What They Said: Taylor, Peterman, McCoy, Williams, Wood, Zay Jones, Hyde on QB change, Chiefs and more - The Buffalo News

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What They Said: Taylor, Peterman, McCoy, Williams, Wood, Zay Jones, Hyde on QB change, Chiefs and more

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Q: What’s up QB1?

A: Not much.

Q: Obviously you’re happy about the decision, but has this week kind of just been a blur for you? Has it been a crazy week for you?

A: It’s been an interesting set of days but it’s the National Football League. You’ve got to be prepared for anything and focus-wise, you can’t let things break your focus. Like I said, whether it’s last week or this week, I’m going to prepare and that’s what I’m here to do now. Prepare and do whatever it takes to get this team to a win on Sunday versus the Chiefs.

Q: Did you get the sense when you guys got back to Buffalo after the game that this would probably be what Sean [McDermott] was going to do?

A: I didn’t find that out until yesterday. Long trip back, bunch of mixed emotions after a loss like that, more so guys just wanted to regroup. We had Monday off and was able to get over here yesterday and that’s when I was told the news.

Q: Have you had any struggle or issue with getting over the fact that you were benched in the first place and now they’re going back to you? How do you accept that?

A: Like I said, you never let things surprise you. My focus has still been the same. I’m going to continue to be the leader that I am, the player that I am, week in and week out. As a team, more importantly, we’ve got to fix what we haven’t done right the last three weeks and that’s [to] get back on the winning side of the scoreboard. I think guys in this locker room, not I think, but I know, guys in this locker room are ready to go out there and fix that.

Q: Do you feel that you have the full support of your head coach?

A: Yes. I believe I do. I believe I have the full support and confidence of my teammates as well. It’s us out there that have to go out there and make plays. That’s really what truly matters.

Q: Tyrod, usually these things, they come out and deteriorate relationships between players and coaches. What’s your relationship right now with your head coach and your offensive coordinator?

A: Me and Rico [Rick Dennison] are still good friends. We still talk about a lot. I even gave my input on some of the stuff last week, even when I was benched. The communication has been open. We’ve talked since the day it happened and we’re going to keep talking and doing whatever it takes to fix what we need to on the offensive side of the ball.

Q: What about Coach McDermott?

A: The relationship is still there. Ultimately, we’re here to win games. That’s really what cures a lot of things. We’re both working hard to do whatever it takes to find a win.

Q: I know it was only a half, Tyrod, but having that perspective for half of a game, did it prompt you to re-examine your game and maybe change anything within it going onto the field this Sunday?

A: I’m always trying to evolve as a player. As far as re-examining my game, like you said, I was only out for a half. Things changed pretty quick. Like I said, I’m always trying to find ways to get better and there [are] ways that I can get better and I’m attacking those each and every day.

Q: Tyrod, did you or any other veteran players talk, even amongst yourselves, when the news came out last week that Nathan [Peterman] was starting, that you questioned this team’s pursuit of a playoff spot with that still in reach? Did you start to think that this is really about the future than about the present?

A: I personally didn’t take my thoughts there. I’m not sure what other guys talked about amongst themselves or whether things were taken [against] the coach or not. Like I said, I had to be prepared just in case I was to go into a game and still be in tune mentally with the preparation throughout the whole week. I never took my thoughts there. This team is very capable of making the playoffs and we have to go out there each and every week and play the way that we know how to play.

Q: Tyrod, really circumstances of last week when you entered the game in the second half, did you try to do anything different in that second half than you did earlier in the year?

A: I was just trying to score at that point. We were down a bunch of points. [I was] trying to do whatever it takes to put some points on the board.

Q: Tyrod, last week you even suggested that one of the feelings might’ve been betrayal that you were feeling. How do you bounce back from knowing – how do you come back from going to that point to going to this point where you get the job back even though it seems that this team, from our perspective, doesn’t have confidence in you going forward?

A: Put it behind; put it behind me. Learn from it; visit it, maybe sometime down the line. Right now, it’s about the Chiefs and whatever it takes to find a win week in and week out. Like I said, this team is very capable of making the playoffs. We have a whole bunch of talent, so we have to do whatever it takes to fix things that we haven’t been doing so well and get back on the right track.

