The Bills look ahead to Sunday's game at Foxboro against the Patriots. Below are comments from Wednesday beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
Q: If there any update on WR Stevie Johnson?
Q: If there any update on WR Stevie Johnson?
A: No, but he is looking good. I think he will be just fine. I think he will get back to the field tomorrow. I think things are looking positive at this point unless there is a major setback.
Q: Can you talk about the addition of WR Marcus Easley and the decision behind that?
A: First of all, we did not know where Stevie was so it was a little bit of an insurance policy. He has played extremely well on the scout team. He deserves an opportunity to come up and see what he might able to do. I do not know if he will get active soon or not, but we would like to give him a chance to have that opportunity at some point. We will see how it goes and how he practices. Let him get some reps and go from there.
Q: Realistically, it is going to be tough for him to get on the field?
A: Oh yeah. It will be right now, this week in particular. As time goes on...We just put ourselves in a position to be able to do it if we want to.
Q: SS Da'Norris Searcy got more plays in the last game. Was that more of a dissatisfaction with SS George Wilson's play or are you satisfied with Wilson's play?
A: No, very satisfied with George's play. Da'Norris is a good football player and he has worked his rear off. He deserves an opportunity to play in the ball games. George was a little bit hurt last year and we think that if we can take 15, 20 plays a game off of him he will have a longer season. Be able to stay longer, healthier and prolong, not only this year, but his years down the road. If we did not have a good player, we could not do that but we have a good player. We feel like he deserves the opportunity to play some and somewhere somebody is probably going to get nicked up with only three safeties. We need somebody that has some experience, too.
Q: We are assuming with CB Aaron Williams out, CB Leodis McKelvin will step into that spot?
A: Yeah, he will step into that spot.
Q: Do you feel like you have a motivated player there after he was demoted off defense and now going to get his chance again?
A: Yeah, I think he is very motivated. I think that Leodis (McKelvin) has never lacked confidence. He has a great deal of confidence in himself, his abilities and ability to play. He practices hard every day he walks on the field. You have to ask him to get the answer, but I think he has a chance to go play extremely well. Hopefully he learned from some of the things that happened in the past.
Q: Knowing the caliber of the Patriots passing weapons, is there an easy answer to their run game against your nickel personnel?
A: No. There is not an easy answer. If there was an easy answer to it, there are a lot of people that would have found it and a lot of people that would have copied it. There is not an easy answer.
Q: How much was tackling a part of the issue last game?
A: That was the biggest part of the issue last game. We missed 12 or 15 tackles in that ball game. You miss that many tackles, you are going to give up some runs and they happened to be on the running plays.
Q: One of the themes coming out of this last game was red zone execution. If there is ever an opponent that accentuates the need to produce in there, would it be this one?
A: Sure it is, but it is every week. We had been pretty good in there but we had a bad week last week. We do have to get better at that because you have to score touchdowns against this team. They have a great offense. They are going to put up points, so you have to go score touchdowns every time you get the opportunity down there. That hurt us last game we played them. We fumbled at the one (yard line). You cannot do that.
Q: With CB Terrence McGee and OT Erik Pears, it seems like things have taken a drastic turn from where you stood Monday. Is it just bad reports on them?
A: Yeah. Just not able to get back. Them not feeling completely well. They both would have, to be honest with you, they would both fight like everything to get on the field and do what they could. Physically it is just going to be hard for them to be productive players with where they are right now.
Q: Do either of them need another surgery?
Q: Last week GM Buddy Nix raised the discussion of finding a franchise quarterback and having a guy to compete for the quarterback position with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. How much does Ryan need a challenge and what is your assessment of Ryan at this point through the season?
A: Ryan has played extremely well at times, and I am going to go back to that word consistency that I have been using for our whole football team. We have not been consistent at a lot of places. I think that over the last couple of weeks he has completed almost 70-percent of his passes. Playing better and I think that if we can get everything working together like we need to and it is my responsibility to get done, then I think we will be fine there. We have shown spurts and we have shown glimpses of what we can be, but we have to do it on a consistent basis.
Q: Generally quarterbacks are judged on their record. Is Fitzpatrick running out of chances after two-plus seasons?
A: I do not even want to talk about that. To me, that is not even right to talk about. Everybody goes out and does the best they can. Then you evaluate everything when you get to the end of the year.
Q: In a league where young guys have to come in right away and contribute. Do you think you are getting enough out of your young people right now?
A: It is funny--I do not evaluate guys as far as young or old. We need more production out of a lot of people. We do. We need everybody. There are veterans, we need veterans that can participate and produce better. Young guys, I do not even look at guys as young guys or old guys. I really do not. If he is on the field, either he is doing it or he is not doing it. That is the way I see it. I do not see age or any of that stuff. I see production or non-production. Doing the job or not doing the job. I really do not.
