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Chan Gailey: "We did not play well in the red zone"

Posted Nov 5, 2012

Head Coach Chan Gailey

Monday, November 5, 2012

Q: Do you have an update on CB Aaron Williams?

A: Yeah. It was not as bad as it could have been. He is going to miss a few weeks. It is not a season-ender.

Q: Do you have an update on WR Stevie Johnson?

A: He may not practice Wednesday, but I think it will be OK for this weekend.

Q: How important is it to get Johnson as close to 100-percent as possible for the passing game?

A: It is very important. When you have your leading receiver hobbled it hurts your passing game. To have him close to 100-percent would be very important for us.

Q: Can Johnson play through the pain?

A: Yeah. He did last year and he did the other day. It was impressive.

Q: Back in August when Johnson and WR David Nelson both missed a few sessions, you expressed some concern about the depth you had behind those two guys. Have you seen any progress and do you still have those same concerns?

A: Anytime you miss two very good players who are very productive in your offense, it hurts. There is not a lot of time for guys to get reps so they might not come along as fast as they would in the offseason. Scott Chandler has been productive for us and needs to continue to be more productive. Donald (Jones) has really come on in the last two or three weeks and played well. T.J. (Graham) is still a work in progress right now. He is getting there but he is not moving as quickly as if he were playing every snap. The reason he cannot play every snap is he is not quite there yet. So we are using Brad (Smith) in there some. We do not play Ruvell (Martin) much, but he is a veteran. He knows what to do and he can go in and play. We are not as good as if the starters are on the field, but that is true of every position in football.

Q: You mentioned last week you wanted to see how OT Erik Pears would respond to stuff he did with the specialist. Has enough time passed for that?

A: They are telling us from a few days to a few weeks is what we will need to figure out exactly where he is and what he will be able to do for the rest of the year basically.

Q: What about getting CB Terrence McGee back with Williams out?

A: Yeah, that would be important. I do not know what his status will be this week. He has the week off and if he can get back to practice Wednesday, Thursday or Wednesday and Thursday—I hope, then things are better. I do not know that. We will just have to wait and see on that.

Q: Just to be clear on Pears. He could be practicing as soon as a few days from now or a couple weeks from now?

A: Yeah. That could be either way. I do not think this week at all, but we might be able to make a determination by the end of the week of where he is.

Q: Do you feel that you have an offense capable of a deep threat?

A: Yeah. You have to set things up to do it that way. What you have to do is throw it deep enough to keep people honest. You just cannot throw six yard routes the whole ball game. There is a lot of different ways to do it. If you go back and look, I think Houston threw it deep twice when the game was in the balance. They threw one deep late on fourth down. I think they threw it deep a couple of times in the ball game. Sometimes it is deep over and sometime it is deep crossers. It is things like that where you have to get a guy to catch the ball and go a few yards on his own. I think it is a matter of getting guys to do what they do best. Fit it in to the offense the way that it needs to be fit in. Then you go from there.

Q: Is WR T.J. Graham ready to do that and go deep?

A: Yeah, he can run deep but you have to read coverage, too. You just cannot take off and run. You have to see what is going on and you have to know how to beat a guy and set a guy up. He is working on all of that stuff.

Q: How much is not going downfield very often a product of you not thinking it would be much of a benefit to your offense versus having something that is missing?

A: There is some of that. It is more of that then having people that can go deep. It is more by design than it is by lack of personnel. That is for sure.

Q: Has there been anything looked at in terms of scoring in the fourth quarter. You have been pretty balanced scoring the first three quarters, but the fourth is considerably lower. Can you take anything from that?

A: The whole deal with that is we have been behind in three games really big. You go out there and throw it every snap, bad things happen. That is when they end up getting field position, running the football and scoring. That is where the imbalance comes.

Q: In retrospect, do you think you may have not run the ball as much as you wanted to, looking back at that game?

A: I wanted to run the ball more, but what they played defensively putting seven big guys in there made it tough and makes it hard to do that. C.J. (Spiller) bounced out of there and made a couple of plays on his own. It was not set up to run the football and we were making them pay for it in the first half. The bottom line in my opinion was, they scored touchdowns and we did not score touchdowns. If we had converted in the red zone—we were down there four times (so) it may have been a 28-21 game. We have been pretty good in the red zone. Up until this game we have been in the top 10 in the league. We did not play well in the red zone.

Q: With that in mind, you guys had a fourth-and-two in the first half and a third-and-one in the second half in the red zone where you just declined to go for those and decided to kick the field goals. Do you stick with that strategy or do you think that was maybe a little bit too conservative in hindsight?

