Transcripts: 9-27-2021 Press Conferences 

HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY

If you could do everything you wanted to do with a rookie quarterback, what would you do?

"Well, I don't know if you could do that."

What would be ideal to plan?

"The plan would be to do whatever we felt we needed to do to win the game. Running the ball and throwing the ball as far as attacking them. To be able to do that, you would have to open up the play book a little bit. I don't know how you can do that with a rookie quarterback, but I would love to be able to do all the things that we want to do going into a game with a veteran quarterback."

Do you find yourself in situations of being too conservative when protecting QB Davis Mills?

"I don't think we went in thinking we just want to protect him. There are certain things that they were going to do regardless of what we called, they were going to do it. We just felt like that we wanted to make sure we gave him stuff that he knew. That there was never any doubt about what he needed to do on these particular plays. Basically, what I did was I told Tim (Kelly) and those guys 'Listen, just don't make him uncomfortable and make sure he is doing the things that he is very, very comfortable with.' That being said, there are some things that we probably didn't do in that game that we probably would have done in other games if it was Tyrod (Taylor)."

Do you expect K Ka'imi Fairbairn to come off IR this week?

"I expect him to."

Do you expect him to play?

"I expect him to. We will know more on Wednesday, but this is what we targeted for him getting back."

How is QB Tyrod Taylor doing and do you have any idea of a timeline for his return?

"Still don't have a timeline. When it first started it was two to four weeks, from all we know it is still that way."

Any reason why RB Mark Ingram's carries have gone down?

"It's just the team we are playing. It just happened that last week we didn't play very well. We weren't on the field very long. We didn't have many plays and that had something to do with why his carries were down. But it was nothing intentional, it just happened because we didn't play very well and didn't run the ball very well."

How do you compare what QB Justin Herbert has been doing to other rookie quarterbacks?

"Well, Pep (Hamilton) could probably answer that a little better than me because Pep had him there last year. I do know that when he came out, obviously, he was a heck of a prospect. Obviously, if Tyrod (Taylor) doesn't get hurt, he might not have had that opportunity to be able to do what he did. But, he got thrown in there and they did a really nice job with him and that's unusual for it to have that kind of success that he had with that football team."

What kind of things have you learned about the running game so far?

"We didn't really attack them the way we normally would have attacked them. I think that had something to do with our game plan. We kind of cut down some things. We normally have a few checks in there, going one way or the other. We didn't want to put that on Davis (Mills) to do to many of those kinds of things. I think now that he has a game and a half under his belt that we will go back to doing what we normally do."

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges that the Bills present to your team?

"That's a very good football team. That's a playoff caliber football team. They are very good in all phases. Offensively, defensively, and special teams, they have been very consistent. It's a well- coached football team that's got a lot of good football players on it."

When it comes to fourth down situations, what goes into that back and fourth with the people and numbers upstairs and how you came to your ultimate decision to go against numbers?

"That's a good question, because we do use the analytical information that we have. But I think when you are playing in a game a lot of times and when we sit and have those meetings, they tell me 'Ok, this is what everybody is doing in the league. This is what the numbers say.' But sometimes when you are in a ball game and depending on who you are playing, whether how good they are defensively or vice versa what they have on the offensive side, has a lot to do with whether you decide to be able to go for it on fourth down or not. I think a lot of times it gets back to just how you feel."

How much in your gut in the past situations, has there been struggle?

"I think there has been a little bit of struggle simply because of the kicking part of it. Couple of situations we had were I may have kicked it when I probably didn't kick it, or I didn't go for it when I probably should have went for it. I think that's just me feeling it out and just kind of getting a good feel for how we are playing during that particular time."

Do you have to wait until Wednesday to find out about DB Justin Reid and LB Kamu Grugier-Hill?

"Yes, it'll be Wednesday before we know exactly."

What is the next step you want to see in QB Davis Mills' progression?

"Well, he's going to have a lot more put on him than we put on him last week. I feel like he'll be able to handle that. We're just going to run our offense and let him handle it from there."

How have you seen Bills QB Josh Allen evolve in this league?

"He's become one of the top quarterbacks in this league. I know when I had him as a rookie, he has everything that you want, and I'm not surprised that he's where he's at right now. I think I remember last year, he was maybe No. 2 in the league in MVP voting. He's a heck of a player, has all the things you want. There's not a throw he can't make. He's very athletic, he's a big kid, strong kid that can run. He's the total package."

When it comes to pass protection, what things need to be fixed?

"We feel very comfortable blocking the five. We feel very comfortable where we're at with protection. There are times now where Davis (Mills) will have to make some calls, making sure we're getting people going to the right place and the right side. But I feel real comfortable in what we're doing protection-wise. You go back and you look at the five or six sacks that we've got, very few of those are on our offensive line."

Do you feel like DB Justin Reid is headed in the right direction? Has he started to run now?

"Yeah, he's headed in the right direction. I know going into that game, we kind of felt like that he was going to have a chance to play. And then right the day before, there was a little setback. But after the game, he was much better. Yesterday he was much better, also, with the report that we got about him. We're expecting him hopefully Wednesday to get back and see where he's at."

What enticed you to leave Kansas City and go to Buffalo?

"I did that because I first went to Buffalo to interview for the offensive coordinator's job. I had worked with Sean (McDermott) for five or six years in Philly. I didn't get offered that job, but on my way back they asked me if I would be interested in being the quarterback coach. I went back, I talked to Andy (Reid) about it, and he knew that was something that I wanted to eventually get to that point, either as a coordinator or quarterback coach. He allowed me to do it, and that's why I went to Buffalo."

Did you feel like it was something you needed to do to advance yourself to become a head coach?

"I did feel that way."

Have you gotten a chance to talk to Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid?

"I talked to him last night. He's doing fine."

Do you talk with other head coaches about the philosophy of fourth down calls?

"I've talked a lot with John (Harbaugh), because in Baltimore, the two years I was there with John, it was a big deal. The analytics on fourth down was a big deal, and John is one of the guys in this league that basically does a lot of fourth downs, goes for it a lot on fourth down. We talk about it, but basically, once you get to this point, more so in the offseason than now, there's charts that people have. Then again, I can just remember sitting down and talking with John, been in staff meetings with John, talking about the analytics plus the coaching part of it. In the end, you've got to go with what your gut feels, regardless that this says there's an 80 percent (chance) that this works, and 60 percent (chance) that this works. But your gut feeling sometimes has to take over as a coach."

If you have Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, do you go for it more often than if you have QB Tyrod Taylor?

"I wouldn't punt if I had Lamar (Jackson). He'd be my punter."

What do you think you have to fix to protect the middle of the field better?

"I think what happened in that situation was the pass rush was good, and what happened is (Sam) Darnold moved around back there and got in a couple of situations where he was able to hold the ball and scramble a little bit. He hit about three big passes off just scrambling where he kept the play alive and their guys moved around. You get a bunch of plays like that. Part of that happens simply because we did have a good rush. We just weren't able to bring it home and get him down."

Over the long weekend, were you able to step away from football and spend time with family before starting on Buffalo?

"I spent some time with my family, but I didn't step away from football. We never step away from football."

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