WR Kelvin Benjamin
Q: You see your buddy Cam [Newton] yesterday, saying we lost a great player, he’s still not too happy about the situation, did you catch what he said?
A: I heard about it. He’s right, but you have to keep moving. It’s the business of the game, have to go out there and execute and play games. They had the Falcons [yesterday], and they won, they got the job done.
Q: How surprised were you last Tuesday when this whole thing went down?
A: To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really surprised. I could feel that the offense was going [into] another direction. Like I said, this is a great opportunity for me, I’m excited, coming to a new city, new team. When I got here, they had open arms, and I’m loving it, I’m excited, [and] having fun.
Q: When you say you weren’t frustrated, or you weren’t surprised, were you frustrated at all at maybe the direction the offense was going, and if you thought you did need a change of scenery at some point?
A: Oh definitely, definitely. I thought about it. When it first hit me, you kind of like ‘ugh,’ because [this is] all you know, I got drafted there. After a couple days, and after being here [with their] open arms, I just feel so welcomed. It feels like home to me already.
Q: Did you talk with management at all about that, leading up to the trade?
A: I didn’t, I hopped right on a plane. I was so excited to get here, had to just leave it and move on.
Q: How important is it for you that you have a front office and a head coach that you’ve been around, you’re familiar with? You have about four or five former teammates from down there, how much does that help with the transition overall?
A: It definitely helps. Like I said, seeing familiar faces, seeing those guys. Like I said, they opened [up] with open arms, [and] telling me to be myself. Don’t try to put too much on my shoulders, just telling me to come play ball and have fun, and be a part of the team, be a part of the family.
Q: How important was it for you – Coach gave you the option [to] go home and take care of some personal things, maybe pick up some clothes - How important was it for you to spend this weekend [here] knowing that you didn’t have to?
A: I kind of just want to be a better person, be a better player, a better teammate, [and] holding myself to higher standards. I wanted to get in and learn the playbook, get a jumpstart on it. [When] you know the playbook, you can definitely play faster, knowing it.
Q: Coach [Rick] Dennison said that the offense is concept-based. Do you feel that helps with your learning-curve, or not a ton, [with] verbiage if you know the concept, you kind of know the play, right?
A: It’s all patterns, that’s pretty much it, you only have to learn the concept. You’ve been learning concepts all your life, it’s football, so it just comes second nature to you.
Q: Any idea why you became expendable in Carolina?
A: Who knows? It could have been multiple reasons; money issues, who knows? At the end of the day, I’m here, I’m happy, I’m excited. Right now, I’m just moving forward.
Q: How would you describe your relationship with Marty Hurney in Carolina?
Q: Yes, the GM.
A: To tell you the truth, I only had like maybe two, three conversations with him. I didn’t really know him that much, not like I had a relationship with [Dave] Gettleman. Like I said, he was new to me, so it wasn’t anything personal.
Q: You had a knee injury in Week Three, [versus] the Saints, you missed most of that game, but you haven’t missed any time since as far as we know. How is the knee, is it back to where it has to be, do you feel 100%?
A: Oh definitely. Since I got in, they put me on the plan, and we’ve been attacking it. [They’re] putting me through [things], keeping the quad healthy, keeping all the muscles around that knee healthy. Like I said, I’m loving what they’re doing here, they have a great facility, great people, and I’m loving it.
Q: What did you know or think about Buffalo, not the team, the city, the area before you were traded?
A: I didn’t know a lot about it, but as soon as I got traded, I hit Joe Webb up, and Joe Webb was like ‘man, you’re going to love it man, you’re going to love it, the people, the fans, the college-based atmosphere.’ You watch the games, don’t matter how cold it is or what their record was in the past, the stadium was packed. That has to tell you something, that history, that passion, and that’s what I am.
Q: With respect to all that you're trying to get down with the offense, how much does it help you that you’ve got an opponent you’re pretty familiar with this week in the Saints, from your NFC South time?
