Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Opening Statement: Really excited about kicking off the 2017 season, our walk through went well this morning, our meetings went well, I think the guys are anxious to get on the field and get our first practice under our belts, and a lot of excitement. I mean, there’s only one opening day and we’re looking forward to our opening day, but there’s a lot of preparation that goes on prior to Sunday afternoon so we’ve got a lot of work to get done, but we’re all excited about the opportunity.
Q: Leslie, what’s your feel for the level of confidence that you got the depth you need at safety at this point?
A: Well, you know you hope that the guys can stay healthy that are playing, but you always got to have a back-up plan if something were to happen and we get an injury, and I know that Sean [McDermott] and the rest of our scouting staff, with Brandon [Beane] and all, they’re taking a look and they’re just trying to make sure that we have the proper depth if we were to get injuries on Sunday so I think we’ll be alright, they understand the situation and we’ll work through it.
Q: Can any of the corners play safety?
A: It’s a possibility, it’s something we would potentially look at if we were to get to a situation where we were without a fourth safety, in the ballgame, we would have to move someone around if we got to that point where we needed a fourth guy, so it’s potentially a situation we’d have to look at.
Q: Would any of those guys work there?
A: You know, Micah [Hyde], he is a former corner from college and he’s got corner type skills at the nickel position. I’m not saying we would do that, but if we got to the point where we had to have a fourth safety, we’d figure it out.
Q: Coach, it’s not your side of the ball, but I know you have familiarity with Joe Webb. Could you maybe shed some more light for us on his versatility since you had him do a number of things when you had him in Minnesota?
A: I mean, you’re exactly right. He’s a versatile guy, he’s played all over the place, we had him doing kick-off returns, and I think they had him doing the same thing in Carolina, returning kicks along with being on just about every phase on special teams. He’s unique in that way from the quarterback position. He gives you a lot of flexibility on special teams so he’s going to be a great asset in that way. You know, we had him as I think a holder, obviously back-up quarterback, we were teaching him how to catch punts, I mean a lot of the same things he was doing at Carolina he’ll be doing here as well but his special teams value and what he brings to the locker-room, he’ll be a good part of what we’re trying to do here.
Q: The corner situation, Coach McDermott, was saying that E.J. Gaines has the upper hand on the starting spot opposite Tre’Davious [White]. Would you shed some perspective on what E.J.’s done to turn that?
A: Well we still have some more days to work, we had real good competition at that right corner position, between Shareece [Wright] along with E.J., even Greg Mabin, some of the plays he made in the preseason as well. There was good competition, so we’ll keep working through this week and just make sure that we’re doing the right things at the right corner position. But E.J., I mean, he had quite a bit of production in the preseason, so we’re really pleased with that. His effort, the way he picked things up in the short time that he arrived. We threw a lot at him [and] he responded quite well, so we’ll see how the week goes.
Q: In those same regards, what was it that Kevon Seymour didn’t do that ultimately made him expendable?
A: You know, Kevon did a lot of good things for us, we were real excited about him. He missed a lot of time with the injuries, some key moments where we really would’ve liked a chance to get some views of him this preseason, but due to injury he wasn’t able to participate at times. I think he’ll do well. He’s a good young player who has a bright future ahead of him, and he served us well in the time he was able to be on the field.
Q: Coach said that Lorenzo [Alexander] would play middle linebacker if something were to happen to Preston [Brown]. How much experience have you seen him there through the preseason? I know he played everywhere on the field basically, and if he were to do that would it be Matt Milano moving to the strong side?
A: Potentially. We’re hoping we don’t get to that point where Lorenzo has to play Mike, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s sit in all of the linebacker meetings, we’ve talked through scenarios, so we feel very confident with his knowledge of the position and what’s required. The thing would be to get him some reps at the middle linebacker position. We’ll work on that this week in practice, and you’re right. Matt [Milano] does come into the equation. He’s the fourth guy right now, and we have to get him ready for multiple positions as well. We’ve got some different scenarios we’ve got to work through this week in practice and fortunately, we get an extra day to get a chance to work on some of those scenarios.
Q: What’s your read on where Marcell Dareus is mentally and physically heading into this season?
