Transcript of media sessions on Wednesday's Training Camp move-in day at St. John Fisher with Buffalo Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan, running back Fred Jackson, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, defensive tackle Kyle Williams and center Eric Wood. Provided by the Buffalo Bills.
WR Chris Hogan
Q: You had a pretty good spring by Coach Ryan’s account, then you go off for six weeks. What did you do in the mean time to get ready?
A: Same thing that I’ve been doing. Went home and worked out with my trainer and stayed in shape. This month and a couple weeks that we had off really just flies by. For me it was just trying to stay in shape and stay in the playbook and build off what I did in the spring.
Q: This is going to be a pretty competitive (wide) receiver situation to say the least, what is your mindset about that?
A: Same thing – every year it’s competitive and every year it seems like I’m a bubble guy. So my mindset is exactly what it’s been the last couple years is that I’m going to take advantage of every single opportunity that I get out there, hopefully there’s a lot of them and perform well in the preseason and you know will see what happens. This room is pretty talented, definitely the most talented that we’ve had here in the past couple years so it’ll be fun to compete with these guys.
Q: Did you follow Marquise (Goodwin) in the Pan Am Games, he’s your teammate, he’s your friend, what did you think of all that?
A: I thought it was awesome. It really says a lot about his athleticism. He can train for football and then go out there and medal in the Pan Am Games and compete with the best, I guess in the world and that’s pretty impressive. I was proud of him and the way he did that and competed.
Q: Do you think this camp is going to have a different feel just because of Rex’s presence and all that comes with that?
A: I think so. I think people are pretty excited to get up here and get to work and I think it showed in the offseason. Guys were excited to come to work, we had a lot of fun out of practices, minicamp, OTA’s… So I think that’s just going to carry over into this camp.
Q: Now that you’ve had about couple months to work with Sanjay (Lal), what are your impressions of him as a coach?
A: Sanjay has been great for me personally, you know because I’m always really trying to be... I’m a student really of this game and I’m trying to always take in as much as I can every single year and I think that he’s been able to bring that to this room and help everybody up and down the line and become a better receiver. He teaches the position well, he’s got a lot of knowledge about the position, and he played it back when he was playing so I think having him in our room is really going to help this year.
RB Fred Jackson
Q: You’re 35 and returning back to the NFL. How much do you have to manage that during training camp?
A: I think it’s just like everybody else. You can go out there and get bumps and bruises from anything, you got to be able to manage those and not let small injuries turn into big ones. I think that’s the best thing you can do in camp. We have a tremendous training staff that’s gonna help us do that, and I’ll be no different… Like you said I’m the oldest one in the league, but if I don’t know how to take care of myself by now then I wouldn’t still be here.
WR Sammy Watkins
Q: I know the plan was for you to be full go during camp, all signs pointing to that as far as you know?
A: Most definitely, I have been working out myself for rehab and stuff. I feel good and I am ready to start.
Q: I know you tried to get as much work as you could in the spring. Do you feel like there is any ground to make up, whether it be with the three quarterbacks or anything else?
A: There is a lot I got to make up. I missed football for a couple of months. It definitely takes you back, it is something you need to work on every day. And I just can’t wait to get started with the QB’s and getting back to feeling like myself. I think it starts with the cornerbacks and competing with them to see where I am at.
Q: Coach Roman said you were hard at work in the meetings room. Do you at least feel comfortable with that part of it?
A: Most definitely. The plays I am kind of comfortable with, but you still got to go out there and run the routes. I feel comfortable running them, it is different things with route running, I feel like I can go out there and run great routes but you still got to get use to competing with the top guys like Stephon [Gilmore], and Leodis [McKelvin]. That is the part I got to clear up.
Q: So you are a full go for Friday?
A: I will definitely will be out there. I don’t know what the circumstances are with the staff, what I am going to be doing or how limited I am going to be. But I am definitely going to be practicing.
Q: Do you feel as close to a 100% as you can feel you feel?
A: I think I am a 100% healthy. I just got to get out there and see. It starts with competing. Once I start competing I can tell where I am at.
Q: How eager are you to get out on the field and start doing what you need to do?
A: I can’t wait. I think we go out there Friday. I can’t wait to go out there and compete and get in one-on-one’s. Definitely see where I am at and measure the injury. Just to get out there with the whole team and the coaches and start off training camp.
Q: Do you think they will ease you into it because transitioning from doing very little to 100 miles an hour isn’t the best way to go? What do you think?
A: I think everyone is going to be even then. You don’t want to go at 100% like on game day. Everybody is going to work their way into it and get in shape. You will see the difference in two or three days, everyone will kind of ease into it.
