COACH FISHER: We're very excited to be in game week. I think our kids are responding very well, looking forward to playing someone besides themselves. We had a good, physical camp. Came out of it relatively healthy for the most part. Liked our camp, liked our enthusiasm, liked the dynamic of our team. We're looking forward to playing a good game this weekend. Got a good opponent in Murray State who is good on offense, blitz you, puts pressure on defense. Will be a great challenge for our guys and we'll have to be ready to play in the opening game.
Q. I want to ask you about the philosophy of first games. We have a big conference game opening up for Virginia Tech.
COACH FISHER: We had Miami a couple times.
Q. I was going to ask you your philosophy. Pros have exhibitions, high schools play scrimmages. Colleges jump right in. What is your philosophy of jumping in with a headline game, lesser opponent?
COACH FISHER: I don't mind a headline game or any of those things. I think it makes it a little tougher when it's a conference opponent because the ramifications are double. A big game is a big game no matter which team you play. It's within your conference. You come out of camp banged up, bruised up, it's a little bit different. I've never been crazy about conference games as openers, that's something we do in this league, something that's part of it.
I think it makes it tougher because it's a double whammy being a big‑time opponent plus being a conference game because it affects your conference standings right off the bat. That is part of things that do happen here. It's something that we've dealt with.
It is tough. We had West Virginia the second one, lost that one. I think it's good early to test yourselves.
We're in a dynamic that's different because one of our big whammies is the last game. We have a Florida has a non‑conference game. That's a little bit different because that changes us sometimes opening with a big one like that. Conference game is tough.
COACH FISHER: Ronald's playing time will depend on different parts of the situation, how things go. Right now Nick is our starter. He had a very good camp. Dependable. Knows the system. We really saw him the second half of last year and in the spring, felt he had a great future.
Fortunately, it hadn't come quicker than we thought. We were happy with him the second half of last year. Spring ball we saw him starting to emerge and thought he had a really good spring this year, too. We feel comfortable with him. He's had an outstanding fall. I think he's played very well.
Q. Who would you say is your best talent on the team that is flying under the radar?
COACH FISHER: Oh, I don't know that. There's always quite a few guys you never see, D‑line men, O‑line men. I think Nick Waisome is a guy, Tyler Hunter, Greg had a great fall camp in my opinion. I don't know if there's any one guy. I think there's a couple guys who I think will have really good years this year and I'm really anxious to see how it goes. I don't know if there's any one that just stands out.
Q. Can you talk about the release of Greg Reid?
COACH FISHER: I mean, anytime something like that happens, it catches your guys' attention, whether it's a discipline issue, suspend somebody for a game, that always catches people's eyes because it reminds them that you have to do things right. Our team has responded well. We've had a good camp and had no issues as far as that goes.
Q. Personnel‑wise, what are you doing to replace the many roles that Greg Reid played for you?
COACH FISHER: He was our punt returner. We had Rashad Greene who replaced Greg last year. His first punt he ever had in college, he took it to the house for a touchdown. Kenny Shaw, great talent, Ronald Darby. Rashad will handle that. At corner Nick Waisome has filled in and done a great job. We felt comfortable with him the second half of the year. In spring ball we thought he emerged and became a good player.
From that standpoint, those guys will be filling his role.
Q. As you approach the season opener, how is E.J. Manuel looking now? You have confidence in him. How will he be better than last year?
COACH FISHER: I think the people around him will be better. I think we'll be more consistent around him. For any quarterback, it doesn't matter, you have to have guys around you play consistent.
As that really emerges, receivers have been dependable in camp, really some guys are emerging, making plays. Offensive line‑wise I feel comfortable there, run the football, take pressure off at times, too. I think from that standpoint the trust factor around him, which will let him settle, be his own self. I was pleased with his camp. Yesterday he had an excellent day. All of our reads and runs, things he has to do, I feel comfortable.