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Training Camp

Mike Pettine Press Conference - August 17

On how practice went today:

"I think it will be some great tape to go off of. Anytime you can get out and against another team in a semi-controlled environment you are going to get more work done than going against yourselves. Some of these situations are even better than the preseason game. You can simulate some things and then not put your quarterbacks at risk. I think it is good work. To me the biggest misfortune is obviously Ty Powell. I don't have the details on it, but I understand it is a knee (injury). Got to know him a little bit when I was here a couple years ago. Great kid. It is tough to see that."

On if both defenses were ahead today:

"I spent my time over here (with the offense) for the most part. The Bill defense I thought had the upper hand. I think some of our guys had different tempos. They have to understand the guy across from them is going at game type speed, other than the live tackling part. We were inconsistent with our expectancy of what we were getting from the other side. I thought (Buffalo) did a good job. We made some plays. Unfortunately I thought some of the self-inflicted stuff that we have been able to avoid a lot at camp; jumping off-sides, two bad snaps that likely would have been positive would have been disastrous as a part of a drive. Very much looking forward to getting back and seeing what it looks like on the film."

On the major benefit of practicing against another team:

"I think the energy is that of – it is game type speed, especially inside with the lines. To me it is competing against somebody other than your own. You kind of get in a comfort zone when you are going against your own guys and you don't get a good sense for where you stand. I think the adrenaline ratchets up a little bit and guys want to prove something to other guys in the league. I think it is just naturally just better competition."

On the unscripted period looking scripted:

"We wanted to make sure we got situations, so that is why – it was unscripted as far as the calls, but we scripted what the situations would be. We didn't have calls on the call sheet, but it was move the ball here and now it is this. (We) wanted to make sure we moved the field so we got some work backed up and we got some work in the drive zone and then obviously we got some low red zone work."

On how beneficial these practices can be for the offensive line and specifically OL Cameron Erving:

"I think it is great work. This is one of the best defensive fronts in the game. You could make that argument just looking at their front a year ago. It would be hard to argue with that. For our guys to go out and against them in live work – to me there is no way to have any substitute it for that."

On signing DB Aaron Ross:

"Just felt from a depth standpoint in that position with (DB Robert) Nelson still not back, (DB Pierre) Desir not being back. With (DB) Joe (Haden) being down for a couple days we wanted to make sure we were covered their depth wise. When you start to lose guys at certain positions, corner being one of them it can really effect how you practice. We wanted to make sure our bases were covered there."

On how Ross looks after his Achilles injury last season:

"I don't think we have seen enough. I think it is too small a sample size. I didn't get a chance to see him at all today."

On signing LB Everette Brown:

"Same thing. With (LB Barkevious) Mingo being down and we are playing (DL) Dylan Wynn out of place. I mentioned that the other day. We wanted to be able to get him work at his true position to get a true evaluation. That would be unfair to him to evaluate him at outside linebacker essentially and make a roster decision when he should playing inside. That allows us to move him back. Everette is a guy who is a professional. He has played quality reps in this league before. We will see what he can do."

On QB Connor Shaw's status:

"I think he is scheduled for surgery I believe."

On why it took three days for that injury to be disclosed:

"I just think it was something that he didn't think was that serious, and let it go. Then came in the next day and I think sometimes guys it is natural. Guys get dinged and they don't want to go into the training room. They fear the worst. They are hopeful that it is just something that is sore and well go away."

On if Shaw's thumb is broken:

"I don't believe – it is ligament damage."

On Buffalo fans reaction to DB Donte Whitner:

"That is his history here. I wasn't here when he was here before. I wasn't part of him leaving. I do know this – Bills fans are very passionate, very protective of their Bills and their city, as they should be. We feel they are very similar fans bases, Cleveland and Buffalo."

On DB Justin Gilbert's possibility of being a punt returner:

"That is on the tapes. He has proven that he can return kickoffs. I don't know whether that was part of Chris' plan. I am not sure how he has returners. I know we are pretty set with Trav (WR Travis Benjamin) being the lead guy and (WR Taylor) Gabriel likely will be the backup. I know that plays into your theory of getting the ball in his hands more."

On WR Marlon Moore removing his helmet after a play:

"I talked to him about it. I told him he is too good looking to risk getting hit. It is not the place or the forum to take your helmet off. It was an unfortunate thing. He was in a red jersey, which means he shouldn't be contacted. I think linebacker it is just instincts to re-route a guy. Sometimes you are not dialed in and you see someone from the other team and you are going to hit him. He took offense to that and we all saw what happen."