Q: Tyrod, did this incident give you a window into what they may be thinking about next year? Clearly, they’ve made many moves with next year in mind, this group of front office and coaching staff. Did it give you a window into what they might be thinking in regards to you next year?

A: I haven’t really thought about that to be honest. I don’t control that. All I can control is what I do week to week and that’s what I’m going to focus on getting better at. [In] the future, that’ll play out how our God wants it to play out.

Q: Is it your understanding that, barring an injury, you’re going to be the starting quarterback from here through the rest of the season?

A: As of right now, I was told [that] I’m going to be the starter for this week and that’s how I’m handling my business and doing whatever it takes; pouring all my time and energy into preparation and getting everyone on the same page so we can go out and get a win this week.

Q: Tyrod, during the three-game losing streak, one of the key issues for the offense has been the first down. You guys have not done well on the first down. Can you kind of talk about what are some of the problems that have put you in bad distance – down in distance situations?

A: Yes, we’ve talked about it as a team. Too many negative plays on first and second down and it’s putting us in bad situations on third down. When we get third down, of course, we need to convert, but we can be better on first and second down, passing and running the ball. That’s what we’re focusing on.

Q: Tyrod, on Sunday you said that there would be a leadership council meeting. Did you have that meeting with Coach [McDermott]. He said that you guys did meet, but how much of conversation do you think went into this decision, meeting with you guys and where the team was at?

A: I think his decision was solely up to him. As far as more questions on that, you would have to ask him about it. Things were talked about, but that’s for us as an inside group to know about and figure out.

Q: Tyrod, whether it be this situation last week, the decision that was made heading into Los Angeles, or decisions you’ve been out on when you were in Baltimore, whether there would be a quarterback change or whatever. Unfortunately in football, it’s not like changing out the right guard. You’re the quarterback and when that change is made, it resonates not only throughout the offense, but the defense. Now you’re back in. What do you think needs to be done or as a leader, a captain on this team to kind of heal or mend or make sure everybody else is focused? I know you need to focus on your job too, but as a leader, how do you move forward with getting everybody on the same page?

A: Just getting everyone back to playing the style of football that we were playing in the five games that we won. When you turn on the tape, it’s was just a different style of football that you’ve seen from us. As a whole, offense, defense, and special teams, we have to get back to doing that. That’s with myself, as well as other leaders on this team are preaching towards the guys.

Q: What about the locker room element of that?

A: As far as talking in the locker room, that’s what I mean when I say ‘the leaders and stuff are pushing that message’. We’re definitely talking about it and doing whatever we can in the film room and on the field with the extra reps, staying after practice, just to get everyone on the same page. Like I said, [getting] back to playing football the way we know how.

Q: In terms of your confidence, in many cases if a guy is benched, it might impact him long-term. You were only out a half, you have tremendous support nationally, and I’m sure with a lot of players in the locker room. Now you’re back here again so quickly, did it impact your confidence and your abilities at all, maybe even in a positive way?

A: No, I’ve always been confident. I don’t necessarily rely on other people, what do they say or don’t say to push my confidence any way. I appreciate the support, but that doesn’t have anything to do with us trying to get a win this week. Like I said, I’m as condiment as ever in my ability, and this team’s ability to go out there and finish out the season in a positive way. We’re looking forward to starting that this week.

Q: Do you think that Sean [McDermott] waivered?

A: You’d have to ask him that.

Q: How do you avoid looking over your shoulder knowing how quickly your job was taken away before?

A: I never play looking over my shoulder, [I] didn’t in the past, and I won’t in the future. I focus on what I have to do as a player getting better, and leading this team.

Q: How different do you feel today than you did two weeks ago at this point in time, in terms of attitude, edginess? You always talk about a chip on your shoulder, right? I know you talk about you’ve always had that your entire career–

A: There’s always been a chip on my shoulder; from when I was playing rec league, even up to when I was drafted in the sixth-round, and things that I’ve been through throughout my time in the NFL. It just made that chip bigger.

