Transcript of media sessions on Thursday with Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and defensive end Mario Williams. Provided by the Buffalo Bills.
Q: Can you give a summary thought on this minicamp?
A: I am really pleased with how the offseason went. I think when you look at it what you are trying to accomplish. You have to get a couple new systems taught, you have to see what you have from a physical standpoint as best you can without putting the pads on, enthusiasm and all that type of stuff. And obviously the physical conditioning of your players. I have been happy with all of it. Now we are going into this offseason you want to get away from it. Told the players detox away from football. Get away from it, maintain some conditioning but get away from it. Hoping you are jogging on the beach or doing something like that. But now is not the time to think about football. Now is the time to get away from it, spend time with your families, have a little life outside of the game. And then when it gets close start dialing it in and can't wait to get back out here. We know what it in front of us. They can be half as enthused as I am about this season and that would be good.
Q: Is this the best day you have seen from EJ (Manuel)?
A: Yeah he has had some moments and things like that. I thought EJ did well, he threw the touchdown pass in the two minute. Kind of looked a little watered down there on defense. But it was good. It was great to see. Yeah he looked pretty good and he had some nice plays today.
Q: The first team front four linemen were practicing in team drills today was that to help the quarterbacks out a little?
A: I would not say that. You guys posted every stat known to man in there. I am like ‘Alright that’s enough, big boys ain't in there today.’ So it is a little easier to function when that front four ain't in there. You know we did that a little bit. When you combine talent with scheme it is going to be pretty spectacular over on the other side I believe.
Q: When you are assessing how do you balance that? Do you have to do that to get a decent look at what the quarterbacks can do?
A: Well sometimes. Some of the other stuff we do it is going to difficult. We are not scheming offensively for our defense. There are some things we run that no one else runs. You throw that in there and the guy throws into coverage and all of a sudden we are criticizing that is why they are holding the ball a little longer. We don't have to play ourselves. We go to compete against each other and then there are times you understand the drill. And I think that is kind of what we did today.
Q: What happens the next six weeks for you personally and the staff?
A: I am getting away from it as well. I think it's good to get away with all the coaches and things. But you know things are never that far away from you. But I want to get away and I want everyone to get away. Then when you come back you are fresh as a daisy and you are ready to roll. The grind, you plan on working six months and maybe having two days off. Now you get away, all the coaches everyone in the building gets away. I think that’s a good thing.
Q: We haven't seen Aaron Williams hanging around has he been in the building this week?
A: Yeah, yeah. He has been rehabbing and things. He goes through the walk throughs and stuff like that. Obviously he can't participate. He is doing a good job rehabbing and things and we expect him when kick it off for real in training camp he will be ready to go.
Q: Wayne Hunter shaking off the rust out there?
A: Yeah we just put him through the individual drills. We weren't putting him out there for any team drills. Just so he gets his feet wet and picks up some terminology and things like that. Where he will have a better chance is when we get back out there in training camp. It is good for a veteran player just to get out. I think he has impressed some coaches with how athletic he is. And he looks like he is in great shape. It will be fun watching him compete.
Q: Do you think he will be signed after today, or before camp?
A: Yeah I think he will be signed.
Q: Just your history with him going back to the Jets, what is your scouting report on him?
A: He is a guy that did a tremendous job for us early. I think in an ideal world there are some players for whatever reason that are better in multiple roles and being almost like a utility guy, playing guard, tackle, tight end. Giving you a lot of that versatility, a smart athletic guy. That is why he is here.
Q: Seantrel Henderson hasn't really been mixing in with the first team or second team is that disciplinary?
A: No, he was in there some with the two's. He missed the first day, you know with the travel and things. But it is his responsibility to be here and he understands that.
Q: Do you see him more on the left or the right or both?
A: I think he has the ability where he can play both, right and left tackle. As does Cordy (Glenn). Even (Cyrus) Kouandjio same way. I think that’s an ideal world for you. Wayne Hunter the same way. Because sometimes you only have three guys up for a game and you got to be able to be the swing tackle?
Q: What about the guard spot that you would rather have Richie (Incognito) on the left and John (Miller) on the right? Is there a specific thing they do in that spot?
A: Well Richie has been a left guard almost his entire career. I think that is where he is really comfortable obviously. Where John played both sides in college but we just put him on the right. I really like having Richie on the left. So that is kind of where we put them from day one.
Q: Marquise Goodwin after the interception play kind of got up slowly did you check on him, is he okay?
A: No, I have seen him do this a few times. You know he is alright. I looked at him he is okay.
Q: I know it’s hard to evaluate the offensive line without pads on, but what reasons are there that Cyrus (Kouandjio) is ahead of Seantrel (Henderson)?
A: Well I think the work that Cyrus has done overall in the offseason probably puts him ahead right now. But again, the race isn’t over by a long shot, so we’ll see, Seantrel has got to show that he can handle it, you know, mentally, physically all of it and then get out here. Obviously he’s a guy that started 16 games last year so I think competition is going to be good, and you know, Kouandjio has got to show that when the pads come on that he can handle the physical aspect of the game.
