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What They Said: Derek Anderson, Josh Allen, LeSean McCoy on quarterback change

Running Back LeSean McCoy

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Q: What are your thoughts on Sean [McDermott] making the move on Derek [Anderson] today and what does that mean for you guys?

A: [It’s] just a ‘next man up’ mentality. He’s a veteran and I’m sure he’s used to this, stepping into play. We just have to help him out on the skilled positions, run the ball well, play good defense, good special teams. He’s new here so we just need to help him out.

Q: He did he run things today, LeSean?

A: He did okay for his first time. He’s only been here for, what, two weeks? So, it’s a new offense, but he’s smart, very smart. I think that helps him out a lot.

Q: Overall, this offense has struggled. How do you go about a least getting 300 yards?

A: Yeah, it is what it is. There’s no time to pout or make excuses. [We] just have to find ways to get it done. If it’s Josh [Allen] or Nate [Peterman] or Derek, whoever it is, we have a job to do and that’s to produce on offense. Guys in the front, they block. Guys in the back, we run. They throw, we catch. [We] just have to minimize all the mistakes with the penalties and take charge. It’s as simple as that.

Q: Given Nate’s struggles throughout his time here, as a locker room, do you feel like Sean needed to make a move to a veteran guy?

A: That’s not my call. I don’t know how to answer that question; I’m just being honest with you. That’s Sean, it’s his team, we follow him. He thought it was necessary to make a change. I’ve been here [and there have] been a lot of quarterback changes. The good thing about that is that it’s Sean’s decision, it’s not mine. I don’t’ have a real, honest opinion to give you.

Q: LeSean, with how the defense is playing, as an offense, do you feel like you guys are letting that unit down?

A: Yeah, I mean I do. I think it’s not fair to the defense. They’re playing lights out. That game last week, even taking it back to that Green Bay game with Aaron Rodgers and they kind of locked him up and we didn’t do enough offensively to win that game. A lot of guys feel that, they feel like we’re letting the defense down, and also the team. We’ve just have to find a way to get it done.

Q: LeSean, Josh has to be disappointed obviously because of his injury. How active, though, was he at practice today making sure that he stayed involved?

A: He’s still young, so he has to be out here learning, hearing the plays, trying to dissect everything that’s going on in the offense so he can be the quarterback we expect him to be. He needs to be out here for sure.

Q: Coach talks a lot about embracing that growth mindset. You guys have embraced that, and a lot of that has to do with Josh. Now that Josh is out for a period of time, how do you keep that mentality, how do you keep that positivity?

A: Well, it’s bigger than him. As a whole, guys everybody just being accountable, taking care of their jobs week in and week out and in practice. Just being pros [and] learning. Being coachable. It’s bigger than just one player. He’s a player that we have tremendous faith in and I think he’s going to be a heck of a player, but collectively as an offense and a team, there are things we can do better together. The mentality is still the same.

Q: LeSean, with Derek coming in last week, do you expect to get more of a heavy workload this week? I mean, he’s still learning the offense.

A: I think so. It’s only Wednesday, so we’re still putting the whole game plan together. I would think so, though, because, like I said, he’s new to this offense, but he’s very intelligent. He’s been in here extra hours learning the offense, so we’ll see.

 

Quarterback Derek Anderson
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Q: On vacation one week, on a team the next, and then starter the next week. How do you explain this?

A: It’s football. Things that happen in this game never amaze me. You’ve got to be ready at all times and I was fully aware of what I was getting myself into coming here. Obviously, [it’s] not ideal, but we’re going to do what we can.

Q: You’re chasing toddlers around two weeks ago. Do you feel, not only mentally, but physically ready to go play a football game Sunday?

A: Physically, I feel good. Last week, I pushed myself quite a bit just to kind of see where I was at, and I knew where I was at and what I was doing. [I] pushed myself pretty good through the week, ran pretty hard, [on] Sunday did all my normal stuff. [I] felt good on Sunday, today I felt good. Legs feel good, arm feels good. Mentally, we’re working on it. [I’m] putting a lot of hours in just trying to catch up with these guys. They have obviously all been together and doing things since April. It’s my job to do what I can to catch up to where they’re at.

Q: You don’t have familiarity with these guys, but you do have familiarity with Kelvin Benjamin. Does that help in any way? I know you maybe didn’t throw a lot to him in Carolina, but you had him as a teammate for three, four years, however long it was.

