Pittsford (WKBW.com) The Buffalo Bills had their Tuesday afternoon practice interrupted when storms involving lightning rolled into the Rochester area. The team was forced to go inside for the final 20 minutes of the workout. Eyewitness Sports Director Jeff Russo has more in this edition of SportsBlast 7.0.
Below are the transcripts from interviews following Tuesday's workout.
HEAD COACH CHAN GAILEY
PM Session – Tuesday, July 31, 2012
On not ending the practice in an ideal way due to the weather:
No, but at least we got something that we can go in (gymnasium) and get the last 30 snaps, get a feel for it, get communication and that is what it is for. It is for communication only.
On the team safely getting off the field:
Yea, we have a great communication system with some area people about their lightning horns going off so we try to monitor that closely. And (Trainer) Bud (Carpenter) keeps in close contact with me about that and we have to get off the field before that lightning gets close.
On if he has a sense of how the battle at left tackle is playing out:
Nope, too early. I do not know how that one is going to end. I do not even have an inkling. I really do not.
On if he sees things there that need to be improved:
Yea. We have some work to do.
On the situation regarding RB C.J. Spiller and RB Fred Jackson:
They are both in great shape. They both look good. They both are doing the things that we ask them to do. We will just continue to work the process. We are still in installation right now. We are not nearly where we need to be or want to be for game planning situations or seeing what looks good with what. We are doing a little bit of that, but not much. We are still installing. We will be doing that through the first game, really.
On Jackson saying he is relieved he does not have to make that decision:
Yea, and that is part of it. And I said this way back: everybody that is supposed to touch the ball will not be happy, because nobody is going to get it as much as they would like.
On the battle for backup quarterback between Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen:
They both have not done anything to distance themselves from the other. Neither one of them has done anything. They both (have done) some things good one day and some things are bad one day. We just have to keep letting them play. They have to get a feel of the speed of the game with pads, feeling the pass rush around them, doing the little things that they do best. And we try to give them the boots and the nakeds and the draws, you know, the things that they would do if they were in a ball game.
On Young’s progression learning the concepts of the offense:
I am not sure that even (QB) Tyler (Thigpen) is where I want him to be. They are all still learning. Fitz (QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) has it, but everybody else is still in the process of learning every nuance that goes into it. But he (QB Vince Young) has come a long way, he really has. He studied during the off time. He did not waste that time. He studied.
On bringing RT Erik Pears back slowly from injury:
Yea, just bringing him along slowly. I have heard, we he and (C) Eric (Wood) both, we have heard too many stories about people out there trying to get back too quickly and now they have been setback a lot. So we are trying to be smart and be patient. That is not one of the things that a coach has a lot of normally. But we are trying to be patient with those guys that are injured and bring them back slowly.
If C Eric Wood being out is a good opportunity to get rookie OL Mark Asper some reps:
Yea. We are playing him at really center and guard, mostly left guard. He played a little bit of center in a bowl game, but really he has been a center all his life. So we are trying to teach him to become a center. He has adapted pretty well. He has got some work to do, with his snaps in particular. The mental aspect of it and the strength is not a problem. It is just the execution and the snaps.
On the variety of things a sixth-round lineman has to do to make the team:
He has to be versatile. That is what is going to carry a lot of these guys that are not on the first group. They have got to be versatile.
On how concerned he is with the referee lockout at this point:
If that is my biggest problem, I do not have a problem. I will be honest with you: I have a lot of other things to think about other than that. I will not even worry about that, I can promise you. We will have officials. I know that. And so they will call a game to the best of their ability. That is all you can ask.
On if that lockout is more of a concern now though because of all the safety issues:
I do not know. To be honest with you, I have not given it that much thought. And you do not know what is going to happen with it, but I really have not given that a lick of thought about how the officials are going to turn out.
On his expectations for DT Marcell Dareus:
I think he will have a better year. You know sometimes you can have a better year and maybe stats do not show it. Last year, a lot of times he was the one guy in there that could give us some kind of pass rush and made something happen. Then again they may be worried so much about outside that he has a big year. I do not know how it is going to turnout. But my expectation is he ought to make a jump from year one to year two like every other player should make a jump from year one to year two. I do not believe in that sophomore slump stuff.