On how practice went and what it is like to be back at St. John Fisher:

"I thought it went well. It is great work. You can't replicate this anywhere else. It is great to get back here and see a lot of familiar faces and some old friends. Whether it is players or staff. I know a lot of us are feeling that way. A lot of the guys that were here in Buffalo before. (defensive coordinator) Jim. O'Neil, (defensive line coach) Anthony Weaver, (outside linebackers coach) Brian Fleury and (linebackers coach) Chuck Driesbach It is great to be back. I enjoyed the time up here before, camp wise. It is a great setting and I am glad we could get up here and get some quality work done."

On the defense getting the edge in practice today:

"Yeah that was my understanding form the other field. It was certainly on this one. Hopefully maybe the offenses we'll rebound tomorrow. We will see."

On the format of practice tomorrow:

"It will be similar. Some of the scripted situations will be different. What we actually do -- the emphasis in those team periods and in the scale. The only difference will be the action that took place on the grass field will now be on the turf. Our defense and their offense will be on the turf and vice versa on the grass field. Just so one group is not practicing exclusively on the turf."

On DB Tramon Williams's performance today

"That was a key signing for us to really stabilize that room, losing Buster. Anytime you can bring a veteran guy that's proven that he can play at a high level for a long time in this league. It's a great example for our young guys, He can certainly still play now. I think he's a great compliment to (DB) Joe (Haden). He understands being opposite of Joe Haden he's going to get a lot of throws his way, We understand that as a staff so we'll do some things to help him out, to hopefully free him up that he can make some plays., I can't say enough good things about him, he's been the ultimate professional."

On if he is surprised with Williams performance at age 32:

"Is he really 32? (laughter) no I'm not surprised because he takes care of himself. He's a guy that's lasted this long and a lot if it is because of his intellect. Just to hear his conversations with Coach Hafley (secondary coach Jeff Hafley), Coach O'Neil (defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil) and the other DB's it is detailed, high-level stuff about routes and wide-outs and things that he sees. To me that's so good for our young guys."

On if it his likely he will keep two QBs:

"I can't say that at this point. We'll come up with the position minimums. Obviously, two would be the minimum and then we'll go with- we'll fill out the roster with the best players after that."

On if his plans changed with QB Connor Shaw's injury:

"No, I mean… To me it's one less to choose from. I can't talk about roster counts or numbers at this point."

On if he knew much about DB Tramon Williams before he arrived:

"Just seen him a lot on crossover tape. He had been up for free agency previously, years ago. Evaluated him then, liked him and then went back and looked at my notes. When we watched him again this time not much had changed, still had a very positive- all the reports were very positive. We knew about him but, hadn't gone against him that much being in the NFC."

On if he was in New York or Baltimore at the time:

"I'm not sure, I'm not sure when he would have been up. He might have been- as old as he is at 32 (laughter) it might have been two times that we ended up evaluating him in free agency."

On how QB Josh McCown and his age have helped the team:

"Very similar. Advanced level of quarterbacking knowledge. Understanding of NFL defenses, understanding of our system, what each play is designed to do. What can get us in trouble, what can get us out of trouble. Just all the little things of quarterback play that you pick up over the years. We didn't bring him in here to coach, he can still spin it. He showed that a couple times today, the one especially on the long ball to (WR Taylor) Gabriel. He's been- everybody that we talked to about him just raved about him as a person and a player and it was an easy decision to bring him in,"

On if he was worried about McCown's problems in Tampa last year:

"Not at all."

On DB Justin Gilbert's confidence:

"Yeah. That's the life of a corner. You have to have that short term memory and be able to bounce back from a play. The best corners are confident corners and that's something that comes from having success and if he's in a little bit of a slump it's on him. We have to help him but he has to play his way out of it."

On how he gets a player out of a slump:

"One, you don't overreact. You get them to stay true to their technique. When guys get in trouble it's when their technique starts to slip. They start to do things out of structure to overcompensate. To me it's a trust thing. Trust his own athletic ability, trust what we're telling him and just go out and take it play-to-play."

On if Gilbert's attitude is good:

"Yeah. He's good in the meeting room. He understands his mistakes. He wants to learn. He wants to get better."

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