Q: You guys have done a really good job the last two games against the Patriots of seizing that momentum early, but that coaching staff rarely lets a team have momentum for the entire game. How do you prepare shift gears as the game goes on to maintain your own momentum against them?
A: I talked to the team this morning about the same old term that we all use--finish. We have had them in two ball games in a position to finish and win the game. We have not done it. We just have to go learn to finish out, whether it is finish out the last three quarters or finish out the last quarter and a half. We have to learn to finish against this football team. It is not easy. They are good for a reason.
Q: Seeing how many injuries McGee has had the last couple of years, does there come a point where you evaluate his future with the franchise in light of his health?
A: I think that all guys at some point ask the question and you ask the question. You sit down and you see if a guy can get healthy enough to help your football team. That is a truism in our business. There does come a time. Whether that is Terence's time? I do not know. Let's let him get completely well, see how he feels and make a decision when the time comes. That is not something to even be...we are not even talking about that now. I just want him to get well and see where he is going into next year.
Q: The decision on K John Potter, does that just come down to production?
A: Yeah, we just were not getting what we hoped we were going to get out of that position.
Q: DE Mario Williams says he would like to move around more now that he is healthy and play on the right. Do you think we will see that?
A: Maybe. We might see that. Yeah.
Q: Is there a bad taste in the team's mouth after the second half of the Patriots game? I know you say you take 24 hours and everybody is self-motivated, but the way that game ended...
A: Yeah, it sticks in your crawl. Yeah it does. If it does not, something is wrong with you. If it does not...the way with a 21-7 lead with 11 minutes to go and for that game to end up like it did. It more than sticks in your crawl. It probably makes you sick. It does me.
Q: Big plays have been a major problem for them. They have given up a ton of them. Are you kind of encouraged about what the possibilities are?
A: Each game is totally different. I look at it and see the possibilities of some things, but you do not know what they are going to do to adjust either. And they get a lot of their secondary players back this week. They have had to move people around. They lost both safeties. They had to move a corner to safety. They have been mixing and matching in their secondary to try to create some kind of continuity and they had not found it. So getting everybody back, I am sure we will see some different things this week. We are sure to see some different faces.
Q: Of all the quarterbacks you have been around, where does QB Tom Brady rank?
A: Really high. I am not going to put a number on that. I have been around some great quarterbacks. I have been very blessed during the course of my career to be around the Elway's, the Aikman's and some of those guys. I am not going to rank guys, but he is great. There is no question about it.
Q: Does OT Sam Young take that swing tackle now or is he sort of just the prime reserve now?
A: Yeah, he may take more than two spots. He may have to play tackle and guard before it is over with. We are trying to get David Snow ready. We signed Thomas (Welch). We will see how quickly he can learn everything to give us a little bit more depth.
Q: Can you give us some insight on the new guys?
A: We had Thomas (Welch) here earlier. Once before and liked him. We were hoping at some point to maybe get him back. It worked out that we did. We have had our eye on Crezdon Butler for a while now. Buddy (Nix) has always liked him. He is a guy that we looked at a few weeks ago when Arizona let him go. We were trying to get him at that time, but it did not work out. Now it worked out that we had a spot and were able to get him.
Q: Butler is probably going to have to be active, right?
A: He might be. You are right. He might be.
Q: How is CB Ron Brooks doing?
A: He has done great. He really has. He has not had one setback physically. He is right on track mentally to do everything he needs to do.
Q: Will Brooks work inside or outside?
A: He will work corner and nickel. He will do both.
Q: Brooks did not get any snaps on defense last week, right?
Q: Fitzpatrick said something interesting about the Wildcat that people maybe expect 50-yard gains every time when they see that special package. Is there something to that? Are expectations too high and is a four or five yard run OK?
A: Yes it is. What you are trying to do is, just like any other part of your offense, is you want to be consistent with it. You want to not have negative plays. If you can go get four or five, six or seven (yards) then it is just like any other thing. You have made them work on it because the possibility of a big play is there. You have made them spend time on it, but you have done something that did not hurt your offense. It probably helped it in some ways. I think that sometimes we think the Wildcat is going to produce something unbelievable. If it is just consistent, we will be alright.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Q: 3-5 with a road game at New England. Is there a sense of reality setting in that it is almost now or never? You lose this one and it really gets tough.
