Courtesy of the Buffalo Bills media relations department, here’s the complete transcript from head coach Chan Gailey’s press conference from Wednesday, where the embattled coach discusses Marcus Easley’s role, the New England Patriots and his thoughts about releasing John Potter among other topics:
Q: If there any update on WR Stevie Johnson?
A: No, but he is looking good. I think he will be just fine. I think he will get back to the field tomorrow. I think things are looking positive at this point unless there is a major setback.
Q: Can you talk about the addition of WR Marcus Easley and the decision behind that?
A: First of all, we did not know where Stevie was so it was a little bit of an insurance policy. He has played extremely well on the scout team. He deserves an opportunity to come up and see what he might able to do. I do not know if he will get active soon or not, but we would like to give him a chance to have that opportunity at some point. We will see how it goes and how he practices. Let him get some reps and go from there.
Q: Realistically, it is going to be tough for him to get on the field?
A: Oh yeah. It will be right now, this week in particular. As time goes on…We just put ourselves in a position to be able to do it if we want to.
Q: SS Da’Norris Searcy got more plays in the last game. Was that more of a dissatisfaction with SS George Wilson’s play or are you satisfied with Wilson’s play?
A: No, very satisfied with George’s play. Da’Norris is a good football player and he has worked his rear off. He deserves an opportunity to play in the ball games. George was a little bit hurt last year and we think that if we can take 15, 20 plays a game off of him he will have a longer season. Be able to stay longer, healthier and prolong, not only this year, but his years down the road. If we did not have a good player, we could not do that but we have a good player. We feel like he deserves the opportunity to play some and somewhere somebody is probably going to get nicked up with only three safeties. We need somebody that has some experience, too.
Q: We are assuming with CB Aaron Williams out, CB Leodis McKelvin will step into that spot?
A: Yeah, he will step into that spot.
Q: Do you feel like you have a motivated player there after he was demoted off defense and now going to get his chance again?
A: Yeah, I think he is very motivated. I think that Leodis (McKelvin) has never lacked confidence. He has a great deal of confidence in himself, his abilitiesand ability to play. He practices hard every day he walks on the field. You have to ask him to get the answer, but I think he has a chance to go play extremely well. Hopefully he learned from some of the things that happened in the past.
Q: Knowing the caliber of the Patriots passing weapons, is there an easy answer to their run game against your nickel personnel?
A: No. There is not an easy answer. If there was an easy answer to it, there are a lot of people that would have found it and a lot of people that would have copied it. There is not an easy answer.
Q: How much was tackling a part of the issue last game?
A: That was the biggest part of the issue last game. We missed 12 or 15 tackles in that ball game. You miss that many tackles, you are going to give up some runs and they happened to be on the running plays.
Q: One of the themes coming out of this last game was red zone execution. If there is ever an opponent that accentuates the need to produce in there, would it be this one?
A: Sure it is, but it is every week. We had been pretty good in there but we had a bad week last week. We do have to get better at that because you have to score touchdowns against this team. They have a great offense. They are going to put up points, so you have to go score touchdowns every time you get the opportunity down there. That hurt us last game we played them. We fumbled at the one (yard line). You cannot do that.
Q: With CB Terrence McGee and OT Erik Pears, it seems like things have taken a drastic turn from where you stood Monday. Is it just bad reports on them?
A: Yeah. Just not able to get back. Them not feeling completely well. They both would have, to be honest with you, they would both fight like everything to get on the field and do what they could. Physically it is just going to be hard for them to be productive players with where they are right now.
Q: Do either of them need another surgery?
Q: Last week GM Buddy Nix raised the discussion of finding a franchise quarterback and having a guy to compete for the quarterback position with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. How much does Ryan need a challenge and what is your assessment of Ryan at this point through the season?
A: Ryan has played extremely well at times, and I am going to go back to that word consistency that I have been using for our whole football team. We have not been consistent at a lot of places. I think that over the last couple of weeks he has completed almost 70-percent of his passes. Playing better and I think that if we can get everything working together like we need to and it is my responsibility to get done, then I think we will be fine there. We have shown spurts and we have shown glimpses of what we can be, but we have to do it on a consistent basis.
Q: Generally quarterbacks are judged on their record. Is Fitzpatrick running out of chances after two-plus seasons?
A: I do not even want to talk about that. To me, that is not even right to talk about. Everybody goes out and does the best they can. Then you evaluate everything when you get to the end of the year.
Q: In a league where young guys have to come in right away and contribute. Do you think you are getting enough out of your young people right now?
