(WKBW.com) Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. Gailey touched on a variety of topics, including his thoughts on the Bills current contract negotiations with wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Eyewitness Sports Director Jeff Russo has more in this edition of SportsBlast 7.0.
Below is his transcript from Indy.
HEAD COACH CHAN GAILEY
2012 NFL COMBINE MEDIA SESSION – INDIANAPOLIS, IN
On if the wide receiver and cornerback positions are deep in this year’s draft class:
Looking at it, and I really have had one pre-Combine meeting about all of these guys so I’m not as well versed on as many of them as I’d like to be at this point, but they’re a lot of big wide receivers in this draft. There’s obliviously some very good corners in this draft. It’d be fun to watch them go one-on-one out there a little bit. I don’t think I can get that done but that’d be fun to do.
On how much more difficult it will be to predict the top three players to be available at the No. 10 selection vs. last year’s third overall pick:
Yea, it gets harder and harder every year the further down you go. You just have to wait and see. And then you start to prepare once you get to about pick seven or eight. Then you start to narrow it down and see what’s there and where your pick may be or who’ll you pick may be. But I think you’ll have an idea on draft day of who probably the top four or five will be so you can take it from there.
On if the type of defensive pass rusher they’re looking for will need to play with a hand on the ground in a 4-3 and drop back in coverage in 3-4:
That would not be the priority. The priority would be pass rush and set the edge in the run game. Dropping would be a once in a blue moon type deal. That wouldn’t be a lot.
On the so-called draft experts saying there isn’t a large group at defensive ends this year and how you guard from reaching for one:
That’s the biggest problem you have is trying to elevate someone because of need. I think anytime you try to do that you put yourself in a position to be in trouble down the line. It may not be an issue right there but down the line it creates a problem for yourself because you passed up a player that you may have had graded - not at the position of need - but that’s a really good football player that’ll help your team down the line.
On assessing the AFC East with some of the coaching changes that have taken place – a new head coach in Miami and new offensive coordinator in New York:
I don’t know how to assess this time of year. New England’s the defending AFC Champion and they’re there until somebody knocks them off. The rest of us are trying to fight to get there. That’s just the way it is. I think it’s a tough division, but they’re all tough. Everybody’s got a tough division so I don’t see how I can make any kind of special determination about who sits where or does what before the season starts.
On if RB C.J. Spiller is an every down back, and if not, what he needs to work on:
He could be an every down back. I don’t see any reason that he couldn’t carry it 20 or 25 (times per game) if he needed to. But he’s a valuable, versatile player; he can play wideout. We’re fortunate enough to have two very good backs so I’m going to try to make sure we keep them fresh and wear them out at the same time – does that make sense? But you want them to be on the field doing something; running routes, creating threats for the defense but not each one of them taking a pounding and both of them carrying it a lot of times every game. You want to create the diversity by this guy carries it one time and that guy carries it one time, he’s out for a pass and then he’s out for a pass. So that being said, am I saying they’re going to be in the game at the same time? I’m sure they will be. Now don’t hold me to what percentage but they will be.
On reports that Spiller wants to be the starting running back:
If every guy that I have on the team doesn’t want to be a starter then I’ve got the wrong guys. I want everybody to want to be a starter but everybody’s not. There are 11 of them. You have to learn to handle that, whoever it is. You have to learn to handle that.
On an injury update on RB Fred Jackson, C Eric Wood, and DT Kyle Williams:
Fred Jackson’s been completely cleared at this point. I think he’s been given a clean bill of health a week or two ago. Eric’s (Wood) still in rehab. Kyle (Williams), he’s not been given 100% clear yet but he’s getting closer and closer. He’s been around the facility a couple weeks ago and it all looked good. He’s very happy about it, I know that. He feels a lot better about it.
On how important WR Stevie Johnson is to the Bills and how important it is to get a deal done:
He’s very important to us and we’d love to have him. The thing you learn to say in this business, you don’t ever want to say you can’t live without somebody. As soon as you say that you learn to live without him. We would like to have him. He’s very important to our football team. He made a bunch of big plays for us and hopefully it works out but it’s a business.
On the scheduled meeting the team has with Johnson’s representatives this week:
I’m not (meeting). I read it that they’re scheduled to meet.
On how he envisions DT Williams and DT Marcell Dareus rotating:
The question is, do you let one be the shade and one be the three all the time or do you just play right and left and let the formation dictate it? I don’t think we’re to that point yet of where we’re saying this is exactly how it’s going to be. If they made that decision defensively it was recently and I wasn’t in that meeting. Last I heard we hadn’t made that decision yet.
On offenses taking over the league this season and if he feels the need to implement more into his offense because of that:
I think that’s a good question and you have to ask how much is too much. You want to incorporate things that fit into your philosophy and what you’re trying to get done and what your players can do. Just because it’s being done and being done successfully doesn’t mean it fits your team. I think that’s the fine line you try to draw offensively for your football team is how much is enough and how much is too much. That’s the line you walk every year during the offseason. More is not always better. Better is better. You’re trying to find out what makes you better. We were fortunate enough to make a significant jump this year offensively. We just need to build on that, eliminate some turnovers and build on our offense that we incorporated this year.
On the reports that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing with broken ribs:
I knew he’d taken a shot. It was more in the chest I thought than it was in the ribs. In the Washington game he took that shot. He didn’t miss practice. He was nursing it but he really didn’t miss practice. I don’t know if it was that but we started getting receivers hurt and we started getting linemen hurt. I think that had something to do with it. Scott Chandler got hurt late in the year. I think that had as much to do with it as anything. I knew he had taken that shot. I didn’t know anything about the broken part.
On if his beard is getting him through the Buffalo winter:
Fitz can have it during the season and I’ll have it in the offseason. I’ve never done this. I’m just going to see what it looks like. If I like, it I’ll keep it. And if not I’ll shave it off or if not before my wife tells me.