Head Coach Robert Saleh, 9.7

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Opening statement…

Alright, real quick injuries – it is just Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton, and Breece Hall are going to be limited. That’s it.


Brian Costello, New York Post: What is it like to finally get to this point?

I don’t know why I feel like we have been here for three years, with the Hall of Fame Game, but it is exciting, it is great, we will get to see some football tonight with the (Kansas City) Chiefs and the (Detroit) Lions, which I think is cool, as we prepare for the (Buffalo) Bills.


Brian Costello, New York Post: You know the Bills well, obviously, but they have had some changes, Leslie (Frazier) is no longer calling plays and Sean (McDermott) is taking over, what does that do to your preparation?

Sean (McDermott) is, obviously, an unbelievable defensive mind. Obviously, he is going to have his say so in what the defenses look like over his tenure at Buffalo. Obviously, there is going to be new wrinkles and you try to figure out what he has done when he was a play caller and you try to study as much as you can, butthere is going to be wrinkles, there is going to be unscouted looks, they are three-time defending champs, they are going to have some good stuff for us and we just have to be good with our in-game adjustments.


Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: What do you see from the Bills on film, at least right now?

Obviously, they have been championship contenders for the last however many years. On offense, Josh (Allen) is elite, when the ball is in his hands anything can happen. A play is never over, there is always two plays. The first play in progression, and the second play when he is running around and making things happen. They have a good O-line (offensive line), they have big backs, obviously, their skill guys are pretty damn good, they added a tight end in the draft that is pretty darn good and then defensively they have been top five for what feels like forever, since Sean has been there. They have experience in the backend, they have a really good front, their linebackers, (Matt) Milano is unbelievable, their nickel, number seven (Taron Johnson), he is really freaking good. So, it is going to be a challenge.


Tom Rock, Newsday: Robert, have you given much thought to what that stadium is going to be like on Monday night?

It is opening day. It is always live, every stadium in football that is hosting a game is going to be live, but I am really excited about getting those Jets fans out there and hearing that chant and all that good stuff. It will be fun.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Your speech made the rounds on Hard Knocks on social media, just about people saying you play hard. How often did you experience that and has that always been a rallying cry for you to kind of get on the other side of it?

I don’t know. It’s like, what else do you say to a team that is losing, right? I always look at the 80’s (4)9ers were hated, the 90’s (Dallas) Cowboys were hated, everyone has hated the (New England) Patriots over the last 15 years, and when I was in San Francisco we hated the (Los Angeles) Rams. Well, it’s because they win. They do something and they are doing something, so there is a lot of anger and hate towards them. It has just always been that mindset that if people are trying to poke holes in it, it’s because you are doing something. It has just been an observation, I guess.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Do you like that? Being that team that is hated on?

Not necessarily. I guess I look at it as, if you can’t keep our names out of your mouth then it must mean we are doing something good. With that said, we haven’t done anything. We still have to win football games. In the two years we have been here, we have won 11 of them, but I do think we have done a really nice job, we have made a lot of progress and we have positioned ourselves to have a good year, but we still have to go out and do it.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Do you worry at all that you guys are painting a bullseye on you with the talk? You guys have been open about thinking you can win the Super Bowl, not that its not the goal, but do you think you are one of the teams that can win the Super Bowl this year? D.J. (Reed) on Monday said he thinks this defense can be the ’85 (Chicago) Bears.

No, I do think we have a paraphrase problem with the way our guys talk. I think when you look at D.J.’s quote, he answered the question just like any team in football and any player in football will talk about what they think can be, butI think what was omitted and what has been omitted from all of our guys conversations is how important the moment it is and bringing it back. Yes, potential, every team has potential to be special this year, all 32 of them, but I think what is important is listening to the whole quote, listening to our players, knowing our players, knowing that they are so focused on the moment and trying to get better every single day, and they talk about that. Unfortunately, that is the part that gets omitted in our paraphrased generation, but with that said, I love the mindset of this group, I love where we are at.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Chances are that your opponents aren’t going to see the whole quote, right? They are just going to see it paraphrased? Do you worry about them seeing it?

No, now if he was disrespecting another team that would be different, I don’t think that teams look at another team having confidence in itself as a rallying cry and if they are, you probably already lost. That is just my opinion. A team is supposed to have confidence in itself, and if you think that’s a thing that you need to rally your troops around then you guys are struggling to get motivated.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: With Mekhi in particular, he obviously has been working hard to get back to playing again for the first time in two years, how important is it going to be to have a discussion with him to not make it bigger than what it is, especially in this environment?

