Head Coach Sean McDermott
Monday, Oct. 30, 2017
Okay, good afternoon. We’ll go ahead and open it up to questions.
Q: Is there an update on Jordan Poyer, the progress he’s made and when you’re expecting [he’ll play], [if] he’s going to be available Thursday?
A: Yeah, he’s made some good progress to this point. He’ll be listed as limited today. We’ll just see- take it one day at a time right now.
Q: How about Charles Clay?
A: [He] continues to make good progress. He will not participate in practice today and we’ll just see how he progresses throughout the week.
Q: Sean, what is the biggest challenge in turning around so quick? This is your first time doing it as the head coach - I know you’ve done it many times as the coordinator. What is the biggest challenge here?
A: Just, you know, a couple things. Number one is to get as fresh as possible, mind, body, and spirit; get those in the right spot. Then just to make sure we understand our plan for this, in terms of game plan, for the week.
Q: Sean, when you look at it now, you guys are 5-2. I was thinking about the first day of training camp and you sounded like a lot of other coaches did at the time, with the words that you used: process, comradery, and all this other stuff. But, you’ve been able to get through to your team. How have you been able to do that, you think, in so little time?
A: I’ve got a good staff, got good coaches. We’ve got good players on this team in terms of guys that, through the starting process, that Brandon Beane and his staff have brought in, that they’ve got the DNA that we’re looking for and that makes my job a whole lot easier. When you have good people, good people in the building to help and support me, it goes a long way towards what we’ve been able to do to this point.
Q: Are you surprised that the players have been that easy to sign up?
A: You know, just again, I keep going back to, you know, just the good people. These are guys that are winners, and they’ve come from places. Some have been here, some have come from other places and that’s the part of, when you’re building a team, that’s the neat part about it. To watch these guys come together, you watch the sideline yesterday after Brandon Tate’s catch and run, and what a neat thing. It gives me chills just going back and thinking about that. We shared that in the team meeting a few minutes ago and 20 years or so around the NFL, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that type of deal on the sideline.
Q: They’re [the fans] seeing a new attitude, a new swag. Why should Buffalo believe now?
A: Well, you know, we just take it one game at a time, honestly. You know, we’ve got a short turnaround this week, and we’ve got to get focused on the Jets and the task at hand in front of us. That’s what we continue to do. Just try and get better every week and that’s the mindset we embrace; that growth mindset and that’s really what we focus on every week. Try to put our best foot forward.
Q: Is there maybe a sense of validation, though? I mean, just for a brief moment, as you’re walking through the tunnel onto the game last night, or walking to your car in the parking lot, or driving home. Is there any sense of validation that 5-2 is beyond what a lot of people outside this building expected?
A: Yeah, I mean, I was extremely proud of the players and the way that they played yesterday. They were focused - it’s fun to be a part of, it really is. It’s 5-2, no one gives out awards for 5-2, so we have to keep that in mind. Having said that, I’m extremely proud of these guys. They’ve worked hard, they’ve earned everything that they’ve gotten so far, and for that, yeah, absolutely. I’m extremely proud of them, and I’m happy for them. I’m happy for the fans of this team, that they’ve gotten what they so long have desired and yearned for, for so long. Yeah, I’m fired up about that. I know I don’t show that emotion all the time up here, but yeah, I’m pumped up about that. It’s a result of putting in the work. That’s the great part about it; these guys, they earn it.
Q: When you saw the [Brandon] Tate play, it was like, these guys, it was like a ‘kaboom’. I mean, they just jumped off the sidelines. At that point, are you thinking ‘alright, now I got something that I- this is going to be stronger than what I thought’?
