The Bills returned to work Wednesday looking ahead to Sunday's game at San Diego (you can see the Bills/Chargers on CBS and WROC-TV at 4:00pm) below is a transcript of comments beginning with Head Coach Chan Gailey:
On TE Scott Chandler's injury update:
He won't practice today and will maybe be on the field for a little bit tomorrow. It's a lot more
encouraging than it was two days ago.
On what TE Lee Smith can bring to the offense if he has to step in for Chandler:
you would do is you would use Lee and Mike Caussin to try to work some
things that you would
do with Scott, because Lee's more of a blocker and Mike's more of a pass
catcher. So you would try to keep that combination doing what they do
best. I know that can't always take place. Mike's got to block some and
Lee's got to go out some. You try to be smart
at how you do that.
On S George Wilson cleared for practice and ready to play on Sunday:
That's really big. The communication on the back end was very good while he was in there and we've
taken a step back in our communication in the secondary with all the young guys, which is understandable.
On how eager he was to see RB CJ Spiller run at his full potential:
great to have a back of his caliber that can walk in when you lose a
Most people don't have that. It's great to have that kind of guy. I was
excited about watching him and seeing what he would do and how much he
progressed in a year. I think every week he plays he'll get a little
better. I'm excited about seeing what the next
few games hold for him.
On waiting since they drafted Spiller in 2010 to see him finally succeed:
was excited about seeing what he could do. At the same time when you
had a guy playing like
Fred (Jackson), you weren't going to take him out of the game. It was
just an odd set of circumstances that came together for CJ in the role
that he found himself for our football team. You went into the season
thinking Fred would start but CJ would play a
decent amount. As it turned out you couldn't take Fred out of the game. I
On how he would assess LT Chris Hairston's play this season:
a good thing when you don't notice those offensive linemen. He's doing
his job. He's getting
better. He's not there. He hasn't arrived but he's getting better. I
thought he played, when he got thrown into it early, I thought he really
did some good things but probably my expectations were pretty low. When
he's come back this time my expectations and
I think our whole offensive line's expectations were high of him. He's
done well and I think he's improving. He's not where he's going to be in
the future though.
On Monday night's performance by QB Philip Rivers and if that what he's truly capable of:
you don't do it today people are down on you. That's part of life, you
deal with it. We all
know how good Philip is. If protection is good, quarterbacks get better.
If you have receivers that you're comfortable with and that you've
worked with, you're a better quarterback. I don't care who you are,
where you are, in what league you're in. That's the
On San Diego making playoff runs in December and finishing strong and if he wants to match
that and finish strong in December:
what you have to be able to do. You have to be able to finish strong.
Most of the teams
in the last few years that have really won it have had to do that. You
play hard, you get on a roll and you fight and scrap, claw to get to the
playoffs and then all of the sudden you've gained some confidence that
you can go the distance. Green Bay and Pittsburgh
come to mind as of late that have done it that way. There's a lot to be
said for being able to play well in December, for whatever reason you're
On the reasons behind traveling to San Diego on Friday instead of the usual Saturday:
are two trains of thought on going to the west coast. Just like it is,
two trains of thoughts
for those guys coming from there to here. Even though I think it's a
little different going from here to there in my experience. You can go a
day early and try to get acclimated a little bit. Or you can go just
like your normal schedule and everybody's got
a comfort level with the schedule, that part of it's clean. Whereas it's
different, you're doing a walk through at a different place; you're
staying at a hotel for two nights. That's different but you're body's
getting acclimated to the time and hopefully that
helps you. To be honest with you this is a test run. If it goes well, we
have to go out there twice next year, and then we'll evaluate it at the
end of this trip and see what we thought.
On if CB Leodis McKelvin has benefitted from being sat down from his starting CB position:
no question he can bounce back. Whether he does or not we're going to
found out. Everybody
loses something when you don't play. I don't care who you are. You lose a
little bit. But he's played enough that he ought to be able to get it
back quicker than maybe some other guys. He is certainly capable, he
just needs to keep competing for the ball when
it's in the air.