Q: What are your observations of Cordy Glenn this offseason?
A: Been really impressed with Cordy and obviously that’s a guy that we kind of know is going to start, we just basically never knew where, So I feel really good about where he’s at right now, he’s primarily been on the left, and is there a chance that that’s primarily where he’ll stay? Probably, you know. I like his flexibility where he can do other things as well.
Q: What do you see Chris Hogan’s role being as the season starts?
A: It’s too early to tell what role of this particular player is going to be, or that one, you know obviously Sammy we know is the bell cow, but we know a guy like Hogan, (Marquise) Goodwin all that, those roles will be played out, you know. Robert Woods, Percy Harvin, it’s a heck of a group, so to say a guy has a specific role, we just like Chris Hogan I can tell you that much. He’s one of the leaders in the offseason-conditioning program, he’s in phenomenal shape, he’s a smart guy and obviously we know the kind of route runner he is. He’s got great hands, so you would think that, hey you know, he may have a niche with this team, but you never want to limit a guy’s role, and you don’t want to you know, ‘Hey he’s entrenched in this role’ because quite honestly let the competition decide what kind of role a guy is going to have, unless it’s a guy like Sammy Watkins or somebody like that, then it’s a no brainer.
Q: What is the chance that the quarterback that starts against the Colts is on your roster vs. the possibility of someone that is not currently on the team?
A: I’d say 99.9% chance he’s on the roster. Unless you know something I don’t. I don’t see…you know, I assume the player is on the roster.
Q: Have you seen players that have performed well in OTAs and minicamp, and then drop off in training camp and maybe vice-versa?
A: I remember back in the day with the Minnesota Vikings, you’d have the entire front four not show up until like the first regular season game almost you know, so Alan Page, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, they’d be playing all these other guys and then the real thing gets kicked off and here they come and you’re like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ They did pretty good, they stepped it up a little bit. But really its, you know, I’ve seen a lot of examples of guys that have been, you know, like, wearing the shorts all American, there has been like track guys that just pop off the you know, you think you’ve really got like, Cliff Branch or somebody, and then when the pads come on they are like Cliff Branch like, looking like T-Rex you know, he’d catch the ball like this. Doesn’t work to well in this league so sometimes you get a little of that, but we’ll see, you know I feel pretty good about where the guys are at, and I know one thing, we are going to have a very competitive training camp and there’s a lot of spots that, you know, it’s, you know the odds makers out there, it’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out, but one thing we know for sure they’re all going to be given an opportunity.
T Cyrus Kouandjio
Q: How has this offseason gone for you? Do you feel like you’ve made some strides from last year?
A: Oh yeah definitely. Just improve any way, shape and form I can find. It’s been good.
Q: What are the biggest areas where you’ve felt improvement?
A: I felt a huge improvement in my balance. Being able to do what you want, at a certain speed – it takes a lot of balance, it takes a lot of core strength, and it helps your game a lot. That, a lot of other things, a lot of little things I see in my game that I can fix. I still have a ways to go, I still have a few things I can pin point, ‘Hey I need to work on this during the break,’ and I’ll do that, so it’s a process.
Q: How much did LeCharles Bentley’s camp help you out with that technique and improvement?
A: It helped me a lot, it was huge piece of the puzzle and I plan to go back there this offseason for a few weeks before we get back to camp, and see where it goes.
Q: How challenging was last year for you, and how are you using that as the main drive for you improvement this time around?
A: It was tough, it was probably one of the toughest things I’ve been through in my life, especially camp. But I know what to expect, so we’re humans we can adapt.
DE Mario Williams
Q: What are you going to do over the next 6 weeks?
A: I don’t know. Probably just work out.
Q: Rex acknowledged that one of the reasons you didn’t play as much today is he wanted to give the quarterbacks and offense a reason to function a little better, as opposed to what happens when you and the other starters are in there.
A: I think the biggest thing with that being said, I think is just that we still play well together. I mean nothing’s changed as far as us and playing off one another. So I think that’s probably what he meant by that.
Q: He said the offense also isn’t playing his defense, so they’re not scheming against it, they don’t really know it all that well… Do you feel when you guys are out there you’ve had that inherit advantage?
A: Not necessarily because we’re not scheming it for them. So I mean it’s not like we’re out here doing the game, playing for them. Were just reacting, getting calls and reacting to what we see.
Q: When you’re going against Cyrus (Kouandjio) at all, can you tell us what he brings as an tackle?
A: Well his versatility. He’s a big guy, but he also can move, and his arm length is very, I can’t really give you a number obviously, but I’m saying compared to other tackles in the league he can definitely get out there and reach, so as far as pass blocking and run blocking he has the extension and the advantage in that situation.