BUFFALO BILLS HEAD COACH SEAN MCDERMOTT
Opening Statement: Okay, we’ll go ahead and get started. Just a couple things: first of all, a big-time thank you everyone, again, that got this stadium ready to play both in the stadium and outside the stadium. It was a great team effort. Secondly, and not to be outdone, our fans [did a] tremendous job this year at home [with a] 6-2 record. It’s a step in the right direction in reestablishing who we are and how we play at home. That was big for us. Finally, congrats to LeSean McCoy on 10,000 yards [rushing]. 30th player in NFL history [to do so]. A great accomplishment. Tremendous. With that, I’ll open it up to questions.
Q: Can you talk about the first half there? Your offense probably played as well as it’s played in maybe a month in that first half. Let’s start there, and we’ll get to the second half later. The first half kind of won the game for you.
A: Yeah, I thought we were dynamic in terms of the mix of run-pass and opened it up down the field a couple of times, which kept them a little bit off balance at times. We were running the ball effectively and then the play-action was working. Tyrod [Taylor] did a good job of really getting a lot of people involved in the passing game as well so I thought Rick [Dennison] called a really good game and it was good to see. In particular, [it was good] to score three times in that first half, I think it was, so that was big.
Q: In the second half, the inability to really put them away, they were in it until the end. It seems like you could’ve put them away earlier and had done more on offense. Could you attest to that?
A: I just think overall, really, there was a lot of opportunities, whether it’s situationally [or something else]. We had a penalty that we were undisciplined in that area there, so there were some opportunities. You know, it’s a challenge in the league to do that to teams. This is the NFL and I give credit to them. They’re a good football team, a well-coached football team, but there were opportunities where we got sloppy.
Q: What’s that do for your confidence to do that to them after they beat New England pretty handily?
A: We take them one at a time, really. We do, with all due respect to your question. This is a team that we’re going to face in two weeks here again and they’re a good football team so we’ve got a lot of work to do, as you saw, and we’ve got to get back at work Monday.
Q: Coach, defensively, you were able to keep everything in front of you. They really didn’t have too many big plays. Obviously, you want to stop that every week but just, how were you able to kind of hold them down from getting anything deep?
A: I thought Leslie Frazier and the defensive staff put a good game plan together again. We got some key turnovers, which were big for us in terms of taking the ball away. The red zone stops were also key. Offensively, we did a good job in the red zone. Defensively, we also did a good job in the red zone. I think that was a big part of the win for us.
Q: It looked like Leslie blitzed a little more today, unless I’m going crazy. Was there a particular reason why he attacked [Jay] Cutler more than you’ve attacked other quarterbacks?
A: No, not necessarily. I mean, like I said, they’re a good football team. We just felt like we had to get our guys going a little bit and give them some juice. So that was about it.
Q: This is the first time you’ve won six games at home since the last time you went to the playoffs. How much does that mean to you to really establish the home field here?
A: Yeah, that’s huge. That’s huge. We know how important winning at home is. The guys talk about it a lot. We talk a lot about defending our dirt. That’s something that’s out there, that’s a saying that’s out there now. Playing in Western New York, you’ve heard me say it before, it’s a special place to play in this stadium and in front of our fans here. Can’t say enough about it in terms of the effort that the fans put forth to come and support us and stuck by us all season long. Kyle [Williams] did a great job last night talking to the team about what it means to play here and I think the players took it to heart [and] took a lot of pride in it.
Q: Coach, I know Tyrod is a guy that you haven’t seen his personal success against Miami prior to this year. Has he ever told you that he just likes playing this team? Because his personal numbers are off the chart against these guys; he just seems to do well against them.
A: Yeah, we haven’t had that conversation. We have other conversations, but we haven’t had that one yet. This is, like I said, our guys continue to grow each and every week [and] get better. That’ll be, again, the emphasis this week, that we focus on us [and] focus on what we’ve got to do to get better and grow. I thought, like I said earlier, we got sloppy late in the game and we can’t afford to do that.
Q: Sean, not sure if you agree with this, but at 7-6 [in the game], they had a little momentum there. They scored twice in a row. It seemed like that drive you guys put together right there, it sort of turned the game in your favor almost for good. Would you agree that that was kind of a big drive for you at that point in the game?
A: It was. It was, you know, for our offense to come out – and I thought the run-pass, the play selection there, was phenomenal. They did have the momentum a little bit there and then we kind of took it back, which was good to see. Then we scored again, I think, on the next drive or two drives from that. That was good to see. I thought our offense again had a good rhythm to it, particularly in the first half. We ran the ball well, which is key in every game, and converted some critical third downs.
Q: Coach, the three interceptions. It’s been a long time since you’ve had that many in a game, at least six weeks. Your assessment of that?
A: Important part of the game. Important part of the game. You’ve got to get takeaways on defense and special teams and then protect the ball on offense and special teams. That was key for us, and obviously winning the game like we did at the end with the interception, and playing smart football this time going down when we knew and obviously finished off the game.
Q: What did you say to Adolphus [Washington] coming off the field there?
A: I’ll keep that conversation between him and myself at this point but I just wasn’t happy with what ensued with the penalty. We had them into what I believe would’ve been a fourth down situation and you can’t do that. You’ve got to play disciplined.
Q: Any updates on E.J. Gaines? Obviously, he got carted off. Kelvin [Benjamin] seemed to be favoring his knee as well.
