BUFFALO BILLS HEAD COACH SEAN MCDERMOTT
Opening Statement: Alright. We’ll open it up to questions.
Q: Do you feel like you got away with one there?
A: I thought there’s a lot of heart on this football team. Really, to me, personifies this city, doesn’t it? Heart, toughness, blue-collar, and fans stuck with us all day. I thought it was awesome, man. Awesome. It’s tough to win in this league. Every week it’s tight. Every week is tight. Guys stuck it out, played four quarters and came out with a win, so it was good to see.
Q: Do games like this lay the foundation that you talk about?
A: Yeah, it certainly helps the belief, right? These guys, I know these guys play hard and when you play hard, you got a chance every week. What more can you say? They fought, they fought. That’s a good team on the other side, and a well-coached team. These guys fought, man. Down to the very end, the last play, even. Give Tampa credit. They came in here with the right mindset and we took it to the end here. But, good team victory, a lot of heart. I thought there were some good takeaways, things we can learn from obviously. The takeaways were key, the last takeaway included by Tre’Davious [White] there. I thought we ran the ball well, which is good to see coming off the bye. Third downs on the offensive side was obviously key to our success, keeping drives alive and then good to see a young player, Matt Milano, get an interception, a big interception, for us right there in the second quarter, I believe it was; and then congratulations to Stephen Hauschka on tying an NFL record for [field goals from] fifty-plus [yards], I believe. That’s big time.
Q: Sean, on that last play, what happened to Jordan Poyer? It seemed like he was kind of grimacing as he came off the field.
A: Yeah, we’re going to take another look and see. You know, I don’t know exactly. It’s still too early right now. Those are unfortunate. It’d be nice if there was a time clock on those plays just to, you know, after a certain time you’ve got to call the play dead. That would’ve been helpful.
Q: What made it so easy for Deonte Thompson to come in after five days of being here and catch four passes for 107 yards?
A: Right. Well, I’m going to start by giving Brandon [Beane] and his staff a ton of credit. A player like DT out there on the market and they did a great job of being on top of it in a timely fashion so we could get him in and take a look. Give credit, obviously, to DT and to the coaching staff on offense for getting him up to speed. Love his attitude, man. Obviously, he loves that mentality that we have and that’s tough and toughness and mental toughness, physical toughness, the underdog. He embraces that, and that’s what you saw. I mean, he made a huge play obviously late in the game, but also a couple big plays during the game as well.
Q: Coach, the run game. Just, what was working there specifically? It seemed like there were fewer negative plays and they were stringing more positive plays consecutively together.
A: I have to take a look at the film to know exactly. Just, first glance really, we were doing a good job up front, staying on our blocks, finishing people. To your point, eliminate some of the negative plays. We mixed it up at times with some zone, some gap schemes. Big rush, if you will, with the late third down conversion that Taiwan Jones [had]. Here’s another player that, give credit to the personnel department, getting him in here and getting him up to speed at training camp. May not be household names; that’s okay, man. These guys play as a team and I’ll take that every day of the week.
Q: How stressed were you getting there once E.J. [Gaines] is out of the game, knowing all of the weapons they can put on the field and how thin you were getting there on the outside?
A: Yeah, I mean, they did a really good job. They do a really good job offensively. They’ve got weapons. Coach [Dirk] Koetter is a heck of an offensive coach, a heck of a head coach, and they’ve got weapons with two good tight ends and [and running] backs who all kind of had their own role, and then the big guys outside with 13 [Mike Evans] and 11 [DeSean Jackson]. We knew it would be a big-time challenge, defensively, going against that offense. The guys kept fighting. Obviously, it came down to the big takeaway at the end and that was huge for us.
Q: What about the end of the first half? You gave up a chance for a chip shot field goal. Was that just time management?
A: That was my fault. That was all my fault. I thought we could get three plays off right there, meaning a completion or a shot [at the end zone], and then a spike after that. We’ll go back and work on that. That’s all my fault.
Q: What happened on that second O.J. Howard touchdown where he was pretty much wide open?
A: Yeah, you know, they ran what we call a sneak route. They flood the zone one way and then come back where [Howard] hides underneath. Good play call, good design, good play design. It got him loose and so, give credit where credit’s due.
Q: How concerned are you, two games in a row now where the secondary and defense has kind of been burned for three hundred-plus yards. How concerned are you about showing some give on that part of the defense?
A: I’ve got to go back and look at the film. We’ll see. You know, we’ll see. You always want to be critical and look at where we can get better every week. There [are] a lot of areas, a lot of areas, a lot of learning opportunities from this game. We’ve got to get better at that. That’s what we do. We try to improve every week in every phase of our game. We’ve got to continue to grow, continue to get better, but man. What a win. Right? What a win. Great to be 4-2, proud of the guys, and we’re going to look at everything. That’s what we do every week. This is a good offense, too, when you look at what they’ve gone against and the numbers they’ve put up. We’ve got to look at things, and we’ll do that.
