Week One because he is going to be a big part of what we are doing.
On if there are any specific aspects of the offensive unit that he is curious to see play out in this first preseason game:
I think the running game is always something, just preseason in general because it is so hard to gauge that stuff out here. Rarely are we live and our backs are so good in terms of breaking tackles. The linemen can not cut blocks so there is a lot of stuff in the run game that we do not get to see on the practice field but you hope it comes to provision during these preseason games. That will be something we are watching for sure and then the other thing is just some of the younger guys; getting them out there and seeing how they react to playing under the lights and all of that but it is always interesting; the first game.
CB Aaron Williams
AM Walk Through - Monday, August 6, 2012
On if it feels like a game week with the first preseason game approaching:
It always feels like a game week. Anytime we play somebody else, it always feels like a game. Even if it is preseason you are still going to go out and do the best you can. It is going to feel great hitting somebody else other than Fred (Jackson), Stevie (Johnson) or any of those guys.
On what he is doing to make sure he stays healthy this season:
I have been getting with our trainers really well this year. Last year not really knowing how to keep your body healthy because in college you just go in there and say 'Ok, I am hurt.' Here you really have to keep up with your body. I am really on that and learning with the vets do. Vince (Young) is really helping me out with that.
On how much the tempo picks up from practice to the first preseason game:
What Coach (Gailey) said to me the other day was 'preseason is the lowest speed and then once it hits the regular season it boosts up the speed, then playoffs. It always boosts up.' At the same time, you have to go out there and work hard. Do what you are supposed to do.
On if he feels like he has a better handle on the tempo with it being his second year:
It has actually slowed down for me quite a bit. I know what to expect. I know how preseason works. I know what the ramifications of the speed of the game are going to be during preseason.
On how many reps he likes to get in practice:
The key thing in being here is get as many reps as you can. A lot of times guys do not get as many reps as they want to. So anytime you have the opportunity to go out there and get a rep, you always want to get a mental rep, but it is better to actually be out there doing a rep with the team. I try to get as many reps as I can.
On always playing at full speed:
Full speed no matter what, even if it is a walk-through. Coach has a rule that for a walk-through or even a meaningless ball thrown to a receiver, knock it down no matter what.
WR Donald Jones
PM Practice - Monday, August 6, 2012
On competing for the No. 2 receiver position:
I feel like everybody at the receiver position is doing their jobs. We are all battling hard and it is going great for everybody. We just have to let it play out and see how it goes.
On the defense winning most of the battles in today's practice:
We are going back and forth. Sometimes the defense will win, some days the offense will win. It really should be like that. In this league we are all getting paid so we should not just be a lopsided team; it should be going back and forth and that's the way it is right now.
On his performance so far at camp:
I feel like I am doing good. I have definitely caught basically all the passes that I have had thrown at me except for that earlier one today which I was really pissed (upset) about. I feel like I am doing good.
On how many dropped balls he has had in camp:
By my count, two drops all camp. It is a good percentage but I should not have any.
On the importance of not taking a day off, given the competition:
You cannot take a day off at any position, whether you are battling or not. You cannot come out here and take a day off. You should be coming out here, getting better every day and as a professional it is what you should be doing. Nobody should be out here just taking a day off.
On if it feels like a game week even though it is only the first preseason game:
It is a little bit different than the season right now but guys are definitely excited for the game. We are tired of going against the same guys everyday. We cannot wait to get out there Thursday and get to go against a different team but it definitely feels different than the regular season.