After the jump you'll find a buttload of press conference transcripts from yesterday, mostly from Bills players and staff with a little Sean Payton and Drew Brees sprinkled in there for good measure, all having to do with Sunday's Saints/Bills matchup. You might want to go to the bathroom and grab a drink before starting because it's gonna be a while. Your boss is gonna hate me. Enjoy.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
The injury report: Brad Butler of course and Derek (Schouman) did not practice. They are on Injured Reserve. Geoff Hangartner did not practice today. Paul Posluszny and Josh Reed did not practice. These four guys were limited: Terrence McGee, Leodis (McKelvin), Shawn Nelson and Roscoe (Parrish). Those were all limited in practice and everybody else participated.
On Reed and Hangartner's injuries:
Josh is a quad I think and Geoff's is just his back. His back stiffened up on him some.
On OL Jonathan Scott stepping in for Brad Butler and if he can do the job:
First of all he filled in and did a pretty good job in the game, so that leads us to believe that he can do it. We've seen him now for all of last offseason, but the end of last season when we brought him and then through the offseason, the OTAs and training camp, we thought he really, really worked hard. He really worked hard, learned our stuff and competed well. He's a good athlete for the size and he's a big man, so I do believe he can do the job. I do believe that. Now he's got to go out and do it. He's got to prove it and this will be a tough team.
On if he's ever seen a young and inexperienced offensive line like this:
No, not that I can recall except in a preseason game of course.
On why they chose to sign OL Jamon Meredith:
At this point we still have the luxury of Kirk (Chambers) who's got experience in the league and has played well for us. Sean (Kugler) and Ray (Brown) really liked (Jamon) Meredith in his work out. We thought he had some good grades on him coming out, so we decided we would go that way. And then that's really the reasons why.
On if he Meredith will play tackle or guard:
He can play both. He has played both in college, that's my understanding.
On the Saints offense posing problems:
They certainly do pose a lot of problems. Obviously I have great faith in Perry (Fewell) and the defensive staff. I think they do a great job of preparing for all of our opponents. This team is very talented and like every offense, work starts right inside with that quarterback. Drew (Brees) is just a terrific player. He's playing at a very high level and has for a long time now. It's tough to fool him. He's seen most everything you can do. He reacts to it very well and delivers the ball accurately. He's got a strong arm, can go down field and gets it out quickly when he has to, so it's a tough chore. The good news is that we've got faith in what we do. The bad news is so does everybody else in the league and hasn't had a lot of success. You know that the first two people they played, they're talented at what they do, and the Saints scored 45 and 48, putting up a lot of points so they pose a huge problem for us. Again, we're working hard to get ready but it's a tough one.
On how they get confidence in an offense when preparing for a team as good as the Saints:
That's a good question. I'm not sure that anybody has the answer to that until after the fact. And then after the fact it's kind of whatever they say. But in my opinion, you get ready to do what you do best, you try to throw in a few wrinkles and you play as hard as you can. Hopefully the ball bounces your way a few times and you hit everything right. And in that way maybe you rattle them, maybe you do, but they're good. They're very, very good.
On what a defense has to do to adjust to a quarterback that's performing like Brees:
I don't know that it's real complex. You try to get him out of that rhythm and then the next part is the hard part, what do you do to get him out of that rhythm? People would say ‘well you've got to pressure him.' Well, yeah, you can do that but pressure doesn't seem to get him out of the rhythm a good deal of the time. Sometimes it does but sometimes man does. Every game's a little bit different. You just try to change it up. You try to keep them guessing and you try to disguise. The answers are kind of always the same when you play the very top level quarterback. It's always the same questions. It's kind of always the same answers because there are not a lot of places to go except on the field and during the game somebody makes a play because people will be accounted for and you've got to win and you've got to get to him.
On if they needed to pressure Patriots QB Tom Brady more:
I think after you lose a game anything you say you're wrong. We should've done what we didn't do, clearly. So I don't have an answer for that one.
On how already playing the Patriots will benefit them:
There's always a benefit. The more you play the better the benefit. I know what you're saying about Brady but Byron Leftwich is no slouch either. Having played them all hopefully will benefit us. This guy (Drew Brees) though is playing at a very, very high level and has for a long time.
On the level of confidence that beating a team of this stature will bring to the team:
First of all, to win any game is huge in the regular season and to be able to beat a team that's on a role like they are would be great for us in front of our home fans, there's no doubt about it. As you're all pointing out it's not going to be easy. They're a very good football team, not only on offense. They do a lot of things on the defensive side to give you issues and they kick and cover it well and do all that stuff, too, so it'll be a tough one.
On RB Fred Jackson and his vision:
He's got very good vision. I don't know enough about the human eye to be honest with you to tell you if it's innate or not but certainly he's done a lot of things for a long time athletically, so I'm sure he's developed it to some degree. But it's got to be some kind of gift, too, I would guess. But he does have very good vision and a very good feel for football.
On Jackson runs and sees the holes on the field:
I think the quickness in which he hits a hole and recognizes where the hole may be as blocking schemes develop you just have to have a sense. And you've got to believe that it is visual but it's also feel and putting the whole thing together on the move in a fraction of a second. You just don't have time to think about it and do it. And then down the field he's got an unusual sense too, to where bodies are. Clearly he's got great hand-eye coordination. He snatches the ball out of the air and he can return punts. He's just a very, very good athlete.
