Obviously I think early on we battled some adversity. I was proud of the way the players held on and we kept that game and didn’t let it get out of control on us early in the first half. I felt we came out the second half offensively, marched down the field, felt good about it. We had some opportunities at the end, we didn’t convert or make the plays that we needed to, to win the game. Credit to New England, they did a nice job. They made the plays, especially on third down to keep them going. Obviously they kicked the field goal at the end of regulation to win the game and we’ll go onward, upward and work tomorrow. Start working and get darn better.
Q: In your last game offensive possession, why stay in the no huddle instead of trying to take the clock down?
A: Our philosophy, we had to score. When you’re talking about milking the clock they still had three time-outs. We get that ball back; we were still over four minutes, four minutes and fifty-something seconds. I wrote it down when I was going through the numbers. There was still a lot of time. There was too much time and at the end of the day it wasn’t a situation where we felt we needed to milk the clock. We felt that we still needed to score to win the game.
Q: The Stevie Johnson drop on the previous possession was a big one too.
A: I think there were a lot of big plays. Those are the ones that are easy to see. A misread here, a miscommunication there. You have the penalties start to go the other way. I think there are a lot of things that go on, but yes that was one of them.
Q: Encouraged by EJ Manuel’s performance?
A: It’s the same thing. I was very happy with his demeanor. Don’t get me wrong; I think that’s very important. I think that when you talk about tests and process and what you’re doing when you’re developing quarterbacks, that when he was out there it didn’t seem any different than what’s been going on. That’s encouraging and we’ll keep working with him. He’ll continue to get better.
Q: Can you discuss the penalties?
A: Yeah, 10 to 4. I think it’s hard to overcome especially when offensively you have a young quarterback and you’re a young team. It’s not acceptable. We have officials at every practice, we have to get together as a staff and we’ve got to figure out a way not to have that. We have to look at them and evaluate them first. The officials, we think we have the best officials in the world out there and I think they do a nice job. We just have to look at it. 10-4, obviously that’s a lopsided situation.
Q: Can you talk about your defenses’ performance in the red zone?
A: Excellent. They did a nice job. I think at the end of the day when you look at red zone efficiency for New England, they were two out of five. With some short fields and some changes. I was happy with the way they competed out there.
Q: Is there a sense of disappointment?
A: You talk about sense of disappointment. It is devastating. It’s hard. It’s hard because like I said before and I mean this, there is a greater calling. Granted, we put in a lot of work and we’re going to get better, but we know what the people want and we know what the region wants. When we go out there and we have opportunities and you can’t win that game, I’m letting them down, we all are letting people down. We’ll continue to fight and I can promise you that we will get better.
Q: Can you talk about EJ’s performance?
A: I mean 18 for 27, 150 yards and two touchdowns. To say that here he goes out and it’s a stellar performance, he’s very critical of himself. Make no mistake, we have high expectations as we do the other players and I’ve said that. He’ll get better but there are some things out there that he will improve on. We left some plays out there.
A: (Marquise) Goodwin with a hand. I didn’t get the report on that. Foot came back for (Ron) Brooks, and that was it.
Q: It looked like Da’Norris Searcy was out for a while?
A: Searcy was cramps. Sorry about that.
Q: What did you say at halftime to bring that type of momentum in to the first drive of the second half?
A: I wish I was that good. I wish I was that good because then I’d say it all the time and repeat it. Felt we came out. We tried to get the same type of drive established early on in the game and I think that the penalties hurt or the lack of making the play hurt during that. That was the consistency we were looking for and that’s what we’re able to do. I don’t think it’s a secret, I think when you can go out there and consistently block, run the ball, throw the ball, make some plays, good things can happen. We have to do that more often.
Q: Do you take anything from almost beating (Bill) Belichick and (Tom) Brady in your first game?
A: I have a lot of respect for them and I always have (respect) for the teams in this league. I think this league is what that is. I think it is a league that’s close. I really do. I think there’s great parity in this league and I’ve always believed that. Some teams can’t hang in there long enough, but I can’t talk for other teams. The teams that I’ve been on in this league, it’s always close and it’s always those little things, you know? You try to make bigger things out of it than it is and you love looking at all the statistics and everything like that, but at the end of the day there’s always going to be four, six, or eight plays that are out there that gosh if you make this play, if you do this, if you do that. You wind up guessing or second-guessing what plays that would have sparked the win. At the end of the day it’s the little things, doing all the little things right. When you have that structure and you can do all the little things right, then you go up there and your consistency goes up quite a bit in this league playing because there is talent on this team. We have to just get the consistency out of it and again we have to do a better job too now. I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Hey I was perfect out there’. I’m going through my mind of the timeouts at the end of the game, going through getting ready and prepared for half time, I’m going through what you were thinking about. When do we start getting in to this mode of doing that stuff with that communication? I was happy with things as far as we communicated. I think we got caught out on the field with 12 and that’s not acceptable. That’s on us as the coaches and it starts with me. Like I said, we’re going to get better. We’re going to push the heck out of this team and this team is going to push the heck out of us as coaches. They rely on us and we rely on them.