A: Both, really more so E.J., currently being evaluated. Kelvin just was working off of coming off that injury. He had a good week of practice and we’ve got to continue to get him stronger every week. I feel good about the way he came out of the game this week. It’s something we can build on, at least, going into next week’s game.
Q: Tyrod looked 100%, didn’t he?
A: [laughs] he did. He did. I thought he played a good game. Like I said, he spread the ball around. He was decisive when he needed to be. Decisive, and then he took off when he needed to take off with the ball. Any time you can do that, it makes the defense defend all eleven guys on the field and that becomes a headache at times for people.
Q: Did you get a sense that guys wearing 10K t-shirts, and I know it’s about the team, but it just seems to be a team support behind McCoy and his achievement.
A: Oh, it was an unbelievable achievement. Unbelievable. I’m just fortunate, I feel myself, to be a part of it [and] to have seen, to have watched it take place. That’s one for the ages right there, that type of accomplishment. Hopefully everyone got their money’s worth today with that. That was good to see.
Q: Sean, you all have a ‘one game at a time’ mindset, but how tough is it with two games to go and this team is as close to a playoff berth as its been through the whole drought? What have you said in past weeks to the team about the playoffs and how close it might be and what do you plan to tell them this week? Is it something you ignore or embrace?
A: Well, I think we embrace people talking about us. That’s good in that type of light. We embrace that. That said, we have to focus on our process and what has gotten us to where we are and then continue to grow. If you stay the same in this league, the question was asked earlier, if you stay the same in this league you’re going to get beat and so we have to continue to grow as coaches, as players, as staff, and that’s what we’re really focused on moving forward.
BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK TYROD TAYOR
Q: It looked like movement or mobility wasn’t an issue. How did your knee feel throughout the game today?
A: I felt good. Using my legs was definitely part of the game plan. Like I said earlier in the week, the training staff did a great job over the past two weeks of getting me ready to get back out there playing and back to feeling normal. Credit goes to them, along with hard work and God himself.
Q: No pain at all? There were no moments when you felt it?
A: A couple times I did but I think adrenaline, when you mix that into the equation, you are able to go out there and play. I was able to play on it the game I got hurt for three quarters until it just got aggravated again but I didn’t really take too many shots today. I was able to protect my knees without really falling or taking any direct hits to it, so I think that also helped.
Q: That was the first time you guys scored a touchdown on your opening drive for this season. How much does that change the whole outcome of the game when get off to a start like that, and be in the rhythm you guys were in earlier?
A: It definitely changes a lot. Coach [Sean McDermott] talks to us a lot about starting fast, something we haven’t done so well this year. First drive of the game as well as coming out of halftime and going out and putting up points too. It’s definitely something that I focus on and we were able to go out there and execute well and put up points. It’s a momentum booster for us as an offense but as well for our team.
Q: As successful as they were on third down defensively the last two games, was there anything that you and Coach Dennison or maybe the offensive coaches put in the game plan that was any special to say? They looked to be a step behind you guys on third down.
A: I think it boiled down to match ups. It’s a very good team, a bunch of talented guys. We were able to go out there and execute and make some plays on third down. They still did a lot of the things we saw on film, that’s their identity. We were just able to execute.
Q: What is it about you and Miami? You’ve had a lot of your best games against them. Do you feel more confident knowing it’s them and what’s happened in the past?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily just them. This time of year you want to be playing at a high level, playing meaningful football and winning in December is definitely big for us. It’s important to me and I take those opportunities and try to make the best of them. Today we were able to take a great opportunity for us to take a step in the right direction and we have to continue to keep doing so, and use this as momentum going forward.
Q: On the run to the pile on there, did you know you had that corner right away or were you like I hope I get there?
A: Oh hope, that would be not trusting my speed. The play is actually designed to go up the middle and they inserted a safety and he’s the free guy. I basically have to make him make a miss. I was able to get behind the lineman and jump back, make a jump cut to the left. Now I know it’s just me and him and I have to get to the pylon and I was able to do so. The lineman did a great job of blocking as well as the receivers outside.
Q: On the touchdown to LeSean McCoy, it wasn’t quite a rub but Charles Clay did just enough to kind of slow the linebacker down. Did you see mismatch right away because it’s a linebacker on LeSean McCoy, is that what you’re thinking?
A: Yes it’s definitely a check for us. Something we’ve had in the game plan for a couple weeks we just haven’t had the opportunity to get the look. We were able to get the look we wanted today. I have all the confidence in the world in Shady in going out there and making a play. In the passing game he was able to win his one on one matchup and make a big play for us.
Q: Just the team’s support for LeSean, guys wearing the 10k sweatshirts, Coach [McDermott] even congratulates him during the game. Just the team support that surrounded getting him there, could you just speak to that?
A: Shady is a special talent of course. For him to get 10k at such a young age is definitely impressive as well too. The team, we want to see guys achieve of course their personal goals, but as well the team goals. We were trying to get him that last week, we were short. Guys love when guys make history. It’s big for him. I know he’s excited, I’m excited for him but as a team we are more excited about the win. He would tell you the same.
Q: You talked about how the momentum boost is good for the offense. Does it give you any more boost knowing what they had done to the Patriots offense 6 days earlier?
A: Two totally different teams when you look at us and the Patriots. This team that we just played is definitely a very talented team. We were able to go out there and execute, that’s what it boils down to. Each and every week we just play the opportunities that are in front of us, and we were able to take advantage of a big opportunity today.
