Head coach Sean McDermott
Opening Statement: Just real quick, as far as injuries go – the following players will not participate in today’s practice: Ryan Davis with a concussion from the other evening; Keith Towbridge with foot soreness. Limited [at practice] in terms of individual-only will be Micah Hyde and Shaq Lawson. Cordy Glenn will return to practice this afternoon. Just a couple quick mentions real quick – I want to say congratulations to Leslie Frazier. He’s back, he was down in Mississippi receiving the prestigious honor of being inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. And then, finally, [a] great opportunity the other evening [at The Return of the Blue + Red practice]. I really appreciate the fans coming out to support us. It was good to get down to Buffalo, change venues a little bit. I thought the players reacted well to the weather and showed great adaptability to the situation. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.
Q: What is your philosophy on doing a shared practice with another team? I don’t know if you’ve done that with the Eagles or Panthers, but do you have a philosophy? Would you like to do that at some point?
A: I think those are good at the right time, based on where you are as a football team. I’ve been a part of one of those situations in the past in Carolina and it worked well. You’ve got to do it with the right team, of course. We’re open to that.
Q: Given the cutback in practice time, it seems like you could get some good, intense work that way though, right? It seems like you would.
A: No, it is – it’s good. And again, it’s got to be at the right time for your football team and then obviously you’ve got to have the right partner to do that. Those can go the other way. They can go bad in a hurry and I’ve seen those as well. We are open to that when it’s the right time for us.
Q: Cordy Glenn had that second opinion but is now back. So was that more just a reassurance for him that he couldn’t make things worse and what is the team’s position just as far as if there’s any tentativeness with his foot?
A: We’re always concerned. Number one, it’s always – you want to look and see what’s going on there. We got a good look at it and Dr. [Robert] Anderson got a good look at things and so Cordy’s going to practice today. We’ll see how it goes and, really, he’s day-to-day at this point.
Q: Tre’Davious White and I think even Shareece Wright got some time at safety on Friday night. Was that just need-based because of Micah [Hyde’s injury], or was it something in a package, or was it something you want them to kind of have to know how to do?
A: It’s more of a package that we have going on right now. There [are] times when we do that in our system. Always looking at players that can play multiple positions, have multiple line-of-scrimmage value, if you will, in addition to special teams. It’s part of the system, it’s built into the system and you saw some of that the other night.
Q: Do you think Cordy’s going to be able to play in preseason games or are you going to try to limit him to make sure he’s ready for the season?
A: Well, we’re going to take it one day at a time right now. That’s what we’ve got to do. We have one eye on, obviously, the game, but really we’re focused on us. Not only in Cordy’s situation, but I want us to improve. When we go out on this football field, we’ve got a lot of work to do – a lot of work to do. We focus on us and making sure we’re ready to go at the right time and there’s a process, as you’ve heard me say before. We’ll take it one day at a time with Cordy and see what we get out today and how we look coming after practice.
Q: What will you look to get out of that first preseason game? It’s just a couple of days away.
A: Again, it’s still part of the process. Certainly, I know there’s a score and you want to win games. Any time you compete, you want to win. That said, there [are] things that we want to see and the biggest thing for us is that we are fundamentally improving. There’s a journey to where you want to get to, fundamentally, as well. We’re looking at fundamentals and making sure we’re getting better in those areas and then the things that we are high on, that we’re big on, that those are the things that are sinking into this football team – running to the football, blocking, tackling, catching the football, the toughness element of the football team, the resiliency of the football team – those are the things, and then obviously we’re going to evaluate the players as well. No different for the coaches. This will be our first, other than the other evening, really our first real run-through as a staff, together. So that’s part of the reason why we went down last Friday night here to Buffalo to get a little bit of a head start.
Q: Any idea how long the ones will play in that game?
A: We’re going to be around a quarter, give or take we’re going to be around a quarter. We’re still looking at that, but we’re going to be around a quarter.
Q: When you studied Lorenzo Alexander this offseason, you knew his story – o-lineman, signed here to be a special teams guy, all those things and he’s so much more. When you wrapped your mind around what he was about, what was your research like? And what did you conclude?
A: There’s research projects that come to conclusions that aren’t good and this one turned out to be just the opposite of that. Everyone I talked to in the building, everyone I talked to that knew Lorenzo first of all spoke of his character and then his work ethic. So, the intangibles that I knew of were there and then we turned on the film as a staff and our defensive staff evaluated Lorenzo on the field – just like we did with every player, quite honestly – it came up all pluses. We felt like it was important for us to get Lorenzo back in the mix and obviously, got worked out and the rest is history at this point. Really appreciate his leadership on a day-to-day basis and what he does for this defense and this football team.
Q: Coach, it seemed on Friday that Shady didn’t get as much work. Did you want to see the other backs more? Was there any reason for that?
A: I’ve been around LeSean before in his career and my career. We’ve got some other players on this roster that we need to evaluate and give them opportunities to develop – and we’ll see some of those guys have great opportunities on Thursday night, really. So, it’ll be a chance, an opportunity, for us to perform as a football team and for these young football players to develop.
Q: What factors led to Shamiel Gary getting first-team reps when Micah (Hyde) was out, as opposed to some of the other guys?
A: Well, he’s earned it, he’s earned it. He’s working extremely hard and the work that he’s put in up to that point in time – you know, he wasn’t just moved up because he was just another name. He moved up because he deserved it, he earned that right to be moved up. So, he’s done a nice job, not only on defense but on special teams, as well.
Q: How do you think Tyrod (Taylor) has done picking up this offense now that you’re almost 10 days into camp?
