<span> <span style="">What's scary about the trip to Buffalo and their defense?</span>
"First of all, it's a tough place to play. Second of all, they're a team that is playing really well right now. They could very well be 2-0 and I think anytime you play the Bills, you know it's going to be a tough, physical test. You see it in every opponent they play; it looks like by the game is over they have just beaten them up physically. We have our work cut out for us and we have to make sure we're prepared. We have a good game plan so far, we just have to continue working at it and just know what to expect when we get there."
You talk all the time about wanting to get on a roll. Is that one of the benefits of playing at this level right now?
"Yeah, sure because win streaks breed confidence. From week to week, you just continue to gain more confidence and when you get into games, there's more of that attitude of whenever we step on the field, we're going to win. There's a lot that goes into that; a lot of hard work and preparation throughout the week on the practice field and in the film room. But if you know that you've done all that you can to prepare yourself, then by the time you get out there on game day it's just going out having fun and reacting to what they give us. Definitely with that sense of confidence – no matter what situation we get in during the course of a game – we feel like we're going to come out on top."
You said after the first game that you felt like you were going to complete every throw when you were driving up to the stadium. Is that a feeling that you always have?
"By the time game day rolls around, you absolutely feel that way. That's just knowing that you've already played the game so many times in your head that you know where you can get rid of the ball, you know the looks that you want to see, the looks that give you problems and where you can get it out and get completions, so by the time the game rolls around, it's just reacting to what they give us and I know what to do with the ball."
How much confidence does it put in you that it seems like everyone involved in this offense is doing a very good job?
"I think everyone understands that their opportunities will come so the way they approach it is that they never know when it's going to be their time so they have to make sure they're ready. We put in a lot of time and we put in a lot of effort and we do a lot of things to make sure that we're on the same page and to make sure that we're thinking the same thing and seeing the same things so that when we get out on game days, it may look easy but it's not. There's a lot that is behind that and certainly everybody in our skill group feels like from game to game this could be the game where they're catching 10 balls and scoring two or three touchdowns. We've seen that from week to week; Shockey got two the first week and Colston got two last week. That whole group is thinking, 'I'm next.'"
Is this as good a two-game stretch for this offense since you've been here?
"As far as points scored, it is."
What about in terms of feel?
"It has felt good, but we've had some good stretches since we've been here. There have been many games where it just felt like no matter what we ran it was going to work. I'd say that this is one of the best stretches, but hopefully we'll keep it going. Hopefully it isn't just two games; hopefully it's a lot of games."
How important is it to score at the start of each half as you have done this season? What does that do to the opposing defense?
"Forget what it does to them; it's more that it gives our team momentum going to the locker room, feeling good about finishing the right way in the first half and then coming out in the second half knowing that you have that momentum. Whether you're scoring on the first drive of the game or scoring before you go in at halftime or scoring to open the third quarter – there are a lot of situations and drives in games where there's a sense of urgency just knowing that it's a big momentum swing if you're able to capitalize on those situations."
Are you seeing the kind of balance on offense that you were hoping for?
"Yes, I think it has been good. When you look at what we've been able to do in the rushing game week one and week two, it was impressive. But I feel like our ability to balance, our ability to throw and run effectively is great because they both complement each other so well, they set each other up. We want to get into situations in games where teams can't just play one or the other – they have to worry about both."
What sort of dimension has Heath Evans brought to the offense so far? How impressed were you with his sideline tightrope act last week?
"That was really nice; that was impressive. He has really impressed me. Not only from his work ethic and his versatility and the way he fits in this offense, but also his leadership ability in the locker room and what he has done for that position group as well as just being a fun guy to be around. He makes coming to work fun, and those are the type of guys that you want. I have all the confidence in the world in Heath to really play any position in the backfield we need him to play. No matter what the situation, he can play it. He's very smart; he can block well; he runs well; he catches the ball well. Those are the kind of guys you want."
What has struck you about Buffalo's defense?
