Head coach Rex Ryan
Okay, here we go. Here’s the guys that, we’re assuming this is how it’s going to work out. Obviously, we haven’t had practice yet. Guys we’re anticipating are not practicing today: [Robert] Woods, knee; [Percy] Harvin, illness; [Lorenzo] Alexander, ankle; [Charles] Clay, knee; Cordy Glenn, back; [Ronald] Darby, concussion protocol; [James] Ihedigbo, ankle. So these players will be limited today, that’s what we assume, anyway: [Richie] Incognito, neck; [Sammy] Watkins, foot; [Mike] Gillislee, hamstring; Preston Brown, wrist; Sergio Brown, hamstring; [John] Miller, shoulder; Marcell Dareus, abdominal; and then Zach Brown, with a hand, will be full. So that’s the injury list. Alright? Fire away.
Q: Of those guys, which ones might be in jeopardy of not playing this Sunday?
A: Probably a whole slew of them. But we’ll see. Obviously, concerns for the guys who aren’t practicing today. We’ll see how the week goes. We’ll see who’s ready. Generally, the big one is – you guys can do the math. If you don’t finish a game, those are the guys that are generally really in jeopardy. But, like a Clay – somebody who finished the game, you think will have an opportunity.
Q: Wasn’t this team reasonably healthy like a week ago, today? It seemed like it. You even said, “This is as healthy as we’ve been.” What happened?
A: I lied. No, I mean, we’re okay. We’ll be okay. We’ve had some, but you’re right. A couple of weeks ago, we had come back off that bye and we felt good. But, you know, it’s the National Football League and things happen. And that’s why your depth – what did Marv Levy used to say? Depth is a great thing as long as you don’t have to use it. But I think – in this league, you have to use it. Hopefully, we’ll get these guys back sooner than later.
Q: Can you just touch a little bit more on Marcell [Dareus] and his situation?
A: I think he’s going to be okay. He’s limited, but I’m not doctor, for sure. So I really can’t tell you that issue that he had. He feels confident that he’s going to be ready to roll.
Q: You were hopeful the other day and I was just wondering if that had changed.
A: Yeah, I feel the same way.
Q: Without [James] Ihedigbo and [Ronald] Darby – if they’re out against Derek Carr, what’s your level of concern?
A: I’d rather not address that question. (Laughs) No, I mean, [the Raiders] are fourth in the league in passing, they’re tenth in the league in rushing. We know this is an outstanding offense – an outstanding team. But the offense, in particular, they have a lot of weapons and we’re going to struggle being able to match with them regardless, but we still feel good about the guys that we have and hopefully, some will be able to play and if not, we’ll just go with what we have.
Q: What do you attribute on turnovers and giveaways? I think you’ve set a record for fewest turnovers through eleven games. What do you attribute that to? I mean, you had nineteen last year, which was not a bad number, but six is very proficient.
A: Well, we’re trying to win. I think everybody in the league is trying to that – protect the football and take the ball away on defense. But I think our quarterback, in particular, is vastly underrated in that area. You look at the numbers, but let’s not ignore the other numbers. The other numbers are he’s protecting this football team. He’s not being careless with the football, so he understands it that way. It’s not just a game manager, either. I get it. Our numbers aren’t very good yardage-wise or whatever, but I think the main thing is your pass efficiency – I think sometimes that’s a little higher rated than the yardage would be.
Q: I understand – and that’s a great number for Tyrod [Taylor]. Conversely, you have lost five games and when you’re trying to come from behind, that’s when the interceptions do happen. So, as much as you credit him for being proficient and protecting the ball, do you think he needs to take more chances in the latter halves of games?
A: Well, he’s just trying to find a win. There are a lot of things that go into it, but, you know – yeah you can try to fit it in. I think he’s more – you’re more accurate than – sometimes we do try to get him to fit the ball in, but at no time do we want him to be careless with the football.
Q: Would it legitimize this team to win a meaningful playoff game on the road in December? It’s been a long time here.
