Transcript of media sessions following Wednesday's Buffalo Bills practice and media sessions at One Bills Drive: Head coach Rex Ryan, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, linebacker Nigel Bradham, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, saftey Corey Graham, wide receiver Percy Harvin and Chris Hogan, defensive end Jerry Hughes, safety Bacarri Rambo, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, running back Karlos Williams and defensive tackle Kyle Williams. Provided by the Buffalo Bills.
Head Coach Rex Ryan
So let’s start with the Sabres. (Jack) Eichel, you know the second shorthanded goal and things. Pretty impressive kid. Alright that’s my extent. In other words I haven’t seen any of it but I just hear the radio.
But anyways we have the Giants obviously coming in here. I know what their record says but they’ve had double digit leads in the four quarters of all their games. So this team could be 3-0. It’s an obviously talented team. Defense, they’re big. They’re big, physical, just like most Giants defenses. So you recognize that. Got the biggest safety I think I’ve ever seen – what the heck’s his name? He was that kid out of Alabama this year…But anyway, and then offensively obviously it starts with Eli (Manning). Should get (Victor) Cruz back. That’ll be interesting cause those two guys really haven’t played a whole lot together, to see how that dynamic works. But we know we’re gonna have to play a great game. Probably play better than we have in any game up to this point to beat them. But we just gotta keep improving and we’re gonna…started that preparation actually yesterday so we’ll see how it goes today on the practice field.
Lot of guys out right now and it’s tough. It’s never a good thing when you miss practice. Even if the guy plays, but we’ll see. Will Sammy (Watkins) play? I’m not sure. Shady (LeSean McCoy) doesn’t look good. But a lot of guys…Aaron (Williams). So we have a lot of guys that are out. But next guys gotta step up and if indeed they have to play in the game that’s fine, that’s what you’re paid to do. But we’re fortunate. We have a deep team and we’re gonna have to rely on that depth. Whether we start or not, we’re gonna have to rely on our depth. But with that I’ll open it up for questions.
Q: What is the update or what are your expectations in regards to LeSean McCoy?
A: I think he’s got a little bit of that hamstring issue and all that type of stuff. So he’s certainly not 100-percent. That’s what I mentioned after the game. But will it hold him out? You know we’re holding him out certainly right now for practice. You know there’s a real possibility he won’t play in this game.
Q: Is that one of those injuries he has to rest more because of what position he plays?
A: Well yeah that could be. You know that could be when you’re looking at it. The main thing, get him healthy, get him to where he’s…you know he’s obviously a super talent and sometimes a guy like that, who’s less than 100 percent, is still pretty darn good. But you know is it worth the time to get him at 100 percent, or near 100 percent? That’s something we’re weighing right now. But we’ll never put a guy out there if he’s really injured, then we’re not gonna put him out there. It’s as simple as that. Is there a real possibility he won’t play this game? Absolutely.
Q: Is Sammy Watkins practicing today?
Q: Is there any concern about the fact that this franchise has invested so much into Sammy Watkins, but he is having this injury issue and can’t get out on the field to play? Especially with Odell Beckham coming here Sunday?
A: Yeah he won’t have to cover him so…But look Sammy’s a great player guys. There’s a reason why Sammy Watkins was drafted where he was drafted. The guy’s an unbelievable talent. Unfortunately this year he hasn’t been healthy and that’s…you know we saw glimpses of it and then he gets hurt again and it’s like…It’s just an unfortunate thing. But when this young man is healthy, nobody’s gonna question why he was taken where he was taken. I think he’s a super talent. I know he’s a super talent, it’s just a matter of getting him healthy and getting him out there. You know part of when he had the surgery, it takes a way a little bit of your conditioning. It takes away all those type of things. He has the pull in camp, miss’s time. Now he’s coming back and he’s got something else. It’s just one of those things. But I will say that I know when this guy’s healthy, he is a bona fide, legit number one receiver in this league.
Q: Tyrod Taylor has had kind of an interesting path these couple weeks. Now the expectations are elevated because the Giants are struggling against the pass. What do you see and the possibilities with this guy as far as ability to really put up some numbers?