Q: What is your level of optimism with this team? With the community and fans really getting behind this team.
A: We got to show up. We got to win games. Everybody buying tickets and everybody’s got this Super Bowl thing on us. We got to come out with it Friday at practice and we got to start it up. We are not going to go out there and win games just because we have all these players. It starts at practice and training camp. I think if we handle our business at practice we definitely have a shot at the playoffs.
Q: What kind of identity do you anticipate Rex installing in this team, what kind of team is he going to ask you to be identity wise?
A: We came here to win. I think for the most part we got to win now, we can’t win next year or the following year and say we don’t have the team. We have the team we got the coaches. We got to win every game that’s the goal. We understand that it is hard to win in the NFL and every team is not bad but Rex is prepared and I think he is going to prepare us the best.
Q: I read you set high expectations for this team and I think you used playoffs?
A: Most definitely. I think we have the players and the coaches and we just got to put the work in within ourselves and come together as a whole team. I think once we grow that chemistry in this training camp we will win a lot of games and make the playoffs.
Q: What is the next step for you? What are you expectations this year?
A: To be consistent. You can’t hold expectations when you got a great team around you. We got a lot of guys, you got running backs, you got tight ends, you got receivers. I just can’t say I am going to come in and get 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. You never know [Robert] Woods might get 1,000 yards, Percy [Harvin] might get 1,000 yards, LeSean McCoy might get 1,600 rushing yards. I can’t just say I am going to come in and get 1,000 yards it is hard to say.
DT Kyle Williams
Q: Does anything feel different about this camp?
A: Yeah, you know I think OTAs and minicamp felt different, too. I think you look around at some of the players we’ve added, obviously a change of pace in the headman. Each one of them is different, I’d say, even when you have the same coach, same staff. You know, but you’re always adding and subtracting players so it does feel different, I’m excited about it, you know, and I feel like we’ve got a group that can do some good things, can do some special things, but we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Q: This seems to be a highly anticipated training camp do the players sense it? Do you sense it?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think you see everything. From Rex, to the players, to the attitude change and player additions, you know I think you would be blind if you said you didn’t see it or feel it, but like I said we’re excited to be here. We’re excited about where we could go, but we have a whole lot of work before we get there. We got a whole lot of work before we have that first game in September, and hopefully, obviously we’ve got some talented guys but I think, hopefully, they understand that there’s a whole lot of work to get done before we can realize any kind of potential that we have.
Q: Given your role with the union, what’s your opinion on the Tom Brady case?
A: Well, obviously I think if you look at it from a league side it would be hard for them to turn back on a ruling that they made with a special investigative crew to come in and make that decision, so, I think them upholding it is not that all surprising based on the fact that those are people that they hired and it would be hard to go back on it. As a PA we have to protect the rights of all of our players, and you know with him, he declares his innocence and I think we’re going to let the process play out, you know we’re going to defend him the best that we can, from our end of it which is obviously totally opposed to what the NFL’s position is.
Q: From a Bills perspective, what does Brady’s suspension this mean for you?
A: You know, like I said, we haven’t even practiced yet, so we’ve got a long way to go for getting better ourselves before we even play a preseason game and then we’ve got a game before we even play them. You know, to worry about will he be there, will he not be there is a long way off, and if we’re concerned about that now then our heads in the wrong place.
Q: What did you think about Rex Ryan jumping out of an airplane?
A: I’m glad that he did it, because I’m not (going to). So, you know, listen if you’ve kind of watched or kept up with Rex over the years, Rex likes to live life, I think he went and ran with the bulls. Did a lot of different things. Hey, you only get one life, you might as well enjoy it and use it as an adventure and like I said, good for him, I’m glad he did it. They’d have to get a whole lot bigger canopy for me to do it or something would have to be on fire before I jumped out.
Q: Have any of the veterans guys spoken to LeSean (McCoy) about his Instagram post?
A: I’m not on twitter or really social media so it’s hard to keep up for that. I’m a little upset that I didn’t get invited, my wife’s glad I didn’t get invited. You know you always have to be careful with logos and stuff because of the branding and the organizational issues and league issues, but I don’t know how to respond to that. I don’t know what is going on, whatever him and Rex are talking about is his and Rex’s deal, his and Rex’s business.
Q: How are you feeling physically Kyle?
A: Yeah, you know I feel good, I didn’t have any offseason surgeries this year, and it’s been quite a few years since I haven’t done that, you know whether it was major stuff with Achilles heels or just clean ups or just, you know, that kind of deal. So I didn’t have any of that this year, I was able to hit the offseason running this year and you know I feel good right now. I’m excited about the year, I feel like I’m moving in the right direction.