A: He’s done a good job, he really has. He’s got the background from it with his time with Rick (Dennison) in Baltimore. And then, he just continues to get more and more comfortable, as does the entire offense. I felt there was a lot of positives from the offense the other evening. They moved the ball and were consistent. So, he continues to get more comfortable. We continue to get more comfortable and we just need to continue to move forward, put in the time, put in the work out here on the practice field, and in the meeting room.
LT Cordy Glenn
Q: What is the plan – is it just kind of take it easy as of right now – can you give us an idea of what the plan is?
A: Just practicing, just being out here with my teammates; That’s basically it for right now, that’s the plan everyone is going with and we’ve communicated that with each other. We’re all good with that.
Q: Are you frustrated?
A: No, I mean it’s been an ongoing thing, but at the same time it’s a part of the process. You just have to stay steady, keep doing what you have to do and hopefully be ready for the season.
Q: Do you feel reassured after you visited Bob Anderson on Thursday?
A: Yeah, and I’m just going to trust the process and the plan we have in place.
Q: You’ve made the decision to do it – maybe it cleared up some worries in some ways?
A: Yeah, definitely.
Q: You don’t feel like there could be more damage done to you right?
A: No, not right now. We are just going with the plan that he gave for us, and I’m just out here practicing with my teammates.
Q: How did it feel today, did it feel alright?
A: It felt good.
WR Zay Jones
Q: I saw Steve Smith Sr. talking to you during practice and to your group afterwards. What was that like?
A: First and foremost, that man’s a legend. Whenever he’s talking, mouths are closed. He was just giving us some tips, really just encouraging us – future hall of famer. It was just really good for a young guy like me to hear.
Q: What did he say about the relationship that wide receivers should have with defensive backs?
A: I’ll keep that to a minimum. I’ll keep that one in my back pocket. I got some good stuff.
Q: Steve [Smith Sr.] was not nice on the field. He seems like he’s a nice guy. How do you flip that switch?
A: Everyone’s style of play is different - what works for that particular person. This is what got me here. I’m just going to keep doing my thing. You know, Steve, everyone knows how Steve was as a player. He wasn’t afraid to talk and me, I just kind of line up and go play my game.
Q: First preseason game coming up this week, what are you looking forward to most?
A: Today’s Sunday, I’ve got to worry about tomorrow’s practice. That’s going to be the first thing. I don’t want to look too far ahead. I’m excited, that’s what I can tell you right now but I’ve got to get better tomorrow. Steve [Smith Sr.] did say a play a day, so focus on today – made a couple plays today, got to go out tomorrow and make that play.
Q: What jumps out when you discuss things you need to work on? Technique-wise really, what stands out so far?
A: I think one of my strong suits is knowing my weaknesses. I’m not afraid to practice my weaknesses so I come out here every day and just try to work on what I’m not so great at. If it’s blocking or if it’s reading certain coverage – whatever the case is, that’s what I’m going to do.
WR Sammy Watkins
Q: What happened and how are you feeling?
A: Just I mean bad, poor footing. I over-extended on my route and usually I don’t do that, but that play I did. I’m fine.
Q: So, it’s not the foot, it’s the ankle?
A: Yeah, my foot is fine.
Q: You’re smiling and you’re laughing, how come?
A: Because I just got to go back out there and test it out. It was kind if just a little ankle twist. Running the route, caught the ball, felt good about it.
Q: It looked like coach wanted to keep you out of team though Sammy. You didn’t get your normal workload, so were they just being precautionary?
A: At first, he wouldn’t let me go, but I was like please let me go test it out so I can steal a couple plays. And once I caught the ball and ran another route, I was like I’m fine, it’s no problem.
Q: So, basically just ice tonight and good to go tomorrow?
A: Yeah, probably ice and I’m fine. I’ll be out there tomorrow.
Q: That’s the first time since the beginning of camp that something like that has happened to you. Did anything go through your head about the foot? Was there anything mentally that you had to get over there?
A: Nah, I mean certain things you can’t control. I’m just out here to get better. My footing got bad, I over-extended on my route. If you have poor technique things can happen.
Q: You still made the one-handed catch though.
A: Exactly, I couldn’t let the ball drop.
Q: It’s nothing to be concerned about?
A: Not at all. I’ll be out here tomorrow probably catching passes, scoring. I’ll be fine.
Q: Is it your ankle? Is it sore? What is it your lower back?
A: No, I just had a scare. I just kind of rolled it a little bit, stopped it, and then came back out here running routes, so I was fine.
Q: Sammy, what did Steve Smith tell the group there at the end?
A: Just the business. Just to stay here another day, try to come in every day and make a play. And the importance of just making it a business. These guys, the DBs, are not our friends. I mean, I love them to death, but at the end of the day I have to feed my kids and I have a legacy that I’m trying to chase. He’s just telling me you’re not a bad guy if you’re an [expletive], basically. It was a good speech.
Q: Going against Tre, what is that like? What does he bring as a rookie?
A: He’s pretty good. Everybody’s probably looking at him, like, oh wow we drafted him first round, now I see why the coaches and the staff drafted him. He’s a game-time player and he’s going to get better and I’m going to get better going against him.
Q: Is the ankle that you hurt today the same foot, or the same leg?
A: Yeah. Once again, I told you that I over-extended on my route, but yeah, it’s the same leg.
Q: So, you just went in the tent to get a new tape job, that’s it?
A: Well I got my special tape job. I didn’t get it today trying to come out without. Then I got it and I was fine.
Transcripts courtesy of the Buffalo Bills