A: Just in observing him this morning in our meetings and our walkthrough, he was very engaged, really into it. I think he’s looking forward to having a big week of practice and playing well for us on Sunday. All indications based on today’s meetings and walkthroughs were all positive and we’ve got a practice this afternoon and I’m sure he’ll be engaged and ready to go as well.
Q: Leslie, when you guys returned from Baltimore, you and him had a pretty lengthy discussion on the field after practice. What kind of message did you give to him?
A: You know, we were talking in general about just football, life, general topics. Just good conversation, just good conversation.
Q: Coach, Deandre Coleman is a guy that we haven’t really talked to you much about. He makes the roster, what did you see in him that made him worthy of earning a spot?
A: Deandre, I’m glad you asked about him. He’s a good case study. You take a look at where he was back in the spring weight-wise and just in his effort as well and then you see how he finished training camp and how he came along in the preseason. [He’s] a really good story, a guy who has really bought into the message that Mike Waufle is delivering in that defensive line room and what we’re trying to get across from a defensive standpoint. The energy he played with, the fact that he attacked the weight issues the way he did, and his attitude. He’s been terrific in that way and we saw tremendous improvement on the field. He’s done some things to earn his opportunity to be a part of the 53 and a lot of it has to do with just his adjusting his attitude and really coming to work every day to improve and he has.
Q: On the same note, can you also kind of go through Greg Mabin? He was a guy that was really under the radar that really showed up late in the preseason.
A: Yeah, when you take a look at what he’s overcome, I think he was signed undrafted by [the Tampa Bay Buccaneers] and then we pick him up in a workout on a day where we’re just working out a bunch of different DB’s and we saw some traits that we liked. For him to come in and pick up the system and to go out and compete the way he has in these preseason games and make the number of plays that he has, it’s been impressive. He has some traits that you look for. The length, the long arms, the ball skills he’s displayed; that play that he made against the Eagles on their sideline when he took that ball away from that receiver? That was impressive. Even the pick he had the other night against Detroit in man coverage. Just, he’s done some things to make you say ‘this is a guy that’s worth taking a look at’ and credit to him. He could’ve come in with his head down thinking ‘I don’t really have a chance’ but he competed every day and now he’s being rewarded for it.
Q: Is he in the running to start at right cornerback?
A: I think we’re going to go through the week, as I mentioned earlier. E.J. [Gaines] is in the lead there but we’re going to go through everything we need to go through this week. Greg’s had a good camp, a good preseason, and we’ll see where things shake out at.
Q: Leslie, have you ever, as a coach, seen a situation where the entire secondary is new? Every guy on that secondary is new to this team and obviously probably new to this system.
A: I don’t know if I have. I’d have to think a little bit about it. That’s usually pretty unique.
Q: I mean, that’s unique though, right?
A: Usually there’s some carryover somewhere, usually. I’d have to think about it a little bit. But, that being said, the guys that we do have, they’ve earned the right to be a part of this 53, each one of them, [and] to be in our secondary. They’ve done some good things throughout training camp and preseason and going all the way back to phase one, two and three. It’s a good group. I’m really excited about the group that we have in the secondary.
Q: With that being said, Leonard Johnson played for Sean [McDermott] in Carolina. Is he maybe the guy that’s helping that group? Because he’s maybe the only guy that has any history in that particular defense. How has he been?
A: It’s a great point you bring up. He’s been a real big help to his teammates and the guys in this secondary because he does understand the system. He played in it, had some success in this system at the nickel position. The guys have come to him at different times just talking about questions because sometimes we’ll go back and look at different tapes from the past and he’s been great at communicating some of the things, some of the little nuances of secondary play in this system. It’s been good. His attitude has been terrific and some of the guys have leaned on him at times.
Q: With that, just to follow up on that question, the uniqueness of it and dealing with it, you’ve got good people and your faith there, but what unique challenge does it bring to have a brand new secondary at the start of the year?
A: Well, I think anytime you’re starting a rookie at corner, that in itself presents unique challenges because there aren’t many offensive coordinators that aren’t going to challenge a rookie corner in our league in his first start in the NFL. Beside the fact that the other guys are new to the secondary, Jordan [Poyer] has experience, Micah [Hyde] has NFL experience, E.J. [Gaines] has NFL experience, so does Shareece [Wright]. That part of it, we’re new to the Buffalo Bills, but the rookie corner getting through some of the things you’ve got to get through as a rookie, that’s probably the bigger challenge than the fact that we’ve got an entire new secondary.
