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Players react: Lions at Bills

Posted Aug 30, 2013

Reaction from the locker room following the Bills 35-13 loss to the Lions in the preseason finale.

BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK MATT LEINART

Q: On tonight’s performance:

A: You know obviously you have an opportunity, and you go out there and do your best. I will not sit here and make excuses for myself. I could have played better but you just move on. I was hoping to maybe get in there in the second half and kind of redeem myself but, you can’t turn the ball over in this league and expect to win. So yeah it’s tough but, I was thankful to be here and you know we’ll see what happens. Obviously after that performance you can’t feel too good but, we’ll see.

Q: You talked to Reggie Bush after the game. What was that conversation like?

A: Me and Reggie are very close, we’ve been really close since college. Just words between us.

Q: In your previous stops, how long would it take you to normally feel even a little bit comfortable with the playbook, compared to three days here?

A: Yeah it takes a while, but that’s not an excuse. We had a very simple game plan today. Obviously you hope you’re here long enough to open up the playbook and run more plays, but it is what it is. We should have executed better. We were close on a couple of those deep balls. Momentum can swing back and forth and if you hit one of those it’s maybe a whole new game but, we didn’t and those were interceptions that I shouldn’t have thrown and those were on plays that I’ve made before. Obviously it’s a new offense but, there are no excuses to be made.

Q: You were extremely optimistic on Monday. How do you keep this in perspective?

A: You know I have to realize that I haven’t played in a while, and the speed of the game and all of that stuff but again, those are parts of being a professional football player. Coming in here, I expected more out of myself. Whether it’s three days or three years, you can’t do that. I mean there’s not a lot to be said you know it is what it is and you just move on and see what happens, but I’m just grateful I had a fun week in here.

BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK THAD LEWIS

Q: Have you been able to catch your breath yet? Talk about a crazy four or five days for you.

A: Yeah everything obviously moves fast, but I think it kind of helps that you’ve been at camp and seeing a lot and an opportunity to be able to go out and put your best foot forward.

Q: How do you feel you did?

A: I feel like I did okay with just three days of preparation. Not much installation, going in and just trying to make the best of every situation that you have. I think me and the guys who were out there with me did the best that we can do.

Q: One of the things they like to do here is that read option, which seems to play into your strength.

A: I mean whatever play is called, you just try to make the best of the play. If that’s what they do, you just try to practice on your craft and do a good job with that. But for the most part, you’re just a quarterback and sometimes that comes with it.

Q: How strange is it to be quarterback for one team in a game and know the other team’s offense better?

A: It’s not strange at all. It is strange to be honest with you, but I mean when you’re out there it’s not strange because now it’s time to move on and learn a new system. And the things that you practice, you just try to go out there and put it on the field.

Q: How much of this offense did you have to work with? Can you give us a ballpark number of plays?

A: Around 20-something plays. It wasn’t a whole lot of plays. It wasn’t much to go out there and execute.

Q: For this time of year, do you think you did enough?

A: You never know. But the only thing I can do is worry about the things I can control so I went out there and I can look myself in the mirror and say I laid it all on the field tonight.

Q: Tell me about the throw to [Marcus] Easley down the sideline.

A: I overshot him to the left (the first time) and that’s just not having enough chemistry with the guys and just knowing that if I put a little bit more air on it, maybe I would’ve hit him. So that was going through my mind when I hit him on the right side.

BUFFALO BILLS WIDE RECEIVER MARCUS EASLEY

Q: Didn’t you have the kick return in the fourth last year?

A: Yeah, I had the kick return last year and the long touchdown this year. Just trying to take advantage of every play I’m out there. It’s the last opportunity before they go ahead and cut it down to 53, so I’m just trying to make a strong case for me and hope for the best from here on out.

Q: They use you on kick returns and you’re on offense. They certainly gave you a shot to show what you have, right?

A: Definitely. The more you can do, the more you know, the better for you. Just want to put yourself in the best situation, make a good impression on the coaches and hopefully they’ll believe in you.