On if he's starting to get more confidence in his offense to run trick plays like they did against Tampa Bay:
I wouldn't say I have more, I wouldn't say that no. I've always been pretty confident. I like those plays. Terrell (Owens) made a really good run. It was OK and set up ok. I thought they reacted pretty well, but thought he made a really nice run on it to start us off with a kind of a big play, a good play. And the fourth down was so short, I was pretty comfortable going in our end with the sneak, but when those plays don't go for you then it's not a very good decision at all.
On Jackson's success allowing them to open up the middle passing game:
I believe that's true. Whenever you put Lee (Evans) on the field and Terrell (Owens) on the field they're going to have to account for them. Defensively, I guess I'll just speak from my own experience, you're not that comfortable unless you've got two great corners manning up on those guys single safety high and playing a whole game. So you do that sometimes and hold your breath a little bit and when you've got two guys like that in there the odds are you're going to want to roll to them a good deal of the time, and it does open up things inside. The acquisition of Terrell has affected how teams play us. Having Lee outside it does affect what they do, but having the both of them really does affect what they do.
On RB Marshawn Lynch still being the starting running back when he returns:
We've said all along we felt like we had more than two. We love Marshawn (Lynch) and we love Freddy and then Xavier (Omon) has done a nice job for us. So here we are and Marshawn's not here right now.
On having to look at the starting running back decision after this week when Lynch returns:
I think I'll think about it after this week.
On if TE Derek Schouman has had surgery:
Derek has not had surgery yet to my knowledge. He's not scheduled to have it to my knowledge this week. I'm not sure when that will occur and we're not certain about the rest of it probably until they get in, which happens a good deal of the time.
On TE Shawn Nelson being the starting tight end:
We play so much two tight end sets, I'm not sure it matters a whole lot to list them Derek (Fine) and Shawn.
On if Nelson is ready to go:
Shawn practiced today. He was limited but he practiced.
On how time of possession and ball control will factor into this weekend:
You would definitely like to win in time of possession, but clearly they don't matter a lot a lot of the time. It helps but the most important thing offensively is to score. If you can score fast... and score again and again. From the defensive side, I think the thing you always want to do is defend points. You like to defend points. If your offense can put up a lot of them in a short amount of time the odds are you won't complain a lot. Again I think the answer, I guess for me, is yeah you'd love to win every statistical category but you want to win the game. You don't care about any of the other stuff really. We'd love to keep the ball out of their hands somehow, but in the meantime you've got to score because they've given every indication, not only this year, but in past that they're going to score. They score points.
From the New Orleans Saints official website.
Q: Do you know anything about the weather on Sunday?
A: I really don't look that far ahead to be honest with you. I thought it was going to rain on our practice today. It was really cloudy, but it didn't rain and now I'm just looking at tomorrow.
Q: You have been against some outstanding offensive teams like the Patriots in 2007 and the Kurt Warner led Rams when you coached in Chicago. When you watch the Saints on film, do you think they're in that category?
A: Certainly they're playing like it. There's no doubt about that. You go out in the NFL and put up 45 or 48 points, that's a lot of points going up on the board. They've kind of made it look easy. It's a little scary. We're working hard at it. They've done a terrific job.
Q: Without giving away too many secrets how do you combat it?
A: I'm not sure there are any secrets. You have to do kind of what you think you do best, whatever that is. You don't want to stray too far from those things, because you have to do the things you believe in. You have to try to mix it up a little bit, but he's seen it all. It's very hard to confuse Drew (Brees). He reacts so quickly to things too. It's difficult, but you kind of have to play your game and hope things go your way a little bit and then throw in a few wrinkles to try to confuse him. It's hard, they're very, very talented players, but it starts with the quarterback and he's been around a good deal of time and he's seen most things you can do. It's a tough assignment.
Q: Has your defensive coordinator brought certain wrinkles trying to keep offenses on their toes?
A: Yes. Very much. Perry (Fewell) does a terrific job as does the whole defensive staff. We try to change up enough, just so people can't count on it all the time. I think any good football team and hopefully, we're becoming a good team, any good team that you play on either side of the ball and you'll have a good idea of what they do because they do it and they do it well and that's what makes it a good team. They'll usually change up a little bit on you to throw them off. They know how to counter when you do something.
Q: Does it make Drew Brees even tougher when you talk about the running game the Saints have displayed the last two games?
A: Yes, I think they have a little bit better of a running game. They do an outstanding job. Anytime you can run the ball effectively, not matter who you are, it's going to affect your passing game. Anytime you throw it as well as they do, it's going to help your run game. If you're going to be a team and they are that contends, you have to be able to do both of those things effectively and they are.
Q: If you look at two of Brees' nine touchdown passes going to Heath Evans, who is new here, but someone you're familiar with, can you give your thought of him as a fullback?
A: He's always been a very productive player in his role and fit his role really well. He's athletic for the position, carries out what you ask him to do, always. He always has been that player. It doesn't surprise me. He's a very heady guy.
Q: Using Heath as an example, it seems like Drew spreads the wealth. It doesn't matter who throws the ball to, he's effective. How much does that hinder what you guys do?
A: It definitely is a factor, but all of the really, really good ones and he's a really, really good one, they tend to take what you give them or what the defense gives him. The ball usually goes where it's supposed to do, depending on what coverage you're in, those kinds of issues. You just kind of assume with him that the ball is going to go where it's supposed to go. It doesn't make any difference generally with the really good quarterbacks, where that is, where the offensive scheme dictates where it goes against your defensive scheme, that's where it goes and those guys do that really well. He's no exception. He does a terrific job of reading what you're playing and deliver the ball, who's supposed to get it.
