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What They Said: Transcripts of McDermott, Taylor, McCoy, Incognito, Ryan & more

Buffalo Bills

Head coach Sean McDermott

On describing the emotion in the locker room after the win:
“I’m happy for the team. Those guys worked hard, the coaches worked hard, the players worked extremely hard. We have a group of hard workers. The coaches put together a good game plan across the board and they stayed with it. This is a tough place to play. They are the defending NFC Champions, with one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Things didn’t always go our way. We had some things we would like back so we have some work we have to do in that regard, but I am just extremely happy with the way the guys battled, they are a very resilient group and extremely appreciative of the fans that showed up to cheer us on. I can’t say enough about that. It was just a great showing by our fans both from Buffalo and from this region that just showed up. I really appreciate the support.”

On the key to defense for last four downs of the game in the red zone:
“We communicated. The guys did a really good job of communicating. Defensive Coordinator, Leslie Frazier, put them in defenses that obviously worked out for us and credit to the entire defensive staff and the players. They were on top of their game. Really this all started back on Monday with the work that they put in. We just have to continue to grow and get better. Obviously, we didn’t play our best game and we have to continue to grow and get better and that’s what good teams do and that’s what is really in front of us. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the guys, of this staff and everyone in the building, this is a great organizational win.”

On the importance of forcing turnovers:
“It was huge. You are talking about three turnovers that led to points. That is huge in this game and the players know that. They know what stats relate to winning and it was a huge turn of momentum early in the second half. We just came up with some big plays at the right time and then the offense went on a big-time drive. Our offensive line took over the game, our backs ran well and we mixed in some play action, it was good to see. All in all, it was a good game and then special teams-wise, what more can you say about K Stephen Hauschka and the operation up front. He certainly doesn’t kick it on his own, the hold and the snap from Reid [Ferguson] was tremendous. Stephen Hauschka was in a groove and really all three phases played well. There are certainly things to work on in all three phases. We have some guys banged up. We have to re-group and looking forward to getting home and continue to get better.”

On the impact the play of DE Jerry Hughes had on the game:
“When you are going against a great quarterback like Matt Ryan you have to make him uncomfortable. I thought we did that at times. I thought we could have done more of it. It is never enough against a quarterback like this. Anytime a quarterback like this has the ball in his hand on the last drive it is touch and go. Our guys stood up, it was gut check time and they did a great job.”

On the play of TE Charles Clay as a mismatch for Atlanta Falcons:
“They have a good defense and Head Coach Dan Quinn does a great job and they play fast. Charles [Clay], we felt like we could get in some areas and we were able to do that early in the game. Give a lot of credit to Tyrod Taylor, he threw a lot of great balls down the field to him and he made some contested catches that were not easy. It was great focus, great concentration, and mental toughness too.”

On critical nature of being able to throw the ball downfield:
“That is always important when you can stretch a defense not just horizontally but also vertically. Overall, we wanted to play aggressive and it goes back to the guys and the work they put in during the week. They set themselves up to have a chance to win a game like this and they earned their right to win and you know how big that is.”

On this being biggest road win since the Super Bowl years:
“I would say hold your horses a little bit. It is one step at a time. This is a great win, what more can you say. It is a great win but it is the next win. It is the next game and that is what we have to keep our focus on. After we take 24 hours to enjoy this and get home safe, hopefully, thank God and turn our attention to the Cincinnati Bengals.”

On being in first place in the AFC East:
“It feels good, the guys work hard. There is still a long way to go.”

On CB Tre’Davious White touchdown swing momentum:
“There are a lot of plays that happen every year that fall into a window of not being sure one way or the other. I thought the officials did a great job the whole game. That is what we preach on both sides of the ball is to scoop up those plays because you never know. Every year there are two or three of those that go that way and that is why we do that. That is why we practice that. It was a critical part of the game for sure.”

On whether he will start using the nickname “Hauch-Money” for Stephen Hauschka:
“If he keeps kicking like that I will.”

On the play of so many guys that are obscure players:
“I love that. I love that about this team. I love it, about the coaches, the team everybody at One Bills Drive; that is who we are, a gritty, resilient group. These guys love to play together. It is fun to watch and prepare. The chemistry that is building on this team is tremendous. It is a team."