Q: Tell me about the long play, the 79 yarder. It looked like single coverage?

A: Yeah, he played off and it was a slant and go. I just took my time breaking the slant, seeing him take a step or two up and just took up. Thad [Lewis] threw a beautiful pass. I ran right into it. It was just a foot race after that.

Q: What did you think of Thad [Lewis]? Things seemed to pick up after he went in.

A: Definitely. First half was a little sluggish. This is his first game with the offense. Definitely got more comfortable in the second half and the offense got going a little more. We were able to sustain some long drives and able to capitalize and score a touchdown as well.

Q: You’ve been through this before. What do you do now with this weekend?

A: All the work up to this weekend is done. The past is the past. Everything is in the coaches’ hands now. And now we play the waiting game.

Q: Do you feel like you’ve done enough?

A: You always feel like you could do more but like I said I’ve done what I had to do. Everyone who played tonight played all through training camp and did everything they could. And it’s all in the coaches’ hands now.

Q: Can you talk about the touchdown grab?

A: It’s a credit to Thad. He gave me a beautiful pass. I just took my time with my route. It was a slant-and-go. The DB played way off. I just took my time once I broke the slant. Once I saw him commit to the slant I just broke and took it up field and Thad put the ball where it needed to be.

Q: How difficult is it when your livelihood is on the line every game you are out there in terms of trying to make the team? Does it make it more difficult when two quarterbacks who haven’t been here that long are playing? Is it unfair?

A: I wouldn’t say unfair because you have to deal with whatever circumstance you get thrown your way. Obviously we wish we had a quarterback that we have been getting reps with so we can develop some sort of chemistry over the past couple of weeks. But the situation is we have two new guys who have to step in and see what they can do. No matter who the quarterback is, it’s the same for us. We catch for them and we’ve got to block for the running backs. Just got to make a play any way possible.

Q: You got a little banged up on that one play. Knowing this is the last preseason game, how much urgency was there to get back in there?

A: Extreme urgency. I was actually blocking for Thad. He had rolled out, ended up taking off. I just tried to get a block for him. I guess the guy who tackled him ended up leg whipping me. I had to jump and kind of try to avoid the situation but I ended up being kicked. It took a play or two to get back, but I was fine after that.

Q: Tough situation with two new quarterbacks. How nice was it to have that completion at the end, a long touchdown?

A: It was definitely a sigh of relief. I wish we could’ve gotten going a little bit earlier, but I guess that’s kind of expected knowing that these guys haven’t been around, haven’t taken reps. And they’re not too familiar with the offense. You’ve got to give them credit for the three or four days that they’ve been here to be able to pick up as much as they did and come out here and perform like the way they did. Just a credit to those guys and they just tried to take full advantage of their opportunities.

BUFFALO BILLS CORNERBACK CREZDON BUTLER

Q: Big day for you, you got pretty much the whole game out there. How do you think it went?

A: It was alright; a couple of mishaps in my technique that resulted in a couple of catches. I just have to go back, look at film and evaluate myself.

Q: What type of adjustments did you have to make throughout the game?

A: Like I said, it was just technique. We’re a good secondary, just have to show it and that’s all it was. It was breaking down and technique. Get a little tired, the technique started to go down a little bit. That’s all, came back in, reg-rouped, when back out there and played.

Q: You’ve been in the NFL a few years now. How do you approach cut-down day from a mental standpoint?

A: You really just can’t go into it any kind of way. It’s just going to happen regardless. They have to get down to 53 and you just try to do everything so you’ll be on that roster and we’ll see Sunday.

Q: Coach has said that you, Justin Rogers and T.J. Heath were going for a starting job with Leodis [McKelvin] and still fighting for your life in this last preseason game. That’s a pretty weird phenomenon, right?

A: Oh, yeah, it was. You really can’t let that get into your head, going into the game. You just have to go out there and play. At the end of the day, a decision is going to be made. And you just have to go with it.

Q: Do you feel like you’ve done enough?

A: When you evaluate yourself and you’re a competitor, you will never think you’ve done enough.