The Bills have a short work week as they get set to host the Miami Dolphins Thursday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Below are comments beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
Q: Will DE Chris Kelsay practice today?
A: I do not think Chris (Kelsay) is going to get on the field today. So it will be touch-and-go to see if he can get ready for Thursday night.
Q: Any other regulars that you think will not practice?
A: No. I think everybody else is going to be there.
Q: We have bugged you this whole year about this RB C.J. Spiller and RB Fred Jackson split of the touches. Now you do not have a choice. You want Jackson, but you cannot be too worried Spiller will touch the ball more often, can you?
A: We are fortunate that we have two players and when one goes down, we have a dynamic player that can go in there and play the whole ball game. Even (with that), there will be times (Tashard) Choice in will be in there. That is part of it. You have got to keep them fresh. They get tired. They exert a lot of energy running the football. I hope he is really tired.
Q: What do you make of what Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has done as a rookie?
A: He has done a very good job. They are doing a good job of setting it up where they are protecting him to let him throw the ball down the field. He is getting the ball out of his hands quick. He is protecting the ball well. He had a tough week last week, but overall he has done a good job of protecting the ball. He has played extremely well for a rookie, I think.
Q: When you look at the Dolphins they are maybe exceeding expectations at this point.
A: Yeah, they are doing a good job. They are playing really good defense. I think they are fifth in rush defense and (sixth in) third-down defense. That helps you a lot when you can do those two things it really helps your football team. So the defense has played well and they have not turned it over much on offense. That has allowed them to stay in games and win a few.
Q: Are you surprised how quickly rookie quarterbacks are picking it up? It seems like a change.
A: Yeah it does. It is the same old thing--draft them to play them now. You do not draft them to let them sit. There are a few people that are doing that but for the most part you are drafting those guys to play. They are thrown in there and they are responding extremely well right now.
Q: What is the defensive emphasis against a team like the Dolphins that does a lot of timing routes and gets the ball out quick?
A: You have to tighten your coverage up and then when you do that you take the chance of them max protecting and throwing the ball down the field. That is the balance you try to strive for--when to play tight, when to play a little softer and how smart to play out there on the edges. Then you have to take care of those inside guys. (Charles) Clay has been a big factor for them. They have had some other guys that make plays for them. They are doing a good job with balance right now and (Tannehill) gets the ball out quick when he has to.
Q: You have talked about letting the season play out and in Week 12 seeing where you are. Have you had to amend that now?
A: No. I think you still are right where you were. You go try to win this game. Really you win this game. That is what you have got to do. All of your focus is on this week and this game. You do not think about anything else. You think about this week and this game. If you do anything other than that, if you start thinking about scenarios and all of that kind of stuff, you can drive yourself crazy. You just go concentrate on this ball game.
Q: You are telling me you can be 3-7 and the team believes it can make the playoffs?
A: I do not know. I expect to win this ball game so I am not thinking of any scenario other than that.
Q: Miami seems to blitz from all over. That is a little different than any other team you have faced this year and it causes problems?
A: Yeah it does. This is a tough defense to get ready for in a short week because they do. They blitz secondary guys outside and they blitz secondary guys inside. They bring them from everywhere. It is a very tough defense to get ready for in a short week.
Q: Can you talk about the challenges about a short week? Both teams have to go through it, but they are traveling so I guess you have a short edge.
A: Sometimes I wonder if traveling is harder or easier to be honest with you. You are away. You do not have to worry about the kids. You do not have to worry about what is going on around the house. You are at the hotel and you are resting which is vital in a week like this. Get your rest and get recuperated. That is why you do not go out and practice hard for two days then go try to play the game on Thursday. You try to be smart about what you do to get these guys ready for the game mentally and you hope they rest enough. Rest is the key to me. You have to be as fresh as you can be going into this ball game.
Q: Last year you said you did not worry about this team's morale and belief being shaken. You are not near that point?
Q: Third down has been a struggle for Tannehill. Is that pretty common for rookie quarterbacks given all that goes on during that down?
A: Yeah, it is. There are a lot of different things that happen. First and second down are much more basic than third down. That is just the way it is. People set up different things in third down. Their defense is a lot more complicated on third down than it is on first and second down, so most everybody is that way. It is tougher on rookies till they get a better feel for things.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Q: Is the short week tough for a player?
A: Yeah. I think there are two aspects to it. One, physically it is tough especially if you are banged up. I think all of the big guys, the guys that are hitting on every play like the offensive and defensive lines, it is tough for them to get ready and get going again by Thursday. That being said, after the Thursday game it is almost a mini-bye week in terms of being able to rest a little bit and get healthy. And then the mental aspect is also difficult. It is difficult to prepare and game plan in such a short period of time. You do not get a lot of reps in terms of getting on the practice field and all of the full speed reps that you usually get during a normal week. This is an opponent with at least the personnel we are familiar with. There is some different things they are doing, their schemes with a different defensive coordinator, coaches and all that. They played on Sunday, too. There is not really an advantage one way or the other.
