Jerry Gray (Secondary/Cornerbacks Coach)
On what his schedule is like now, not having a head coach:
"Right now I think you self scout. You look at what you did during the season: how you got beat, how people tried to attack you. You have to have those reports because those things help you for next year."
On the staff meeting with Coach Gibbs when he announced he is retiring:
"He thanked all the coaches for their hard work and he appreciated us for what we've done. You look and you know he's sincere as far as what he's doing. Just from being around him for a couple years, I know that he puts God first, his family second and work third. If any man is going to stick by that and your family needs you, you have to go."
On if he was surprised by Coach Gibbs' retiring:
"To me, I don't think you ever have an inkling that a guys is going to do that but I think what you do is respect what his decision is. His decision is sincere and you could tell it was from the heart. He thought about it and he knows the ramifications that it puts all the other coaches in."
On if it slows the coaches down now not having a normal direction or schedule set:
"Not really. I think this is my second or third time going through something like this, not with a guy retiring but what you do is make sure you keep yourself busy. You've got to have yourself ready to go because when they do bring another guy in if you're not prepared to go then you're going to be behind. Then you don't want to try to be playing catch up."
On his level of concern regarding a coaching change:
"The powers that be are going to make that decision. You have to live by it. If they make a coaching change from the inside I think it's good, and if they make a change from the outside then you have to adjust and go on."
On if he agrees with the players endorsing Gregg Williams (Asst. Head Coach-Defense) as the next head coach:
"If the players can make that decision I think it would be fine, but I don't think they are going to be making that decision."
On thinking about his future:
"To me, it's not my decision. The thing you have to do is keep yourself busy and do the job that you're supposed to do. I'm doing those things so I don't get caught off guard because you just never know. Last year you look around and see a 14-2 coach get fired. You never know how these things are going to shake out but you have to keep faith and go on."
"I think you get judged by what your guys do on the football field and if someone wants that than they will make a call for you."
"I really liked Coach Gibbs. I think the guy is sincere and you really don't know what's going to happen. I think you have to play it by ear. To me, if you're going to start panicking right now, you should have started to panic when we lost those four games in a row. And to me, because we didn't do that you have to have some staying power. If you have that, then if the owners like what you did, they're going to keep you. If they don't, they are going to let you go anyway."
On Gregg Williams' experience as a head coach in Buffalo:
"When you first go in (to Buffalo), you knew there was $19 million of dead money and you had $22 million over the cap and you really don't know how that affects your team. But then you know you have to cut a lot of players, a lot of Pro Bowl players. I watched that go on and we were 3-13 the first year. Coming back the second year we were 8-8 and the next year 7-9. To me, I think if a 7-9, 9-7, or an 8-8 team you're just about getting to where you're going to go. Most teams will keep head coaches like that. They decided not to and to me I think they are still kind of looking for another head coach to get them over the hump and they've been through two or three head coaches right now."
On if he feels Williams was the reason behind the improvement Buffalo saw during his three seasons as head coach:
"Yeah, if you look at it and take the first year out – with all the trouble Buffalo had the first time going in – and only count the second two years, he was 15-15. If you're going to fire a coach for being 15-15, there's something wrong."
On the play of the cornerbacks down the stretch:
"I think the guys kind of stepped up. We really missed Carlos Rogers (CB, #22) because I thought Carlos was just getting into his groove of making plays. I saw him make a big play in the Arizona game in a two minute situation and the next thing you know he torn an ACL. So we picked up Leigh Torrence (CB, #29) in the offseason and he stepped in and did a great job. He played in a lot more three-corner situations with LaRon (Landry, S, #30) in the middle of the field and that gave us a chance to put cover patterns out there. To me, I thought we really, really did a good job. Is there room for improvement? Of course. I think technique-wise we could be a lot better. We could be a lot better with our eyes. And those are the little things that you work on and I really think we can take another step forward, like we did in Tennessee, of not just being satisfied with giving up 200 yards a game but you want to get around that 150-160 a game in the air and still stop that run. I think you can really dominate then."
