Head Coach Robert Saleh, 9.9
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Injuries real quick, Duane (Brown) obviously, he is full participant today, Mekhi (Becton) is full participant today, Breece Hall full participant today, and Michael (Carter II) is showing up on the injury report, full participant, he had a little bit of a, it’s an injury reporting semantics. He will be fine. It is an elbow, he got bumped in the elbow.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Which Michael (Carter II)?
DB (defensive back) Michael (Carter II), Michael Carter II.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Robert, with Breece (Hall), obviously he is full, so he is good to go, so what is your mindset in terms of usage and how he hasn’t been hit yet on that knee, so there is always that concern. So what is your level of apprehension?
We have a plan, I am not going to talk about it here, but there is going to be constant communication because what the plan is can be more, it can be less, but we have an idea of what we want to get done, he has an idea of what he would like to accomplish, but at the same time communication, and constantly checking in to see where he is at, both physically and mentally is going to be key.
Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: You’ve been around running back rotations with San Francisco in your career, but I don’t think any of those guys have been like the Alpha guy like Dalvin Cook and Breece who obviously has been last year and in college. Does that change it when you have two guys who are used to being the guy, versus guys who are maybe used to being in time shares?
I would imagine the competitive edges, where they are going to feel like they are going to feel like they are the hot handand are going to want to roll. I kind of like where the mindset is of the group, like just talking to Dalvin and you ask him and I feel like it’s in Siri like, ‘How man touches do you want?’ ‘Whatever we need to win the game’, that’s the response. They just want to win football games and help where they can and I think it’s been a very selfless, it looks like a very selfless group so far.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: How much of a luxury is it to have someone like Dalvin as your one, one A, whatever you want to call it, and he’s been a productive back here for a long time?
Yeah, I am glad we got him. He is a special person. He’s got a special mindset to him. Obviously, we know about the football player, so really excited to see him on game day.
Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: We all saw on Hard Knocks, where Sauce (Gardner) was after the Giants game, like ‘Why are they challenging me against Jalin Hyatt?’ And he said basically, ‘Until you start pulling more down then they’ll stop challenging you’. I don’t know if every player would react well to that. Why did you know you could say that to him and how did he react to like the challenge to get more interceptions after what was a great year?
Yeah, that’s why he’s special. He always knows there’s more, there is an envelope to continue pushing, there is a line to build, there is no ceiling. The great ones want to be coached, the great ones want to be challenged, the great ones want to know their flaws are, and what people are seeing on tape so they can fix it and get better, and he’s one of those. There are things that he’s going to ask, ‘Why?’ and our job is to give him an answer, butI love his mindset. I hope teams keep throwing it his way because the ball either ends up on the ground or I think this year it will end up in his hands.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Jeff Ulbrich already talked about yesterday about seeing Quinnen (Williams) being at another higher level this offseason, despite him, you know getting the money that he received. Just talk about what you’ve seen from him that makes you think he could have another spectacularly year?
I’ve seen no change in the sense of he’s still his bubbly personality, team first, practices his absolute tail off, very deliberate in everything he does. I do think he’s probably picked up a notch, in terms of conditioning. I think yesterday was kind of a tough practice for the group, being that it was so hot, and he just didn’t look like he was breaking a sweat. So he’s in a good mental headspace and definitely, we knew this before he did, but those guys are the ones you want to pay because the old saying, ‘Money only makes you more of what you already are’, and if anything it has even made him more of a leader, more of a competitor, more of all the good things that he is.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: So how has he improved, like as far as the leadership aspect?
Just being vocal. I always look at whether or not, the model of servant leadership, are you make the people around you better. It’s one thing that talked the talk, but it’s another thing to actually walk it. He’s constantly helping his teammates. He’s constantly challenging his teammates, but he’s also doing what he’s saying. So anytime you have got that and being confident now in his, whatever year this is for him, this is year four I believe, just to have the confidence to be able to speak up and he’s earned the respect of his teammates where they do listen. So just part of that confidence, just the projection of his voice, and the volume of it, he’s gotten a lot better.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Do you anticipate having (Tim) Boyle as your third quarterback?
We will see over the next 48 hours.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: The Bills showed a lot more two tight end in the preseason than they ever used last year, I guess maybe because of the drafted Dalton Kincaid, so how do they use him and do you anticipate them doing a lot of that in the regular season?
