The Bills (2-1) face the Patriots (1-2) Sunday in Orchard Park. On Wednesday, the team talked about practice and this weekend's matchup. Below is a transcript of comments beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
On if RB C.J. Spiller will practice today:
No, he is not going to practice today but we are hoping we will get him maybe a few reps by the end of the week. Do not know. We will see.
On RB Fred Jackson's status:
He will practice today and we will see how much he can do. We will see where is after practice. Really, post-practice and tomorrow morning will be the key on that after he goes through some football stuff today.
On the defense being built to beat the Patriots:
If you want to win the division, it has been proven lately that you have to beat them. So yeah, everything you do is to win the division first and the way you do it is by beating them. To say it was completely thought like that, no I cannot say that. But you have to win the division. You have to beat them.
On if releasing P Brian Moorman was due to him having a conflict with a coach:
I do not know if we would go that far. We all talked about it and we made the decision. It ultimately falls on me, but we made the decision that it was what we needed to do at this time.
On if it was a tough decision because of everything Moorman brings to the table:
Yeah, you think about all of that stuff. You do. It is never easy. None of those decisions are easy. We all know what a great guy Brian and his wife are and for the community. It is never easy. I do not like that part of the job.
On why Moorman was released:
We were hoping to get more consistency and we were not able to get it. He had a great preseason; he just was not able to get it back.
On who will hold field goals and for extra points:
Shawn (Powell) will practice there. Tyler (Thigpen) will practice there. We will see as it goes. Eventually Shawn will do it as soon as he gets some experience.
On DE Mark Anderson becoming a player who can play the run and the pass:
It is funny, other people expected him to be a one-way player and I do not think I ever expected that. I thought he could play the run from what we saw and played against. I thought he could play the run. He has done a good job of coming in, learning the entire system and understanding how he fits in the run game. He has played physical out there.
On the value of LB Bryan Scott:
He has (helped). Probably the best thing that has happened to Bryan, and I give Dave (Wannstedt) and Bob Sanders a lot of credit, they have given him one job. Go be a nickel linebacker. Not try to be safety, not try to be a back-and-forth kind of guy. He has one job, go be a nickel linebacker and he has done an excellent job of learning that and learning how to play that responsibility run and pass. We were bouncing him around last year and it was not fair to him almost. He has taken to this extremely well and done a great job.
On the Ravens doing a good job of rushing the passer vs. New England last week:
That was two weeks in a row to be honest with you. Arizona did a good job rushing the passer, too. I think there is a common denominator there that if you can get some pressure on the passer in this ball game, you up your chances of slowing them down and getting the ball back.
On Patriots QB Tom Brady not throwing the ball deep very much:
The thing about it is we all know he can and we all know he has done it before. That is why you have to always be on your guard. You cannot just say everybody squat at 10 yards. They will never throw it down there because they will, so you have to guard against it. It is always in the back of your mind, but you understand what they are trying to do with the football-that is get it underneath. Hopefully we can take care of both scenarios--not let them get it deep and have some pressure and tight coverage underneath. That is what you have to have. You have to have some tight pressure underneath on those receivers.
On being encouraged by the progress of the run defense:
We have made dramatic improvements in our run defense. That is going to allow you, if you can play run defense and play third downs, you give yourself a great chance to be successful. I think we have improved in both areas quite a bit. We started bad. The first game was bad on third-downs. After that, we have played pretty well.
On if that improvement is attributed to personnel or scheme:
Yes. All of the above.
On how much the run defense opens up things later in the game:
If you can stop the run and make a team one-dimensional, you have really helped yourself defensively. Then they get discouraged, too. When they are discouraged, they do not run it as well. I do not care who you are. It is a win-win when you can stop the run.
On WR Stevie Johnson still producing but not over-celebrating:
You want a guy to enjoy playing. I do not ever want to take away somebody's joy, but you have to think about the team. You have to give the guy credit. He understands exactly what he needs to do. He has not let his play go down and yet he understands for the team he has to handle some things differently. It does not surprise me that it happened. It maybe surprised a lot of people, it did not surprise me.
On if either of last year's games against the Patriots carry into this season:
I do not think so. History you learn from, but it is not a predictor of the future. Every year is a new year and they are a totally different defense than they have been since I can remember. Forever. They are totally different and playing better, to be honest with you. They are vanilla and they are playing hard. Getting after it. You do not see all the elaborate schemes you used to see. They are playing well. I think they are fourth (in the AFC) against the run. They are playing extremely well.
On having a comment about the replacement officials impacting the end of games:
No, the biggest thing if you get a big enough lead then it will not come down to a call. Go get big leads and it will not be an issue.
On if the play at the end of the Green Bay-Seattle game reminded him of S Da'Norris Searcy's play against Oakland last season:
I thought about it. I did. I thought about it and then let it go. I cannot control that.
