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What They Said: Transcript of Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan's Monday press conference

Head coach Rex Ryan

Opening statement:

Alright obviously it was pretty much an awful performance. I think when you look at it I don’t know how else to describe it, you know especially on defense. The thing I think was probably the biggest disappointment to me was the, it looked like we lacked confidence, in particular in the back end. And I think that was a thing that really contributed it in my opinion to the performance that we had. Not taking anything away from Washington because they did a great job, so I certainly don’t want to slight them. But it wasn’t, I guess I went in I was expecting, I expected us to play much better obviously than we did. We had a good week of preparation, good week of practice. I think we felt, I know I was confident that we would play a lot better than we did. In reality that is not what happened, especially in the first half. So with that I don’t know what else to say, so I will open it up for questions.

Q: You said yesterday there could be drastic changes coming when do you expect those to start?

A: Well I think first off, my point is when your expectations are, our expectations were set high. We expected to be a team that would be in the playoffs, that is expectations we set. That is what we believed would take place. My point is when things don’t happen changes are basically inevitable, and that’s it. Now for us right now for a time table or whatever we have two weeks left in this season and we certainly have to get better. We have to play a lot better than we played this last game, there is no doubt about that. And that is where our focus has to be. And that is really where it is. You know so the time table it is not like it is going to happen right now, that there is going to be changes or whatever. That is not it, we have games to play. But I think what I want everybody to understand is when your expectations are set here there is a consequence when you don’t reach those expectations. I think that’s, you know this is professional football that is what happens. Every day you are evaluated, every game and that goes for every coach, every player, everybody. I think the, I believe that is what I was meaning by it, by my statement. But also recognizing right now we have two games to play and they are important. I know they’re not important for the playoff race, we are not going to make the playoffs if we win those two games, but to me they are very important.

Q: When you referred to those changes are you talking about staff, players, both?

A: I am not going to get into any specifics or anything like that. You know do you want me to repeat what I have been saying about, because to me….I just, what I have said was the truth and you know we will see, the decisions that will be made when the season is over you know will be what they are. You know specifics, I am not going to get into specifics.

Q: You said the secondary lacked confidence, was that in the scheme, the play calls, what exactly did they lack confidence in?

A: Well it is a good point it is just when the play was called we are playing so far off that you know that is what it seemed like to me that wasn’t how we had practiced you know a lot of things and it could be regardless of a coverage. We are in two man coverage, we are playing too far off. There are things that we did from a technique stand point that I have been around this game a long time that there are certain techniques you use and if you are lacking confidence you are going to play a certain way and that is exactly how we were playing. And we were playing to not get beat on top instead of, and that is fine not to get beat on top but you have to compete. I think at times it did not go, we weren’t, it never looked to me that we were 100-percent sure on our assignment or a 100-percent sure on our technique.

Q: Sammy said yesterday that the team needs nasty coaches to cut players that aren’t performing up to their standards. What is your reaction to that?

A: Well I read all of Sammy [Watkins]’s comments I love the fact that he is taken accountability of things and that there is so many of those things that I totally agree with. I think you know the nasty coach thing or whatever it is there, I think perception sometimes is a little different from this coach, that coach or whatever. I see with Sammy and really with everybody there are some frustrations right now. I think part of that is the expectations that we believe that we have a better team than how we perform, our record would indicate. And so that is from every coach, every player, our fans perspective. I can promise you that is what we feel, and we want to win. I think those, the way Sammy’s comments are that is clear to me that he wants to win. Our fans want to win, our coaches want to win and that is just the way it is.

Q: Mario Williams openly questioned the scheme again? Are you aware of the comments and what do you think of them?

A: Yeah I am aware, I don’t know the exact comments or whatever, but I am aware of them. And again we talked about the frustration and things I think that is where most everybody, there is always, I sense there is a great deal of frustrations. And anytime you underachieve so to speak then obviously there, I think that is where it comes from. As far as the substitutions and all that, you are not going to put a small personnel grouping out there when they are going with extra linemen and things. So sometimes they are a little late when they are running on, those things you know, it is not, those things happens. You have to match, in this league you have to match personnel. So when it comes to that specifically your calls are going to be matched when a team you know sends out their personnel. Especially that team, sometimes they are going extra linemen, sometimes two extra linemen and all that. That maybe the plays don’t come in as fast as you want them too as a player because you got to match. But that is every team I have ever been on.