Q: Do you allow yourself to just wrap your mind around the possibilities that are here given that you haven’t been to a playoff yet, with this team? You haven’t done it as a starter. Your team as a whole, this team as a whole, when you see a game like this and what this team’s fit for, what do you allow yourself to embrace?
A: Really just take it one game at a time. Yes we got the win today, but there is a bunch of things that we could have done better in all phases, special teams, defense, and offense. I think very good teams look themselves in the mirror after a game like this and still try to figure out ways were we can get better. That’s what we have to do to be the team that we want to be moving forward.
Q: Could one of those things be stepping on a team’s throat? You guys had that 15 point lead at halftime, you want to just go for that kill shot.
A: Absolutely. Finishing games, starting fast of course, but finishing games. Like Coach [McDermott] talked about at the halftime, the killer instinct. We’ve been able to put some teams away throughout the year but not on a consistent basis. That’s something that we have to do.
BUFFALO BILLS RUNNING BACK LESEAN MCCOY
Q: The team support that was behind the whole 10K chase, how did it feel to just feel so uplifted by them, and especially, always congratulations.
A: It was cool. It was fun. Just the guys, not only this week but the whole year. The linemen constantly tell me about it, “let’s get 10K, 10K chase.” There were times where I kind of forget about it, and they remind me. You know, they wanted it as bad as I did, maybe even more, and that shows you the type of team that we have. Even guys on the defense were bringing it up and talking about it. I’m happy it’s over, I’m happy it’s done. Now I can look forward to us trying to get in this playoff. We took care of business today and we got a huge opponent next week.
Q: Are you glad you are at least able to enjoy it because you did get the win today. You know, this is a day you are going to look back on, are you going to remember you won the game too? Does that help?
A: Yeah that would’ve sucked if we loss. But the whole mindset today was let’s get the win, and let’s get 10K.
Q: What happen on the play where you got the record and then you were off the field for a play or two?
A: Yeah, I just lost my air. I got tackled on the ball. The few people who ever did it before they know, you like can’t breathe. So, I was gasping for air. That was it, it wasn’t that major.
Q: Did you know at that time that was…
A: No, I didn’t know. I wish I didn’t get it on that play. I would’ve gotten up and got some more yards, cause the next play [Travaris] Cadet had a run that was pretty good. You know, just wear and tear of the game.
Q: Can you walk us through your two scoring plays? First the run and then the catch when you had a mismatch with the lineman.
A: The first run was just I ran to the right, guys blocked it up. My last guy’s a safety and I just out ran him. But I mean, they blocked it up. That’s all I could say, they guys really blocked well. Then on the mismatch, it was a linebacker, which he knew it would be a hard match up. But we’ve been working at that all week. We didn’t think that we would get a linebacker to go out with me. So, when we see it, we were surprised. I looked at Tyrod [Taylor] like, hey this an early Christmas present. It worked though. I came outside and scored a touchdown.
Q: How different does this team feel to you, if at all, compared to a previous Bills team you’ve been on?
A: We’re finding ways to win. We’re all accountable. Guys are really accountable. They come early, they leave late. There’s a thing where coach asks all the players questions to see their preparation for the weekend. Guys are on it. Guys are looking at old film on a team for a year or two years before. That’s something I do just because I’ve been around for nine years, but young guys are doing it. Everybody’s prepared. Guys are on time for meetings. It’s like they want to be here. They want to win and they’re ready to put everything on the line to do that.
Q: Does that say to you that this is the type of team that could in fact at least do its part to get you to the playoffs?
A: Oh yeah. Listen, I’ve been on a lot of good teams with a lot of talent. But the good teams I’ve been on, like the attitudes’ like this, being on time, being accountable, holding the guy next to you accountable. Not wanting to let your teammates down. A lot of guys put a lot on the line. Guys are sore and banged up after games because they’re putting everything they have to that, to their craft. That’s what you want for a team to be successful, and that’s what we’re doing.
Q: LeSean, a lot was made all throughout the week about this maybe being Kyle Williams’s last home game, in the nature of the NFL, being a high priced player and the salary caps as it goes. Did you ever give it a thought that this would be your last game?
A: I hope not. I hope not, but I know how this business is. I’ve been in that situation before, and I was even hotter back then. All I can do is just, hopefully win games, produce, and be one of the better players on the field each time I line up. I’ll let the guys up in the office make that call. I would love to end my career here in Buffalo. I put big numbers up in Philly and I want to do the same here and get a ring. Bring this team to playoffs, and potentially a championship. But you never know. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that fans they love their players, and players, they love playing this game. They go from team to team but one thing that stays the same is the franchise. This franchise has been here for years, and it’s going to be here. The players exchange and go here and here, but this franchise will always be here. Knowing that, nobody’s safe. Whatever happens, happens.
Q: Can you go back to that moment where Drew [Rosenhaus] told you you got traded, and said this is not a joke?
A: For the kid we just played?
Q: Right. How would you describe the evolution of your opinion of the Bills from that moment to right now?
