Head Coach Sean McDermott
Opening Statement: Update on the injury-end of things here: Charles Clay will be held out today with a veteran day off – really as you’ve seen us do before with Charles’ schedule, keeping him and being proactive on his situation there. Philly Brown will be out with an illness. Micah Hyde you saw with the catch yesterday – the interception – came down on his hip a little bit, we’re going to hold him out. Cordy Glenn with a little bit of foot soreness, we’re also going to hold Cordy out as well. Then, from a logistics standpoint, we’re going to practice on the side field today – most of the day only because we need to give that field one a rest. So will be in the red zone a little bit on that field, most of the practice will be on field two. With that I’ll take your questions.
Q: Is it just foot fatigue for Cordy Glenn – it seems like he’s been really limited since coming back?
A: He’s practiced, he’s done a good job, Joe. At this point what we believe it to be, just general foot soreness, so we’ll see.
Q: What further details are there on Charles [Clay]’s days, is it cartilage related, or anything you know on that?
A: Just something he’s been dealing with for quite some time. Again, just proactive, nothing new - just again us being proactive trying to stay ahead of it.
Q: Was that a plan for this to be a day off, or are you kind of doing it based on how he reacts?
A: Yes, planned.
Q: Any concern with Micah [Hyde]?
A: Generally speaking, I’m always concerned with guys that are hurt, held out of practice. At this point, we’re going to continue to evaluate. Generally speaking, no at this point, just want to give him some time here – he hit the ground pretty hard there – but generally speaking, no.
Q: Is Cordy’s [Glenn] related to what kept him out in the spring?
A: It is, yes it is; Again, he’s done a good job at this point, he’s been moving well, so we’re just going to continue to evaluate.
Q: Is that concerning that it’s lasted this long – now you’re six weeks removed from the spring, it’s still sort of there?
A: Yes, I am concerned about it; It is concerning, because it’s gone on so long. We’ll see where it goes really.
Q: What’s the plan at left tackle today with him [Cordy Glenn] out?
A: You’ll see Seantrel [Henderson] in there like you’ve seen before, we’ll just take it from there. We’ve got some other guys that roll in there as well, but you’ll see Seantrel in there most of the day.
Q: Have you considered moving Ryan Groy around at all? He’s mainly played center with the second team this camp.
A: Ryan’s done a good job, we know he’s got some background at guard and obviously center. We know there’s some flexibility there. Right now, he’s with a new system really, he’s mastering that new system, working on that. Eric [Wood] was out the other day as a veteran day off. At this point, no.
Q: What was the thought process on bringing in Taiwan Jones?
A: Veteran player; Kelly Skipper, our running backs coach, has been around Taiwan before, so had a little bit of experience there in knowing Taiwan. Obviously the running back experience – primarily really, it’s based on special teams, bringing more speed into our special teams units and knowing how important that is; I feel good about that.
Q: What have you seen so far from Brandon Tate and Rashad Ross?
A: Both the individuals you just mentioned have done a good job. Brandon’s been out a little bit with the injury there, it’s good to get him going again; He’s done a great job in getting healthy again. I like what he brings to the table in the return game and then he gives us line of scrimmage value as well as a receiver. With Rashad it’s the same thing; you look at his ability in the return game and the speed element, and the vertical game with the receiver part of it. Both are working extremely hard and adding good competition right now.
Q: How will the Taiwan [Jones] signing affect the reps for Cedric O’Neal and some of the other running backs back there?
A: It is adding another number at the position, so we’ve got to balance that. Really, the primary motive behind this is special teams based at this point.
Q: With Micah [Hyde] out today, we’ve seen a lot of safeties rotate into the second team – Yesterday we saw Shamiel Gary go in for him – can we expect to see Shamiel take the majority of the first team reps today or are you going to rotate more guys in there?
A: It’ll be primarily Shamiel, he’s done a nice job, he’s earned that at this point for us to get a good look at him running with the ones. There could be another guy or two in there, so I don’t want to act like there’s not. But it’ll mostly be Shamiel.
Q: Why did you feel like it was something that you needed to do to have the guys before meetings every once in a while stand up, tell their story, talk about themselves? You talked to a few of the guys about it yesterday. It’s really seemingly having an impact.