Q: The Saints have scored on the first possession in all four halves they have played so far. As an old defensive coach, what does it do when you get behind that quick and behind the eight ball that quick?
A: I would say yes (tough to come back). There's no doubt when you get scored on anytime it's tough. Opening drives, you definitely don't' want to give up points on any drive, so anytime it happens, it's a tough situation. Whenever it occurs you go to the bench and regroup. That's the great thing about sport or everything. It doesn't always go your way. Sometimes it doesn't go your way early. You have to regroup because there's a long way to go and you have to battle through 60 minutes and this will be no different. They just have put up so many points; it's a little bit daunting to go up against it.
Q: What have you seen on Scott Shanle on film?
A: He obviously looks like a very smart player, productive player, understands the scheme and understands what the offense is trying to do. He puts himself in positions to make the play, whether it's run or pass and then he makes the play, so he has been impressive.
Q: TO was brought to your team to help bolster your passing game, but it looks like he hasn't maybe put up the numbers that we in the media might expect. Is it what teams are doing to him?
A: First of all, he put up a big number. He put up six in the end zone in the last game and that's a huge number for us. Secondly, anytime he's on the field he affects the game. He affects the opponent, he affects what defense you want to call against him, because anytime you single him up, it's not a very comfortable feeling. He's been a terrific addition for us. Anytime he steps out on that field, he affects the game. I've been on the opposite side of calling against him and it's not fun. His numbers, he always has produced and he produced again this week and even in the frit week, because he does affect what you call and that does affect the game. It affects what happens inside to every other receiver we have and even opposite him with Lee (Evans) on the other side. It's been really good.
Q: Can a little undersized corner like Jabari Greer match up okay with your receivers and what do you remember about Jabari and was it a tough decision to let him go?
A: We love Jabari Greer. He's a terrific player for us, first of all on special teams and as a starting corner. He obviously has athletic skills and a great attitude. He's very interesting and a great personality. I look forward to seeing him. I wish he wasn't opposite us, but I look forward to seeing him. He's a tremendous young person.
Q: Was him not resigning with Buffalo more of a numbers thing for him since you had drafted Leodis McKelvin?
A: I think you kind of answered your own question there.
Q: Were you expecting this type of production from Fred Jackson with Marshawn Lynch suspended?
A: Yes. Absolutely from Fred. We know Fred. He's a terrific player and a terrific teammate too. It's been tough. We miss Marshawn, but Freddy's done an outstanding job and it's not a surprise, not if you know him.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On the challenge of stopping the Saints offense:
That's a big challenge. They're a very efficient offense and their receivers are excellent. They can throw and catch extremely well. Of course the key is the trigger guy: Drew Brees. He's had an unbelievable first two ball games, completing 75 percent of his passes. He knows where his receivers are and he knows where his defenders are. He's got good field vision. He's an excellent field general. It'll be a challenge just to slow him down.
On it being difficult to pick any type of defensive approach with a quarterback like Brees:
No doubt about it and not very many people sack this guy. He only had 13 sacks in 2008, and so with his ability to see the defense, read the coverage and deliver the ball, it's a tough challenge for anybody.
On it being difficult to get to Brees:
Watching the tape he was on fire. Again, those receivers - people don't give them a lot of publicity but they are really good. They're talented people. Reggie Bush is like a fourth receiver and he's a talented guy out of the backfield. I think their running backs are really good also. They throw the ball to run the ball. but they can run the ball very efficiently, too.
On the challenge that Saints TE Jeremy Shockey presents:
I think anytime you have a guy like Shockey that can split the middle of the field and that competes like he competes when he's out on the field it's always a challenge and match up for any defense to try and contain that guy and not let him get hot.
On playing Tampa Bay's TE Kellen Winslow last week helping them to prepare for Shockey:
That does help, yes it does.
On people comparing Brees to Patriots QB Tom Brady:
When I watched the tape I thought about that and I said ‘wow.' It was a day that you just kind of were in awe to a large degree because that offense is so efficient and they are clicking on all cylinders. They do have that powered offense like the Patriots did two years ago.
On this being a week where he doesn't get much rest:
That day was like that yesterday. Last night was a very short night and I'm sure tonight, the rest of the evening will be short trying to solve those problems, trying to get the proper match ups. Trying to disrupt the timing of that offense is going to be a challenge for myself and our staff all week long.
On how he prepares for the Saints offense:
I don't say we're going to surrender. I say that they're going to move the football and we have to prevent them from scoring. We played them several years ago in the preseason and they moved the ball efficiently down the field but they didn't get it in the end zone on us. That's what we have to do. We have to go out and create some turnovers. Yes, they're high powered and they're going to make some plays but I'm not going to surrender the points.
On people saying that you have to blitz against this team:
Not very many people blitz against this guy. When you look at it, this quarterback is really a cerebral guy. He knows where it's coming from and he gets it out quick. I think in two ball games there might've been a total of 17 pressures against him because he just beats you and hurts you with it. I'm still studying how you solve this efficient quarterback because he's a coach on the field with a great arm.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On the importance of ball possession against New Orleans:
Absolutely. I think every week that's critical, especially this week with an offense that they have, I have to make sure that we convert on third downs, we score touchdowns when we're in the redzone, and obviously we can't keep our defense out there too long. So we need to make sure we're doing all those things, and I think that's the reason they've won the past couple weeks is because the other teams offenses can't stay on the field.
