Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey spoke today from St. John Fisher as the Bills get set to begin camp there on Thursday with a 3:00pm practice. Below is a transcript from Gailey's news conference:
On what some of the guys who did not participate in OTAs and minicamp are doing and in today's workout:
(Torell) Troup, (Eric) Wood and Terrence McGee all went through it, played it through and did pretty well. I think we will be smart with all three of them. Troup is probably the furthest along at this point of all three. But I thought all three of those guys looked good out here to start with.
On DE Shawne Merriman and DT Kyle Williams' health:
I expect them to be full go. They both did things in OTAs and minicamp so I do not see any reason why they should not be full go.
On having the team fully healthy:
It is great to have everybody here. And that is one of the keys for us: to have everyone with all hands on deck. It is nice to have it and it is imperative to have it.
On TE Mike Caussin being placed on Active/PUP:
(Mike) Caussin is (physically unable to perform) and he is the only one that will not be practicing.
On if everyone else has reported to camp:
On the expectations of having a winning season:
I think our mindset is where it needs to be. But you have mindsets and you can have attitude changes. You can have culture changes. But until you do it on the field on Sundays it does not count. We have to go with the mindset and the attitude that we are going with to produce victories on Sundays.
On what he wants to see from the team during training camp:
First of all, defensively we have to all be on the same page. We have to get the new calls, the new process and get a feel for each other a lot better. Offensively we have to build on what we did in the first seven games last year. If we do those two things, and our kicking game continues to progress which we have made good progress (with), I think we will be where we want to be when the season starts.
On the difference between this year and last season:
It was a lot harder last year. Of course you were dealing with a totally different thought process about how to get your team ready. We could not go out and practice six snaps in a row with anybody the first week or so. We kind of worked everybody in and took three snaps. The next four practices everybody took four snaps and went a couple more practices then went to five snaps until we could build up their endurance and their football playing. They had not done anything football wise in the offseason. It was a totally different situation than we are in this year. This is a much better way to do it.
On the rookies being able to work with the team in the offseason:
That was invaluable for our rookies to be able to do that. I know last year we had a couple of rookies who came in and they were a little heavy and pulled a muscle early. (Kelvin Sheppard) was one of them that could not practice. All of a sudden you lose all that time with a guy like that.
I think these rookies were able to realize what is going to be expected of them and able to work to be in better shape so they can come out and be people that not only participate but contribute early.
On the number two wide receiver slot and the depth chart's importance this early on in the season:
Donald (Jones) will start there. But still we are looking at everybody. We have not ruled anybody out at this point at that spot. You have to have somebody that walks out there the first day and you will all write about it and talk about it. We are going to move people around at different times during camp. We'll try to get people equal reps at left tackle, try to get equal reps at quarterback. Just because a guy starts the first day does not mean anything. There are some spots that we understand there is competition and we are going to try and make sure we make it as equal as possible going into the season.
On the defensive end rotation:
I am not ready to go there yet. I think different guys will fit different situations. I do not know, I will say we have two guys who are going to start and they start every snap of every game. There will be a rotation. How it goes? I do not know yet. I know who the left end will be but whoever right is, I do not know right now.
On the backup quarterback:
Yes, we will have one. (Laughs)
On not overanalyzing the backup QB battle:
Right, we are going to have one of them take the two's reps the first day and the next one take the two's reps the next day. So we'll just have to figure that out. The objective is to get the ones ready. We are trying to find out who can help us best if something were to happen.
On the left tackle battle:
Same thing. Do not read too much into who goes out there first, the first day.
On if he has a preference of who starts at left tackle:
No, my mind is open. I do not have a preference. Whoever is best.
On Troup, Carrington and the defensive tackle position:
Anybody that is going into their third year, it is time for them to step up. I think they will. I think they will give their very best effort. As you said, there is a lot of great competition. That is going to be a very difficult decision when it comes down to it. I think we have some good players in that area. Whoever produces and plays the best are the guys we are going to keep.
On when he will start installing the offense for Week One of the regular season:
A week and a half or two weeks before. Something like that. We walk-through things from time to time that our first two or three opponents might be giving us. That will be done more in walk-throughs than it will in the other times. We are trying to create competition and get ourselves better. I am much more worried about ourselves than I am about other teams at this point.
On starting the defense with the basics:
And with offense and special teams. You go back to square one and start with the basics.
On what he enjoys about camp off the football field:
I think in years past that (the off the field activities) were very important. I do not think that getting away and getting everybody together in an enclosed area is that big of a deal anymore because our guys spend three months with each other in the offseason. I think the relationships and the respect and the things you used to build in training camp have been built throughout the course of the year. It is not as vital. It is good. It is important but I do not think it carries the same importance that it did 15 years ago.
On if he would consider scrimmaging another team:
We sure would. Not this year. I mentioned it to a couple of coaches at the owners meeting this year just to get some feedback on who might like to do it and who might not like to do it. We will see if time goes forward how we want to handle that.
On if the team gets off to a slow start what will happen:
The majority of our team has been off to a fast start and a slow start. I think we are mentally capable, for the majority of our team, of handling whichever thing happens. You try to be able to handle the good things when they happen. And I think we will be better at handling that his year. I think we have proven that we can handle the tough times and try to bounce back a little bit. I do not want to try and prove that anymore.