Q: One of the things taking over a team that is in the team transition it has growing pains, some coaches can handle it, some can't how have you handled the obvious need of growth and consistency?
GW: The first thing is that I am doing it here with somebody that I have a lot of confidence in and that is Tom Donahoe. The fact with Tom Modrak here and Dwight Adams and the rest of the people here in the personnel area I have a lot of confidence in that. The fact that one of the analogies, I was talking to some of our people today was the first year of the salary cap was I believe was '94 and I was on that great Houston team was a great team there in '93 when we won the 11 in a row. In fact that was, the start of the 11 in a row was that game there in New England, Baby Gate. The next year we lost six Pro Bowlers and I think we were $24 or $26 million over the cap and I how you had to build to get back out of that. The fact that Floyd Reese and Jeff Fisher allowed me to be involved in the day-to-day and know exactly every little detail that was going on and how you build a team through the draft and selected free agency and all of that kind of stuff as you spend your dollars right there, you can see how it will improve. I knew that when we got here, I knew exactly what was in front of us, but could not predict a lot of the injuries that we have had up front with the offensive line. That was the one thing you can't predict and you have to go on from it. I really believe we are developing some young depth for future years or we have got some critical evaluations to know what direction we need to take in the offseason also to improve in those areas. So you always look for a silver lining in everything and I think the fact that we have had some young play under some stress that maybe they wouldn't play if we had a little more experience up front. We get a read on them and we also know that we have some depth later on.
Q: When you don't have anybody up front offensively particularly, that is hard on everyone to get an offense going, to get any karma going so the defense thinks the offense can carry them from time to time and this team went through the same thing and no some of the fruit is starting to bloom.
GW: Exactly and I have looked across the league and watched the last several years what teams have done when they have had these same struggling times that we are right now and how they went about it. We have got to continue to push on with the systems and we have got to get better around Rob [Johnson] offensively. I have said that since we got here when the mini camp started in March. We knew that and when we play better around him there is no doubt in my mind that he can make plays as a quarterback in this league that some guys can't.
Q: He has had his moments, the game we focus on of course is the San Diego game with the [Doug] Flutie factor, but he certainly had a game that he could have one, it came right down to the wire and he's had another better performance recently?
GW: In the Jacksonville game, Thursday night, he played lights out and when we have given him adequate protection and we have let him do his job, he has made great plays for us. We just haven't been consistent and we haven't eliminated some of the plays that affect the team. Meaning that we have got to do a better job of protecting the football and we knew that we would be lean on defense this year with our youth because of the money that was spent and everything, but I will tell you this defensively I think we have been moving on. We have been improving week by week and those young guys there are starting to play he way we want them to play.
Q: Buffalo has been a very competitive team against the Patriots, the series has been competitive. The last three games have been overtime affairs?
GW: Yeah that was one of the things that we talked about here today and our first meeting of the week was how close and tough these games have been with the last three being in overtime.
Q: What about [Tom] Brady, I know you haven't had a huge opportunity to see too much, but I am sure that you have had a concise look at the way Brady has developed?
GW: I have watched every film he has played in this year and he has done a good job managing the game. I think that Bill [Belichick] and his staff have done a good job of putting him into a position to manage the game and he has managed the game well for them. The times that they have struggled is when he has made the unforced errors and when he has the time to do his job he has done a very good job of managing the game.
Q: You are one of the kind of coaches in this league that came up from what I call the self-made on the job training, like Belichick did.
GW: Just like Bill.
Q: Belichick was an unpaid assistant at first and then I think he was with [Ted] Marchibroda, but he came up through the ranks, learned on the job training and pretty much worked in every department, you did as well?
GW: The same thing and with respect to getting an opportunity in the league and doing whatever I need to do to get in there and with the quality control jobs. At the time I was the offensive and defensive assistant in the quality control job, which helped designed the computer programs and it was the first time that the Houston Oilers had ever had that position. I was their first coach in that position. Then I coached in the secondary and then I had an opportunity to be the special teams coordinator…and went back to linebackers and was the only coach that Jeff Fisher kept when he became the interim and then the head coach. I was his linebackers coach and then moved up to have the opportunity to be the defensive coordinator and developed that defense scheme-wise and personnel-wise in order to move up to get the next opportunity.
Q: Then one of the great things about coming up through the ranks is if you have success you go up pretty fast and the Titans surely were a successful defense, they went to the Super Bowl?