A: He’s what we were hoping that we got. I mean this is a guy that he’s smart. So he can manage the game. But he’s way more than that. Does he have run ability? He absolutely has that. He’s the fastest quarterback in the National Football League so we knew that was a plus. He also has a feel of when to run. You know he tried to protect himself, hurt his ankle a little bit. But he is trying. He’s aware he needs to protect himself, run out of bounds, slide, do those type of things and he’s a very talented guy. He can make throws and we have a talented core of receivers around him. So that’s what we built. That’s what we had in here. Did we know that he would be our quarterback? No. It was gonna be a true competition and he earned the job.
Q: How much does the running threat that he has really open things up for him as a passer? Especially with how Greg Roman was moving him around the pocket.
A: Well yeah when you move the pocket with a guy like that obviously it’s a good thing. It’s easier to see. It’s also, you have to be very aware because he can’t just tuck it and run. So that really is a legitimate threat. But I was more impressed with how he managed the pocket than I was even those things.
Q: Any concern with that ankle?
A: No I mean just one of those things, his foot kinda got caught. But he is trying to take care of himself and we have to do those type of things. But no, he’s fine.
Q: Can you talk about you and Greg Roman’s success in the red zone so far this season?
A: I think it’s, you know absolutely there’s some of that. Greg does a tremendous job in all facets of the game. But red zone is obviously a huge priority for every team in this league. But our team in particular, we’ll spend more time in a red zone offensively, preparing for it then probably most teams. Same thing on defense.
Q: How confident are you in what you have to put out there in regards to receivers?
A: Well we’re very fortunate. There’s a lot of teams in this league without a true, bona fide, number one, legitimate receiver, okay. You can make arguments that we have three. So I think when you…You know with Sammy (Watkins), Percy (Harvin), and Robert (Woods), we feel great about our group. (Chris) Hogan – we saw a little bit of what he did when he stepped up this past week. So that’s a good receiver. Waiting on (Marquise) Goodwin to show up. You want to talk about speed, there you go. That’ll be a guy that’ll blow the top of it wide open. So we’re looking forward to getting him back also.
Q: How much does the play of Karlos Williams allow you to at least consider sitting LeSean McCoy this game?
A: Well it’s definitely a consideration. This young man is, you know typical fifth round pick for the Bills that’s named Williams. You know? I already got this in. Let’s see, Kyle Williams – Pro Bowl tackle and then this kid, yeah not bad. So next year, write it down, the best Williams available in the fifth round. I think that’s the way to go. (Doug) Whaley was talking to me about that. So he’s getting his list of Williams’ ready. But really the young man, he’s obviously far exceeded everybody’s expectations. We were getting one of the best special teams players in the country. That’s what we knew we had, and a guy that had some raw skills as a running back. But you combine the raw skills that he has with Anthony Lynn as our running back coach, being around LeSean McCoy, guys like that – this guys a man. He’s 243 pounds, runs a 4.4. I think there’s a lot of people wish the draft was held right now and they might have drafted him a little higher then he went…including us. But he’s done a great job. He studies, he’s a great teammate, but when his numbers been called…I mean he pounds it in there.
Q: What do you make of the fact that this guy was playing safety two years ago?
A: Right that’s true. What we should be talking about is I took the tapes and I watched him as a safety by the way, after we drafted him…it was tempting but I’m kinda glad that we left him at running back. But he’s just a football player and when you see him play special teams, that’s what jumps out the tape. I mean he’d run, he’d hit, he did everything like that. But he also made some big runs when he was at Florida State so whether you develop it, I don’t know. He’s obviously got a great feel for it, he believes in his coaching and he makes the most of it.
Q: Do you relish the fact you get to play Eli Manning at home? There’s got to be a little sour taste after what Tom Brady did, and Eli has two Super Bowl rings.
A: Well I like the fact that he beat Brady twice. So I like that. But no I got, no I’m good. I’m not all the way over the Brady butt kicking he did against us, but as a team though we’re just getting better. Like we got a little better this week, got a little better this week and we’ll see what happens. But we’re not where we want to be right now, but we’re a work in progress and we know we got a big challenge in front of us this week. But we’re looking forward to it.
Q: How important was it to refocus the team after that loss against the Patriots and did you or this team get something out of that loss?
