Q: How much does the consistency and dependability of the wide receivers factor in when you think about the fact that you haven't thrown an interception so far this season?
TB: Yeah, they've been very consistent and dependable all season, all the skill players have. I think they've done a great job doing everything that the coaches have asked. It gives the quarterback a lot of comfort when you know that all the guys are on the same page, really with the detail and nuances of the plays. We're getting the right depths, finding the right spacing and sitting when we need to and making a lot of plays when we catch the ball. We've got to keep it up. There have only been seven games. There's a lot of football left, but that's been a strength of ours and we're going to have to keep it going.
Q: What have you seen from the Buffalo defense despite not having played against them the first time?
TB: They play well. They're very good at all levels of the defense. They can rush; they've got the guy who is leading the league in sacks and their linebacker, Zach Brown is leading the league in tackles. They have good cover corners, good safeties, got a good scheme. They do a lot of things well. They put a lot of pressure on you throughout your entire offense. I think they test you in your protections and I think they've got some good scheme stuff that they do. It's always a tough place to play up in Orchard Park. We've got to be really on top of things, but it's a big challenge for us.
Q: Have Rex Ryan's defenses gone through different phases of pressure over the course of the years you've been playing against him?
TB: I think he does a really good job of playing to the strengths of his players. I think that's what he does really well as a coach. I think there's an element of what you prepare for, you may not get many of those things. We've played him sometimes when he's been blitzing a lot, and he doesn't blitz as much at all. Then he hasn't been blitzing much at all and then he blitzes us at all. I think you just have to be prepared for everything, which is a bit of a challenge because there's only so much time in the week that you have to prepare. You've got to try to nail down what you think you're going to get, then practice it and be able to adjust if need be when you get out there. But I think [Rex Ryan] does a good job of getting his guys, the guys he feel confident in the positions, that they need in order to make the plays that they've been making, because they've been making a lot of plays on defense.
Q: How comfortable do you have to be with what you see from a Rex Ryan a defense?
TB: Yeah, I think the players do a good job disguising their looks and giving you some different looks. I think they do a very good job with those things. It all factors in to good defense. [Rex Ryan] has always had good defenses when he's played us. He's had very good players. Like I said, they have a good scheme, and that's what makes it challenging. Last time we played them, we didn't score points, we didn't play particularly well. They played really well. We're going to need to play well in all three phases, a real complementary game, because that's how they want to play us. They want to control the tempo, they want to control the clock, they want to possess the ball. They've been good at turning the ball over. I think they're one of the top [leaders in] the league in turnover margin; very good in the red area defense. So they're limiting points, keeping the other offense off the field, they're running the ball great. They do a good job and I think that's a great formula for winning in the league, so we've got to figure out a way of how to stop that.
Q: What is unique about playing in Buffalo?
TB: They're just into it. I mean, they're into it from the first quarter all the way to the last; from pregame warmups to the end of the game. I think it challenges your communication, so we practice - and we played, last week was pretty loud. We've played in a lot of loud stadiums and Buffalo is definitely one of the tops. I think the thing that is most challenging is when they're making plays and sacking the quarterback and turnovers like they've been getting a lot of this year. That's what really kind of gets them amped up.
*Q: Have you felt this physically fresh in the middle of October in a long time? *
TB: I always feel pretty good, I really do. It feels like I'm just kind of getting going in football season and it's already the halfway point.
Q: Can you look at the month of September with a silver lining in considering you now have more miles in you this year?
TB: Yeah, well I think there is a lot of football remaining, and it's good to have everybody feeling as good as possible. I feel good. I felt good at this time last year though, too. From one year to the next, I'd say I've become pretty efficient with how I get ready to play. I always wish I could be out there playing. I'd much rather be playing than not playing, but it is what it is. I feel good at this point. But like I said, I felt good last year, I felt good the year before that, and I think every year at this time of year just based on the right routine and kind of doing the right things to get yourself feeling good.
Q: In reference to your quickness in the pocket, I know you're not fast but -
TB: Don't tell my mom that either because she would totally disagree with that.
Q: She thinks you're fast?
TB: Yes, she thinks I'm very fast. I know. She says, 'I think you're the fastest person on the field.' I say, 'Mom, you are crazy. No way.' That's moms.
Q: But there is an explosiveness you seem to have right now.
TB: I think that's just - we've been talking about that for a few years, just being able to, if there are two or three plays a game that you can make just moving the pocket, or sliding, or buying your receivers more time, or scrambling on third-and-two, it's just one more thing that they have to defend. We made - Jimmy [Garoppolo] made a bunch of those when he was in there early. Jacoby [Brissett] made some. It's nice to be able to do that because I think it's a little discouraging for a defense when they feel like they've got you covered or they've got the right call on it, and all of the sudden - I mean, I don't think they're preparing for me scrambling for first downs. I know they're not working on that. They're working on stopping Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], and stopping Julian [Edelman], and Danny, and Hogs [Chris Hogan], LeGarrette [Blount] and James [White]. That's not one of their top 10 things on their hit list, so I think it's pretty discouraging when it happens and hopefully we can keep it going.
Q: Do you think the Bills players trying to push back-and-forth with some of your guys before the first matchup between the two teams this year was reflective of Buffalo trying to have a bully mentality with the opposition, and is that something you need to be aware of this week?
TB: Yeah, I think it's more so what we do when the game kicks off as opposed to what happens before the game or during the week. You get into a bunch of trash talk and you know us, we've never got into that stuff because in the end, it's just a big waste of energy. You focus on the things you need to do to help the team win and that's to play well and execute and spend your time on what's going to happen from the point when the game kicks off to when it ends. That's where our focus is, that's where it always will be. We'll go in there, we'll be focused, we'll be ready to go, and we'll go out there and try to play a lot better than the last time we played them.
Q: No matter who it is, how frustrated do you get with dropped passes that stop drives?
TB: I don't get very frustrated with dropped passes. I think those are physical mistakes that are part of the game. Nobody wants to drop them and guys are trying hard. I'm probably more frustrated when we have miscommunications, or misalignments, or stuff that we talked about that we don't adjust to on the fly. I think those things are probably more frustrating because I mean, I know everyone is trying to catch the ball. I'm trying to make every pass, the line is trying to make every block, the defense is trying to make every tackle, but physical mistakes are part of the game. You try to limit those as best as you can by working through your techniques and fundamentals, but no player is going to catch every pass. No blocker is going to make every block and so forth. That's part of it. You've got to work through those and then hopefully still have the same confidence in those players as you move kind of more into the game.