GW: We went to the Super Bowl and then last year we finished number one on defense. The nine stats that the league monitors every week, we were number one in seven of those nine areas. Baltimore set the scoring record last year and we were third all-time in the history of the league last year on points allowed. So we were successful defensively and that was one of the things that helped me move on, yes.
Q: That's why you are a head coach today because of all of that stuff. You came up right from the bottom to the top as Belichick did and Charlie Weis, he was a high school coach not to long ago. There are guys in this league that come up that way, it is hard…
GW: It is hard, but you know what you get an opportunity whether you prove you belong or not and you have got to do that everyday. Sometimes you have got to be in the right place at the right time, but you won't stay if you are not doing the job.
Q: How did that happen, how did you get a job?
GW: I took a step back in the respect financially and left from being a high school coach to a graduate assistant at the University of Houston and was there for those two years that Coach Pardee turned that program around and he asked me to go to the Oilers with him and the job performance there warranted him to offer me a job to move on.
Q: So it was a networking deal?
GW: It was and again, I believe this you do your job well at whatever you are doing then you may get the opportunity to move up. If you don't do your job well at whatever level, at whatever position you are in at the company, you are not going to get the opportunity to move up. The fact that I have had the opportunity at each position to rise up and done well has put me in a position to be a head coach.
Q: During that period of time you have certainly learned what it is like to win, what success is about and what losing is about? Do you feel, given your experience that you can handle this 1-6 and see the light at the end of the tunnel?
GW: UI really believe that you have to take a positive outlook and you have got to be able to see the big picture. You have to set a roadmap up about where you want to be and where you are going and each and every day we come in and present that to the players. The fact that the players practice hard, play hard and as we get better and more healthy I think the production will show. It will stand up and we will be where we need to be at the end of the year and we will be where we need to be in a couple of years and we will be where we need to be in a few years after that. We will continue to build.
Q: You are in a situation where there is a definite demarcation between the head coach and the general manager, there is a big debate on whether the head coach or the general manager should pick the groceries and as we have seen it is just too big a job for one people?
GW: It is too big a job and I believe this, no matter how it is ranked, who is on top and who is second in command, you have to get along. If you can't get along, if you can't relate to people in any organization, you are going to have a tough time succeeding. Tom and I have the same approach, the same demeanor, he is very intelligent, he is very organized and he has strengths in that area as I have strengths in the area. So I think we have to work hand in hand together and you have to cooperate because when you don't is when you have your big problems. There may be long periods of time in the organizations that have struggled for more than a few years.
Q: One of your predecessors there was the quintessential guy to get along with the boss and that is Marc Levy?
GW: Yeah and he is a friend of mine and he was one of the first people that I talked to once I was named the coach. Coach Pardee was the first person I called after I got back from the press conference. Marv Levy had left some messages at my home phone and here in Buffalo…When I got back after the press conference I was asking my wife to get me that number so I could call Marv and the phone rang. He was at the Pro Bowl with the Hall of fame nominations and all of that stuff. He is a tremendous football coach, somebody that I have tremendous respect for and I have idolized for a long time.
Q: First he was with Bill Polian and the John Butler and it never seemed to bother him. He always seemed to have a good relationship with the people that picked his players for him?
GW: And I think just like Jeff Fisher and Floyd Reese have. I mean it is the same thing. You have to work together. As long as everybody is pulling the same rope I think that is how you get better faster and I think it is too big job, in my mind right now, for one guy. No matter who is in charge, somebody, whichever one, you have to get along.
Q: The Patriots defense last week against Atlanta showed a far different philosophy then they had the previous two weeks, did you notice that and some of the things they did to put [Chris] Chandler out of the game?
GW: A lot of people have adopted the philosophy to try to attack Chris. I see that as a common thing when I have seen a lot of Atlanta film and I am sure that Bill, being the quality defensive coach that he is, saw some of those same weaknesses. Then when Chris went out then they brought the farm against the rookie quarterback Michael Vick and that is a trend that is across the league everywhere is that people do whatever they can to expose pressure against young quarterbacks. I think that has been a good thing that Bill and Charlie have done there, is what they have done to protect their young quarterback and prevent those kind of things from happening.
Q: Of course you have a young quarterback who has taken a lot of hits, not only this year but in the past and you have a developing offensive line which is prone to having problems from time to time, so this is a major challenge I would assume?
GW: It is a major challenge week in and week out. We have got to have a compliment of things to do just as New England is doing. I think they have a good blueprint of how and what they are doing and we have got to make sure that we are able to give our quarterback some opportunities to make some plays. I don't think you can get locked into any one way to play. You have got to be flexible and give him and opportunity and that is what they are doing.