A: Yeah, I think this [game] is a big one. I don’t think there’s any doubt we’re facing – I mean, this team is, what, 9-2? And [that’s] for good reason. That’s a darn good football team. We’re flying out west and all that. But this would say a lot about our football team and we need to win this game. Obviously, we have no choice. We need to win it, and it would be a major accomplishment, but we got a lot of work to do before we can even think – I mean, we’re thinking about it, but we have to put everything we have into this game.
Q: How about for your time here? A loss, and you’re back to .500. 8-8, 6-6 – it seems like you’re hovering around .500.
A: Yeah, we don’t want to be there. We know our goals are set higher than that – much higher than that. I’m not worried about legitimizing myself as a coach. I just want to win. Whether it does or not, that’s fine. We know what this is all about, what this game is all about, and the challenge we have in front of us – we know how big it is. Shoot, that’s who’s up on the schedule. We’d much rather play – what is that, ECC or something? (Jokingly) We’d much rather play them.
Q: Rex, I’m sure by now you’ve seen Khalil Mack’s performance the other day. You said it was a nightmare on Monday, but what is a nightmare after you watched it closer?
A: Gee, yeah. Pretty much. He’s really an unusual guy. I mean, when you – some guys are speed guys, but some don’t play with power. Some guys are just power guys, but this guy can do it all. He can truck you, he can run around you, he’s got moves, he’s creative with his pass rush. Him and the Von Miller guy, I think, are the best in the league right now. So yeah, it’s pretty much a nightmare.
Q: Obviously, when you get a guy like that, you’re going to have to help out blocking with Clay or [Jerome] Felton or something, right? You can’t have Mills single him all day, right?
A: Well, if I’m playing right tackle, I’m probably sick this week. Yeah, we’ll probably have to be creative in what we do.
Q: What is realistic to expect from Logan Thomas this week and for the rest of the season?
A: He’s not starting this week, and for good reason. (Jokingly poking fun about Clemson-VT matchup this weekend – Rex’s son, Seth, plays for Clemson) This is a Virginia Tech kid, and I’m thinking about benching Tyrod this week as well. No, but we’re bringing him in. This is a real developmental-type guy. When you see him – I don’t know if you’ve met him or anything – go shake his hand and see what I’m talking about. He’s got – I mean, his hands are like this big and he’s got this 6’6” height and he’s very athletic. You can tell he wants to learn to block and wants to do those things, and let’s take a chance on a guy like this. Is it a project? Yes, certainly it’s a project. Don’t anticipate him doing anything right now. He doesn’t know the plays or anything. But let’s see what we got and let’s take a shot on developing this young man, and maybe he can do some things. You’ve seen some of the transitions already. You look at the prior kid. Certainly, it’s been successful in the past and we’re just taking a shot on this young man.
Q: How much does him being on the active roster versus the practice squad accelerate that process? He’s probably going to be inactive this week, but just going forward.
A: Yeah, he will be inactive this week but we’ll see. We’ll see how quick he picks things up.
Q: He sounds like a guy that you might have been looking at for a while. Why didn’t you just grab him initially? Why did you wait for the Lions to sign him to the practice squad? Was he on your radar?
A: Well, no we do a great job. (Doug) Whaley and all those guys. Rob (Hanrahan) and all those guys do a great job of knowing the league. But sometimes, you’re looking at your roster. You know, we’re in the win business. We want to win right now, but with some of the injuries that we had, and things, it kind of creates an opportunity to get a guy like this on your roster.
Q: Early in the season you had the opportunity to bring receivers up and sign them. You passed over bringing Dez Lewis up till now. What changed with his game?
A: Well we pretty much got most of the guys up. And you know this is going to be an opportunity for them. He’s got to poop or get off the pot, so to speak. It’s going to be an opportunity for him and don’t assume opportunities come around all the time because they don’t, and we’ll see. He’s got the size. We drafted him because we thought he had that kind of ability that he could play in this league, and now he has to prove it.
