QB EJ Manuel
Q: How does it feel to be back at training camp?
A: It feels great. I'm very excited to get one day under our belts. It's crazy because I think we've been here for two days and have been having a bunch of meetings and all this kind of stuff. We've been really preparing for this practice since last Wednesday, so it's good to get out here and get our blood flowing.
Q: Do you feel any different with this being your second training camp?
A: Yeah, I feel a lot different. All the anxiety and things like that of just really not knowing what to expect kind of went away being that it's my second year in the system and having familiar faces, familiar coaches and things like that. It was awesome today. It felt good.
Q: Can you talk about throwing to Sammy Watkins?
A: It felt good. You really just want to get it in a spot for him to catch it and get some yards after the catch. That's the biggest thing about a receiver like Sammy. I think Robert Woods, and really all those guys, are very good once they catch the ball. It's our responsibility as quarterbacks to give them a catchable ball and let them do the rest.
Q: Has the process of cutting back the playbook started yet?
A: I don't think so. I think we're used to having a huge installation. We installed for about three and a half hours last night, so I think were used to that now and it's kind of good that he did it during OTAs and minicamp. That way, once we get into training camp there's not a surprise factor. We already know what we're supposed to do. It's more so a review of what we need to do, so I thought we were pretty clean today.
Q: How does it feel out there with all of those weapons?
A: It feels great. A lot of guys don't notice that we have Bryce Brown and [Anthony] Dixon from San Francisco. To add two backs like that, at running back, along with C.J. [Spiller] and Fred [Jackson], it doesn't any better. I really think we're loaded offensively at the skill positions. Each day we've got to just continue to mesh and get better.
Q: Is there a different feeling going into this camp as the starter?
A: I don't think so. I think I just go in wanting to work hard and each day get better. Not necessarily taking a day back. I feel like that's backtracking. I can't say it's a huge difference. I try to approach every single day just to get better.
Q: Can you speak on your confidence level this year compared to last year?
A: Confidence is very high. I'm excited, like I said, to get back out here. We have tons of weapons on offense. Our defense is still solid. I look forward to seeing what type of product we put forth in two weeks against the New York Giants.
Q: Would you agree with Coach Marrone that you need to take a step forward this year?
A: Yeah, definitely. You always want to progress from year to year. You don't want to be the same guy you were as a rookie and I think my teammates can all account for that, just as far as how I talk to this. Obviously, that's not me trying to necessarily be a dictator or anything like that, but I think it's maturing in the offense and maturing as a man in the NFL. Going into my second year, I feel a lot more confident just enunciating and making plays.
OT Cyrus Kouandjio
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Q: What are your expectations for competing with Cordy Glenn at lineman?
A: That's not really the attitude around here. The attitude is let's all get better and let's help everyone else get better and how the chips fall, that's how they fall. We're not trying to go out for people's pride. We're trying to have fun.
Q: Do these fans remind you of the passion of Alabama fans?
A: They're up there, to tell you the truth, it's different up here. It's different up here. They're a lot more into it. I like all the dressing. That's the NFL I guess. That's NFL football.
Q: Was day one everything you expected?
A: Yeah. I'm glad I had fun, to be honest with you. Usually in practice, especially in high school and college, you always win and it gets boring. Every rep has a life of its own and that's the fun part. I'm glad I'm out here having fun again.
LB Brandon Spikes
Q: Talk to us about being here at St. John Fisher.
A: It's good. The fans are great. I'm not used to that, so it was good to see the fans come out and show us love. I feel like defensively we need to build from here. It's day one and we have a long way to go.
Q: Does setting a tone for the defense begin here?
A: Absolutely. Like I said, it's the first day. It's small steps and we have to pay attention to detail. Our whole goal is to get better each and every day and take advantage of these two weeks before we play our first game. We want to come out and play well and play at a high level.
Q: What is different about camp here compared to New England?
A: It's great. It's open. It's normally a little different. It's closed there. It was good to see the fans come out. It's a great fan base (here).
Q: Does it make it more fun?
A: Absolutely. You get to go out and run around. Like I said, it's been awhile and it's just fun to get out here. Overall, it was great day.
WR Sammy Watkins
Q: How did you feel out there?
A: I felt pretty good, the offense started out on a good note. The wide receivers came out ready to go today, the offense went great today.
Q: Did it feel good to get back with EJ [Manuel] after having the time off between OTAs and now?
A: It was good. For the most part we connected when we needed to. We still have a lot of things to fix, but we were clicking today. He knew what I was doing, I knew what he was thinking and that just comes from having reps together.
Q: Based on the cheers out there you were clearly the fan favorite today, did you realize that and what does that mean to you?
A: It means a lot. I came from a big Division I school in Clemson so we need our fans. That's what moved me and it's great to hear the fans calling my name out and being active while we're practicing.
Q: There might be a little added pressure being traded up for in the draft, do you feel that at all?
A: Not at all, we've got a great team and I've got a great wide receiver core helping me out. A great quarterback, so there's not really any pressure. I just have to come out here and have fun and keep doing what I've been doing, perfecting my craft.
Q: Do you look forward to going through tape and breaking everything down from the day before?
A: Everyday it's critical for us to do things the right way. Even though you caught the ball, it doesn't necessarily mean you executed the play correctly and that can become a problem between you and the quarterback. We definitely like to break everything down and critique things and we take it very seriously. We take pride in what we do and work with our coaches to do it correctly.
Q: How much has experiencing this night been on your mind for the past month?
A: It feels great. I've been waiting for a whole month now back at home training and trying to stay in shape. Coming in and seeing close to 5,000 people here, we've got great fans and that motivated me to come out and have a great day, practice hard and not to put anything bad on tape.
Q: Were there any surprises out here today? Maybe a change in speed from minicamp or rookie camp?
A: Not at all. I think OTAs set me up pretty well. I got to understand the speed of the game and grasp the fact that I'm going to make plays, but sometimes the defense is going to be in the right position and it's not going to work. I'm practicing against some great cornerbacks, so I need to take the good with the bad and just keep working.
Q: You mentioned the cornerbacks. How does it feel to go up against your own guys?
A: We're out here competing, that's what it is out here. We're all pushing for one common goal and that's a championship. We have to work each other and we're all friends. We all have to get better and it's all love, but at the end of the day we've got to compete.
Q: Do you sense a rivalry growing between the offense and the defense?
A: Yes, we've got to pick it up every day. It's a challenge every day to come out and beat them. Every day it's a challenge for them to come out and beat us. That's just us coming together as a team and making each other better.
Q: Do you feel you're at the point where you can just go out and play, or is your head still kind of swimming?
A: Just a little bit. For the most part I know the plays, I just have to get adjusted to the cornerbacks and their style of play. I think once I get things, it will start coming pretty quickly.
Q: Do you feel like you can make an impact right away?
A: Of course. With our offense, we've got a lot of explosive guys, so for me it's just about coming in right away and trying to make plays. Don't try and be Superman, but play my role and everything will work out.