We will see, there’s always going to be unscouted looks early in the season. We have an idea of what they’ve done in the past. You try to look at the preseason, teams usually don’t, we ran some things on defense that we probably won’t run in the regular season, just to try some stuff out, so you never know, but at the same time, it’s more that we’ve got a base set of rules and there’s going to be a lot of things that they do that are going to be new, that we haven’t seen before. There’s going to be things that we’ve done that we’re going to do, both offensively and defensively that they have never seen before. So, it’s just a matter of sticking to your rules, sticking to your guns, and just playing the best you can.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, you said you haven’t had a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, of course and know what he does for your offense, but what does he do for the defense, in terms of, you were already a great defense, but can you take more chances? Are there things different because you might be playing with leads this year as opposed to the first two years?
You don’t change your game plan based on the offense in terms of, there is a balance, you don’t want to be reckless, but if everything works out the way were hoping that it draws up and your playing with leads, well then it just means that the defensive line that we are really excited about gets more opportunities to rush a passer and we feel like that’s what they are built for first. We have a wave of guys that can all go in there and effect the quarterback, so you get those ops, but as far as playing defense and playing to our philosophy and style, it’s to get the ball back for the offense as many times as possible, however possible and that never changes.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: So what has been Mekhi Becton’s mindset heading into this game, obviously this will be the first game in a couple years really?
Yeah, probably more of a question for him, see how he answers it, but he has been good, he’s been working and I am excited for him, he’s going to have some mistakes, it is what it is. He hasn’t played football in two years, but he has worked hard to get to this point.
Andy Vasquez, NJ Advanced Media: You talked about your team kind of facing that phenomenon where because you have so much attention people are looking for you fail and on an induvial level it feels like Sauce (Gardner) is kind of gotten some of that. What would your advice be to him for handling that and moving forward as the season goes on, where people are kind of looking for him maybe to not be what be what he showed last year?
You talking about haters?
Andy Vasquez, NJ Advanced Media: Yeah, I didn’t want to say it, but yeah.
No, it is, but that is the thing, right? And I have said it, when you are successful people, its human nature some people are just green with envy and they want to see you fail, that just comes with it, butjust ignore the noise and focus on what you got control over. When you walk in this building and when you are outside of this building whatever it is, you just focus on this things that you have got control over. There is always going to be people who just relish in your failure, that’s just the way life is, but there are also going to be a lot of people who are very happy for you when you do have success and those are the ones that matter, but for all these guys in the locker room, for everyone in this organization, ignore the noise, the same people that cheer you on are the same people that will boo you. So just trust in yourself, trust in your teammates and trust in your family and everything else will take care of itself.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, with (Dalvin) Cook when you guys were talking before he signed, was part of that, I would imagine part of the conversation was how you guys might use him and the fact that he was comfortable, a guy with his resume that is not only to come in and maybe not get the 25 carries, does that make you guys more comfortable about ‘okay, we can bring this guy in and he will be find with that role’?
Yeah, well now that he is here I will just say it, when he was here on that first visit and we had a chance to meet with him, I feel like we put on a worst case scenario and when he left I was like ‘there is no way after those, he is going to want to play here’ and he still wanted to be here, because it was laid out exactly, I was like ‘why would he want to be here with the way we explained it?’ but he is all in. And it gives us faith that he is all in on this process and he is ready to do anything that we need to do to win football games, whether it is 25 carries, whether its 1 carry, whatever it is, he is ready to roll. Same thing with Breece (Hall), same thing with Michael (Carter), Izzy (Israel Abanikanda). We have a really cool group of guys that are very selfless, they just love this game, and they want to win, and I think they are enjoying this whole thing so far.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: What was that worst case scenario? Can you share that?
That he is just standing on the sideline, never seeing the field, because Breece is so hot or Michael is hot or the pass game is hot and we are rolling with the hot hand, but not saying that will happen, it’s just worst case scenario, but to his credit, he is like ‘Coach, I just want win,’ so when he left and their team still showed interest, I was like ‘Absolutely bring him in, he is only going to help us’. Since he has walked in here, I mean his speed burst, smarts, his tutelage, his experience bringing to that running back room, he has been fantastic.
Jeane Coakley, SNY: Week One high school football team?
Yeah, so we are recognizing Will Nahan, he is from Randolph High School and he is our Coach of the Week, led his team to a 27-point comeback in their home opener, their biggest comeback they have had in a while, hopefully not too many coach, not too many. He spent the last nine seasons at Randolph, six as the head coach. I want to wish the Rams good luck for the rest of the season, keep kicking butt.