The Bills face the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday in Orchard Park. Below are comments from the team beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
Q: Will DE Mark Anderson or CB Aaron Williams get a chance to practice this week?
A: Aaron (Williams) is going to get a chance to practice. Mark (Anderson) has not come along as quickly as we hoped. Aaron is going to be able to get on the field a little bit, I think, this week.
Q: Will Williams practice today?
Q: With Anderson and DE Chris Kelsay hurt, it is kind of amazing the pass rush might be at its strongest it has been all season and DE Mario Williams has really come on.
A: Yeah, (Mario Williams) is extremely productive at this point in time. We had to play a couple of weeks ago with a three man rotation at end and did alright. Our ace in the hole, fortunately, is Spencer Johnson that can go out there and play if we need him to. He has that ability to play inside or outside.
Q: Would you say this is what you envisioned out of Mario?
A: Yeah. I think that is what we had all seen before he got here. He is obviously playing extremely well right now versus run and pass.
Q: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said he discussed with you the need to show progress these last five weeks. Your thoughts on that and things have obviously not gone the way you envisioned.
A: No, they have not. When you lose, nothing goes the way you want it to. I just told him to keep working and keep doing the things that he had been successful at in times past the last couple of years. Just keep getting better. That is our only choice. That is what you are trying to do, go out there and find ways to get better. Hopefully I can help him be more productive as a quarterback.
Q: Could his stature as the franchise quarterback be in jeopardy going forward if things do not turnaround?
A: We have always said that we are looking to develop a quarterback for the future. I do not think it is the near future. I think we are talking about Fitz being the guy for us and as we continue to get better, I think he is going to be the guy. So I see us being able to be very productive as an offense with Fitz at quarterback. I have always said that and I believe that.
Q: Is it frustrating to see the mistakes you are seeing on film now that it is Week 12?
A: You do not want to see it, no, but what happens is it is little things here or there that make the difference in a ball game. It is one pass here, it is a batted pass here or a drop there. It is all those little things and you do not want those. You cannot win unless you make those plays happen. It is frustrating at times, but it is what it is. You have to keep working with the guys you have got. You keep going and you keep trying to get those guys better, more productive and more consistent. That is where we are.
Q: To fans and the media, Fitzpatrick seems limited in a number of areas. What gives you confidence in him moving forward?
A: I have seen him play extremely well. When you have seen a guy do it then you have confidence in him. If you had never seen him do it, then you probably would have made a change somewhere else down the line already. We all saw what he can do when everything is hitting on all cylinders. That is why I have confidence. I have seen him do it.
Q: We have talked a lot about red zone. What can you say you have to do there?
A: We have to avoid the negative plays. We get down there and we get a negative run, we get a missed assignment on a run or we do not get the ball up in there. We are trying to be more balanced down there and not just be pass happy. We have been throwing the ball quite a bit and we are trying to become more balanced down there because we see some eight (man) drop quite a bit. We are not able to execute some runs so we are getting negative plays or we get sacks. In Houston we got sacked a couple of times in the red zone--that really hurt us. There are several things, it is not just one thing, it is several things that are keeping us from being as productive as we need to be in the red zone.
Q: Do you think moving forward you have enough solutions to stop teams from stopping your screen game the way the Colts did?
A: You have to decide are you going to slow their pass rush down enough because they are scared of the screen game. Is that worth it? Just the threat of the screen being there. They slowed us down because they grabbed us and would not let us out of there. That is a credit to them, but we have to be able to still execute the screen game even if they are doing that. We have to figure some other ways to get it done and we think we have got those ways.
Q: In the summer you talked of a perfect storm and all three phases of the game coming together. Is there anything you can pinpoint as to why that has not happened?
A: No. I wish I would pinpoint that but we seem to not hit on all cylinders. I think we did on Kansas City and that is about it to be honest with you. I do not have that answer.
Q: You talk about the great fans here, but there are a lot of unsold tickets. Do you worry about this being bad for business?
A: Yeah and that is our responsibility--win to keep the fans excited about the football team. That is our responsibility. The fans are great. They are extremely loyal and they want a winner just like anybody else. I totally understand that.
Q: Can you talk about how reliable OG Andy Levitre has been? He seems to have been a rock for you guys.
A: Yeah. That is one of the amazing things because Andy (Levitre) is not the biggest guy out there. For him to take the pounding, to play and show up week in and week out, that has been very, very impressive. He is not 100-percent I can promise you. He is out there battling every week and trying to get better. He has been, as you said, solid as a rock for us since we have been here.
Q: How has he overcome the lack of size and still be been successful?