Q: What’s the opportunity and the need to stabilize things? The three-game losing streak, all the things that went on last week, you still have a chance to stabilize things and get this thing going back in the right direction?

A: We have a great opportunity in front of us. As a team, like I said, a big opportunity for us to go on the road against a very good team, and [to] go out there and perform well. That’s [where] it starts, today, preparation, going out there and practicing, and doing whatever it takes to get that win.

Q: What’s the challenge in maintaining your relationship with Nathan [Peterman] knowing that you two are competing week in and week out?

A: The relationship is still the same.

Q: Can you define the relationship?

A: I’m going to teach him as much as I can. Sat there and talked to him on the sidelines on Sunday. But, I’m here to do a job as well. It’s my job to, like I said, lead the group in the locker room, on the field, wherever. That’s what I’m here to do, and to win games, so that’s what I’m focused on.

Q: Sean was asked what he wanted to see from you going forward, he said he just wanted to see you just do your job. What does that mean to you?

A: Exactly what he said.

Q: What does doing your job entail?

A: I’m pretty sure you know what that means.

RB LeSean McCoy

Q: LeSean, how do you feel about everything that transpired with the quarterback position this week and then going back to Tyrod [Taylor] obviously?

A:  Well, obviously Nate [Peterman] struggled, but, I mean, he’s a rookie so we expected that. Some things he can probably learn from last game and now Tyrod’s the guy again, so we’re used to him. Not a lot has changed with that. We’ll go out there and continue to battle [and] get that first win.

Q: How can a veteran try and get to the playoffs be matter the fact about ‘oh, he’s a rookie, he’s going to struggle’?

A: No, I was trying to just, I mean, as far as just – I mean, it’s hard. This league is really hard. You don’t see a lot of rookies coming and just kill. That doesn’t just really happen. Every game is a learning experience. It’s new to him and I’m only talking to you like that because I’ve been a rookie. I know how hard it is from when I first started playing to like, playing all the time and experiencing different situations in the game. Battling adversity in the first half or first quarter, trying to find a way to get it positive again compared to a rookie when it’s just – you’re in a tough situation because you want to do the best you can do and things might not work out. It’s that snowball effect: this happens, then that happens, then this happens, then that happens. I’ve been there too, so I was just talking based off of experience of being a rookie to being a veteran.

Q: Are you personally glad that Tyrod is back in there this week?

A: I guess I’m biased, because me and Tyrod have chemistry. I know him very well and I know what type of work effort he has and the type of preparation he does every week, even before the season started, just the preparation [from] training together with Tyrod for this season, so I know it’s a lot of hard work into his game. I think right now he’s our best option to win. The good thing about Nate is [that] he has a bright future; he really does. He’s talented. We’ll get back to the drawing board. We have some good plays for this week and hopefully we can put some points up, take care of the ball and get a win.

Q: Do you think Tyrod gave you the best chance to win last week?

A: That’s not really my -

Q: How could you not feel that last week and then feel it this week? How could it change in one week?

A: You see how the game went. The game didn’t go well. I feel like Tyrod is our best chance to win. That’s what we didn’t know. You didn’t know. Coach made the decision and we didn’t know how it would turn out.

Q: Did the decision Sean [McDermott] made last week impact the way he’s perceived or, I don’t want to say respected but, thought of in the locker room by the players?

A: If Nate went out there and played great, you know, Coach is the best man on Earth and saving our season, et cetera. He didn’t do well, so it looks like a bad decision. Before or after the decision was made when I talked to the press, I said that it’s one situation where, if Nate does great, everything is excellent. If he doesn’t do good, it’s a bad move. It’s one of those situations where it’s like, it is what it is.

Q: LeSean, how much has your struggles on first down hurt you guys overall the last three weeks?

A: Yeah, seriously, I mean, just negative yards in general kind of hurts the offense. It’s so hard to get first downs already. When you get a negative run or a negative play, it makes it even harder to get a first down.

Q: When assessing the run game, LeSean, last week, and there have been other games where you guys have had success, stacking them back to back though has been a little bit of an issue. Do you feel like there was some things you guys found last week, in terms of scheming things up, that you feel that you can repeat that success again this week?

