Transcript of Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan's media session prior to Wednesday's practice at One Bills Drive. Provided by the Buffalo Bills.
Head Coach Rex Ryan
The Colts are a young team, obviously led by a fantastic quarter back. What I’m taking comfort in is the fact that we’re playing at home, and the fans that I talked to are as excited about this opportunity, this game, as I am. We have to make it to where, that this team, any team that comes in here, but in particular a team like the Colts, that it’s personal. That it’s a personal challenge to our fans, our football team, our defense obviously, but our fans as well. This guy’s got a big, booming voice, all that type of stuff. The kids got everything. But we have to make it miserable when people come in here and our fans, I’m calling our fans out – we need you. This guys the number one fantasy quarterback for this week, he’s the play, he’s the go to guy, everybody wants him. But we got to make it challenging for him and we will with our defense and all that. We’re gonna make it as challenging as we possibly can, but it can only be added by fans and when our defense is on that field, I can’t wait to see our fans and the way we react. We’re not a team that our fans that…You can stand up, I don’t care, but raise your…That’s your party time, that’s when you get your party on, you get your thing on – when our defense is out there. Then when our offense’s out there take a little breather, everybody sit down, relax, let everybody behind you get a little breather and then let’s get it on when our defense is out there. So take pride in it. You know you’re a part of that defense and when we play at home our fans are a part of that defense. They are our 12th man on our defense and that’s why I’m calling them out and calling for our support, which I know we have, and I can’t wait to look forward…I mean looking forward to that and can’t wait to see it.
So there’s kind of where I’m at, ready to go. We were talking about it today with our defense, about how loud it’s gonna be. Our communications got to be huge and we have to know it. We got to have this game plan wired tight so we know it and so that’s what we’re expecting, that’s what I can’t wait to see.
Injury wise, shoot we’re ready. I mean our guys are coming back, they’re practicing. The great thing is we’ll have, because you guys like him, Scott (Berchtold) read the injury report. Just because the way we’re doing it I won’t read the injury report to you, Scott will do it so I don’t have to have two press conferences – we barely get through this one. (Laughs) He’ll tell you that before you go in if something happens during practice. But right now we feel pretty good, we got guys practicing, we’ll see how they progress through the week but I feel pretty good about our team, health wise. Maybe not (Marquise) Goodwin, but the rest of us, we’re pretty healthy. So with that I’ll open it up for questions.
Q: Where is LeSean McCoy at this stage?
A: I think he’s gonna be ready to roll. We’ll see how he progresses in a week but he’s practicing full so yeah, he’ll be ready.
Q: How excited are you about Tyrod Taylor and how do you think he will respond to his first start?
A: I expect him to be nervous, I mean I really do and that’s the beautiful part of this game. You know here he’s been a backup, he’s won a Super Bowl as a backup quarterback and all that. Been around some great players, Hall of Fame players and all that. But you know what, it’s still your first start and I think that’s gonna be the butterflies, the excitement, nervousness, that’s part of it and that’s to be expected. But you go out there and do it kid. Cause he’s cool, he’s ready for this day and his teammates are ready to support him, so I am excited about that without question.
Q: What do you see in Tyrod Taylor that gives you the confidence he is ready for this moment?
A: I think the opportunities he was given in training camp in particular, mini camps and then going through the training camp process. The way we handled it I think is good and the way he performed in the games. Obviously he’s a guy that lacks starting experience but he has been in this league for four years so he’s ready for this. But again do I expect him to be a little nervous, absolutely.
Q: How much has Tyrod Taylor’s time with the Baltimore Ravens and in college helped him grow to prove he can be a NFL quarterback?
A: Well I think sometimes when you get that style of play there’s always questions about it. Is the guy just a zone read guy, is the guy whatever it is? But he was a pretty darn good player there I can tell you that. ACC guy, obviously top conference in college football. But other than that I think that obviously the four years being under Joe Flacco and all that kind of stuff I think helps. Being around the players he was around – Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata – that can only help you and I think you learn from those guys about being a pro. He carries himself like a pro and then as this league goes on some of those coordinators left. So Jim Caldwell, Cam Cameron, Kubiak – so he had to learn different systems and I think it prepared him to come into this situation more than maybe a quarterback or maybe this would be his second system or whatever. So I think that prepared him well.
Q: How ready do you think Ronald Darby is?
