Comments from Doug Marrone, Kyle Orton and Kyle Williams from Thursday's media interviews. Transcripts provided by the Buffalo Bills.
Head Coach Doug Marrone
A: Scott Berchtold: Did not participate in practice: Marcell Dareus with the knee and Stephon Gilmore with the concussion protocol. Limited participation: Dan Carpenter with the groin and Aaron Williams with the hip.
Q: Is Dareus any better?
A: We’re just going to progress and really take it all the way until the end. I think it will go all the way to the end.
Q: Will injured reserve be a possibility for Dareus or Gilmore?
A: No, I don’t think their injuries are that major.
Q: Do you think you’ll bring a practice squad player up for the game?
A: I believe that the rule is that you can’t put anyone on unless it’s major. Those guys aren’t major.
Q: What’s your sense of Kyle Williams’ season and his battling week in, week out?
A: I think a lot of players do that. I think, with Kyle, you kind of take that for granted a little bit because he’s done that throughout his career. I think it’s a testament to him. When you go around the league and you talk to other offensive line coaches, they talk about the defensive line and they talk about Kyle. I think there’s an appreciation for the way he plays. It’s a great story, where he was drafted and what he’s been able to do with that. He’s really an all-around guy; good leader, good player, good family man. There are a lot of things that you get with that.
Q: How much longer do you think he can go? He’s at a point where the end of his career is closer.
A: Obviously, we hope not. If he keeps playing at a high level, which he has been able to play at, I think that’s the most important thing. I’ve never even thought about the longevity or where he’s at. I think, when the season is over, you go through that process.
Q: Can you talk about the Pro Bowl recognition your defense line got?
A: It’s well deserved. We said it all along. People talk about our defensive line. We’ve got four very good players. Anytime you get multiple players at one position, I think that’s a testament to just how good those guys are because that doesn’t really happen that often. When you get three, that’s a lot. One of the things I did last night, when everything came out and I congratulated the players that made it, was make sure that I talked to Jerry Hughes. Hughes has had an outstanding year. He really has. I think that one of the things about this game, because it is a team game, guys go ahead and make that, but there’s a lot of other people involved that don’t get the credit for it; they can share in knowing that they were apart of it, even though they didn’t get individually recognized.
Q: Do you think that the reason the defensive line is so successful is because they support each other, instead of competing with each other?
A: They’ve been together for a while. They’re a very close group, but don’t ever underestimate that they are competitive with each other in a competitive way. When you have that and you have talent, I think you’re able to get the most out of people. As long as you’re able to do that and you have good communication and you get along as a teammate, you have a chance to perform at a better level.
Q: Were you disappointed that Denver lost, so New England doesn’t need this game and you can’t spoil it for them?
A: Is that added incentive? I’m not going to lie and say that that wouldn’t help, but our thing is that we’re more disappointed in our performance. I addressed that with the players. We need to go up there. We need to play extremely well; our best game with our best players. We need to get this bad taste out of our mouth when the season ends.
Q: The Patriots are the gold standard. As a coach, do you look at them as what you want to become?
A: As far as the success of that team, absolutely. I don’t know who’s not trying to get that type of success over a long period of time. I mean even when I was in the league prior to going to New Orleans they’ve been very successful. They’ve done it a lot of different ways with a lot of different pieces, outside of the quarterback. I have a great appreciation for the way that they play. They play extremely hard on every single play. They get off blocks. They do things that good teams need to do to be consistent and play all the time. It’s funny and I’ve almost said this amongst my circle of coaches that I know. Everybody always talked about the hardest places to play and no one really mentions going to New England. It’s by far, in my opinion, probably the toughest place to play. Obviously Seattle is up there and I’m not taking anything away from those teams. To say that you want your team to look like that, I think that’s difficult to try to emulate. What you want is the production and the efficiency that they have.
Q: Going there to play is tough because they’re good, right?
A: They’re good. Yeah. It’s tough to go up there. If you look at their home record and what they are and how they bounce back and how the come back; whether it’s Coach Belichick and his staff, whether it’s the players or the leadership on the team, it’s outstanding. When they lose and you come back and play them off a loss, their record is unbelievable. Their home record is unbelievable. They’re a good team, but they’re a better team at home.
Q: How aware are the players of the recent domination the Patriots have had over the Bills?