A: No we are who we are and we don’t need to apologize for it or whatever. I think it was better for me to get a real grasp of our team, and how we are and all that type of stuff, and our emotions got the better of us. But what I love was how we battled back and when a team was clearly trying to embarrass us and that we stood up to them and said here are. We’re gonna give you our best shot regardless of what the score board is, and we scored three touchdowns to their three points. So we’ll see. Again we’ll play that one down the road. But I think the thing that you realize is how when we talked about building a team that represented our community, and the pride that we would take in playing 60 minutes, that showed it right there if anybody ever doubted it.
Q: Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes are playing about 90% of snaps, way above what they’ve done in the past for this Buffalo defense. What are your thoughts behind that? Do you just want your best guys on the field or are you worried they might be doing too much?
A: No they’re great, their condition. It’s hard to take out two Pro Bowl players so to me…You know yeah we’re playing a great deal of snaps, but these guys are in great shape, they’re in great condition. Will we rotate guys in? Yeah we will. But you’re obviously taking out a great player if you take out one of those two guys. So shoot, I like to see those guys out there. I feel better when those guys are on the field.
Q: Have you ever bought into that philosophy of making sure your defensive line has fresh legs?
A: I think you do it depending on what your roster looks like and things like that. You will rotate guys in there. Sometimes we rotate Marcell (Dareus) out. Same thing with Kyle (Williams). Same thing with your ends. Those ends are a little different, we ask them to do different things. We got a good player in (Alex) Carrington, this past week…or two weeks ago we ran so much sub that I had Manny (Lawson) play some end. So it’s kind of a hybrid outside linebacker/ defensive end type, those guys are hard to find. We have one young man that’s suspended right now, IK (Enemkpali), so we’ll see how…Could he fit in that mix a little bit when he comes back? That’s a possibility.
Q: How do you feel going into a game with a passing game lacking Sammy Watkins and a run game with no LeSean McCoy? Is it surprising you still feel confident with who you have?
A: I mean are we better off with Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy? 100 percent, yes. But it is what it is. We have good players behind them and you’re depth…every team in the league is gonna go through similar things. It’s how you respond to it. This past week we closed out the game not having those players. So we know the whole teams confident with the guys behind those players. Are you better off with a Sammy Watkins and a LeSean McCoy? Absolutely but we have a game to play. I don’t think the Giants are gonna come in here and feel sorry for us. They’re gonna take the time, the extra days that they got…which is interesting, that’s two out of the four games…just a side bar. But they’re not gonna feel sorry for us. We’re gonna step up and we don’t ask them to. You’re gonna play the Bills. Regardless of who is out there on the field they represent the Bills, they represent our organization and our community. They’re gonna play to the very best of their abilities.
Q: If LeSean McCoy in fact doesn’t play what’re the options at running back? Maybe bringing Cierre Wood up from the practice squad or having Marcus Thigpen take a couple snaps back there?
A: That’s definitely a possibility. That’s something we’ll definitely look at, at the appropriate time.
Q: Do you have a time table on Marquise Goodwin?
A: No I’m just saying that it’ll be…you know he’s getting better so hopefully it won’t be long.
Q: When you were in New York did you have much interaction with Tom Coughlin and what is your relationship with him?
A: We can’t stand each other. No he’s a great guy. I mean a great guys. Obviously the guy’s a fantastic football coach. But he’s really a good guy to be around. You know fun guy. Yeah we’re different and things like that but he’s kinda got a neat personality and I’ve always enjoyed being around him but had the upmost respect for him. I mean I know this is a one of the true legends in the field of coaching and he’ll be, obviously be in Canton one time.
Q: What challenges does Odell Beckham and potentially Victor Cruz bring to you?
A: I mean (Cruz is) his go to guy. So that’s what’s interesting about it. He’s got this Beckham who’s obviously a phenomenal talent, but Cruz really is his go to guy for years. So when you put him in there that’s it, and that (Rueben) Randle kid isn’t that bad either. So it’s gonna be a big challenge to us. There’s no question about it. I wish Cruz would wait one more week.
Q: After last week a lot of people were saying wow, but you mentioned you still have a lot of work to do.