On if he feels like the game is point for point:
I really don't, honestly right now just because I haven't really watched too much of their games. I've seen highlights, I've seen stats of Drew's (Brees), but we're going to keep playing our game, we're going to keep executing the way we do, and our defense has been making big plays. We have two defensive touchdowns and hopefully we can get a couple more of those and keep their offense off the field, but I'm not going to get too caught up in what they do.
On his impressions of New Orleans:
I'm as big a Drew Brees fan as they come. I had an opportunity to meet him this offseason and I'm not surprised with the success he's had. He's a leader on and off the field and guys respect his game, and it's got to be pretty intimidating going up against him and their offense. I mean, they have Jeremy Shockey, Robert Meachem, all those guys are - Marques Colston. Fortunately I don't have to play against them on the field. I'll have my hands full against their defense, and we'll go from there.
On the pace of the no-huddle and if he has the ability to run clock with that:
I've been getting that same question the past couple days, and we're not going to change too much. We can't do something that we're not used to doing, and we have to be aware that their offense is great, we understand that. We have to be aware of making sure our defense isn't out there too long, like I said before, but we're not going to anything that you guys haven't seen differently much in the first two weeks.
On maintaining the offensive identity and the importance of that:
As far as I know. I mean, this is our first day of preparing for them on the field and we haven't changed a whole lot. It may change later in the week, but as far as I know, we're not doing anything much differently at all.
On how he would characterize the New Orleans defense:
I would say they are a pressure-style defense, their defensive coordinator kind of likes mixing it up, different fronts, different coverages. Obviously Jabari (Greer) is over there now, Darren Sharper is playing safety for them, Scott Fujita, Jonathan Vilma used to play for the Jets- all of those guys are playing at a high level right now, and they're beating teams that are pretty good football teams the first couple weeks. We're going to have our hands full, like I said, and we're going to need to have a great week at practice, which we have been the past couple weeks, and I think we're going to be able to do that and be ready to go on Sunday.
On Greg Williams style of defense:
I do feel like he is, like you said, a pressure-style defense coach. He likes attacking young quarterbacks like myself, and I think what he did to Matthew Stafford in their first game is probably what we're going to get on Sunday. He's going to come after you, he's going to give you different looks, he's going to drop into coverage when you think he's going to come after you, so we have to be ready to go.
On if the offensive line is ready to handle the pressure that the team is going to see:
I think so. I think those guys have done a great job so far. I've said it all along, that they are very coachable, very competitive, and I know those things describe Jonathan Scott. I know Brad Butler is going to be missed, but we have to have guys fill in just like Fred Jackson has filled in for Marshawn Lynch and the tight ends fill in for Derek Schouman, and those guys are going to need to step up each week.
On the deep pass and how reassuring it was to make the deep pass and get rewarded for it:
I think its most reassuring that we are doing things that we feel like we are good at. We are still doing things that we're coached to do, we're not doing things that we're not really comfortable with, we're getting guys in positions that we feel like we are utilizing their strengths, and we're going to continue to fight that battle of going deep, but making sure that when there is deep coverage that we're not throwing the ball deep. It's going to be a cat and mouse game all year, but like I said before, I think we are putting Josh Reed in the slot and converting on third downs, we're matching up well outside with our receivers, and I thought our tight ends and our running backs have been playing pretty well too.
On if the cat and mouse game works better because of the different weapons they have:
Yeah, and it's tough on the defense when you have those sort of weapons outside and you have those weapons inside; you can't take away all of them. We need to be in the right play, and that's my job is to get us in the right play and make sure that we're utilizing those players that we do have.
On Fred Jackson's style and what he has done for the offense:
What Fred does is he brings balance to our offense, both in the pass game and the running game. He is stout when it comes to pass blocking, and he's a hard runner when it comes to the run game too. It's nice having him in the backfield. Similar to Marshawn, he's very physical, he's durable, and can get that tough first down when you need to, and he can come out of the backfield and matchup well on the linebackers. As you guys have seen in the first couple of weeks, he's a fun guy to watch, he's a fun guy to have in the huddle with you, and I'm happy with the way things are going for him right now.
On if the team is happy with the more liberal play calls and if they like it:
We do, I think we do because it shows a lot of confidence in the offense, it shows our head coach thinks that we can get one yard on a fourth down, it shows that we trust Terrell to come off the edge and run the ball and give them a different look; trust in the special teams, trust Roscoe Parrish to throw the ball across the field on a punt return. We have talented football players here that are well coached and we have to continue to do that.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On choosing not to speak to the media after the game Sunday:
I think that with anything I say, it has been kind of misconstrued or taken out of context, so you're right, it is my prerogative and I'm filling my obligations throughout the course of the week where I talk to the media, so it's not mandated that I talk to media after the game. As long as I'm fulfilling my obligations as far as talking to the media throughout the week, then I'm doing my job. Obviously I'm not trying to slight the fans by any means. Those fans were fantastic, first regular season (home) game and obviously it was a big accomplishment for myself and for the team with a win. Other than that, that's pretty much my stance on it.
On his Tweet that "it might not have been my best performance":
I just feel like I let some opportunities slip. And obviously with the deep ball I kind of relaxed and the shield was kind of dirty from the couple plays before, so you know, again, I have high standards for myself, and obviously I'm pleased with the win and that we won. We came back and sealed the win, but like I said, I have high standards for myself and it wasn't my best game. I just try to perform at a high level.