A: Great technique and he is a ferocious football player. He really is. He really plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. He has great technique and great leverage. He understands and he studies the defenders. He knows what he needs to do to be able to block them in certain looks. He gets to the right spot and that is a credit to him.
Q: I know you have said that QB Tarvaris Jackson is not going to happen this year, but if you were to have a situation you needed him could you get him ready to play?
A: We would have to get him a lot of reps to get him ready to play if something were to happen to Fitz, Tyler (Thigpen) was playing and Tarvaris was the next guy to go in. We would have to give him a lot of reps during the course of a week where we would feel comfortable. Or at least limit the package enough to where he could execute what he knows to this point.
Q: Do you think Jackson is where he needs to be at least knowledge-wise?
A: I think so, but I do not know that. Until you do it, you do not know. He can spout out the answers, but going and doing it all in about 12 seconds is a big difference.
Q: Just like facing Tennessee, you have to face a veteran instead of a struggling second-year quarterback. Is it almost like you wish the veteran did not show up here?
A: They are playing extremely well. They put up I do not know how many yards passing the last couple of weeks. Last week, what he got sacked seven times and still came out smoking so he is playing extremely well. When we played Tennessee their veteran quarterback played extremely well. You have to give those guys credit for being prepared and being ready.
Q: With everything that came about with WR Stevie Johnson's comments, did it cause you guys to rethink things?
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Q: Does it get tiring to be in this situation where you have to win or else year after year?
A: I think it is tiring coming up to the podium, having to talk after all these losses and having to figure out why we are where we are, why we have been inconsistent on offense or why we keep losing games. That part of it is tiring but that is part of it. We have to be able to figure those things out. We have to be able to get out here and continue to work. We have to be able to keep spirits high and look forward to the next game. Hopefully this next game will be our best game of the year.
Q: Is it troubling to have so many unsold tickets?
A: Yeah. I think the biggest thing there is if you are not winning I think you are going to see that. Unfortunately you look at how much excitement there was at the beginning of the year and how we have not met expectations that we have had for ourselves and people have had for us that is going to happen. The only way you bring them back is winning games.
Q: At this point in the season, shouldn't the team be more consistent?
A: Yeah, the game of football is interesting because every week is a different week and it is a different opponent. There are different things we are doing. There are different ways that people defend us. There are going to be some ups and downs during a season, I think we all know that. There are going to be some inconsistencies. For us to struggle with some of the stuff we thought we would be better at coming into the year and to have those ups and downs...it is just something we need to get better at.
Q: It seems like all the phases of the game have not been able to come together at the same time.
A: That is part of the consistency, too. Everybody, all three units, being consistent in the same game and that really...we have had our ups and downs on offense, the defense has had their ups and downs and special teams has been the same way. Chan (Gailey) at the very beginning of the year talked about the perfect storm and getting all three of those to come together and all of us to play well in the same game throughout the season and continue to improve. Hopefully the perfect storm will happen this weekend.
Q: You have been in the position QB Tarvaris Jackson is in before. How difficult is it for a guy who has had his experience to be told 'Sorry you are sitting this one out this year.'
Q: Yeah I think as a competitor that is tough. Not just as a quarterback, but in general you want to be out there playing and it is a tough situation. He is a guy that came in after all the learning, after training camp and all of that stuff. As a quarterback, that is a very difficult situation to be put in. To have anything be expected out of you, just because of the nature of the position and how much goes into it mentally. Once you get into a season 100-percent of the focus is on winning games, me and Chan talking about things and getting me ready. So that is a tough situation but that is what it is.
Q: If something were to happen that he needed to go in, do you think he could do it?
A: I have seen him play, I have seen T-Jax play before...obviously the guy has had success in this league so it certainly would not be an ideal situation for him or for anybody, but he has been successful in this league.
Q: If you do not turn this around, do you feel like your status as the franchise quarterback could be in jeopardy?
A: Yeah, I think again what I said a few weeks ago is especially as a quarterback it is all about production and it is all about wins. That is the number one important thing and that is something that each week I have to continue to go out there and help the team in any way that I can in getting these wins. That is a big part of it for me. That is something that has weighed on me, it has weighed on me all year long in terms of not being able to do it and not be able to be as successful as we wanted to be. I have no choice but to go out there and try to continue to put together successful plays, successful drives and win games.
Q: What has prevented that from happening?
A: No, I do not know if you can point to one thing. I think there are plenty of things that go into it.
Q: 4-7, do you feel like as players you have to win to take some heat of HC Chan Gailey?
A: I do not know if that is how we look at it. I think as a head coach he is obviously going to receive a lot of the heat when things are not going well and probably get a lot of the praise when things are. If you look at for me, he is a guy that put a lot and invested a lot into me. I think I want to go out there and win--and I want to win for my teammates but I want to go out there and win for Chan as well.