A: Well, I was not happy, considering I’m actually from PA, and I’m not far from the stadium. So when I played bad I would go home and get some home cooked food from Mom. And she could tell the type of game I had, she would leave early to go home and cook it for me. So that hurt me. Not knowing nothing about Buffalo, I had never been to Buffalo. I was hurt cause I was the fan favorite. I had a lot of stats and I was the main marketed guy on the team. [Derek] Boyko, you remember that. So I was hurt. And it was the first time I ever had a coach tell me, hey, I want somebody else. I don’t think you’re good enough. So, all those things played into effect. Then I go to Buffalo, I know nothing about and I get here. At first I was angry, I didn’t want to go. But then when I got here, it just seemed like the environment, the people. The other thing I noticed when I got here was the talent. I was like, damn these dudes are loaded. That whole year I wanna say, maybe around the fourth or fifth game, I started slowly getting involved and being around the community. I wouldn’t leave. I wouldn’t leave my home, go to practice and go home. Then I started going out, meeting people, going to restaurants, getting the love from the fans. I started to fall in love with it. You know now, I look at this like home. But that’s old now, it’s in the past. I’ve moved on and I was truly happy. The people here, the teammates, and the city embrace me with open arms. I’m thankful for that, I’m thankful.
Q: LeSean, you’ve been pretty vocal about other guys that you think should go in the Hall of Fame, like Frank Gore as an example. Now you’re over ten thousand, what about your case?
A: Well I have a lot more years to get done, a lot more yards to make. I want to get a ring. I want to get a championship. That’s one of the things I’ve had on my list since I was a kid, since watching championship games and the playoffs as a child. That’s something I want to accomplish. So until then, I’ll think about that later. I’ll have Derek Boyko tell you my stats and keep me in the loop. The ultimate goal is to get to 12,000, so I got a little more work to go.
Q: Speaking of the guy they traded for you, you juked him pretty hard.
A: Yeah, it’s not the first time. I suspect it. I know their D Coordinator and team, they know my talent. They know what’s up.
BUFFALO BILLS WIDE RECEIVER KELVIN BENJAMIN
Q: First things first, how’d you feel out there, moving around and everything?
A: It was still kind of bothering me a little bit, but I tried to stay out and push it with the team, have my presence on the field.
Q: I saw you limp off, is it still a pain thing?
A: Yeah, it’s still a pain thing. Sometimes I make the wrong cut, sometimes the deflection of it. I just tried to push through it with the team - just being out there [as] a decoy or whatever, whatever it takes
Q: Is it worse off now, maybe than before the game or are you feeling pretty good?
A: It’s still a little sore. You can’t really speak on it, it’s just one of those things, you feel it.
Q: You didn’t have surgery when you first got injured, but are you planning on having offseason knee surgery?
A: Definitely. As soon as the season is over, I’m going to have surgery on it.
Q: This is a team that has not gone to the playoffs in a long time – you’re coming from a franchise that had, but traded midseason. What’s the atmosphere in this locker room like now that you’ve won eight games, and a chance for more still with games left?
A: It’s a process. When I was over there in Carolina, you could just tell, those boys [Buffalo Bills] almost beat us. They lost by what? A touchdown? That one that Zay [Jones] didn’t catch. You could just tell, the energy. You could tell what Coach McDermott has going on over here – a team that’s been wanting to get in the playoffs, and making that push. That’s what we’re going to do, make that push.
BUFFALO BILLS DT KYLE WILLIAMS
Q: Richie [Incognito] said that if anybody said you were 8-6 or 6-2 at home in August we’d be laughing at you guys. No one is laughing at you guys. What do you make of it where this team is at right now?
A: It is no surprise. Day in and day out you spend the time with these guys. You see the way they work. You see the way they care about their teammates and the way they care about preparing. Everybody wants to win but not everybody is willing to prepare. These guys are willing to prepare. These guys are willing to get ready and pay the cost Monday through Saturday. The record is not perfect, we wish it could be better, but that’s why we are what we are this week because of the guys in this room.
Q: Getting pressure today and forcing the turnovers, was that the key to the defense playing so well?
A: I mean it could go two ways. If you’re getting pressure on [Jay Cutler], he has to get the ball out faster. Then if we can get turnovers and sacks it holds them, but we’ll take those turnovers. So yes, they can swing a game for sure.
Q: At this point in your career how good does it feel to essentially be playing meaningful football down the stretch? You haven’t had that a lot. You haven’t had that much lately.
A: It’s fun. It’s good to get up in the morning and go have everything you want to accomplish right in front of you. Then go get to work, help your teammates, and get ready and prepare. It’s all a lot of fun.
Q: You made a point last week about the fans here and just how strong they are battling the snow and that stuff. You had to take a moment coming off the field today at least for a moment to appreciate what this place has meant for you?
A: Well yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever taken this place for granted or ever not noticed it. They’ve always been in the forefront of my appreciation of what they do and what they stand for or who they are. Hopefully I’ve been clear about that over the years and if I haven’t, I apologize as I should do better. Though those guys are awesome. It’s been quite the privilege to play for them and like I said, I’m not going to go there - we still have some games left.
BUFFALO BILLS LINEBACKER LORENZO ALEXANDER
Q: We know Kyle [Williams] on the field, and the impact he leaves, but he might not be a bad guy to follow [off the field] either, right?
A: Yeah, not at all. He’s done it the right way. He’s showed you how you create longevity in this league. I think often at times, people just assume it’s all about what you do on the field. A lot of times, it’s about how you live your life. He’s a guy that – really, it lines up; what he’s preaching and what he’s talking about is how he lives, with his wife and with his kids. When that’s right, you can come to work [with] a clear mind, and you don’t have distractions, it allows you to put all your energy into it. He does a great job of doing both things well. I think guys see that and recognize he’s genuine, and they fall in line.