Q: How did you approach [LeSean McCoy]’s fumble in terms of saying something to him or not saying something to him and leaving him alone? How did you approach that, personally?
A: Well, we just talked about it on the sideline briefly. Just as a coaching staff and, you know, he knew it. He’s been in this league long enough to know you can’t do that. Expect next time he comes back, he puts two hands on the ball and improves. That’s what you have to do, and I know I keep saying that word, but it’s about continual improvement from all of us, and that starts with me. Continue to get better. I’m just real proud of these guys. I mean, he’s carried a lot of times and I’m going to give him the ball again. It’s not going to stop me from giving him the ball. I’ve got a lot of confidence in that guy.
Q: There’s a lot of players saying that takeaways come in bunches, but usually over the course of the season there’s always ebbs and flows to that. Your team has been able to maintain this pace of takeaways pretty consistently. Is there anything you attribute to that? I know you preach fundamentals, is it more than that?
A: I wish I could say it was more. I know you probably need something to [write about]. It’s fundamentals, it’s running to the football, and it’s working on it in practice every week, and they do a good job of that. Coach [Leslie] Frazier and his staff and players, they do a phenomenal job of that. They see how important it is, and on the other side of the ball, we do a pretty good job also; and I know we had the one [turnover] today, but [we] do a pretty good job offensively, and [on] special teams, protecting the football most of the time. Those two go hand in hand. The guys, the team knows how important that is in terms of winning football games.
Q: You’re 3-0 at home. I think it’s been six years since you’ve established this –
A: [laughs] I love playing here. I do. These fans, I mean, what more could you ask for? These guys love [the fans], the fans love it, we love it; this is, to me, this is the place to play. When you come here, I came here a couple times as an opponent and I know how hard it was. It’s like Heaven for a home team, in my mind. Coaches, it’s fun to coach here. It’s fun to play here. It’s a great environment. This is what football is supposed to be about, right here.
Q: Is it better than what you thought even coming in here?
A: Yeah. I mean, it’s been all that. It really has. To me, these people have a lot of pride in this city and where they come from and you hope every week we’re giving them something to have pride in, in terms of their team [or] one of their teams. That’s why these guys play so hard. It’s a great deal. It’s a great marriage with the guys that play so hard and a city that works so hard. I love it.
Q: What did you think of [Marcell] Dareus? It seemed like he played a lot more.
A: Yeah, it’s going to be hard to [tell on first glance]. Those interior linemen, [it’s] always tough to tell. Got to go back and watch the film. I thought he had a really good week of practice. [I’m] really proud of him from that standpoint. Any further, I’ll have to really go back and look at the film at this point.
Q: Do you think, in general, I mean we talk about playing all of these no-name guys on defense, and now you’ve got offensive guys. Do you think that pushes the big guys when they see these guys behind them?
A: You know, that’s probably a question for them. I think competition brings out the best in all of us, as they say. That’s healthy, that’s good, and I love it. I think that’s a sign of a true team, and we talk a lot about that. Who’s it going to be next week? It was DT [Deonte Thompson] this week, and Taiwan Jones, and who’s it going to be next week? Is it going to be another young guy, like a Tre’Davious [White] getting the key takeaway? Who’s it going to be? And that’s the fun part about it, is the guys come to work every Monday and every Wednesday knowing that [if] they put the time in and put the work in, that it could be them, and that’s the exciting part about it.
BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK TYROD TAYLOR
Q: So Ty, you didn’t take off and run a whole lot in the last game in Cincinnati. Today it seemed like if things weren’t right you were more apt to do that. I don’t know if that was something that was talked about during the Bye Week, but it just seems like it really puts the defense on their heels and gets them thinking about more than one thing.
A: Absolutely. It was definitely something that I’ve seen over just sub-scouting the past couple weeks. Some areas where I may have took a sack when I could be using my feet more and just try to use that personal clock in the pocket today. Get something and progress down the field to try to make positive plays. One thing we wanted to clean up was negative plays and I think we did a great job coming out this weekend and cleaning that up.
Q: How much was…Was it Alexander they had spotting you a little bit?
A: Yes. He spotted my a couple times throughout the game. Anytime when I see a spot, it’s taking a defender off the field so if I can’t make a play with my feet then their should be one-on-ones across the board. We were able to take advantage of a couple of those plays.
Q: It looked like there, at times you were able to take advantage when they didn’t have a spot?
A: Yes like I said, just the natural feel of the game. Our offensive line did a great job of creating a pocket for me, allowing me to step up and like I said, if there is someone down field I try to make a play with my arm, if not I run my feet.
Q: How cool is it to see Deonte come in here. I know you guys have some history and obviously a little bit of chemistry where he is basically a no name to probably 90% of the people in that stadium.