Q: Do you feel like the program is further down the road than it has been previously in your time here?
A: We did not expect or want to be where we are right now. I feel like unfortunately there have been some games where we have not shown where we thought we would be or where we should be. That being said, we have a great opportunity with these last five games to go out and show that there has been progress that has been made and that we are a better team than we have shown in the first 11 games of the season.
Q: Did anything come internally game planning wise as a result of WR Stevie Johnson's remarks?
A: No, I think our offense is what it is. I talked about it a few days ago and Stevie talked about it a few days ago so I think we can put that to rest. But nothing is going to change. We are who we are and we just have to go out there and be more effective.
Q: What are the solutions to this team succeeding in the red zone?
A: I'd say everything; do a little bit of everything better. There has not really been a lot of success down there lately. There are certain games where we have a ton of success and then there are games where we are getting shutout. So just throw the word consistency again, but we have to be able to run better down there and we have to be able to be more efficient in the pass game down there.
Q: Against Tennessee you got them really good in the red zone with a screen to RB Fred Jackson, but you cannot really scheme them that well all the time.
A: Yeah, they get paid, too. We did a good job this last game getting Donald (Jones) down to the one-yard line and then Lee (Smith) running into the ref and catching the ball. That was a great design of a play (Laughs). Run around a little bit. Sometimes you just need something like that to happen to get everybody going and get some momentum.
Q: Are you surprised they went with DT Kyle Williams on that play the way they did?
A: No, because Corey (McIntyre) went down in the game.
Q: I meant that the Colts stayed with him the way they did.
A: They must know all about his golf and swimming career. They must know he is a great athlete.
Q: Do you see any signs of discouragement in Chan?
A: I have sat down and talked with him yesterday and today, we have talked about stuff and we are focused on these last five games. I think that is the most important thing. It is very important for us these next five games to show the progress we think we have made in the last few years. There has been progress. We are much better. We have to be able to go out there, do it and show it on the field.
Q: How much input do you have during the week before Gailey is coming up with the game plan? Does he sit down with you and see what you are comfortable with?
A: Yeah, they come up with different kinds of ideas and different ways they want to attack different personnel groupings and things like that. Usually we will sit down in our Wednesday morning meeting and he will go over everything that they have installed and put in. We will kind of talk about comfort level, what we like and what we do not like. Tinker with some stuff during the week if we feel like there are some changes that need to be made whether it is third down, red zone or the regular down and distance stuff.
DE Mario Williams
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Q: Is it still hard to get rid of the disappointment of losing that game and things looking dim on your playoff hopes?
A: No. It is on to the next (game). We have to get out here and get prepared. Try to win this week.
Q: Do you even think about that it is really going to take winning out right now?
A: At the end of the day, every week is a new week. Whether or not you are undefeated or have not won a game, you have to go out there, get back at it and refocus.
Q: For you personally, do you feel the best you have all season?
A: So far I have. I just have to stay on top of treatment and just get healthy.
Q: That last drive from the Colts where you could not get the ball back really put a damper on what was a good effort from the defense.
A: If it had not been for the penalty that was unfortunately called, which is however somebody is looking at, it could have gone either way. As far as the penalty we would have been off the field. We still have an opportunity.
Q: After all the excitement coming into the season how discouraging is all the unsold tickets and games being blacked out?
A: I cannot focus on that. I am trying to go out and play. Blacked out, televised, whatever--you have to go out and play.
Q: So much is said about how long it takes a defense to learn a scheme, is that part of what has been happening?
A: I think it is just one of those things that we are playing together better. Like I was saying, every game it is just about being in your gap, your responsibility and executing.
Q: Is there anything you can pinpoint as a moment it came together?
A: Whenever we execute. Like I said, just be in the gap. Anything that happens to us we allowed it to. It is on us and that is just not being in position.
Q: How new is playing in the snow and cold to you?
A: I have never played in a snow game, but weather is weather. It does not really matter to me. I do not focus too much on weather.
Q: Any coaching points come out of last game in not being able to get off the field on third-and-longs?
A: Just finish it. There were a couple of runs that they got. We have to get them down in that situation. A couple of penalties towards the end of the game that we have to take care of. It was just the little things. Getting it done and stopping them.
Q: Do you feel as confident as you have right now?
A: Yeah, mentally I am definitely feeling pretty well. I just have to keep it going.
RB C.J. Spiller
Wednesday November 28, 2012
Q: The challenges of trying to pick yourself back up and get back after it, after what a lot of your teammates said was a must win for you guys for your post-season hopes. How do you approach this week?