On what he meant earlier about "self-scouting":
"(For example) right now I'm (going) over the screens. I'm looking at all the screens that teams did against us and what you do is say: Ok, did any screens break out? What was the problem? Who is the culprit? Was it the defense? Was it the player? Then I'm (going) over the two-minute. So I'm going through all two-minute things. What happened in two minutes: Was there touchdowns in two minutes? Was there field goals? Did we do a good job? And now I present that to whoever comes in because you have to be prepared for all those things because if you're not good in screens, everybody is going to screen you. If you're not good in two-minute, you have to get sacks in two-minute and get turnovers and I think we did a pretty good job this year."
Earnest Byner (Running Backs Coach)
On if he had any indication that Coach Gibbs would return next season:
"Well you always look forward to next year in this profession. You try to plan and look for direction and that kind of stuff. We were all hopeful because that keeps consistency for sure. So yeah we were definitely looking forward to next year with Joe. There were some things that were said. We all had some feelings and indicators when you look back. The reality is – as a matter of fact even Coach Breaux no more than a week ago was
talking about some of the things that we would try and do coming up – so definitely we were looking forward to trying to make this thing happen."
On if it's difficult waiting for decision to be made about the next head coach:
"In my mind – and for a lot of people it is difficult, don't get me wrong – but things always have a way of working themselves out. They will work out. Everything will be ok and life will continue. We will make the best of this situation one way or another, whether it's here or if people have to move on. Changes are going to happen in this League. The level of people coming in and going out it's there every year. This happens to be one major one when it comes to the head coach but we have to make the best of it either way."
On the energy amongst the coaches and how they are moving forward:
"There's been some buzz. Guys are talking about it and also talking about the indicators that they all saw and some things that happened at different games that kind of said this might be coming down the pike. Again, that's part of the reality. I think we all go through it each year anyway when you do have some uncertainty. We are going to definitely cherish the moments we've had with Joe. For me, personally, it's been a real good growing and learning experience to be able to watch Joe from a coaches' perspective. He retired once before on me. I was a player. And at that time it produced some uncertainty and some nerves but this time there was a sense of peace. And I think that's mainly coming from him and a lot of the things we've had a chance to learn from him."
On his schedule now:
"I have to focus on what I have to do. I have to write my reports about the year. As a matter of fact I am going to give suggestions about what I think needs to be done from a player perspective but also from a coaching perspective. There are some things we could definitely do to help with this situation. I think it's not going to be a difficult process keeping this thing going, whomever it is. I know some of the things that I would institute, some of the things that I feel are missing for us to continue on and go to the next level."
On how important he feels keeping consistency and hiring in-house would be:
"It's always if you can do that. I'm reading a book – "Good To Great" – it talks about some of the things those companies did and one of the things they did do was hire from inside because a person that is inside already knows the good things that the team, or the company, has but also knows some of the things they could do from a need-to process because they know. They already know the issues, the people: what people are in the right positions, who are the people that are the right people on the bus. So, I think having someone from inside is something that could help with that process and could help the continuity."
On if he thinks continuity is more important because of the late season run the team had:
"I think it's important in general. I think the guys were unanimous about what they thought was needed. They spoke about Gregg (Williams, Asst. Head Coach-Defense) but also there are some other people on the staff that have some good ideas about what needs to be done, who are probably qualified as well. But Gregg has a lot of support from a lot of players and a lot of people on the coaching staff as well. Gregg is one of those guys who has a real good understanding of the team. Whatever Dan (Snyder) decides will be for the best and Dan has said he wants to keep continuity. And Gregg is one of those guys who definitely has an understanding about what's needed to be a coach."
On Clinton Portis (RB, #26) this season:
"Clinton was third overall in total yards and finished the season really, really strong. He started off a little bit slow but the way he came on is what we needed as far as the team was concerned. He was third or fourth in the League over the last four weeks and that right there is the type of effort that we needed to make the run. I'm really, really proud of Clinton and the overall leadership he showed especially after Sean (Taylor) passed. He really stepped up and was really, really accountable."