On if getting the deep ball gives QB Trent Edwards confidence to emerge as a strong offense:
Oh yeah, definitely. I think when we're capable of making plays, obviously that takes a lot of pressure off Trent (Edwards) to feel like he has to make a play. I think we have more than enough capable guys on the offensive side of the ball to make something happen. Think about what Lee Evans and myself bring on the outside and think about what Fred Jackson has been doing the last couple games. This offense has a lot of potential. Those guys up front are working hard, they're young and I think everybody is growing with each game.
On if the team will need to slow down to keep the ball away from the New Orleansoffense:
Anytime you have a team like that, obviously with the offensive weapons that they have and obviously a quarterback that is really playing at a high level, yeah, you want to try to keep them off the field. I think we're pretty much similar. They will probably want us to stay off the field as well. I think we have just as equal weapons on our side of the ball. When you get a team like that who can hit you all over the board and you have a quarterback like Drew Brees who is playing out of his mind right now, then yeah, you want to limit the number of touches that he can have.
On what he makes of how well the Saints are playing and their game against Philadelphia:
They took advantage of opportunities and I think turnovers played a big key in that. I think toward the beginning of the third quarter the score was only 17-13 and then they had a couple turnovers back-to-back, so the score can be misleading a little bit. Other than that, they took advantage of those opportunities.
On the pace of the no-huddle against Tampa Bay and how they will play Sunday New Orleans:
I'm not sure. I really didn't recognize or feel the pace of it. Once you start practicing and you're just going, you don't really think about. You just think about getting the play call, getting the signals and running the play called. Other than that, we'll just see how the game progresses and we'll just go from there.
On if he was happy with the number of times he was targeted on Sunday against TampaBay:
I think that obviously, this team is different than years past. It's something that I have to get adjusted to. I just have to make the best of my opportunities.
On his body language after the field goal and if he was frustrated:
The cameras are always on me, so they're going to tend to put the cameras on me and you guys can read into it what you want to read into it. But I don't feel the need to comment on what I was thinking or what I was feeling. The cameras are always on me, so I understand that. It is what it is.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On if he likes seeing the playbook open up a little more:
Absolutely. I think it's key for us to show some different things to defenses and be able to convert those opportunities when we have them. Especially fourth down when we feel like we're moving the ball pretty good and still having the confidence to do things like that.
On if it excites him to take chances on different plays:
Absolutely. You have to be able to put big plays on tape or else defenses will just sit shallow and won't ever think that you'll take a shot. So I think it was good that we took some shots last week, converted some and we'll have to continue to do that as the season goes along.
On going up against former Buffalo CB Jabari Greer on Sunday:
I don't know if we'll match up. So far this season they haven't really been matching up so we'll just see how they want to play it. Obviously playing against him here we know what type of corner he is. He's a very smart corner, fast, quick, can change direction and we know him so it'll be a lot of fun to play against him.
On the offense needing to fine tune their plays to execute against the Saints:
It's definitely going to be a different week. We certainly always have the mindset to go out and score touchdowns. And we know this week everything their offense has done, but we have a lot of confidence in our defense. All we can control is what we control offensively and that's to go out there make plays when we get the opportunity and take chances when they show us the right looks.
On if it's nice for an offense to see confidence from their coaches:
It is just to be able to step out of the box and do something different so you're not just playing vanilla all the time. Do some things to spice things up and mix it up a little bit to try to keep the defense off balance.
On being concerned that Greer knows the Bills offense too well:
It's a different offense than from when he was here, but he does a good job of reading splits and jumping certain routes. He's a smart player and he knows what he's looking at. He's learned from a lot of good guys around the league, especially when he was here. He's a smart player so you can't just line up and do certain things. You really have to think about what you're doing.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On if he thinks it is important to hold the time of possession advantage against the Saints:
Oh yeah, definitely. I think the best way to contain that offense is to keep them off the field. Our defense is going to make plays for us, we know that, but we'd like to help them as much as possible and the best way for us to do that is to have an efficient offense, to stay on the field as much as we need to and keep them off the field.
On what make the New Orleans offense explosive:
I think the number one thing is Drew (Brees) himself. He's doing some great things, making some great passes, getting all those guys in the right places and making some good reads. Anytime that you have a quarterback that can do that, it's going to make you that much better on offense. I think number one is just how he's managing the game and what he is doing for them.
On if the team is able to dictate the pace to have the advantage on Sunday:
Without a doubt. I think we are definitely progressing to where we want to be. It's something that I think we are evolving into being able to do the type of things we need to, to win games. Whether it is taking those long strides down the field to Lee (Evans) or T.O. or just running that ball and keeping our defense off the field for a little while. I think that's something that we definitely want to try doing and take advantage of.
On where he is now compared to a couple of years ago mentally and how he plays differently:
I think just being in the system helps. The longer you're in the system, you're going to pick up on stuff and you don't have to focus as much on the playbook. You know it and you can go out and play football. I think that's the number one difference is just being able to know where I'm supposed to be at and when I'm supposed to be there and then just going out and playing football.
On if he has always had "vision" to see the cutback lanes and where he can run:
I would say so. It was one of the first things that my college coach noticed about me was my vision and being able to see holes and things like that. It's something I pride myself on, being able to see some holes and being able to know where I need to get to and when I have to get there.