A: We have put ourselves in a difficult spot, especially with the last slate of games that we have had. We have put ourselves in a tough spot now in terms of falling behind and our record not being where it needs to be, especially if we want to be a playoff team. Every game is important. When we play New England, they have obviously had our number. You look at this team and how we have played the past few times, we have to be able to...we gave the momentum to them in the last few games and we have to be able to overcome some of that. It will be a game for us that will say a lot. We are kind of down right now. We do not think we are out. I think there is a positive vibe in the locker room. I think you have to have that otherwise you are beat before you go play.
Q: How do you keep that edge from start to finish, just keeping your foot down on the gas--knowing that at any time they can explode for 20, 30 points?
A: They are a tough team to go against for a lot of reasons. Their offense is going to score points, we know that. Consistently they have performed at that level and they are going to put up a lot of points, so we have to make sure that we stay within ourselves, that I stay within myself and we just play what we are trying to play. Possess the ball. The turnovers have been a big deal for us in the last few games versus them. That is something you cannot do versus those guys if you expect to win
Q: You had seven plays of over 20 yards against these guys the last time. That has been a consistent problem for them. How encouraged are you that you guys are going to be able to make some hay there?
A: If you look at our first game, or the last few years the games versus them, a lot of it is they have been very opportunistic. They have let up some plays, but they have also created a lot of turnovers. That will be a big thing for us--limiting those turnovers. Just like last week where we really felt that we let the defense down, we let our team down in terms of how we performed in the red zone. That will be a big emphasis, too, making sure that those trips result in seven (points) rather than three.
Q: Are you happy to see WR Marcus Easley get a shot here and what have you seen from him?
A: I think everybody here kind of knows his story and everything he has been through the last few years. He works extremely hard and I think everybody was excited to know that he got called up. He has worked and put in a tremendous amount of work this year. You watch him on the scout team every day and the stuff that he has done. He has really made some plays and runs hard every play. It is good to see. I think we are all happy for him because it has been a long time coming for him with all of the injuries he has had.
Q: So you have seen an improved Easley in practice compared to what we saw in training camp?
A: Marcus has not been out there a lot, so I think the more that he is out there, more comfortable he gets in running routes and doing those types of things the better he is going to get. He has progressed. I think he has gotten better and better throughout the season.
Q: You have a lot of young guys on this roster. It seems like it is the veteran guys that keep carrying the day and the young guys have not been producing the way a lot of people thought they would. Do you think you need more from your young guys on the roster in general?
A: I have a hard time talking about anything except offense. I do not really pay attention to stuff on that side of the ball. In looking at the offense, T.J. (Graham) is a guy we brought in-a speed guy that is going to be able to stretch the field for us. I have to be able to get him more involved. I think that is something the last eight games where we want to figure out what we have there. I think he has had a long enough period of time here to get acclimated, feel comfortable and I guess offensively speaking having Cordy (Glenn) back and in it. He was playing well before he got hurt. We have to get those guys involved.
Q: Further generalization. In general in the NFL, you have to have guys that come in and play well right away, right? In the league now, there is no more breaking period. You need the young guys to come in and play. Would you agree with that?
A: I think, especially the high draft picks, you have to have impact players that can come in and play. If you look at a C.J. (Spiller), C.J. came in and slowly kind of got broken in. Now he has turned into a very dynamic player for us. So I think there is different ways to do it. I think that guys go through different processes. C.J. is a guy that is one of the most dynamic in the league and is one of, if not the best player on our team. He is a guy that did not really get thrown into it right away.
Q: The Wildcat has been sporadic in its success and really in its frequency, too. How much of a wrinkle can that add if you guys can make some big plays?
A: That is just one of the wrinkles of our offense. That is something where I think every time we are in it, everybody expects to see a 30-yard run. Sometimes, even though it is kind of a gadgetry thing, getting three, four yards on a run is not a bad thing. It might not be flashy, but that is something I think we are always going to carry. I think Brad (Smith) is a pretty dynamic player. You saw it on the kickoff return and you have seen it a few times where he has been able to get in space. That is something for us that is not always a 'Let's get a big 50-yard play.' Sometimes it is just looking to control the ball and run it versus bad boxes a little bit better.
Q: On WR T.J. Graham, Coach Gailey had said it is not just a matter of burning routes deep. It is a matter of reading coverage back there and making decisions. Is that it? Is he still in that breaking in phase? Are you not on the same page with him and is that why he maybe is not as involved as he could be?
A: He is a guy that has been getting better. I think I am a lot more comfortable with him now than maybe I was in Week One. He has shown some good things when he has been able to touch the ball. Some of it is just having a limited number of plays and needing to get touches to other guys. That is part of it, but I think he does need to become a bigger part of our offense.