A: I mean we expected to win, I mean we expect to win. We know we have a good roster, we know we have a good team, we know we got a good coaching staff as well. So it’s like, we just try to get a little better and I think…I know the work ethic’s there with this group so I anticipate our football team getting better and we’ll see what that means at the end of the year. But this week it’s all about preparation on playing the New York Giants and an outstanding football team, with a great history. So we get all that and that’s where 100 percent of our focus is. But I mentioned we’re not there...We’re making too many mistakes. We get up two touchdowns so we don’t have to give up any in those situations. In those coverages we weren’t played really to our standards. Not my standards, but our standards. So we’re constantly looking at things. Did we miss some blocks? Did we miss some reads and things? We did. So we have to get better and obviously we have to play a lot better this week. We’ll be challenged by this team. They do a lot of things. Coverage wise they’ll run kind of a rolodex coverage, they run a million coverages. They primarily gonna be a eight man front against us so we’re gonna have to block them up to be able to have any chance to run the football. These guys are ranked number two in the league in rushing. Obviously there pass defense…kind of like ours, we look terrible statistically. So do the Giants but we know, I mean there’s a reason why. Teams are throwing it all over the place on both these teams. So those numbers do not necessarily tell the whole story.
Q: What do you think of how Ronal Darby has stood up to being targeted so often?
A: Yeah, no and he’s gonna be targeted a bunch and he looks forward to that. You know now this week, that’s gonna be interesting cause that kid…The thing I love about (Odell) Beckham, it’s just like that (Jarvis) Landry kid last week, I mean they’ll go fight for that football and when that thing’s up in the air he goes and gets it. An obviously everybody knows about the hands and the skillset he has but I like the competitiveness that he has. But so does (Ronald) Darby do we’ll see what happens. And if he’s matched up on (Stephon) Gilmore, or if he’s matched up on that, we know we’re gonna get…you know our guys will compete for the ball as well.
Q: Is it difficult to give to Florida State for what they’ve immediately given you this season?
A: Well we’ll see how that program is now. But no, they’ve been good to us, there’s no question about it. I can’t tell that lie and that’s what I said about the only thing…I like a lot about Karlos (Williams), (Ronald) Darby, EJ (Manuel), you know half our roster, there’s one thing I don’t like about them – they went to Florida State. But we’ll forgive them. They’re out of the program now. But obviously we need to bring in a few more Tigers.
Q: In what ways did the loss to the Patriots light a fire in this team?
A: I don’t think it had any effect.
Q: You didn’t?
A: No. Hell this team’s ready to play. This team, you know we were…Win, lose, or draw, you’re gonna get the maximum effort out of this bunch and that’s the beautiful thing. And that’s what we challenged out team about and from day one I mentioned this is how we’re gonna build our team. The foundation of our team was gonna be built on having a team that’s liked minded with our community. That’s tough, resilient, determined, all those things go into building this team. When Doug Whaley, myself, Russ (Brandon) and the Pegula’s sat down, this is the kind of team that we’re gonna have. So did that affect us at all? No, not one bit. Shoot. Win, lose, or draw we are gonna be the same team moving forward.
Q: But there was a response there to some degree.
A: I’m not saying that that’s not. But as a team our fighting spirits should never be questioned. That’s who this team is. Do we need to channel some of our emotions and all that in a different way? I think so and it started with me. I can’t be...if there’s a bad call that takes away a sack or something like that for a fumble, then I’ve gotta be poised on the sideline, I gotta do all that. It’s not okay for me to go crazy and not expect my team to do the same thing. So you gotta be in control of those things and that’s kinda learning each other a little bit.
Q: Can you pin point any specific reasons for flags this season?
A: No I think…you know obviously it’s something that you gotta play with in the confinement of the rules. The officials are paid to do their job, if they somebody, you know that it’s a penalty, they’re throwing the flag. So you just gotta coach and again we’re trying extremely hard. We want to be the least penalized team in the league and that’s what we’re going for. Obviously the first few weeks was horrendous. So we gotta cut that way down. We have to play smarter, we have to get it. I’ll bet you there’s no team in the league that spends more time talking about rules, looking at the films, the officiating crews, the films we get from the NFL, all that type of stuff. Nobody spends more time on it then we do. I can promise you.
Q: After the game you see Percy Harvin and Richie Incognito turning into leaders out there. How does that make you feel?
