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Gregg Williams Pre-Game Press Conference

Bills Head Coach Gregg Williams talks to the press about the upcoming game against the Pats in Buffalo on Sunday.To view the transcript, click below.



Q: Your team is different now than when we first talked to you this season. First of all you had a musical-chairs offensive line the first time you came here?

GW: Yeah, we did and we finally were able to get through a ballgame for the first time this year with the offensive line that we believed we'd start the season. We played a full ballgame last week and played better in certain cases there. We were able to run the football and do a little bit of things there and I think that if we can finish up this season in that manner, I think you'll see some pretty good productivity because I think Alex [Van Pelt] has managed the game pretty well and the fact that those guys are in there gave him some confidence also.

Q: You look at Alex, a nine-year veteran, and Buffalo has had some success with long-term backups?

GW: Right.

Q: In his case, he's got 10 touchdowns. That is nice production for the time that he has played, part of that is I assume that he is comfortable with the offense?

GW: He's comfortable in this offense as far as where the ball goes, terminology. He was brought up in this system and many people forget that he set a lot of records at Pitt where he actually had to overtake a guy by the name of Dan Marino in some of those records. He started his pro career in Kansas City with this offensive system and when we got here and started implementing the system you know he had a great familiarity with it and you can tell his comfort on the field.

Q: People sometimes get pigeonholed in certain roles, but obviously he has the talent with the numbers he has put up. How does it happen? Does this just happen to be the right offense for him and he is making the best of his opportunity now?

GW: I think it's a combination of what you just said, that he happens to have a good fit systems-wise. There are some good skill guys here to help him run this offense and the fact that he has prepared for a long time. He's not your typical, inexperienced backup in the respect that he's seen quite a bit even though it may be in practice situations, even though it may have been in some preseason situations. He's still been around the game enough to where not a whole lot of things surprise him and so he's a little bit more of an experienced back up in that way.

Q: You guys got a win and that must validate the patience that you have had? You guys must feel pretty good this week?

GW: Well you know I am pleased for the players. I thought that they played very well in the second half and played as a team because it took all three phases in the second half of that ball game to do what we had to do and the catalyst of the whole thing was spurred on by Alex taking the team down at the end of the first half in 31 seconds and scoring there to give us life going into halftime. And then defensively shutting them out in the second half and special teams playing real with field position in the second half and we got a turnover for a touchdown. So all those things kind of came together. Where the ball had been bouncing differently or away from us at times, we got a few bounces, we got a few plays and it was good to see, even a one-point win. A win is a win. It was good for these guys to get a taste of it in their mouth.

Q: We saw you here earlier this year and the production of your team looked good. In preparing for this game what are some of the things that you felt you had broken through with in that game in terms of offense and defense?

GW: Well you know we've played several games like that this year and that ballgame was a hard-fought game. I think that again the Patriots are very well coached. They managed the ballgame better than we did. They were able to take advantage of their big-play opportunities and we didn't capitalize on some of the maybe even bigger plays that we could have had. We did a decent job of rushing the passer in that ballgame, but we let a run get away from us at the end and we've got to do a better job of handling their pressure also. We had a quarterback get hurt in that ballgame. We've got to play better, but it was a pretty tightly played ballgame and the Patriots just out executed us.

Q: As a first year head coach what are your impressions of being a first year head coach in terms of the things that had to be done, what you learned about your team, all of the things that go into what your ultimate plan and philosophy will be and where you have to be, is it the first year where you gather all of that information?

GW: Until you go through a full season and go through all of the ups you truly don't know everything you need to know to make the top decisions it takes to win championships or that it takes to get over the hump. There are a lot of things that you learn about each and every person in the organization on the team and we will be able to finish this season strong and get a good picture going into the offseason.

Q: Can you comment on Travis Henry. From what we have seen of him he seems like a very exciting back, very reckless?

GW: Travis is extremely explosive. A lot of people don't realize how fast he is or how quick he is. He does have the ability to run with power. He has got a good pad level. He has got a real low center of gravity and he brings an excitement to the run game every single time he touches the ball. He's offensive linemen's dream in respect that he runs with toughness just like those guys have to block with toughness. It is a good match here and we are a better offense when we are able to do both and not just become one dimensional in the passing game. He brings life to our offense because he is a threat every time he touches the ball.

Q: Your first two draft picks are starting for you right now, can you comment on the impact of [Nate] Clements and [Aaron] Schobel on your defense?

GW: A lot of people have talked a lot about Kendrick Bell from Pittsburgh as a potential rookie of the year, but Nate Clements' stats can rank against any defensive rookie of the year in the season. He has had a very good season. He was thrown into duty maybe a little bit sooner than we were ready for him to do, but he has played very well. He has returns for touchdowns both interceptions and punt returns, he is one of the leading tacklers on the team, he has matched up lots of times on the best receiver on the other team, so he has had a real solid year for us and I think he is only going to continue to get better. Schobel has played very well. He has come strong. He has been one of our more physical and two-way type players, routinely does rush the passer solid and he does play against the run solid. But we kept 11 of the 12 draft choices this year, The only draft choice that we did not retain we tried to sign to the practice squad, but was claimed on the 49ers active squad and all 11 of our draft choices have contributed and contributed significantly.

Q: You have the chance to play the role of spoiler down the road given the competitiveness and rivalries between the AFC east that there would be nothing better than your team coming up and knocking some of the teams in the division out for the leadership?

GW: Part of it is that role and the other part of it is that it is a divisional game and you play each and every week for respect, especially players that are on the field are always talking about it and always playing for the respect of their opponents and the respect for their own game and the big part of it is evaluating and how we can improve this team. Everyday is an interview in that respect and every repetition is important and every game and every play is important. This is a big division game for us and it is also our last home ball game of the year.

Q: Came in as a defensive coach, was changing the Bills defense similar to what Mr. [Mike] Sheppard had to do in changing the offense, was there a lot of reworking that you had to do?

GW: A lot of reworking and also a personnel fit. The people who had been in the system here before are lot of those key people weren't here any more. So we have gone with a smaller and faster defense in respect so we have had to rebuild and retool that and all of that is an acclimation type thing also, as we did in specials teams and in the offense. There has been a learning curve and we will continue to get better at it.

Q: On the left side of your offensive line Fina and Brown, I suppose when they are healthy you couldn't ask for two better guys in that position?

GW: They have played for a long time together and there are a lot of things that come up in the course of a ball game that through experience and doing it together for so long it does help it out and they will also be able to help out the young guys that are learning to play this game at this level

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