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

On whether this has been the Bill’s best win thus far:
“It is hard to rank them. It’s a road win versus a very good team and a playoff caliber team. It’s a team that was in the Super Bowl. They have been through a bunch, and have been through a number of games like that. To see us come out on the winning side of that, I am so proud of the way guys played for 60 minutes. They didn’t let up. Everything didn’t go right throughout the game, but we were able to focus and pull out a victory.”

On the differences in this year’s roster:
“Nothing phases this team. As I said, everything is not going to be perfect every week, but we have been through a number of different situations throughout the games the past four weeks, and guys haven’t blinked. We expect to win in those situations. It may not go our way, and we don’t blink when it doesn’t.”

On why the team is different than last year’s group:
“Honestly, I don’t know where to pinpoint how that changed, but I will say that the things coach preaches throughout the week, the way he keeps his focus and the way he allows us to practice certain situations in games [have changed]. Over the past three weeks, we have practiced a number of situations. Ironically, they have happened in the games. We are prepared for it. The coaches are doing a great job of keeping us prepared for games. I’m talking about the head coach as well as coordinators and assistant coaches. The guys are going out there and executing game plans.”

On the leadership of the team:
“One thing that we talk about is just trusting the process and taking that same approach each and every week. Don’t make one game bigger than another. We need to continue to keep doing the things that we are doing. We will continue to keep practicing hard and preparing hard, and take each game one game at a time. I think that we have a bunch of great leaders in our locker room that is going to keep this team together. We’re not looking ahead too far. We’re focusing on one game at a time to get better.”

On the credit that Sean McDermott deserves for this win:
“He’s a great coach and a great leader. He motivates us daily, and he requires a certain level of play from us on Sundays and throughout the week as well. I respect him and as a team, we love playing for him.”

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander

On the defensive performance:
“Turnovers are what really put us over the top, especially when you’re playing a high-powered offense like that. When you can take possessions away and find ways to score, it will definitely send your chances of winning way up.”

On Tyrod Taylor’s play today:
“Tyrod is doing his thing and moving in the pocket a lot. Now we’ve got [LeSean McCoy] going. Any time you get him going, the play action really does a great job for us. Tyrod’s booting out and finding people open. I know looking back he is probably going to want one or two throws back, but we continued to make plays and score.”

On defensive stops and turnovers:
“Jerry Hughes has been huge and played really hard all day. He was able to find a way to get around the corner and strip the ball. Tre’Davious White picked it up, and was able to score out of that. There were a couple other times we got some fumbles, and a big interception by Micah Hyde.”

Safety Micah Hyde

On what was said in the fourth-and-one huddle:
“We were just saying to stay composed and stay in the moment. What a great moment it was for our defense. With the game on the line, it speaks volumes about how hard we have been working all season long. It just speaks a whole lot about the guys. We fought really hard today, and I’m really proud.”

On the play call on fourth-and-one:
“I think we had the perfect defense whether they wanted to run play action or run the ball. We came out in man to man coverage, and it went in our favor.”

On the defensive adjustments after Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu went out with injuries:
“It changed a little bit. All week we had been game planning around [Julio Jones]. With him going out of the game, it kind of freed things up for us. Then when [Mohamed Sanu] went out, we sort of had a sense of ‘We need to step on their throat.’ Then, they came back with some big plays on us, but in the end I am just really happy for this team and how hard we worked. It’s a great team to be on.”

On his individual performance and the secondary as a whole:
“We work hard man. Regardless of what the outside world expects out of us, we know what to expect out of ourselves. We just quiet down the outside noise and come to work every day. Then, it shows up on the field. It says, ‘Micah Hyde is one of the best safeties in the NFL.’ I am glad I’m playing on this team.”

On holding the Falcons offense:
“It speaks a lot about this team and how we are growing. It’s about each and every week and the steps we are taking. We have great leaders on this team. On that fourth and one, everybody was looking each other in the eye and saying ‘Let’s go.’ This is the game, and this is what we get paid to do. It’s a fun atmosphere obviously because we won, but it is an exciting time.”