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
Monday, September 4, 2017
Q: Tyrod [Taylor] was out there, he got some practice time, how did he look today?
A: Well, I think everybody looked like they had a couple days off, but everybody performed. We got practice in, got a chance to learn a little bit, so I would say he’s with the rest of them.
Q: We weren’t anticipating that [Tyrod Taylor] would be ready to go, but are you encouraged to see him out there and working?
A: Well, I’ll let Sean [McDermott] take care of that. I’m encouraged that everybody was out there, so everybody got a chance to get some reps and we’re confident that we’ll be okay.
Q: This is essentially part of the concussion protocol, where a player is allowed to take the practice. Is that correct?
A: I have absolutely no idea, you’re speaking to the wrong guy. I’ll let Sean [McDermott] give some picture of that.
Q: Joe Webb just got signed today and he gets put out there. Even though he’s a veteran, is there sort of a realistic sense that hey it’s tough on a guy like that to be playing?
A: Well, certainly [Webb] has a lot of ground to make up, but he has played football. The terms made sense to him in certain regards, so you know we’ll get him reps and we’ll try and polish everybody.
Q: What did you see from Joe Banyard that allowed you take away and eventually make the move for Jonathan [Williams] as well?
A: Well I think Joe adds a lot to the team. He’s a good football player, he does a great job of protection, and he adds to the team, so he’s a tough, hard-nose guy, which he stands for.
Q: Would he be the primary number two back if something were to happen to LeSean [McCoy]?
A: I think everybody will get a chance. Everybody will get a chance, obviously LeSean is an excellent football player, if he needs his backup then there’s plenty of people behind him.
Q: Coach McDermott did say that Tyrod [Taylor]’s status is up in the air right now, so with that in mind, how do you navigate the practice week, making sure that [Nathan Peterman] gets enough time with the ones, should that plan have to be put into action?
A: Well, I think we go out and practice everybody, just like I said. Everybody will get reps and go from there. I think that’ll unfold whichever way we need to go, but most everything with all their experience with OTAs and whatnot, I think we’ll just progress and see how it unfolds.
Q: In that sense, how much confidence do you have in Nathan [Peterman] in the event he has to start?
A: Well I have confidence in our team, obviously that’s the biggest part. Everybody’s that’s given this opportunity, they’re here for a reason, right, that we think that they can play. So, whoever’s out there, we have confidence that they’ll go out and get the job done.
Q: Even your comfort status with a rookie starting?
A: I feel very confident in our team.
Q: You got a handful of reps for Cordy [Glenn] in Thursday night’s game. First of all, how did he look after you got a chance to review the tape and then again, today, encouraged that he’s out there?
A: Well I think obviously he did some really good things. We were out there for some drives, we scored, he did some really good things, and some things he’s got to work on, not much unlike anybody else. He hasn’t played very much, but we’re encouraged and I think he’ll do a great job.
Q: What was it about John [Miller] that allowed him to be the starting guard? Will he start on Sunday?
A: Well, I think it’s a tough competition between the two of them. I think there’s experience, you know obviously they were together, everybody was together and you know it’s just one of those things that decided to do that, but I mean, it’s competition, it’ll continue on.
Q: Was Tyrod [Taylor] able to take team reps today or just individual?
A: I think they took a bunch of everything, everybody got a chance to take some reps.
Q: Are you comfortable with the right side of the line - both right tackle and right guard being a competition going into the season?
A: If you’re not looking at competition and playing, and you think you don’t have competition every day, I think that’s wrong. I think everybody has competition, I think they know that they have to give it our best effort, and it’s okay.
Q: In your experience with rookie quarterbacks, where does Nathan [Peterman]’s progression stand today with what you’ve seen?
A: I think, I’m not even looking at [Nathan Peterman] as a rookie. We’ve got players on our team, and we feel confident in those guys, so I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not really worried about that. I think it might just be a little bit, I don’t know how to tell you that. I overlook that; he’s a football player, he’s been around just like the rest of them. They’ve experienced some reps and OTAs, spent a lot of time here, a lot of time at camp, and I feel confident in everybody that’s here.
Q: In respect to the Jets, what are some of the threats that they pose as a defense?