A: I think it’s out there. I think you try to stop that. That’s why it’s an important game. They’ve had so much domination that you have to go out there and play. It’s well-respected and well-deserved by them. We have to get our game up and we have to go in there ready to play.
Q: Is it at the top of the mind that this franchise has never won at Gillette Stadium?
A: I heard that this week. I don’t know if it’s on the top of the minds of the players. For the players it’s a challenging time because of last week. I hate bringing it up, but it’s the truth. We put ourselves in the position and we’ve got to let it go and we’ve got to get ready to go and play. There’s a time that we have to go out there and we have to challenge and be able to play. We haven’t really played well against them. I know the first time we played them it was tough, but it was the opening game of the season. After the last game, we had three turnovers. You can’t do that and beat this team. He was extremely efficient on all sides of the ball. I’m sure they’ll be ready for us. It’s a division game and that’s what we’re expecting.
Q: How important is it to end the season with a winning record?
A: The goal is the make the playoffs. We didn’t do that. That’s not acceptable. That’s my responsibility. I’m not going to sugar coat that. To go out and get a little bit of this bad taste out of your mouth, there’s something to that. Trying to get this team better today, the next time we practice, is extremely important. The character of this team, the integrity, it’s on us to go out there and put a great performance together and be efficient and play the way we are capable of playing. That’s what we have to do.
Q: Are you expecting to see Jimmy Garoppolo?
A: I’m not going in there expecting that.
QB Kyle Orton
Q: Have you thought about your future in Buffalo?
A: No. I thought about the New England Patriots and that’s about it.
Q: How much pride do you still take in being the starting quarterback for this team in the last game?
A: I think this team has played for each other all year and played for the other guys in the locker room. I don’t see our mindset changing. Anytime you put that uniform on you’re playing for your teammates and playing for your family. It’s another chance for us to go out and do that.
Q: What have you seen from the youth on this team?
A: I think these guys have worked really hard to improve. I think the talent is there. There are always growing pains in the NFL. There’s no doubt about that. As long as these guys stay the course and keep on working like they do, we have a lot of guys on this team who are going to be great players.
Q: With you guys out of the playoff mix, what’s the rallying cry in this locker room?
A: I don’t think there is one. I don’t think you need one. Like I said, there’s only 16 games and guys play for the right reason. We’ve played for the same reason all year and that’s for each other, so I don’t think anything ever changes.
Q: What about being part of the first winning team for the Bills since 2004?
A: We’re on the 2014 team. We’ve put ourselves in this position and it is what it is. Like I said, we’ve played every game for each other and I don’t think the mindset is going to change.
DT Kyle Williams
Q: Is the team ready to get back at it Sunday?
A: Yeah, from our conversations and the way we went about practice today and our walk through yesterday, you couldn’t see any difference in our preparation so far. I think it’s important to guys. I think guys realize there hasn’t been a winning team here in a decade and it’s an opportunity to go play against probably the best team in the AFC, a division rival. We actually talked about it over the last three years, we’re three and one against the Dolphins and 3-1 against the Jets but we’re oh-for against those guys. That’s obviously who’s at the top of our division and we have to go over there and play a good game.
Q: You’ve been here longer than anyone else during this playoff drought. Is the disappointment this year any different than any other year?
A: I don’t know. It’s hard to say. My disappointment’s deep every year when you work for your ultimate goal. That’s what you’re doing here and it’s tough to swallow every year but this year, I think we had some players in place and played really well in spurts but like I said Sunday, we didn’t do enough to get the job done.
Q: Did you feel this was the tip of your career. It ends with you being a Pro Bowler…
A: I think the first three games was really…started off well. Felt good and then I tore my MCL but I was luck I only missed one game. You kind of push through that for a couple games and then came back through it and I actually feel really good this time of the year. Better than I’ve felt in a while considering the things I’ve gone through. All and all individually: a good year but like I said all that…it’s kind of bitter sweet or it’s kind of forgot looking back on it now.
Q: What does the Pro Bowl recognition mean to you? I know it’s not your ultimate goal but…
A: Well I think anytime you’re recognized by your peers, the coaches that you play against, your fans...all the Bills’ fans that vote for you and you have an opportunity to represent this organization and our city, it’s always an honor to be able to do that.