A: Yeah, we did some good things last week. Guys blocked well, the running backs, we read the holes well and we prepared hard. We knew that we’d get some lanes there, you know, just the ability to make guys miss when we got on the perimeter. That’s kind of how we run the ball, so we’ve got to continue just to be consistent. Like you said before, just putting back to back games together in the running game.

Q: Why is Tyrod, in your opinion, the best person on helping you out?

A: Just considering how the game went last week, we just couldn’t get clicking, couldn’t get something going. I think Tyrod does a good job with protecting the ball with turnovers. He’s a veteran guy; he’s been around a little bit. Obviously right now, I think it’s best that he’s in here kind of getting it rolling for offense. More trust than anything. More trust.

Q: Do you feel that was all together on the offense? Do you feel like guys are more comfortable and trusting with him?

A: I’ve just seen Tyrod in bad games he’s played or bad situations where he’s answered and you can count on him. Sometimes, man, myself, just plays where I might make a bad play but you don’t want it to keep affecting your whole game. Turning the ball over last game was bad for us; you can’t win like that.

Q: Do you think we’re going to see any difference in the way Tyrod plays after coming off being benched?

A: We’ll see. I’m not sure, we’ll see.

Q: What message do you think this quarterback switch sends? Because last week, McDermott’s talking about building for the future and it’s about looking ahead. This week, he’s talking about [how] you guys are still in the hunt and playoffs.

A: Well, we’re still in the hunt. We can look at it, the playoff picture, we’re still in the hunt. We’ve just got to execute and win some games. That’s the only thing that I can really worry about. That’s the only thing I really care about. Everybody’s future here in the NFL, you can’t predict it. You never know. The one thing we can control is just go out there and put a hard effort and get a win. We have a realistic shot to be in the playoffs.

Q: LeSean, if in fact order has been restored with this switch, how does the team recalibrate after such a seismic shift that’s happened over the past week?

A: Like myself, it was a change and now they changed again. You can’t let it affect you because at the end of the day, we’ve got to play the game, no matter if it’s – if I’m playing quarterback. The game’s going to be played. Everyone wants to do their best to win the game. You kind of put the small, I guess, distractions or the small changes that’s been made, you put it past you because you’re trying to win the game. Whoever’s quarterback, we’re ready to roll.

Q: Is this a must-win game, LeSean? On Sunday, is it a must-win game?

A: Yeah, it really is. We’ve really got to win this game.

Q: What does Andy Reid mean to you as a coach and as a person?

A: Andy Reid. Nah, I love Coach Reid like a family member. He drafted me, we’ve always been tight; we still are. I look forward to having a big, big game against him and he knows that. They’re a good team, they’re disciplined, they play hard, got a lot of talent. Sounds like an Andy Reid team.

Q: Does it mean something a little bit for you, though, to have a good game against him?

A: Yeah, I’m actually 0-2 against Andy, the two times I played him.

Q: Do you feel like you owe him one?

A: I owe him one. Then that first time he came back to Philly, yeah in ’13, I put some big numbers up, but we lost. And how about [the fact that] he didn’t talk to me the whole time and then tried to call me after the game? I’m not talking to you.

Q: Did you answer?

A: No, I didn’t answer. We talked like two weeks after that. He’s like family, though, so it’s like if you’re mad at your brother, or your uncle, or your dad. Eventually, you’ll talk. I love his wife, Tammy, she’s nice.

Q: How much of Andy do you see in Sean?

A: They’re similar. They’re similar in the terminology, it’s very similar. They’re both very smart. They are different, though. I see some similarities in his coaching style, but Sean’s a lot younger. He’s a lot more hip to my generation compared to Andy. Andy’s more old school. He sits back in the back [and] lets the veterans control the team where Sean is more hands-on. That’s probably a big difference. And Sean’s a lot smaller.

Q: They’re 29th against the run and 28th against the pass. It looks like you can get some yards out there against the team. What do you see on film that makes you think you can really move around on them?