On if McKelvin just needs to be better with attacking the ball:
the bottom line. Just go make the play when it's there. He's right
there. As you said,
he's there a lot of times. Just make the play. And that's easier said
than done by the way. They pay that guy on the other side a lot of money
too, that's trying to catch it. He's got to go and when he gets the
opportunities he's got to go make the play. I
don't think there's anything, any talk, or anything I can do to help him
there except keep encouraging him because he certainly has the ability
to do it.
On if he liked the way McKelvin responded on his ST play:
I loved the way he responded. He went out and competed his rear-end off. That's what you like
On if LT Demetrius Bell will get a look at LT this week:
We'll see that this week. We're going to get him in there this week. It'll be at left tackle.
On how important the rest of the year is to prove that the team is still moving in the right
are a lot of variables when you start evaluating all that. I would hope
that we could finish
strong, that's the plan, that's what we want to do, and that's what we
expect to do. I don't know that if you can look at one thing and say
this is the direction you're going or not going. I think there are so
many things that are involved in that. I think
we have a chance to be a good football team. We're not there yet and
we're not there now. I think that we can get a lot better than we are
right now. That's my responsibility as I said Monday.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On getting the team's "swagger" back:
working on it. I think we've at least been better the last few weeks.
Don't take much out
of that though because we still lost. You just continue to work in
practice. It's kind of starting to sound like a broken record just
because we're on this skid and we're trying ways to get out of it.
That's the only way I know how is to get it done on the
practice field and have it translate to the field. We're having
different guys coming in. We need guys to step up and make plays. The
things that Brad (Smith), the things that CJ (Spiller) showed last game,
I think we're on the right track there.
On how big was CJ's performance and show that he's found his stride:
always knew. I think everybody has seen him in college and the
explosiveness. For him just
to be able to get those touches and continue to get better as the game
goes on. He's really shown us something. He's got his opportunity now.
Unfortunately it came because Fred (Jackson) got injured but CJ's got an
opportunity to show some things and try to
take advantage of it. Right now, I think as long as he continues to do
what he's been doing and continue to feel more comfortable, he's going
to do a good job with it.
On how RB Tashard Choice fits into the mix:
did a good job for us. He came in on some of the third down stuff.
Whether it was running the
ball, or catching screens, or protecting in the pass game, he did a good
job. He showed us some stuff. It's not easy to come in, I think this is
his third team this year, but it's not easy to bounce around in the
middle of the season and come in a pick everything
up. Luckily for him he had been with Chan (Gailey) before, so it's not
like he was starting over. He had a little bit of a base. It's not like
he was starting fresh. He's done a really good job. He's shown us a
little bit of something, just in terms of what
he's been able to bring on third down, getting some of the tough yards
and the short yardage stuff and being an asset for us in the pass
On how important it is to get wins to keep up the motivation:
a competitor that's what you want to do, you want to go out there and
beat the team you're
playing against. That doesn't change whether you're in pop warner,
whether you're playing pickup basketball, or whether you're in the NFL.
As a competitor you want to win. I think we have to take pride in what
we're doing. That's a big thing too; the term pride
gets thrown around. We're all professionals. We do this for a living and
you want to be good at what you do. So the second you become
complacent, the second you start feeling sorry for yourself, you're no
longer going to be able to go out there and perform
at a high level. There's a lot of that as well. How you finish the
season can help carry over and lead you into a good off season the next
season. All of that stuff is stuff that's factored in.
On San Diego being similar to Buffalo as starting off hot and then hitting a losing streak
and if he has the confidence to snap out of the streak:
think they lost six in a row and came out and played a great game on
Monday Night. This league
it's such a week to week league just in terms of the way you go out
there and execute you're game plan. It's not like they've played bad.
They played really well on some stretches on this losing streak. They
just faced some good teams. You look at that, you
look at some of the other teams that are struggling that played well at
the beginning of the year. Each situation is so different and we're in
here again just trying to fix ourselves in what we're doing.
On how much these four games are in proving that the team still is going in the right direction:
just goes back to taking pride in your job. We think we do have this
thing on the right track
and unfortunately the last few weeks we haven't played like it. I don't
think anybody has wavered in terms of their trust or confidence in the
guys that we have in the locker room and the guys that we have leading
us in the coaching staff.