A: It is great to see him come in and have the game he did. Me and DT go back to the US Hampton high school so I’ve been knowing DT for awhile now. Proud of the way he played. Proud of the way everyone played as a team. The receiver group, of course our offense as a whole. It wasn’t a picture perfect game by any means but we stayed together for it all and were able to pull out a victory.
Q: Did he do anything out there that surprised you? I mean, I am wondering why this guy doesn’t have a job.
A: I mean that is just the way of the league. You can’t really question why and how transactions happen. I am glad to have him on this team and I think we could definitely use his skill set.
Q: How much do you attribute that previous experience playing him as why he was able to come in five days and make some snaps and be such a big target?
A: Just the confidence level. Like I said we’ve had plenty of reps together in Baltimore, not necessarily game reps, but of course preseason reps. We work servicing our defense as well to throughout the season. Like I said just the chemistry. I trust him. I trust all those guys. He was able to take advantage of some of the matchups and he was able to make some plays downfield.
Q: You said, you guys had some fun on the practice squad team?
A: Absolutely. I mean those are fun days. Learn from days and I think ultimately make us the players that we are today. The confidence that he has, like you said as a player coming in just earlier this week to coming out and having the type of game he had. He learned a lot from those days in Baltimore and learned a lot in Chicago and treated this week like a true professional. [He] was able to come in and take care of business.
Q: On the play at the end of the first half, there were no time outs left. What was suppose happen there?
A: Looking back on it, just taking three. We tried to get a play ran and usually with 12 seconds you can get a play ran whether you are tackled inside or getting out and actually get back to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball. But that didn’t happen. Something that we have to learn from. Miscommunication between me, Coach McDermott, and Coach Rick Dennison. It is something we have to learn from and definitely can’t happen again moving forward. That was a big point in the game where we could have got three points. But I don’t think we throwed it, we didn’t let that bother us. Move on to the half we were able to come out after the half and get a drive going. It definitely would have been nice to have a 10 points lead versus seven points.
Q: What was the biggest difference in run game?
A: Just being persistent. Like I said, the guys up front did a great job of creating space for Shady and you know once he gets a hole it can be special. It was great to see him get going, great to see Mike make a couple plays and even the play on the last drive. To have Taiwan come in and make a play, something that we’ve sprinkled in throughout practice. Complete trust in him and we call him crazy legs but whenever he gets the chance to make a play, he makes it in practice and he had an opportunity today in the game and he did.
Q: He had to improvise there though wasn’t that sweep outside and then up in there – inaudible
A: He did. The main thing is that we told him don’t run out of bounds. Sure hold onto the ball but stay in bounds. I think his notion of cutting it up was more so him not getting forced outside where he couldn’t stay in bounds. So he was able to cut up and also get a first down so that was definitely key in the drive.
Q: How about opening the second half with a touchdown drive, especially the way the first half ended. How big is that, because that is an area the offense has maybe struggled a little bit coming out of half time. I know Logan said it was a big emphasis this week to start the second half better.
A: Yeah that was something we’ve done poorly up until this point, up until this game. We were coming out of the second half and stalling so that is definitely something we put a focus to. We wanted to come out and finish the drive with seven, finish it with points of course, but with seven so it was definitely a big moment for us as an offense.
Q: In terms of total targets versus catches for ratios, it is still pretty low for Zay at this point. He had 7 targets today and 1 catch, where does that stand in terms of your relationship with him?
A: He had 2 catches, a curl and a X-Y spacing. It’ll come. Just have to continue to keep giving him opportunities. He is a young guy. We are learning each other, he is learning a feel for the game so it’ll come. It is not any confidence lost from me to him, he hasn’t lost any confidence. He knows the type of player he can be. We are going to continue to keep giving him opportunity. Like I said, it’ll come.
Q: With Jordan, where was his confidence with his thumb and also your confidence throwing to him because of the thumb?
A: Jordan was pumped up. He is probably one of the most excited guys, exciting guys, on the sideline and on game days. We were able to get him a couple passes and of course have to continue feeding him the ball. Particularly the first third down that we had, to get him the ball going early was definitely big for him and for our offense as well.
Q: What did you see on the 44 yard pass to Thompson down the sideline? He got creamed there.
A: Yeah it was a cover three. We actually ran the play earlier in the game the game was to cover one and I had to scramble. That was the play where they had Kown spying me but just a different look. We figured that they would carry with the post route and we were able to get a corner take off. Had to step off in the pocket and buy a little time but ultimately I knew once I saw the coverage that, by the way of their scheme, we had a chance to get a big play.
Q: What is the smallest amount of time, just curious, smallest amount of time left with no time-outs that you think you can run a play in bounds and still get
A: 12 is probably the cut off. Probably around the cut off.
Q: How did it feel to be home after basically a month?
A: It felt good. Our fans create a fun atmosphere for us to go out and play. One thing we preach is defending our dirt, and we’ve done that thus far this year. Gotta continue to keep doing that moving forward.