On S Da’Norris Searcy getting a lot of reps with the ones:
Well we are trying to work him in there and see what he can do. We are trying to bring his communication level up because George (Wilson) is unbelievable and that. And we have to get him some reps. You do not ever know what grouping is going to be in there, so you have to try to get everybody playing with everybody that needs to get in there. That is for sure.
On counting on young guys on defense to step up this year:
Yea we are. We are counting on those guys to be players and to be good players. Not just fill a spot. They need to be good players.
On the plans for QB/WR Brad Smith:
Like we did in OTAs, we took about the first six or eight (practices), I cannot remember how many it was, and worked him strictly at quarterback. Then we will start to work him at receiver and then we will start to put in the Wildcat package later on. We will have all of that going for him at a later date. But being the third quarterback, he needs to know how to do the base offense, the two-minute stuff and all of that. He has a lot of work to get ready at quarterback before he starts that other stuff.
On if Smith will be in the mix for kick returns:
Maybe. I am not ready to commit on that, but maybe yea.
On DB Delano Howell taking down RB Chris Douglas in practice:
I did not see it. I was behind the offense and it was downfield and I was looking down to see what the next play was. I do not know what happened down there. Somebody said that we got tangled up down there. It looked like Chris got hurt on the thing. So I hate that.
On his relationship with Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt:
First of all Dave Wannstedt does not work for me, he works with me. And I was fortunate enough to work with him in Miami. The only way something like this will ever work is if the guy is a great person. And he is a great football coach, which we all know, but he is a better person. So it is a super working relationship and a boon for us, in my opinion.
On if that trust made it easy to give Wannstedt control of the defense:
Oh, that was easy. Yea that was easy giving it to him and not even walking over there during individual periods, or during walkthroughs, just concentrating on offense.
DE Mario Williams
PM Practice--July 31, 2012
On ending today’s practice in a gym due to rain:
Yeah, it is tough. We do not have a bubble here, so what can you do. We just come in and take the physical out of it. But you have to be mental, mentally prepared and on top of your game. It is actually a good way to come in, actually see things a little bit slower and be mentally on top of your game.
On having been able to practice in pads the past couple of practices:
It has been great. It has been a long time for me. To be able to come out here and get time in with the defensive tackles, run game or play off one another full go. I do not have to really worry about letting up on this or letting up on that. It has been great.
On playing for Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt:
He is obviously a very intelligent guy. He has been in the league for a while. The way he does things—his mentality, his belief of attacking and putting guys in position. I definitely have a lot of faith in him just as he does in myself and the rest of the defense. He is one of those guys who wants you to give everything you have got. He is going to make things right with his calls. He is going to put you in a position to make plays. He is really intelligent and has a lot of knowledge as far as schemes and things like that.
On the depth on the defensive line:
We obviously have a lot of defensive ends and defensive tackles. I feel like everybody on our defensive line could be a starter one way or the other, whether it is here or somewhere else. Our competition level is extremely high. Every day we are pushed and we push each other. We hold each other accountable. I think that is the biggest thing. It makes it fun. It is one of those things where we love coming to practice, especially with pads on. Before in OTAs and mini-camp you do not wear pads. Now we look forward to wearing pads and going out and competing.
On if knowing bad weather coming is unnerving as a player:
I do not care about that. Although if I get struck by lightning…(laughs). If they would let us stay out there, we would stay out there. If we are playing a football game and it starts pouring down rain, it is what it is. Hopefully it is just not lightning to make us get off the field. I am not worried about the weather.
On how the young left tackles (Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston) have been performing:
They are doing a great job. I will say Chris Hairston has very good feet for a big guy. They are both outstanding guys. Good pass blockers, good run blockers. As long as they are into the scheme, understand the calls and know what to do amongst the system everything will be alright. I think they are looking pretty good.
On Cordy Glenn’s size:
He is definitely a big guy but, like I said, both of those guys are looking real.
On how much pressure the defensive line is putting on itself to help the Bills have a successful season:
A lot. There is tremendous competition. The good thing about having the depth is as long as we are all holding each other accountable and keeping with the competition continuously, we are going to keep them rolling. We got in here bam, bam, bam. Switching them in, switching them out. For us, that is going to put more pressure on the offense, keep us fresh and get us off the field. I am ecstatic. I am very excited for the opportunity that our defense has.