Q: Mario said there were insurgents in the building undermining him, what is your reaction to that?

A: Well I heard the thing, the only thing is and maybe I don’t know the direct quote, or direct order of questioning or whatever. But there is nobody in this building that questioned whether was Mario [Williams] was sick. I think that was what was pointed out to him. I can tell you this I saw him, he had a mask on. Like when he came in, he tried to make up…look we can get on Mario about things or this or that. But I am going to tell you this, this young man wanted to play in the worst way, worst possible way. Never ate for three straight days--that is what I know about him. He shows up trying to get the game plan and then to be questioned that somebody makes up this thing, fictitiously in my opinion I think would set off anybody. And it is certainly something that I don’t believe in, not for one second do I believe anybody. I can tell you this no one on the coaching staff, in the locker room would question whether he was sick or not, because he clearly was sick. The thing I respected the most was here is a young man that would come in try and get the game plan, the things that he was missing. He tried to make up during the week. That is really where we are at. I admire the fact that he came back and toughed it out. Instead of being questioned, I think maybe somebody else made up that part about questioning or whatever. Because I don’t believe there is one person in this building that would ever question the fact that he wasn’t legitimately sick because I know for a fact he was.

Q: There is a lot of speculation about Mario and how he fits in the defense, how do you think he fits in the defense and would you like him back next season?

A: I would love for him to be back next year. I would love to have this group back. Does that mean that there won’t be changes along the way, we know it of course. The league almost turns over a third of it almost. I don’t know what the exact number is, you guys probably know that more than I do. A coach never wants to lose a player. But that is the nature of the game, that is the unfortunate part of the game. But do I wish Mario [Williams] had 20 sacks? Heck yeah I do, no question I do. But that is not where we are at right now. But there hadn’t been one thought of any player that we have had discussions about this player is going to be here next year, this one’s not or whatever. That hasn’t happened with any player.

Q: I just wanted to go over the report again that you and your coaching staff having issues with Doug Whaley, everything is good there?

A: Absolutely, 100-percent. I think there is, I know from my end there is a great deal of respect that I have for Doug [Whaley] and I think the feeling is mutual.

Q: You said yesterday that this team will go to the playoffs, it just won’t be this year, why do you feel that way?

A: Well I do, I just do. I think we have a good nucleus of talent. The talent that it takes to go the playoffs. I think we have, I think we have a quarterback that has the ability to take a team to playoffs. I think that is a big plus. There are certain things you have to have. I like what we have with our running backs, I like, we have a dynamic receiver in a Sammy Watkins, we have a play making tight end. There is a lot of positive things that we have. When I look on defense, we have one of the premier tackles in the league. When you combine him (Marcell Dareus) with Kyle Williams that gives you two of them. I can’t wait to get Aaron Williams back. There are some things, we have two excellent corners. So fundamentally we are set up to be a really darn good football team. I truly believe that. I think it is just, do we have to get better, we absolutely have to get better. But I know one thing, I know this team will work to get better. We are going to do whatever it takes, where we are not outside looking in. That is how I truly believe.

Q: Can you give us any update on the injuries from Sunday?

A: I have been learning, so I brought my sheet here after talking to the docs. Obviously if you don’t mind I will just go down in order. Okay…John Miller alright now he tweaked his ankle, his high ankle sprain and he tweaked that. I have always mentioned this anytime a guy doesn’t finish a game a lot of times it is not a good indication if he will be ready for the next week, it doesn’t normally happen. His could be a little different situation, we will see how it goes. We expect him to be limited during the week, but we will see if there is a possibility of him playing. LeSean McCoy same thing, I think he is going for a MRI or something today, we will see how that, how his knee is. Randell Johnson ended up with a high ankle sprain. You know he was extended he had played more snaps this game than he had all season, then right at the end of the game he suffered a high ankle sprain. So that obviously doesn’t look good. Robert Woods, I never mentioned him after the game he has been fighting, he had like a groin injury I think that is safe to say that is going to be a pretty sever one. I wouldn’t, he will probably be, there is a possibility this could end his season. [Bacarri] Rambo I think he got through the game, he toughed it out he clearly wasn’t a 100-percent out there, he toughed it out with that knee. So we will see how he does during the week. Stefan Charles kind of strained a shoulder during the game. So we will see how that goes. Boobie Dixon you know he should be fine, but he toughed out a, he had a little thing on a knee, he toughed it out. Karlos Williams you know he is sore I can tell you that much. But he finished the game, so that is a good sign there. And then also during the game you had Chris Hogan, but we expect him to be fine. Then there are some other guys obviously that missed. Nigel Bradham missed the last couple weeks. He still, we are going to have to wait and see. He did have a setback last week. Hopefully he will be ready to go this week. So we will see how he looks during the week. Charles Clay the docs are real encouraged by the way he looks, so it looks good. So hopefully he will be ready to go this weekend. Ron Brooks they think he is still in that concussion protocol, but everything looks like he will have a chance to come back. And then Seantrel Henderson remains out with an illness. So that is the complete list.