A: Yeah, obviously I know Kelvin and kind of what he does. That’s what we were working on today. I missed some throws today, but just kind of getting used to a guy’s body language in some plays. Obviously, we have some things that I have never really run, but that’s fine. That’s why we practice, and I’ll be ready to go.

Q: When you have a running back like LeSean McCoy, how much does that help knowing you have a guy you can turn around and hand the ball off to?

A: Is he good? I’m not really sure. Yeah, obviously, that’s something that Coach McDermott wants to do. [They] ran the football very well two weeks ago. Last week, we had some opportunities. Obviously, he’s a special talent, a guy that you’re going to give the football to and let him make plays.

Q: Derek, how much can you, I mean we hear you joke about LeSean McCoy whereas a rookie or second year guy trying to find his way maybe won’t feel comfortable making that obvious joke in front of the media. What about the ease or comfort that you bring with your experiences?

A: Unfortunately, I’ve seen all sides of the whole situation. I’ve seen the good, I’ve seen the bad, I’ve seen the ugly. My job for me, these guys are just getting to know me, but I’m just going to be myself. I like to have fun; it’s a game, I’m going to go out there, I’m going to enjoy it. Obviously, we’re going to have some mistakes and we’re going to try and minimize them as much as we can. Make sure our communication throughout the week is excellent. There’s going to be a lot of talking and walking [like] “hey, I thought this, okay cool, this is how I see this route or this is how I see this play.” Just making sure those things are communicated before Sunday.

Q: Derek, as experienced as you are, you are two years removed from your last regular season game action. How long do you anticipate it will take you to get adjusted to the game speed again?

A: Hopefully, very quickly. It’ll take a minute to get used to it, but we’ll have a good plan and I feel good about the things we got in today. Just getting out there and, like I said, just talking and playing. Football is football to me. You’re out there with your guys. My comfort level with those guys will be good by Sunday.

Q: Can you shed maybe some light on the kind of dialogue that you and coach Daboll are going to have to have between now and Saturday night meetings in terms of what stays in and what gets tossed out [in terms of] the game plan?

A: Well, I told him if I can’t see the picture in my brain when I say it, it’s not in. By Sunday, I see a picture of an overlay on the field, that visual, if I can’t see it, if I can’t see that picture, I don’t feel comfortable with it, I’m just going to [tell him] I don’t feel comfortable on that, and he’s okay with that. Obviously, we’re going to have to work through that as we go.

Q: How much do you think you’ll be able to grasp and execute from what you know now to Sunday?

A: I’m not a rocket scientist, but I’m pretty smart. The biggest thing for me is being able to talk to the guys, terminology-wise, right? The terminology that we had with Brian the first time has changed a bit, but I’ve been studying like crazy since I got here last week. Initially, it was just so I could talk to Josh during games and he knows what I was talking about. Obviously, all the work I put in last week, that helps this week. Something’s, no, because some plays we’re not running this week, but we’re getting there.

Q: Derek, you said earlier that you knew what you were getting into when you signed here, but a week ago Sean McDermott described your role as being a mentor. Could you have possible envisioned that it would change so drastically from that mentor quarterback to a starter in a week?

A: It’s not exactly how I saw it happening, I’m not going to lie to you, but I talk with my friends, my wife. Everybody was just kind of like, “Do you want to do this, do you really want to do this?” I told coach, if I’m going to do this, I’m fully committed to it. That’s why I came here.

Q: Derek, when did Sean tell you that you were the starter this week?

A: Yesterday.

Q: We saw you guys working after practice here going through plays, but who is the one that initiates that extra work?

A: I asked the guys if they would hang and asked Brian if he would let me get some extra things. Obviously, the more work we get, even if it’s just walking and talking and seeing the plays and those guys walking through them, it’s very helpful just to see where they’re going to be.

Q: Are there any other offensive players that have been by your side this week, today, to kind of go over this with you?

A: Yeah, we get together in between periods when the defense is going and I would just talk. I would call the play and just see how, tell them how I see it. If there’s anything, [it] was back and forth, good conversations and that’s what we’re going to have to have.

 

Quarterback Josh Allen

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Q: Obviously, they said it was a sprain, but there were the reports that it could’ve been a ‘Tommy John’. You know what ‘Tommy John’ surgery is all about. Were you worried at all that this might be much more serious than it turned out to be?