A: I do feel a great deal of pride in the fact that we got that right. You know I get that. Now it’s a little easier because I had Percy. So I already knew what we we’re getting than maybe other guys. So that was an easy one. That was a slam dunker. You know Richie, you know we felt it was right. We had guys that knew Riches as well. I never had a personal thing with him before. But you could see it in his heart and everything else that this guy just wants to play football and he’s been an outstanding teammate here and obviously been a great…really, really good player for us and yeah we’re proud that those guys are Buffalo Bills.
QB Tyrod Taylor
Q: Can you walk us through what happened with that ankle?
A: Tried to slide. Foot got caught in the grass. Got twisted a little awkwardly, but I’m fine. Been working on it and it feels good.
Q: Were you initially thinking it could have been a bad injury?
A: No. Just never want to get hurt and definitely it was tweaked. But it was just more so frustration. I was good, battled through it, and continued to keep working through it.
Q: What do you think is working so good down in the red zone?
A: We have a ton of playmakers that are going out there and are winning their one on one matchups, and it’s up to me to find those matchups. Coach (Greg) Roman gives me my opportunity to pick a side on certain plays that we call, based on the look that we get and I’m finding the open guy. And like I said they’re doing their job as far as winning, and the line is doing a good job of protecting even when they bring a blitz.
Q: How do you feel you’ve evolved over these past three weeks and do you feel the same level of optimism that’s growing around you?
A: Like I’ve said from day one I’ve been confident in my ability but it’s never just about me. I’m definitely steady growing, learning each and every day and the goal is to get better each and every day. Learn from your mistakes and continue to keep moving forward. And as a team, and as an offense, we’re looking forward to getting better every time we step on the football field.
Q: Was that Miami game a good feeling?
A: We did some good things out there on the field. Of course we put up 41 points, the defense helped with that. But they’re still some things that we can clean up as an offense. We didn’t play a picture perfect game and that’s what we practice for. That’s what we strive for and as an offensive unit we know that there’s some things that we gotta clean up to get better moving forward.
Q: Did the loss the Patriots fire up this team at all?
A: Definitely kept us hungry. Like I said last week, you could see towards the end of it, no one ever gave up. We continued to keep fighting and battled, and in the fourth quarter – the type of run that we made, it wasn’t enough to win the game. But it definitely showed how hungry we were and that carried over to lasts week practice, and our preparation. And it’s gonna continue to keep fueling us because you don’t want…you don’t like the feeling of losing and we don’t like it as a team. So we’re gonna be hungry each and every time we step out on the field.
Q: This week you might not have some of your starters good to play. How reassuring is it to have guys like Karlos Williams or Chris Hogan after seeing how they’ve been playing?
A: They went in there and stepped up. They played the way that we know they’re capable of playing. Here in Buffalo it’s kinda like a next man up mentality as far as everybody has to be ready. I mean you never know when you may get called into a game and everyone’s taking their preparation seriously. Taking their practice time seriously and going out there and working hard and it shows on the football field.
Q: Can you address your chemistry with Percy Harvin?
A: He’s a great receiver, a great guy to be around first, but definitely a great receiver. And he trusts that he can win his one on one match ups and I try my best to get the ball into his hands because I know how explosive he can be once the ball is in his hands.
Q: Does Greg Roman script the opening plays?
A: It depends on how the game goes. Definitely we have a plan in mind, but field position definitely dictates that from the start. So it can goa couple different ways from the start of the game. But we definitely have a plan that we like to stick by.
Q: Does the size of their secondary change your approach to your passing game?
A: No I think that the guys that we practice against on a daily basis…a guy like (Stephon) Gilmore, who’s a long armed guy, physical at the line, definitely prepares us for these type of matches. And our receivers coach, Coach Sanjay (Lal), does a great job of coaching the receivers up well. It comes down to execution at the end of the day. Me being accurate with the ball and getting it into the receivers hands where they can catch it and run.
Q: Is there anything encouraging about the fact the Giants are dead last in passing yards?
A: You still have to go out there and play the game. It’s the NFL and every team is gonna be good, regardless of what the stats say. You have to go out there, take it seriously. Each and every week there’s gonna be challenges and you have to face those challenges, and play your style of football.
Q: At what point in the week do you start watching the weather?
A: Can’t control the weather. Just gotta go out there and play.
LB Nigel Bradham
Q: How much does the chemistry on this defense help?
