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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Andy Reid, Matt Nagy, Bob Sutton and Alex Smith spoke to the media Wednesday



OPENING STATEMENT: **"The guys not practicing today are Dee Ford, and Terrance Smith who is in the concussion protocol. Other than that we look forward to getting back and getting to work and getting ready to play a good Buffalo team. We'll prepare ourselves this week and it's a little bit different week with Thanksgiving, but our guys have the schedule and we'll be ready to go starting today."

Q: It's been a couple years, but what do you remember about Tyrod Taylor?

REID: "I had him over at the Pro Bowl. He's a good football player, good kid and he's a Pro Bowl player. He was over there in the Pro Bowl doing his thing."

Q: What's the key to reminding guys that's it's only a handful of plays and the margin of error is so small, how do you work through that?

REID: "The guys know. The margin between winning and losing in the NFL is small because of the parity in the league you have to bring your A game every week and be prepared. I have to make sure that we're doing that. We're lucky enough where we have another game and that's what we're going to focus on and fix the problems that we had and get working on Buffalo."

Q: You mentioned that it's go time right now and we've heard a lot of players say that. Is it too early in the week to tell what the response is? Can you see anything in their attitude today?

REID: "I had them in here yesterday, so I've been around them now for a couple of days. Their attitude is good. It's a good locker room. It's tough to lose in the National Football League. That's not an easy thing. The players put a lot of time and effort into it, the coaches put a lot of time and effort into it. But at the same time you have another game to get ready for and if you don't put all of your energy into that then you have a problem. That's where we're at right now. Good locker room. They're doing that and the coaches are doing it, so we get back out here and get to work this afternoon."

Q: In talking to Coach McDermott he said one of the things he learned from you was that when times are tough and there's adversity that you go back to your plan in what you want to do and make sure you don't get away from it. How do you do that at a time like this when you've lost a couple of games?

REID: "It's small things. It's one thing here or there that's off and you have to have everybody dancing the same dance. The best way to do that is to go back to your fundamentals and what you believe in and put a little more focus on it. Whether you're a coach or a player it's the same deal."

Q: How impressed are you with what Tre'Davious White has done as a rookie?

REID: "He's done a good job. A very good job. Sean's moved people around a little bit. That's what he's had to do his first year, but that kid there is a good one, a very good one."

Q: Working with Sean what did you see in him that you thought would make him a good head coach?

REID: "Work ethic. I'm just going to give you the pitch here. He was an all-state wrestler, all-state football player, smart, went to William & Mary, you have to have some aptitude to go to that school. I was able to get him onboard as my administrative assistant and he showed those traits there and then just kind of worked his way up through the ranks. Very hard worker."

Q: Thanksgiving Day plans for you?

REID: "I'll be here for at least a little over half of the day. Then go home and do what arguably, what I might do best, and that's eat, so I'm going to do that."



Q:** Has it been a challenge at offensive line with injuries?

NAGY:"It's not so much of a challenge. That goes on I think each year, some years are better than others. Right now, collectively as an offense, the last few games for us, not just the offensive line but everywhere, just trying to get it back and figure out where we're at and what we need to do. That's the beauty of this game and for us as players and coaches, things don't always go the way you want them to. But you got to stick together and pull through and keep plugging away."

Q: Zach Fulton's played a few positions – what do you like about him at guard?

NAGY: "He has experience. Anytime you have that and you get in these situations where you get with these offensive lineman to communicate, he has that. He knows the guys well and he's going to play hard."

Q: Is there some common denominator with the turnovers?

NAGY: "No, it's kind of the ebb and flow part of the game. You go for such a long streak and everyone sees it – there's no interceptions and then we have a few interceptions here and there. But to me and to the rest of these guys in there, the law of averages is that's going to happen whether you're throwing a lot of picks or you're not throwing a lot of picks. It's how you respond to it. That's our biggest challenge right now as a staff and as players is how we're going to respond to what's been going on. I feel good about it."

Q: How do you get it back?

NAGY: "We all need to just focus more on the details, every one of us. That's not just the players, that's coaches and you've got to look in the mirror – it's not a cliché, it's true. So when you get out there in a game and there's one play that occurs, whether it's a penalty or just a poor play, we need to fix that. There's no finger pointing. We understand that. Just got to stick together and if you eliminate those mistakes you end up getting a win instead of a loss and you feel a lot better of where you're at. It's a part of football and we need to fix it."

Q: Where do you think the level of confidence is right now on the offense?

NAGY: "Nature of the business, right now your confidence after having a game like we had offensively against the Giants, isn't where it needs to be or wasn't where it needed to be. But that's going to get changed. That's going to get fixed. The guys are all professionals in that room. Coaches included. We're going to keep plugging away and get after this thing and get that confidence back."

Q: How do you teach the younger guys to go back to basics?

NAGY: "Getting back and watching tape. Getting in there and watch the tape, and see where the mistakes are. None of this is because of effort – everyone is playing hard, there's a lot of effort out there. There's just some mistakes right now that are going on but there were mistakes that were going on when we were winning to, it just gets masked. It gets magnified when you're losing and gets masked when you're winning and we've got to understand that balance."



Q: **Where has been the biggest area of development you've seen in Reggie Ragland from the time he first got here to where he's at now?

SUTTON: "I think for Reggie he came in right in the midst of the whole deal so he had no real foundation, no background in the system. So you're trying to learn the system. He's coming off the injury. A lot going on when he got here. I think a credit to him and Gary Gibbs and Mark DeLeone who work with him on the side, outside of practice time. They did a great job of bringing him along and he did a great job of investing in that. When he started we had no idea when he'd be ready. Thought he was a really good football player but may take some time. I think since he's been in there and he's got the opportunity to practice consistently and get the reps that you need and then there's nothing that can replace actual game experience, game speed and the more you see it the better I think you're going to get. I think he's made some nice progress here."