A: That’s a great question. We just feel strongly that this is important. Part of the reason we came here was to build this football team and when you build any type of team, as far as we’re concerned, you need to know your teammates. What better way to know your teammate than for individuals to share their personal stories and what inspires them and who they play for. It’s really the first time I’ve done it. I’ve experimented with something similar in my background as a defensive coordinator. It’s really powerful to watch guys share, open up, in a vulnerable position. It’s powerful and we’re building this football team and the love that we need to have among our people. When you know someone, you play a little bit harder for the guy next to you and that’s just kind of the organic part of it. It’s been powerful and it’s run the gamut of emotions and it’s been fun. I use the word fun in quotes, but it’s been good.
Q: Is it something that you haven’t seen done anywhere else?
A: I haven’t. Maybe it is. I don’t want to act like we’re doing something that nobody else is doing but it’s very intimate in nature and private in that way, as you can imagine. You watch the look on the players faces and the staff’s faces that are in there and it’s a pretty dialed-in moment of the meeting. We had another one share this morning and I love it.
Q: We haven’t really seen a lot of [Stephen] Hauschka except up close watching him work. Danny [Crossman] had him early in his career and he’s got some familiarity with him. What is it about….he’s just got such a free and easy motion. The ball just seems to jump off his foot. What attracted you aside from obviously the ability there to him?
A: Again, the individual that we were bringing in as our kicker. Danny [Crossman]’s background with Stephen [Hauschka] certainly helped. His success over the years – his numbers speaks for themselves. I’m a big believer in the mental part of the game and Stephen and Colton [Schmidt] have done a phenomenal job in balancing that. We feel like the relationship between those two and Reid [Ferguson], that’s an important dynamic with those three and the trust that’s built over the time that they’ve been together. I count on Stephen a lot and Colton for just some leadership type communication and they’ve done a great job of that so it’s been fun to watch. [Stephen]’s in a good place I believe, mentally. He’s tracking the ball well so he’s done a nice job.
Q: We’ve seen with Preston Brown that he is working with first-team and Reggie [Ragland] is staying pretty stuck with the second. Is it deciding itself or how do you view that as it continues?
A: Preston [Brown] has done a nice job. I believe he’s still getting comfortable in this system – it’s still new. You see him working after practice, which I love. He’s working on his craft, he’s a true pro and he has great command of the defense. He’s our signal caller. That said, I do like the work that Reggie [Ragland] is putting in also. It’s way too early at this point in time to declare a starter or say that it’s working itself out. I do like what both players have done to this point in camp.
Q: Preston [Brown] said he’s changed his diet and getting away from candy and all that. Is that something that you guys encouraged with him?
A: I could probably stand to do the same thing. Our staff, the strength and conditioning staff, the training staff, we try and not leave a stone unturned so they do a great job in helping the players and putting them in a position to be successful on the field.
Q: We spoke earlier in this week about the scrimmage tomorrow night. Didn’t know what options or are you looking through the options as far as weather repeats or an indoor practice. I guess is there any update on that.
A: With respect to..
Q: Tomorrow night’s practice in the stadium.
A: We’re looking forward to getting home, in terms of being back in our stadium, getting in front of our fans, changing the venue just a little bit. I think it will be a very interactive, fun night for players and fans alike. It will be good for us to get back home, throw some music on the loud speaker and it should be a great night. I know we are going to continue to monitor things with the weather. I’m praying that we get a great night underneath our belt, both on the field and off the field tomorrow.
Q: As far as live action?
A: It’s live action. We’re going to heat things up a little bit. It’s been mostly thud here, we’ll probably throw in a live period or two in there.
Q: Can you speak to Zay Jones and just where he’s at so far?
A: Zay [Jones] has done a good job and he’s working like rookies work. He’s trying to balance the volume of the system at this point and the thing you appreciate about him is coming out, he’s like…it’s sink or swim time for some of them because of the volume and this is where they’ve got to hang on and stick with it and he’s done a good job of that.
QB Tyrod Taylor
Q: Just maybe comment on situational stuff that coach puts you guys in right at the start of practice – it’s different every day – just maybe what you guys are getting out of that?
A: Yes, we talk about it every morning; he addresses the team’s situation and just tries to keep us on our toes. More importantly, practicing things that are going to come up in the games – it’s the same situation, but three different ‘down and distances’ maybe, just to try to help us think through practice, and think through games. That way when it happens, we can just go out there and react.
Q: Do you find guys tuning in more with that part of practice being put there at the start?