BUFFALO BILLS RUNNING BACK LESEAN MCCOY
Q: What did it mean today for you to lose the fumble and come back?
A: I mean that can’t happen. That won’t happen again. I’ve got to do better. I’ve got to play better. Those types of plays, I can’t lean in the game like that, I know better. And the crazy thing is I penciled him [Buccaneers LB Lavonte David] down because his thing is he forces fumbles. But I mean, he made a play so I have to do better myself. It’s as simple as that.
Q: One of the things that Sean [McDermott] said is that he wants you to put two hands on the ball. How much do you plan on doing that?
A: I am. I mean I’m just going to correct myself. I’ve been running the ball and carrying it, and I’m not really a fumbler. You can check my record, I don’t really fumble the ball. But I have to put more emphasis on it. I don’t want to make that an issue. You know one thing, we put it on tape. The team studies it and they see it, and they make that a conscience thing to do.
Q: What was the biggest difference today, LeSean, in the run game?
A: We changed the scheme up a little bit. I had more one-on-one opportunities and I felt I ran solid, too. I mean I know at the end it was kind of slow running the clock out, but overall I thought I ran the ball well. Maybe a play or two, I wish I could’ve had a difference as the outcome. But overall, we ran the ball solid. Tyrod [Taylor] really just took over today, throwing it and running it. DT [Deonte Thompson] was a big addition to our team. He just caught the ball and made some plays, he’s fast. So we just got to build on it. As an offense we played solid, but we can play a lot better, especially myself. I’ve got to be smarter, with clock management and knowing the type of period it is in the game, or maybe go down and fight for extra yards, or whatever it is to protect the ball.
Q: I don’t know if it was part of the game plan that week, but Tyrod barely ran in the game against Cincinnati. It was more of a scramble and take off kind of deal. This week, he seemed to make a greater point of doing that. Can you just speak to how it impacts a defense and how they play you guys when he starts leaving out for a couple of runs like that?
A: Yeah, I mean you’ve got to account for him. One of the things is “okay, where’s number five at?” You may have a rusher that has to hold off rushing or you may have to have a linebacker that has to spy for him. Whatever it is, you have to account for number five as a runner also.
Q: Where were you mentally on the fumble? How did that change for when you scored a touchdown?
A: Now, I’m a ninth-year [player]. I’m over that part of being pissed. I was definitely upset and I wasn’t happy, but I controlled myself. I just wanted to get another opportunity, praying the defense would get a stop and get a second chance. Things happen, but it’s how you adjust. It’s how you respond and bounce back. So mentally I was fine, but I was definitely upset.
Q: Did the coaches say anything to you after that?
A: Not really, nope. I mean some guys want to be teammates, but not really. They know I’m used to it mentally. The cool thing is you have a real team. Guys rally together, got the stop, and got the turnover. We went down there and scored right away. I mean that’s just a real team to pick me up.
Q: On that second touchdown, with your lack of touchdowns this season, how’d it feel to get that monkey off your back?
A: It felt good for sure. I was so happy to get in there and the guys in front of me where really happy for me to get in there. So it’s been a while, but I’m used to being in the end zone so it felt good. I couldn’t really enjoy that second one from that fumble, but it felt good to get in there.
Q: You said you can get them in bunches, you talked about that before, that they tend to come in bunches. Do you feel like now that you got two now it will come?
A: Yeah, first two, get another two next week with maybe some more yards though. Maybe another one with something. But hey I’ll take the wins. This game was a lot closer than it should have been, but I’ll take the “W” also.
Q: Were you even touched on that second touchdown run? I mean that was a big hold there.
A: Nope. We could have got some more in that, spread them out. We could have ran like that a couple times. We ran like that twice, got some positive yards. It’s one thing when they are trying to cover the guys, but they’re covering the wide receivers with the linebackers so it kind of opened up the gaps. But it was a good play call. Eric Wood got up on a linebacker as a walk-in.
Q: It looked like you were spread out a little bit more today within the formation. Were you or no?
A: Yeah, I’m usually out enough. They try to get the match up with the backers and safeties, trying to get the balls different ways.
Q: In particular there was the one near the end zone. It looked like you didn’t look in time and Tyrod threw it to you. What happen on that play because you were starting to get a little separation there?
A: Well we both kind of didn’t want to be wrong. I told him he should have waited a couple more seconds out of the line, but he told me he had a little pressure. One thing about this league is that the quarterback is always right, because I want the ball again. “Oh yeah you’re right, I was too early. You’re right. Next time let me know.” So you know the good thing is that I get another opportunity because I told him that he was right. But we’ll look at it, watch tape and figure it out. It’s a play we run a lot that we usually win. We beat the defense on it twice this week. So that would have been great to have three of them right?
