The Buffalo Bills took to the microphone after their 7-6 loss to the Washington Redskins, and were largely apologetic about the performance. Chan Gailey's postgame press conference can be seen in its entirety at BuffaloBills.com. The head coach took a measured approach to the brutal game he had just witnessed, putting the blame on himself for some of the mistakes.
"That’s just undisciplined and that’s my fault when we play that undisciplined," said Gailey of the team's 14 penalties. "There may have been five illegal motion penalties and one alignment penalty that was a problem. That’s my fault. I’ve got to get that straight."
When summing up the game, Gailey was unimpressed.
"It looked ugly, it felt ugly, it was ugly," said Gailey. "But I think we’ll learn from it and get better from it. We get to go back to work Saturday, and that’s what we plan to do."
Both Gailey and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick noted that the first-team offense didn't run the ball once. It wasn't anything with the Bills' game plan. It was how the Redskins lined up in their base defense.
"If they stayed in their 3-4 defense, we were going to throw the football," said Gailey to open the press conference. "That's what we went into the game planning to do. We were trying to hit [Fred Jackson] and [C.J. Spiller] on some passes to get them involved, but they didn't play nickel against our ones, so we had to throw it all the time."
"I thought it was really poor," Fitzpatrick said of the offensive execution. "But luckily it is pre-season. It is the beginning of pre-season. We have got a lot to work on, and we are looking forward to this season coming up."
Fitzpatrick was asked about calling his own plays. He enjoys it, but says there was a method to the madness during the first game of the pre-season.
"It's fun [calling your own plays]," said the quarterback. "The first pre-season game is always interesting. You don't have any film on the other team and you don't know what to expect, so you kind of have to go on the fly. That's why it's also a big challenge to go out and do it that way."
Despite attempting to take advantage of the Redskins for not moving out of their base defense by spreading out multiple receivers, the Bills couldn't get into an offensive rhythm thanks to penalties and inopportune bad plays. It hurt the offense to not establish themselves.
"It's hard to get in a rhythm when you're not getting first downs," said Fitzpatrick. "That's where the problem was tonight - not getting the first downs and not getting the chains moving."
Gailey said Tyler Thigpen made a couple nice throws, but needs to be consistent even with a lack of reps. When asked about Vince Young's ability to create plays when protection breaks down or coverage takes over, Gailey was pretty complimentary.
"He created some things tonight," mentioned Gailey. "That's what he he can do. He brings that to the football team."
As for the defense, Gailey had good things to say about rookie cornerback Ron Brooks, who had a pass defended and an interception.
"He did show up," said Gailey of Brooks. "I was proud of him. He dropped one and got one. He had a chance for two tonight. That was a good job by him, going out there and playing. He made a great case for himself tonight."
"We have a long way to go," said defensive tackle Kyle Williams. "Tonight was more about seeing if we could come out, play base defense, have some stops and make some plays."
Buffalo's punters had a solid night, and outside of a missed Rian Lindell field goal from 22 yards, the special teams were solid, as Gailey explained.
"Overall we played pretty well on special teams," said Gailey. "I felt we were good there. We had some guys trying to make the football team, and they took a good step forward to get that done."
"I think that every yard counts in field position," said kickoff specialist John Potter, who booted all three of his kicks for touchbacks. "Every yard matters, but it also helps on kickoff because it is a brutal part of the game for both the kickoff team and return team. If you are able to hit touchbacks, then you can save your guys and allow them to go and make plays in other parts of the game."
"What it was was a great lesson in our lack of discipline at this point," said Gailey of the game as a whole. That pretty much sums it up.