"Just how physical they are. They play very physical and they're good at what they play. They make it one of these games where for the most part they're going to make you earn everything you get and not going to give you the opportunity for many big plays. They're going to make you throw it underneath, make you run the ball effectively and then they're going to come up and hit you and see if you can stand it. You have to understand the battle you're getting into with these guys."
Were you surprised to see how effective their defense was against New England in the opening week?
"Like I said, these last two weeks they have played very well. They get guys coming free on the quarterback quite a bit, they have a good front seven and then they're able to bring some safety pressure. There are definitely things we have to be prepared for."
Coach Payton mentioned your left shoulder on the injury report. Is it just sore? Was it a hit you took?
"It was just a hit in the first quarter; no big deal."
Is this the first time you've been on the injury report since you've been here?
"I don't know. I've had little things – dings, nicks and that kind of thing. I have a maintenance program that I do throughout the week that is just stuff to take care of my core strength and my shoulders and everything else. It's almost like preventative maintenance; I'm constantly doing it so hopefully this stuff doesn't happen and when you get dinged a little bit, you fight through it, you gain strength around that area and you're good to go."
Would you prefer that this team continue to fly under the radar of the national media?
"They can say whatever they want, but the fact is that we understand that there's nothing promised to us for being 2-0. No matter what anybody says, it doesn't mean anything – good or bad. The only thing that has been promised is the opportunity to play in 14 more games, and then hopefully the playoffs. Those are our expectations, but we understand that each week is a battle. All that matters is how we feel in that locker room. Certainly we try to eliminate those distractions, but hopefully those things come our way because that means you're playing well. That means that people are talking about you but it also means that people are gunning for you so you'd better watch out."
Does the coaching staff do a good job of bringing you guys down to earth each Monday?
"Yes. Our coach tells us about all that stuff that everybody wants to feed you about how good you are, you're only as good as your next performance. It was a great win at Philly, but there's the 24-hour rule where after that you put it behind you and it's on to Buffalo and this is a very good team and one that where we don't play our best game thus far up there, it doesn't give us much of a chance."
What problems does the no-huddle offense present to a defense?
"The problems it gives you is that especially if you change personnel, it's sometimes hard to make substitutions defensively, especially if you're wanting to draw up pressures and those kinds of things. Those things need to be orchestrated. I think the reason for doing it a lot of times is just to catch a defense off guard or really to control the tempo of a game."
So it's more of a proactive thing for the offense?
"Absolutely. It's somewhat like attack mode where you say, 'We're dictating the tempo of this game with our no-huddle.'"
Stats showed that you had some of your best efficiency when the Eagles blitzed two or more guys and you were also very efficient against six or more guys in coverage. Has it been the case to where a defense is overloading one side you can identify it and attack?
"It's just having a plan when they pressure you and understanding why they're pressuring you. They're trying to get to you but there are also opportunities to make big plays when they do that. We always talk about making them pay. If they want to pressure us, make them pay. There's that balance of when a team is wanting to mix up zone and pressure and you have to have the ability to kind of flip the switch in your head of urgency when they're pressuring and then patience when they're dropping eight into coverage. I'm going to have time, the windows are smaller, so make sure that I'm throwing the ball accurately and perhaps get it to a checkdown. It's always about managing the situation."
When you have a situation where you have a former player from an opponent on your roster, will you pick his brain? Will you go to Jabari Greer this week?
"There are certain things, maybe just tendencies or personnel stuff. But for the most part each year is so different and guys change a little bit. It has been a year since Jabari played with these guys, so I'm sure some of them have developed in different ways. Really, you trust what you see on film because that's what's current. They might have a new coach in there that's teaching them something different. But yes, you try to utilize every resource you can."
Did Jabari catch your eye in training camp when you went up against him?
"Yes. He has been impressive. I really like what I see out of him. I remembered him from Buffalo. He had impressed me when we had played against them – albeit in the preseason. I have always been impressed with the way that he plays and I think that he works great in what we're trying to do defensively."