Q: On passing downs, New England can get kind of creative in terms of trying to get pressure and stuff. Have they turned to that more of late, maybe the last two or three weeks, on those third down type situations?
A: One of the biggest things, I do not think you can say they do one thing--especially on third down. There are a lot of different coverages and they mix it up. I think that is maybe the best thing they do. More so than maybe anybody we have played. A lot of times you can get tendencies in terms of when they are playing man and when they are bringing pressure. New England, they do a good job of mixing it up and keeping you off balance.
Q: Final scores have not been close the last few games against them, but you have had double digit leads. Is the feeling you guys are close and can get over that hump to finish them off?
A: If you look at the last three games, we won one and they won two in blowout fashions. You point to us getting leads early, not being able to score more points offensively and not being able to stop them defensively. It is one of those things that momentum the last three games against these guys has really played a big factor. It is something on offense that we just have to be able to continue to play. If we score, we have to be able to continue to put points on--knowing that this is a team that is going to score a lot of points.
RB Fred Jackson
Wednesday November 7, 2012
Q: Do you think you guys need a little bit more production from your young kids who have stepped into starting roles and maybe aren't doing enough to get this thing pushing forward?
A: You can't just blame them. We have a lot of veterans on this team that have to step as well. I think what we can focus on is that everyone needs to step up including those young guys who are required to play right now. But as veterans we can do our best to help get them ready and let them know what we have seen at that position. A guy that comes to mind is Nigel (Bradham) and he has two great guys out there, Kelvin (Sheppard) and Nick (Barnett). And you have guys like Arthur (Moats) that have played and can help bring him along. We all have to step up as a group to get to where we want to be.
Q: Would you say that the Patriots are now the opponent for the Bills, now that things are established that they are the team to beat every year and how does the series evolve to you?
A: It's always big. First and foremost they're a team that has won this division the most in the past 10, 12, 15 years. They have been constantly on the top of this so we know that it is always important to play those guys. Since I have been here it has always been a huge game for us. This week is no different for us. To get to where we have to be this is a must win for us. We get a great chance to go into a great place that we haven't won in a long time and turn this thing around. It is a huge focus for us. We can't lose any more games and expect to do things that we want to get done. Everybody is focused on that. We know it is going to be a huge test for us but we feel like we can play with these guys. We just need to finish games, so hopefully we can get that done.
Q: For a half, sometimes three quarters, you guys have poured it on them and they have had trouble stopping you. What keeps you from doing that for 60 minutes? And maybe to do it for 60 minutes does it require a tweak here and there knowing how quickly their coaching staff can adjust? And have the adjustments to stop you eventually in the course of the game?
A: I think that is just it. We have been able to get some leads on these guys that we haven't been able to hold onto. For us to get to where we want to be we have to finish executing. We have gotten good leads in games and then our execution just goes out the window. We can't afford that. We know the great coaching staff over there that is able to make adjustments fast and things like that so we have to counteract that with our play. We just have to continue to go out focused and execute what we have on our game plan. It will be a good test for us. They are a good team. We know that they are going to be able to put up points, so on offense we have to do the same. We have to score touchdowns this week.
Q: Going into a game like this where you haven't won in a long time, do you and C.J. (Spiller) look at it and say put more on our shoulders? Do you want more of that offensive game plan on your shoulders?
A: Without a doubt. This is the type of game that you want to be a feature in and make some plays. It is something that we talk about constantly. We talked about it when we walked out of our room. We want to have that weight put on our shoulders. We want to be guys that carry us to a victory. Hopefully we get that opportunity, go out and we are able to make some plays for us.
WR Marcus Easley
Wednesday November 7, 2012
Q: As you go into this week now, I don't know what your reps are going to be but what are you anticipating as you go forward...
A: I'm not really too sure as far as the game plan is concerned where I fit in at. I'm just going to do what they ask of me. If that's possibly going out and playing special teams or on offense, I am willing to do it.
Q; How has it been biding your time here, I mean eight weeks waiting?
A: It has definitely been a struggle but on the practice squad I tried to carry the mentality of 'you know I am here to still get better.' I'm still being evaluated and I just try to take advantage of that every day.
Q: I know you don't get the game plan reps during the week being on the practice squad, but how in tune do you feel with the game plans that you have been looking at every week.
A: I am still around, so I still need to know my assignments and know what's going on because there might be an opportunity for me which just so happened this week. So staying around and still being involved definitely helped me keep me get up to speed with things.
Q: How did you find out and what was your feeling. And I'm guessing you feel that it has been a long journey but one step closer.
A: A sigh of relief definitely. It has been a long road for me and I am just grateful for this opportunity and I'm ready to get going.