Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
Q: Yesterday, Sean mentioned [Brandon] Reilly and [Daikiel] Shorts. Just brought them up, two undrafted rookies. Could you give your take on what they did the other night but what they’ve been doing in general since camp began?
A: Well, I think those two guys, like you said, undrafted free agents, they come in, they made some plays. They made some plays in the game the other night. [They] went out and competed. They’re doing some good things, so whenever somebody makes a play I think they earn the right to get more. They’re really working hard, as is everybody else, but they did make some plays.
Q: Did it change for them without [Anquan] Boldin here?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think they just keep – I’m not sure that much changed. It’s just a fact of nature. It’s one of those things that happened and we just move the next guy in and keep repping everybody to see who the top guys are to make the 53 [-man] roster.
Q: Coach, how do you see Cordy Glenn progressing right now?
A: I haven’t seen him. He’s been out at walkthroughs and those kind of things. He’s not been in a team rep so I think you’ll have to talk to the medical staff on that one.
Q: Jordan [Matthews] has been working in a little bit, steadily, the last couple of days. Where would you assess him assimilating himself to everything?
A: Same thing. I mean, he’s just going through walkthrough to make sure he knows the terminology, the verbiage, and has looked progressively better but that’s just in a walkthrough setting.
Q: Coach [Sean McDermott] said that he was happy with the tempo in the last game – getting in and out of the huddle, calling plays, all of that stuff. What might be the next step as you go into this preseason game, really the dress rehearsal for the first game?
A: Hang onto the football, number one. We had way too many turnovers. We can’t do that to the defense and it stops any kind of progression that we’ve done so we’re hanging onto the football, we try and keep the same tempo and find our plays where we can.
Q: Penalties – quite a few of those.
A: You know, negative plays. Sacks, penalties, turnovers, those are the things that you try to eliminate. Those are the things that hurt you on drives.
Q: Besides having officials in camp and in practice, what other ways, from a coaching technique and teaching standpoint, can penalties be addressed?
A: Just that. Technique. We have our individual periods and we make sure that we’re stressing the proper techniques. Certainly holding hands are inside. You’ve got to put your hands inside and addressing that as it happens in individual [drills] and making sure that we’re on the same page.
Q: Do you see Jordan [Matthews] or Zay [Jones] staying in one spot outside or slot, or will they both kind of rotate to both spots?
A: Formation-wise, we can put anybody anywhere so I think we’ll put them where we think our matchup is best.
Q: Andre Holmes, does his role change without Anquan? You mentioned Shorts and Brandon, it doesn’t change a lot for –
A: Andre has done a great job. He’s practiced every day since we’ve been here in – I don’t know when we started doing this thing way back when. I don’t think that he’s going to change his efforts and certainly that will help us in the long run. He’s done a great job and he’ll continue to do a great job, and like I said, we’ll find our matchups. We’ll find the right eleven people to be on the field, whether it’s three wideouts, two wideouts, whatever we’ve got.
Q: Rick, you stressed timing and anticipation as areas you were looking at with Tyrod [Taylor]. How has he come along since we last talked?
A: I think he’s done – most of everything he did, he made a couple of, one bad decision in the game the other day. His timing and his feet were right for the most part. It’s everyday. Obviously, this week we put more plays in, different types of plays so progressions are a little bit different if the play is different and I think he’s adjusted well.
Q: Coach, Charles [Clay] has put together a couple of nice preseason performances here all the way around, not just catching the football. Can you just maybe give us his status as to where you feel his game is at within the scope of your offense?
A: Well, I think he’s better suited to say how he’s doing, progressed to his body going. This is the first camp I’ve been with him. I think he’s doing a fine job. I think his efforts are, you’re seeing the fruits of his efforts on and off the field. He’s studied, he’s gotten in the right spot most of the time, and I think he’s progressing and I think he’ll help us, obviously. We’ve got a lot of different things we can do personnel-wise because of the people and we’ll try to spread that out.
Q: A guy that you have mentioned, Rashad Ross. Is his speed something that you can maybe utilize?
A: Sure. He’s got, obviously, he’s a fast guy. We just have to find the right role and see how many plays we try to put him out there and let him take the top end of the coverage off. Just didn’t get the ball to him.
Q: How much of your offense are you keeping under wraps during this preseason?
A: I’m not at liberty to say.
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Opening Statement: We had a good day’s work out there as a team and really as a defense. I thought our guys were flying around and it feels different getting in a game-week mode as you go through this dress rehearsal for the season, but I think our guys are starting to get acclimated to what an in-season practice is going to look like and that’s a good thing for us, prior to getting ready to the real season. So far, so good with the way practice has gone.
Q: Leslie, beyond having officials at practice, how have you addressed the whole penalty issue in the two preseason games?