On if Moorman's relationship with Special Teams Coordinator Bruce DeHaven was a factor in his release:
Not that I know of.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
On playing New England after they have lost two games in a row:
We do not worry about that. We are focused on what we are trying to get done this week. We know that every time we play them, they are a good team. They are the ones that have owned this division for a lot of years now. The division always goes through them. For us, regardless of the record they have lost two very tough games. We know that this is a very good team, one of the best in the NFL. We have to come out and play our very best game in order to compete.
On the Patriots' pass defense:
They have done a good job to be honest. Their philosophy is a lot different than it was last year. They have been very stout in the run game. A lot of times they have two safeties deep and they are still able to stop stuff with the running game. Pass-wise, they have done some good things as well in terms of matching up with guys. And in terms of keeping the two deep guys back there and not letting you get the deep plays-Baltimore hit them on a couple, which were really nice throws by (Joe) Flacco. They are definitely a much improved group. They have some new guys over there and they also have a lot of familiar faces over there for us.
On what the Patriots do different now defensively:
They played a lot more man coverage last year than they have so far.
On if he expects the Patriots to blitz a lot as a change of pace:
I think they go in and they are going to run their stuff. They are going to give us whatever looks they want to give us. We are going to go and run our stuff and just go out there and execute. That is pretty much what we have learned. Everybody kind of does best. Let's keep it simple. Go out there and do our stuff versus them doing theirs. See who wins.
On the Patriots not being under .500 since 2004:
Wow. That just goes to show how dominant of a team they have been-the class of our division, really the class of the league. I think more than them being 1-2 this year, it shows how good they have been the last 10 years.
On if he feels it is time for him to have a statement game:
This being a division game, being a home game where we are going to have the crowd with us, we have to win these games in order to get back to the playoffs. In order to do all of that stuff, this is the kind of game we have to win. Like I said, I cannot stress enough that they are a great team and they are going to be a great opponent on Sunday. It is going to show us a lot about ourselves.
On not being afraid of the Patriots:
A lot last year was talked about the streak and the amount of times they had beaten us in a row. We came out last year, fell behind early and came back. That showed a lot about our team and the guys we have in this locker room. Being able to pull out the win in that game, but this is a new bunch for them. It is a new bunch for us this year. We have got the right core group of guys in here. Being able to rebound from Week One and how horrible we played in Week One to what we have done in the last few weeks, we have good perspective and good leadership in our locker room.
On how much RB Fred Jackson playing would impact the game:
We will see how he does throughout the week. It is between him, Chan (Gailey) and the trainers. All of that. We have to prepare just like we prepare normally. If he is not able to go, obviously the next man up. If he is able to go, that is a huge boost for us in terms of him being such a playmaker for us. The way he runs the ball and the way he carries himself on the sideline and in the huddle. That would be a big boost for us if he can go.
On if he is shocked by P Brian Moorman being released:
It is a tough situation. I definitely think the whole locker room was shocked in terms of that going down after three games and him being here for 12 years. His locker was right next to mine. He is a guy who over the last four years I have really gotten a chance to know well. I talked to him a little bit yesterday, but he is the kind of guy that is going to get picked up somewhere very quickly. We wish him all of the best. That was a shock in the locker room when we heard that yesterday.
On that being the way the NFL works:
Yeah, it is. That is the first thing I thought is it is just a reminder it is a very fickle business. That is the NFL. Every year you get one or two reminders of it. Close friends or guys you thought were untouchable essentially end up getting cut, released or traded. Whatever it is. It is just a constant reminder every year.
On if the loss of Moorman hurts the team chemistry:
I do not think so. I think more than anything, he was a captain and somebody that was really respected in the locker room. He was someone that was a great friend to all of us. It is the NFL and unfortunately you move on. I am not saying we forget him, he is not on our team and we will never talk to him again, but it is what you have to do. Just like with injuries. We are not the ones who make those decisions. Those decisions happen upstairs. You roll with it. You move on and you do not try to look back.
On both games versus the Patriots last year having big runs for both sides:
I do not know if you can pin it on one thing. It was very interesting the run of points both ways. I do not know what to tell you other than for us looking at this game we cannot start slow like we did last year. For us looking at the final game last year, we came out and we played well in the beginning but we have to be consistent the whole game. I guess those are the lessons we can draw on from last year.
On why the Bills have struggled against the division:
If I had the answers, maybe we would not be struggling as much. I think you are not going to make the playoffs unless you play well in your division. We obviously have not been to the playoffs in a long time and you can look squarely at that as probably being the main reason. That is something we are looking to change. The only way you go out and do it is to get wins in your division and play well. That is all I can say. We have to go out on the field and prove it.
On what Patriots QB Tom Brady is going to be facing against the Bills' defensive line:
I try not to (think about that), I have so much I have to focus on offensively. When we brought those guys in this offseason, I think we brought them in with the mindset that we are going to be able to get after the quarterback. I think they have done a great job of that the first few games this year. Hopefully that continues.