A: I was very optimistic of what had happened during the game. I had my dad and my brother call me saying they saw different reports and people want to make all these outside accusations and claims, but I’m trusting the doctors we’ve talked to and trust in what we’ve seen. I’m relieved and happy; it is what it is. Now, I get to kind of step back and see [Derek Anderson] how he kind of controls the huddle, how he operates. I’m looking at it as a blessing in disguise right now to see how he operates [with] how long he’s been in the league and trying to learn things from him.

Q: In your mind, I’m sure you’re still disappointed that you’re not playing, but have you moved past that initial disappointment?

A: For sure, absolutely. The competitor in me, and not just in me, but every person who plays this game, they want to be out on the field. It sucks being sidelined, but it’s a part of the game. It’s football; it’s going to happen one time or another. Like I said, to see him and learn from him and how he does things is what is my approach now going forward in the next week, two, three weeks. I’m looking forward to it.

Q: What is your take on the hit by [Whitney] Mercilus? Some people think he kind of rode his helmet and made contact with his helmet on your arm.

A: Well, I mean it’s, hindsight is 20-20 and it’s football. If it had just been Mercilus that had hit me, I probably would’ve been fine, if it was just [Jadeveon] Clowney that hit me, I would’ve been fine, but they kind of came in together. I saw the replay, and whether it was late or not, that’s not up for me to decide. I threw the ball and took the brunt of the hit, and like I said, that’s football. It’s a man’s game, it’s a tough game. I still love this game regardless of what happens.

Q: Josh, what is your expectation and understanding of the timeline of your healing?

A: I want to be back as fast as possible. At the same time, I have to be smart and understand that the only way I can help this team is being 100 percent healthy. Whether it’s next week or the week after, there is no timetable right now. It’s seeing day-to-day, week-to-week how I’m feeling, how we’re progressing, getting in the training room like heck and then going from there.

Q: In what area can you continue to develop by standing off and watching?

A: Leadership aspect. Having a guy like Derek who has been around the league for a long time, he demands a lot from the players. Just seeing how he talks to them, little tidbits and reminders that he gives to them before they go out. Something that I haven’t really been around. To see that coming from a guy that’s been in this league for a long time, it’s going to be really helpful for me.

Q: We just had him up here and he’s cracking jokes, making fun of LeSean McCoy. When it comes to having that type of veteran experience and cracking jokes, maybe that’s not the type of perspective you have, how much can you learn from that?

A: People play this game different ways. He tends to keep it light, not just on the field, but in the meeting rooms, outside, sitting down and having lunch together. He’s never too serious of a person, and that’s a great thing. Just seeing how much fun he has when he’s out here. He’s been in the league this long and he’s still coming out here and having a great time; that’s also really cool and instrumental for me to see.

Q: Josh, after that play [that you got hurt], you went out for another play. I know you’re optimistic, but in that moment, what was going through your head?

A: Obviously, there was some lingering pain because of the previous hit, but I didn’t want to leave the game, I didn’t want to take myself out, so I went in one more time. [I] just wasn’t able to make the throw how I wanted to make it. I knew at that point that me staying on the field would be hurting the team. For me to go down and let Nate [Peterman] warm up, [I was] trying to be a smart football player in that case, so it sucks but it is what it is.

Q: Josh, I don’t know if you injuries are similar in any way, but have you had any thoughts about reaching out to Marcus Mariota and maybe just talking to him about his elbow injury and what to expect in the days coming up?

A: I’m not really sure how similar those injuries are, but it would be good to talk to him just to see how he kind of handled it, the rehab he did. I’m sure he’s got great doctors and great trainers like we do, and I’m going to trust the guys we have in ours. Talking to some really good people that know a lot of good stuff, so that’s what we’re doing.

Q: If you would’ve stayed in the game, could you have hurt it even worse?

A: That I do not know. I just knew that me staying out there and trying to make throws that I probably couldn’t make would hurt the team.

Q: Do you have a timetable on how long that brace is going to be on?

A: No timetable. This is, right now, to keep me from bending it or straightening it. This is a precautionary thing, to help it heel as much as possible.

Q: I was just wondering once you get the brace off, how long it’s going to take to be able to throw?

A: [I have] no idea. [It’s] day-to-day.

Q: Josh, what was the initial pain? Was it just in your elbow or did it shoot down your arm into your hand?

A: It didn’t go numb, it didn’t tingle at all. It was just in the elbow. Nothing that went into my fingers or my hand. It was all the same spot.

 

 

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