Mario Williams returned to Orchard Park Monday for the first time since having a minor wrist operation last week. The Bills' high priced pass rusher had a bounce in his step and clearly received a dose of optimism from his "cleaned out" wrist. The following is a transcript of his comments and those from Chan Gailey on Monday.
Head Coach Chan Gailey
Q: Can we start with DE Mario Williams, he sounded encouraged.
A: Yeah, he did. I talked to him, too, and he sounded very encouraged. We will get him back at practice Wednesday and hopefully he does not miss a beat. Hopefully he is better. That is why we did it.
Q: So Wednesday is the target for practice then?
Q: Do you think he will be full-go?
A: It does not look like (there is) any residual, but things crop up. I think it will be fine come Wednesday. I hope.
Q: His confidence seems to be up, too. Just the fact the he has more mobility and motion in his wrist. How important might that be?
A: Anytime somebody is more confident, they play better. That is true with all of us. If we have more confidence, then we do better whatever our job is.
Q: How did OT Cordy Glenn do today?
A: Pretty good. I was very encouraged with what he did on the field. We will see how he is tomorrow. This is the first time he has really worked. We will see how he is tomorrow, but I was encouraged by what happened today.
Q: OG Kraig Urbik said he fully expects to play, is that your expectation as well?
A: That is my full expectation. He practiced well today, took a bunch of reps and we will increase that as the week goes on.
Q: DE Mark Anderson was not out there today, is he not going to make it this week?
A: It is going to be close. We will see if we can get him back on the field Thursday. If he cannot make it Thursday, then no. But if we can get him on the field Thursday, then maybe.
Q: How about OG Andy Levitre?
A: He did everything today. He was out there. He is good.
Q: What was he coming back from?
A: He was not coming back from anything. He just had a procedure, and I hate to use that word because you guys do not like that word, he had something done on his knee. They injected it or they did something to it, but he is fine.
Q: Right or left knee?
A: I do not know.
Q: Are you resting CB Terrence McGee?
A: Yeah. He is struggling to come back from that last game. He has struggled to get back completely from that last game so we are giving him as much rest as we can possibly give him and then see where he is.
Q: Sounds like there is a level of concern there with McGee?
A: There is. If it takes longer and longer for a guy to get back every time then it gets to be a problem for him and for us.
Q: Is it tough that he is still at that point halfway through the year?
Q: It is tough on him because I know what kind of competitor he is.
Q: You have to feel for him considering how hard he has worked to get back.
A: Yeah, I do. He has worked so hard to get back. He wants to. The thing about him is he cannot go half-speed. That is the thing about him. He cannot go through the motions and then play hard on Sunday. He pushes himself at practice. That is part of it. You have to be able to do that though.
Q: With that being part of it, is it good timing that CB Ron Brooks is coming back?
A: At least is gives us an insurance policy of some sort.
Q: Is there any final decision as to what to do with OG Chad Rinehart in terms of Injured Reserve?
A: We will probably make that decision by the end of the week because that would be the spot that (Ron) Brooks might have to take if that is the way it goes. Everything is looking that way, but I do not know if we are ready to pull that trigger today.
DE Mario Williams
Q: How is your wrist feeling?
A: It is feeling way better. Even after the procedure it is definitely feeling better than what it was before.
Q: Talk about the decision that led you to last week--just the process in getting to that point.
A: Dealing with the training staff every day and talking about a way to get better. Get me feeling better, getting back to working out and being able to use my hands. We felt like it was the best decision to kind of clean it out.
Q: What have you been told in terms of what you can expect to be able to do with this now coming out of the procedure last week?
A: Well by doing that it is just going to get me into a position to workout and use my other hand more adequately. I think that was the biggest thing as far as me feeling comfortable and just being able to get better. We are kind of at a dead point, kind of at a standstill. So there really was no other choice.
Q: Do you feel like you were playing with one arm out there essentially?
A: Yeah, whenever you cannot really workout and you cannot use your hand, definitely it was that way. That is why I really wanted to do it after talking to the training staff. We all made a decision to go get it done. It is not like it is going to set me back.
Q: What did you have done?
A: I just had it cleaned out. From whenever it got injured early on in the year, there was a bunch of junk and stuff that was in there. That is the reason why I could not have motion and could not really use it.
Q: They just scoped it?
A: I could not tell you exactly the terminology of that. They cleaned it out. I was not awake so I do not know. It is what it is. Basically just cleaned it out and it has given me more motion already.
Q: Will you practice and play this week?
