The Bills battled the heat in Thursday's practice at St. John Fisher. Below is a transcript of comments beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
On LB Kelvin Sheppard's progress towards returning to
Yeah, he is trying to get back in there. It is probably
going to be a little bit of a slow progress. We will see how he does. It may be
tomorrow, it may be next week. I do not know. They have to tell me when I get
On the practice LB Arthur Moats has been
He is (working with the first team defense). We are
trying to rotate those guys through different spots and different places. He is
doing a good job. He has earned some reps from his play in OTAs and mini-camp.
Now here he just picked up right where he left off in OTAs and mini-camp. He has
done a good job. He has been very impressive this far.
On the job LB Nigel Bradham has done thus far into
Bradham has done a good job. All those (linebackers) are
young. They have got to learn the system. They are trying their best. They have
got a lot to learn but they play fast and physical. Those are two things that I
have a hard time teaching: playing fast and playing physical. We can teach the
rest of it.
On if the second team offense took a step
I do not know. I will have to watch the film. I think
they did. It is hard to go to the other way.
On QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Derek Hagan seeming to
have a connection in practice:
(Hagan) is taking advantage of his opportunity. Derek
Hagan is working his rear end off out there. It is a great thing to see. He
wants to make this football team and wants to be a big part of our offense. He
has done a good job. He made some big plays out there today. He is making a real
bid to be a near lock.
On Hagan's trouble sticking with other teams in his
previous NFL stints:
I do not know anything about previous, all I know is the
last half of last year he did some good things. This year he has come in and
worked hard. I do not worry about what a guy has done before he got here. What
he does when he gets here is what is important to
On how the offense performed in comparison to the
last couple of practices:
I thought the offensive first group did a good job out
there today. They did some good things. We had some creases to run in and we hit
some big plays down the field. That is one thing. It was not the defense's best
day. Dave (Wannstedt) and I were talking after practice, even if it is not your
good day you cannot give up the big play. They may have some creases here or
there, but you have to make sure you keep pushing and do not give up the big
On DE Shawne Merriman's performance in
(His good performance in practice) is not just the last
couple of days. He had the nicked ankle, but before that and since then he has
given great effort. It looks like he has some quickness to him. Stamina is good.
Hopefully he will make the season and things will go well for him. I am looking
forward to seeing what he can do when we get it really live.
On why the Bills have been so high on DE Mark
That goes back to Buddy (Nix's) and mine feeling about
guys. Do not judge them for where they were, what they have not done or what
they were pegged to do. Judge them on what they did. He had a great year last
year. He played extremely well and was looking for another home. We were glad
that he chose this place. We were fortunate to get him and really glad to have
him. He is going to be a big, big part of our
On why he essentially called a timeout during
We had one situation there where we kind of talked about
how to handle (things). We ran a couple plays and talked about substitutions,
running on and off. Trying to get the 12th man off the field if we are
trying to substitute in our no-huddle or how to call a quick play. I just
addressed that situation. That is a five minute segment that we have almost
every day that we cover some situation. We saw it out here the other day with
the field goal where we tried to spike the ball if we have that situation.
Little things like that we just take five minutes to talk about.
On why LB Byron Scott and DE Mark Anderson saw
decreased reps in practice:
Yes. Scott got hit on his thigh the other night, was
tightened up and could not loosen it up. I think it is minor and you hope those
things continue to be minor. Same thing with Anderson. He has been nursing his
PM Practice - Thursday,
August 2, 2012
On running game between Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller:
It is huge for us to get
both of those guys going. They are different style backs but both very
effective. For their running styles, we like what both of them do. It is kind of
hard in training camp when you are not 'full-go-tackling'. Some of those runs
that may look like a two-yard gain; we have seen those guys play so those go for
a lot more than that. The last two days we have put an emphasis on the run game
a little bit. We have the pads on now so we are doing more of that. It has been
more of a focus and it is really big for our offense. When we are successful,
those guys are running it.
On how the coaches share the ball between the two
That is why Chan gets paid
the big bucks. That is his job to keep both of those guys happy and figured out.
For me, I have to make sure that they know, and I think they do, how important
they are to our team; both of them. And they are both guys who want the ball.
They are competitive, they are not happy when they do not have the ball, but
they are going to go out there and give it their all every play. They are not
going to mope around and be upset about it. They are going to play football and
that may be the best quality that both of them have.
On WR Stevie Johnson getting
Yea, me and Stevie are cool.
There was some stuff today where I am throwing it three steps more before he is
into his break. We are on the same page and it is something that we have had for
a while now. It is good to get out there and do it, and to know that I have him
is a safety blanket out there.