On if that is innate or learned:
I think the more you play, it's going to help. I think a lot of guys just develop better vision the more they play and being able to recognize defenses helps too. You kind of know where there will be some cutback lanes and things like that. You are (looking at flashes of color) and you're looking at defensive fronts. Just knowing what kind of gap responsibilities they have and that.
On if ball control will be a key issue in keeping the Saints offense off the field:
Without a doubt. Just talking about, it's something that we're going to have to be able to do. I think the best way we can help our defense is to be on the field. Our defense is going to make plays for us, but I think the best thing we can do is just be out there and have some sustained drives and keep them on the sideline.
On the team goals and if his play in the last couple of games has been a statement about his abilities:
I guess you can say so. It was something I definitely wanted to use this stage and this time to kind of set myself up, make a name for myself and that was definitely a goal. But I think the most important thing was just trying to get three wins while he (RB Marshawn Lynch) was gone. But yeah, it was definitely an opportunity for me to go out and make a name for myself.
On having nearly half of the offensive yards:
I'm extremely proud of what I've done, but you know I've still got work to do and I think the most important thing that needs to be known is that I couldn't do any of it without my team. My hat goes off to them too. They're doing things for me that‘s allowing me to be able to put up those numbers.
On when RB Marshawn Lynch comes back and how dangerous they will be:
I don't think anybody is more excited than me. To get him back, it's just going to put that much more pressure on defenses because they have to account for him and that's another weapon on our team that defenses have to account for. And he's going to make me better. So I'm excited about it and looking forward to it more than anybody I think.
On his motivation to make a name for himself and if that stems from his background:
I would say so. You have to put work in to get here anyway. There's guys here that have been here for 15 years who are still putting in work, even though they've made a name for themselves, so it's something that is part of the game. You have to put in the work and coming from a small college like I did, I knew I was going to have to work just as hard as those guys if not harder. Definitely, coming from where I came from had a lot to do with it.
On the offensive line and if he is concerned:
I wouldn't say so. They've been playing outstanding football and I think a lot of that has to do with Geoff (Hangartner) getting them in the right places, and not to mention their own athletic ability. I think they are all smart guys up there, Demetrius (Bell), he didn't play a lot but he's been playing a lot this year and he's just as smart as anybody. His athletic ability speaks for itself and this being only his fourth year of playing football. With Geoff up there taking control of things and getting them in the right spots, and him being up there helping him I think they will be just fine for the rest of the year.
On how much WR Terrell Owens has been a factor in spreading the field:
It's a huge factor. Anytime you have a weapon like that where defenses have to account for, it's going to make everybody else on the field that much better. Defenses have to account for him, even if he's not touching the ball. They still have to be aware of where he is and what he is doing on the field. As long as they're focused on him, that's one play I can take advantage of. So he's a huge factor in this and I know Lee (Evans) would say the same thing and tight ends, everybody on the offense would say the same thing. He makes plays when he is on the field and any defense knows that.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On how he feels about the opportunity to start in the NFL:
It's a great opportunity. I'm just proud of my coaches for giving me the ability to come out here and play, picking me up as a free agent from Detroit. I just want to do the best I can and help the team come out with a victory.
On if he feels like he is ready to start:
Yeah, you know the thing about it is its 90 percent preparation. These coaches here have definitely done that. They've allowed me to get better as a player, understand the game better and they've definitely given me the tools to compete on Sunday.
On his transition from Detroit to Buffalo:
I injured my hamstring, and broke my thumb and hamstring in the later part of the season, so it was a decision they (Detroit) had to make. With Detroit, I believe it was a situation where there was a lot of distance between me and the coaches. I think it affected my attitude.... I'm proud to here in Buffalo. Like I've said, they've helped me become a better player, so I think that's the main reason.
On if it was a "chemistry thing":
It was probably a chemistry thing and I put that on my shoulders. I just didn't adapt as well as I should have as a professional.
On waiting to be picked up and if it was a hard 14 weeks:
Yeah, definitely. And it was a time to re-evaluate myself. I definitely didn't get to the point where I doubted my ability to play football on this level. I just had to realize I had to become a better teammate and a better professional, on the field and off the field.
On when the Bills called late in the season, if there were other teams looking to pick him up and why he chose Buffalo:
There were definitely other teams. Why Buffalo? It was key individuals in this organization that gave me a chance. The day after I was released from Detroit, Buffalo called me.... It was a situation where I probably would have come in, but Jason Peters at the time, decided to come back, and there's only 53 players on the team. But when Buffalo kind of kept in contact with me throughout the entire season, I kind of knew that it was definitely a good fit for me.
On which coach he feels most comfortable with:
All of them. Even the staff upstairs, I see a difference. I definitely see a difference in the way they run things and it carries on as an organization and this is a successful organization.
On if he thought that he was in a better situation when Detroit was going through a 0-16 season:
I definitely think I was in a better situation because I played at the University of Texas and you know, a national championship team. I'm used to a winning atmosphere, a positive atmosphere, I guess it was the Lord telling me, ‘Let's get you out of this situation and put you in a better one,' so I'm just grateful for that.
On how the chemistry is with the line and if it is ironic that he is a veteran with only six NFL starts:
Not necessarily. Working with these guys since March, there's definitely been chemistry. We have a little joke inside the offensive line room, "know your buddy." Once everyone is on the same accord, even if we are all wrong, we are on the same accord, so I definitely think that just being around each other, knowing everybody's tendencies, it definitely helps on Sunday. There is no uneasy feeling when it comes to playing on Sunday.