Q: To be clear that was the same play you ran against the Dolphins on the road, where you kind of just run the narrow route?
A: What was that, like two years ago? Let me think. That’s good memory. Yeah, different plays, but similar. Actually, not really, not similar.
BUFFALO BILLS WR DEONTE THOMPSON
Q: Started off with kind of a weird week for you. It’s nice to meet you, first of all, welcome to Buffalo. How weird of a week is it when it’s like this, you come in Tuesday?
A: Crazy week, crazy week. They signed me Tuesday evening, I had to learn the offense and get ready for Sunday. Just a blessing though, I can’t thank God enough for this opportunity to come here. I was in Buffalo once, but came back, the guys have embraced me so well, it’s just been a great week.
Q: One thing you had, even coming in new, was kind of a relationship and chemistry with Tyrod [Taylor], right, you’ve worked with him before. Did that come into play at all this week?
A: Yeah, yep, most definitely. We picked [up] where we left off at. [We] were together three years in Baltimore, so we played a lot of ball together. We were on scout teams, we played a lot of ball together; all through preseason, all through different camps, and it showed today.
Q: Can you walk us through that 44-yard catch that you had down the sideline towards the end of the game? What did you see, what was the play call, and taking a hit and still holding on [to it]?
A: I just knew what time it was in the game. I was like, if he throws it to me, I’m coming down with this ball regardless. I had a corner-go route, he made a hell of a throw and I just made sure I caught it for him. I didn’t even see the guy that hit me until he hit me, so I wasn’t even worried about him.
Q: Did it feel good to make a play for Tyrod in that situation as well?
A: Oh yeah, it feels great, it feels great. It just feels great that he [came] to me in that situation, that he trusted me enough to throw the ball to me in that situation.
Q: What’s it say about the Bills, there’s a lot of people [that] came in here, that don’t normally make plays, a lot of guys on the back end of the roster made a lot of plays tonight including yourself. What does that say about this roster getting better [and] the management putting this team together?
A: Oh yeah, like we just said, there’s a whole bunch of guys in here that other teams didn’t want. We all feel like that, this is a great team. This team is going to do some special things this year, we believe in one another, and everybody is always encouraging, it’s going to be great.
BUFFALO BILLS C ERIC WOOD
Q: Speak on the success of the offense, [which] basically, won that game?
A: Yeah, but the defense did a great job taking the ball away, three takeaways I think, anytime they can do that, they’re putting us in a position to win. They got stops when they needed to. But, good day on the ground for us, that’s what we wanted to do. It wasn’t perfect, but a lot of the stuff we thought we could execute we did.
Q: They just scored and make it a seven-point lead, it took you three plays to move down the field, that was kind of a critical point in the game right there. A little bit about the way you bounced back from a disappointing result at the other end?
A: That was an incredible bounce back. We fumbled, they end up getting it in their territory where we had some momentum, they [then] get all the momentum. Just a roller coaster of emotions, and a great thrown and catch by Tyrod [Taylor] and D.T. [Deonte Thompson], and then we stuck it in on them. All of a sudden, the crowd starts roaring again, and they make a mistake, give us the ball back, and ultimately that cost them the game.
Q: You had a good game on the ground, what did you guys think you did well today?
A: I thought Rico [Rick Dennison] called a great game, very multiple in our run package against them. Tyrod made a few plays with his legs again for us, which always helps. Then, we got Shady [LeSean McCoy] on the edge sometimes, hit [him] up the middle, but still a lot of room to grow.
Q: You know where this team has been, from running the ball over the last couple of years. When you see the run game work like that, do you feel like its confidence, ‘okay, this is who we are, this is what we do?’
A: For sure, I’ve kind of felt that all along. We’ve played a few stout defenses, but in the past, we’ve been able to at least muster 100 [yards] against them. We weren’t able to do that, but we’ll keep growing in this scheme. I thought we had a great mix of outside zone, inside zone power, some counters and what not, I just thought it was a good game for us.
BUFFALO BILLS RB TAIWAN JONES
Q: Tell us about the play where you got the first down?
A: It was a long time coming. We worked on it all week, and I was just patiently waiting for it. [I] definitely appreciate Coach [McDermott] for calling it.
Q: Is that one of those plays where it’s kind of buried down the play chart, you know you go to it in a special situation, and it did present itself finally?
A: Definitely and like I said, the fact that coach chose me in a moment like that, it says a lot to me, and I’m appreciative of him.
Q: To make that play in that situation, obviously [it] had a huge impact on the game, how good does that feel to contribute to a win like that?
A: It feels good, as a player, you feel like every time you touch the ball you can score. Like I said, coach called the play, and gave me the opportunity to show what I can do.
Q: Does that make you lobby, maybe, for more touches now in the offense?
A: We’ll see, that’s out of my call, so we’ll see what happens from here.
Q: What were you thinking before the snap, did you sense anything from the defense that it was open?
