Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and offensive coordinator Greg Roman were formally introduced at One Bills Drive Tuesday. Here are 10 things to take from their introductory press conference as they get to work in molding and improving Buffalo's defense and offense.
1. Flexibility is our strength
Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman doesn't subscribe to a 3-4 or a 4-3 front defensively. He and head coach Rex Ryan see their defensive system as a hybrid scheme.
"We will run whatever makes us successful," said Thurman. "We have the ability to do many things in this defense."
2. Calling plays will be collaborative
In New York where Thurman also served as defensive coordinator under Ryan, the head coach had influence when it came to calling plays. Thurman gave indication that would be the case with the Bills as well.
"We put the game plan together throughout the week and it is very collaborative with our whole defensive staff, but on game day Rex does a lot of the talking," said Thurman.
3. Aggressiveness will be seen not spoken
Coach Thurman didn't deny that their defense would be an aggressive one, but chose to let the play this fall explain how rather than talk about it.
"We want to be aggressive because we don't want to sit back and let the offense dictate to us. We want to dictate play to them," said Thurman.
4. We don't run from challenges
Inheriting the league's fourth-ranked defense, the expectation and challenge of making it even better is something Thurman isn't worried about.
"We have a tall order, but we don't run from any of that," Thurman said. "It's based on talent and if you can get all of it moving in the same direction."
5. Deep desire to beat New England
Head coach Rex Ryan wasn't shy about his desire to beat the Patriots in his introductory press conference. Thurman admits he is not as outwardly expressive as his head coach, but the feeling is mutual for him.
"Do I burn inside? Yeah I do. I do," said Thurman.
6. Our team must mirror the city
Bills owner Terry Pegula mentioned in the Rex Ryan press conference his affinity for coach Roman's desire to make the Bills a nightmare to play against. Roman believes that's how best to have the team reflect the city.
"We need to play smart and tough and make Buffalo a place no one wants to come to in December and January," Roman said.
7. Pegula commitment convinced him
Coach Roman interviewed with the Pegulas for Buffalo's head coaching job, and though he did not get the position he still took the offensive coordinator's post.
"That interview showed me how committed the Pegulas were to bringing a championship to Buffalo," said Roman. "The other reasons were the passion of this fan base in Buffalo is real and genuine and there's a good nucleus of talent."
8. Fear the run
Roman has a well-documented history of getting his offense to effectively run the football. His description of just how successful they'll be in doing so was eye opening.
"We want to be to run the ball to the point of effectiveness where opponents fear our ability to run it," he said.
9. Extend the play
When Roman was asked if he wants a mobile quarterback or a pocket quarterback he expressed a desire for neither specifically. In his eyes a more valuable quarterback is one that can consistently extend the play when necessary.
"You need to have the ability to manipulate the pocket and be in control of the pocket," he said. "You can vacate it or move around in it. A lot of it is dependent on how the defense plays you. Sometimes there's no point to escape the pocket if there's somebody there waiting for you. If they don't (have someone waiting) then you'd like to (leave). But it's game by game, not an overall philosophy."
10. EJ to be evaluated from this point forward
Though coach Roman did express a need for EJ Manuel to increase his level of consistency as a quarterback he's going into his evaluation of the third-year quarterback without any preconceived notions.
"Both EJ and Jeff Tuel possess skills to play the position. We'll focus on rolling the balls out and getting our hands on them and working with them. What he's been asked to do in the past is not relevant," said Roman.