A: Well we’re gonna find out because this one is…these guys, all they did was lead the NFL in passing and you got a Pro Bowl receiver in TY Hilton, they got a hall of fame receiver in Andre Johnson, so it’s nothing. And you got that (Andrew) Luck guy at quarterback. So obviously he’s gonna have his work cut out for him but I think again it’s not just on him, his teammates are ready to support him. I’m excited to see him play and he’s gonna get out there. This kid’s got a great skill set, an NFL skill set, and he’s got an NFL mentality and so yeah bring it on.
Q: Can you do everything you want to do defensively or is there a concern with a young kid at corner?
A: You always balance the strength…The main thing is you focus on the strengths of your players, that’s what I’ll always do. You recognize the strength of the opponent, maybe you recognize the weakness of an individual or whatever. But you know what I think this young man’s pretty darn good and so we’ll see.
Q: You don’t really want to do that do you, to protect him, because they are too balanced on offense to protect him (Ronald Darby)?
A: I mean we’ll see but I don’t think it’s necessarily protecting him. Maybe you protect him against an…maybe the inexperience or something like that. But to think we’re just gonna roll our coverage to him every snap, I don’t think, you know that’s not gonna happen. This kid can play, he gets a couple bogus pass interference calls, but this kid played well. Now is every corner in the league gonna struggle against an Andre Johnson, a TY Hilton? Yeah, I mean that’s not like he’s got a walk in the park this week. This isn’t probably the way he would of liked it. He probably would of liked it going against maybe a lesser player or whatever, but the fact is step up. Our football teams playing against a very explosive offensive, I think the number three ranked offense in all of football, the number one passing offense in football and by the way they added Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. So we know what the challenge is in front of us but guess what? We ain’t running from it.
Q: How comfortable are you without having Marcel Dareus and do you feel good about Corbin Bryant stepping in?
A: Yeah of course. I think Corbin did an outstanding job for us but Marcell Dareus is an unusual guy obviously. Not only would he start on our football team, he starts on the pro bowl team, he’s a Pro Bowl player, first team Pro Bowl player. So that’s gonna be a big loss but Corbin Bryant is a darn good football player. So we’re very fortunate to have him.
Q: What is it about week one that works so good for you and your past week one record or success?
A: I have no idea.
Q: Do you think you have anything extra up your sleeve, are there more unknowns in week one?
A: No, I wouldn’t say that.
Q: Do you feel the week one butterflies yet?
A: No I’m so excited it’s unbelievable. So I don’t feel the butterflies just yet. I feel the excitement, the enthusiasm, and all that. That’s what I feel and I feel that passion from our football team and I also feel it from the fan base and all that. But the butterflies happen the night before the game or the day before the game and as you go into that game you feel it. But it’s more of…it’s butterflies, it’s an excitement, and it’s just adrenaline I guess is more what I feel than butterflies. I’m not nervous, I’m more excited about it and the opportunity that’s right in front of us. So I’m excited about that.
Q: Any looking back at your time with the New York Jets to show yourself and to take with you now with the Buffalo Bills?
A: I’m not looking back at all. So all my time with the Jets, I have a lot of fond memories and all that, that’s all behind me. I’ll learn from some of those things but it’s about going forward right now. I said it’s my last shot cause it is, this is my last team. But I’m gonna be here…my plan is to be here a long time to where they’re just like please, they’re wheeling my butt out of here. That’s what I want to do but you know that there’s nothing about me…It has nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with us and that’s what I can’t wait to do. It’s about this football team, about this staff, about this organization and that’s why I can’t wait to get going.
Q: When you started in New York you fulfilled your expectations in those first two years. Do you feel any similar expectations starting here now?
A: Well the first move that we made, we let Brett Favre go when I was there. So maybe the expectations weren’t quite as high as you think, that’s probably not a great move. But you brought in a rookie quarterback, all that kind of stuff. So I don’t know if the expectations were there. You took a 23rd ranked defense, so I don’t know what the expectations…I’m gonna tell you this, the expectations here are real and what that is, is we expect to be good. Hey I get it, our schedules tough and all that but when that team looks at us – they aren’t real happy about playing us either. So I think that’s the real expectation and we’re gonna find out right from jump where we are at the present time. We play the Colts, it doesn’t get any tougher than that so we get it right here. But like I said we’re ready, we’ll attack it head on, we’ll see who has the better team at the present time.
Q: Is everything okay with Manny Lawson?
A: Yeah he’s fine.