A: Score, score! I was thinking score, regardless of what look we got. As long as we ran that play, I was thinking score.
BUFFALO BILLS LB LORENZO ALEXANDER
Q: I don’t know if you faced Jameis [Winston] his rookie year but after this game do you come away with a lot of respect for him?
A: Oh yeah I have a lot of respect for him. I knew him a little bit even prior to him being in the league. Obviously having the AC joint - I’ve had it before too. Just trying to play defense with it. Now trying to throw the ball and getting hit. That just shows you a lot about his character and his ability to want to come out here and compete and win for his team even if it’s at the cost of his body. He’s a great QB in this league and he’s going to continue to rise to elite status.
Q: You guys have played well and the offense has struggled. However today the offense held up their part of the bargain. Put up points and got the running game going.
A: They did a great job and that’s what we expect. It takes some time for our offense to get going and start clicking. Really try to mold what our offense likes to do compared to in the past. I think we made some adjustments with what happened before the bye week. Especially in the run game. They got it rolling today. Using Tyrod (Taylor) a bit more in the read option and the bootleg stuff. Some of the gap schemes that we like to run and it was awesome to see. Now I’m on punt so us converting on third down was nice to see so I could sit back down and rest up and get ready to go out there and play defense. Those guys like Jordan (Matthews), obviously helps having him back too. Having a couple big plays out there and conversions. He brings great energy to this team so it was great to see.
BUFFALO BILLS DE JERRY HUGHES
Q: Is the emphasis on learning more than you’ve ever been a part of, and you’ve had other good coaching obviously, but more than you’ve ever been a part of, maybe an emphasis on that here, is that fair to say?
A: Absolutely, to go so far as to show a video on certain ways that we can get the ball out, that’s huge. You see guys taking notes in the classroom, writing it down. When you see everyone soaking up all the information, then it translates on Sunday, that’s great.
Q: That’s the first time you’ve faced Jameis [Winston] in the regular season, have you come away from that game thinking that’s a pretty good young quarterback, with some of the things he was able to do?
A: Yeah, he’s a very tough guy, smart kid. He understood that he had to get the ball out quick, and he was doing that all day. The way he battled for all four quarters, tough team, tough kid, he’s going to be great.
Q: One of the things that hasn’t happened since you’ve been here is fourth quarter comebacks, it finally happened today, is there something about this team that’s a little bit different than the past, in the way you guys kind of can come together like that?
A: Just the mentality Coach McDermott has brought over here. We’re going to be resilient, we’re going to fight for four quarters, and I think that’s what everybody has instilled in them, and it’s showing up.
Q: What does this game and what does this win mean for the team moving forward mentally, in terms of confidence?
A: It’s huge, definitely huge to get a win off the bye, we certainly understand that. We’re going to look at this game, see how we can learn because we know we still have areas where we can improve on defense. Just try to have fun, enjoy it for 24 hours and then get ready for Oakland.
BUFFALO BILLS S MICAH HYDE
Q: Obviously this is the most points the defense has allowed in a game so far for you guys but you come away with a win. Is it one of those maybe the offense owed us one and got us one?
A: We understand we gave up more points than normal and I don’t know how many yards we gave up there. It seemed like they were driving on us pretty easily. I don’t think we had a three and out today at all. However our offense came to play today. When needed, we got a turnover at the end of the game to force the game winning field goal. We got the win and there’s a lot to correct, but at the end of the day we got the win.
Q: You guys forced three more turnovers on defense today. What is it about this defense that you guys seem to always be around the ball?
A: Honestly the number one thing about our defense is we’re not talking about the three takeaways. We’re talking about those missed opportunities that we had. I think that is the number one thing about our defense. We know we obviously complement each other when good plays are made and obviously Tre [Tre’Davious White] made a huge play at the end. However we’re not satisfied with those takeaways because we could have had plenty more. EJ [Gaines] and I also had our hands on one. Then the fumble in the fourth quarter that we could have come up with. We’re not talking about the takeaways that we had, we’re talking about the missed opportunities.
Q: Could you talk about today how Tre had a nice bounce back game. For him to make that big play at the end of the game. You talked about it in Cincinnati that the kid is going to be fine. Talk about us what his mentality is.
A: Well it’s the same after the Cincinnati game. He wants to go out there and compete and get better. I haven’t talked to Tre at all after the game. Haven’t said anything to him. However I know for a fact he’s not too happy with making that play after giving up the touchdown where Mike Evans got his two feet in. I just know Tre, that’s just how he is. He’s a competitor and he doesn’t like to give up stuff like that. Just like me, I dropped that pick in the fourth and that would have been huge if I came up with that. Just the missed opportunities. He’ll bounce back even better.
BUFFALO BILLS CB TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE
Q: After how much the Cincinnati game was weighing on you, you said after the bye week you were going to have your best performance and you make the play that changes the game. Is that the feeling you were hoping for and going after?