Q: At 3-6, is this a game you guys have to have?
A: Yeah. As we continue to lose people keep asking that question. I feel like we had to have all of them.
Q: Does it feel like forever since you guys have been home?
A: Yeah. I have never really been through this before in any of my seasons, I think in terms of long gap and (I) feel like we really have not played at home much. It has been interesting how the schedule is set up.
Q: You worry if you guys do not turn this thing around there may be some empty seats in December?
A: I am sure Russ (Brandon) is worried about that. That is his department. We have to go out there and try to win.
Q: We have talked about RB C.J. Spiller and getting him the touches. Now you guys do not have a choice. How important is it to get this guy established and like you said get him more touches?
A: He will obviously be more of a featured guy this week with Fred (Jackson) not being able to go. He has shown us what he can do time and time again. I think we are all excited for him to get out there and get some extended time.
Q: In the year since the last Miami game, has Spiller really gone leaps and bounds? Maybe beyond your expectations for him?
A: I think so. I know the expectations were high. Everyone has seen the YouTube clips of him at Clemson and just the stuff that he did on the field was insane. You were not sure how it was going to translate to the NFL game. He did not get a ton of touches and carries early on in his career, but every game opponents are coming up to me talking about the guy. That is something that does not really happen that much, just in terms of how electric he is. I think the biggest thing with C.J., and we have talked about this before kind of the end of last year and beginning of this year, is his confidence. He has always had the athletic ability and the talent. It is just his confidence is at another level right now and I think that stems from how he performed at the end of last year.
Q: What stands out about Miami's defense?
A: They are all over the place (with) lots of different pressures. Third down they can get fairly exotic in what they do. The coordinator (Kevin Coyle) is a Cincinnati guy. I was there with him. It is a lot of the same stuff, tough to prepare for, especially in a short week. They will throw a lot at us and it will be difficult.
Q: There cornerbacks will come and they will send different guys?
A: Yeah, they will send everybody. They will send pretty much everybody depending on what different formations and looks you are in.
Q: Talk about their front seven and their physical-ness.
A: Yeah they are big and tough to run on. It is something in terms of personnel guys that we know. Cameron Wake is a guy you have to know where he is. He is just able to change the game with as quick as he is and being able to rush the passer. They present a lot of problems and they do a good job.
Q: How much do they disguise their blitzes?
A: A lot. Just between all of the various blitzes that they do, not only bringing linebackers, but nickels, safeties and corners. There are a lot of different things that they do. They do a good job of disguising it.
Q: Did you guys focus on Miami at all before the New England game or did preparation just start this week?
A: No. Yeah, after the New England game.
Q: Are you kind of surprised what you saw from the Miami front last week? Titans RB Chris Johnson kind of had his way with them.
A: Yeah, Tennessee did a good job of running the ball and that is something you do not see a lot of on these guys because they are so stout. They do such a good job up front. So that was something that stood out. It is more of an anomaly, I think, for teams to be able to run on them like that. He had some big runs and things.
Q: Given where expectations were before the season a lot of people might be surprised to see where the Bills are as opposed to where the Dolphins are at this point. Your thoughts on that?
A: I guess I can talk about us. We are disappointed. We are not where we want to be. I think I kind of said that the past few weeks and not been able to turn it around the past few weeks with some tough games. We have to start winning at some point and this is a great week to do it, a great week to start it off and get on a little streak here.
Q: This team has struggled in division games, losing eight in a row since that New England game, and we know the importance of winning in the division. And if you cannot do that you are in trouble.
A: Yeah. You have to win division games and it is something that if you listen to that stat, then I guess we have struggled with it in the last few years. Something we have got to fix.
Q: In winning close games, what is it that is not there whether it be personnel or fill in the blank?
A: We obviously did not make the play at the end in the New England game. The Tennessee game we did not put it away. I thought we had a nice fourth quarter drive against Cleveland that kind of sealed the game, but it has kind of been back-and-forth, up-and-down. It is just not only at the end of the game, it is just that consistency that we have been talking about, especially offensively, something that we have been very up and down this year with. It is that lack of consistency that has been hurting us and something that we need to continue to work at.
Q: Spiller has talked about this being his first full off-season. For a young guy, how much does it help to have full OTAs, minicamp, getting his head in the playbook, being around the facility and all of those kinds of things help and translate into the regular season?
A: I think for him now it is more the years of experience, the years of seeing it. The way that Fred (Jackson) runs with the football, and the way that he attacks games in terms of game planning and stuff like that, I do not know that this off-season allowed him to get that much better or put him that much farther ahead mentally. I think that it has really been the seasons of games and being able to see all of that for him to become seasoned through that rather than the off-season.