A: You approach it the same because you never know what game could really matter. Of course we wanted to win that game but we didn't. For me, and probably for the rest of the guys, we put it behind us and we have all of our attention on the Jaguars. We do a great job of being able to put games behind us and going and being able to move forward. I don't expect anything less this week.
Q: In terms of you knowing you have to win five in a row here, is it hard to have that in the back of your mind? Or is it a game at a time approach?
A: It's just a game at a time. You can't think ahead. We know what lies in front of us and that is the main thing. If you go out there and you are thinking about too many things and you are not playing the game the way you are supposed to play, that is when you don't play to your best abilities. For me, I am just going to go out there and play. I am going to have a great week of preparation and come Sunday I am just going to play loose and that is the main thing. That is the only thing you can do. You can't look to next week against the Rams because we don't play them yet. Hopefully we have all of our attention on the Jaguars.
Q: You continue to say that you have confidence in Coach Gailey. You can't control when you get the ball, how you get the ball or where you get the ball. How much do you want the ball? The way this season is going for you, how much do you want it these last five games including this Sunday?
A: I never go into a game with 'I want to touch it this amount of times.' because you never how a game will turn out. So I understand the game situation. If we are running the ball successfully and we are up on those guys then of course we are going to run more. But at the same time if we are not, of course I understand we are going to have to pass it. I never really get in that mindset of I want to touch it 20 or 30 times. Just whenever my opportunity is called I just try to make a play for my team and take what the defense gives me.
RB Fred Jackson
Wednesday November 28, 2012
Q: What are your memories of Coach Mularkey when he was here.
A: I didn't have a chance to know Coach Mularkey. His last year was before my first year here. My first year was with Coach Jauron.
Q: How difficult is it going to be this week to get up both for you and the team, with the loss to the Colts it's not over, but it's not looking great for you guys. How do you recover and get up for this now?
A: This is what we do. It won't be hard for us at all. Everybody in this locker room is a competitor. We're going to come out and continue to play and fight because that is just what we do. That is the type of character that these guys have. It won't be hard for anyone to get up and be ready for this game this weekend.
Q: Thoughts on having 15,000 empty seats for the game this Sunday.
A: Well I mean it is tough you definitely want a full crowd to play in front of. That is looking like that is not going to be the case, but we will come out and play and try and put on a show for the fans that are in the stands. That is just about it, come out there and do what we can and show up and play football. The fans that are coming out to watch hopefully we can go out and get a win for them.
Q: You did get some snaps in the last game, but it wasn't necessarily snaps where you got the football. How are you looking at your role now that you are not getting as many opportunities with the football?
A: That is just it, go out and take advantage of the ones that I do get. It is a different role for me, but I am going to go out and do what I am asked to do. That's going out there and being in pass protection, with the carries I do get try and make the most of those. Try and help us get wins anyway I can. We'll see what happens this weekend. It may be a different role this week, we don't know. I know C.J. (Spiller) will be the starting running back. He will get most of the bulk is what I'm hearing from Coach Gailey as well, but I will go out and continue to make plays and try and do what I can when I get those opportunities.
Q: Is that been okay with you?
A: Any player in this league wants to be on the field. This is about doing what we can to help the team win. That is what I am going to try and do when I am called upon I will try and make plays. I will continue to support my team. While C.J. is out there I will let him know what I am seeing and continue to support him.
Q: Are you impressed at the fans, there hasn't been a tremendous amount of success, they are still there even up to now.
A: Yea, you always like the support you are getting from fans. I love it. I will continue to try and feed off the ones that are out there and I know everyone in this locker room will do the same thing.
Q: Do the empty seats, do you hear that statement based on the way this team has played.
A: Well, I think we have something to do with that. We know that if we are winning football games we will get the stadium full and everybody out there trying to support us. That is on us we know we have to do some things to get this thing turned around and we won't have to worry about that.
Q: The offense is not executing efficiently, but also we are going on week 12. Shouldn't it be executing it at a higher level at this time in the season.
A: Well I mean you think so. You should. We know what is in the play book. We know what we have to do. It's about being consistent and doing it. There are times that we are not doing things, not seeing things, we are all not on the same page. That's the thing about offenses, when everybody is not on the same page you are not going to click well. We just have to eliminate that. We know that hopefully we can get that corrected going into the game this week.
Q: Do you have confidence in this scheme, is that wavering at all on what's going on, it seems that a lot of things are not making sense?
A: I mean things are going to get thrown out there when you're not doing what you are suppose to do. We are 4-7 right now and that is not where we want to be. Everybody is going to be upset about that. The thing that we have to do is continue to have faith. I'm not wavering from it at all. I know Coach Gailey is going to do whatever he can to get us in the right situation. Everybody in this locker room has faith in him. We will go out and continue to play and hopefully make some more plays.
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