A: No, I almost cost us the game again. Gave up another touchdown. If it weren’t for the offense we would have lost because of me again.
Q: Well tell us about the touchdown. Why do you think, he made a great play. Tell us what happened?
A: They catch the ball its bad coverage no matter how great of position you’re in. He made a great throw that not many QB’s in this league can make. I was there but he made the throw so it was bad coverage and almost cost the team again.
Q: Okay so you bounce back and go back out on the field there. Was that on your mind? Like you have to go out and make a play?
A: Nope. I mean it won’t be on my mind the next drive but after the game yeah like right now it is. I’m thinking about it the whole time. I think I wasn’t targeted until that play.
Q: Tell us about the play. Were you going for the strip when you saw him?
A: Yeah, absolutely. Carrying it like that so I just went and punched it out.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS HEAD COACH DIRK KOETTER
Q: What’s happening with all the explosive plays given up in the game today and pretty much the last couple [of] weeks?
A: Yeah, well we’re missing tackles. Missing tackles in the first half on their quarterback, missing tackles on, I think there were two of them in the first half. One of those ones was just a deep crossing route. We were in man coverage and they beat us. They beat us man-to-man, and then that last one was a wheel route; they beat our linebacker on the wheel route on that last one.
Q: Is your personnel good enough defensively, Dirk, or is it execution stuff?
A: Yeah, our personnel is good enough. Our execution isn’t, I mean, we missed too many tackles and obviously gave up too many big plays.
Q: What’s been the issue on third down? Last year, this was the best third down defense. This year, even on that last drive there, you gave up two third plays: that third and long there, to Nick O’Leary. What’s been the deal there?
A: Yeah, on that one third and long that you were talking about, we were in man coverage and then it got in a scramble situation, and we dropped coverage, so we got to plaster your man in that situation and not come off your man. When you’re good on third down, your coverage and your rush are working in unison, and we don’t have that going right now.
Q: A little wheel route to the wide receiver?
A: Well, we were in zone coverage, so when you’re in zone coverage, [zone] number three through a zone [defense] belongs to a linebacker, so that’s what it was.
Q: 173 yards rushing for them today, and is that just from disguising, more misfits, or was something else going on?
A: Probably both of those things. Like I said, I know [Tyrod] Taylor had two explosives; I think [LeSean] McCoy’s longest run was 23 yards. Missed tackles, it’s hard for me to see the pits during the game, so I’ll have to get on that, but definitely some missed tackles.
Q: You guys also moved Vernon Hargreaves to the inside there; is that something you want to see going forward, or what was behind the transition there?
A: Well, for this week, we wanted to just change Vernon’s role a little bit, give him a little bit of a change. He wasn’t playing as well as we know he can play on the outside, so we wanted to give him a different change, so we moved Bobby McClain outside and moved Vernon inside. As far as going forward, we’ll have to see how the injury situation shakes out.
Q: At 2-4, how do you feel about this team?
A: Well, I feel like we are the only ones that can dig ourselves out because we can’t keep – it hurts when we lose, it hurts a lot, but no one’s coming to save us. We dug in, we’ve got to dig out. Your guys are your guys, and heck, I believe in those guys. We didn’t do enough today, and all we can do is come back next week. You can’t win four, you can’t win three, you can’t win two, you’ve got to win one.
Q: This setback here, this one and the one last week as well, are you surprised to be at 2-4?
A: Well, you know, shoot, everybody would like to be 6-0, and I don’t think anybody is. We had a good week of preparation and to comeback like that and take the lead late, and give that lead up like that, that’s just very disappointing. That’s football, and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves. Hats off and congratulations to Buffalo. They’re a well-coached team that doesn’t beat themselves, and they didn’t beat themselves today.
Q: What did you think of Jameis [Winston] today?
A: I thought Jameis did a good job. It’s a couple throws that I’m sure he’d like to have back: the one right before the half, that was not a great decision right there, but it ended up not costing us. He also made some fantastic plays as well, and I thought Jameis did a lot of good things today.
Q: What is your biggest concern right now?
A: My biggest concern is [that] we’re 2-4. That’s my biggest concern, we’re 2-4 and of course, when you’re not playing up to expectations, it’s easy for your team to shatter from the inside out. Talk to the guys about that, but talk is talk; we’ve got to live it, we’ve got to fix it ourselves.
Q: Highlight of the game, two touchdowns [for] O.J. Howard. Was the plan this week going in: we’re going to try and give him the ball, but we already know he has a huge role run-blocking, but –
A: No, that was it. We always have certain plays, and his number got called, and he hit him on that trap pass a couple of times. That was something we hadn’t run this year, but other than those, I thought O.J., Cam [Cameron Brate], DeSean [Jackson], Mike [Evans], I thought all those guys did a good job in the pass game.
