Q: How much have the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson locked them into more of a standard 4-3 than you’ve seen in recent years?
BB: I’d say that’s pretty much the way it was by the end of the year last year. I think they sort of transitioned there somewhere around the middle of the season. We played them real early and then real late. The way they’re playing now is pretty similar to the way they played at the end of the year last year. I’m sure acquiring those two players probably really solidified it for them but they’re pretty much an exclusive four-man front, other than some situational calls and all that but there’s a lot of four-man line.
Q: With Mark Anderson, is it still pretty straightforward how they’re using him – right defensive end and full-time player? What are you seeing there?
BB: Yes. Well [Chris] Kelsay rotates in there with him too, he plays. They’ve also used Kyle Moore in there a little bit too, but it’s mainly [Mario] Williams and Anderson and I think Kelsay is the next guy. They all play. Mark is what we saw here last year – long, athletic, runs well, does a good job of pressuring the edge and has good length. He’s a hard guy to throw around and his length and his speed are a tough matchup for the tackles.
Q: What have you seen in the evolution of Ryan Fitzpatrick, specifically since he’s been in Buffalo?
BB: We saw a very good version of him last year. Of course, he threw for a lot of yards, he’s athletic, he can scramble, he has good command of the offense, obviously a smart player and very well schooled by Chan [Gailey] and his staff. He does a good job at the line of scrimmage recognizing defenses, he can change plays, make adjustments, that kind of thing. He does a good job of getting the ball to his playmakers, which is a pretty long list. They have very good backs, they have explosive receivers and [Scott] Chandler is a very good pass catching tight end so they really do a good job of mixing it up there. Ryan does a nice job of using all of his weapons – the running backs, the tight ends, receivers. They do a good job and he does a good job of using everybody, getting the ball out quick, attacking down the field, managing the game, handling different looks up front, changing plays, all those kind of things. He has good quickness and the ability to avoid people in the pocket.
Q: How about Cordy Glenn, who has taken over on the left tackle spot for them? How did you see him coming out of college and what have you seen from him on the left side?
BB: I think he’s doing well and I’d say he’s improving, with every game he’s getting a little bit better. I saw him as a left tackle coming out, certainly with the ability to play left tackle. I think he also has the ability to play right tackle too, maybe could even play guard too, I don’t know; probably no reason why he couldn’t play guard. He’s long and he’s big, he has to be 6-6, 350, in that range, but he’s a big man. Hard to get around, is competitive in the running game, is long, has good length, obviously has good size and girth, hard guy to power rush. He’s done a good job for them over there and getting better. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but he certainly has the skill to play, I don’t think there’s really any doubt about that. He does a good job. Like any rookie, there are going to be some plays that won’t look as good as others but I think overall he’s been really solid for them, to go along with a real good interior part of the line with [Eric] Wood and [Andy] Levitre. Those guys have really been solid and [Erik] Pears has done a good job for them at right tackle and [Chris] Hairston has played both tackles for them as well. I’d say overall, their offensive line is more solid because they guys are playing together more. They have a good group of players. Last year, they had some injuries and had to shuffle the deck a little bit but this group has basically been together through training camp and all the games and they keep getting better and Glenn has done a good job for them too.
Q: Do you have any reaction to the way last night’s game ended between the Seahawks and Packers?
BB: No, not really. I’ve just been focused here all morning on Buffalo, trying to get our game plan and improve what we’re doing, trying to get that straightened out. I really haven’t had time to focus too much on any other games or any other teams or any of that. Seeing if I can do a better job of coaching the Patriots would be a good place for me to start.
Q: Yesterday the NFL announced that a couple of things were under review as it relates to officials. Have you had a chance to let them hear your side of things as to how things unfolded at the end of the game on Sunday night?
BB: I think I’ll just keep all of that process private. Whatever the league has to say, any announcements or whatever they have to say then they can make those or not make them whenever, if and when they decide to do it. I’ll just leave all that to them.
Q: Do you have any indication that
BB: We’ll give you more information on that tomorrow and see what he’s able to do out there in practice. I know that they’re evaluating the hand and taking a look at it and trying to determine what the nature of the injury is and the extent that it is injured and we’ll see where that is and we’ll take a look at him tomorrow and see what he’s able to do out there. We’ll update you tomorrow after practice relative to his practice availability.
Q: Obviously you’d like to be more productive in the red zone. What have you been able to discern are the issues in the red zone?
BB: I think all the things we’ve talked about, after the game and yesterday. It starts with us, it starts with coaching, making sure we have a good plan, making sure that we put our players in the best possible position to be productive and to be able to do their jobs, making sure that the plays that we run we practice, we know what to do, we can execute so if something different happens down there, which is always a problem because it all happens so fast. There’s so little space that you’re involved in, all the plays just happen much quicker than they do out in the field. Running game, the holes close quicker; passing game, there are smaller windows and less space to throw in and all that. The coaching, the game plan, the practice, execution and all that and of course it comes down to the players doing those things well, or better, collectively. I think it’s all-around, not any one thing in particular. We have to run the ball down there, we have to throw it; we have to be able to throw it on all three downs, run it on all three downs. When we get inside the five-yard line, our goal-line type offense, we have to be able to get it in down there as well as from farther out. We just have to keep working on all those things and try to do a better job of them. I think we have good players and we have good coaches and we’ve certainly scored plenty of points down there in the past and we’ve gotten down there plenty of times. We just have to make a little more out of it, have to come out of there with more touchdowns and fewer field goals. Not any one thing, but just collectively doing everything a little bit better; all of us are involved.
Q: The defense has less space to defend in the red zone, but are there advantages for the offense in the red zone?
BB: You don’t have as far to go. You only need a few yards and then you hit pay dirt. It’s not like you have to go out and execute 10, 12, 14, 16 plays and drive 80 or 90 yards. You’re already down there, you just have to make usually one good play. One good play from the eight can score or three pretty good plays from the eight could score. But if you make one really good one, you’re close enough where you can strike so that’s the good thing. But, of course it’s tighter down there. The defenders don’t have anywhere to go. There are more of them closer to the line of scrimmage. It’s easier for them to blitz, easier for them to disguise, less space to cover on all the above. It’s tighter quarters, it all happens quicker. Defensively you have to make that adjustment as well. All the plays happen faster, a lot of times the running plays hit quicker, they’re designed to hit into the hole quicker. The passes hit quicker, there’s less of the normal rhythm and timing that you see out on the field because of the space involved. Those are adjustments the defense has to make too, from a timing standpoint. It’s less area on paper but the actual in-game execution of it is quicker and different. There are a lot of scramble plays down in the red area, quarterbacks see tight coverage, no space to throw, they pull the ball down, like what happened to us in the Baltimore game, run out of the pocket, not letting him scramble in as the sixth receiver or get out of the pocket and the receiver is uncovered in the end zone in space. You see a lot of touchdowns scored like that in the red area. That’s part of the red area attack, red area defense. It’s just inherent in that field position. Those are other important components of it.