HC Rex Ryan
Opening Statement: Ok, these three players did not practice today: (Lerentee) McCray concussion protocol, Jordan Mills illness, and Kyle Williams back. All these players were limited: Jerry Hughes hamstring, (John) Miller hip, (Jerome) Felton foot, (Cordy) Glenn back, Preston Brown foot, Charles Clay knee, (Sammy) Watkins foot, (Jerel) Worthy shoulder. And then full today: (Shaq) Lawson foot, (Tyrod) Taylor groin, and (LeSean) McCoy knee. All right, so fire away.
Q: Thoughts on the Pro Bowl selections?
A: Whatever the coordinator said. I’ll stand by that. No. Yeah, no I thought it was great. Obviously, Shady (LeSean McCoy) we knew would go. That was a no brainer slam dunk, and what’s that? Four, five times he’s been I think. And deservedly so. Having an unbelievable year. But with Lorenzo (Alexander) making it a first time as a starter, as an outside linebacker. It just goes to show you that, you know hard work and perseverance, everything and a true pro. And I think it’s obviously recognized throughout the league that way and it’s good to have 11 and a half sacks too probably. But really happy for him.
Q: Rex you have like 23 or 24 free agents coming up. This could be many of their last home games. Is that a type of conversation that you’d ever have with a player?
A: No, I think, you know, obviously futures are important and things—and they may be thinking about that a little bit, but quite honestly it’s about the game. It’s about right in front of you and I think the time for all of that is probably after the season. But right in front of you it’s business as usual and as I’ve mentioned, that’s the way it is for me and that’s the way it is for a lot of guys I think.
Q: In your one year with Mario Williams, were you able to crack his shell?
A: It’s funny because I like Mario. I thought he was a good guy. I don’t think there’s any doubt. I think sometimes, you know, when you’re making the money that he was making and all that, the expectations were huge. And sometime it’s—you know, it takes away from you just want him to play. And I think whether it’s with Mario or some other players, I think that that’s tough to do. And it seems like you’re put on the defensive a lot instead of just going out and being able to enjoy what you’ve always done, which is play. But I like Mario. I thought he was a really good guy and I’ll tell you what, he’s a good teammate. You know, I just remember all of the TV’s coming in to the defensive line room and it was from Mario Williams to his teammates. You know give them brand new TV’s and things. So that’ll tell you the kind of guy he is.
Q: That was last year?
Q: End of the year?
Q: Robert Woods had just one catch last week. Is that still working back from the knee?
A: Yeah he’s not—but he’s probably better now than he even was last week. But you know as I remember, looked at him last week, you know he had that 70s knee brace on. Looking at him like he’s one tough dude. But I think right now he looks good to me. These last couple of days, he looks good to me.
Q: You had mentioned to me last week that Stephon Gilmore had been playing at a really high level. I’m sure that continued against Cleveland. Just in this last month, is this what you expected?
A: Yeah and you know what, I think that’s what, all of us went in and we know he has that type of talent, and that’s what we needed for our football team. And he took the challenge. You know, when we said hey, Steph, we needed him. He’s healthy now. I think sometimes when you’re coming off a second year he had a shoulder or something like that, you know, it’s going to naturally going to take away from any of that. And right now, he’s just playing. And he’s playing as good as there is right now. I mean this last month, maybe even more than that, he’s been outstanding. And that’s why I can’t wait to see him play these next few weeks. And obviously we’re putting a lot on his plate. But he’s done a great job.
Q: Stephon mentioned that he shadowed Antonio Brown and Terrelle Pryor the last few weeks. What went into those decisions?
A: Because he’s playing at such a high level, that that’s kind of what we needed to do. And in that game against Pittsburgh, for instance, it was one of those things where it’s like we’ve got to go to eight-man spacing, which I guess I should’ve done earlier in the game. But you know what? When we made that decision, we put him on him.
Q: Did you or other coaches get a TV from Mario?
A: I think his position coaches did, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t get anything from anybody. A chunk of coal I think.
Q: Were there any Pro Bowl snubs from your team?
A: Well I think you know when you’re having that year that we’re having, you know we’re right there at 7-7, a lot of times, you don’t get them. You know, you don’t get the benefit of the doubt. I think there’s a lot of guys having a lot of really good years. But I think had we have had a little better year, obviously we probably could’ve had more names in there.
Q: How nice has it been that Marquise Goodwin has been healthy the entire year and how surprised are you by that?
A: Well, unfortunately I understand the question because of the surprise being that he hadn’t done it before. But it’s been great. He had a couple of those concussion things or whatever—not that that’s a minor thing—but yeah, he’s been healthy and it’s great to have because the first thing is, obviously he has that world class speed, and that’s the thing that jumps out at you. But the thing that I’ve been impressed with the work that he’s put in to become a receiver, a complete receiver. And you know, that catch over the middle last week, I think was an indication of that as well. That 20 yard catch or whatever he made, just shows you that he doesn’t just have to work the vertical game now. That he can work across the field. He’s been impressive to me.
Q: What’s it say about how he responded after many people had him on the bubble and this is his best year?