A: We were flowing, we were in the moment of the game, and other things. You go back, and last night when I got home, I got a text from one of the coaches on my staff about it, I got a coach in my office first thing bright and early this morning about the same play [saying] ‘you’ve got to show this play, Coach, to the guys’. You don’t see that everyday around the NFL, you don’t see that everyday around professional sports. I go to my son’s game on the weekend, and you see some of that which is so authentic and pure and just raw. Just guys loving to play the game, that [is] what’s right about sports, professional sports; that there’s still heart, there’s still soul, there’s still spirit involved in it. I love that part. Then you see Dion Dawkins doing ‘Thriller’ on the sideline, you know, I think they were playing Thriller in the game. These guys are having fun; they’re having fun. You know, during the week, it’s - they put themselves through it, too. When you put yourself through that, through the work, and the grind during the week, yeah, man, that’s fun to see because they can enjoy the moment come Sunday.
Q: Sean, after they scored on the first possession of the game, they moved right down on you, what exactly was said amongst the defensive coaches? Clearly, it looked like you made some kind of adjustments. What exactly happened, because they really didn’t do much, anything, after that first possession?
A: Well, I thought Leslie [Frazier] and his staff did a really good job of adjusting, just in terms of the tempo, in and out of the huddle on their side of the ball, the offensive side of the ball. We just collect so much information early in the game and make adjustments on really, in all three phases, and I thought there was the defensive side yesterday doing that, or special teams, or offense. Offensively yesterday, we made some really good adjustments. Rick [Dennison] and his staff and Danny [Crossman] and his staff as well. You can have a big game plan going in, it’s important that you can adjust throughout the game, and especially early.
Q: In the first three games of the season, you guys combined for 10 sacks, the last four games, you guys have only had three sacks. I know a lot of it is dictated by how quick the quarterback can get the ball out, getting pressure, and the offensive line that you guys have faced the last couple of weeks have been some of the best in the NFL. But what do you guys [need to do], on a quick turnaround, knowing you’re going into the Jets [stadium], to kind of get more pressure on the quarterback? (Reporter sneezes)
A: Bless you. You bought me a little bit of time right there (joking). No, it’s a fair question. When you put the watch on it, when you’re able to take time and out the watch on it, the ball is coming out fast. So then, you have to play coverage, and I thought we did with that yesterday. There’s different ways to affect the quarterback, and that’s really what I’m focused on. I thought our front four played extremely hard yesterday, and we got some guys rolling there as well that did some good things. Just like I said earlier, you don’t get any awards, [or] trophies for being 5-2. We have to continue to grow, continue to evolve and get better, adjust where we need to adjust, and adapt to what’s going on.
Q: An update on E.J. Gaines?
A: He’d be similar to Charles Clay at this point.
Q: What’s your general philosophy, overview, outlook on playing Thursday night games? You’ve gone through this, you’ve been in the league a long time, you’ve seen what it does to guys’ bodies and minds, things like that.
A: I know [that] we’re focused on this game, and I know to get their minds and bodies right is important, that’s what I know. I’m just focused on this team right now, and getting them ready to go for Thursday night. The great part about it is guys were in early this morning trying to get their bodies back and ready to go. Really just focused on the next two or three days that we have to get ready, and tee it up come Thursday night.
Q: The trade deadline is coming up tomorrow, how much are you able to stay in the loop because of the quick turnaround?
A: Yeah, Brandon [Beane] and his staff are on top of it. Brandon and I speak sometimes hourly, I know Brandon spoke about it the other day. I depend on him to keep me up to date on what’s going on or what’s not going on. I know he looks at everything in terms of trying to improve our roster.
Q: Given that you guys are 5-2, and we spoke to Brandon, [when you] were 4-2, that was on Friday night. Does that impact how you approach the deadline in a sense of trying to be a little bit more aggressive and getting help for this year’s roster knowing that you’re firmly in the playoff race versus making a move that could be for the future in the way that the Marcell [Dareus] trade was, when it’s just a draft pick coming back?
A: Well yeah, there’s a couple different ways to look at it. I think the biggest thing right now is that we continue to focus on our vision for this football team. Obviously, we want to win, and we’ve talked about it for a long time in terms of, win now and also win later. That remains the vision, and we’re going to approach philosophically everything with that in mind.