Q: How impressive on film is the Raiders offense?
A: I think collectively, it’s probably been the most impressive. And right when you look at it from—you know this is like, hey you know Al Davis is looking down on this team and he’s excited about it because it’s what he always wanted to build. You build it with that offensive line and this is an offensive line that’s huge, just like he used to have and they’re doing a great job of pounding you in the running game. They get after you. And then they protect the quarterback. Now the quarterback also plays into it. They’re the least sacked team in the league, and when he senses pressure, he gets rid of it. He doesn’t take hits. So all those stats about he’s had this many drop backs, been hit once in a game, that’s what he does. He gets rid of the football. He’ll throw incompletions, you know, in those situations, or he’ll throw it up and give his guys an opportunity but he’s not going to take necessary hits. They’re super talented outside. It starts with that (Amari) Cooper kid. You know, obviously there’s a reason he was drafted where he was. A super talent. And then (Michael) Crabtree for years has been a good receiver, but I think he’s elevated his game, so very competitive guy, I think he has six touchdowns, both of them are over 60 receptions. You know they’ve got tight ends who can catch the football, you know three running backs, so it’s a bit of a challenge to say the least.
Q: Does the league need to rethink their stance on medicinal marijuana?
A: Like I said, I’m no doctor, but I mean that, it is what it is. We know when you have a suspended player—I’m going to say this: We support every player that we have, but you got to move on and that’s exactly what we have to do, but I’m not here to debate that.
Q: What was said to Seantrel (Henderson) in this case?
A: Well, just that. We support him, he’s got the ability to play in this league a long, long time. Every player, not just Seantrel, but every player has to abide by the rules set forth by the National Football League.
Q: Rex, given his situation, do you feel for a guy like that a little bit more? It’s a very complex situation as opposed to failed drug tests for some other player.
A: Right, and the thing is the only thing I understand is that it is a unique circumstance so that much I understand. But going into details on Crohn’s and everything, I don’t know anything about that.
Q: Do you know how much the team did to come up with alternatives to treat this disease as opposed to medical marijuana, which led to this situation?
A: Well I think we make an assumption that that’s what led to it. None of us know for sure.
Q: Seantrel told us he tested positive for marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease. Is that not your understanding?
A: All I know—what you get from my end of it is that you get a thing that says your player’s suspended and then they’ll mention the reason. They never mention what drug or whatever it was. They don’t tell you that. And I’m not going to stand up here and make an assumption about something. I get it, he told you guys that, you know more about it than I do. What I understand is, look, I support our player, all of our players, but also recognizing that there are rules to play in this league and every player has t abide to them.
Q: Based on what Seantrel said, it sounds like his circumstance is very different than a guy going rogue for recreational or his own purposes. Doesn’t the club, this is health of the player, one of your investments, have any sort of role before the suspension comes along to make sure he’s on the right track?
A: Well our club—we support our players as well as any club I’ve been around and we try to educate our players and everything else. And also, we try to medically take care of our players to the best of our abilities and anybody’s. We have professional people on that do these types of things. We try to bring them there, there’s no question about it. But I’m not going to speak on specifics about Seantrel or any other player, but just say that I feel pretty good about, I feel great about the services we do have here. Are you perfect? No, but we’re trying to be.
Q: You said that being first in rushing and 31st in passing, you can still win. But don’t you need to be better in the passing game to be a team putting up 30 (points) a game?
A: Well I think we, depending on how they present stuff to us, I think we’ll have opportunities in the passing game. I don’t think there’s any doubt. But I think the big thing is I just want to win and I think sometimes pass efficiency is kind of overlooked. Our style maybe isn’t as pretty or we don’t throw as much as other teams, but we’re what, 30th or 31st in giving up sacks? Not in the total sacks but per pass attempt, so maybe sometimes our plan, if you lead the league in rushing and are number one in rushing average, we’re going to run the football more than other teams will. Do we need to pass? We’ll find out, but everything we do is we’re going to try to win and if we need to run it 50 times, so be it. If we have to throw it 50 times, then that’s what we’ll do also.