A: Most definitely man. I mean we’re family. All of us played together for some time. I think the only one I didn’t play with was (Ronald) Darby. I used to go back and obviously I’ve met him, got to know him like that. Obviously we just keep it as a family and try to keep tradition going.
Q: Is there kind of a mentorship that’s already built in? You know, when the younger guys have gotten in like Karlos (Williams), like Ronald (Darby), and you guys being from that same background, do you kind of click from the start?
A: Most definitely. We know what style of play we all have, similar styles. Pretty much just play hard, come out here, and that’s what we want to give to the team. Everybody just feeds off that energy and go from there.
Q: Facing the Giants’ offense, what kind of stands out to you? Obviously Odell’s (Beckham Jr) the guy, but just kind of describe what you see there from them.
A: I mean obviously they have a tremendous quarterback, Eli Manning, two-time Super Bowl champion. And then you got the receivers; Odell Beckham, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz. They also got three good running backs as well so we pretty much just got to be on top of our game. Pretty much just studying our game-plan and being able to execute.
DT Marcell Dareus
Q: Rex Ryan said that the Patriots tried to embarrass you guys. Did you feel that way?
A: I didn’t feel that way. I’m just playing the game. I’m just playing the game, trying to get to Tom Brady. I wasn’t even thinking about anything else.
Q: Marcell, with the Giants and the 1-2 punch they have at running back, they have (Rashad) Jennings and (Andre) Williams, two very different styles of running back. What do you have to be mindful of going from one guy to the next depending on who they have in the backfield?
A: It doesn’t really matter to me. A running play is going to be a running play; you’re going to have to get past me one way or another. You’re going to have to double-team me or single block me, the same way with everyone else.
DB Corey Graham
Q: How hard is it to get ready for an offense when they have a major piece back like this that you haven’t seen on film yet this year?
A: Yeah it’s tough. Obviously with Victor Cruz coming back we haven’t seen him on film in a while so got to go back awhile on film and see what he used to do and some of the things he’s capable of. I mean, we know the player he is, we know what he’s capable of doing, so we should be alright.
Q: Watching film like that, when you have to go back that far, do you almost watch it knowing that, “Okay, this is what he did 15 months ago.” How serious can you take it?
A: You better take it serious. I mean when he was out there playing, he was making a lot of plays for his team. We know the caliber of player he is so you got to take him serious, we know what he’s capable of doing, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be ready. We’re going to go back and watch some film and prepare for him the right way.
Q: You guys see great receivers every week, but what does Odell (Beckham Jr.) do that really separates him from the pack?
A: He catches the ball. I mean if you pay attention to it, if it’s around him, he pretty much catches it. He’s got great hands, he highpoints the ball very well, he goes up and gets it, so he’s one of those receivers where you have to actually play the ball. Don’t play his hands or anything like that because he’s going to attack it at its highest point.
WR Percy Harvin
Q: Quite the rapport you have developed with Tyrod (Taylor). What goes into that?
A: Just our preparation. Like I’ve been saying all along, we’ve been going at it since OTAs before camp so we’ve just been working hard each day in the classroom, before and after practice … so we’ve just been putting our work toward the game doing everything possible…
Q: Percy, Karlos Williams…he’s surprised a lot of people. Has he surprised you?
A: He didn’t surprise me. I knew he had the talent, we definitely knew he had the talent, but as a rookie it’s just making sure he’s preparing the right way, he’s watching the guys in front of him, Shady (LeSean McCoy), Boobie (Dixon), guys like that, and he did just that. When he got his opportunity, he scored. I think anytime you touch the ball and you score, that’s a pretty good stat.
Q: Yeah, you mentioned the depth on this team. In terms of Karlos Williams coming in, did you really expect him to at least perform the way he has in three weeks?
A: Yeah he’s shocked me. I’m sure he shocked a lot of people. We watched him, we knew he had a lot of talent, but to come into the National Football League and every time he’s about to touch the ball, you’re making a big play or taking it for a touchdown, he’s got to be catching the attention of a lot of people.
WR Chris Hogan
Q: You guys are, probably talked about it before, but just coming in without Sammy (Watkins) and kind of what you guys kind of have to do to recreate…because you’ve had success without Sammy. That’s not against him it’s just you guys have done well. How do you keep doing that?
