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Bills look ahead to Rams, battle injuries
The Bills host the Rams Sunday in Orchard Park. It was back to work for the team on Wednesday, with lots of injuries to contend with. Below are comments beginning with head coach Chan Gailey:
Q: What are the challenges of replacing the right side of the offensive line against a team that does pretty well with their pass rush?
A: Yeah, I think they are fourth or fifth in sacks or something. They do a great job of rushing the passer and (Chris) Long will be a challenge over there for Sam (Young). That will be a real challenge for him. To be honest with you, they rotate through a lot of guys that can play. This might be overall as athletic of defensive front and powerful combined with quickness a defensive front as we have played all season. You look at all the guys they rotate through there. They are playing extremely well right now and it will be a challenge for him and David (Snow).
Q: Is it OL Kraig Urbik at center and OL David Snow at right guard?
A: We are going to work them both and I am not sure which way that will go to be honest with you. We are going to have to wait and see which way is the best way to go by the end of the week.
Q: Is there kind of a drop dead point in your mind for that decision?
A: Yes, but I am not telling you.
Q: As far as guys that are going to practice today...CB Leodis McKelvin?
A: He is going to get out there and try to do something, but we are not going to overextend him. So he is not going to take all of his reps. He will try to get out, stretch it out and do some things. He is not going to have a full practice.
Q: CB Aaron Williams?
A: He is going to try to do some things, he is going to be out there for the majority of practice and we will see how far he can go.
Q: WR Stevie Johnson?
A: No. He will not practice today.
Q: WR Donald Jones?
A: Yes. He will be on the field.
Q: OT Chris Hairston, where do you see him?
A: He is not going to make it this week and we will have to see where this thing leads with him. They are still doing tests. They did tests again yesterday. It is not looking good for now and to be honest with you, we are hoping to get him back maybe for the last two.
Q: You are just holding Johnson out to let him rest? You expect him to play?
A: We think he will be there, but he has that hamstring that he sustained in the game and he did not finish the game so we will see. We will rest him today to see if he can get well enough to go and do some things tomorrow. Do a little bit more Friday and be ready to go Sunday. We will see.
Q: How much do you want to win out to give a validation to the thoughts about this team going into the season?
A: Well you want to win out just because you are a competitor and you want to win. If you start talking about winning out...we have to win one more. We have to win two in a row before we can ever win three, four or five. So yeah it would be great. That is our plan, our goal and what we want to do, but we have to try to win this one. Take it one game at a time. I hate using that clich, but it is what it is.
Q: Why have the young guys on defense like CB Stephon Gilmore, LB Nigel Bradham and even CB Leodis McKelvin played so much better the last few weeks?
A: Experience. We threw them in there and they had to play. They continue to get better and that is a credit to them to get better. A lot of people play but do not get better. They have played and become better football players. The experience has helped them grow and they have used that experience. The three guys that you mentioned have really upped their game the last few weeks. Now do they have ups and downs? Yeah, they do. They will be able to better handle those as time goes on the more they play. There is no substitute for experience in this league.
Q: LB Arthur Moats has been getting reps at defensive end lately. Why was that change made and how do you think he has done?
A: Well first of all, we have been a little thin at defense end so to give those guys a blow. To be honest with you, the first time he went in there two weeks ago he pushed the tackle right back into the quarterback. We remember what he did do when he was playing defensive end. It makes you remember those things. He has been at linebacker so long. He has been a good change of pace to give us a little rest and put a little pressure on the quarterback.
Q: Jacksonville was pretty set on chipping both of your defensive ends. Do you expect that to continue?
A: Yes. I think people will do that. They will continue to do that and that means they get less guys out quicker, which is good. Hopefully it allows you to be able to play back there and get more guys underneath the football. Make smaller windows to throw the ball when they do not get them out as fast.
Q: Has DE Mario Williams' recent success gotten to a point where you see other guys getting opportunities as a result?
A: Well they do single inside a lot more now because of that fact. If they chip outside, they still have three on two inside so really only one guy is the guy who becomes the beneficiary. It is one guy and it is not Kyle (Williams) all the time, it is not Alex (Carrington) all the time and it is not Marcell (Dareus) all the time. It is all of them that benefit from that. You do not know when it is going to happen so you have to be ready every snap when you get the single.
Q: You feel a direct correlation of the improved run defense leading to those kinds of opportunities?
A: Sure. Anytime you can create second-and-longs, third-and-longs and you keep them on the field without letting them get big chunks--all of a sudden their chances of making a mistake go up.
Q: Will it still be tough for DE Mark Anderson this week?
A: It will still be tough for him this week, but things are looking a lot better than they were this time last week.