Q: One of those guys’ names [that] has come up, is Cordy Glenn. But, the last two weeks since he’s been back on the field, it seems there’s no coincidence your running game has been better. Have you seen that his return to the lineup has made a big difference there?
A: He’s done a good job, he really has. Cordy’s a force, and when he’s in there, he’s good in the run game, he’s good in the pass game, he’s a big body. He’s played a number of games in the NFL, so we have a lot of trust in Cordy Glenn. I thought our offensive line did a really good job yesterday with that in mind, with Cordy in there, and the game before. We ran the ball well yesterday, we protected well again. That’s not easy when you look at #52 [Khalil Mack] and #51 [Bruce Irvin] coming off of both edges yesterday. A lot of credit to our offensive line, and Rick Dennison and the scheme, and Juan Castillo, our offensive line coach. I thought Jordan Mills on the right side, when you talk about Cordy you look on the other side, with Jordan, I thought he did a really nice job throughout the game.
Q: How impressed are you with the whole next man up, no matter who you plug in, for the most part, has made a big play, whether it’s Trae Elston getting the interception yesterday, [Matt] Milano with what he’s done in place of [Ramon] Humber? How impressed are you with how these guys have been able to perform while being second and third stringers, or being signed off the street before a game, like Deonte Thompson?
A: We look at it more as these guys are our players. We’ve got 63 guys, and that’s who we prepare to play. The coaches do a phenomenal job, coach [Bobby] Babich, our safeties coach, did a phenomenal job with Trae, Trae put the time in. We erase all labels as we talk about that type of mindset of, ‘are you a backup,’ no, you’re a player. You’re a linebacker, ‘no, [I’m a] backup linebacker,’ no, it doesn’t exist, you’re a linebacker, in Matt’s case. [At] receiver, you see Andre Holmes, Brandon Tate making big plays yesterday, ‘backup receiver,’ no, you’re a receiver. Those guys embrace that, and that’s the fun part about it. When you have that type of approach, that type of mindset, you’re able to erase some of those labels that get put on the guys when– Taiwan [Jones], a week before, ‘he’s a backup running back,’ no he’s a running back. He’s a running back for the Buffalo Bills. Those guys embrace that, they’re ready to go, and they step up when their number is called.
Q: Coach, with respect to Tyrod [Taylor], it just seemed like the Raiders were trying different things to slow down the effectiveness and completion percentage and all that stuff. They rushed three [defenders] and forced him to try to beat coverage. Can you just maybe speak to how well he was patient and just looked for answers? They weren’t always giant plays but it seemed like he kept things moving.
A: He did. The last two weeks, [we] have seen Tyrod grow in the pocket and stepping up in the pocket and doing some really nice things. Keeping plays alive, certainly. We all know that. Delivering the ball. I just think that he’s had two quality weeks since the bye. You look at other ways that he’s evolving and growing as a leader of this football team and that’s really exciting to watch. I’ve been very proud of what he’s done the last two weeks, in addition to the rest of the guys that I’ve talked about already.
Q: Chemistry-wise, I’m sure you’ve been in situations where – you know, it’s always hard to explain when the chemistry’s right but it kind of smacks you upside the head. You can’t quite describe it. Are you there with this team? Do you see this team kind of getting to that great area emotionally, mentally, [and] together?
A: I think there’s momentum.
Q: Do you know what I’m talking about? I know it’s a concluded question but –
A: Well, I’ll try to answer it the best I can. I think there’s momentum there. These guys have taken ownership. I’ve said this before, when you bring in guys that have their chin over the bar talent-wise, you won’t meet a bunch of Sean McDermott’s here talent-wise; but when you have your chin over the bar talent-wise, you combine that with character, you give yourself a chance to have the culture, and then when you have the culture, you give yourself a chance to have the chemistry that is so important, as you’re mentioning, to have a good team. Whether you’re (motions) this tall or this tall, and I think you see that. You saw that on Tate’s play yesterday. You see the guys, and I mentioned it earlier with Dion having fun on the sideline. These guys are grown men that are enjoying and having fun at what they’re doing. I don’t want to overlook or not mention the work, again, that they put in. They put in [an] extremely high amount of work during the week to earn the right to win.