On how encouraging it is to the team at how Spiller is performing:
it's been an interesting situation this year for him. Fred has played
so well and Fred, he
can do it all. He's not a guy that needs to be spelled on third down.
He's not a guy that isn't good at the short yardage. He does it all and
we all know that. CJ's been in a position this year where he hasn't seen
a lot of time at tailback and he's had to
sub in at wide receiver and do some stuff. For him now to be able to
hone in on that running back position, for him to be able to try to get
comfortable there again and now to have four more games to go out and do
it. We're expecting a lot of big things out
of him and hopefully we've kind of seen the tip of the iceberg in terms
of his production and his explosiveness.
On if TE Lee Smith will be the guy if TE Scott Chandler can't play:
a different player for sure and we're not sure with Scott what's going
to be going on.
Lee is definitely a huge asset for us in terms of the run game and the
stuff that he provides with his blocking. He showed last week he's a
viable option. We're going to split him out and let him go one-on-one
against people, which sometimes you can do with
Scott. He's definitely a viable option in the pass game as well which he
showed last week.
Running Back Tashard Choice
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On being a Buffalo Bill
just been changes. I knew I would always play. You just do what you
do, go out there and
perform your best and let God handle the rest. So, I ended up in this
situation being with coaches I've been with. A lot of the things I
understand, I understand what they expect of me and they know what I do,
they know I go out there and play with all I
got. I'm a team player, somebody who's going to go out there and give
it everything you got, that's me.
On all the changes this year and his sense of desperation
you always feel like that. It's always, regardless of anything it
feels like that. You
always know, you always got to make it happen every time you step on the
field no matter what the situation is. So, that's how I look at it and
I'll continue to look at it that way.
On having familiar coaches here
it's good, it's always good for them to feel that way and to be like
that but you still got
to go out there and make plays, you got to produce. Opportunities you
get you got to go out there and make plays and that's the main thing.
On the possibility of his workload increasing
to run with a purpose, that's how I am and finally being healthy is the
main thing. I went
from starting and getting hurt, and then bouncing around a couple of
places being injured. Being somewhere now, I'm healthy where I can go
out there and perform. Now it's just time to play.
Defensive Back George Wilson
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On the teams "high hopes" turning into what is going on currently
I wouldn't say it's discouraging, it's certainly not a good position to
be in on the outside
looking in, but just to have the opportunity to get back out there on
the field for me personally is truly a blessing. I'm just happy that we
took the proper amount of time to allow things to heel up and to be
able to go out there and not have that mental
block and that hesitancy. At the end of the day, we got four games
left, we have to finish them out on a strong note. It's a long
offseason until we play another game once we play our final game this
season so we have to make sure that we finish it out on
a positive note and build some momentum as we go into the offseason.
On being cleared for practice and hoping to play
Yes, yes I'll be practicing today and we'll see how the week progresses and look forward to being
out there on the field on Sunday.
Linebacker Chris Kelsay
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On the end of the season:
know there's still opportunity. [We have to] play hard, we have a lot
to prove. I said it
Sunday after the game despite where we're at, playoffs out of the
question; as long as there are two teams out there and we're one of them
we are going to play hard, prepare hard, finish this season on a high
note. We got four games to do that and we have
a good opportunity to go cross country and win a football game.
On facing the San Diego Chargers as they become healthy:
they looked good Monday night, but I think we match up pretty well
against them. We are
going to prepare hard knowing that we can win this game, but ultimately
it's about executing on Sunday what work on throughout the week, what
the coaches give us in terms of game plans and taking it with us. I
don't think anybody in this locker room is going
to lie down. Like I said, four games left and still a lot of good
football left to play.
On getting the pass rush going against the Chargers:
They're a good passing offense. [QB] Philip Rivers struggles the most when he has to move off
the spot when he's got pressure around him. So, obviously that's a big key for us.
On proving progress has been made this year:
that means a lot. If we win these four games, really if we win three
of them, we double
our win total from last year. So, there's still a lot of progress left
to be made on this team, everybody knows that. There's a lot of
progress that needs to be made, so we're approaching these games with
that in mind.