Linebacker Matt Milano

On the process of getting ready this week:
“Yeah you know all week I’ve been working and when I’m not in I’ve been taking mental reps. So that’s the thing. We don’t get a lot of reps as #2’s during the week, so you just got to be on your game all week mentally and when you get put in there you’ve just got to make plays.”

On the fourth and one play at the end:
“We just had to stand up, play defense, and make a good play like we did.”

On what he was looking for on the play:
“I was just playing my key, so wherever my key went I was going.”

On what the win means for the team and organization:
“We are not really concerned about that. It’s a new era and a new year. We are just focused on going forward and continuing to win games.”

Cornerback Tre'Davious White

On not stopping after the forced fumble:
“That’s what we are coached to do every play. When the ball is on the ground, you scoop and score. That’s what we do every day at practice. I sort of ran and started jogging at first, but I didn’t hear the whistle so I just ran full speed.”

On the defensive effort as a whole and a possible statement win for the Bills:
“It’s a total team effort. Any game in the NFL is tough to win. We’re definitely thankful that at the end of the game, we got the win.”

Running back LeSean McCoy

On getting the win:
“I was just letting the media know it was time to talk to the winners. We were expected to lose today, but come talk to the winners. I was having fun with it. They’re a good team. You can see the success they’ve had over the years. They fight hard until the end. We got some breaks today, and we still need to finish better on offense. Overall, we played well as a team, and we won.”

On the grit of his locker room:
“It was a gritty win. We had to fight for everything. We had to be tough on defense, special teams, and third and shorts. It was a gritty game. There are a lot of guys who work hard and look forward to these types of matchups.”

On his offensive line’s play:
“They took it upon themselves to get me some room. Those guys have been putting in work for years. Last year we were the number one rushing team for a reason. The guys today just put us on their shoulders and said, ‘Let’s move the front. Let’s get it going. Let’s run the ball.’”

Kicker Stephen Hauschka

On kicking with a lot of confidence right now:
“That’s what it’s all about. It’s not always the easiest thing to get in a flow state before you go out and kick, but that’s what it’s all about. There aren’t a whole lot of opportunities sometimes when you’re kicking, so you’ve got to go out there. The confidence has to come from within and just kind of learning those things about this position as I progress through my career.”

On feeling like being in groove, especially kicking from long-range:
“I’m hitting the ball well, and just everything is coming together. It feels great. I knew I was capable of these types of things, and the mind is powerful. I’m just trusting myself, believing in myself and having fun out there.”

Guard Richie Incognito

On coming together as a team and getting a big road win:
“It just says a lot about the belief of the guys in this room, what Coach McDermott has been preaching and it’s just an awesome experience. It’s an awesome experience in terms of believing in getting the win, man.”

On preparing for a game like today against the defending NFC Champions:
“We keep the focus on us, and I think Coach McDermott does a great job of keeping the focus on us. We have a motto ‘There’s No Such Thing as Big Games,’ they’re all big, and he’s preaching that throughout the week. Throughout the week it’s just focus on getting better, focus on the process and then just coming out here and just letting it all hang on the result.”

On the 11-minute, 19-play drive:
“I honestly didn’t know it was that long of a drive, man. You have to dig deep on those. Coach McDermott challenged us before this game in last night’s meeting. He challenged the offensive line and put it on us. We talk about it and we were a little pissed off about that. We knew we had to take over this game, so it’s exciting, man.”

Atlanta Falcons

Head coach Dan Quinn

Opening statement:
“I was certainly disappointed for the fans here today and for the team. We certainly had our opportunities today and the story of today’s game was the ball. For us to finish minus-three, you know how hard that is to win. We were able to do that last week and today, not having any. We don’t look at that as an offensive or defensive stat or a turnover margin, we see it as a team stat and without creating any turnovers you cannot be in the plus. I thought it was uncharacteristic today, some of the drops and missed tackles plagued us at times. But the real story of the game was the turnover margin and that’s something that we know we can get corrected and we certainly will. With that, I’m glad to open it up to your questions.”