Q: Are you excited that camp is a couple weeks less this year?
A: My kids are, for sure! You know we had a long camp last year, a hard camp, and I’m excited to get here and do the work that we need to do while we’re here, but it’s also good to say you can put a, I guess a date on it and know that this is when you’re getting out. Last year we had so much going on with the Hall of Fame game and remodeling that we were here a good bit longer but it’ll be good for everybody to know that hey listen, we’ve got this little bit of time that we can be here and focus on football and that’s what we’re going to ask the guys to do.
Q: And what about the shorter practice times?
A: Well I think when you evaluate that you have to look at reps. If you’re going two and a half hours and you’re getting, I don’t know, 25-30 team reps, but people want to say, “well they’re only doing an hour and a half, they’re only doing an hour and 45 minutes, they’re only doing two hours”, but if you’re getting the same amount of reps than that’s a lot more taxing on you than doing it over the course of two and a half hours so you know that’s kind of what we did in the spring, we held a little shorter practices but we were really rapid fire, we were two spot, we were on two different positions of the field and we were really getting a ton of reps in which I think will be good for us. It’ll be good for our tempo, our conditioning; there will be a lot of good things that will come from that.
Q: Who usually wins that traditional golf match between you and Wood?
A: I’ll let you ask him. No, you know we have fun and I think he’s working his way up. I’ve been playing a little bit longer, so I’ve got the upper hand on that, but he’s coming along.
C Eric Wood
Q: How disruptive might it be that Alex Kromer might not be here, at least for camp?
A: You know we’re just going to try and not make it a distraction at all, move forward. But as of right now I don’t really know any more than you all do and I get my reports from twitter and everything else. So I’m sure I’ll know a lot more tomorrow or maybe even tonight, but as of now I don’t know a whole lot about the situation.
Q: Is a system a system? By that I mean you spend an offseason being taught a certain thing, and it’s not just one guying feeding that to you, but it’s the general concept of the offense. Do you feel comfortable that you wouldn’t have a radical change on that based on one person?
A: No, there wouldn’t be radical changes either way, and I don’t think it’ll have a huge effect.
Q: Do you think Kurt (Anderson) is going to be the guy who steps in? There must be a comfort factor knowing that he can step up and take over.
A: Yeah, I have a lot of confidence in Kurt (Anderson), I know him very well and have a ton of respect for him, I think he’s a great coach and he’s got an extremely bright future.
Q: How much is Coach Roman actually involved with you guys on a day to day basis as opposed to just the offense as a whole?
A: He’s got control of everybody and I’m sure a lot of what we’re taught is stuff that Coach Roman puts into place. So ultimately it’s kind of his say and whoever is the coach I’m sure will be coaching a majority of the stuff he wants.
Q: With the fans, and even the national media, it seems like this is one of the most highly anticipated training camps the Bills have opened in quite some time. Do you and the players get a sense of that buzz and anticipation?
A: Yeah we do, and we hear about it from people around town and its outstanding that we’ve sold more tickets than ever in history even with our playoff drought, and that’s awesome. It’s awesome that the fans are excited, but from our perspective we’ve got a long way to go and we haven’t even played a game yet. So it’s just the start of training camp and we’ve got a ton of work to do before we start talking about expectations or anything.
Q: What are you expecting to get from a Rex Ryan training camp?
A: I’m not sure. I haven’t heard a whole lot about his training camps. I know everybody’s training camps pretty tough, but I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a change, and change is always interesting and we’ll see if it’s harder or easier or whatever. But I’m assuming it’ll be pretty physical and I know who we’re going against – and that’s his defensive scheme, and the defense that we played against last year, and they’re pretty awesome.
Q: Kyle told us to ask you how your golf game is against his.
A: I am defeated against Kyle, but I think most guys would be, he’s an outstanding golfer.
Q: What was your reaction to Tom Brady’s suspension in the NFL yesterday?
A: I don’t really know how I feel about it. Honestly there hasn’t been a whole lot of precedent set in this regard. I felt that the consistency shown is refreshing because sometimes it feels like they suspend a guy – then they always end up taking it away, or taking half of it back or whatever. The consistency is nice, I guess I don’t know enough about the whole situation to be able to determine what I think the punishment should have been. But I did appreciate the consistency and I’m sure there will be a lot more going on from here.
Q: Is there any part of you though that says you’d rather face a Patriots team with Tom Brady in week two than not?
A: Yeah the competitor in you says give me your best shot, we’ll give you our best shot. But I don’t really know where to go from there…and I know Coach Ryan said the same thing.