A: It is funny—I do not evaluate guys as far as young or old. We need more production out of a lot of people. We do. We need everybody. There are veterans, we need veterans that can participate and produce better. Young guys, I do not even look at guys as young guys or old guys. I really do not. If he is on the field, either he is doing it or he is not doing it. That is the way I see it. I do not see age or any of that stuff. I see production or non-production. Doing the job or not doing the job. I really do not.
Q: You guys have done a really good job the last two games against the Patriots of seizing that momentum early, but that coaching staff rarely lets a team have momentum for the entire game. How do you prepare shift gears as the game goes on to maintain your own momentum against them?
A: I talked to the team this morning about the same old term that we all use—finish. We have had them in two ball games in a position to finish and win the game. We have not done it. We just have to go learn to finish out, whether it is finish out the last three quarters or finish out the last quarter and a half. We have to learn to finish against this football team. It is not easy. They are good for a reason.
Q: Seeing how many injuries McGee has had the last couple of years, does there come a point where you evaluate his future with the franchise in light of his health?
A: I think that all guys at some point ask the question and you ask the question. You sit down and you see if a guy can get healthy enough to help your football team. That is a truism in our business. There does come a time. Whether that is Terence’s time? I do not know. Let’s let him get completely well, see how he feels and make a decision when the time comes. That is not something to even be…we are not even talking about that now. I just want him to get well and see where he is going into next year.
Q: The decision on K John Potter, does that just come down to production?
A: Yeah, we just were not getting what we hoped we were going to get out of that position.
Q: DE Mario Williams says he would like to move around more now that he is healthy and play on the right. Do you think we will see that?
A: Maybe. We might see that. Yeah.
Q: Is there a bad taste in the team’s mouth after the second half of the Patriots game? I know you say you take 24 hours and everybody is self-motivated, but the way that game ended…
A: Yeah, it sticks in your crawl. Yeah it does. If it does not, something is wrong with you. If it does not…the way with a 21-7 lead with 11 minutes to go and for that game to end up like it did. It more than sticks in your crawl. It probably makes you sick. It does me.
Q: Big plays have been a major problem for them. They have given up a ton of them. Are you kind of encouraged about what the possibilities are?
A: Each game is totally different. I look at it and see the possibilities of some things, but you do not know what they are going to do to adjust either. And they get a lot of their secondary players back this week. They have had to move people around. They lost both safeties. They had to move a corner to safety. They have been mixing and matching in their secondary to try to create some kind of continuity and they had not found it. So getting everybody back, I am sure we will see some different things this week. We are sure to see some different faces.
Q: Of all the quarterbacks you have been around, where does QB Tom Brady rank?
A: Really high. I am not going to put a number on that. I have been around some great quarterbacks. I have been very blessed during the course of my career to be around the Elway’s, the Aikman’s and some of those guys. I am not going to rank guys, but he is great. There is no question about it.
Q: Does OT Sam Young take that swing tackle now or is he sort of just the prime reserve now?
A: Yeah, he may take more than two spots. He may have to play tackle and guard before it is over with. We are trying to get David Snow ready. We signed Thomas (Welch). We will see how quickly he can learn everything to give us a little bit more depth.
Q: Can you give us some insight on the new guys?
A: We had Thomas (Welch) here earlier. Once before and liked him. We were hoping at some point to maybe get him back. It worked out that we did. We have had our eye on Crezdon Butler for a while now. Buddy (Nix) has always liked him. He is a guy that we looked at a few weeks ago when Arizona let him go. We were trying to get him at that time, but it did not work out. Now it worked out that we had a spot and were able to get him.
Q: Butler is probably going to have to be active, right?
A: He might be. You are right. He might be.
Q: How is CB Ron Brooks doing?
A: He has done great. He really has. He has not had one setback physically. He is right on track mentally to do everything he needs to do.
Q: Will Brooks work inside or outside?
A: He will work corner and nickel. He will do both.
Q: Brooks did not get any snaps on defense last week, right?
Q: Fitzpatrick said something interesting about the Wildcat that people maybe expect 50-yard gains every time when they see that special package. Is there something to that? Are expectations too high and is a four or five yard run OK?
A: Yes it is. What you are trying to do is, just like any other part of your offense, is you want to be consistent with it. You want to not have negative plays. If you can go get four or five, six or seven (yards) then it is just like any other thing. You have made them work on it because the possibility of a big play is there. You have made them spend time on it, but you have done something that did not hurt your offense. It probably helped it in some ways. I think that sometimes we think the Wildcat is going to produce something unbelievable. If it is just consistent, we will be alright
(PHOTO: Michael Thomas/Billszone)