A: It definitely helps, it definitely helps that I’ve seen them before, and seen how they play. But at the end of the day, we have to go out there and execute, have to go out there and make plays. That’s what I’m here to do.
Q: How’s it been like working with Tyrod Taylor so far, and trying to meld yourself with what he likes to do?
A: He’s cool. First day I came here, I was real quiet, didn’t really try to figure out guys. But Ty, he seemed like a humble guy, very smart, his work ethic is off the charts, I can already tell. Like I said, I’m excited, I’m ready to start connecting with him.
Q: Were you disappointed that you didn’t get a chance to play last Thursday? We saw you on the field going through warmups, or did you kind of know right after the trade that you weren’t going to be on the field on Thursday?
A: I wanted to, I remember telling coach [Sean McDermott] I can, but I didn’t want to be thrown in the fire like that, I knew it was going to be terrible, it was probably going to be some bad [football out there] (joking), because I didn’t know the basic concepts. It would have been like, go run a slant or run a go, or something like that basic. Like I said, it was good watching them, good seeing the atmosphere, good seeing the guys bring that energy. I want to be a part of this team for a very long time, so I’m going to start putting myself on the field.
Q: Have you thought about your future and the long-term? You are under contract for another year beyond this year, will this be a place that now that you’re here, and they welcomed you with open arms, that you’d like to be here for a long, long time?
A: Definitely, but I have to come and earn the respect first. I have to make plays, gain the respect of the players, and then it goes from there. Then, I gain the respect from upstairs. I have to come be a pro, be a pro.
Q: In that sense, is there an extra burden placed on your shoulders knowing that you have to?
A: Not at all, not at all because they’ve been winning. They’ve been winning without me. Like I said, I’m just coming in, adding an extra target for Tyrod. They have players all around the board, from D.T. [Deonte Thompson], to Jordan [Matthews], to [LeSean] McCoy, [it can] keep going on. Like I said, I’m just coming to help, coming in and helping. That’s all I want to do, is come help them win games.
Q: Not sure if you’re aware of it, they’ve been also losing without you, in the sense that this team is on a 17-season playoff drought, not sure if that’s ever been mentioned to you?
A: That’s the past, everybody loses. Every organization goes on their slumps, even college football goes into slumps. I think the time is now. You can see it, you can just see the energy changing, you can see how these guys come to work, you can see how they play. It’s [when] that one guy makes the play, the whole team [is] running out there on the field, that says a lot.
Q: You're aware of the Brandon Tate thing?
A: Definitely, I’ve seen that play, on the sidelines when we were at Tampa.
Q: Really? What struck you about that?
A: I looked over to Trai Turner and was like ‘Buffalo [is] playing.’
Q: What do you see in Tyrod and talk about working together, getting up to speed before the first game [together], and what it’s going to take? How important is the timing and all that?
A: [There’s] going to be adjustments. We’re football players, that’s why we have to just keep working it, keep working it, keep catching passes, keep throwing it and catching passes from each other. Tyrod has a great deep ball, he’s got great [catchable] balls, and I’ll be there to catch them.
Q: You were scouting Tampa, because you just played Tampa, that’s how you saw that?
A: No, we were on the field actually. I think they just played the replay of it, it might have been? You know how they do the little replays on the jumbotron, they were like ‘oh, look at this play right here.’ We were like in the fourth quarter, running the ball, about to get ready and go victory [formation], and I [saw] the play. I was like ‘man.’
Q: Over the last six days, how many times have you heard the word ‘process’?
A: Process (laughing)? It is a process though, for real. It’s no joke though, we know it’s a process. Some teams come out first couple halves of the season, [they’re] balling, and [then] second half, [not balling]. You have to stay locked in, stay focused, come back and work every week. Respect your opponent, but at the same time, let them know that you’re going to come dominate, and that’s what I’m trying to do.
Q: From what you know of Sean McDermott over six days and the time you had in Carolina, if you had to define his process, what would it be?