I think that is for everybody. I have joked up here a few times, it is not the Catalina wine mixer, it is Week One. Whether we win or lose isn’t going to make or break the season. It is Monday night, it is why we practice the way we practice, it is why we try to be intrinsically motivated, it is why we focus on the moment, so that when we do get to those you treat everything like a championship moment. So, when you are in a championship moment it is just normal. So, for everybody, its stay in the moment, stay focused on your job, do your job the best you can, and trust that the results will handle itself.


Bruce Beck, WNBC: Robert, as you embark on this new season, what are the qualities that you like, respect, and appreciate the most out about the football team you are coaching right now?

I just mentioned it, I think it is a really good group with regards to being intrinsically motivated and knowing what it is going to take day in and day out to be our absolute best. From walkthrough, to practice, the deliberateness, and the total attention to detail that these guys have is pretty cool, especially for a young group, and obviously the veteran presence that has come along and added to that guidance. It is a good mixture, it is a really good group. I have said it to you a hundred times, our locker room has an unbelievable makeup of football character, in terms of guys who understand what it takes to be your absolute best and I think that is the one thing that I appreciate most about this group is that they know to have fun, they have a lot of confidence in themselves, but they also understand how to keep the main thing the main thing, which is attacking every day and every moment the best they can.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: We have been asking players for six weeks on the Aaron Rodgers effect, on how he has impacted them and their jobs, so forth. I was just wondering how has he affected you as the Head Coach and how will that effect your job having him for the rest of the year? Just the way you perform the job.

Always, I have said it before, it’s no different than I am going to lean on our quarterbacks coach, or our O-line coach, or I am going to go to my linebackers coach, or DB (defensive back) coach, and just lean on them for thoughts. I am going to go to Aaron and gets some thoughts for him in the locker room, and Duane Brown, and C.J. Mosley, and all the veterans that we have on our team. Obviously, Aaron has added to it from what we didn’t have a year ago, but he has been a tremendous asset, a tremendous ear, he has provided thought, he has challenged, and I want that, so having him has been awesome.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What do you think the potential of this defense is? I know how good it was last year and players have talked about you might be playing with leads this year and that changes things.

Again, sky is the limit. I am not saying anything that anyone else wouldn’t say. I am not one to compare. I think when you compare yourself to something, which would be the one thing that I would tell D.J. not to do, is you cap yourself. Why do you have to be the Legion of Boom? Why can’t you be more? So, you never really want to compare. With regard to what we can be, you just have to approach every day, attack every moment. We do have a special group and we have a hell of a lineup of quarterbacks to play, and offenses, and it’s going to be a challenge, but I do trust in this group and I do think it has a chance to be special, butagain, we have to bring it back to the moment and attack every day.

Connor Hughes, SNY: There are teams sometimes that they get criticized, not for looking too far ahead, but by openly talking about the Super Bowl, whether there is a clock counting down to February, or literally the day of the Super Bowl. Why do you guys want to openly talk about it? Why do you want to make that consistently heard?

So, we don’t openly talk about it. We get asked questions, and we answer them, but everybody wants to win a championship. The reason that I don’t care that our guys say something is because they always bring it back up to the moment. Again, no one is talking about that part of it. That is why it doesn’t matter. If we were out there talking about what we want, without understanding what needs to happen, that is a completely different message, but our guys understand the job at hand and the task at hand, and that is attacking the moment. That is all you can ask for.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: When we were talking to Connor McGovern, he was saying since he has joined the team that it has done a complete 180. He said Joe (Douglas) has done a good job of getting rid of the bad apples and there is nothing in that locker room, kind of backing up what you just said, when you hear some of the players talking about that do you think that that was an issue? That it was a process to get to this point to have this type of locker room that you talk about now?

It has always been a belief and it is why Joe (Douglas) and I get along so well, people win football, people win in life. It is people, it is not scheme, it is not whatever, it is people that make things happen. It is the people that brings things to life, and it takes tremendous character to overcome adversity, it takes tremendous character to overcome the disease of ‘me’, where you are having success, it takes great character people. That was the first mission when we all got in here two years ago was to bring in people who you can win through thick or thin, good times, bad times, people who are going to stay focused on the moment, and people who are going to understand what needs to happen day in and day out. So, it has been great to see Connor (McGovern) and C.J. and guys who have been through that whole thing, Quinnen (Williams), who have been able to see it all happen and recognize that this is our standard, we are not just talking the talk, we are backing it up with the guys that we brought in. So, there is a lot to be proud of over the last two years, in regards to what has happened with the organization, but again, it still comes down at the end of the day to win football games, so up to this point has been awesome, we got a hell of a climb to have over the next couple of months, so hopefully it works out the way we are all hoping.