On Matt Ryan’s performance:
“I’ll go back through and get a better assessment on that for tomorrow. I thought he did a good job of creating some things. There were certainly some drops that happened today. We missed on a couple of shots down the field that we need to continue to take because some of those explosive plays that we will connect on will be a big factor. But as usual, Matt [Ryan] puts us in the right spot, in the right area a number of times to give us some of the best looks.”

On the play call on fourth-and-one to end the game:
“We had two plays called, one for a certain look, one for another. We thought heading in, it would give us a good opportunity on a third-and-one to go convert it and get right back on the ball and get rolling again. We’ll give them credit to have the play defended, and it was certainly a disappointing way for us to finish it.”

On whether the look they got led to passing the ball:
“Correct. Well, I’ll have to go back and look, but that’s what I assume based on the outcome on that. There are generally two plays to go to, but as we go back through it, I’ll have an assessment of that for tomorrow.”

On whether running the ball was the other option on that play:
“Yep, that was going to be the plan if the other look had come about. Either way, we could stay in that personnel group. It just so happened that we had enough time there that you could have changed personnel group to take three or four shots into the end zone. The first thing was getting the first down and then get back on the ball, and then we would play again in hopes of getting the touchdown. That was the game plan going in, in that scenario: get the 1st down, get back on the ball and give us the option to throw it in the end zone.”

On Damontae Kazee’s performance:
“You know, heading in, I felt he was very calm and cool. You didn’t feel any of the rookie jitters, so to speak, in his first opportunity. I thought he looked really level-headed and communicated well. Tackling-wise he had a tough assignment at times on the [running] back and did a good job with that. For his first performance out, I was certainly pleased.”

On the turnovers the last two weeks:
“I think last week two of them were on the tips so we’d like to have those ones back for sure. I do know this: that’s a part of our game that we can get corrected, and I know that we will. It is disappointing to have that happen two weeks in a row. I don’t have a reason behind why we didn’t emphasize it more two weeks ago compared to this week. It’s always a part of our thinking because we know it’s such a big factor in winning. When you’re that far away, when you’re minus three, to have a chance at it last week and this week — last week I think the teams that were at minus three for the season had been 1-9 and we were that one, so now we’re on the same side as the normal team when you go minus three. Not creating them is also an issue for me and making sure we have our options. I think we forced one fumble today. Back in Detroit, I thought we missed some opportunities for some interceptions, I didn’t think that was the case today. They did a good job, too; we’ll give them credit where credit is due.”

On using Tevin Coleman in the passing game:
“We like using him from out of the backfield. He’s a factor in that way, and I thought the runners really made an impact again today. Not just in the run game but they were a match-up out of the backfield. The weapons that they are, it’s significant. But more important than anything for us, let’s get our football turnover margin in order.

On having injuries before the bye week:
“You never know when you’re going to need a bye. Sometimes it’s late in the season, and it’s good. Other times it’s early and before the season you may think to yourself, that’s early. In our team’s case this time, we’re hopeful that we’ll get a good bit of the guys back. We had five that were inactive due to injury in this game and then had a couple injuries within the game. So we’ll assess that tomorrow, get a look back, but a number of them are close to returning and that’s encouraging for us. We’ll have a look and see how the guys are that were injured today, but for the guys who were banged up, we’re hopeful by the time the Miami week comes around, we should have a healthier roster.”

On whether Julio Jones wanted to get back in the game:
“Yeah, he definitely [did], and we spoke on the sideline and he was hoping that he could explode and he really wanted to go. He had trouble just exploding, and if he can’t be him, that’s a unique thing for him. The speed, the explosiveness so when he wasn’t able to do that, that’s when we had to pull him. He definitely wanted to go.”

On the offensive line’s performance:
“Number one, pleased with the run game. To have that kind of action for the running backs and the factor they were, that’s what we expect from our offensive line. I’ll have to go back and have a better look in terms of the pass protection, but I thought we had our opportunities today and we missed them. That’s the disappointing thing. The fans were into it and right here at our spot, so we’re disappointed that we missed our opportunities today. We know how precious they are, but we’ll get the issues corrected that we have to and the first one for us is the ball. But running back-wise, offensive line-wise, play action, the run game, that’s a big part of what we do and we’ll continue to emphasize that.”