A: Well, having the officials at practice is a big deal. That’s something that really kind of puts this on the players’ mind that it’s important to us beyond our just talking about it or penalizing guys in meetings or on the practice field about it. The fact that the officials are there and actually throwing the flags at practice kind of brings the point home that it’s not going to be tolerated. Hopefully, we’ll get better at it from a defensive standpoint and I’m sure from a team standpoint as well.
Q: In the last game, Philly went tempo on you a couple of times. Is there a way to prepare for that or do you just kind of have to react to that? Because you don’t know when they’re going to turn to that, you just know it’s potentially possible. Just kind of curious how you prepare for that as a defense.
A: Well, we had some tempo periods up at training camp up at Rochester prior to the Philly game so that’s your preparation, the fact that you get a chance to practice that. We’ll do it again over the course of the season because we’re going to face teams that will do it and that’s the only way you can prepare for it, is if you actually practice for it so we’ll have some tempo sessions along the way.
Q: One of the hot topics at the start of camp was that middle linebacker competition between Preston [Brown], Reggie [Ragland] and obviously Gerald [Hodges] as well. Where does that stand with only a few practices left before the regular season?
A: Reggie has made some progress. He’s getting more time at the linebacker spot. You can see more of a burst, but still not quite where we need him to be to make it a point where Preston would be in jeopardy of losing his job. It’s not at that point yet. Preston’s doing a good job for us. He’s had a good preseason [and] a good offseason in general. Reggie’s making progress, but we still need to see more and we’ll see what happens this week as he progresses even more.
Q: So is it really just about the knee and where he is after everything that happened? That’s really what it comes down to for him?
A: No doubt. He’s smart enough, he’s athletic enough, it’s just a matter of – everybody recovers from this injury a little bit different. Some guys, it takes a year and a half. Some guys, they can come back even sooner but as he works through some of the things that go along with rehab and getting accustomed to playing live football again, we have to be patient and let him just continue to improve. That’s the good thing--we’re seeing improvement. That encourages us and it’s just a matter of time before he can get that burst back that we like to see.
Q: How much time do you expect him to get this week, considering he’s been on the third team and this is a game where the first and second team are most of the guys getting the playing time?
A: We’re going to get together tomorrow after the final practice and talk about play time so we’ll have a better indicator after that practice tomorrow.
Q: Coach, E.J. Gaines was a guy that Coach McDermott mentioned being someone that’s pushing himself into the mix with Kevon [Seymour] and Shareece [Wright] at that outside corner battle, for lack of a better term. Where do you see him on the spectrum of that competition?
A: Well, it was a nice interception he made in the ballgame against Philly a few nights ago and that was encouraging to see, especially when you consider the amount of time we’ve had him prior to that game. Hopefully, he can get back and get to the point where we feel comfortable putting him out there in this ballgame this weekend. This is his first action today, so we’ve got to see how he responds and then make a determination about playing him in the ballgame on Saturday evening. We like to see him, we like to keep the competition going at that right corner spot, but we’ll have to see how his health is.
Q: How do defenses value interchangeability, if you will, at safety? How do you view that, what do you see in [Jordan] Poyer and [Micah] Hyde and do you hope and think that will be an asset for you?
A: It’s a good question because we signed Micah in the offseason with that in mind. In Green Bay, he was a versatile safety. Sometimes you’d see him in the slot, sometimes you’d see him out covering tight ends in space, and then sometimes you’d see him in the middle of the field coming off the hashes. He’s one of those guys that provides you that versatility at safety and that was one of the attractions in the offseason when we decided to sign him. Jordan can do multiple things as well, but that was Micah’s emphasis when we signed him. It’s a good thing for our defense and you need those hybrid-type guys the way people spread you out now and try to find mismatches and the fact that we have a safety who has corner skills is a plus for us on defense.
Q: From a personal standpoint, does it help you at all that you were a head coach in this league, when you’re now a defensive coordinator, as far as practice schedules, knowing what the offense is trying to accomplish, knowing what the head coach is trying to accomplish, maybe other people don’t feel as much, but do you feel that helps you?
A: Yes and no. You know what goes into it and what’s required to put together a good training camp and practice schedule. It’s all new to all of us, we’re a new staff, just a whole new situation. We’re working through this as a group as well, but Sean has done a terrific job, been laying out a great schedule. I think our players would attest to, this has been terrific training camp throughout, just the way it was laid out. It’s continued, now that we’re back at home in Orchard Park, so he’s done a good job. There’s pros and cons to what happened in the past and what’s going on in the future.
Q: Going back to that right corner spot, how close are you to making a decision there? You mentioned this being the dress rehearsal, it seems like you’re getting to the point where you’d want to make a call, one way or the other, with who’s going to step up with the starters there?
A: You’re exactly right, and we hope to come out of this ball game on Saturday with some confirmation on where we’re going at that right corner spot. Those guys will all get some snaps, we’ll try to get them against good competition, so we can make a good evaluation. This is the time, that third preseason game where you’d like to have some solidification in your top eleven. Hopefully that’ll be the case, hope we come out of that football game feeling real good about our starting eleven.