On the expectations for the offensive line:
Carry the torch. It's as simple as that: you have to carry the torch. We've been brought in this league to play football, not to sit on the bench. Everybody, even though you may not be starting on Sunday, there are 53 men who are starters. It's just who's next to get called up on Sunday.
From the Buffalo Bills official website.
On no one giving the Bills against the New Orleans offense and if he is accustomed to that:
Yeah, we're accustomed to that. We play the New England Patriots twice a year, so everybody always thinks they are going to put up 60 or 70 points on us. We just have to go out and play the game. That's why we play it. I don't know how many points underdogs we are, we don't care about that. We understand that we have a football game to play and games are not played on paper, so we are looking forward to Sunday.
On if there are more chances to make plays against a team that throws downfield:
Always. Expectations are, even coming into the season we wanted two turnovers a game. After training camp we bumped that up one to three. Now-a-days in the National Football League, you need three turnovers to make a difference in the football game. Now it's three. That's the expectations we have every week. We expect to go out there and put some pressure on (Drew) Brees. Whether it's four, five, six, seven, whatever man rush and we expect to make some plays on the football and we expect to be physical.
On how important it is to get a big win at home:
It's going to be great. We expect to come out and win this football game. We understand that everybody outside our locker room thinks that we are underdogs, but we don't feel like we are underdogs. We feel like we should win the football game and we are going to go out there and play hard.
On if he believes there is a real possibility that the theft in his home was by someone he welcomed in there:
I'm not going to answer any more questions on that. I answered all of those on Monday. It is under investigation, detectives are working hard on it and I just look forward to getting my things.
On if it is hard to put his focus on football:
It has never been hard for me to focus on football. That's what I love and that's my passion. You know I have family that wants to come up every week and picture having seven or eight people that you let come to your house before the game trying to get on your nerves a bit and try to ask you questions. So, all of this stuff, if you know my background and where I come from, I don't really think about distractions. It's nothing once I step on the football field.
On if he is angry about the theft:
Well I'm angry, a little bit. But I'll get past it.
On the New Orleans Saints:
They have guys out there: Reggie Bush, who is used in so many different ways on that football team. We're going to have our hands full. They're going to go, try to throw the football. It looks like Drew Brees is trying to set records every week, so we're going to go out there and we expect to have a football game.
On the importance of confidence in the game:
Football is all based on confidence. That's why you see some guys, they come into the National Football League that are low picks and they'll be great picks, just like Marques Colston. He came out as a low round... It's all confidence, it's not about what other people think of you. It's all about what you think of yourself, so they think that they are the best offense in the National Football League and if you go out there and prepare that way and you practice that way and it's showing up on the game field, then you know, the confidence is there. So yeah, they do have confidence and nobody's been able to break it, even Philly. And Philly is a blitz happy team. I think they changed some of things they did on the football field because of New Orleans, and that's when you know you have a good offense, is when defenses start changing things and playing you differently.
On if the Bills will have to change their defensive strategy for the game:
I don't think we'll have to do that. I think we have enough talent on the defensive side of the football, I think that we know our scheme, I think that we're confident in what we do and we just have to go out on Sunday and show it and play fast.
On not going overboard to think that the Saints are the "greatest thing ever" yet:
You have to give it a little time. Give it a little time because if they go out there and they lose the next 14 games, then everybody, what are they going to be saying then? We respect them, we respect what they put on film, we respect the way that they play the game, but we also know that we have a good bunch of guys and guys that want to win and are willing to go out there and do what it takes to win.
From the New Orleans Saints official website.
"Going through the injury report real quick - Jammal Brown (left hip) did not practice and he'll be out; Darnell Dinkins (left foot) did not practice and he'll be out; Mike Bell (right knee) did not practice; Lance Moore (right hamstring) did not practice; Bobby McCray (right hamstring) did not practice; Kendrick Clancy (right knee) did not practice; Jo-Lonn Dunbar (left hamstring) was limited; Charles Grant (left hamstring) was limited; Drew Brees (left shoulder) was full; Jermon Bushrod (right knee) was full; Jeremy Shockey (left ankle) was full; Pierre Thomas (right knee) was full and Roman Harper (left hamstring) was full."
Which one of those injuries do you consider to be the most serious?
"Day by day we just evaluate it. Obviously Jammal and Darnell are two guys that aren't listed as going to play, and we'll see where it's at tomorrow."
How is Pierre Thomas looking? Could he get a lot of carries this week?
"We'll see. He was full in practice and got work with the offense and the scout team, so we'll just see the progress he's making."
Are you getting the kind of balance on offense you were looking for so far?
"We've had two games and each week presents a different challenge. We've had two games where we've had good passing and rushing numbers. We know that can change week by week, but we have been able to finish games and that has been good. That helps you obviously in the fourth quarter when you're trying to close a team out."
With everyone in the offense playing as well as they have been so far, how much easier does it make the decisions for you as a play-caller?
"When you're playing well and you're executing, obviously the job is easier and when you're not executing, you typically end up looking down at a lot of third-and-longs and it becomes more challenging. I think the key are the first and second down plays that keep us ahead of the chains as opposed to being in long-yardage situations."
Is your offense playing better this year than in years past?