On missed tackles:
“It certainly seemed that way to start the game, and where we had some missed tackles on the tight end, on the running back and the quarterback. I thought as the game went along, it got better. But I thought early on we could have tackled better. We were going too high and didn’t get down for the legs. We were expecting that – a mobile quarterback on third down who likes to run – so we certainly went into the game preparing that way. But as we look back tomorrow, I would say the drops and the missed tackles, that’s sloppiness that we know we can get corrected, and one for us that we’ll really emphasize.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan

On the fourth down and one play:
“It was an opportunity for us to try and get them to come up and then throw behind them. It didn’t work out for us, which was disappointing. We had a lot of opportunities throughout that drive to make some plays. We just didn’t make them at the end of the game. It’s disappointing. We did a lot of things throughout the course of the game that made it difficult to overcome. When you turn the football over three times and you’re minus-three in the turnover category, it’s tough to win games. We battled for sure. We are disappointed to lose, but we fell a little bit short.”

On whether his arm was moving forward when throwing the ball:
“I thought so, but it’s not my job to rule or officiate. That’s just one of those bang-bang plays that are tough.”

On whether the Bills were crowding the line of scrimmage on the last play:

On the other options during the last play:
“We had a run opportunity there. They had eight or nine guys close down into the box. I felt like it was a good opportunity for us with the play action pass, but it didn’t work out.”

On turning the ball over:
“It’s just one of those things. Sometimes physical mistakes happen. That’s part of playing sports. We like to work as hard as we possibly can to try and make those things not happen, but we all make mistakes at certain points. I’ve certainly made a ton of mistakes throughout my career. It’s disappointing. We’re better than that. I’m better than that from an offensive standpoint in terms of taking care of the ball. We’ve got to make better decisions, and I do too in order to give ourselves a chance to win games. It’s just difficult to overcome a three-turnover deficit. We did it last week, but it was a little too much to overcome today.”

On Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu getting injured:
“Obviously those guys are a big part of what we do. When you lose one of them, it’s tough and when you lose two of them, it’s difficult. I’m proud of the way our guys stepped up. I thought Nick Williams came in and did a really nice job for us. Justin Hardy did a really good job for us. He made some good plays and a very nice catch on the touchdown. That’s what happens in this league. There are times when you have to have guys step up and make plays. I think those guys did a pretty good job. When you lose two of your top players, it’s difficult.”

On whether he knew if Julio Jones was going to play or not:
“Both those guys were trying to do everything that they can to stay in the game. They’re just great competitors and sometimes you just can’t play. Your body just won’t go. From a player standpoint, I don’t get too involved in it. You’ve got to go out there, and you’ve got too much to concentrate on. There are too many other things to concentrate on. I kind of knew those guys were out, but you’ve got to go with the guys you have.”

On whether those injuries change the way the offense plays:
“Maybe a little bit. I think it changes the way people defend us when you have Julio and Mohamed out there because they are bigger guys. They’re certainly aware of where they’re at. We might have seen a little bit of different coverages and pressures in the second half, but for us, we trust all of our guys to go out there and make plays. We called the plays that we had in the plan and trusted them to go out there and do it. I thought our guys did a pretty nice job of stepping in.”

On Bills head coach Sean McDermott:
“He’s obviously a very good coach. We know that from having played against him in Carolina for a number of years. They’re always well prepared and tough. All of our battles with Carolina for the six years he was there were difficult. We knew that coming into it. We knew they were going to be very well-prepared and play hard, and they did. They played well, and they played better than we did today.”

On the bye week:
“Any time the bye rolls around, it’s an opportunity for guys to get healthy regardless of what time of the year it is. We have some guys that need to get healthy, and hopefully the week to rest will allow us to do that. We also have to take a look at where we’re at and find ways to improve. I’m sure that’s something that the coaching staff will work hard on this week. From a player standpoint, we need to do the same thing.”