A: Yeah. It’s really not a big deal for us. I mean we have a lot of depth on this team so it’s kind of just like we just said, next man up. We got a lot of depth and guys are able to step up in place of people, whether someone goes, I think we showed that against Miami. It’s just the same thing. This week we’re going into thinking Sammy’s up in the air so guys are going to step up. This week I’ll probably have a little bit more, an increased role on offense, so same thing as last year; kind of had to step up and make some plays.
Q: Rex (Ryan) was excited about that, just the fact having you out there, extra snaps. Just talk about what you want to do with those.
A: Take advantage. When I get out there, I’m excited to be out there. You know, I’ve had to kind of take a little step back, we have a lot of guys in this locker room who are able to make plays, and that’s fine because at the end of the day, I care about winning more than anything. I know what my role is on this team but this week I’ll probably have a little bit more of an increased role on offense, get some extra snaps, so for me, I’m just going to be going 100 percent, make sure I’m studying these guys and be as prepared as I can be for this game coming up.
Q: Rex was saying in addition to Sammy, he feels like there’s three bonafide number one’s on this team. Not everyone may think that way but how do you view that, with Percy (Harvin) and Robert (Woods) and what they can do?
A: Yeah, I mean you think everyone talks about Sammy and what he can do but Percy Harvin on the outside, I mean he can run by, take the top off the defense. And you got Robert, whether he’s in the slot or on the outside…people tend to forget Robert had the second leading catches on the team last year. He’s just as good a receiver as anyone on this team or in the league so people are going to have to start, whoever’s out there, we got number ones all over the field so I would imagine we’re pretty tough to prepare for.
LB Jerry Hughes
Q: I looked at the game sheets the last three weeks. You’ve played over 90 percent of snaps in all three games, 97 percent in one game. That’s a big change from the last two years, right? How do you feel about that?
A: Hey, I’m excited to play football. I go out there on Sunday, give it my all, so we can go out there and get the victory.
Q: Now, in the past, we’ve heard about, ‘you have to rotate defensively, you have to keep them fresh.’ Rex clearly doesn’t believe in that too much. Are you okay with that philosophy or is it hurting you in the fourth quarter do you think?
A: I felt like for the most part, we’ve been playing our strongest ball coming out of halftime, so I mean everyone seems to be well rested to get adjusted to that. The guys do all the necessary steps throughout the week to kind of take care of our bodies so I mean we understand how urgent it is to play on Sunday so we use these days to understand our opponent and just take the rest.
Q: Did Rex tell you guys that early on that you’re going to play and going to play a lot?
A: We’re just feeling each other out. It’s a new staff. We’re getting used to them so I mean we’re just out there trying to win ball games. I don’t think anyone’s really counting plays or anything like that. If we’re tired, we’ll rotate because we know the guys can play ball behind us, I mean they’re extremely good players. I mean I don’t think anyone’s putting too much effort into that, it’s just all about chasing a ‘W.’
S Bacarri Rambo
Q: Does your defensive game-plan really not change very much because you figure most teams will want to get that ball out so fast given the pressure the defensive line can bring?
A: Of course it changes. I mean it would be bogus to sit there and just have the same scheme against each team because in this league, it’s a copycat league. If somebody saw that this team was beating you with this certain route, the next week you will get the same route. So you have to change it up or you just got to practice it and defend it better.
Q: (Victor) Cruz is coming back, you got (Odell) Beckham. Is that enough to keep you guys busy in the backfield?
A: Yes. They just added another challenge for us. As a defense, it’s somebody we got to try to defend and try to get the job done but I really believe in our coaching staff that they will come up with a great scheme to slow Beckham and Cruz down.
Q: What do you think about Eli (Manning)? You watch enough games of him; he’s either on or off…
A: All I can say about him; he’s won two Super Bowls so that’s all that really matters. He won two Super Bowls so I consider him a pretty good quarterback.
WR Sammy Watkins
Q: Is there a level of frustration from all these little injuries pilling up as you kind of go along in your first couple of years?
A: Most definitely because you can’t go out there and prove you’re a top receiver in the league. Injuries hold me back so now you got to catch up with the quarterback, with the plays, get back in shape. That’s the most critical thing, is getting back in shape, and trusting that it’s not going to happen again. I trust in the training staff and the coaching staff to make sure I get healthy and make sure I’ll be out there and ready to play.