Q: Do you get a chance to glimpse at social media? Maybe you do. You’re young.
A: [laughs] [young]-ish.
Q: But, there are fans out there that, the whole “Process” thing is becoming a meme. It’s like Bills fans are jumping upon this whole process thing. Do you get a kick out of that, that you’re the one who introduced it and now it’s becoming a thing with this 5-2 start?
A: [pauses, looks at Derek Boyko] well, we didn’t prepare for that one, Derek (laughs). That’s my front row guy. Usually that comes from the front row over here. You know, I’m just happy to be a part of it, honestly. I’m happy to be a part of it. I love living in Western New York and I’ve got a great group of people around me. I know that, apparently, that was used before, “The Process” and everything. These guys are, they’re having fun and it’s good to be a part of it.
Q: Sean, when you scored to make it 26, at the time, to 7 early in the fourth quarter, any thought for going for two there? They would have limited possessions [and] they would need touchdowns at that point.
A: Yeah, there were some things that, you know, again, you look at and you say ‘hey, could’ve done this better [or] could’ve done that better,’ and that’s where we’ll have to continue to grow. I made plenty of mistakes yesterday. I made plenty of mistakes today, already. It’s just us continuing to improve, adapt [and] evolve. We’re not where we need to be. We have to continue to grow, and that short week for us will be key, [in] that we continue to embrace that mindset.
Q: Converting turnovers into touchdowns, you guys twice in the second half weren’t able to do that. Is that one of those particular areas you’re going to look at?
A: Definitely, and that’s something you have to do in this league. You get good field position, advantageous field position, you need to cash in. To kick field goals is not good enough. We have to score touchdowns.
Q: You guys have five wins. Maybe some people outside of Buffalo don’t see that this team is legitimate yet. You have the Thursday night game, nationally televised. How much of an opportunity is Thursday’s game?
A: Well, it’s an opportunity because it’s the next game for us, honestly. That’s not exciting, I know, but it’s an opportunity for us to go out and get to game number six, get to win number six and that’s what we’re focused on. Certainly, I’m sure the players get excited with that, with the national spotlight, but really, for us, it’s sticking with the process and getting to number six.
Q: Do you prefer to remain under the radar and not be in the spotlight? Do you think that is more advantageous to your team and the things you want to do?
A: You know, it’s just sticking with the process and I don’t know if that’s under-the-radar or over-the-radar. It’s, wherever that process is, that’s where we’ve got to be ‘til we stay flowing and right now, we’re flowing. The guys, they’ve got some good momentum going. It’s certainly nice that the guys get recognition. I love that part of it because they work hard and that’s probably the most enjoyable thing about it; and I’m trying to answer your question, [but] that’s nice to see.
Q: Did you visit the RV Lot this weekend?
A: I did.
Q: Did you learn anything out there?
A: [laughs] man, that was, like I said before, special. It’s a lot of fun. I went out there yesterday after the game and, with the weather and everything, just, it was amazing to see the amount of people that were still out there after the game. It was about 5:30, so well after the game. The amount of people and campers that were still out there, the music that was being played, people just having fun, high-fiving one another, it was a great environment. Just cool to be a part of.
Q: You didn’t think to text us and invite us out there?
Q: Did you have a cold one or two when you were out there? Did you have a beer with those guys?
A: I was offered, but I was going home.
Q: But, do you realize that you and this team had a hand in having those people out there high-fiving at 5:30 and having a good time? You had a hand in that.