A: Work [and] have fun. Work and have fun, and basically know your role, know your role.
Q: Did you and Deonte play on the same high school football team? I know you went to the same high school, but did you and Deonte play on the same high school team?
A: We did not play on the same team. But [we played] a lot of backyard football.
Q: He’s a little older than you, right?
A: Yeah, a bit.
RB Travaris Cadet
Q: Is your feet kind of on the ground now after you got your first practice in?
A: Yeah, it feels better. I was anxious about today, [after] signing, because you always want to get out there and get comfortable; get out there and get acclimated with the playbook; see what the offense is like; meeting your players and your guys because really that’s your family now. The closer we are, the more we can bond, the more we can go out there and execute the plan.
Q: What’re your initial impressions? I know you haven’t had much time to look at this, but just offense wise, your initial impressions after getting some physical reps out there, too?
A: I think it’s a great offense. It has great personnel, led by a great quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, a great head coach. I’m picking it up, second by second, time by time, every time I’m out there. Of course, the more reps you get the more comfortable you get. I would say, just the people, who are now my teammates, I feel like [there’s] a great coach, I feel like everybody’s together. I don’t see anything negative so far or whatnot, I feel like everybody’s together, I feel like everybody’s family. Everybody has been a helping hand since I’ve been here, to help me get in position to help and be a positive to the team.
Q: I know your time in the league, mostly with the Saints, you’ve come in, you’ve helped on third down, you’ve been a pass catcher out of the backfield. Maybe speak to me about pass protection, that’s a big thing if you’re going to get on the field on third downs? Maybe talk about your familiarity with it, your comfort level with it?
A: I’m familiar, but every place is different. Everybody reads their keys different, reading off the Mike-point and what the line is expecting the [linebackers] to do, and then what the [linebackers] are expecting the line to do; the quarterback directing traffic and being able to adjust on the run. I think that’s what it’s about. Nowadays, defenses do so many different things that you have to be able to adjust, be able to react, be successful, and not let the quarterback get hit.
QB Joe Webb
Q: He [Kelvin Benjamin] said you told him that he was going to love it, what’d you tell him?
A: Yeah, I told him once I came over, I talked about the Bills. I told him ‘I love it here, if you were here, I know you’d love it, too.’ Look what happened, he got here. I took him through the city, throughout the weekend, he loved Buffalo. He got settled in pretty good.
Q: Is he shacking up with you, or do they have him in a hotel?
A: Nah, he’s not shacking up with me. But I make sure he gets everywhere on time, to all the meetings, [I] show him the facility and things like that. He’s coming along good.
Q: You were a guy that kind of came in here and had to get acclimated, how much did you want to take it upon yourself to make him comfortable coming in the door, just with the prior relationship that you guys had?
A: That’s one of the main things, when you go to a new team, you want to be welcomed with open arms. You don’t want to feel like any threat towards anybody. I walked him around, introduced him to the guys. He’s fitting in just well.
Q: After seeing him for a while, what kind of a weapon can he be for this offense?
A: Very explosive. We still have explosive guys on the team, but for him to come in and add on to that, it’s going to be great for the offense, and not only the offense, but for the whole team.
Q: I know Coach [Phil] McGeoghan was the guy working with him over the weekend with the ‘cram’ sessions and everything, but with you having a quarterback perspective, while also getting a little time at wideout here and there, are you a guy he should be sitting next to in the meeting rooms?
A: Nah, everyone is helping K.B. [Kelvin Benjamin]. Not only me, but all the guys [in] the receiver room, Tyrod [Taylor], and all the coaches. It’s not just me, I’m just a familiar face to him, just coming in and showing him the ropes and everything. Everybody is helping him, everybody loves that he’s here. First day he came, the guys were like ‘man, he’s a big, tall dude, he’s big, he’s going to help us.’ A lot of guys wanted him to play Thursday night, but coach [Sean] McDermott had other words for it.