"We've just played two games so I think it's going to be easier to measure as the season progresses. Certainly guys are playing with confidence and yet we're just two weeks into it. We still have a lot of things that we have to clean up and get better at. You can see that when you watch the tape and you watch things unfold. The key is making the corrections from last week and the week prior and trying to improve and not standing pat. There are a lot areas that we're continuing to work on."
What is your assessment of Buffalo's offense?
"They give you a no-huddle, which is something that we have to work on. They up-tempo the game; they don't change a lot of personnel groupings but they go a lot at the line of scrimmage, which is different for us than the first two weeks. They're explosive; obviously they have receiver speed with both (Terrell) Owens and Lee Evans and guys that are confident in making plays with Trent Edwards. The running back has played well for them - Fred Jackson - and they have done a good job of operating in that no-huddle and being pretty efficient. It presents a new challenge from that standpoint."
What specific challenges does the no-huddle present? Is it being organized?
"It's a spontaneous pace rather than us always having time to get our call in. We're going to have to be able to sort through some things. It puts more pressure on the linebackers, Jonathan Vilmaparticularly, to get the defense called. Just handling that is different than your normal pace of a game. That's something that we have to work on and pay attention to."
Have you used the no-huddle a little more this year on offense?
"Really it has just been at the end of the half. We've had a couple of quick plays, but really we've been more conventional."
You've scored on your first possession of all four halves so far this season. What does that do to a defense and how does it help you?
"I think the first drive of a half is something that a) can set you up field position-wise if you don't score, but certainly as you begin a game you want to have success and there's confidence that goes with that. In the first two weeks, we've been able to start quick and that's certainly a plus, not a minus."
Can that affect the psyche of the opposing defense?
"I don't know if it necessarily affects the psyche, but when you score first, it certainly doesn't hurt."
What has Fred Jackson done in place of Marshawn Lynch for the Bills?
"He has done a good job; he has a good yards per carry average right now. He's playing with confidence. He's a guy that after two weeks has established himself as a good football player. He's doing a good job protecting the ball and getting yards after contact, and he's also a good receiver. He has a handful of things that he does well and that has served him well so far."
What's your comfort level with the receivers that might have to step in if Lance Moorecan't play?
"We feel like whoever has to play will be ready to step in. We've done that before and guys have been around here long enough to understand the offense. We'll try to get in the best personnel groupings as possible and go from there and day by day really see where Lance is at."
Stats showed that Drew Brees was more successful when the Eagles blitzed two or more players last week. Is that something that he has been good at throughout his history?
"He's someone that is able to process and deliver quickly so he's able to recognize pressure and understand where it's coming from and the coverage that is coming with it. It helps mentally when you have someone that's sharp like that to not take sacks. We took a couple last week, but by and large, it's something that he does a good job with and our line does a good job with it as well."
How has Scott Shanle's approach helped him this year?
"He was our MVP last year on defense. I think sometimes it's misunderstood when we work out a linebacker that it's to replace Scott Shanle; that really couldn't be further from the truth. He's playing well; he's smart; he can run well. He got his hands on a ball last week which was a big play for us. He's someone who is getting a lot of snaps, not only in the base but in the nickel as well."
From the New Orleans Saints official website.
What's scary about the trip to Buffalo and their defense?
"First of all, it's a tough place to play. Second of all, they're a team that is playing really well right now. They could very well be 2-0 and I think anytime you play the Bills, you know it's going to be a tough, physical test. You see it in every opponent they play; it looks like by the game is over they have just beaten them up physically. We have our work cut out for us and we have to make sure we're prepared. We have a good game plan so far, we just have to continue working at it and just know what to expect when we get there."
You talk all the time about wanting to get on a roll. Is that one of the benefits of playing at this level right now?
"Yeah, sure because win streaks breed confidence. From week to week, you just continue to gain more confidence and when you get into games, there's more of that attitude of whenever we step on the field, we're going to win. There's a lot that goes into that; a lot of hard work and preparation throughout the week on the practice field and in the film room. But if you know that you've done all that you can to prepare yourself, then by the time you get out there on game day it's just going out having fun and reacting to what they give us. Definitely with that sense of confidence - no matter what situation we get in during the course of a game - we feel like we're going to come out on top."
You said after the first game that you felt like you were going to complete every throw when you were driving up to the stadium. Is that a feeling that you always have?
"By the time game day rolls around, you absolutely feel that way. That's just knowing that you've already played the game so many times in your head that you know where you can get rid of the ball, you know the looks that you want to see, the looks that give you problems and where you can get it out and get completions, so by the time the game rolls around, it's just reacting to what they give us and I know what to do with the ball."
How much confidence does it put in you that it seems like everyone involved in this offense is doing a very good job?
"I think everyone understands that their opportunities will come so the way they approach it is that they never know when it's going to be their time so they have to make sure they're ready. We put in a lot of time and we put in a lot of effort and we do a lot of things to make sure that we're on the same page and to make sure that we're thinking the same thing and seeing the same things so that when we get out on game days, it may look easy but it's not. There's a lot that is behind that and certainly everybody in our skill group feels like from game to game this could be the game where they're catching 10 balls and scoring two or three touchdowns. We've seen that from week to week; Shockey got two the first week and Colston got two last week. That whole group is thinking, ‘I'm next.'"
Is this as good a two-game stretch for this offense since you've been here?
"As far as points scored, it is."
What about in terms of feel?
"It has felt good, but we've had some good stretches since we've been here. There have been many games where it just felt like no matter what we ran it was going to work. I'd say that this is one of the best stretches, but hopefull