Bill Lazor (Quarterbacks Coach)
On if he has spoken to Jason Campbell (QB #17):
"Jason came in this morning. He has been doing his rehab, so he has been working a lot downstairs. He stopped in to talk a little bit. It is probably difficult for guys like him just like it is for the coaches."
On if Jason is concerned about his future just like everyone else is:
"You would have to talk to Jason about that. Every guy on the roster is probably concerned. I went through this one time in Atlanta when the head coach was gone. I think everyone gets some concern because really in the end the head coach is a real reason everyone is in the room; coaches, players and a lot of people in the organization. With Jason I tried really hard - especially at the end when he got injured - I tried really hard with him to talk about and deal with the long term. I think that is important for Jason. I think it is important for this franchise, for him being here and for him to always keep that perspective. Certainly he wanted to play in every game. It was probably tough for him the night before the Seattle game and on the sideline of that game, seeing all that excitement and wanting to play. I think everyone involved hopes that Jason has a lot of opportunities to do that."
On how much Jason can benefit from watching film of Todd Collins (QB, #15) operating the same system:
"I think as unfortunate as it is at the time when you are not playing, if you can take a real mature stance about it and once you catch your breath and the pain of the injury subsides, most guys can really learn a lot from that kind of situation. I'm sure he wanted to go on. We talked about it a lot and he did a great job of continuing to work mentally in the meetings and when he was able to on the field. From the first day that Todd has been here it has been a real big help for Jason."
On if Jason has pointed out anything to him already after watching Todd play at the end of the season:
‘We talked about some specifics. I won't go into the specific things but day-to-day as we talked Jason was still very involved in the meetings as far as asking questions and answering questions. There is no doubt that he continued to stay real involved mentally. I think time will tell how much he takes from it. I think Jason did a real good job keeping perspective on the big picture. I think he will continue to be great and get even better as he goes forward."
On how important it would be for Jason to stay in the same system:
"He talked about that this morning. He said he has been in a whole bunch of systems in what seems to be a short number of years. That is not up to me and it is not up to him. It is up to other people and they will make the right decisions."
On his uncertainty about a new coach coming in:
"It will have a big impact on him (Jason), me and everyone here. That is how this business goes. Probably all of us have been through it before. No one really enjoys it at the time. Hopefully, just like in past changes that have occurred, I have been able to look back and say the right thing happened for whatever reason."
On if he noticed any indicators that Coach Gibbs might retire:
"Everyone that knew his family situation knew that it was probably difficult at times for Coach Gibbs. I think everyone respects what he has had to go through. I know I have personally enjoyed the four years I have been with him, the four great seasons. I have had a chance to learn a lot of great things as a person as well as a coach. I will cherish a lot of the memories. Hopefully I was able to give him back some good service for all the things he gave me."
On his thoughts about the speculation that either Gregg Williams (Assistant Head Coach – Defense) or Al Saunders (Associate Head Coach – Offense) could possibly become head coach:
"I have been around a lot of places and speculation and usually unless the persons that are making the decision have anything to do with that talk, it is just kind of wasting time. I will let those people make those decisions and I will deal with it as it comes."
"I think they both would do a great job. I respected all of the coaches that have been in the building. Certainly their names are getting thrown around a lot here probably because of their past head coaching experience. I am not going to add to any speculation. I am just interested to see it get over with soon."
On what he is working on right now:
"As far as the specifics, that is what I am taking a lot of my time doing is going back through the film. Sometimes it is easier after the fact to go back and watch all of the film with a different eye than you do when you are preparing for a game. We will look at every play that he (Jason) played just like we did last year. We will go through every mechanic and every technique. There will be a whole long list of things and we will prioritize those and we will have some fun chipping away at it. I think my opinion and as you watch the video is a lot of things that we stressed were things that he took real serious and took ownership in improving are things that showed up on the video. I would expect that the goals that we work out with him are the things that he will work real hard at. The kind of person he is I think he will make great strides."