Q: How cool would it be, not only for the team but obviously for him – has never played in a playoff game, there’s a few other guys here that haven’t – you guys keep plugging along to get in that position?
A: Well that’s the goal. You never know when you’re going to have this opportunity again. You have to cherish every moment. Obviously, a guy like that, you want the most for him because he’s always done it the right way. But I know he’s going to say a playoff game is not good enough to him, he wants to win one. That’s why he plays, not just to get in the dance, but at the end, hold the trophy up. With that, we have to take it one week at a time; have to put ourselves in that position first, and then we’ll take it there if we get into the dance.
Q: The Dolphins have been playing so well offensively as of late, you guys really held them out of the end zone until the end. What was the key today going into the game and the execution?
A: The big thing was stopping [Kenyan] Drake early on. He had some runs, but they weren’t really too explosive. They got away from it, put the ball in Jay’s [Cutler] hands, and he threw us some picks. Guys capitalized on the ones he overthrew, and threw to them, and I think that’s what ultimately came down to it at the end. We were able to put some pressure on them, whether it was [Cap] Capi, Jerry [Hughes], Kyle, Eddie [Yarbrough]; just a good up front, four-man rush today, I thought. I think that kind of gave them some issues as well.
BUFFALO BILLS MLB PRESTON BROWN
Q: 6-2 at home this year. I know that was a point of concern. Protect the dirt and all. Do you think you guys have established that?
A: Yeah we did a pretty good job. To go 6-2 at home is pretty good. Obviously you want to win all eight, but to go out and go 6-2 I think is a pretty good job for this year.
Q: You guys had eight tackles for a loss and two sacks. What can you attribute to being able to get that kind of push against the Dolphins?
A: I mean our D-Line is incredible. With Eddie (Yarbrough), Kyle (Williams), Jerry (Hughes), and Adolphus (Washington), all those guys making plays in the backfield and Matt’s (Milano) running through the gaps. Those guys making plays did great today.
Q: Drake (Kenyan) had a pretty great start to the game today. How were you guys able to slow him down in the second half?
A: He’s fast. If he gets the edge he’s definitely going to cause some damage. So we had to make sure we set the edge. Everybody stay in your gaps. He’s going to show up eventually and we just have to be ready to make the tackle.
Q: This team still hasn’t been in it at this point in a while over the last few years. How does that feel given the respect to where you guys were to where you are now in the playoff hunt?
A: Yeah the city deserves this. They deserve to be in the playoff hunt and it is great that we finally are doing it. We know what we got to do. We got to continue to win games. We got to go to New England next week and get a big win.
Q: You got a tough one coming up, are you ready for it?
A: We got to find to get a pretty big win there. I mean I’ve won two times there but Tom (Brady) only played one of the quarters out of the times I’ve been there. It’s going to be a tough time for us, but we are ready for the challenge.
Q: Can you let yourself enjoy this because you’ve been through these experiences before where they’ve gotten away? Can you let yourself savior this idea that you can control your own destiny by winning these next few games?
A: Yeah you can always enjoy for a few hours. I mean we got the win. That’s all were really thinking about right now. We know what other teams got to do but we can’t really worry about it. If we go ten and six hopefully will be in and we got to continue to keep finding ways to keep winning these games.
BUFFALO BILLS DEFENSIVE END EDDIE YARBROUGH
Q: When you look at this team, after a game like this, where do you think you are? I mean, you have two left and you’re very much, we know where you are mathematically, but as you look at it, what do you feel about this team, do you feel like you’re in the playoffs?
A: Every single day, we strive to be great. That’s one of the things that Coach McDermott preaches every single day, we have to keep getting better, keep getting better … And if we did that, if we do that, from the time we started all the way back in OTA’s in December and early January, that’s when we’re starting to become our best, that Kaiser mentality. That’s what we’re trying to do as a team and luckily we were able to come out here today with a win.
Q: Eddie, I’m sure the coaches have talked to you guys about kind of forcing [Jay] Cutler into mistakes. It really did happen, didn’t it? The pressure you had forced him into mistakes.
A: Cutler’s an awesome quarterback. A lot of times, we had sacks on him but he just got the ball out so quick, so definitely showed his veteran ways today. At the same time, I’m proud of our defense, us guys up front and our back guys, we did a solid job in coverage. We can always improve, can always do better but we do see them again in two weeks so we’re going to have to try our best moving forward.
Q: How does it feel to have playoff hopes still hanging in the balance after everything you guys have ben through in the past two months?
A: We definitely take it one game at a time, but at the same time, you know that we’re fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. Definitely a great, awesome time to get out here and get this win and still be eligible to go out and get that Wild Card. As long as we win, just take it one day at a time, one play at a time and we’re just proud to get out here and win today.
Q: You know who this team was when you saw them, they had an impressive game against New England on Monday Night Football. What was the mindset when you took them on today?
A: As a team, the defense as a unit, and just as a team, we always just try to worry about what we can control. We can’t really worry about who Miami’s played, how they’re going to play, if they play next week, the week after that … All we can do is worry about what we do and how we can go out and take that step forward. That’s what we did, we were worried about what we could do, and again, we were lucky to get out here with a win today.
BUFFALO BILLS SAFETY JORDAN POYER
Q: Speak on the interception, I don’t know if he [Jay Cutler] was throwing it away, but describe what you saw on that play? Run that down.
A: I did a lot of film study early in the week based off of looks I kind of had an idea before the play was even snapped where the ball was going. Our corner was able to put hands on [Kenny] Stills and disrupt his route. I was able to get over the top and make a play on the football.