Q: After Derek Carr’s injury, he took every snap in shotgun. Does that affect how you game-plan?
A: Well not the way we game-plan because I think right now the way offenses are set, even if Carr is back there in the shotgun, you can go to pistol and get the same thing with the guy behind because generally when he’s under, that’s generally the formation with the back. Btu the way teams run the ball anyway where even throw from that, I guess that would be the big adjustment and that’s assuming that’s what’s going to happen. We don’t know what’s going to happen but we’re not going to adjust how we play them defensively.
Q: Given how Seantrel was splitting time with Jordan Mills at right tackle, is that a spot for Cyrus Kouandjio to potentially step into?
A: That’s a possibility, yep. I think right now, obviously today with Cordy’s situation, Kouandjio will be at left tackle for this practice.
Q: Are you concerned about Cordy?
A: Sure. I mean I’m concerned about all our guys but the fact you’re not able to practice is, I mean it’s a concern.
A: You know my stance. If you finish the game, we pretty much know what happens and if you don’t, sometimes that’s a great indicator.
LB Preston Brown
Q: What have you heard about other guys cleats for the My Cause, My Cleats Campaign for this weekend? Any funky ones?
A: A lot of people doing some fancy stuff. A lot of things. For good foundations, things like that. It’s definitely a good cause for those guys. I didn’t know what other guys were doing when they were passing them out at the beginning of the season, so I didn’t really get involved.
Q: What makes the Raiders offense special?
A: They do a lot of different things. I mean we all know they got a great quarterback back there, dealing the ball to all good receivers, good running backs. They do a lot of different formations, five wides, extra tackle, bring in guys and run the ball downhill. So they do a lot of different things. And they do it well so it’s going to be a big challenge for us.
Q: If Derek Carr can only go from the shotgun, like he did after he hurt his pinky, how does that effect what they can do and limit them?
A: I mean instead of under center, just do pistol. I mean find different ways to do what they’ve got to do. So they’ll know how his finger is doing and what they’ve got to do, but we’re still going out there planning for all the different formations and sets that they can do, just maybe out of pistol instead of under center.
CB Stephon Gillmore
Q: What do you see on film with the Raiders passing attack?
A: (Derek) Carr is doing a good job. He’s up and coming and starting in the league at quarterback. (Michael) Crabtree, he’s been a good receiver for a long time. You know, (Amari) Cooper, he’s doing his thing. He’s a young receiver, has good talent. You know, they spread the ball around a lot. They’re running the ball good, they’re passing good, so we’ve just got to make them—try to get them to turn the ball over. Carr hasn’t thrown that many interceptions. You’ve got to get them to turn the ball over and go from there.
Q: They throw it a lot on first down. As a corner, is it almost better because you’re more involved?
A: Yeah, I like when teams throw the ball a lot. Gives you opportunities to make plays and get interceptions. That’s what it’s about. So this is one of my games that I look forward to.
Q: What has been the shift that has led to greater success of keeping them close to the sticks and not getting behind you?
A: We’ve just been mixing it up a lot on defense. Teams really don’t know what we’re in, and we’re playing smarter on the back end, just knowing the weaknesses of the coverages and things like that. We’re just communicating better and making sure everybody is on the same page because most of the time they’re not just beating us one on one, you know, we give them something. So that’s one thing we got better at.
Q: There are teams with 22 turnovers and you guys have six. What is that a testament to?
A: I think that’s a testament to Tyrod (Taylor). You know, he makes such smart decisions with the football. He doesn’t really press many things in there. There aren’t really many opportunities to take the ball away. And yeah, that’s Tyrod. That’s on the backs, that’s on the receivers, that’s on everybody for holding on to the ball, and for offensive linemen running down and covering if the ball does pop out so it’s a team goal.
Q: Tyrod called Khalil Mack a game wrecker. Rex Ryan called him a nightmare. How would you describe Khalil Mack?