On if he intends to trash talk with Brady:
I do not think I will be talking much trash to Tom. No.
On this team being better equipped to face a team like the Patriots:
Yeah, it is the talk. We came out versus the Jets and there was all of the excitement about on paper we look great and we came out and did not do it. On paper, I think we look like a better team but we have to go out there and show it.
On his level of concern over the replacement officials:
One of the things that Chan (Gailey) has made a point to us about is these officials are doing the best they can. It is very difficult. It is a difficult situation for everybody. When it affects the outcome of a game that is very tough. We work too hard throughout a week and put in too many hours in the offseason for them to be actually deciding a game, which is what happened Monday night. It was a tough situation. I think the way that everything is going to be handled from here on, we just have to continue to go about our business. Deal with what it is. There is nothing we can do to change it. With players, it is not an issue with the players (union). We just have to go out there and deal with it.
RB Fred Jackson
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
On his status:
It is still pretty much the same thing. I think a lot of it is going to come down to how practice goes today. Looking forward to that--see what it is like. I am excited about it to see where it goes.
On where he is mentally:
I still feel confident. Today is the big test. Getting out there, moving around and running against some defenses will tell me a lot. I will have a better answer after practice.
On if because it is the Patriots this weekend fuels him to come back:
Yeah. Without a doubt. It is a big game for us, but at the same time I have to be smart. Make sure I am out there able to make plays for my team and I am not hindering them. We have guys who can step up like Tashard (Choice) did last week. At the same time, it is the Patriots. We need all guys on deck to go out there and get a win for us.
On how excited he is to have a chance to put the Patriots in a 1-3 hole:
It does. At the same time, it is one game for us. It is a big game for us. We have an opportunity to go up on a team two games that has been known as the champion of this division for a long time. It is a big game for us. We know they are going to come in and not want to be in that position so they are going to come out and be ready to play. We just have to come out and match that. Feed of the crowd and make plays.
On the team releasing P Brian Moorman:
Not only for us, he was a great guy in this locker room and everybody respected him. Just what happened and just how he was in the community as well. A lot of people had a lot of love and respect for him. It is part of the game. We have to deal with it. Move on. Hopefully we can get better at the position and see what happens.
On if he understands the move:
I do not. I cannot say that I do because I am not in special teams a lot. I do not know what is going on in there, but they felt like it was a move they had to make so they made it.
On if it affects team chemistry:
Not at all. It is part of the business. We know we have to adjust when they make decisions like that. We will come out and take care of what we can.
On if practice went well:
Yeah, I got some good work in. There are some things that need to be worked on, but it is good to get back out here and test it a little bit.
On if practice went the way he felt it would:
There were some things I liked, but there was a lot of stuff I need to work on, too. It is a good thing we have a week. We will see how it goes. Just hopefully continue to get better. Work on the things I feel I need to.
On wearing a brace:
I have on the same brace. No running back is going to like playing in a brace, but it is OK though. I will have to get used to it because I have to play in it. It is not uncomfortable--just different.
On how important how he feels tomorrow is:
I think that what will determine more than anything. How I am feeling like the next day. If I can come out here and continue to work, that will help me get better. If I wake up tomorrow and it is swollen or too sore to do anything, then that will set me back.
RB C.J. Spiller
Wednesday September 26, 2012
On if he is going to play this Sunday:
We will see. It is too early right now. To really give a direct answer we will just have to go out there today, do some stuff and see how it responds. If I feel I can go out there and give my team everything I got at a high level that I was doing before I got injured then of course I will. But I'm not going to do anything that is going to hurt me or this team by trying to get out there and not play at 100-percent, so we will see.
On if he thought the injury was worse than it really is:
I was kind of down because I have never had it happen before so it was something new to me. I didn't know what was going on. I knew something was wrong because of how I was feeling, but I am glad that it is not worse than it is. I am very fortunate to be in the position that I am in.
On how he feels the likelihood is that he will be able to play on Sunday:
I feel good. This is a division game. These are the big games that you want to play in. You don't want to be on the sidelines for these type games. I want to be out there to try and help my team win. And right now where I'm feeling I feel like there is a good chance that I could be. Like I said it is early. It is only Wednesday. We will do some stuff today and see how I respond. And hopefully by tomorrow have a better understanding.
WR Stevie Johnson
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
On preparing T.J. Graham for the Patriots tendencies and coach Belichick's scheme:
Not much you know because T.J. is a good player and he knows he is and we know he is. He showed what he can do last week and he is always showing us what he can do through his stay here. He's already ready for the Patriots this week. All we have to do is play our game not change anything. Just play our game.
On finishing where he left off against the Patriots last year:
We just think about getting wins. We beat them early in the season then we ended up playing them at the end and they ended up coming back and beating us. We feel we have the team that can make a run for some real playoff football and this is a team that we have to get through. Hopefully we show it this Sunday.