Q: Is that a case where you’re the single safety, if you don’t have an idea or anticipate, you get an extra two steps, you don’t make it to the sideline?
A: Basically, yeah. You have to play the game within the game. I saw the formation, I saw who was where, and the down and distance. They needed a chunk play to get the first. Like I said, I was able to get a good jump on the ball. Fortunately, we had good pressure on the quarterback and making him make a mistake. Like I said, I think it was Tre [White] out there putting hands on the receiver, and not letting him get off the ball. Jay just threw it up and I was able to make a play on it.
Q: What’s it like as a defensive back when you’re going up against a quarterback who you know he’s going to take some chances with it?
A: We kind of knew that going into the week. That’s kind of been his motto throughout this career. He’s a risk taker; he’s a savvy quarterback, a good quarterback. He will take risks and he will give you chances to make plays on the football. We knew early in the week he was going to give us some chances that we were going to have to capitalize on.
Q: That receiving core, they’re pretty legit. Their top three can all play, do you guys look at that and say ‘this is a good challenge for us’?
A: We knew that coming in, [that] this was a huge challenge for us. That’s a really good core, wide receiver group; they have a lot of talent over there. We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in. We held our own. We know we’ll see them in a couple weeks, so maybe they’ll throw a little something different at us. But at the end of the day, we held our own and were able to get the victory.
BUFFALO BILLS CORNERBACK TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE
Q: You obviously had one of the interceptions today, can you just talk about the importance of those takeaways? You guys are 6-1 this season when you have two or more takeaways in a game.
A: Coach [Leslie] Frazier does a good job of emphasizing that throughout the week. If you’re plus-2 in a game, your chances of winning the game is like 80%. That’s our goal each and every week - at least get two takeaways and win the turnover differential. We were plus-3 today, and our chances jumped up to 90%, so we came out with the win.
Q: 6-2 at home, best mark for this team at home since 1999. Sean [McDermott] talked about it earlier in the year about defending the home dirt, how important was it to do as well as you did this year?
A: That’s the message. That’s been the message since coach got here and after the rookies got here. He emphasized that in rookie mini-camp too. We did a great job. It’s not what we want, we wanted to be 8-0, but 6-2 is not bad. Now, we go on to New England and try to continue to win, and get to the playoffs [on] a streak.
Q: Do you approach your dancing differently in the snow or not in the snow? Did you have a different plan today?
A: No, it goes by the vibe of the music. If I get some good music, I’ll give some good moves. If I get some not so good music, my dances are going to be half and half. They gave us some good, spirited music, and I gave the crowd a show.
BUFFALO BILLS CORNERBACK SHAREECE WRIGHT
Q: Your first play in the game there, what were you thinking there? He went out and then you had come right in?
A: Whatever opportunity I’m given, just try to take advantage of it; just being ready whenever my number is called and doing whatever I can to help this team win.
Q: Can you kind of describe that play? Was it zone coverage out there?
A: It was zone coverage, [I] was just looking to the backside when my receiver went underneath. I was just working to the backside and he threw it. We’ve been talking about that play, he’s not going to see me back there because they’re bringing #3 [receiver] from the other side of the field.
Q: So, if it’s just a little overthrown, you got a shot?
Q: How much going into this week and during the week in meetings did you guys talk about, we can get picks on this guy? The guy will put the ball up–
A: On defense, we live by getting turnovers. We know how many turnovers he’s responsible for in his career as a quarterback. We know that every week, no matter who it is, we want to get interceptions and turnovers. Today, we made that happen.
Q: It’s been a long stretch where you weren’t getting takeaways on defense. It has to feel good to get those back again?
A: Definitely, and that’s just a part of the league. Everything is not always going to be a high rise; you want it to, but there’s ups and downs in the NFL. The thing is to keep fighting and keep striving for those turnovers. You never know when those are going to come, so be ready to catch them when they do.
MIAMI DOLPHINS HEAD COACH ADAM GASE
Q: What do you tell the team after a game like this today?
A: Well, I thought we fought to the end, tried to get ourselves back in in. It was too late. Had three and then at least [it] gave ourselves a chance to try to do something with not much time left. Just have to come in tomorrow and fix our mistakes and reset for the next week.
Q: Coach, any reason why you didn’t run Kenyan [Drake] a lot more since he was averaging 4.8 yards per carry coming into today?
A: Well, we started having negative plays [and] we were putting ourselves in third and long. That kind of caused us some problems there in the 2nd quarter. We had some success early; really, it was all on him. As far as the reason why we were getting a lot of those yards, we were kind of losing some blocks and then bouncing them outside. We were trying to avoid standing at third and long, because we knew that was going to be tough for us with the way that they were rushing. We were struggling to pick up a lot of their stuff.
Q: Adam, Jay Cutler seemed to have some problems with accuracy and controlling the ball. Do you have any idea what was going on?
A: Yeah, I have to go back and look at what was going on with that. There was a couple of them where I thought [that] we had some chances there whether he threw a good ball or guys - I felt like we were on the same page, we just didn’t hit ‘em.
Q: How do you assess how difficult this season’s been for you guys? [Ryan] Tannehill’s injury [added] to the hurricane, playing 16 in a row -
A: Yeah, I’ll think about it later. I’m not worried about that right now.
Q: So what’s hard to understand is how a team can play at a certain level against a championship team and then follow that up with [performing] not close [to that caliber]?