A: Another thing is – well, that’s major, too. You know, 28th, 29th, against the run and the pass, but a lot of guys are hurt, a lot of guys are banged up so a lot of backups are playing and you can see it. Usually, when you have the starters together they all know how each other play [and] they play off each other. It’s a lot of new guys that are kind of filling the shoes of the starters. That’s tough when you don’t have your roster.

Q: LeSean, you talked about how you didn’t know about Nate until you got to see him play. After the way that game went, is it such that, as long as you guys are in playoff contention, you could not go back to him again for the sake of the locker room?

A: That’s Sean’s decision. The good thing with Nate is [that] he’s going to have a bright future. Nate is – he is very talented, he really is. He’s a young kid. A rookie [and] he’ll learn, he’ll get better. [He has] a bright future, but that’s Sean’s decision as far as if he’s up, if he’s down. I don’t make the calls.

QB Nathan Peterman

Q: Were you surprised? Did you have any expectations of how it might go?
A: Not really an expectation. Again, I’m just here to do what they tell me to do, and be ready at all times. That’s what I’m focusing on doing, is being ready for the next opportunity.

Q: What’s the next step in your development after this experience?
A: Just get better from it. Learn from it, see the things I did wrong, take a hard look at myself on what I can do better next time.

Q: Nathan, who have you leaned on for advice after what happened on Sunday?
A: A lot of people reached out, which has been very helpful. The biggest thing I lean on is my faith. My relationship with God, I think that’s the biggest thing; the trust in God no matter what happens, good or bad. That’s kind of how life goes sometimes, there’s bad things that happen to people. It’s what you’re going to do with that, how you’re going to turn it into a positive. That’s what I’m focused on.

Q: What kind of support have you gotten from inside this room?
A: A bunch. I think the whole team has been great. I feel like I’ve talked to every guy on the team, honestly, which is pretty special, I think, of how good of teammates I have. [We’re] definitely building something special here.

S Micah Hyde

Q: What’s the, I guess, environment; what’s the temperature of the locker room making the switch back to Tyrod [Taylor] right now? I know LeSean [McCoy] just told us, you know, ‘he gives us the best chance to win right now’.

A: We have faith in our guys, man. We stuck by the decision last week [and] we stick by this one. Same thing I said last week, defense has to step it up. I don’t care who’s the quarterback [or], what’s going on on the offensive side of the ball. Our defense has to step it up and we’ve just got to play better.

Q: What’s the state of mind on that side of the ball with you guys?

A: We’re confident, man. We know we haven’t played as well the last couple of games, but we’re confident. We know we can get it back and get to where we were at earlier in the season. It just comes down to doing the little things right. It’s easy to say; harder to do, but we’ve just got to get back there.

Q: You mentioned it’s hard to do. This Kansas City Chiefs offense has plenty of weapons between [Travis] Kelce and [Tyreek] Hill and Kareem Hunt. What do you see with the Chiefs offense when you watch them on film?

A: Weapons on top of weapons, man, you just said it. They’ve got explosives over the top. They’ve got a run game. They’ve got a very good quarterback, a veteran who can get it down with his arm and his legs. Very good tight end. They’ve got it all, man. You see them kind of struggle a little bit lately, but they got weapons all over the field that are dangerous and they obviously play well at home, too.

Defensive Tackle Kyle Williams

Q: This is not the first quarterback controversy, so to speak, that you’ve experienced just in this locker room. What are some things that you can tell both Tyrod [Taylor] and Nate [Peterman] just dealing with this as the weeks go on?

A: Well, you know, that’s obviously a unique position that they’re in with both of them having played and one up and one down, one week to another. I think the great thing is [that] those guys are mentally tough guys. They’re guys that are willing to prepare and the team means the most to them. I think they’ll put that above anything else and they’ll go out and they’ll work and prepare to win.

Q: The quarterback situation is kind of what steals the headlines, so to speak, but defensively, with what’s happened over the last three weeks, as a veteran [and] as a guy who’s been through it all here, how do you guys kind of get things back on track?

A: Well, obviously poor performance. We practiced well. I feel like we’ve practiced well. The guys have gone out and we’re just at a point where it’s got to carry over and it’s got to get into the game. Obviously, they get that many turnovers, we don’t get any. I feel like we only responded well to three of them where we only gave up field goals or missed field goals, so we have to respond better on sudden change and adversity. Our football team, right now, is working through a mountain of it and the only way to get through it is to work through it. You can’t hope and wish and think something miraculous is going to happen. You have to go out and work.