Q: What was wrong with Hogan?

A: He had a wrist. Yup he had wrist but we expect him to be fine.

Q: Randell Johnson’s ankle--is that possibly season ending?

A: I think so. Now we will see as it goes but that is a possibility. I think anytime you get a high ankle that, you know Nigel [Bradham] is about as tough a guy as there is and it has already been two weeks with him. As soon as I heard high ankle, I am like that doesn’t sound good.

Q: These final two games, I know you said you want to win but can also be used as a time to evaluate younger players. How do you balance that and are we going to see anybody lower on the depth chart play a little more these next two weeks?

A: That is a possibility. The priority is to try and win the game. I think that is the priority. Is there a chance that we will see some guys that we haven’t see a whole lot of? That is possibility.

Q: Is there a chance Dez Lewis gets activated from the practice squad if Robert is put on IR?

A: Probably a good chance of that. Young man has done a good job on our practice squad. So I think that would be a real possibility if indeed Robert [Woods] does go on IR.

Q: You mentioned having the fundamental pieces there, any reason you have as to why it didn’t come together this year?

A: Well I think there has been, obviously we have been hit hard by the injury bug. There is no question about that. Part of it is attributed to that. We have had really the middle of our defense gutted with Kyle [Williams] being out, Aaron Williams, I think Aaron only played three games this year. So obviously getting those two type player, Pro Bowl type players back on the field would obviously be a big help. But you know we will see. It is sometimes when you do change it takes a while for you know for you to get to really know each other and be proficient at certain things. But I have been really encouraged by some of the guys. Especially, you know you look at our situation we are having a legitimate quarterback competition. And there isn’t anybody that can say it wasn’t a legitimate quarterback competition because it was. Would we have been better served if Tyrod [Taylor] get every snap with the one’s? Sure we would have. But at the time we weren’t sure who was going to be our quarterback. I think going into next season we are pretty sure who our quarterback is. I think that will help us. So there is somethings, developing chemistry with the receivers, I think you see that a little bit now with Sammy [Watkins] and him in particular. I think we are getting better and better as each week goes on. So I think there is some positives here. But we want to close out with these two games. We want to play well in these two games, and that is really where the focus is.

Q: Is the plan now to leave Aaron Williams on IR?

A: I don’t think we will play him. I think it is clear we are not going to play him. How much he practices and things like that. He has been practicing the last week or so. But yeah we are not going to play him.

Q: Cyrus Kouandjio--one of those guys you are going to take an enhanced look at this year?

A: You know that could be, we will see. You know how it plays out this week. I know we did a lot of, he was our extra tight end. I thought he did a pretty good job, I think he got the one penalty but I thought he did a pretty good job in the game. You know we will see how it goes.

Q: When you evaluate this defense do you need to adjust the scheme or find players that fit the mold of the scheme better?

A: I think we will really look at that hard in the off season. But like I say we got to get ready for Dallas and it is a team, I have already looked at the film on them. It is a team that has one of the best offense lines, if not the best. So that is kind of where my thoughts are right now. I think at the appropriate time, without question we will definitely look at those things.

Q: Preston Brown playing the 'Mike' this year he seems to not be quite as involved as he was last year?

A: I think at times Preston [Brown] has played really well for us. I know this past week he has been fighting through a hamstring injury and things. But he is has been out there, he is a tough kid. It is hard to say this scheme, that scheme, whatever, I don’t know. We are fortunate to have him, he has played in every game. He showed a lot of toughness I thought this past week in battling through some injuries.

Provided by the Buffalo Bills.

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