Q: To lose possession as quickly as you did, and you fought back to get the lead, how shocked were you once Buffalo scored to tie it up?
A: Watch enough football and you see it all. I’m not shocked at anything that I see. I’m extremely disappointed, and winning and losing are taken very seriously. Let’s hope that we can step away and all of our respect to Buffalo because they did what they needed to do to win, and we didn’t do what we needed to do to win. Disappointed we didn’t win it.
Q: At the time of the fumble, had you recovered the ball, you would have gotten the ball back with time to score.
A: I hope so, I mean we have a decent two-minute team and usually in the two-minute you’re looking to get the drive started and that play would have probably taken us up to the two-minute warning, or pretty close, and somewhere around the thirty-five yard line. We needed about thirty more yards to be in field goal range again. That ball takes some weird bounces. You can’t really point to one play, I told the players, there were probably eight and twelve plays in this game that could have changed the game had they gone the other way.
Q: How shocked were you that two of your more consistent guys and a guy that you know really well in Bobby McClain, him having that penalty there at the end, and Adam Humphries putting that ball on to the ground. The guys that actually did make those mistakes, how shocked were you that they made them?
A: Well, two different things. In Robert McClain’s case, we were playing zone and he had the deep zone, he was just trying to save a touchdown. The mistake was in not covering the wheel route. Robert McClain really saved a touchdown and that was clear to me on the other side of the field for me. They called it helmet-to-helmet and it didn’t have a great view of that but that’s not a, he’s just trying to save a play that, like I said, you can’t point the finger at any one guy. You win as a team and you lose as a team. Today, we didn’t do enough.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS QUARTERBACK JAMEIS WINSTON
Q: How tough was this one to take?
A: It’s tough to lose any way.
Q: How is your shoulder feeling? How are you feeling physically?
A: It’s tough to lose.
Q: You talked about getting back in the game and making plays to lead them down the stretch in the second half.
A: We just fell short, man. I loved the effort that we had out there. There’s just a lot of plays in the beginning of the game that we’re going to look back and say we wish we would have did that, we wish we would have did this. We need to finish.
Q: You seem to be really explosive in the second half of all of these games. That was the case again today. Not getting the ball in the end zone early, has that kind of been what’s happened the last few games?
A: Yeah, we’ve got to score early, we’ve got to get touchdowns and move the ball well. We stop ourselves on every single drive. Every drive... So we’ve got to fix that. I have to fix that and do a better job there. We just need to execute.
Q: It’s got to be shocking, you have the lead and within less than a minute Humph (Adam Humphries) fumbles the ball, you lose possession and you guys are scrambling. Humphries is one of the most reliable guys. Do you feel bad that those plays happen?
A: No, it just shows that it happens to everybody and it’s tough. Just like losing, period.
Q: You mentioned the little mistakes, how do you overcome those?
A: We’ve got to be better. It shows. We’ve go to get better in every aspect of how we handle ourselves.
Q: Talk about the ability of this offense. You scored 27 points today, 33 last week. That doesn’t seem to be the issue.
A: We fight. I know we got it in us. We just have to find a way to do it for four quarters. Four quarters, that’s what this game is. Not just two, not just three. Four.
Q: We know you didn’t want to dig another hole, but you’ve been here last year at 3-5. Do you feel that your experience could help you guys come out of this as well?
A: Hopefully we can stop it before we get to 3-5. This is a great chance for this team to show how resilient we are, and I believe that we’ve got guys in the locker room that are going to step up. I’ve got faith in our team, and more importantly in the man upstairs. I know we’re going to keep battling. We’ve got to find a way to win. It’s challenging, but we have to find a way.
Q: O.J. Howard had five catches this season coming into today, and five today and couple of touchdowns. What was the difference in what he was doing today?
A: He’s learning. He’s learning more every day. It’s great to see how he’s evolved into the player that he can be. I owe all of that to coach Ben Steele and the other tight ends in that room who took him under their wing, and his ability to humble himself and take advice from these other guys in that tight end room. He’s got Luke Stocker who’s been in the league for seven years, and Cam Brate who’s an emerging star in this league. I’m proud of him, very proud of him.
Q: Are you shocked to find yourself in this position?
A: I don’t want to be in this position. I’m very shocked, but we’ve got to fix it.
Q: How much do you think getting off to a fast start will be emphasized in practice?
A: The same approach in practice has to be the same approach to the game, so we’ve got to win every day. Winning is a habit, so if we win it in practice, hopefully it will lead to winning on Sundays.
Q: From your perspective, you threw the touchdown to Mike Evans who makes a great catch, you got the lead. Are you thinking this is game, and that the defense is going to shut it out?
A: I’m thinking we just got to finish. My defense, I’m going to count on them ‘til the day I die. I just know that we’ve got to do our job, we’ve got to fix what we need to fix for this to be a complementary football team, for us to be as successful as we can.
Provided by the Buffalo Bills.