Pittsford (WKBW.com) The Buffalo Bills worked through a wet and wild practice at St. John Fisher College on Sunday. Eyewitness Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner was in Pittsford and has a recap.
Below are the transcripts from the interviews following practice.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
On what it is like to practice in weather like today’s wind and rain:
Well it is not something you want to do but it is good for us. You need a day like that so that you can handle a wet ball and everybody can talk about ball security on offense and you can talk about stripping the ball out on defense. So it was good for us.
On how the team handled it:
Pretty good. I think we had one ball on the ground out there. And we practiced a lot of different situations from our Wildcat to our goal-line to the regular offense. So I thought we handled it well.
On if the weather changed his play calling on the goal line:
No we worked on our stuff. You cannot let that affect you today. You can in the season but you cannot today.
On the purpose of having the officials out there today:
We had them out there yesterday and today and tomorrow. Two things: one, it keeps us alert for the little things that they may be looking for coming in to the season. And the second thing is for them to get work. They are in every year and this was our time.
On if he can remember a training camp with such sporadic weather:
No I do not remember that. I have been in heat before. I have been in heavy rains before. But last night was as cool a night as you will ever have and we have had a couple hot ones, too. So it has run the gamut of all the weather.
On if WR Derek Hagan simply cut his leg today:
I think he had a rug burn. I think that is what happened.
On if WR Donald Jones has taking command of the starting No. 2 WR spot:
He is ahead, as he was when he came here. But nothing is locked in granite right now. Everybody is still working to see where we are going to play them. We are going to play a lot of guys anyway.
On Jones having a good camp so far:
Yea he has had a very good camp. He looks quicker and faster than I remember him from last year.
On if LT Cordy Glenn has also emerged as the front-runner for the starting LT spot:
Well we are kind of working Cordy at left and (LT) Chris (Hairston) is going back and forth and (RT) Erik (Pears) is playing some reps at right. Chris is swinging right now, but we are going to get him back and get him some more LT reps before it is over with.
On LB Bryan Scott:
Bryan is a really good football player that a lot of people have not heard about. He is a leader first of all. He has a great understanding of the game. He knows defense. He can play coverage. He has gotten so much better at the run just working with (LBC) Bob Sanders at the nickel spot there. He is a valuable member of our football team and especially our defense.
On his team being able to avoid off-field issues that plague many others in the league:
I think that you first have to look at everything as individuals. The character of our football team, in my opinion, is extremely high. They are human; they are going to make some mistakes. We have just been smart about it. I think our football players have been very smart about how they handle themselves and what they do or what they do not do more importantly. It speaks to the character of the football team, the kind of guys that (GM) Buddy (Nix) and I both want on this football team.
On the health of CB Justin Rogers, S Josh Nesbitt and TE Kevin Brock:
They will all be out for this game. Probably Justin is the closest of any of them right now and we might get him back to practice a day or so before the game but we would not play him.
On what Brock injured:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
PM Practice – Sunday, August 12, 2012
On the rain during practice and how it affects games:
We get a couple of these games every year so we have to be able to deal with the elements, learn what you can and cannot do, especially for me; types of throws that I can make that I am comfortable on. It is good for the centers to snap the ball in the shot-gun, even the exchanges under center and with the running backs. It was good work for us to be out there today and do it. And I thought it was pretty productive.
On the rain affecting the football:
I think the weight of the football is not as much of an issue, it is just the slickness and how it is coming out of your hand. Some of those down-the-field throws you are going to have to put more on, so how much is too much I guess. You try to figure that out and get away with some of the shorter routes and being able to throw those and naked boots and things. I threw a couple down the field today to just try to test that out and see how it went and it all depends on the game, the day, and the type of rain and today it was fine in terms of dealing with it.
On if it has helped to have such an array of weather elements during camp:
The heat; there is that and a lot of guys are training in different spots that are a lot hotter than this so I think guys are making fun of the other guys that were talking about how hot it was especially those guys down south. But I think the rain especially, and even the windy days we have had here; I think the rain and the wind both are things we need to work through as much as we can because we get so much during the season.
On the offense during the first preseason game:
It is unacceptable what we did but we do not need to overreact either. I think there is a great sense of urgency in our team since the end of last year and how we finished up last year. Preseason, you want to go out there and play well but it is not the end of the world. We are still going to be 0-0 at the end of the preseason and ready to go. That being said, I think offensively we feel a little bit embarrassed in terms of what we put out there, and the penalties, and just the fact that we were not crisp in what we were doing. So, we want to go out and clean some of that stuff up for the next few games.
On there being referees at practice:
All of the pre-snap stuff is being called and it might bog down practice a little bit because of the plays being stopped because of a false start but we are making sure that it is stopping. A lot of the guys are being punished and if you are not doing the right thing and you are causing harm by dumb mental things; you are going to be running and trying to get to the bottom of that and put an end to it.
On having a go-to guy on the team in WR Stevie Johnson and RB Fred Jackson:
I think we expect a lot out of ourselves and we have talked about expectations over and over again but he is a guy that we look to on this team and have looked to in the past two years to make the big play when we need it. When things are not going well I am going to throw him the ball and hopefully he is going to get a first down and help get us out of it. Fred being another one of those guys that can get us going emotionally with his play on the field and I think he knows and understands what his role is and he has a big influence in terms of what we do. Eric Wood is another guy who is in the huddle at practice, there is a little bit different feel in the huddle just because of his intensity and his leadership, so it is good to get all of these guys back on the field and we are going to be heading in the right direction and I think we have the right people to do it.
On his footwork in first preseason game:
My feet were fine, I guess. There was not a whole of ‘oh we fell into a lot of bad habits’; my footwork was fine. David Lee and I talked about it after the game and there was one little thing I did on a play that again, we have a method now where ‘hey you put your foot a little bit too far ahead here’, or whatever it was. It is something we can correct on the sidelines and get going but very minor. That being said, it is a preseason game and it was the first one we had with the defense coming at you so it was good to see that I did not just fall back to old habits.
On the receivers:
I thought David Nelson started out strong since he has not practiced much. He is a guy I know I can rely on and Scott Chandler, tight end, has been a guy that is going to have a big part on our offense. I think our relationship with Derek Hagan and Donald Jones has really grown in terms of getting comfortable with those guys and making sure we are on the same page and knowing how they run their routes. We have made a lot of progress in that regard throughout training camp and I think it is just going to get better.