A: I mean, the guys played, they played a good game and that’s what’s fun to watch. When you can go out, play a good game, give the fans some things to cheer about. Really, it’s a nice relationship when they come out to support us, the guys played well, they make some big plays, they play gritty football, and they play as a team. That comes together in a nice way.
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Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
Q: Rick, the play in the third quarter with Brandon Tate had the long gain, and then everybody just kind of erupted on the sidelines, what did you guys see on film? Sean [McDermott] said you guys kind of made a big deal with that with the team.
A: Well, I mean, it’s a team – everybody was into the game. Certainty, that’s our profession, but, I mean, they’re emotional connected to the game. It was a great play, individual play by Brandon. Tyrod [Taylor] did a great job of buying some time, the line did a good job of keeping them off of him. He made an individual effort and everybody appreciated it. I think the momentum really swung, we really felt like everybody was a part of the team, and it was good for us to see.
Q: Sean mentioned that kind of reaction he usually sees at his kid’s game and not really the pro game. You’ve been around a little bit longer, is that rare for the NFL?
A: No, not in the right attitude. In the right locker room, it’s not. It’s a sign of a really good team, so I’ve seen it before and certainly this team has really responded well to being part of a team.
Q: The running game continued to take a step forward. Is that an area you’re still evolving in regards to how the blocking scheme’s going?
A: I think the blocking scheme, like I said last week, no plays are new. We haven’t done any new plays since training camp. We’re just focusing on the things we do really well, and certainty, we did them well the other day.
Q: LeSean [McCoy] had 27 carries; that’s the most he’s had this season, actually the most he’s had in 2+ years here with the Bills. How comfortable are you with that workload that he handled yesterday?
A: Well, obviously he’s in fine shape, I mean, he didn’t have any wear and tear for that. That’s something that we’ll always work on. We have confidence in all our [running] backs, but he was in there and he was doing a good job, and he kept playing, so there’s some give and take there, but he did a great job.
Q: Sean mentioned that he saw Tyrod [Taylor] kind of evolve in the at few weeks, in terms of hanging in the pocket and also as a leader. What have you seen from Tyrod?
A: Well I think, the leading [part], he’s always been that way, but I think he’s being more comfortable, more confident in what he’s doing, which, you know, I knew he had in him, obviously working with him. I think he’s trusting his eyes, and he’s doing a good job with that. It helps to have the run game work, so when that’s working and he feels comfortable with that and putting the ball where it needs to go, he’s hitting the open guys, going through his progressions. That’s what I see. He’s trusting his feet, trusting his eyes, going through his progressions.
Q: How is Cordy Glenn’s return really help solidify things up front and the running game as a whole?
A: He obviously played very well yesterday. I thought he did a very good job, and just his presence out there is a good thing. He’s played a lot of football, has great experience and it’s hard not to have that talent on the field. He’s done a great job.
Q: Rick, you guys had a slow start offensively but didn’t really look back after the first quarter. Can you talk about the in-game adjustments that you guys made?
A: I think we have a series of plays that we want to get to, based on our first 15, what formation, different plays that we like, and it’s just a matter of going through it and making sure we’re patient and make our first downs. We miss a play, you know, get a penalty, we can’t panic. [We] just got to stay with what we think is right.
Q: Rick, you’ve seen in training camp, the team traded Sammy [Watkins], I know Marcell [Dareus] didn’t impact you as much, being on the offensive side of the ball, but working for a GM and a Head Coach that are willing to make big moves if they feel like it’s best for the team. What kind of an impact does that have on a coaching staff? Maybe that’s more of a question for Leslie [Frazier], but, you know, to change things on the fly like that, is that – how does that process work?
A: Not at all, we’re just staying in our lane. That’s his job, we trust him to do a great job. Obviously, they have, and they’re giving us, just like you said, it’s what’s best for the team, and that’s what we believe too.