A: He’s one of the best pass rushers this league has to offer. He’s the total package. He’s got speed, he’s got size, he’s got strength, he’s really kind of really coming into his own. He knows what he wants to do and when he wants to do it. He gets it cranked up on third down and he’s very hard to block so, we’ve got to plan for him and we’ll go out there and we need to have him locked down in order to have success throwing the ball down the field.
Q: Nickell Robey-Coleman said this game was kind of like moving day in golf, that’ll get you set for the stretch run.
A: You know, it’s important. It’s a one week deal at this point. We want to go to the playoffs, we’ve got the Raiders in front of us, so we’ve got to get a win. We win, we keep our dream alive. So I think our playoffs started when we came back from the bye week. These are all must win games for us.
WR Dez Lewis
Q: Rex [Ryan] has a very Rex way of saying everything. He kind of joked for you that it’s time to “poop or get off the pot.”
A: Yeah, it’s time to go. They’re looking for me to go out there and contribute for the team, so that’s the main thing. Stuff like that – I understand it. Some other people may take it as a negative comment, but I don’t. He’s right. It’s my time to step up, my time to go out and make plays so that’s what I’m going to do.
Q: Have you ever been told to poop or get off the pot?
A: [Laughs] No, I haven’t.
Q: When you see a guy like Justin [Hunter] make the catch he made in the red zone, does that kind of make you say, “Hey, with my height, this is the way I can contribute too?”
A: Yeah, that was a great catch by Justin. That was amazing. I mean, I have the same features. I may not jump as high as him, but I’ll go get it. Me and him down there – put Sammy [Watkins] and [Robert] Woods when he gets back and Marquise [Goodwin] as well, we’ll be ready.
RB LeSean McCoy
Q: LeSean, how badly does this team need to win a playoff game in December?
A: Man, every game out from here in is very important. Going on a road game, a West Coast trip, we’ve been here before. We’ve just got to focus in. As an offense, mistake-free, keeping drives alive, stay on the field, and putting points up. [It’s as] simple as that.
Q: How much weight is on your shoulders, knowing that they’ve been really leaning on this running game for a long time – for most of the season – to be successful? Without the running game, this team would not be doing as well.
A: That’s our thing. Our thing is that we run the ball very well in the backfield. The guys up front, they block very well when a quarterback can move. [We] kind of play off of that. Last week, we kind of started slow. A lot of that was me. I was trying to do too much in the backfield early in the game. Once we got everything lined up, we made some plays and we started gassing the running game and throwing some balls over the top. That’s how we play. We always make plays, and like you said, we run the ball well and we keep the drive alive. We eat up a lot of clock, and we really need that this week to beat a team like Oakland.
Q: Right, because without that, do you think this team can play catch-up if Oakland, for some reason, their offense comes out firing –
A: I can’t really tell you that answer. I don’t want to play from behind. You never want to do that. We’re a good offense. We’re explosive, we run the ball, we throw the ball well – we’re a good team. We have a lot of playmakers. We’re getting guys healthy, we’re getting guys back. That’s something that hasn’t been here in a while, so that will be something different, I think, for the team to defend. We’re ready to play. I mean, they’re a good team. Their record speaks for itself. They’re a good offense, but we’re a good offense also. We play a little different, pound the rock. We have special players that make plays so it’ll be a good game.
Q: LeSean, when you are going through a first half like you were last week and things are tough-going, [as a] guy that’s used to having 40 or 50 yards by halftime, how tough is it for you to not get personally frustrated, even though it may not be anybody’s fault?
A: I mean, [look at] last game. I kind of got a little frustrated and not really getting the type of yards or the spacing, or making plays. I kind of got frustrated and tried to do too much. That can tend to happen sometimes. We just assess early and then you’ll have [success] in the game, per say. I mean, it is what it is. You’ve just got to keep fighting. That’s the thing that we do best. We don’t panic – we just keep playing and we keep playing. Eventually, it broke and we started moving the ball. That’s how we won that last game.