A: I don’t think Doug Whaley and I had him on the bubble. Others maybe but, you know, I don’t think we ever talked about that as a possibility. I thought having his kind of speed, and the way that we thought he was improving. He actually maybe exceeded that as a receiver. But I don’t think he was ever really on the bubble.
Q: You and Rob (Ryan) put pretty high expectations on Preston Brown. Rob said at the beginning of the year that he’d be a star in the league. Has he lived up to those expectations, and if not, where is he?
A: I definitely think he has. I think he’s been outstanding and he’s dealt with some things too. I mean he had, you know, this past week has that—a foot that—well, maybe you just need to cut it. “No the heck with that,” he goes. “I’m going back out there.” And so but he’s dealing with that. I think he’s taking over a leadership part of this team that they all listen. And you don’t get that just by doing your job. He has to know everybody’s job. And think that’s what he’s done more than anything else. The way he’s communicated, and all that. He’s always been a good player. But I think he elevates others’ games just because, you know, his knowledge of the system and to me, I’ve been really, really proud of him because it’s not easy, you know to stand out there and you’re talking to veteran players. Jerry Hughes, Lorenzo Alexander, and Marcell (Dareus) and Kyle (Williams). That can’t be easy. Yet, he earned their respect, and I think he’s done a real nice job for us.
Q: How does having Marcell Dareus help with containing Jay Ajayi?
A: Oh, did we not have him last time? I guess we’ll find out.
Q: When preparing for a quarterback like Matt Moore, does it even help to watch film from five years ago?
A: I got beat by him five years ago. So, no it doesn’t do good. You know, it makes you flinch a little bit. But no the thing is this guy is not like a rookie quarterback. He’s a guy that’s played in the league a long time, eight or nine years, and he’s had a lot of good moments in this league, and you mention he had it against me, you know, several years ago. So he’s very—he throws a great deep ball, he loves throwing the ball deep. So those are things that we know for sure about him and he’s seen a lot of huddle broke in his day.
OC Anthony Lynn
Q: What do you make of the year that Marquise Goodwin has been having?
A: I think he’s developing as a wide receiver. You know, he’s definitely gotten better. Sanjay Lal has done a good job with him, and he’s been very dependable, you know?
Q: Things seemed to be working for you guys last week, just in terms of getting the matchups you wanted in the passing game. Did you guys come across something against that particular opponent that you felt worked really well? Or have you come upon something that you guys feel you can use in successive weeks?
A: Well, when you’re running the football well, it opens up a lot of matchups, and we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of a lot of those matchups because we were running the football well. And so we didn’t want to give that team any chance of getting back in the game so we kept running it. But you know, with the guys doubling outside…off of Marquise (Goodwin) and Sammy (Watkins), and the linebackers buzzing out, it kind of opened up the field for (Charles) Clay a little bit. So Clay got more involved. But there were matchups all over. We just didn’t take advantage of all of them because we kept running the football.
Q: Was that specific to last week, or can you turn to that page in the next two weeks?
A: Oh, I definitely think it’s something we can turn to. If teams want to play us that way, to stop the run game, then yeah, why not?
Q: Sammy stressed yesterday that you need to stress on the passing game to win, and that there was too much emphasis on the run. How much do you agree with that?
A: I think you need to pass the football to score. You need to run the football to win. We talk about that all the time. But that’s how I feel about that.
Q: So you haven’t passed enough in seven games?
A: No, like I said, I think you pass the ball to be explosive and score points. I think you run the ball to win football games. I think the way we’re built right now, I think we’re running the football to pass the football, which when we get those opportunities to pass it, we have to connect. You know, we have to throw it to open guys, we have to catch the ball, we have to run the right routes, things like that.
DC Dennis Thurman
Q: What memories do you have of Jay Ajayi?
A: Oh, too many. Too many bad ones. I mean he’s a heck of a back and he had a hell of a day against us in the first meeting, and we have our work cut out for us. He’s a very talented guy, runs hard, can make you miss. We’ve got to put our pads on him and get him on the ground.
Q: How do your guys get motivated with what happened last time? How do you balance containing him with the rest of the game?
A: Well I think if we control him, we have a better chance to win the game. You know it’s always embarrassing to give up, you know, over 200 yards, I mean to anybody. But you know, it happened. We can’t take it back. We have to go out this Saturday and reverse it. That’s what we have to do.
Q: How is having Marcell Dareus in the lineup this time going to help?
A: I think it’s going to help a lot. I mean he’s one of the better defensive tackles in the game, and he helps solidify the middle of our defense. So we anticipate that he will help us quite a bit.
Q: Has he gotten better week to week?
A: Well yeah, I mean he’s—obviously game conditioning is different than practice and you know, you’re not going to get in game condition in practice. You have to go out and play and get the intensity of it, the speed of it, and obviously he’s gotten better every week and when he’s in the middle, we feel very comfortable.
Q: Zach Brown tweeted that he felt he was snubbed from the Pro Bowl game. How does he compare to what they have at linebacker?
A: People vote and they have their own vote and whatever the numbers are, the numbers are. I mean I don’t know how accurate that is. I mean he has his own feelings. He’s entitled to his feelings, he’s played well for us. How other people have played? I have no idea.
Courtesy of the Buffalo Bills