* * *
Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Opening Statement: [We had a good] practice. [The] guys are really into it. It seems like they’re beginning to move on from the game on Sunday and starting to focus on the Jets, so it was really good to see how focused they were in our walkthrough and our meetings, which is something you have to be able to do. You have to be able to turn the page and get ready for a Thursday night game.
Q: What was is like for you, Leslie, to find out on Friday that the team had traded Marcell [Dareus]. Obviously, he had practiced all week and I’m sure he was part of your game plan.
A: You know, in this business, things like that can happen. Being around it for a while, you have to deal with it when it happens. Our players did a great job of refocusing on the task at hand, which was preparing for the Raiders and that’s what we have to do as a staff as well. Thought our guys did a good job of doing that.
Q: Will there be a part of you that’s relieved after tomorrow when that deadline is over and you know that’s not going to happen again?
A: You know, you roll with it, whatever happens, happens. You just try to control what you can control, and everybody’s focused right now on trying to get ready for the Jets. If something else happens along the way between now and six o’clock tomorrow, you deal with it.
Q: How do you think that the three guys, I mean not including Kyle [Williams], since he’s your starter, but Cedric [Thornton], Adolphus [Washington], and Jerel [Worthy], how did you think they worked yesterday together and how do you see that rotation going forward there?
A: I think they did a good job. Mike Waufle, our D-Line coach, did a good job of rotating them, getting them the number [of] snaps that they needed and trying to keep them fresh during the course of the game. The rotation will pretty much be the same going forward, barring injury. Those guys will rotate in there, some at the nose, some at the three, and hopefully that’ll be enough to get us what we need, both in the run game, as well as our pass rush.
Q: Leslie, we hear people say ‘bend-not-break’ type of defense. Is that a fair way to categorize you guys?
A: I think we just try to play good defense the best we can. [We] try to keep the points down, try to take the ball away and just try to be as physical as we can be and aggressive as we can be and run to the ball. I mean, that’s how we want to categorize it. Try to be a smart defense that plays hard.
Q: Are you worried at all about the passing yards? It’s been more big chunks recently, certainly the points not last week. Good quarterbacks, but still, how worried are you about that?
A: Well you don’t want to give up a lot of yards, but what’s most important is points allowed, taking the ball away, third down. I mean, those are things we emphasize all the time. They really trump yards, and yesterday’s ballgame, I mean they threw it 49 times. We got a lead in the fourth quarter, a pretty good lead, so they’re going to get some yards underneath there. They were beginning to check the ball down a lot, got some yards, but we’re playing to take away some of the deeper throws, so you can’t get too worried about that. You do get concerned when the points are going up, I mean that becomes a concern, or we’re not taking the ball away, but yards in the kind of game we had yesterday, you can’t get too caught up in that.
Q: Leslie, they obviously scored pretty quick in that game. Can you talk about the information you gathered from that drive, and how you were able to use that to stop them? [You] pretty much stopped them for the remainder of the game.
A: Yeah, there were some things that we saw in that first drive that made us believe that we needed to make a couple of adjustments. We did that, and were just able to handle their offense from that point on. That happens sometimes, and you’ve got to be able to in-game adjust. Fortunately for us, we got some smart players who, when we talk about doing certain things, they can handle it. We’re very fortunate in that way.
* * *
Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews
Q: Jordan, that play with the emotion and the reaction by the sidelines on Brandon [Tate]’s big run, how unique is it for a team to all organically respond in unison unprompted like that?
A: I didn’t even know you guys really knew about it. I mean, I know y’all saw the play. Everybody watched it, but to be honest, it was so natural like you said, and so organic [that] I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until Coach [Sean McDermott] kind of brought it up later to us. He showed us and was like ‘hey, this is the identity that we want. These are the type of guys that we want to have in this locker room. Guys who are excited about everybody making big plays and not just the guys who are the starters and guys who everybody is expecting to [make big plays].’ But a play, 2nd and 20, not even a touchdown, just a conversion by a guy who comes out here and works his butt off every day in Tate. So it’s just a microcosm of what this whole team is about.