Q: LeSean, are you expecting Oakland’s defense to go to school at all like Jacksonville’s did, how committed they were to stopping the run game?
A: Well, I mean, it’s not a secret. We run the ball very well. What are we, top three in rushing as a whole? Oh, [number] one. Yeah. So it’s not a secret that that’s something that we do well. I’m sure they’ll try to find different ways to take the run game out of the picture. I’m sure they’ll take some of the same stunts. That’s what this league is all about. It’s like a copycat league. If we see certain plays that work against the defense, we’ll take that and utilize it the same way or better. They’ll do the same. I’m sure they’ll have their own little gimmicks with what Jacksonville did because they did a pretty good job against the run. So we’ll see.
Q: How impressive is it – I mean, you guys have only given the ball up six times in eleven games. The fact that you run the ball so much – I mean, two fumbles. What is the key to that? It’s an NFL record through 11 games. It’s one thing to emphasize to protect the ball, but to actually be able to do that and accomplish that is impressive.
A: I’d be lying to you if just I told you that we do some super thing to protect the ball, because I run with the ball out a little bit. It’s just something that – I mean, you can’t have fumbles. [If] you want to win games, you can’t have turnovers. It’s as simple as that. A lot of guys are really dedicated to protecting the ball, and it shows from the numbers that you just announced. So that’s really it. There’s really no secret. Just protect the ball. If you have to punt it, punt it. But don’t give them a turnover and give the other team field position.
Q: LeSean, what do you make of Khalil Mack?
A: I mean, he’s a dog. I’m surprised he went to [SUNY] Buffalo. I thought he’d be at USC or Alabama. He’s a hell of a player. It’s as simple as that. [He] gets to it. Young players just want to get out there and make plays. That’s it. Imagine myself when I was 23 or 22.
Q: How does a team with him manage to be at the bottom of the league, though? It’s kind of hard to believe.
A: Yeah, well I think they kind of depend on their offense. They have a lot of good pass rushers. The offense puts a lot of points up, and that’s the easy part. [If you] got a good offense, you let your dogs go. No responsibilities. A lot of teams have had success. They’ve had long drives, managed the clock well, ran the ball well – another thing they do very, very well is on third downs, they get off the field. So that’s something that they do very well. The teams that have beaten them have converted on third downs. Yeah, the numbers are – they say that they’re not that good of a defense, but I’ve watched them on tape, and they look good. They do.
QB Tyrod Taylor
Q: What were your impressions of watching the game that (Khalil) Mack played last week? He’s kind of a destructive tornado out there.
A: Definitely a game wrecker. He’s been playing at a high level since he stepped into the league. I got the chance to be around him last year at the Pro Bowl and like I said he’s one of the best defensive ends in the league.
Q: You told the trainers you had a sore groin going into practice.
A: I got through practice pretty well. Continuing to take it day-by-day getting treatment and going out there and practicing the plays. I’ll be good though, Sunday.
Q: Was that something you suffered during Sunday’s game or did that happen during the week?
A: Yeah, more so after the game Sunday.
Q: Talk about your ability to protect the ball to avoid turnovers. Some people say you guys don’t take enough chances, but the flip side of it is you don’t give it away. So is that kind of what has been instilled in you? Make the safe play and don’t turn the ball over?
A: That’s the format for our team. Of course in this league you have to take risks. But at the same time, you win the turnover battle week to week you have a good chance of winning. It’s my job to capitalize on the risk, but at the same time be smart with where I’m going with the football. Turnovers definitely don’t lead to good things in this league.
Q: During the game this past week, there was a risk. There were two guys over there. Did you feel like that was one of those opportunities where it was worth the chance to take?
A: For sure. We’ve got a big receiver in Justin (Hunter). He’s a guy that can jump very well and working with him through the time he’s been here I definitely have the trust in him that he’ll go up and get that ball. I think he made a great play on it and it was in a place that either he could get it or if it sails over his head we’ve kick the field goal.
