The Washington Redskins (6-7) on Sunday host the Buffalo Bills (6-7) in 2015 Week 15 action at FedExField.
On Wednesday, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Tyrod Taylor spoke to the Washington, D.C., media about their upcoming matchup against the Redskins.
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan
On why the defense has "regressed" this season:
"That's a good question. You know, every year's different but if we knew, we'd try to fix it. This defense, I think you'll see, we're not as bad as you guys think."
On coaching Tyrod Taylor:
"It's been great. Young man obviously is an outstanding person. He prepares like a real pro, he's smart and then obviously he has some physical gifts that are pretty obvious but he's been tremendous."
On selecting him as the starting quarterback after training camp:
"Well it was that and we had Matt Cassel that we had traded for and all that. We had an open competition and he ended up winning the competition so it wasn't, well I guess when he came in he was third the first day, but he earned that job and I don't think anyone would dispute why he won the job; he outplayed everybody. His thing, he's a young guy that I knew a little bit about obviously coming out of Virginia Tech then he played in Baltimore. A lot of guys that I'm familiar with recommended Tyrod to me, I was trying to trade for him, but that never happened when I was with the Jets. The opportunity came up when he was a free agent, even though we had traded for Matt Cassel and had EJ Manuel here. I was like, "let's give this guy an opportunity," and that's he wanted. He asked me specifically if he'd be given equal chance and I said he would and that was good enough for him. There was a lot of teams that wanted him as their backup quarterback but we offered him an opportunity to compete for the job and that's why he chose us, and we're fortunate that he did obviously."
On losing Stephon Gilmore for the year:
"Well it hurts, there's no question about it. We're fortunate we have Leodis McKelvin that can step in and we have a rookie here that's playing lights out so Ronald Darby and Leodis McKelvin will be our corners but does it hurt to lose a guy like Stephon Gilmore? Oh absolutely, there's no question. It hurts to lose Aaron Williams, it hurts to lose Kyle Williams, you know. We've had our share of injuries but the next guy steps in there and like I say, we're fortunate to have a veteran like Leodis McKelvin."
On convering a player's position while in the NFL:
A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills.
"Well sometimes you actually give opportunities to guys and somebody might jump out at you. Obviously Quinton Dunbar has the physical skill set that you look for but sometimes it's like French when you're moving guys over there but he's seemed to have adapted pretty well."
On if he thinks more players could make a position switch:
"Oh I wouldn't say that. I would not say that. You know, I've tried it a few times, but I think it takes a special guy and a committed player to go on over. You got to remember though, most of these guys probably played both ways when they were in high school so sometimes it's not completely foreign to them."
On how he would compare Jordan Reed to other top tight ends:
A: Well I think his numbers are right there with everybody's so he's absolutely a tremendous talent and as a pass receiving tight end, he's got receiver skills and all that so he's right there. Now (Rob) Gronkowski presents a different problem than Jordan Reed, but as far as a pass receiver, he stretches the field, he runs like a receiver, he's got a great wingspan, he's got all those types of things so obviously he's a huge challenge in front of us."
On his experience in Buffalo so far:
"Well I've had a great experience. Obviously our record's not where we want it to be, I think we have the identical record as the Redskins, but we're not in first place but other than that, I've had a great experience. I think the fan base is absolutely terrific here, they love their Bills, you almost feel like you're part of the community. We have a good nucleus of players, it's a hard working group of guys and we're committed to trying to get better each day on the practice field. That's been fantastic and hopefully good things are on their way."
Buffalo Bills Quarterback Tyrod Taylor*
On how many friend and family will attend Sunday's game:
"Oh man I don't even have a full count now. I mean it is kind of, it is definitely a lot. Like it is the closest game they could get too. The closest professional team as far as extended family. My parents come up and support whenever they can, but family and friends this is the one they marked on their calendars early in the year. Definitely have a bunch, I don't have a set number right now though."
On playing close to home:
"Definitely excited. Like you said about it grew up in the DMV, like I said the closest professional team from where I am from. Definitely it feels like going back home but it is a great opportunity for me to go back and play in a stadium, but more important an opportunity to showcase what as a team and still keep our playoff hopes alive. We know that we need help, but at the same time we are still in it. Looking forward and it is a big opportunity for us."
On Frank Beamer retiring:
"That's tough. We knew it was going to come one time or another. Definitely didn't expect this year. But he is in happy place. I think of all that he has done for my career, the things he has helped me with along the way. The things he has helped my family with. I am big supporter of Coach Beamer and I thank him."
On how he feels about the new Virginia Tech coach:
"I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him yet. Looking forward to meeting him, and getting back up to Tech and talking to him. But I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him yet."
On playing for Rex Ryan:
"Just creates a fun atmosphere, he motivates us day in and day out. And he expects a lot out of us. He pushes us in practice and is just a great coach. Like I going into you know what he expects out of you, the atmosphere that he keeps in the locker room and on the practice field. It is fun but at the same time competitive."
On his experience playing under Ryan:
"It has been fun. Of course we have had some ups and downs on the season, battled through some injuries. But we fighting, and are going to continue to keep fighting. We got three important games in front of us. Looking forward to that."
On his growth as an NFL quarterback:"I think I have grown with the reps that I have got. Of course I just got a chance to start this past year. It has been a learning experience each and every game. I think I have improved each and every game. Definitely learned from the time I spent in Baltimore."
On the Redskins' defense:"They play very hard, very physical group. They are playing very well at home. Definitely present a challenges for us, looking forward to this opportunity."
On his relationship with DeAngelo Hall:
"Yeah me and DeAngelo Hall are very good friends. We talk very often, we have been in contact since my younger days. I remember watching him in high school. Definitely kept up with him while he was at Virginia Tech, and his career in Atlanta. Definitely have a very good relationship with him and it is going to be fun to get a chance to compete with him this weekend."
On the biggest piece of advice he's gotten while in the NFL:"I would say just to remain humble. There is definitely going to be highs and lows in your career. But continue to keep your work ethic and be consistent every day."
On if he worried about possibly never starting in the NFL:
"No I wasn't worried. More so just kept faith and kept believing. And waiting for the opportunity to show case what I can do."
On what he learn from his time playing behind Joe Flacco:
"I learned a lot. As far as scheme wise, we had three coordinators in four years. Was able to digest multiple offensives. His style of play, of course we are two different athletes but his style of play, how he carried himself on a day to day basis as well."