On the coaches wanting to see more from the back-up
For most of my career I was
in that spot. You are either the second guy or battling to be the third guy. It
is a tough balance. You have to go out there and execute plays. But you have
limited reps so you also want to go out there and make big plays and it is about
keeping the proper mindset. Keeping that winning football mindset to where you
are not trying to throw a home run every time, you are trying to go out there
and be effective in every play. That was always a tough balance for me to strike
and those guys are working through it now. I thought he challenged me and he
challenged them and I think we came out and had a better day today.
On if it is a mental battle for the back-up QBs every
That is how it is done. They
have got to do it that way. It is not the easiest thing but that is the most
fair thing to do because they are both getting the look and they both need to
work with those guys. When it is your day to play with
the twos and get the majority of
the reps, you want to make sure that you are on top of it and
On how 'game-realistic' it is for the guys on the
other side making it for him:
It is good right now meaning some of the moving in the
pocket, making throws or hanging in there and throwing one. Right now, not
taking it under the chin but knowing they are there and I have to stand in there
and do it. It is also great work for our guys up front. With the different games
and things that they are seeing with the great rushers off the edge and the
power guys in the middle and just to be able to handle that and communicate; we
are getting a lot of good work with it right
On if the depth in the team will make them a more
Yea I think so. I think
there is more depth on this team and there is more competition. The talent level
is higher so that makes both sides of the ball better because they go against
each other every day.
On taking shots down the field
It is what we installed
today I guess. We are still installing plays and different things and today we
had some of the deep balls. We were able to get a couple of them, which was good
to see. It was not just one guy; there were a lot of guys making plays down
field so that was good for us. Hopefully it loosens them up a little bit in the
secondary. We knew we had to come out today and have a better day today. They
really handed it to us the last couple of days and we wanted to make sure that
we went out there and made some plays today.
On overall assessment of the
Not really. It is hard at
this point to see where we are especially. We were talking earlier about the run
game; you do not get to see a lot of that in terms of how effective we are being
and that is a big part of who we are so I think we are comfortable with where we
are right now. I think we are comfortable right now. The communication; we are
still working on some things and putting guys in and out just to see what the
line-up combinations are going to be and the personnels but I think we have a
lot of work to do but we are headed in the right direction.
Wide Receiver Derek
PM Practice - Thursday,
August 2, 2012
On his chemistry with QB Ryan
It is feeling really good. We have been working hard,
just dating back to last year. Coming in to OTAs, the
summertime and all that stuff--just
putting in that work. We know we have a long way to go to get to where we want
to be when the season ends. Our goal is to get to the playoffs and hopefully
beyond. If our offense clicks we can definitely get there. We have to play four
quarters of football. It all starts in training camp and we will go from
On if he has a handle on how Fitzpatrick likes routes
to be run:
I think so. Like we said, this offense is wide open.
Whether it is myself, Stevie (Johnson), David Nelson, Donald (Jones) or T.J.
(Graham, anybody that is out there is capable of making plays. It just all comes
down to timing. If you are doing the right things then the ball is going to get
to you. Sometimes you getting the ball is really what the coverage dictates. We
all have to take our time, be patient and hopefully Fitz will get the ball to
On head coach Chan Gailey's comment that he is
That is where it all starts. It all starts at practice.
Just trying to come out one day at a time and not worry about the next day.
Obviously today is Thursday and with today's practice pretty much over with, I
will go in and take a look at film. Come back tomorrow. It is another day and
time to get better.
On watching himself have a good day on
It is always a good thing, but even if I have a good day
I am trying to see exactly what I did wrong. Sometimes I may do something wrong
and I may not see it. I just try to go in. It is always a positive if you are
doing good things. You just want to keep working on those little things that is
going to make yourself better.
AM Session - Thursday,
August 2, 2012
On if he had a good feeling after the tryout camp
about possibly getting a call:
Yea, I did a real good job there. I got good feedback. I
just felt like I did a real good job so anything could happen.
On how he and the Bills left things after the
Just stay ready. Stay working out. If you get that call,
be ready. So that is what I did.
On how he stayed
Just training. Luckily I have a quarterback back home
and a few friends that are in the same situation as me. So we would go to the
field and do a lot of fieldwork, or just go to the gym. We pretty much just
stayed the course with it.
On where he is
West Palm Beach, Florida.
On his transferring to Pitt being a good move for
I love the University of Wisconsin and the time I had
there but it just felt like it was time to see what else I could do at another
university. And it worked out.
On if Wisconsin already having a No. 1 running back
led to his transfer:
It was pretty much just getting on the field. I played
with a lot of good backs at Wisconsin, and I just felt like if I made that
transfer I would be able to get on the field a little bit more.
On being able to show that he could catch the ball at
I would like to say that I am a well-balanced back and I
was able to show that there.