Q: What do you make of your former quarterback teammate Logan Thomas being out here? You guys were on the same roster, he took over for you and now he’s out here playing tight end. What do you make of him being a tight end?
A: Logan and I kept in touch. I got a chance to talk to him prior to him signing here. As far as making the transition, he’s a very athletic guy. A guy that can always catch. He actually caught a touchdown for me I believe against Blake Forest, but just an athletic guy and I mean he’s ready to compete. I’m excited about having him here.
Q: The receiving team now has some big guys. You have Justin (Hunter) now you have signed Logan (Thomas) all of a sudden this receiving core is getting bigger, is that by design to help out in the red zone or something like that?
A: Definitely. The height down there in the red zone definitely helps us. Working with this for nearly two years now he’s done some good things in practice and he gets the opportunity to show what he can do in the game and I’m excited for his opportunity and where he can help us is on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: Tyrod, getting back to turnovers. Not the fact that you want to create anymore, but that you have the insurance that the defense has only given up two field goals on the six turnovers that you guys have had, how much of an insurance blanket is it knowing that the defense prevents those opportunities?
A: I think the more that our team plays complementary football the better off we are. We have that trust in them if something goes wrong, which you don’t plan on it then the defense can get the ball back. Which, they’ve done a good job at getting us the ball back and create opportunities for us to push the ball back down the field. Back to turnovers, you want to come out of them winning that battle.
Q: As a quarterback does it stick with you a little bit that you guys have been ranked last in passing for the league? As a quarterback that obviously wants to pass the ball, does that bother you at all?
A: Of course you want to get the numbers. You want to come out of the game with those 300 yard games, but like I’ve said from day one I’ll do whatever it takes for us to win games. We’re maybe last in passing right now, can we be better? Yes. But we are also in the playoff picture and ultimately that’s what it takes for us winning games. Whatever that takes for us week to week it’s going to be different. Some games we’re going to have the opportunity to run the football and some games it’s going to be more of a passing game. Just got to take it week to week.
Q: This week it looks like the passing game will have some shots. They struggle on defense and they’ve given up some big plays. Do you see that as this is a team that we can attack?
A: They definitely have a talented defense. Statistically, yeah you can say they’re in last or near the bottom as far as passing defense, but they have a lot of talented guys. We just have to be discipline in our approach and take advantage of the opportunities that we get down the field.
Q: Tyrod, you guys have been very good at two point conversions this year. Is that something you’ve lobbied to do more of? Is that something you’d like to see more of, going for two?
A: When the situation presents itself. I don’t think it’s a need for us to go out there and go for two every time. When the situation presents itself I think that we have a good plan and the plays that we practice week-to-week for, our two point plays, I think that we have a really good opportunity of executing those.
Q: Seantrel Henderson is such a unique case with the use of medicinal marijuana. Is it time for the NFL to maybe look at their policies?
A: That’s not my call. That’s something that Mr. Roger Goodell has to address, but we’ll see how that goes moving forward.
Q: Do you feel differently as a teammate though? Do you almost kinda feel bad for Seantrel see what he’s had to go through to get back on the field?
A: Definitely. It’s an unfortunate situation, but the rules are the rules, so you have to abide by them. Like I said it’s just an unfortunate situation.
Q: Tyrod, what have you noticed about Logan Thomas as he’s kind of transitioning positions. I would imagine there might be a little bit of disappointment considering a couple years ago he was ranked somewhat high as a quarterback. Is there any of that with him, or I guess how enthusiastic is he at his new position?
A: He’s very enthusiastic. He’s excited about the opportunity that he’s getting. Anytime you get a chance to compete in this league, not a lot of people get the opportunity, so as far as his position change he’s excited to show what he can do. He’s always been an athletic guy and he wants to compete, so if that gives him the best opportunity to go out there and compete, then he’s all for it.
Q: What do you remember about his early days at Virginia Tech? They recruited him as a tight end.