A: Yes, guys are definitely dialed-in, and like you said, the fact that they’re set at the beginning of practice, it makes you think through certain things. Coach Rico [Rick Dennison] does a good job of not necessarily telling the offense what we’re going to do, just allow us to try and think - think the processes out. I think we’ve been pretty good under situations for the most part throughout camp. It’s something that we started back in the spring.
Q: One full week into camp, how have you seen Zay Jones acclimate himself to the professional realms so to speak?
A: [Zay Jones] is definitely learning the game day-by-day. He’s a talented receiver of course, but just getting as much knowledge - understanding the installs, install now is different from day seven’s install in the spring, so more information being thrown at him. More is asked out of him on that practice and also the competition level is a little different once you get into training camp, but I think he’s taking it day by day and he’s raised his level of competition. He may not get a ball for a day or so, but he’s doing other things right as far as cutoff, backside, safeties – same things that some people probably will say go unnoticed, but we are definitely seeing that he’s working and trying to get better each day.
Q: How do you think your chemistry has been with [Zay Jones] so far throughout camp?
A: I think it’s been pretty good. I haven’t had many reps with [Zay Jones]. He’s played the F in some occasions in our three receiver sets, but I think whenever the defense allows me to get the ball to him, I definitely think we are on the same page.
Q: Knowing where [Zay Jones] was drafted and how important it is for him, do you kind of take it upon yourself to go talk to him a little bit more because he could be a big part of this offense?
A: Absolutely. I try to stay in his ear as much as possible. First off, because he’s a rookie, I want to guide him in the right direction. Of course what he’s going to mean to this team throughout his time here, he’s going to be a big part of our offense. We’re just trying to keep him in the right direction. Which like I said, he has the right mindset, he’s a hard worker, wants to know more about the game, wants to know more about this offense. I’m just trying to help him along the way each day.
Q: Where does your level of chemistry with Sammy [Watkins] compare this year to the last couple of years? You guys have spent some time before camp together.
A: I think it’s way better. We’re still fine tuning things. We had a situation today where miscommunication on a read route, but that’s been probably one of two mistakes where we haven’t been on the same page this camp. I think that just having him out there at the start of camp and taking reps with him in the spring has definitely helped us build our chemistry moving forward. I think it’s definitely going to pay off for us.
Q: First of all, happy birthday.
A: Thank you.
Q: Secondly, how about your approach to camp now compared to what it has been like from when you started this out? What’s different for you to the camp practices and what you’re trying to get out of things versus before? Because you have evolved as your game has evolved.
A: First and foremost, I’m still learning the offense. As far as personally, not necessarily taking off and running is something that I’ve talked to Coach McDermott about. Getting the ball out on time are things that frustrate the defense. When it’s not there, training camp, people know that I can run so that’s not anything that I necessarily need to practice on. Finding that check-down, throwing the ball away when you can, when the situation misses – that’s some of the things that I’ve been focusing on.
Q: With the play-it-out drives there at the end, that’s different than three reps and you’re out. Can you just maybe talk about how that might facilitate really kind of getting the offense in sync?
A: That’s the closest that you’re going to get as far as doing that drill live to a game-like situation. It forces the defense to play honest, not necessarily playing just that down. They have to account for multiple downs. Me and Eric Wood were just talking, that’s when defenses start to tire out – play four, play seven and driving. That’s when you get to capitalize on those big plays. We had an opportunity that was a mishandled snap in our situation, but overall the offense, TJ [Yates] was able to take his crew down and ended up getting a touchdown out of a pass rush. Definitely some things that we can learn from watching film as a unit there. We did some good things and could have capitalized on a couple plays as well.
Q: Can you talk about the situations that you guys have worked through in practice. Is there one that stands out as at this point we need to get better?
A: Absolutely, and we try to mix that in throughout each practice. Three of the main things that we talk about – getting better at year-to-year – is third down, red zone and two-minute. Whether it’s the defense on the field in two-minute or offense one unit on our team is going to be on the field. If we can be better in those three aspects of the game, it definitely helps us, it helps our chances this season. Because it’s going to boil down to that in a number of game this year. So, we have to continue to keep building confidence in those areas and keep going out and going out and execute.
Q: Tyrod, how long have you known Logan Thomas now?
A: Logan came in my junior year, I believe he was a true freshman.
Q: So how surreal is it to be throwing passes up to him, knowing that he came in after you?
