Thad Lewis: "You never know when your next start is"

Posted Dec 18, 2013

The Bills quarterback talks about getting to start for a second time against Miami this season, how much more confidence he has now, and potentially playing in bad weather.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Q: A Miami guy getting to play both games against the Dolphins. What are the odds, huh?
A: You never think that you’re going to be able to play against your hometown team twice, at least in the same season, let alone being the backup, you never know when your next start is going to come. You’re just kind of sitting in a waiting game.

Q: When did Doug tell you that (you might be starting?)
A: I think it was yesterday and today, depending on I guess how EJ felt and things like that. If they thought he could go out and protect himself, which is pretty much smart, thinking back to what happened with (Robert Griffin III), when he went out there and he re-hurt himself. (They) pretty much just told me to get ready. When you prepare as if you’re the starter every week, you know it’s routine as usual.

Q: How much more confidence do you have going into this weekend, knowing what you were able to do and the more familiarity you have with this team now?
A: Thinking that some of the mistakes you made the first time you played against them and knowing like, ‘man, if I knew what I know now, some of those mistakes, seeing some of the hot reads and things like that, you know I would have been better off.’ Just not making some of those same mistakes and feeling more comfortable in the offense. It was my second time starting, and what, six, seven, eight weeks I had only been here. Now the season’s almost over, and it’s just become routine and very familiar with the offense now than I was then.

Q: Do you think that the playbook is wide open in respect to game plan?
A: It was open, it’s just now, the comfort level if coach calls something, me knowing what I know now, I can protect him. The game is a chess match, even if they’re in a defense that counters this play, I can get us in the right situation now, where I couldn’t have done that the first game being my second start and things like that. The playbook still was open, but just missing little things. I missed a hot a couple times in that game and I took shots that I shouldn’t have taken. It’s all about protecting yourself and getting the ball out.

Q: So your decisions might come quicker now?
A: Yes, no doubt about it.

Q: The fact that you have Miami for a second time too, is that an advantage?
A: Yeah, but just the opportunity to play is always exciting. But going against Miami, a division opponent, you obviously want to win those games, and it’s important to us to go out in the season with a snowball effect rolling of winning, having that feeling going into the offseason, so it’s a very important game.

Q: Do you have confidence that you’ll be able to function if it’s lousy weather?
A: The weather is not a factor when you’re playing. It’s only a factor when you’re just standing there watching. It’s just like anybody in the stands. The weather won’t be a factor. You’re playing a football game, and I’ll just go out there and play as usual.

Q: What’s the coldest game you’ve ever played in?

A: Last year against Pittsburgh, I think it was 18 degrees and snowing, so I’ve played in a game of this magnitude with the weather, so I don’t think it’ll be a factor.

Q: Could you have envisioned it turning out like this when you found out that you were traded to Buffalo?

A: I don’t even know what’s going to happen five minutes from now, so I definitely couldn’t envision this, but having the opportunity was great. Being able to take advantage of that opportunity was even better, and then having another opportunity to help this ball club get another win against a division opponent is great, so that’s what I’m focusing on right now.

Q: I haven’t looked, did you sign a one-year deal with Buffalo?

A: No, two.

Q: Oh, so you’re signed for next year?

A: Yeah.

Q: Thad, you missed a start yourself after having a rib injury against New Orleans. You’re good to go now though, 100 percent healthy?
A: 100 percent healthy. When I played against them the first game, I was coming off the foot, so (I’m) 100 percent healthy and ready to go.

Q: What do you see from their defense?

A: They’re playing good right now. They’re flying around and making plays, flying to the ball. They’re playing good as a unit. The one guy we didn’t face last (time) was Ellerbe, but then now they have some guys hurt in the secondary. You just have to take advantage of what they present to you and the opportunities you get and make plays.

Q: No Stevie this week probably, what do you think about that?
A: Same thing like when we went and we played against Cincinnati without Stevie. Somebody has to step up. I’m pretty sure one of the young guys will step up and make plays, and that’s what it’s all about. EJ’s out and I have to step up this week and step into that role. That’s what a football team is about. One man goes down and the next man steps up. Hopefully we can do it for Stevie. In his time of need right now, we should be there for him, but getting a victory would be even better. We don’t know what he’s going through in his time of mourning, but getting a win for him would be great.

Q: Miami is making a playoff push right now. Is that added motivation for you guys?
A: You never want to be that team that was known to be one of those teams that a team beat on their playoff run. Especially defending your home field, you always want to win at home. You just have an opponent that’s coming in here that’s hungry and you have a team like us that’s hungry and wanting to play for the city of Buffalo and ourselves, so it should be a great game.