A: They’re a very good team, they spent a lot of draft picks on very good players, particularly on the front, and they’ve done a great job defensively. Obviously Coach Bowles has done a great job, with good experience in the NFL, so they can put a lot of pressure on you. They can test your protections and they can certainly test you as far as stopping the runs, so our work is cut out for us.
QB Nathan Peterman
Q: Knowing that Joe (Webb) is kind of new to this deal, and time is not on his side, I know the coaches spend the bulk of the time getting him ready, but what kind of role do the other quarterbacks in the room play, if at all, because you’re trying to prepare yourself for a game plan, and he’s new in the door? Do you leave that to the coaches pretty much or?
A: Yeah, I’m just a rookie so I’m learning myself as well. But yes, I think that the coaches do a good job preparing us, and we’re all hearing the same information and getting ready.
Q: How do you approach this week knowing that, who knows what could happen in the days progressing?
A: Just like every other week. There’s a possibility always to play, and you have to be ready. It’s a great stage, certainly if my number is called, you have to help the team out as much as you can.
Q: How much confidence have you developed over the four months that you’ve been here, in seeing how you developed?
A: A lot, I think I’ve come a long way, but I think I still have a long ways to go. Going through OTAs, and getting familiar with the playbook, and this last preseason game I thought there was definitely improvement. But there has to be more improvement. I want to get my game at a little bit of a higher level.
FB/RB Mike Tolbert
Q: Obviously, the release of Jonathan [Williams] presents a bigger opportunity for you, how ready are you to assume that role?
A: Like I just said, I stay ready. I’m always in shape ready to go, to do whatever I need to do to help the team win. Obviously, it was unexpected, by me, but at the same time it is an opportunity for me to show what I can do, not only as a fullback but as a running back now.
Q: Have they explained your role and what they expect you to do?
A: No, my whole career my role has pretty much been the same. Playing goal line, short-yardage back, spelling guys when they need to be spelled, playing fullback, special teams. I don’t expect it to change too much.
QB Joe Webb
Q: Quick turnaround here, and you’re kind of working on the fly, what’s it like jumping in the fire here just days before the season opener?
A: It’s cool, just learning the guys, learning the offense, special team plays. The guys welcomed me with open arms
Q: How much of an uphill climb is it to get a grasp of the playbook and be prepared to, if called upon, play on Sunday?
A: Just spend as many hours I can in the playbook. Continue to talk to the coaches, the players, watch film, things like that. It’ll come to me.
Q: How much has it helped that you’ve got a regime in Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott, who are at least familiar with you and have seen you play?
A: It helps a lot, in terms of coaches knowing their players. They know me from top to bottom, I spent three years with them in Carolina, so I know them and they know me.
Q: Do you expect to do more than just quarterback stuff? That’s kind of been your M.O. your whole career?
A: Yeah, that’s how I’ve been around, that’s how I stayed around, playing quarterback, receiver, special teams. I come here, whatever they need me to do I’m all for it.
C Eric Wood
Q: Did you expect to see this amount of turnover when coming in with new regime in Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott?
A: It’s hard to say, I didn’t necessarily think about it when they took over. I knew that there would be a lot of turnover because there is under any new regime coming in. We changed defenses, that has a lot to do with it. You’re going two different styles, a lot of players drafted for one style don’t necessarily fit another, in that regard. Then, anytime a guy comes over from a different team, there’s guys that he likes whether it be on his own previous team, or guys that he played against in his division.
Q: The possibility that Nathan [Peterman] could start, this goes to what Coach [Sean] McDermott did say, that he called him ready, and was confident. Just as a teammate, in watching him through this summer, what’s your sense of Nathan’s readiness to be a starter if need be?
A: I thought Nathan looked good in the spring, ball was coming out on time and was accurate. He kind of continued that and kept getting better. I thought he put out some really good film, helped his cause. He moved up to the number two quarterback pretty quick, and then when given the opportunity, he showed he’s capable of running an NFL offense, even though he’s just a rookie.
Q: Cordy [Glenn] got some playing time finally on Thursday, now back at practice today, is it good to just have him back in the fold?
A: For sure, Cordy is one of the most talented players on our team, no question. Anytime you add a player of that caliber back into our offense, it should help us be more effective.