Q: That’s a different perspective, looking ahead to a deep playoff run in this locker room but the same thing applies to LeSean too. Is that that kind of the thing everyone’s thinking now; we got bigger goals than forcing ourselves into Week 4?
A: I don’t even think it’s about playoffs. It’s about just being healthy. LeSean (McCoy) hasn’t been looking like himself because he’s not healthy. That’s why Karols (Williams) has been doing great, because he’s healthy. You don’t want to go out there and put your life on the line when you’re not healthy. For my sake, I can go out there and kind of play hurt because I’m a receiver, I’m not getting hit every play. I can say I’m not going to force it, I’m pretty sure the coaches are not going to force me to play if I’m not ready but if I’m ready, I will play.
Q: Is part of you frustrated if you’re not able to play against Odell Beckham this week because you’re looking for comparing because of the draft class?
A: Not at all. If you think about it, me and Odell have a good relationship. Say if I don’t play, we’re still swapping jerseys so I’ll go out there watch him play and see how he does against our defense.
RB Karlos Williams
Q: Coming into training camp, to be drafted and get all these running backs here, did you actually think this would be a possibility; a chance to start?
A: Not to start. To contribute anyway possible, yeah, but not to start right away or even this early in the season. It’s a great opportunity and I’m just going to go out there and seize the opportunity, work hard in practice like I've been doing since the day I got here and hopefully just go out there and perform the way I want to perform.
Q: Karlos, this is kind of different but you have seven Florida State guys here. Is it kind of cool coming into a locker room that already has an established presence from where you went to school and how does that help you, if at all?
A: It’s comfortability. Very comfortable. Since day one I got to the locker room, very comfortable. A lot of ACC guys in here; Preston (Brown), Tony (Steward), Nigel (Bradham), me, (Garrison) Sanborn, Nick (O’Leary), (Ronald) Darby. There’s a lot of us in here, you can’t really name them all…EJ (Manuel), Tyrod (Taylor), Sammy (Watkins). There’s a lot of us in here so it’s very comfortable. Everybody know each other, either least you played with each other or played against each other, you played in the same area growing up. As you know, obviously most of us are from the state of Florida so it’s just a great opportunity to come in here and be comfortable and get settled right away.
Q: I know Rex (Ryan) made a comment…the whole Clemson deal. Do you guys ever talk about that back and forth really at all?
A: Oh yeah. It’s definitely talked about. We play Clemson, we’re going to beat the brakes off Clemson. It happens all the time. I lost to Clemson one time, that was to Sammy…freshman year and after that we kind of took hold of that. But no, we talk about it. It’s all jokes and fun on a professional level so we’re going to root for our alma matter, where we came from, of course so hope for the best and I know definitely we’re going to be bragging about that game.
DT Kyle Williams
Q: Did that loss to New England kind of light a fire in you guys a little bit?
A: I don’t think so. I think the fire is already there, we just didn’t perform up to our expectations. We had a lot of mental lapses, communication issues, obviously some penalty issues and there’s some things you have to get corrected…and hopefully we’re going to continue to clean those up and progress through the year.
Q: You look at that Giants offense trying to contain Eli (Manning) and what they want to do with the receivers, how crucial is it for you guys, as always, to get after him?
A: It is. We have to be able to affect him, hopefully affect him early, get him off his spot, try to make him move, no quarterback is as good as he is when he just sits there and throw the ball, but we’re just going to expect them to come in and run the ball, probably get the ball out of his hand a little bit. I think the main thing is from what we’ve seen from many of the first three games is if it’s quick gain-gain, if it’s an empty three, four wide gain, not get frustrated. Just keep doing our rushes and the times he does hold the ball have an opportunity to get to him
Q: Kyle, what do you think of those three running backs they use? They seem to use all three, they all have different styles…
A: Yeah I think they do a good job. They do a good job of making cuts and getting downhill and picking up yardage no matter the situation. You don’t see a lot of big TFLs (tackle for loss) against them because of how they run the ball. They get some of the favorable chain positions. If they’re in third-and-three, third-and-four, it really opens up their playbook and makes them hard to defend with their receivers and how Eli (Manning) knows how to distribute the ball. We’re going to have to be on top of that, their running game, and they know how to move the chains and get into effective down-and-distance so we have to be on top of that and do a good job Sunday.