It’s tough to take a year off and come back and play. After watching the film, how did you feel you did and what can you improve on for the second game?
“Yeah. We had good moments. We had some that we need to correct. I know personally there were throws that I should have made and I want to make and I need to correct those this week. But, we have opportunities out there. We have to take advantage of those when they present themselves to us and that will allow us to put a lot more points on the board, keep drives alive, things of that nature that will help us win football games.”
How did it feel just to be back out playing football again?
“It felt great to be back out on the field, trying to help my team win, getting into that competitive mode of going out and fighting for wins. It felt great to be back out there.”
How do you thin, extending drives, how do you feel you did with your feet, being able to kind of escape and get out that way?
“I thought using my feet was something that I did well. There were a couple times that I wish I would have hung in a little bit more, but those are always split-second decisions that it’s always easier to look back and say, ‘I should have done this. I should have done that.’”
I think a lot of people expected you might be rusty in the first half and then play better in the second half, but you ended up playing much better in the first half. How do you explain what happened?
“We didn’t come out and make plays the second half. Ultimately, that’s what it came down to. Our execution is something that we need to improve upon, being able to sustain that for four quarters.”
How did the mental side of things go just kind of digesting and running a new offense for the first time?
“Felt great mentally. Felt like we were on top of everything. I felt like our team was, once again it comes down to execution and when we have opportunities to make plays, we have to make those.”
How big is that jump for you when you go from taking only 25-percent of the snaps to finally just having one week with the first team to get ready for a game? How big is that disparity and did you see that on the field?
“You know, it’s something that you always have to build upon and it takes a little bit of time to get in that rhythm. I thought we had a great week of practice, but obviously after the game, we have to fine tune some things. We have to get a little bit more on the same page and I have to be able to give them opportunities to touch the ball to make plays.”
Just about your position, you’re kind of considered a leader on the team because most quarterbacks are considered that. We all know the record of this team. Do you have to do anything special at this point to make sure that guys kind of hang in there and don’t give up on the season too early?
“Yeah. We have to stay focused. Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. We have to take it one game at a time. Getting this first win to break this losing streak will be huge for us and that’s where our focus has to be this week in preparation.”
How involved in the game plan are you? Will you go to head coach Chip Kelly and be like, ‘I like this play,’ or ‘That was comfortable for me,’ or do you just get the play in and go?
“It’s a constant conversation during the week. Obviously, they’re going to have the game plan and install what they see versus that defense, but it’s something we’re constantly talking about, constantly a work in progress to make sure we have the best game plan going into Sunday.”
Did you feel more comfortable than you have in the past just knowing where you stand--?
“I think this offense, the way we scheme, the way we present this to our quarterbacks, to our players, gives you a lot of clarity when you step on the field. I think that’s something that for me I felt a lot more confident in was the scheme we have and the clarity of where we want to go with the football versus certain coverages.”
Did you have any issues with communication on the laptop and then the headset?
“No. We didn’t really have too much of an issue there.”
Where did you feel like you were physically? Did your arm feel strong, your legs feel good?
“Yeah. Legs felt good. Arm felt great. That first drive, arm was a little too strong and that’s one of the things that I have to be able to correct. So, if we can have a touchdown that first drive that sets the momentum for the game, kind of sets the tone and it might turn out differently.”
Did you go into the game with the mindset that you wanted to take some shots downfield?
“Once again, if the opportunities present themselves. That was a play that the opportunity presented itself and something we have to be able to make that play.”
One of the Buffalo players kind of broke normal protocol and criticized you after the game. Is that something you just kind of have to come to expect, the way it’s going to be for you now?
“Yeah. You’re always going to look at the opponent and that’s what you are. You’re critical of what they do. So, you can take that and use that as an advantage and ultimately that’s what game planning is.”
What’s the scouting report on the Bucs?
“They play defense. We have to go out and win. No, they have a lot of talent over there. There’s a lot of players that are out there that are able to make plays. But once again, it comes down to our own execution, our own ability to make plays and that will be the difference in this game.”
Do you feel pressure to make more plays this weekend because this team badly needs a win, you’re an experienced player?
“It’s something that you have to allow the plays to come to you. When that opportunity is there to make one, you have to make it. But, you can’t force yourself into making a play. So, that’s something you have to have that balance of knowing when’s that opportunity to go out there and make one.”
Were you ever told by the organization that you had to sign the restructured deal before you could start again?
What do you expect in your first home game in over a year?
“A win. That’s what we’re preparing for. That’s what our focus is on. We want to make sure this week we’re having a good week of practice, everybody’s on the same page and everybody’s focused and ready to go this Sunday. So, we can go out and execute.”
WR Jeremy Kerley was such a big part of this passing game before you started. I know that some of the Bills coverage dictated his availability in Sunday’s game. But, how is your reading on his routes and what he does across the middle? How is your comfort level with him?
“Very comfortable. He’s someone that, there’s always a constant conversation and he has great body language as a route runner, has a good feel for what the defense is doing. So, that makes it a lot easier on the quarterback.”
Some of the Bills critiques of you seemed rather harsh. Buffalo Bills CB Stephon Gilmore said that you were a great athlete who could run, but he can’t throw. Is this stuff that you’ve heard before? What does that do? Is that extra motivation or what do you think of that assessment?
“Once again, that’s an opinion. Everybody’s entitled to it. We move forward. We focus on what we can do to get this win this week versus the Bucs.”