Q: How much does what Andrew Luck can do affect what you do and how aggressive you’ll be on defense?
A: Yeah I mean we’ll recognize that he has those, that he runs the whole show. They run a no huddle but it’s more of a muddle huddle type. He controls the tempo of it, all that type of stuff. He’s very good, he draws people off sides so he can do everything. But there’s a certain chess match involved in it and things like that. But at the end of the day it comes down to we got to get after him too. So I mean you can’t let him just sit back there and go seven on seven against you and we won’t.
Q: You want your defensive line to bring all the pressure and play coverage against this guy, ideally?
A: I mean sure, ideally that’s absolutely what you want to do. You don’t want to expose anything, but at the end of the day we’re not just sitting back there and playing coverage every snap, I can tell you that much. They know it and I’m okay that they know it. It’s who we are. We’re gonna be ourselves, I can tell you this, we will be ourselves regardless of who we play.
Q: Is that the best way to go about it, just be yourself?
A: Yeah you play the game with him. You change your looks, you change all that kind of stuff, you challenge him mentally. We’ll challenge him physically too and he’s gonna have to pick himself up occasionally. But it’s not necessarily the sacks but you got to, you can’t just let him sit back there. You have to pressure him and we’re gonna mix everything we got. So it’s not always pressure, it’s not always coverage, it’s not always this, it’s not always that. It is gonna be multiple things playing a real defense.
Q: Have you seen enough from the skill guys all together in practice or the preseason to make you comfortable?
A: No because you really haven’t, we’ve had guys out. But that’s kind of the biggest concern I have is how we’re gonna be able to…you know the timing and everything else is it gonna be ideal? It’s not. But we have good players, it’s just we haven’t necessarily had the work with each other and that’s why this week’s important.
Q: How would you characterize the Colts defensively and how much do you think there is a difference of what Tyrod Taylor saw in the preseason?
A: You know that’s overrated though because some of it is, like I get it. But people are trying to stop you, I don’t care if it’s preseason or a scrimmage. But will this team be more multiple on defense? Absolutely. The main thing about them is they can rush the passer. They’re built to play from a lead, you know they got some really fine players, they got some real good edge rushers. They picked up Trent Cole, an outstanding player. We’ll see how about (Robert) Mathis, how much he plays but obviously one of the premier pass rushers in the game. You got Vontae Davis, a great man cover corner. So they got a lot of talent, the (D’Qwell) Jackson kid makes a lot of tackles for them, so it’s a very talented group. But the strength of their team is Andrew Luck. Let’s not carve it up saying well the strength of their team is their defense. It’s true, they have got good individual players, but the strength of their team is Andrew Luck and that offense.
Q: Do you see Andrew Luck is the next biggest Quarterback?
A: Yeah absolutely, yep.
Q: How concerned are you that LeSean McCoy didn’t get much preseason action?
A: I wish all of our skill players would have played more. I think concern is probably too big of a word. I think it’s you know hey it’s not ideal, but this dude can play, I see it on the practice field. So I’m not concerned recognizing that we haven’t necessarily seen as much work at all the skill positions.
Q: Is it an advantage for Tyrod Taylor that Indianapolis doesn’t have much film on him?
A: Well I think Chuck (Pagano) might have been there when Tyrod was there, he might have still been in Baltimore and things like that. I think he might have been, not 100-percent sure on that. But everybody knows all you got to do is look at, he ran a what? A 4.4 something and you see it on the tape. So you know the guys got mobility, he can make the throws, that’s what he has. How much of an advantage he has, how much of an advantage it is, I’m not really sure.
Q: What’s Tyrod Taylor’s demeanor been like since you named him the starter?
A: Business as usual.
Q: You said you want to have a ground and pound run game. Does the offensive line have a lot to prove and how excited are you to see them on the field as a unit?
A: Well yeah we’re expecting big things from them. I know myself, the fan base, everybody. Ground and pound and things like that, you know yeah you prefer to run the football but I really never said that but somebody attributed…I mean I said we’d be that with a team that I once had. But this one’s gonna be more multiple I think because of the type of players that we had outside. I mean one time we had no choice. I mean if we had Cookie Gilchrist and all that with some of those receivers they had back then, we’d keep running. But we’re a little more talented outside, I think, so we’re not just gonna be as one dimensional as people think.
Q: Will LeSean McCoy be on the pitch count?
A: Whatever, 100.