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Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride


Q: The Bills defense gives up a lot of yards, but they force a lot of turnovers. What is it about their defense?

A: Well they have good players and that's usually a good starting point and I think they're doing a great job of being opportunistic – a lot of tipped balls and they're grabbing them. They're just doing a very, very good job of taking advantage of any opportunities that come their way. We have to be obviously very careful and circumspect with how we take care of the ball. But they're flying around, there's no question.

Q: How much will it hurt them to not have Kyle Williams at nose tackle?

A: He's a very good player. He's a dominant force inside. He plays hard. He's very disruptive. He's a very strong catalyst with their twist game inside because he's such a big, powerful man. He gets a surge, he knocks you back and it helps to open up the twist for everybody else. It'll be a big loss.

Q: How has that defensive line looked?

A: It's one of those deals where because their offense has been scoring a lot, teams have opened it up and tried to do some things just to keep pace. But you look at them, it looks like a very stout front. It looks like excellent linebackers. They have good players, they have real good players.

Q: From your offensive perspective, does a defense need to do other things to the Bills offense than try to sack the quarterback because of the quick three-step release?

A:  I think that's what people do. Yeah, that's what people will try to do. They'll say we're going to sure-up, play zone and try to batter the receivers around a little bit and be in position where we see the ball, which is what they do, why they get so many turnovers. They do a great job of that. It's a lot of man, but it's a zone man where they're going to in-and-out things. So they're zoning the releases, I haven't watched them on offense at all, so I feel inadequate answering, but that would be the norm. If they're not going to go five, seven step passes, then get in the passing lane of the quarterback, try to disrupt his rhythm with the receivers, that type of thing.

Q: Are you trying to get Ballard more involved with the passing game?

A: I've been very impressed with his ball skills. To be honest with you, I thought last year we had a guy that would be an effective blocker. That's what I thought and I said 'here's a big strong kid, he looks like he's a tough kid.' Until you go out and play live against somebody you're never sure how they're going to show up. But I felt good that he could do that part of it. He looked like he caught the ball well. I just didn't expect him to be as effective getting open as he's been. But he's done a tremendous job. You know what he is, he's very attentive, he listens, he tries to employ the things that you talk to him about. There's no question that he's been a pleasant surprise in that aspect. Again, I thought he'd be a good blocker. I thought he'd catch the ball, but I did not know he would be as good at uncovering himself as he's been. We've tried to include him and we'll see what happens. Sometimes people load up on him and it opens up opportunities for other people. Right now that shows that they're trying to play some of the deeper throws and what's happening is it's created some deep crossing routes for him.

Q: Is he blocking the way that you would like?

A: Yeah.

Q: On that safety against the Seahawks?

A: There was confusion on that one. What should have been as safe a play as you can have in the book, leading your fullback up on a strong safety dropping down turned into a nightmare. I never thought it could happen from the five-yard line. It did. But (Ballard) is like a lot of our players. We have a lot of new guys. Even though I'm very proud of their progress and stuff, it's still sometimes two steps forward, one step back. Unfortunately that's been part of our consistency problem. We go out and play great and guys will do great things and all of a sudden we'll do something, you say eh. You have to remember, it's the first time they've been through it. There's going to be more mistakes than you want. You try to accelerate the learning curve as fast as you can. I'm using him as an example, but it applies to a lot of our guys. There's a bunch of new faces out there. Again, the good thing about him is he's smart, he learns, he's not going to make too many mistakes twice.

Q: How would you assess the way Bradshaw has been running?

A: He's been okay. He hasn't been as successful as we had expected. I think that's a combination of a lot of things. I don't think the holes have been as open as we would hope. I think sometimes if you're not careful as a runner you can get impatient and you actually come out of holes that were there because of your hurriedness to make something out of nothing. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. But right now as a group, I wouldn't say it's Bradshaw; as a group, that's one little issue.

Q: Has he been sucked into that impatience?

A: Yeah. No question. That's normal. That's like anything else. You have to stay within the dynamics of the play, the scheme and just trust that the blocking is going to open up, it's going to get you to where the hole is supposed to be and designed to go. You have to believe it's going to happen. If it hasn't been there for a few times, it's easy, it's natural, it's human to say, 'I'm going to make my own play.' If you do that, it usually leads to more problems.

Q: Is that something you've been working on?

A: We've been talking, but it's like everything. You talk and they hear, but then you have to go out and get it done and get it to manifest itself out on the field. That's what we're working toward.

Q: Can you talk about your no-huddle? Eli said you used it twice in the middle of the game and it didn't work.

A: Yeah, we did and it didn't work at all. The no-huddle at the end is basically doing something which we don't want to do, we're just throwing. And we've been pretty good at throwing. It's a little bit easier sometimes in that respect because you're not worried about balancing. You have 50 seconds before the half to score. You have to do whatever you can to get the ball in the end zone. The last drive, [we] throw the pick, you have to get the ball down the field. You have less than two minutes to do it. So from that standpoint, when it's been no-huddle in that respect we've been very good. We went no-huddle to try to change the tempo of the game, we got shut down – two three and outs. We didn't do anything with it. It's something that I think can be effective as a change of tempo. I don't think it's a fantasy and I think you have to be careful. We're trying to help the defense, we're trying to hold onto the ball and slow the game down so that we're on the field as much as we can. If you're not careful, that sometimes can backfire.


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