A: It’s always a good time. Me and Logan have always had a very good relationship, friendship since day one. I spent a lot of time with each other in the quarterback room at [Virginia] Tech, but also kept in touch with each other. He is like my family. Hokies always keep in touch once you go your separate ways, but once I got the call from him last year when he was trying to make the decision whether to transition into the next position or not. At the time he had two teams in mind and I don’t want to disclose those teams, but I tried to give him insight on it and I ended up calling him the next day like ‘I think that we could use you here, and I think we can make that happen.’ So, I’m happy for him. He’s looked good this camp. Just got to continue to keep working and he’s going to continue to keep doing that.
Q: He towers over people is he just one of those dudes who you just throw it up?
A: Yeah, he’s always had, of course, the size advantage. He was a big quarterback. I mean he was only a couple pounds lighter then. I always used to joke with him – I think he wears a size 17 shoe and he would trip every time he ran out of the pocket—I told him his shoe’s too big. He’s a big guy for sure, and a big target going down the middle. He had a strong catch yesterday when three people hit him at the same time it was almost like one person hit him. He’s a talented guy.
Q: Tyrod, can you notice in him the capacity to some certain things just to relate, due to his quarterback background?
A: Absolutely. He sees certain routes from a quarterback’s perspective, so it’s easy for him to find soft spots because he’s thinking like a quarterback while he’s out there running routes. Especially in the red zone just body positon, certain drills that quarterbacks talk amongst themselves, certain areas that can be exploited, he’s done a good job of finding those areas. Like I said, he’s a talented guy, but I think the fact that he thinks like a quarterback out on the field at the tight end position definitely helps him.
Q: Tyrod, I know it’s only one week into training camp. How nice is it to break it up a little bit and have the practice tomorrow night at the stadium?
A: It’s always fun. I mean, night time practice – even though we play at 1 pm [most games] – night time practice simulates like a game feeling. Anytime you go back in front of your fans in your own stadium it’s definitely something to be excited about. I’m excited to go back there and looking forward to putting on a show in front of the fans and we all are. We’re excited.
Q: Tyrod, Sean [McDermott] talked earlier today about how you guys are starting the day with having your teammates tell their story to the rest of the guys. It seems like a simple gesture but one that’s gone a long way with getting to know each other. What’s it been like to hear some of those stories from your teammates?
A: It’s been awesome to learn the personal side of guys. You know them as players, some people have grown up with others, but for the most part we’re here and we just know the outside so for those guys to get up and be vulnerable and tell stories about their lives that people don’t know, it definitely brings you together – brings the room together. I think that definitely helps chemistry [in] the long run. If you know the story of your brother beside you, it makes it a little harder to let that person down. You want to go out there and fight for him because you know what that person is doing this for and you don’t want to let them down.
Q: Have you had your chance to share yet?
A: No, I haven’t had my chance to share yet.
Q: Got anything special planned for your birthday tonight?
A: No, I’ll be studying, Curfew’s at 10:30 tonight.
Q: Tyrod, a lot of coaches have pumped music at practices over the years. It seems like Coach McDermott though, true to form, has even found a way to ratchet that up. Do you notice a difference? Is it helping? Has it changed the mood?
A: I honestly only hear the music when I’m not on the field or when I’m not actually in a rep. I guess that’s just the noise-cancellation in me. When I’m out there on the field, it’s something like being out in the stadium. You don’t actually hear the noise. But I think it keeps the quiet parts of practice – there are definitely times with different periods where guys are standing around – it keeps that fun. Some guys like the music more than others but I think the DJ and Coach do a good job of keeping everybody happy as far as music.
DE Jerry Hughes
Q: The fact that [Mike Waufle] is a marine, that comes out a lot, doesn’t it? He seems like a rugged, disciplined guy.
A: [Waufle] is hard-nosed, but fair. He commands a room and I think as a D-Line coach, that’s what we respond well to and that’s what we really want to have is a coach that’s going to be fair-minded, command the room and just be an all-around great guy. He has know problem with talking about our personal lives, giving us advice on our wives, our children, things like that. He’s an older gentleman, he has respect for us, we have respect for him. It’s just all in all, our relationship is just growing quite well right now.
Q: Sean [McDermott] talked this morning about how you guys are starting each morning where a guy is sort of telling his story to the rest of the team. It seems like sort of a simple gesture, but one that is meaning a lot to you guys. What is that like going through that and seeing that?