Q:What led you to go back to Phillip Gaines as your third guy last week?

SUTTON: "The same thing we talked about before. We just kind of take a look, like we do every week at positions, at who had a good week. What do we think? We took Phillip and said Phillip's the guy and go there. Just like we've said before, none of these are permanent. You have to continue to show you're the right guy and go from there and if you don't we have to just keep going. We're trying to cultivate as many people as we can. Phillip has to play a lot of different positions, (Kenneth) Acker has to play a lot of different positions, so those guys get trained in a lot of different places besides the corner."

Q:What can you take away from what Tyrod Taylor did against you guys last time you played him?

SUTTON: "He's one of those guys who can be standing this close and you can't get him down. That's one of the real challenges. Anytime you have a quarterback who can extend plays and make plays and do the things he does it makes it really difficult because it stresses the defense. There's the play and then there's the play within the play. Sometimes he makes that play within the play pretty effective. A lot of times when he takes off scrambling, he scrambles more than any quarterback in our league, he's a dangerous guy."

Q:Derrick Johnson and Kevin Pierre-Louis had pretty much a 50/50 split on play time last week. Is that something you see going forward and what plays into that decision?

SUTTON: "We said we have three guys here and we can't tell you you're going to play this number of plays because a lot of it is based on what group the offense is sending out there. So it's not divided equally amongst those three guys. We just kind of roll them and then we're looking and say, 'They're all playing pretty good, let's get them out there'. Maybe the other benefit of this is that we have three guys that have got the pedal to the metal all the time. They're not worn out. Not only in that game, but down the road in two or three more weeks. I think that was kind of the driving force is that those guys elevated their game. We said 'look let's get them on the field some too'. It can't be done like you're going to play this series or this many plays. It's a feel for the game, what groups the offenses are sending out there and all of that."



Q: **What are your thoughts on the new Vicis Helmet?

SMITH:"I think, first off, only time is going to tell as there is more and more data on the helmet, and the history. We will find out if it looks as good on the field as it looks in the testing. And, certainly, the testing has been off the charts. As you get older, you play a lot and those hits add up. I have a couple in my history dealing with some head hits. If it looks safer and looks better, why not try?"

Q:What do you see from the Bills defense?

SMITH:"I think they are a talented group that plays really hard. They are disciplined, really well coached and know what they are doing. With them, it starts up front. They have a really good front that can get after it and that continues into the linebacking corps and then the secondary. I think they are disciplined and they fly around. Another challenge. It seems like every week we are saying that."

Q:What is the feeling in the locker room right now?

SMITH:"I think this team is ready to get back to work and get back on track. That's where I am at. I think this team realizes we can't talk our way out of this. You just have to go do it and that is the only remedy. I think we are anxious to do that. We know we are capable of playing a lot better than we have and looking forward to going out there and doing that."

Q:What have you missed the most from Albert Wilson?

SMITH:"Obviously, optimistic having him back at practice. We will see as the week goes on. He and I have a lot of reps together, a lot of history. Any time you have that trust there, it is nice to have it on the field. Certainly he is a big play maker for us. Optimistic that, as the week goes on, things will continue to look good."

Q:Was there a common thread for the reason for some of the giveaways the last couple weeks?

SMITH:"For me, the fourth down one at the end of the game is a unique deal. It is fourth down and it is the end of the game. There are times you force balls and if you don't get it, the pick doesn't matter any way. That's kind of a different deal. Certainly, the two this last game. A lot of little things add up. Certainly, on both of them, whether it is little details here or accuracy. All those things lead to both of those. You just have to turn back to your fundamentals a little bit. Doing the little things. Trusting what you are seeing, having good feet."

Q:At this point in your career, is it easier to move past things and focus on the next game?

SMITH:"To me, I think that is how you play your way out of this. Turn your focus on to the little things of your job. Going out there and executing them, focus on those details. Certainly, there is a lot of noise and chatter out there. None of us are totally immune to that. I think you have to shrug that off because it is only weighing down on you and inhibits you as you go forward. You have to move forward and focus on the next challenge, the next opponent. What are the things you need to do to go out there and play? And then usually those are all your details."

Q:When it comes to fans being fickle, is that something you have to go through to fully understand?

SMITH:"I think so. I think that is a good thing to go through. It is healthy. Even within a year, you realize how quick things can change. You realize it wasn't too long ago that it felt like everybody was on the bandwagon with us and a few weeks later, different story. For us, I think you have to understand that. You can't be naïve to it. Like I said, the only way you are getting out of it is to play your way out of it."

Q:How does the Smith family celebrate Thanksgiving?

SMITH:"Pretty traditional. As long as I have been in the NFL, it is around football. That is the way it goes. Whether it is family, friends, teammates, you have a mix of guys from around the country. A lot of them away from family, so you make sure you have a place to go. I think it is time to put things in perspective, you step away. Coach gives us a pretty friendly schedule here as far as the morning practice. You spend time with family. We have a lot to be thankful for and certainly celebrate the holiday. But, yeah, pretty traditional."

Q:Do you watch the games?

SMITH:"Of course."

Q:Pretty special that you get to do the Plaza Lights?

SMITH:"Yeah, one of the many traditions of the area that are pretty awesome and I live close to the Plaza. From the first year I got traded here, taking part in it and watching it and going down with my kids, it is certainly a big deal for them. A very cool honor. I am looking forward to it."

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