RB C.J. Spiller
Tuesday November 13, 2012
Q: Are you ready to go, being the guy? You have been here before.
A: I'm ready. I'm not ready, (but) we still have a couple of days to prepare. But I am ready to be the starter. We had our playmaker (Fred Jackson) go down, so it is what it is. We will get him back hopefully soon, get ready and try to make a run while he is out. I have learned so much from him and I will try and take what I have learned from him and apply it on Thursday.
Q: The timing of this is that last year it was the Miami game when you took over when Fred got hurt. Here they are again. A year ago almost to the day nobody really knew if you were the guy to do this but you hadn't shown it yet and then the last six games you blew up. Just talk about where you have come this year.
A: I have learned so much over the years. My first three years just about how to be patient, not try to get the 60, 70 and 80 (yarders) all the time and just taking the fives. And eventually the big ones will pop. That is the biggest thing and like I tell a lot of people this is my first true NFL off-season. My first year, I had to do the contract and last year we had the lockout. I think all the hard work that I have put in over the years is starting to pay off, but I am not complacent. I am going to continue to work at my craft and continue to get better. I am not doing anything different this year than I had done in the past.
Q: At various points we asked you about workload and you had indicated at one time that the more the ball is in your hands and a lot of running backs say this, there is a groove, there is a rhythm within a game. How much of that are you looking forward to that on Thursday?
A: You do get into a groove when you get the ball. A lot that is why I had said when Fred first came back we were doing a one series and I thought it wasn't working. I think the two series was working better because we were able to get into a groove. In case you go three-and-out you still have a series to keep that groove going. But now that he is out this game it probably will be a different groove for me. But at the same time I'm not going to try to go out there and be Superman because I know that I have Tashard Choice that can go in there and spare me a couple of plays. That guy is ready to go and he comes to work every day. I'm going to go out there and give it my all while I'm out there, but if I need a blow or anything, I know that No. 20 can go in there.
WR Stevie Johnson
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Q: Stevie you say that there are no moral victories but the way you played these last two teams maybe two of the best in the AFC a lot of improvement from the way you lost games early in the season when games were done by half time. Do take anything from that do you build off that at all?
A: You can I mean yeah, we can build off of that but we need to get wins forget the whole 'we played well, we got first downs, we scored this many points.' If you don't win the game then it really doesn't matter that is pretty much the attitude that I have and hopefully everyone else around the locker room has.
Q: Turnaround has to start Thursday night.
A: It has to. Definitely you are right about that. If we want to make this push this is the game that it has to start on. We hoped that it would have started last week or the week before that but it is what it is and Thursday we have the Miami Dolphins coming in, a division opponent and if we want to get to the playoffs we have to win this game and win on out.
Q: Raw emotion from a lot of people but for yourself at the end of the New England game obviously a little frustration there can you talk about that?
A: Yeah, it's frustrating because we played these guys the New England Patriots. We always go up and they end up coming back and winning. It's not just one time it's been like three times that this happened and we get in a situation where we go out in New England. We need to win these games and they go up 17 or what not and we come back and then we end up losing. It's frustrating; it's like come on man we talk a lot about turning the corner and trying to be that team. We got a great team in this locker room and when you look at it on paper yes it is great and all that, but we are still getting losses. I was just frustrated and hopefully nobody took it the wrong way in this locker room. It's time to turn it around.
WR Donald Jones
Tuesday November 13, 2012
Q: When you are this far into the season with that type of (short) turnaround. Does it make it difficult on a player?
A: Yes, it is kind of difficult because your body is not back yet from the last game. But it's the nature of the league. Hopefully you really play to get a bunch of these because you want to play on Monday nights. You want to do things like this. Everyone just has to adjust.
Q: There is hope and optimism still so many games left but at some point the turnaround has to start.
A: The turnaround definitely has to start this Thursday. We look at it as we have to win out. It starts this Thursday. You want to win every game, our playoffs will start Thursday.
Q: With a guy like C.J. (Spiller), the more touches he gets that ignite him a little more. Is he a guy who gets more comfortable when he gets into a little bit more of a rhythm?
A: Yea everybody is that way. If you are the type of person that is touching the ball (then) the more you touch the ball the more rhythm you get into and the more comfortable you get in the game. The more and more he gets touches I'm sure he gets more comfortable like a receiver, the more catches you get the more you get comfortable the more explosive will become throughout the game.
Q: The last game certainly did not end the way you wanted it to. But is there something that you can build on coming off that performance by the offense?
A; Yes definitely when you hear 35 first downs and things like that. It is definitely something to build on. We will just come out on Thursday and hopefully put on the same performance or even better
DE Mario Williams
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Q: How do you get ready for these Thursday games?
A: It is a short week, but I think the biggest thing is getting the mental preparation. Being on your P's and Q's and going out there to execute.