A: Yeah, like I said just an athletic guy. He could always catch the ball. I believe quarterbacks sometimes have the best hands on the team just because we touch the ball every down. He has very good hands. I think the biggest adjustment for him will be just learning how to block. He’s a physical guy, but it’s different when you’re in the trenches and going against the Khalil Macks or the Von Millers of this league.
Q: Rex joked that he was going to bench you this week because you played for Virginia Tech and he played for Clemson and they play in the title game this week, what do you think?
A: Go Hokies!
TE Logan Thomas
Q: Have you reached out to Terrelle Pryor or other guys who have been through the transition?
A: No I haven’t. For one, don’t want to bug those guys, they got their own problems to worry about and number two, I’m my own guy and I’ve got to take it the way I’ve got to take it and find my own avenue.
Q: Is it encouraging that Terrelle Pryor has had that type of success to let you know that it’s not impossible?
A: Yeah absolutely. I mean a guy like TP, he’s an amazing athlete in his own right and you can’t really say too much about how athletic he is and the type of player that he is and what he’s been doing for the Browns this year so if I can do what he does and the way I think I can be, I’m going to be that type of player too.
Q: Have you been able to keep the what-ifs out of your head knowing that you were recruited as a tight end, if you stayed there? Is it hard not to think about those?
A: Not going to dwell on the past now, I mean it’s not going to do anything good for you. Just got to look to the future.
Q: Do you have any expectations of playing in a game this year?
A: I’m not sure, it’s not up to me. The only thing I can do is go out there and give it my all every day, learn. But if I get an opportunity, I’m going to go out there with my hair on fire, give everything I got. If it’s special teams or that type of thing, whatever.
Q: How did you feel like your development was coming along as a quarterback during the few years you spent on practice squads?
A: Actually I felt pretty good to be completely honest. I got a lot better understanding the game, I got a good feel of the game, I knew what to look for and stuff. I kept flip-flopping too which kind of made it tough to feel completely comfortable but it’s just the past now.
Q: When you get a call from a team like the Bills to sign, you have a choice. You can stay where you are because you might think the opportunity is better there. What made you choose this?
A: I think it’s a familiarity with a couple of the players and then also this was right for my family. My family, my friends, the people that represent me, we all talked about it and it was the right thing to do so I was ready to make that step.
DE Jerel Worthy
Q: [The Raiders] don’t get sacked a whole lot. Rex [Ryan] said they get the ball out quickly. Rhythm – that’s what all the cornerbacks were talking about. How could you guys try and disrupt that? If [Derek Carr] is getting the ball out quickly, is it just getting your hands up quicker?
A: No, it’s just team defense. If our corners make Carr pump and hold the ball a little bit, that works in our advantage because our pass rush has been shown to get there and at the end of the day, if we can work together and correlate together, our day will be good for us. We believe in those guys – Stephon [Gilmore] and Corey [Graham] and those guys in the back end, and if they can get Carr to just hold the ball for a little bit, we’re going to make some plays.
Q: Is this the most dynamic offense – most complete offense that you guys have seen this year?
A: Yeah. I mean, as far as what we’ve come across, New England had the injuries and guys were a little banged up. As far as Oakland [goes], yeah definitely. Everybody’s healthy across the board. They’re solid. They’re coached well – you can tell they’re coached well, and whatever they’re asked to do, they seem to get it done. You can’t shy away from a team that’s come back in a lot of close-game situations, so that will be on our P’s and Q’s.
Q: Speaking of injuries, obviously you guys are a little banged up yourselves. How difficult is it to go up against an offense that’s so loaded while you guys are banged up yourselves?
A: Oh, man. That’s the fun part, man. Then you can discover who can play the game. You discover on our defense what we’ve been hiding, and at the end of the day those guys can go out there and showcase their skills and let it be known that they deserve to be in the NFL. When you get situations where you have the next man up, you either have a bad game or you get a guy that comes out and the next thing you know, he’s a household name. We’re hoping it’ll be the household name come Sunday.
Provided by the Buffalo Bills.