Thad Lewis: "I'm feeling better than ever"

Posted Oct 23, 2013

The Bills quarterback talks about his foot injury, getting more comfortable with Stevie Johnson, and working as a team to be productive on offense against the Saints.

QB Thad Lewis

October 23, 2013

Q: Getting used to this whole thing coming up here to the podium?

A: I guess, not really getting use to it because it’s something you have to do, right.

Q: How are you physically?

A: Physically I am fine. I'm feeling better than ever. I’m glad I have a week to get treatment, now another week, but I’m feeling better than ever.

Q: Talk about the challenge this week.

A: Every week is a challenge. Just so happens it’s Drew Brees in the game this week. We just have to go out there, play to the best of our ability, make plays, and play as a unit. As long as all three, offense, defense, and special teams are clicking, we should be fine.

Q: Any extra burden from the quarterback perspective knowing you have to put points on the board to win this game?

A: No burden at all because I can’t do it by myself. It’s a team sport so I have to rely on the guys around me to help me out.

Q: What do you see, what stands out when you look at the Saints defense?

A: Just a defense that takes on multiple looks. Pretty much the same coverage just with different guys. As long as you know what’s going on and know where guys are at, we will be fine.

Q: Do you see similarities with the Bills defense?

A: Definitely, from my days on scout team, I’m going against the exotic looks, it’s pretty much the same.

Q: How much do you appreciate what the defense was able to do to help you guys out last weekend against Miami?

A: You appreciate it every time they step out on the field, because they have our backs and we have their backs. When they're playing good we feed off their energy and when we’re playing good they feed off our energy, then it rolls over to special teams and that’s all we want to continue to do.

Q: Did you see Mario Williams’ strip sack when it happened?

A: I actually saw it, it was a great play. I thought Kyle was going to scoop and score. So that was my reaction. We got the ball back and we were able to close it out as an offense, which was good to get the running game going and get the first down.

Q: What was your reaction when you saw that ball come out?

A: Fall on it, somebody get it. Now it was an opportunity to seal the game and as a unit we came together, we got our chance, the defense helped us out, now we have to finish it.

Q: The third quarter play where your helmet popped off, what did you learn from that play about the timing in a real game that you have not seen up until then?

A: I actually saw the guy coming but in that instance its third down, you need a first down and I knew it was man coverage. I saw Stevie when he stemmed his guy he was giving him the move so I know he was going to break open, so it was up to me to make that play to complete that throw. We have on football gear, I can take a hit, we have pads on, it’s not going to hurt as much as people think. That’s what you have to do; you have to be tough in the quarterback position. I know the game is fast, I know the limited time I have and I know I’m going to take shots, that’s what you have to do. The guys appreciate someone that’s back there that’s willing to do that for the team.

Q: There’s no way to simulate that in practice is there?

A: Yeah, because in a system you have one hitch, two hitch, on your third hit you either know to move or get going so that was my one hitch, move to the side, then the ball has to go.

Q: Are you pretty pleased with the way you’ve handled the blitz so far?

A: Yeah. There’s always room for improvement, so just extra study time, maybe we can pick up but sometimes they bring more than you can. Sometimes you have to hang in there and take that shot. For the most part, just more studying and learn where the guy is coming from. This week just try to limit the hits, you don’t want to get hit all the time but sometimes you have to do it.

Q: What’s one thing you want to do better than you did in the Miami game?

A: Do better on first and second down. Not have to put ourselves in third down in situation where now you have to get a first down.

Q: How much more comfortable and prepared do you feel from an in-game experience stand point?

A: Very comfortable. Every day is routine now, you go in and throw with the guys. You even talk about things that you see that they might not see to try and get on the same page, so it’s becoming routine and becoming a habit and we are gelling together.

Q: What advantages do you have that the first and second half will be better this week?

A: That’s the challenge to us as an offense. When the run is called, let’s make the best of it. Let’s get yards on the ground and take advantage of that if that’s what they're presenting to us. If a pass is called lets complete it, but just try to keep the change moving, try to make first down, a short second down, and things like that so as long as we can do that we will be fine.

Q: You must be aware that all these back-up quarterbacks getting rushed into starting positions, are you aware what’s been going on in the NFL and how much do you appreciate to at least having the time to run the system as opposed to some guys just being rushed in?

A: It’s all about the individual I think. If I didn’t study for the eight weeks, I would be in the same situation; I wouldn’t know what’s going on. I'm thankful that I didn’t take it for granted, being on practice squad and I took advantage of trying to learn the system as much as I can, so when I got my opportunity I felt good about it.

Q: Do you see and feel a specific difference with Stevie Johnson out there now that you have been working with him?

A: Definitely, when he’s out here making moves, running routes and things like that, once you get the timing with somebody on the field, its different than just throwing the ball. Now we have a little game experience, now we have the opportunity to watch film together and talk about some things and it will get better as we go.

Q: How critical is it to avoid going 0-4 in this last stretch of games?

A: Every week is critical but it’s a division win, so it was important that we got that first division win because all the calls are not played yet. To compete in this division, you have to win in this division so that was something we wanted to do and that was something we got done last week and hopefully we can build on it this week.

Q: Are you guys getting ready for how loud that’s going to be down there?

A: Yeah, if anyone has been in New Orleans, everyone knows it gets loud. We’ve been doing a great job at it and I think we have the signals and silent counts down pack. That’s why you work on it, you try to limit your voice as much as possible, but if you can use it, so we will be fine as long as we continue to practice.