The Buffalo Bills are coming to M&T Bank Stadium Sunday, and Baltimore media got a chance to meet with Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey and defensive end Dwan Edwards on a conference call this week.
Edwards talked about his tenure in Baltimore (2004-09), while Gailey noted Ed Reed's ability to improve the Ravens' defensive attack.
Here are some highlights:
Head Coach Chan Gailey
How has Dwan Edwards fit in with your team?
CG: *"He's been a very good addition to our football team. He's a very good player to start with. He's an excellent leader, a true tough guy, and he gives us some strength and some speed on the defensive line that we needed."
*How do you have to account for Ed Reed possibly being in the lineup?
CG:"Well, he is a true ball-hawk safety. He can read the quarterback's eyes and make a lot of plays. He's also a good blitzer if they decide to do that with him. He's a Pro Bowl player and anytime you've got a Pro Bowl player that comes back, he upgrades your football team. So, the expectations are that he will play like he has played in years past, and he makes their already tough defense even tougher."
How is your game plan affected with Reed on the field?
CG:"Well, it doesn't affect the game plan as it does what you tell the quarterback. That's one other thing to keep his eye on to make sure that Ed's not reading his eyes and cheating too much one way or the other, because he's so great at that. So, it doesn't change your game plan and what you're doing to attack the defense, but it does change the thought processes for the quarterback."
Is motivation an issue with your team being 0-5?
CG:"No, motivation is not an issue right now. First of all, professionals should play the game as hard as they can play it each week. They should prepare each week as professionals. It's more fun when you win, but the preparation and the work ethic and the motivation to go out and do your best should be at the top level because these are the top people in the league."
How has Ryan Fitzpatrick done since being named the starter?
CG:"He's done a nice job. We're continually trying to find out what his strengths are and building on those and find out what the strengths are of the rest of our football team and build on those. So, I think we're a work in progress there, but he's done a good job of coming in and trying to get the ball down the field some. We're taking fewer sacks. I think we're getting better at getting the ball out, and he's got a little gun-slinger attitude to him, which is good."
DE Dwan Edwards
What can Ed Reed brings to the table for the Ravens?
DE:"I'm not with him anymore. It'd be nice to have a guy like that behind you. He's a playmaker. He's a leader and he's always prepared. [He's] very knowledgeable about the game and it's going to be a great addition for them having him back. I heard he was practicing this week. Off the field, he's a guy that keeps guys motivated. But at the same time he's very relaxed and loose and kind of sets guys at ease, especially when you've got big games."
What do you like about Buffalo more than Baltimore?
DE:"By no means does that mean people are not friendly in Baltimore, because I've had that quote [from Billings Gazette] turn against me. I was just trying to say, I'm a Montana guy – I'm from Montana. Buffalo is a little bit more like Montana. It's not a huge city, or at least where I live in the suburbs here. It's just a little more rural, I guess. That's all I was saying, it's just a little more like Montana."
How have you grown as a player over the last few years?
DE:"Well, knowing the game. There is so much that you pick up along the way that enables you to play a lot faster than you did when you first got in. Knowing how you need to train yourself in the off-season – what kind of shape [you need to get in] or what it takes – I don't even think you know that when you first come in [the NFL]. But as you get older, you look after other guys and learn about how to take care of your body and nutrition. If you're in the NFL, that's all you have. If your body is not working then you don't have a job. So, being able to take care of my body and learning a whole bunch more about the game made me a better player."
Do you think you have an advantage playing against guys you know a lot about?
DE:"There might be something here or there, but it's been a while since I played with those guys. I am familiar with their personnel and whatnot, but as far as knowing what they're going to do and stuff like that, I just have to play my technique on whatever defense is called. I can't be trying to go outside and make plays when it's not my turn."
What's it going to be like coming back to M&T Bank Stadium?
DE:"It's going to be different. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the guys and some of the coaching staff, but at the end of the day you've got a job to do. I'm prepared the best I can to go play my butt off on Sunday."