Q: Sean said that that’s something that he never experienced in his 20 years of coaching. Have you ever experienced a moment like that on the sidelines?
A: No. Like I said, and it was so unique, almost like you don’t even realize it because we’re like, we have a lot of energy in practice. I mean, at the end of every practice, we do, it’s called development period and we’ll have like the guys from the scout team offense go against the scout team defense for like one play, and usually whoever makes the play to win that period, we’re all going crazy whether the offense wins or the defense; and you don’t see a lot of guys, like starters, get that excited for a guy who’s on the scout team, but we do. So even just for that to happen, it kind of went over my head because that’s what I’m kind of used to with these guys. Nothing really surprises me with the type of camaraderie that we have. Yeah, like when I really thought about it, I was like, ‘man, this is kind of unique.’ It just kind of shows how different of a team we are.
Q: The ‘next man up’ mentality for this team, I know we talk about it every week almost with this team. Sean McDermott, what he’s been able to instill in terms of not really looking at anybody as a backup but you’re either a wide receiver, a linebacker, or you’re a safety. Have you ever seen a head coach take that kind of approach with a team?
A: I think it’s not as much of the individual person approach. It’s more of just the overall game. I’ve been on a lot of teams where you separate the offense, you separate the defense, and you separate the special teams and it really feels like three different teams on one Sunday going out and trying to get a win for one [collective team], where with us, we really build a collective game plan between offense, special teams, and defense to try and go win games. It’s almost like it’s really just one unit. Like, I’ll give you one example. I never knew, honestly, until I got here, where, I never pay attention to where your kicker’s range was. So let’s say it’s like 3rd and 15. I want to throw to the sticks, but I’m a receiver. I’m like, ‘yo, let’s just throw to the sticks, get a first down, let’s get a deep pass going.’ Here, we know where [Stephen] Hauschka’s range is. We know ‘hey, if we get across the 35 or across the 37, that’s three points.’ So before, I’m like, ‘why are we throwing this check down to the running back, you know, just to get three yards when we can throw it to the sticks?’ It’s like, no. We know like, ‘hey, this is an easy three points if we can just get in Hauschka’s range. We don’t have to worry about the first down. We just need points,’ and it’s just that type of game plan that he’s really instilled in everybody. He talks about the five points of the game. It’s not just, ‘hey, I’m a defensive coordinator. I’m going to talk about defense and then offense, when we split up, you guys are going to be with Rico [Rick Dennison].’ No, it’s everybody all in one trying to find a collective way to go out and get a win. That’s just a small example, though.
* * *
S Jordan Poyer
Q: Do you feel like you’re on track to play Thursday?
A: Definitely do feel like I’m on track. I just want to continue sticking with the process, sticking with the treatment and just doing everything I can in order to be out there for my teammates.
Q: Jordan, you saw the celebration collectively after Brandon [Tate]’s catch and everything like that. It was brought up in the meetings and whatnot. This team as a whole, where does it compare in the camaraderie and things like that with other teams you’ve been around?
A: Oh, I’ve never seen anything – that alone, that picture alone, that image alone, that says everything it needs to say about this football team. It’s a group of brothers that go out there every Sunday and play for each other. It’s really one thing that I haven’t been around since I’ve been in the NFL. Just a group of guys. We call ourselves a group of no-name guys going out there and kind of competing every day. Coming into work and just playing for each other. You can’t ask more from a group of guys like the ones we have in this locker room.
Q: Can you talk about the performance of Trae Elston in your absence?
A: Trae played a hell of a game. Trae did everything that he was asked to do and more, and I was really excited and really happy for him that he could go out there and have the performance that he did.
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DT Kyle Williams
Q: In the first three games of the season, you guys combined for 10 sacks, over the last four games just three. I know it doesn’t tell the whole story, I know you guys are still able to get into the backfield and disrupt things, but how do you guys get more pressure and get that sack total back up?
