RB Fred Jackson
Q: When you have a rookie quarterback making his first start against a team like New England, how important is it for you veterans to shoulder the load?
A: It’s our job to go out there and just continue to do what we do. I think that’s the number one thing. We expect him to make plays when he gets that opportunity. (He’s a) Big, strong guy, smart, knows the playbook. All we can do is go out and do us. Carry the ball when I get the opportunity to do so, C.J. (Spiller) do the same thing, Stevie (Johnson) make plays like he does. Things like that will make the game a lot easier for him.
Q: It’s a big game for him since it’s his first start in the NFL.
A: Yeah just him go out and do him. Do the things he’s been doing since he’s been here. I don’t expect him to go out and try to get out of him, so I think as long as he does that he’ll be fine. We have enough weapons around him, I feel like we can help.
Q: Does he strike you as a guy who will be able to step right in?
A: I think so. I think he has a tremendous coaching staff around him that’s going to help him with that. I think us as players, leaders in this locker room, that’s one thing we can do. Just go have fun and play football. Yeah it’s going to be a big stage. We’re going against a great team. The number one thing he can do is remember its football.
Q: You’re one of the leaders on the team. How has he done as a rookie and a quarterback as earning as leadership role?
A: A tremendous job. The number one thing he did to do that was come in and attacked his role like he would be the starter. He came in, put in the work and he still continued to work. And anytime you can do that I think a lot of guys are going to respect you for it. He’ll just continue to progress and hopefully we can help to bring him along and make things a lot easier for him.
Center Eric Wood
Q: EJ Manuel is starting on Sunday, how confident are you guys after practicing full go?
A: Very confident. I’ve liked his approach since the day he got here and I still like it. A lot of confidence with him going forward.
Q: How much of a tone setter do you think this could be for you guys?
A: Obviously if we win it would be a great win. All the wins are going to be great this year. Starting off at home with a win against a division opponent would be huge and that’s definitely the approach ’re taking.
Q: What about EJ’s approach as a veteran made you take notice?
A: He’s come in since day one and worked hard. He repeats mistakes very, very seldom. That’s been one thing that’s been super encouraging since the day he got drafted. Even today, little things I’ll talk to him and within the next team drill it’s already fixed or he’s already working better with us as an offensive line or whatever it may be. Definitely professional in the way he works, kind of on and off the field.
Q: How important is it to this team and the fresh start, to have your quarterback stepping on the field for the opener?
A: It’s big and we had confidence with (Jeff) Tuel as well as EJ. It’s going to be fun for both of them. They’ve not experienced something like Ralph Wilson is going to be on Sunday and I’ve told them that. These coaches, I’m getting them ready. An opener against New England, it’s going to be wild and loud. I’m excited for them to get to experience it.
WR Stevie Johnson
Q: It’s official now that EJ Manuel will start. What are your thoughts on how he’s handled it?
A: He’s been good. He’s been a player ever since he stepped out on the field here, not even on the field, just in the locker room, in the film room, he’s been a leader. As a rookie, I think that’s a great thing.
Q: What was the response when Coach Marrone announced that EJ would be the starter?
A: Nothing special really, we’re just ready to go with whoever. The team is pretty much locked in; we all know one player isn’t going to beat this defense it’s going to be collectively. I feel like that’s where our mind was. It wasn’t on what Coach is going to say as far as choosing a starter. We’ve got to do it as a team.
Q: When you think back to spring when he first got here, my first impression was that he had a strong arm. Does that make a difference?
A: Yeah. It does because it’s opportunity. That arm is going to get us places; his legs are going to get us places, his mind. Just him as a whole is a difference maker for the Buffalo Bills.
Q: Coach said EJ looked faster today than he did a couple weeks ago.
A: I don’t know. He’s faster than me, that’s all I know. I don’t know what it was like two weeks before, I know he’s faster than me and that’s good enough.
DT Marcell Dareus
Q: It’s Week One against the Patriots, you’ve got to be chomping at the bit for this.
A: Division game. Excited, so excited. Not wasting any time getting into it.
Q: Does this feel like a tone setter to have this right off the bat?
A: Of course. Everybody knows this is kind of a set the tone game, see where we’re at. I look at the first five minutes of the game as a gut check, to see where we’re at, what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do this season. Just go to chop at the wood and try to finish creating our identity as a team and as a unit.
Q: We know what their offense can do, how do you feel your defense stacks up?
A: I mean we’re not really thinking about it at a conference level, we’re just trying to put our game plan together and just get out there and play the best we can. Play a sound game, do the best we can, make no mistakes. Just play hard and do the best we can.
FS Jairus Byrd
Q: If today was Sunday, would you play?
A: I don’t know. That would be a call that I’d have to talk to the trainers with, we’d have to discuss together. I don’t want to just make the call on my own.
Q: Are you still anxious to get out there?
A: Yeah. Any time you’re playing a division game, the stakes are a little higher. It’s always good to get out there and compete.
S Jim Leonhard
Q: How do you feel about being back with the Bills?
A: I’m excited to be back. Another opportunity, there’s a lot of energy in this building right now and I can tell that in just the short amount of time I’ve been here. Obviously, knowing the defense I feel good, just excited to get this season under way.
Q: Coming here and looking at the playbook, the perception is that you’re extremely familiar with it. Do you see it as a very easy transition?
A: I know the majority of the defense. Obviously going from it being Rex Ryan’s defense now to Mike Pettine’s defense, he put his own twist on things, changed terminology and things like that. Just kind of re-learning everything. I feel comfortable with it. I’m excited. I don’t know what my role will be, what the opportunity is going to be, but I’m excited for whatever it is.
Q: If they ask you to play a lot Sunday do you think mentally you can be ready?
A: Yeah, I don’t think it will be a problem mentally. I’m excited just for the opportunity to get ready for whatever role they throw me in. Hopefully it’s a lot of snaps. As a competitor you obviously want to play a lot. I know there are some talented guys in this secondary so by no means do I think I’m just going to come in here and get a job. You’ve got to go out there and earn every snap.
K Dan Carpenter
Q: What are your expectations? They’ve held a spot for a rookie kicker, do you feel you’re auditioning to keep him on the sideline or it could be a short gig?
A: The thought is to come in here and do what I’ve always done. I’m going to work hard, try to get better every day and when it comes down to the game, I’m going to try to kick the ball in the end zone and be 100-percent on field goals. That’s all I can do, all I can worry about it. That’s all I’m concerned about, helping this team win.
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