A: If you do not win you would always do something different—if you are not going to win the game. You are doing what you think you need to do to win the game. You sit there and if you make them kick a field goal there at the end instead of scoring a touchdown all of a sudden it is 17-9 and you score and get the two pointer. I would have gone for two, in case you are wondering. We would have tied the ball game up and who knows what would happen from there. You do not think about ‘We are not going to play good. This is our last chance and only chance to win.’ You do not think about that. You think about what puts us in the best position to win the game seeing what you are doing. If you are down three scores then you go for it.

Q: Does your opponent, on the road against the top team in the AFC, factor into that or is that solely your strategy?   

A: No, that is strategy. To say you do not consider who you are playing and all of that, you consider it somewhat. But overall you just have to have an idea of whether you want to go for it there or kick the field goal and take the points.

Q: Is that your basic philosophy or was it a decision for you?

A: It was 14-6. If you kick it and make it 14-9, then you score a touchdown and win the game. The defense was playing pretty good. To me, that is not even a consideration at that point.

Q: As a whole halfway through the season, how do you assess your offense at this point? I know you played a very good defense yesterday, but the lack of finish has been somewhat of an inconsistent problem.

A: We have moved the ball pretty well at times. We have scored points at times. You would like to be more consistent with everything that you do, but we had not been quite as consistent as I would like for various reasons. That is what (do). You go out and you try to create consistency with your offense. I wish we could have run it more the other day. It was one of those situations where we thought it was best to throw the football. It did not work. If we had won, everybody would say ‘Well that was really good.’ But it did not work. We were not able to throw it successfully enough to score points and win the ball game.

Q: Does it concern you what Texans DC Wade Phillips did in that situation? Maybe because of that deep threat component that we talked about, you are not multi-dimensional enough—or whatever the word is for that—that teams can pick up on that and execute defenses that way?

A: I think people will probably copycat some of the things that they did. We have to have better ways to combat that and that is what we will do. We will have better ways to combat that as we go ahead. We moved the ball well enough in the first half that I felt like we could do the same thing in the second half. We were not able to convert as many times as I hoped we would in the second half.

Q: With the Wildcat, you have not gotten much production out of that outside of a run from QB Brad Smith in San Francisco. Are you frustrated with where that part of your offense is through eight games?

A: Not frustrated, I just hoped it would be a little bit better than what we are doing with it. I was hoping it would create a little bit more of a problem for people. I think having it, they (opponent) have to work on it. I hope that as times goes on we will be able to use it more and more. You have to use it in the right situation versus the right defenses and we were not getting it yesterday so it was not. We put it out there one time and did not make the play.

Q: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had said you do not major in downfield passing. That is not you major. Previous stops, that was something that you did do. What is it that you would like to have happen or what circumstances before you at least consider maybe taking a couple of electives?

A: There is so much that goes into how you design things. You design them around your players. You do what they do best. You try to make sure that you are making first downs and giving your players a chance to be successful. Everything is designed around what you feel like your players do the best. That is what you do.

Q: There was a report yesterday that DE Mario Williams is or was dealing with a torn ligament. Is that the case?

A: I have not heard anything about that. I do not know where that came from. I have heard nothing of that sort.

Q: Did it go OK for Williams through the game?

A: It sounded like it did. The report this morning was it was better than it had been in weeks past after a game.

Q: This is the first time we have had a chance to talk to you here in Buffalo since on Friday GM Buddy Nix wanted to put to rest any questions about your future here beyond this season. Your thoughts on what Buddy said?

A: Buddy (Nix) has been very good to me. We are working through trying to turn this thing back around for the franchise, the Buffalo fans and for everybody.  I appreciate it. I am going to work my rear off, no matter what, to try to get this thing back where it belongs.

Q: How much conversation do you have with Mr. Wilson on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis?

A: We talk once a week.

Q: What is the feedback you have gotten from him?

A: He is upset we are losing. Would you expect anything less? He is upset we are losing. That is made very clear, which I understand. I am, too. We have to win and our weekly conversations will go better.

Q: DE Mark Anderson, what are his chances to play this week?

A: Bad. He has had a pretty good setback and he may need another procedure before it is over with. I am not sure we will have him this week.

Q: If he does need another procedure, is he done for the season?

A: No. They tell me if they end up doing it, it would be very minor and a two or three week deal. He would be able to get back.

Q: To follow up on Mario, when you said you had not heard that. You had not heard the report or that he had a torn ligament?

A: That he had anything wrong with a ligament at all. I had heard nothing about a ligament.