A: Well we keep doing what we’re doing. We’re not going to press or do anything out of the normal. A lot of that comes hand-to-hand, he has to hold the ball, he has to do some separate things. Game plan wise, if they’re planning to run screens, into play-action, into quick pass, we just have to stay after it, and get there when we do have an opportunity to do it.
Q: To get more pressure, I only remember off the top of my head one, two, maybe three times yesterday where you guys blitzed. Do you guys need to dial up more pressure to get those mismatches on the offensive line?
A: Well it just depends. Sometimes when it’s advantageous for us, we’ll blitz and we’ll rush four. It’s just dependent on how the game is going, there’s a lot of things that go into that. You can’t just say ‘oh, we’re just going to throw a lot of guys at them to get pressure,’ or ‘we’re just going to do this to get pressure’. There’s a lot that goes into that.
Q: Second time meeting the Jets, what did you guys learn from week one?
A: Everybody changes week-to-week. They find things that they do well, and they practice those and work on them. You can see they’ve had some good games since then. They’ve won some good games, they’ve played some really good football teams close. We’ll go in and look at them, on a short week, trying to get prepared as fundamentally sound as we can.
Q: You know you talk about the next man up mentality, that’s always a common philosophy, but why is this team been able to actually be able to do that?
A: I think the way that we work and prepare, and the way that guys compete through the week, breeds guys that may or may not have been playing before, let’s them have success on Sunday, just because the way that we prepare, the way that we work, the expectations that we have.
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DT Jerel Worthy
Q: The next man up mentality with this team, whether it’s an injury or a trade, the mentality that it seems that Sean McDermott has instilled in this team is everybody’s ready at any given moment, guys don’t look at themselves as backups, you’re a linebacker, you’re a wide receiver, you’re a safety. What’s it been like to see that from Sean McDermott, that message?
A: It’s been fun, it’s been exciting. From day one when he got in the building, he wanted us to learn every employee that’s in the building, from top to bottom. It comes from making everybody feel included. When you think about a team going out there, the guys that get limited reps, when they get a chance to impact the game and guys get a chance to fill in big roles and they make plays, it’s just exciting because it makes everybody feel a part of it. Like I said, it goes back to day one when he came in and wanted us to know everybody that’s in the building. He wants us to feel like a family organization. At the end of the day, we’re riding with it, following everything he has to say because he has the right message and he has his head in the right direction.
Q: Along those lines, the Brandon Tate play, I know you’re a defensive guy, did you see his spin move to get that 24-yard gain? That was one of the moments Sean McDermott said he’s never experienced in 20 years, where everybody on the bench got up and kind of mobbed him.
A: It was exciting. Brandon Tate’s known for making good plays and big plays. He’s been doing that for a while in this league. But it’s exciting to see a guy pull out a Madden move in the middle of a play, and be able to scramble for the first down. It was a crucial situation for us because we got a penalty before. He was able to pick us back up and it was exciting for us. At the end of the day, like I said this is a family, we’re trying to build something special, trying to build something that everybody feels a part of. Coach McDermott has the right message for us, and we’re just trying to deliver it on Sundays
Q: That emotion, that response just seems so natural collectively of everyone on the sidelines, how unique is it to have that relationship to where everyone unprompted has the exact same reaction?
A: It’s definitely unique. When you look around and see other teams playing on the field, when you look at the tape, you necessarily don’t see the same continuity. That just goes back all the way to OTA’s. We’re trying to build something special here, as I said before. We all want to feel included, and we all want to feel involved. At the end of the day, we all get our chance to make plays on Sundays. He treats us as if we have starters, like a 1A, 1B team type of ordeal. That gets guys excited on going out there and playing on Sundays. He’s rotated a lot of guys throughout the lineup throughout this year, so everyone feels a part of it.