Running back Devonta Freeman

On the game today:
“We have to get better at finishing the game. We need to do a better job as a whole. Closing the game out, that’s our main thing, just finishing. We’re going to learn from this game, get better and then move on. They were the better team today, so we’ve got give our credit to them. We are going to fix things and get better.

On the perception of team from viewers:
“It’s any given Sunday, so you have to bring you’re A-game. We want to beat everybody, and everybody wants to beat us, that’s the name of the game. We’ve just got to get better, come back off this bye week and learn from our mistakes and clean up everything. It’s the little things. I feel like we need to get better with detail, taking care of the ball, running better routes, making something happen if nothing is there and just get better as a whole.”

On the effect of Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu leaving the game:
“In this game, it’s all about next man up. We’ve got guys that prepare just as hard as Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. You just have to be ready when your number gets called on. I just want to get my guys healthy because we need everybody. We need our dogs at the end of the day. I’d rather just take this time and get everyone healthy.”

On passing the ball verses running the ball in the last downs of the game:
“Whatever plays get called, I never know until it’s called. Whatever play is called, it’s our job to go out and execute it. No matter what play, if it’s run or pass, we’ve got to go out there and execute. We need to do a better job at executing. The good thing about our team is that we have a lot of guys that are competitive and everybody wants the ball in their hands. Like I said, we just have to convert.”

Offensive tackle Jake Matthews

On how the offense fared without Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu:
“We know we’re good enough to score even if we’re missing a couple guys. Like I said, we had some opportunities and just didn’t get it done.

On his feelings on the teams 3-1 start:
“3-1 is good but it’s not 4-0, so we have stuff to work on. We know we’re good, we know we’re a good team but we just have to execute better."

Wide receiver Justin Hardy

On the challenge of losing Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu:
“There’s no challenge. It’s next man up, we practice like this; getting the reps and just coming out here and doing our jobs.”

On the team’s mindset the rest of the game without its top two receivers:
“It’s time to go. Opportunity, just make the most of it.”

On whether the bye week came at the perfect time:
“You definitely want to get back [on the field], you don’t want to sit on a loss, but at the same time, we’ve got some guys that are down. We want to get those guys back and come prepared and ready to play the following week.”

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett

On not being able to create turnovers:
“We always want to be able to create turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. Whether it is to punch out the ball or try to get some caused fumbles. There’s opportunity out there for us to get it but we have to be more mindful about it. It’s a mindset. You have to attack the game in that manner and we just have to get the job done.”

On the upcoming bye week:
“Well, for our whole team actually the bye week comes at a good time. Guys can get time to get healthy and get back. We have a couple of guys nicked up. It’s a part of the game. It’s a long NFL season. It comes at the right time.”

On Coach Quinn’s message to the team following the game:
“We are going to address the issues that we have. I don’t think anyone is in panic mode this early in the season. It’s the NFL. You win some and lose some. We just have to keep playing with fire. But at the end of the day, we have to take care of the ball better. We have to go out there and try to get some turnovers.”

Cornerback Desmond Trufant

On the overall play of the defense:
“I thought we had a solid defensive effort and made some plays. We held them to some field goals but I wish we could have got a turnover or two. That would have helped change the game. We are turning in the right direction but we have to try to get the ball.”

On the upcoming bye week:
“No matter what time the bye week occurs; it is a good thing. We need to get the rest and recover. We need to look at what we can improve on and stuff like that. I’m not happy that we didn’t win but it is going to push us stronger.”

On the team’s tackling:
“I have to look at the film. Most of the time, my back is turned and I’m guarding the receivers. We had to guard the receivers longer because one of [QB Tyrod] Taylor’s strengths is extending plays. We got some pressure on Taylor and forced him out of the pocket. Overall, we were good number wise versus the pass and rush game.”

Cornerback Brian Poole

On the upcoming bye week:
“I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect time for a bye. It’s never a good time going into a bye with a loss but it’s a part of the schedule.”

On Tyrod Taylor’s mobility:
“It really wasn’t about him. It was more about us. We just couldn’t get off of the field when we needed to. Obviously, we just have to go back to work and get better. That’s a good team over there. I can’t take anything away from them. They showed up and were the better team today.”

Provided by the Atlanta Falcons.

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