Courtesy of the Buffalo Bills media relations department, here is the full Tuesday transcript from head coach Chan Gailey’s transcript as the Bills get ready to face the Miami Dolphins in a must-win contest Thursday night.
Q: We have bugged you this whole year about this RB C.J. Spiller and RB Fred Jackson split of the touches. Now you do not have a choice. You want Jackson, but you cannot be too worried Spiller will touch the ball more often, can you?
A: We are fortunate that we have two players and when one goes down, we have a dynamic player that can go in there and play the whole ball game. Even (with that), there will be times (Tashard) Choice in will be in there. That is part of it. You have got to keep them fresh. They get tired. They exert a lot of energy running the football. I hope he is really tired.
Q: What do you make of what Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has done as a rookie?
A: He has done a very good job. They are doing a good job of setting it up where they are protecting him to let him throw the ball down the field. He is getting the ball out of his hands quick. He is protecting the ball well. He had a tough week last week, but overall he has done a good job of protecting the ball. He has played extremely well for a rookie, I think.
Q: When you look at the Dolphins they are maybe exceeding expectations at this point.
A: Yeah, they are doing a good job. They are playing really good defense. I think they are fifth in rush defense and (sixth in) third-down defense. That helps you a lot when you can do those two things it really helps your football team. So the defense has played well and they have not turned it over much on offense. That has allowed them to stay in games and win a few.
Q: Are you surprised how quickly rookie quarterbacks are picking it up? It seems like a change.
A: Yeah it does. It is the same old thing—draft them to play them now. You do not draft them to let them sit. There are a few people that are doing that but for the most part you are drafting those guys to play. They are thrown in there and they are responding extremely well right now.
Q: What is the defensive emphasis against a team like the Dolphins that does a lot of timing routes and gets the ball out quick?
A: You have to tighten your coverage up and then when you do that you take the chance of them max protecting and throwing the ball down the field. That is the balance you try to strive for—when to play tight, when to play a little softer and how smart to play out there on the edges. Then you have to take care of those inside guys. (Charles) Clay has been a big factor for them. They have had some other guys that make plays for them. They are doing a good job with balance right now and (Tannehill) gets the ball out quick when he has to.
Q: You have talked about letting the season play out and in Week 12 seeing where you are. Have you had to amend that now?
A: No. I think you still are right where you were. You go try to win this game. Really you win this game. That is what you have got to do. All of your focus is on this week and this game. You do not think about anything else. You think about this week and this game. If you do anything other than that, if you start thinking about scenarios and all of that kind of stuff, you can drive yourself crazy. You just go concentrate on this ball game.
Q: You are telling me you can be 3-7 and the team believes it can make the playoffs?
A: I do not know. I expect to win this ball game so I am not thinking of any scenario other than that.
Q: Miami seems to blitz from all over. That is a little different than any other team you have faced this year and it causes problems?
A: Yeah it does. This is a tough defense to get ready for in a short week because they do. They blitz secondary guys outside and they blitz secondary guys inside. They bring them from everywhere. It is a very tough defense to get ready for in a short week.
Q: Can you talk about the challenges about a short week? Both teams have to go through it, but they are traveling so I guess you have a short edge.
A: Sometimes I wonder if traveling is harder or easier to be honest with you. You are away. You do not have to worry about the kids. You do not have to worry about what is going on around the house. You are at the hotel and you are resting which is vital in a week like this. Get your rest and get recuperated. That is why you do not go out and practice hard for two days then go try to play the game on Thursday. You try to be smart about what you do to get these guys ready for the game mentally and you hope they rest enough. Rest is the key to me. You have to be as fresh as you can be going into this ball game.
Q: Last year you said you did not worry about this team’s morale and belief being shaken. You are not near that point?
Q: Third down has been a struggle for Tannehill. Is that pretty common for rookie quarterbacks given all that goes on during that down?
A: Yeah, it is. There are a lot of different things that happen. First and second down are much more basic than third down. That is just the way it is. People set up different things in third down. Their defense is a lot more complicated on third down than it is on first and second down, so most everybody is that way. It is tougher on rookies till they get a better feel for things.