A: We didn’t play good. We didn’t do anything really well today. I can’t say we were doing things wrong. They just played better than us.
Q: Coach, you kind of knew going into this game it was going to be LeSean McCoy, trying to keep him from hurdling in, [and] Tyrod Taylor doing what he’s done in the past. They just seem to have – seem to play well against this football team. Tyrod running, throwing the ball. How do you resolve that?
A: We’re going to find out here in a couple of weeks. Both those guys, I mean everybody that pays attention to us probably knew who we were going to try to stop. We just didn’t get it done.
Q: You’ve got to feel pretty good about your offense early on [with] Kenyan running the ball, [and] you were able to move well other than not being able to come up with touchdowns; you had to kick field goals. It seemed like after that, Kenyan became ineffective, starting losing yards and it seemed to make you change your whole idea offensively.
A: We didn’t really change anything; we were just trying to figure out a way to stay third and manageable. Then we did it a few times and we didn’t convert. The whole purpose of getting inside third and six is give yourself a better chance to get a first down, a new set of downs. Just never could really get in the rhythm we wanted to get into.
Q: Two games left, it looks like playoffs are out of the picture. What do you play for next week and what do you want to accomplish over the next two weeks?
A: Anytime you’re in this league, every week’s an evaluation. Doesn’t matter what week of the season it is. Our guys are ready to come back to work and find a way to get better and get to play another week.
Q: Last week, look at Jay Cutler--just had everything going. This week, a little off target early on and then couldn’t seem to get his rhythm. [He seemed to have] had a tough time holding on to the ball; dropped it a couple of times. What did you see from Jay?
A: I’m going to have to go back and look at the tape and really see what was going on. Sometimes, you’re thinking one thing on the sideline, when you go back and you start talking through some things and you kind of have a better idea. It’s kind of hard for me to piece together exactly what wasn’t going right for us.
Q: I know it’s a fine line of trying to reel in Jarvis [Landry] sometimes, but did you have an issue with what he did today?
Q: Just with the penalties.
A: I mean, I’ll probably have a little better idea [with] what happened on that whole deal. Unfortunately, we lost all those yards and then found a way to battle back and just couldn’t convert when we had a third and manageable.
Q: Adam, as far as pivotal stretches of the game, late in the second quarter, they scored the two touchdowns in the final six minutes, I guess, to go up 21-6. Was that the biggest stretch of the game? One of the biggest? How would you determine that?
A: I don’t even look at it like that, because you’re playing the game and then, really, once you kind of get in the fourth quarter, that’s when you’ve got to make it go one way or the other.
MIAMI DOLPHINS QUARTERBACK JAY CUTLER
Q: It seemed like you had a hard time making connections, and later in the game hanging onto the football. It was knocked out of your hand a couple of times. What was going on?
A: I think that in the later part of the game, we’re just trying to make plays and trying to push the ball down the field. We’re in a two-score game, so you’ve got to hold onto it a little bit. They’re playing coverage, not an ideal situation. We started the game field goal, field goal. I think that’s exactly how we started the New England game. Obviously we didn’t finish as we wanted to.
Q: The inconsistency is frustrating from last week to this week. It’s been like that all season. How do you wrap your arms around that?
A: You don’t want to sit up here and make excuses for anything. I’m not going to make excuses for the way I’ve played, or the three turnovers. I’m responsible for all three of them no matter what the situation was. I mean, we’ve talked about inconsistencies all year. I think it’s been a theme of every Wednesday or Thursday at press conferences. When we win, we do a lot of things right, and when we lose, we do things like that. That’s the NFL. It’s the landscape. The good teams find ways to do it game in and game out. The young teams and the teams that are struggling to figure it out, they’re going to have ups and downs. If we want to take that next step to being one of those consistent teams, these are games where we’ve got to come out and put a better performance together.
Q: Has it been a frustrating season for you?
A: I think anybody that loses games gets frustrated. I think it’s hard not to say. I love playing with these guys. We have a great coaching staff. We have a lot of talent there and it makes it fun to go to work. Even though we lost this game, the guys were out there fighting to the last play.
Q: Kenyan Drake rushed for 53 yards in the first half, 78 for the game. How were the Bills able to limit him in the second and third quarters?
A: We were in a pass-happy situation in the fourth quarter. We were playing catch-up, so it’s going to be hard to stay balanced in a situation like that.
Q: When you talk about the turnovers, did you have an issues gripping the ball?
A: That one came out, you know, it just gets dry out there. The other one got knocked out.
Q: Was this the case later in the game when the Bills were changing the looks up on you, and keeping you going through your progressions?
A: Well, they’ve got the luxury. They’re up two scores. We’ve got to put it in the end zone, so they’re not really worried about the run. They’re able to drop eight guys, nine guys, and play some different coverages. I think we saw it last week against the Patriots. Their defense was able to throw a lot of different coverages. When you’re winning in those situations, it’s a great place to be.
Q: Where do you find the motivation for the next two games for this team to play at the level you want to play at?
A: It’s a great locker room. I don’t think we’re going to have any issues with guys shutting down. We’ve been in games where we’ve been two scores out, and the guys find ways to go out there and keep playing until the whistle blows. So as long as they let us play next week, we’re going to be ready to roll.
Q: Did you feel like you were a little off at the beginning of the game?
A: No, I didn’t feel that.
Q: Do you ever feel that way in a game and if so, what do you go back to in order to correct it?