Q: Does it add to the frustration that the work’s there, it’s just, for some reason, the results aren’t?

A: Well, I think those things have to precede any kind of performance. We’ll just keep hammering away on it, focus on technique, communication, and all the small details. Those small things will eventually become big things.

 WR Zay Jones

Q: Were you surprised that Sean [McDermott] went back to Tyrod [Taylor]?
A: I don’t know if surprised is the word. [I] just respect his decision, respect what he wants to do for this team moving forward. I feel like he takes chances and tries to put our team in the best position possible to win football games. As one of his troops and soldiers, I follow the leader and honor what he decides to do.

Q: Could you sense something different offensively when Tyrod was in there? Turnovers aside from Nathan [Peterman], could you sense something different, even in the huddle?
A: In the game?

Q: Yeah, on Sunday.
A: That’s hard to recall. I feel like everything was there. We had some unfortunate things happen to us early on which is unfortunate. We just have to keep moving on. That’s football. Sometimes things aren’t going to bounce your way. We just got behind too early as a team to try to fight back, but we didn’t quit. That’s one thing that I think we can take away from that game, is guys didn’t quit, and guys kept punching back. I was really proud to see that.

Q: How do you rally around what’s been a few tough weeks and now rally around Tyrod, now that he’s back there? Overall as an offense, and [as] a team, [how do you] get things back together and stabilize what’s been a rough stretch for you?
A: I think that’s easy, you just bury what happened; positive or negative, you bury it, you move on. Like we said, our vision is still there. We lost some games, but playoffs are still in the hunt. Everything that we want is in front of us, but it’s going to be just one day at a time. Today was a great practice, a step in the right direction, so we just keep that momentum going and things are going to open up for us.

C Eric Wood

Q: You’ve been here when you guys have gotten off to hard starts. On the outside, there is still that “same old Bills” type of chatter going on. As a veteran, as a guy who’s been here and been through this before, what’s your take on this recent stretch?

A: Yeah, it’s been really tough. It’s been tough mentally [and] emotionally, but this is a new week and we’re 5-5 and we’ve got an opportunity to rewrite the script that a lot of people are writing about this team. Big opportunity this week and that’s all that we can focus on at this point.

Q: What can that leadership group do to stabilize what’s been a tough stretch here and the things that have gone on here the last week or two, and the three-game losing streak as a whole?

A: Yeah, you know, the leaders of this team have got to step up. We’ve got to try and rally everybody together, put a lot of time and effort and do everything we can to get a victory this week.

Q: Does having Tyrod [Taylor] back in there settle things down a little bit for you guys, just in the sense that you guys kind of know what you’re going to get from him in terms of his preparation and that kind of thing? I mean, with Nate [Peterman], it was such an unknown with how he was going to perform. With Tyrod, you’ve got a body of work.

A: Yeah, yeah. I definitely have a comfort level with Tyrod. I’ve worked with him for a lot of games and a lot of us have. There’s a comfort level there. That doesn’t mean I’m speaking against anything that went on last week. Definitely there is a comfort level there, for sure.

G Richie Incognito

Q: Richie, what was your thoughts on going back to Tyrod Taylor?
A: Just supportive of Coach [McDermott]’s decision. He made the decision to go with Nate [Peterman] and we supported that. Tyrod came back in the game and it was back to normal. We’re obviously comfortable with Tyrod in the huddle and we just kind of picked up where we left off.

Q: That being said, does Tyrod give you guys the best chance to win right now?
A: It’s not up to me to decide that. Tyrod’s the starter and we just roll.

Q: How hard is it to go back to a quarterback like Nate being a rookie in his first game [when it] goes as poorly as it went?
A: Yeah, it’s tough. I don’t think anybody saw it going that bad for Nate. It kind of just snowballed on him there. Some of those [interceptions] weren’t his fault. The team has to pick him up. Tyrod’s our guy moving forward.

 

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