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Transcript: Chan Gailey, Shawne Merriman, Brad Smith

Posted Jun 15, 2012

Head Coach Chan Gailey

Friday, June 15, 2012

On what he has taken out of the last three weeks:

I don’t even know that we have to talk about it. We’ve learned a ton about individual players over the last few weeks. We’ve been able to install a lot of our offense, defense and special team so we’ve gotten a ton out of this. It’s certainly a lot better than last year’s offseason work.

On LT Chris Hairston going against DE Mario Williams during practice and if that’s been beneficial:

I think if you play you get better. Now there are some technical aspects of playing one side or the other. Strongside backer, weakside backer, left defensive end, right tackle, left tackle, yes there are technical aspects but the competition and the footwork and the speed there’s no substitute for that when you’re on the field. It’s helped him. Is it ideal? No, but it’s helped him.

On how the hype and expectations have risen in Buffalo the past few months:

You want expectations to rise. When I came in here I said, “We want to expect to win, not hope to win.” I want expectations to be high not only from without but from within and they are. I think that we understand it. I think we have a mature enough team to understand where we are. Yes there are expectations and yes everybody’s excited. But we haven’t proven anything yet and we’ve got to out on the field and prove it then. We’ve got a long way until we get to that point.

On QB/WR Brad Smith practicing with the wide receivers today and what his plans are for Smith:

There is a plan. It’s not like we just say flip a coin and where he goes and what he does each day. He worked at quarterback which we needed him to do that. He’ll go into the season, unless something major changes which I don’t foresee, he’ll be the third quarterback. He’s got to have enough quarterback knowledge to get you out of a game. He’s a very good special team’s player, lines up and does that. He can play receiver and help us there. There are a lot of things. We’ve yet to put in a Wildcat which we’ll do so he’ll do that. It’s great that he can do so many things. It may hurt him in some respects because he doesn’t lock in on one thing. For our football team he helps us tremendously by being a very versatile player by helping us out in a lot of areas.

On the team using the Wildcat:

We still plan to use it. We had to get out of it last year when Brad had to go play wide receiver full time and you don’t have time to work on that all the time. But when we had it we thought it was a viable option for us during the course of a ball game. We’re going to keep it. We’re going to keep working with it. The better Brad gets at quarterback… now he’s a threat to throw it and run it and that helps your Wildcat.

On the lifespan of the Wildcat in the NFL:

I think you have to have the right person. We happen to have the right person.

On what his impressions of DE Shawne Merriman are so far:

Excited about where he is physically, really physically and mentally because he’s come out every day with an outlook that’s just outstanding. He works hard. He looks quick. He looks healthy. That part of it has been refreshing for us to see some what of I think we’re going to see is the old Shawne Merriman this year.

On if any of his preconceptions have changed about what the defense would look like with all of their new additions:

No. They haven’t changed. I think again expectations are high for that. We have quality proven players. When you have quality proven players you expect more from them and I think they understand that. But again you’ve got to go do it. You can’t talk about it. It’s not what’s on paper. It’s what you’ve done and we haven’t done it so we’ve got to go prove it.

On DE Mark Anderson being an unorthodox pass rusher:

I thought Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) probably said it best the other day when he said, “Mark (Anderson) is a pass rusher like Stevie’s (Johnson) a route runner.” There’s a lot of feel into it and lot of quickness and you don’t know what you’re going to get next sometimes which is good if it falls within the system. But if it falls without the system it’s not very good. So far all the little things he’s done have fallen within the system. He looks like he’ll be a force to be reckoned with out there.

On the job that OL Coach Joe D’Alessandris has done:

I’m probably not the one to ask because I’ve known him for a long time. We’ve worked together for a long time and I know what a great job he does teaching all aspects of the offensive line: run game, pass game, being able to adjust in game and all those little things are excellent about Joe. He’s done a fantastic job. The sacks tell you some of what he does. That tells you a little bit about it. It doesn’t tell you the whole story. Being able to mix and match the people that we’ve been able to mix and match the last couple years and still do a reasonable up there. Good at times for the most part and reasonable at other times. That says a lot about the way he gets those guys prepare.

On having almost perfect attendance during OTAs:

I think they have a mindset of wanting to be a championship football team and you can’t be a championship football team unless you take the proper steps to get there and this is one of the proper steps for everybody to be here. When you have your great players showing up all the time it gives you a chance to be a successful football team.

On DT Marcell Dareus’ absence from practice:

He went home for some personal business. That’s all it is.

DE Shawne Merriman

On the defensive unit during OTAs:

I think we’re gelling a lot more. Guys understanding more of their responsibilities, where we have to be and where we have to get to.  And that’s happening a lot faster for us now.

On getting to know the defensive line and practicing together:

It’s been fun because a lot of us haven’t played together yet; me, Mark, and Mario. We haven’t really had a chance to play with each other and also in the different schemes. It’s happened pretty fast.

On the depth of the team being different than when he first came to Buffalo:

We’re deep especially on the front line. You see guys rotating in the secondary and you don’t see a drop off, you really don’t between the ones and twos even when the threes come in sometimes, you don’t see a drop off.

On if there’s a big difference between what goes on at OTAs and mini-camp:

The day is a little bit longer but since we don’t have any pads it’s pretty much the same. I’m sure we’ll get a little bit more detailed during the mini-camps to get ready for a good offseason.

On how he’s feeling right now:

I feel very good. I’m still working out just little things. I’ve not been playing football for a long time and just getting back comfortable with the game. That’s one of my biggest keys is getting comfortable especially playing a different position as well. I feel pretty good up to this point.

On if he’s still on the upswing of his rehab:

I’m pretty close. This is my first offseason that I’ve had with the team for the workouts in the past three years so that’s a long time. I’ve got most of the kinks out during the offseason workouts and finishing up OTAs. I feel really good.

On how he feels percentage wise:

100%. I still have to get it back into doing football things as far as playing a different scheme, playing a different position but at the same time I feel very comfortable right now.

On the adjustment to a 4-3 defense:

It feels like I’m right at home because even in some of the schemes we played in 3-4 we were in nickel which is putting my hand in the dirt anyways. It’s just like I’ve been doing in the past.

QB/WR Brad Smith

On working with the wide receivers today:

We’ll see what happens. I’ll just keep working with whatever they tell me to do each day and try to be the best I can be at it. Whatever helps this team wins that’s what I’m going to do.

On if it’s frustrating that his role changes so much:

The way I look at it is wherever I’m needed I don’t get frustrated about things like that. I’m still playing football. I’m still on the field having an opportunity to make plays. Of course at one point you want to be able to lock in and focus on one thing. Right now this is the plan and I’m going to execute it the best of my ability.

On practice really picking up towards the end and the players getting into it:

It was hard for me to tell. It seemed like guys were working throughout the whole thing. Guys had opportunities to make plays. Marcus Easley was man out there catching the ball over everybody (today). He really gave us a shot in the arm at the end of practice making big plays.

On the difference from last year to this year with having OTAs:

It’s amazing. For me I came during training camp and missed like seven days because of the CBA. It was crazy. Now not just the football stuff but off the field and getting to know guys and getting to know each other’s families, that’s even more important to actually learn the guys you’re playing with. This has been a good thing for us.

On having high attendance with players at OTAs:

It’s something we definitely have to do. We have no other choice. We started strong last year and we didn’t finish where we wanted. If you’re not here obviously your goal is not to get better and everybody’s here, so we want to do something special. We want to be a special team and we’re working towards that.