Q: You guys mix it up a lot on your line, just in terms of your linemen, are you looking forward to the challenge of going up against OT Jake Long?
A: Yeah definitely. Every week is another great opponent and this week we have him. Not just myself, but everybody. Be ready, like I said, mentally because it is a short week. Get your rest and be ready to go out there for the challenge.
Q: Do you think people were wrong to buy into the high expectations before the season began?
A: No. We still have a lot of football left. We are definitely still anxious to get out there on the field. The biggest thing for us is to go out there and make a stand.
Q: It has to start...
A: Definitely has to start. I think the biggest thing, obviously like I said, we have seven games but if you do not start it sooner than later then we are basically just spinning our wheels.
Q: You understand the impatience that people have?
A: There is nobody that I think feels it more than we do.
Q: I do not think anybody expected the Bills to be at 3-6. You look at the 4-5 Dolphins and they were supposed to be essentially cast-offs here.
A: What has happened in the past happened. If we sit here as a team harping on that and not focusing on trying to win a game and not keeping our morale high then we are not going to get any better. I think the biggest thing for us is be confident, focused and like I said go out there and make it happen. That is the biggest thing. You sit here and dwell on everything else, we are going to be sitting right where we are.
Q: How do you keep morale high?
A:Every game is a new game. The past is the past whether or not we won all the games we have played so far, we can go out and lose the next seven. It is always a new game. You have to have a short memory in terms of you cannot let it drag onto the next week or we are just going to sit in the same spot.
Just as if we were a winning team. You mess around and say 'We have been winning this whole time.' Then you end up losing every game that you have left. It is the same thing. You have to take every game as a new game and a new hope.
Q: Do you think against a rookie quarterback about mixing up some things and disguising some things to really get to him?
A: Yeah, but at the end of the day watching film he gets the ball out quick. I think they are going to protect him by being able to get safe sure routes to get the ball out of his hands so he is not getting hit and he does not have to make the first, second and third read, I think is the biggest thing. I think a key for us this week is definitely getting batted passes. That is going to be just as big as getting a sack. He is getting the ball out pretty quick.
Q: Is the penalty situation just concentration? The first half really hurt you guys against New England
A: It did. I think some of the penalties could have been either way. There were some penalties that maybe should have been called that were not called. At the end of the day it is just part of the game. If it is said to be a penalty whether or not it was an obvious one or just something that could have been nitpicking, it is what it is. The refs make the call. That is what they get paid for. We have to play with it. No matter what it is, we cannot just give them a reason to make calls. I think that was the biggest thing that hurt us this past week.
Q: How strange has the schedule been? Does it seem like forever since you guys have been home?
A: It does, but it is also going by extremely fast. It is almost Thanksgiving now. We have been gone, but honestly it almost feels like it has just been a blur with everything that has been happening and as quick as these games have been going by. I think we have a stretch here that we will be home mostly. We will see what is going on.
DT Kyle Williams
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Q: What do you think about this team being tested?
A: We've all talked about it and just kind of looking ahead of us all the teams that were getting ready to play are kind of where we are. They're fighting to get in to the last spot or so. I think just kind of the general thought is that it only takes a spark to start a fire and that spark is winning one football game. If we win one, I think guys feel good about making a run here at the end of the year.
Q: You have to start it against this team, they're reeling, it's a division game...
A: It has to start. I mean for all purposes for our playoffs started Sunday night with a Thursday night game against a division team 3-6, seven games left. It started Sunday night.
Q: You weren't here in 2004, but there was a similar situation, 3-6 coming out of New England, I don't know if Chris has said anything...
A: Yea Chris told me about it and then they played the Steelers here to win to get in. There's no law that says that can't be done. You look at teams in the past, you look at the Giants and things like that what they have done at the end of the year closing out the year and get in the playoffs and once you are in things happen. But like I said it has to start with a spark and I think the last few weeks you feel like you are fighting uphill, you are climbing uphill on a slick surface and just think all you need is a spark. I think we have a chance to do something at the end of the year and make a little run.
Q: Can you talk about facing Ryan Tannehill this week, overall he has been pretty solid as a rookie.
A: Yeah, he has been solid they have a done a good job with their run game. They do some different things to protect him. He'll get out on some boots he gets rid of the ball quick so it is one of those things that we have to tighten it up and hopefully get some batted balls at the line. Make some plays when he completes the play over the middle quick, hit the guys and get them on the ground. Make them extend those routes where you can get after him, but he has done a good job for a rookie quarterback coming in.
FS Jairus Byrd
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Q: What is the difference between playing on Thursday instead of a Sunday?
A: Rest. You have to make sure you are resting and getting sleep and just make sure you are ready because it is a quick turnaround. Your body is really what is going to take you over the hump and make sure you are studying. Those two things are the biggest things.