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Coach Munchak's Friday Practice Report

Posted Oct 19, 2012

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on the decision to hold Colin McCarthy out of practice)

Let it rest, and then see how he is going into Sunday. Kind of what we did in the past with him or with Kenny (Britt). So we’ll see.

(on if he’s encouraged by what Jurrell Casey did in practice)

It’s not a physical practice, but yeah, the fact that his mindset is that he’s going to be able to play, I think. Again, some of that stuff unfortunately, you don’t know how long he’ll hold up because of how hard it is in the trenches, playing O-line, D-line with his shoulder. We’re going to feel good about him going into it, and just see how it goes. But yeah, definitely feel better that he was able to come out and do some things today.

(on if Colin McCarthy has to make significant strides to play on Sunday)

Yeah, that’s something you have to look at. Again, he feels better today, he’s been better every day. But the thing was, what for 10 reps? Or to come out here and get 10 snaps and do individuals? We didn’t think it was really worth all that to put him through that. It looks better today. Each day he’s gotten better. We thought it would be smarter not to irritate it today, and see how he is tomorrow.

(on if he would be comfortable with Zac Diles filling in for Colin McCarthy)

He’s done well when he’s played. Again, this is a little different game. There will probably be a lot of three wides, so you play a little bit different with the linebackers. I think Zac (Diles) has done a good job, and he’s comfortable now in that role. That’s what we have to do if that’s the way we go.

(on what he likes about Diles’ play)

I just think he’s come on well. I think he’s taken command of the position. Nothing against (Will Witherspoon), you’ll see them both in there. Witherspoon has been playing, and because of the injuries, he’s been playing Will [weakside linebacker] and he’s been playing Mike [middle linebacker]. His strength is his versatility. He’ll continue to do that throughout the game, and he’s been helping on special teams. If (Colin) McCarthy can’t go, you’ll see Zac (Diles) in there much more.

(on if Jake Locker’s throws in practice were reduced to rest his shoulder)

We just conditioned him and all that. That was the goal from the beginning, just do things on Wednesday, Thursday as far as throwing and moving around. Today was going to be strictly conditioning and things like that for the rest of his body, then let him rest the weekend and check him out on Monday.

(on how Jake Locker felt after this week of practice)

It went well. He feels good. I think he feels good just to do something again. You have to be careful, the bone has to heal. You have to let that happen. He was just doing things that wouldn’t interfere with that. That’s why we didn’t have him anywhere where he’d get contact of any kind or get bumped at all. The things he was doing were fine for him. I think it’s more the mental side, that you’re keeping busy, that you’re doing some of your throwing and doing some things that are football-oriented. Then we’ll have to wait and see how it looks next week.

(on if the silver lining to maybe missing Colin McCarthy this Sunday is that he’s healthier for upcoming games)

That will be part of the decision I think, when the time comes. There’s no guarantee of all that, but sometimes a week off can get you over the hump on an injury like that. That’s what you’d hope. That would be our thinking on that if it went that way, whereas come Sunday he wasn’t quite ready, that another full week would make him so much better next week. That’d be the advantage of him sitting. But obviously, having him out there is a big thing. We’ll be smart just for him too. There is still a lot of football left to play, and we still need him in a big way. Having him be 60 percent or not quite right every week isn’t a good thing either. That’s the stuff we’ll have to decide on the next couple of days.

(on if the surface in Buffalo will influence his decision to have Colin McCarthy play or not play)

He did that in Minnesota and then last week, so I think it’s…That’s not something that would stop us from playing him, but I think the bottom line is if he continues to improve, then I would think that he has a good shot of helping us on Sunday. If he doesn’t, then for the reasons we just talked about, we’d probably consider for all the other reasons why not to play, we’d probably lean that way. That’s why again, questionable, and we’ll just kind of see how he is the next 40 hours.

(on the impact of the injury to Bills guard Kraig Urbik)

He’s a good football player. Like I said, they’ve invested some time in their offensive line. He’s playing guard, and they drafted (Cordy) Glenn there at left tackle. He’s had the ankle. They’re a good group. There’s no doubt you can see they’ve missed their two guys the last couple weeks. They’re still doing some good things, running the ball well, protecting well. But I think they’ll be excited to get those guys back.

(on how much of a swing game this is)

I think when you have our record, these all are. We know we have to win. We know we have to play well. Pittsburgh, we felt the same way. One game, if it doesn’t go our way, it’s not going to be the end of the season, because a lot can happen. I think we have to look at it that all these games, we can’t slip up on one, we can’t let one get away, we can’t say, ‘Well that’s one game.’ We’ve already had those moments. We have to stack games together, and we have to learn how to win two in a row. Winning one on the road says a lot. This game helps us in a lot of ways, just like the Pittsburgh game did.

(on how similar the Bills look this year to last year’s team)

On offense I think they’re very similar. They’re doing the same things, they’re very open. The Wildcat is probably something they’re doing a little bit more of possibly. But I think overall, when you have (C.J.) Spiller, they have the backs, the speed they have, they screen well, they’re running the ball well. They have a lot of confidence in what they’re doing I think. It’s similar to last year. I think the negative is last year they were coming off a four-game losing streak when we went up there last year. That tends to wear you down a little bit when they start off 4-1 last year and then they go 0-4 before we come up there. I think that was something that was weighing on them last year which I think makes them a totally different team than this year. Defensively, they went out and brought in Mario (Williams) and some guys that can make a difference up front. Like I said, that’s starting to come together. This is only six weeks in with a lot of new players. Last week they had the five sacks, and I think they’re feeling good about themselves. They went to Arizona and did a great job of shutting them down, so I’m sure they’re feeling really good about themselves. It was a big game for them too. They have to hang there with their division. This is the time of year that all of these games are important for everybody. We know how important it is for us.

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