A: It’s building great team chemistry right now. It’s allowing us to kind of be open and vulnerable in front of our teammates and at the same time, you get to know guys on a personal level, not just what they can do on the football field, but get to know the man behind the helmet. I think that speaks volumes because we see guys running around, knocking heads, blowing people’s heads off, making great touchdown catches, great passes but then you get to find out more about each man’s personal life – their upbringing, their kids and what really means a lot to them and I think that’s fantastic.
Q: Sean [McDermott] said he hasn’t done it before. Have you been around anything like that before?
A: No, I never have. Like I said, I sit next to Karim [Barton] – he’s an offensive guard right now. Just the fact that I’m actually building a relationship with an offensive guard and we’re hanging out, talking and getting to know him a lot better. I love it. Anytime we get to build that camaraderie with our team, especially during training camp, is fantastic.
Q: Anything surprise you from guys you’ve heard from? Like “wow, I wouldn’t have seen that coming,” or anything like that?
A: No, just because everybody has such a unique story, everyone travels different paths, so it’s just fun, interesting and exciting, just to kind of sit back and just hear each individual story - just to be amazed at their journey.
Q: Have you gone yet?
Q: What was it like for you? Some people get uncomfortable talking in front of that many people.
A: I didn’t mind. I spoke about my parents. I have a fantastic mom and dad, so I had no problem talking about them and everything like that.
RB Taiwan Jones
Q: What gravitated you to come here to the Bills?
A: It was more so because they chose me. They gave me a chance to come out here and workout for them. I was out there and I want to show them something that they like.
Q: What do you bring to the return game?
A: Definitely speed. Whatever they need, that’s what I’ve been doing all of my career so hopefully I can bring a lot to them.
Q: Does it help that you’ve got your old running backs coach here? You’ve spent some time with Kelly [Skipper]. How much does that kind of help with the transition, know that you’re a little late to the party?
A: It makes it a little more comfortable, but at the end of the day, you’ve still got to compete. You’ve still got to learn everything.
Q: Is there enough time for you to be up to speed? You’ve got a preseason game in a week. Do you have enough time to get some returns in? You’ve done this before. It’s just kind of motor memory, right?
A: Right, but you know, it’s a process. You take it one day at a time and one play at a time. You just focus on today and just get better today.
Q: Coach [Danny] Crossman, out there on returns, had some decent feedback for you. It seemed like he was pleased with some of the reads you had out there today. Just your thoughts on getting that feedback early? That’s what you want, right?
A: Definitely. When it comes to returns, a lot of it is instinct. Coach did a good job of relaying to me what I needed to do. I just took it to the field and applied it.
QB Nathan Peterman
Q: We heard about the fact that you guys have been sharing your stories and it’s really helped the team kind of come together and bond. What has it been like knowing kind of the back story on all of these guys and do you feel like it has had an impact?
A: Absolutely. We had a great one today. We’ve had great ones everyday, honestly. I think, especially for me as a rookie, I don’t know really a lot of the back-stories of a lot of guys, so it’s good for me to get to know guys a little bit more.
Q: The drive you had at the end, you’re fist pumping after you find [Wes] Saxton in the end zone. Do you want to just walk me through the opportunity to put a whole drive together? That doesn’t often happen in practice – you get three reps and you’re out. So maybe just talk about the rhythm and the continuity you can develop in a setting like that.
A: I love it when we get the play it out situations. That’s getting to play football. The reps are very few sometimes, so you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities when you get it. I had some mistakes yesterday so I really just wanted to come out and put a good set together and I want to keep getting better, keep doing that going forward too. It was good to end it with a touchdown there.
Q: Did you see Wes [Saxton] right away there on that first play or did you just say, “You know, I’m just going to give him a chance?”
A: No, he was my second read. It got to him and he won, made a heck of a catch too. Great job by him.
Q: Just on the touchdown, [Wes Saxton] just came free right away it seemed, early in the route. Did that make him an easy read for you?
A: Yes, double move, so you’ve got to hold the safety a little bit but he did a great job. Again, Wes really did good today. He put himself on the map. I’m really happy for him too.
Q: You said that you’ve just got to keep getting better. What need to keep getting better? What part of your game?
A: Just everything, really. The details of the offense is the biggest thing. I’ve got to get comfortable to where Tyrod [Taylor], TJ [Yates] already are. I’m asking questions all the time so that I can get there. There’s a level of comfortability that they’ve had this offense for multiple years, so I’m trying to get there as fast as I can so I can go in and help the team as much as I can.