A: I think Adam (Gase) does a good job whenever we’re a little bit off-kilter getting the ball out, getting some catch-and-runs, giving it the juice, getting some quick passes to some of these guys and seeing if we can get a little momentum.
MIAMI DOLPHINS WIDE RECEIVER JARVIS LANDRY
Q: Jarvis, there’s highs in this game like last week, and there’s lows. How low is this after that loss?
A: A loss is a loss, no matter when it is. Obviously, we knew everything that was at stake and we didn’t make it happen.
Q: Last year, you guys stepped up when those opportunities presented itself. This year, that hasn’t necessarily been the case. What is the difference?
A: I don’t know. I wish I could I tell you, I don’t know.
Q: I wasn’t sure what happened on the unsportsmanlike call in the 4th quarter. Do you know what you were flagged for?
A: Obviously, we’re a team that the refs look at as far as pick plays and stuff like that. I did not pick the guy, I was getting jammed. DeVante (Parker) came free and got the first down obviously, he threw the flag and I just told him, ‘That’s a bad call’. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to refs and talk to refs and this guy, he just didn’t want anyone to talk to him or challenge what he was saying. He’s protected, he’s a referee … It is what it is.
Q: What is it about these two teams, it seems like every time you guys play it’s pretty charged?
A: Because it’s usually like this. The Patriots are winning the AFC and we’re fighting for the next slot. That usually is the case and I think that’s why.
Q: How do you bounce back from this, emotionally?
A: Get back in there tomorrow, watch film and prepare the same way.
MIAMI DOLPHINS TACKLE JESSE DAVIS
Q: Jesse, how tough is it knowing you guys were right in the position to sort of make yourself a playoff contender, or get yourself in the mix, and lost this game?
A: It hurts, but we were fired up for this game. Put ourselves in some bad spots, got to the red zone twice in the first two drives and we should have capitalized on that, so that’s our own fault. We got a great team, we’re not going to sit here and beat each other up. We’re going to come back.
Q: It seems that always when you guys play each other, there’s another level of chippy-ness. What is it about these two teams that just don’t like each other?
A: I don’t know, this is my first time playing this team. It was definitely one of the most chippy ones on the year … I couldn’t answer that question.
Q: What was going on in the corner, it looked like there was four Bills and Kenyan (Drake) was in the corner and you came to try and help?
A: Yeah, I saw Kenyan on the ground and a bunch of blue jerseys around him, I’m trying to get my guy to the sideline. Next thing you know, this guy turns around and hits me in the face and I just didn’t understand what the hell was going on. So, I try to get my guy off, he was trying to stop me and didn’t want me to get there.
Q: When you talk about sticking together, how important is it finishing strong these final two games?
A: It’s really important, just knowing when you’re out here, we still have a job to do. We get paid to do a job, you do your job and stick together, have fun. We’ll see what we can do with play call this week.
MIAMI DOLPHINS CORNERBACK BOBBY McCAIN
Q: It seemed like in the first half Tyrod [Taylor] breaking contain was killing you guys, why was it so hard getting him down today?
A: He’s a good athlete. He’s a good quarterback. He uses his feet really well getting out of the pocket. He’s better scrambling. We couldn’t contain him, we didn’t contain him, we didn’t do our job, and that’s going to be one of our plans to input. We’ve just got to come out and execute the next time we play them.
Q: You are one of the more fiery guys on the team. It was a pretty chippy game today, what led to that?
A: It’s the Bills, you know. It’s a division game. A rival game. We need it. They need it. We both needed the game. It’s just football. People take it out of context. It’s just emotions, you play with emotion and that’s just what we do.
Q: Speaking of emotions Bobby, how high was last week and how low is this?
A: It sucks. Losing a game sucks, any game to be honest especially this one. This was a big one for us and now we just have to prepare and to go out and have a great week of practice. That’s the only thing we can do is have a great week of practice and try to get better.
MIAMI DOLPHINS DEFENSIVE TACKLE NDAMUKONG SUH
Q: It has been kind of mind boggling the inconsistency of this football team and really a highlight last week beating New England, and then coming here and struggling here. What do you see as you look back at the whole picture so far as to why the inconsistency has been here throughout the year from start to finish?
A: I think it’s as simple as mistakes, mental errors in some aspects and when you really look at the film, and I saw some of it today, missed tackles. Missed tackles hurt us especially early in the game not getting off the field. That’s what I’ve seen so far.
Q: When you come into a game knowing that it’s [LeSean] McCoy and Tyrod Taylor that you really have to stop, they both score two touchdowns, what is it about the matchup with you guys that has been hard for the last couple of years for you guys to get to them?
A: They’re great elite players. They’re going to obviously have things that allow them to make plays and we have to be able to find ways to combat that. Find ways to get off the football field and we didn’t do a good enough job of that especially early in the game. Made some adjustments and made some plays, but we need to find some ways to turn that quicker.
Q: How did Charles [Harris] do as far as fitting in and knowing what needed to be done out there?
A: Charles is doing a great job. He understands his role. He has been playing a pretty high level. Continue to expect for him to blossom.
Q: How much did Tyrod Taylor’s mobility effect the defense?
A: I don’t think he got out of the pocket too much. One particular play I let him out of the pocket, I’ve got to have better contain, but I will tell you that. I don’t think he hurt us too much with his feet in the run game, but he was on point. He made a lot of great passes and made plays.
Provided by the Buffalo Bills.