A: Oh definitely. Definitely. I am not missing anything. That is the reason I did it. I did not do this to say 'This is it, I am going to miss something.' No, this is to get better. This is to have healing occur--which was not happening before.
Q: Did you try to do this on your own or did you ask the Bills if you should do this?
A: No, like I said obviously we talk every day dealing with my wrist and everything. It is just first it was a four-to-six week thing after it first happened and now it has been almost nine weeks. Definitely it was beneficial. It was definitely a decision made amongst us--myself and the training staff.
Q: Getting out there and practicing today, is this kind of the test day to see how far or how close you are to 100-percent?
A: I am not really sure if I am even (practicing). That is up to Bud (Carpenter) and the training staff if I am going to go out and practice today. I mean it is Monday. I think the biggest thing is just making sure it heals at this point, which it has done a great job. I did not have any swelling. They were shocked with how it came out and how well everything is already. I am very optimistic and excited about it. Hopefully I will finally get a chance to work out here soon and be able to use my hands.
Q: What does it do for your mindset going into a game that you circled on your calendar, going to play at Houston?
A: It uplifts me tremendously. Knowing that the training staff had confidence in it and that it is going to give me an edge as far as getting back. Before, like I said, there was nothing we could really do about it. It was just stagnant. I am definitely excited. This is a great week. We are coming off a bye week. Not just myself, but everybody having time to rest, kind of get back together and regroup.
Q: Was this done a week ago?
Q: In Houston?
A: No, Alabama.
Q: Are you close to pain free now?
A: Being that is has not even been a week, like I said I had it done Tuesday, the incision is the only thing I feel at this point. That is because it has only been six days, I guess.
Q: Come Sunday are you anticipating that you will be a 100-percent Mario Williams?
A: I am going to feel a lot better. I was told from the advice of the trainers and the doctors that did it, I will wear a cast. I was going to wear the cast regardless because, like I said, if I had not had it done I would have been in the cast and still in the same predicament. At least now in my mind I have a better mindset this week and next week it is going to get better. At least I know it is going in the right direction.
Q: So at some point and time you will be 100-percent?
A: I will be fine, but I think the biggest thing is mentally knowing that it is not getting any worse and that I can use it. My range of motion is already better. Once I get a chance for the incisions to finally heal and make sure I am not going to open them back up this week, which it will be this week, I will get back working out, get strength and everything like that. It has been a while.
Q: So you are still going to wear a cast?
A: It is just the smartest thing to do. Why would I go out here and risk doing something tragic?
Q: But you can use your fingers or hand?
A: Yeah. More motion.
Q: How big of an impact did this injury have on your ability to do what you normally do?
A: I have not worked out during the season like I did in the off-season. It has been a while. I think that is the biggest thing--I am a hands-on person. Everything I do is with my hands. Working out, not being able to do that is just mentally frustrating. I just felt like I was stagnant. That is why I am very excited about having been able to go clean it out and being optimistic about the things that happened as far as going forward from now on.
Q: How much do you think that fans who have criticized you have not seen the entire or real Mario Williams?
A: This is not me. I have said that before. I have never had something where it has lingered this long. It either is season-ending or it (gets better) in a week. Like I said, it has been almost nine weeks now. That has just been tough. But you get injured. Everybody gets injured and things like that--setbacks. I think the biggest thing for me is just being able to rebound for the second part of the season and get after it.
Q: How frustrated has it made you knowing that you have been criticized? I know you do not pay attention to it, but you have taken the brunt of criticism and you had high expectations for yourself.
A: Yeah, criticism is criticism. I think the biggest thing for me is my expectations for myself. Nobody wants me to be better than me. So definitely with this procedure it has given me a lot of hope and a different mindset.
Q: DE Chris Kelsay said he noticed that guys are not finishing plays on defense and that has to change. Do you agree?
A: Definitely. We critique each other and so forth. The biggest thing for me is that I know that there is definitely a lot more plays that I have to get done. I am just taking it with a different mindset, just going out and making it happen. I feel great about the possibility of finally being able to do things that I did not do from the very beginning of the season, so I look forward to it.
Q: So you do not have any doubts about Sunday?
A: I am excited.
Q: You said it was better, but can describe how it is better? Like the discomfort that is gone compared to how it feels now?
A: Pretty much it is in the sense of it does not hurt like it did before. It does not hinder me. I could not even use my hand to do anything pretty much, outside of being in a cast. I think at this point the only pain I feel is the incision. I have better range of motion already and I think the biggest thing is to try and get back into working out and getting strong again and being able to use my hand on the field.