Q: At some point in the second quarter, you gathered the offense and felt like you had to say something and that you thought it was critical moment. Can you talk about why you felt the need to do that?
A: I was with the offense a lot. I think you’ll see that. I had the pictures; I was showing them pictures, going through adjustments with them. Showing them exactly what we want, coaching them on the field. If you tell me and I really mean this, was it after the first drive?
Q: No, there was a turnover and after you left them Fred (Jackson) gave them a pretty fiery speech.
A: Was it in the first half?
A: I think you’ll see me. I gravitate towards that. I was with the defense. I think you have to be with them in good and bad, obviously. I get fired up. When it comes down to that, it’s a lot of times it’s like, ‘Hey we’re going to come right back to you’ and I think that’s important from the mindset of the players and the team. Let’s not get ourselves frustrated out here. Let’s go and continue to push and we have to fight and we’re going to get right back in it. Our defense is going to go out there, create some errors, they’re going to stop them or hold them to a field goal. We’re going to get back and gain that possession back somehow. A lot of that goes on. My goal in that is to make sure that obviously strategically we’re all set, but our mental preparation, we’re ready to get back on that field and go.
Q:What did you see out of their run defense?
A: Their run defense was one of the best run defenses in the league last year. Those guys are stout and they can play, so again I think there were times that we’re able to take advantage of something strategically. AT the end of the day they were 4.5 yards running the ball, we were 4.0 average running the ball. Again, they’re good football team and we feel we’re a good football team.
Q: Can you talk about Da’Norris Searcy’s performance?
A: Yup, he played well. He’s been playing well, kind of under the radar a little bit with what’s going on. I think he’s a guy that really works hard. Plays on defense, plays on special teams. Obviously that was a big play, defense made a couple big plays today.
BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK EJ MANUEL
On how he felt his first NFL game went:
The biggest thing is you want to lead the offense and get guys in position, move the ball down the field and not have three-and-outs or anything like that. Overall, for the first game I thought it was pretty good but we’ve got to win at the end of the day.
On the last drive of the fourth quarter going three-and-out and not killing the clock:
I think, not even that drive though, I think it was a few drives late in the third or fourth quarter that we had to continue to get down the field possibly getting a field goal or a touchdown that could’ve sealed the game. But it’s happened; it’s over with, now you’ve got to move forward to next week.
On if he’s critical on himself for today’s game:
I’m always critical of myself because I don’t like to make mistakes twice. I really don’t like to make them once, if not twice. Overall, at the end of the day we lost so I can’t really say we did this great, we did that great. At the end of the day you want to win.
On if he was calm or nervous starting the game:
I was very calm. I was very confident in the game plan we had going into the game. I knew it was my first time out there. I felt the energy of the crowd. It was packed, it was a great crowd. We just wanted to go out and win. But we didn’t. And like I said we’ve just got to move on to next week.
On getting the crowd into the game and what message he wanted to send to them:
We just wanted to feed off their energy. I think that was going into the fourth quarter. We just wanted to get them back into the game. They’re kind of like our 12th man out there. They’re extremely loud and they help both sides of the ball, not just on defense but they helped us out on offense as well.
On if he feels his reads improved as the game went on:
Sometimes early in the game we didn’t call those plays so I wouldn’t say it was necessarily the reads or I wasn’t seeing things. We called the plays for situation.
On the amount of penalties:
That was frustrating. When you have a big first down or a big play and then you get it called back, you definitely want to continue to fight those battles. But you kind of shoot yourself in the foot when you do that. As an offense we have to clean those things up.
On how you correct the amount of penalties:
Paying attention to the small details. If there’s something I can do, just clean it up, go back and watch the film. If there’s anything I can continue to do better as a quarterback continue to do that.
On RB Fred Jackson providing a spark to the run game:
Fred did an awesome job as well as C.J. (Spiller). But I really would thank the offensive line. They did a great job, not only run blocking but also pass blocking. I don’t think I hit the ground more than once throughout the whole game or any hurries or things like that so they both did a good job.
On if playing well in his first NFL against QB
I wanted to win the game. Obviously, Tom Brady is a great quarterback and is going to go in the Hall of Fame. At the end of the day you want to win. That’s how I see it.
On if he has more confidence now that he has a game under his belt:
Yeah, definitely. Obviously with every play I was continuing to get more and more confidence in myself and continue to relax, stay calm throughout the whole thing and stay poised as a quarterback.