Q: Are you trying to rotate all three of those guys with the starters?
A: That’s the plan.
Q: Sean had one of the fastest linebacker corps in the league, maybe the fastest, the last couple years. How do you feel – Lorenzo [Alexander] is no spring chicken. Do you have linebacker speed? How do you feel about your three guys, collectively?
A: You know, Lorenzo defies his numbers. What is it, 34 years of age? He doesn’t play that way. He plays like a guy that’s 25, 26 years of age the way he runs and competes. That play he made on Carson Wentz when he scrambled, that was an impressive play. You would not know he was 34 years old running down a fleet, athletic quarterback the way he did. We definitely got some guys that have got some speed. I think Preston runs better than you would expect for a big man, and Ramon [Humber] is probably the faster and the quicker of the three. I don’t think we’re as slow as some people might think. That competitive speed is a big deal and Lorenzo has it, Preston has it, and so does Ramon.
Q: At nickel, is Leonard Johnson pretty solidified at that role? Kevon was working there, but now he’s working more on the outside.
A: You know, Kevon got banged up there while we were up in Rochester at training camp so now he’s working back and getting a chance to compete for that nickel spot, and he’ll get some opportunities in this ballgame this weekend. We’ll see where he is at the end of that ballgame and then we’ll determine which direction to go at that nickel position.
T Dion Dawkins
Q: We saw Cordy [Glenn] getting a little more involved than he has been recently today, is the plan moving forward, at least for Saturday, for you to start at left tackle?
A: So far, yes. The coaches have me here to win games, so wherever they need me, that’s where I’m going to play.
Q: Now this week you’ve spent more time on the left side, after spending the majority on the right, you said it’s your natural position so how far up to speed are you to feeling comfortable to play in a full game?
A: To be honest, I feel great because playing against guys like Jerry [Hughes] every day, it helps it come along that much easier. Going after it every day, it’s just natural.
Q: How has it affected you trying to still battle to start on the right side, considering Cordy [Glenn] may be back week one?
A: I live by everything happens for a reason. They have me at left because they need me there, but when the time comes to continue to compete at right, then I’m just going to jump back in it. Whether it’s in the middle of the season, or first game, it doesn’t matter I’m going to keep it pushing forward.
Q: How beneficial is it to be practicing on that left side this early on?
A: Well as far as beneficial, it’s very important. The coaches want guys that can play multiple positions, just in case something happens in a game. From me playing left and right, right and left, it’s something that’s going to help this team win.
LT Cordy Glenn
Q: First of all, how’d you feel out there today?
A: I feel good, doing a lot better.
Q: You’re progressing slowly, how much is it you’re aiming to play Saturday or is it [you] holding back to making sure you’re ready week one?
A: Trying to get ready for week one. Between me, the Bills’ medical staff and Dr. Anderson, we all have a plan and we’re all on the same page right now. I’m just trying to get better every day, hopefully get on the field and be ready to be playing.
Q: How important is it for you to get game reps here in the preseason, to be ready for week one?
A: I think it’s important that I’m doing all of the things every day, and trying to get better every day. That’s really my goal right now.
Q: What was the nature of the shot you took from Dr. Anderson? Can you describe what it was for?
A: I don’t really want to get in to the details of that, but we have a good plan in place, working and getting better. I know I missed a lot of practices and I missed all of the preseason games, but right now just doing everything I can to get better and help out this team.
Q: Has the shot helped?
A: Yes it’s helped, and we’re just following the plan that me, Dr. Anderson and the Bills’ medical staff have in place.
LB Reggie Ragland
Q: We just talked to Leslie Frazier who said that things for you might still not be quite where you would like them to be, in terms of getting over the injury. Where do you see yourself with that?
A: He’s right, sometimes my knee feels good, sometimes it’s sore. I just know I have to keep getting better. I know I’m young and I still have time, so I’m not pressed about some of the things, but I know I still have to keep getting better. Coach McDermott, and all of the coaches tell me this all of the time, so I’m just going to keep getting better.
Q: Do you feel like the reads are coming faster though, because it looks that way?
A: Yeah, I’m starting to move faster, I’m starting to see things a whole lot faster in the games. I’m getting better, as I said, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing, keep getting better. Everything is coming fast for me.
Q: Besides the obvious of getting better, are there specific parts of playing that position in this defense for you that you kind of want to nail down in this next game, and even the last game?
A: I want to keep showing that I’m a leader, I want my teammates to keep trusting me. Especially the older guys, like Eric Wood, Marcell [Dareus], Kyle [Williams], and all those guys, I want them to see that I’m getting better and that I’m leading when I’m out there. That’s my main focus, in showing that I’m not just wasting my time out here with them, or with this organization, I want everybody to know that I’m still getting better. Right now it’s not coming, but when it does it’s going to come.