On if this team made bigger steps in the right direction than in previous years:
think we just need to continue to get better as a team. Regardless of
where we're at right
now we still have games to [play] this season and take it into next year
on a positive note and aspirations to get better this next season.
Myself personally, I'm taking it each one game at a time, one season at a
time, and I'm not a first, second, third year
player anymore. You're never guaranteed tomorrow so I'm going to get the
most out of myself today as I can, give my teammates the best Chris
Kelsay that I can possibly give them, along with my coaching staff and
just see where that takes us.
Wide Receiver David Nelson
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On the team being better than what their record is showing:
fact that we were in some close football games and we just didn't come
out and win the game.
I can only speak for the offense. We're doing some good things, we're
moving the football, we just got to punch the ball in the red zone when
we get the chance. We have to take care of the football and I think when
crucial times come we have to make plays.
Teams we're playing are doing that and we're not. But like I said, we
are better than our record shows, we know that. We know we're capable of
being the opposite, 7-5, 8-4, or whatever it may be. We just haven't
made plays at the crucial points of the game.
On getting the "swagger" back:
comes with winning and having swagger comes with winning and making
plays, and like I said
making plays at crucial points in the game. You can't walk around acting
like you're the big dog on campus if you're not going to win the games.
So, for us we need to get out there, have some fun, get back to what we
were doing at the beginning of the season
which was having fun and that'll come with it. I think this football
team plays best when we're loose, when we're just playing against the
odds and having fun, and when nobody believes in us. We just come out
and play our best. So, I think hopefully we can
do that these last four games of the season.
On heading out west to play:
will be the first time I've played on the west coast in my career.
Even in college, I never
made it that far out so it'll be different, but at the same time we just
have to go out and play football. We can't let all of the extra stuff
get to us. We're going out a day early to kind of get acclimated to the
time change. I think that'll be the biggest
issue, kind of getting use to the time and different things like that,
but at the end of the day when the ball is on the field you just have to
play ball. You can't let all that stuff get to you. We're excited about
the opportunity and we're excited to go out
west coast, but we just have to play football.
Wide Receiver Stevie Johnson
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On the approach for the last four games:
just to get some more wins. We don't want to lie down. I don't think
we've been laying down
even when we haven't been putting, as offense, haven't been putting up a
lot of points. Just go out and continue to fight. You know our playoff
hopes are out of the picture now but we are still playing football, we
still have to go play football.
On himself personally how he'll approach the last four games:
when it comes to that then I'll have to think about that. Right now I
have to think about
our next game and think about Quinton Jammer, and the San Diego
Chargers. As far as the offseason goes, that'll take care of itself.
On the team's progress this year after the last few weeks:
have to prove that this is a better team even though we've been
slumping lately. We feel like
we're a better team. We know in this locker room we are better, our
record hasn't shown it, and the last few weeks haven't shown it, but we
know that we have a good group of guys in here. We just have to finish
this thing out and play football. There are still
people that are going to turn on their TV and watch the Buffalo Bills.
You have to still entertain for those people.
Cornerback Leodis McKelvin
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On the San Diego Chargers' wide receivers:
of them are talented and all of them are big. All of them are pretty
big, all of them are
pretty fast, and all of them go up and get the ball. You have to stay
keyed into your keys, and stay over the top, and make plays.
On players making great plays on him this year:
mean it's like I said, you put yourself in a great position that's it.
All of the times that
come up with you being on the worst end I mean what would you say?
Would you say it's bad luck or anything like that? Because obviously
you see me going for the ball, obviously trying to make a play for the
ball, but they end up coming up with it. It's just
the luck of the draw. Hopefully things can go my way because I'm going
to put myself in all of those same positions and same predicaments, but
I'm saying it's going to be me coming out on top this time. So, that's
all I can say, just put myself in those same
situations and come out on top.
On playing a mentally tough position:
have to hang in [there]. At cornerback, you're going to be out there on
your lonesome, out
there on an island by yourself. You can be very lonely out there, so
you have to go out there and just make plays and everybody will see.
Especially playing corner everybody will see if you make a mess of it
and everybody will see you make a play. So, just
make those plays more than you miss out on them.