On if the Patriots showed a different defense after the touchdown drive to start the third quarter:
I don’t think so. They pretty much played all the same looks. They did all the same looks that we saw on film. I thought Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett, like I said, had a great game plan going in to it. There wasn’t anything that really surprised us.
On if his knee is feeling ok:
When the game comes on and when it’s time to go play football I don’t worry about injuries. I had a couple other shots as far as a tackle so I had some other things bother me. But you play football, you don’t worry about… you’re never going to be 100-percent when you play a sport and you have to understand that. If you can walk, if you can run, go play.
On who gets to keep the football between himself and WR Robert Woods for their first career touchdowns:
Woody (Robert Woods) can keep it.
On not running as much during the game:
Not necessarily, but not by design. We didn’t call a lot of run plays for me.
On wanting to win, but if being close can he take away some encouragement on how close they were:
A little, maybe, but you want to win.
BUFFALO BILLS RUNNING BACK FRED JACKSON
Q: On the Patriots keying on C.J. (Spiller) as much as possible:
A: Whenever we play a team, they are going to think about C.J. (Spiller) and rightfully so. He has played out of his mind the last two years. It’s just my job when I get that opportunity to take some of that pressure off him.
Q: To come out on the wrong end of this, what’s the feeling?
A: Obviously we are disappointed. But we’ll go back and look at the film. A lot of things that happened to us were kind of self-inflicted. Not to take anything from them, they made plays when they had the opportunity but we left a lot out there. And if we go out, take a look at the film, realize some of the mistakes that we made, that could be a different outcome.
Q: How do you explain all the penalties?
A: It’s hard to say. We had to overcome… some of the calls weren’t good calls but you know this is what we have to focus on. We have to focus on the little things is what we talked about when we came in here. The little things we focus on and everything else will take care of itself.
BUFFALO BILLS DEFENSIVE END MARIO WILLAMS
Q: What went wrong at the end?
A: We have to be able to convert and be able to stop them, especially in that situation. We know what’s going to happen. We have to be able to stop them and keep them out of field goal range.
Q: As you’re watching (Tom) Brady convert the ball on third-down, do you get a sense of “we’ve seen this before?”
A: You have to stop him. At the end of the day you have to make the plays. I feel like a lot of times we were in good position. We just have to make the tackle and get him down first him. As a team, as a defense we have to make the plays.
Q: Is this a case of a young team needing to learn how to put a game away and learning how to win? Or is it just a case where that’s no excuse, you got to get it done?
A: We have to get it done regardless
Q: Mario, do you feel like you were held on the one play where Brady kind of jutted out to the right where it looked like you had the offensive lineman flipped around?
A: They didn’t call it so I guess I wasn’t.
Q: Describe your emotions right now. You’re kind of a man of few words right now, seems your pretty frustrated.
A: We just have to get better. We have to win. We have to come together as a defense. Regardless of what’s going on, we have to be able to get turnovers, score on defense and make it happen.
Q: Seem like the run-d was doing some nice things early on. In the second half it seemed to gash a little bit. What was that breakdown, what was the reason for it?
A: I think we will have to look at it. I feel that the calls were there, but we just have to look at it tomorrow and see what’s going on.
Q: As a veteran leader on this team, what do you tell some of the younger guys after a loss like this?
A: Keep your head up. We have a long way to go. I know we have a great team and we have to go out there and make it happen. We have to figure out what we are doing wrong, whether we are out of position or communication or whatever it might be because each little play definitely is going to matter.
Q: I know it probably feels like garbage right now but do you feel a little encouraged based on what you saw out there in the first week against a team as vaunted as the Patriots?
A: I don’t care what a team’s name is, we have to go take care of business. That’s all that matters… we have to win, that’s all that matters.
BUFFALO BILLS DEFENSIVE TACKLE KYLE WILLIAMS
Q: There seemed to be a lot of penalties out there on you guys today.
A: Penalties on both sides of the ball put us behind the eight-ball a lot. If you keep giving an experienced quarterback like that and a team that’s won a lot of football games opportunities with penalties and things like that it comes back to bite you.
Q: How do you correct that when you go into the game already knowing that penalties can hurt you?
A: Penalties when you’re under pressure can happen. You get a face mask when you really didn’t mean to or your holding a guy or you might hit a guy late, not excessively late but still late, the thing that’s hard are the pre-snap penalties, the off sides, the false starts, misalignments, those sorts of things are things that are killing you and you really have to pay close attention.
Q: The close losses, and with your competitive nature, don’t seem to mean that much to you.
A: This season started in March, and you go through a lot to get ready to play and just because all of you said we were going to get beat by 50 and we get beat by three doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m here to win. I’ve been around a long time. I just want to win and we have to find a way to make the plays at the end of the game.