Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott

Friday, October 20, 2017

Q: Where do things stand with [Jordan] Matthews?

A: Still day-to-day right now. We’re going to see how he does in practice today and go from there.

Q: Is Cordy [Glenn] looking good to start this week Coach?

A: He is, we’ll see whether he starts or not, we’re still going through that as a staff. We’ll know a little bit more today based off of practice, he’s had a good week so far.

Q: As far as Tre’Davious White, the secondary as a whole gave up some big plays against Cincinnati, he in particular had a rough one. First of all, confidence, how do you see that, and he’s had the bye to think about it, but confidence level, and coming up against another big challenge Sunday?

A: Well my confidence in Tre’Davious has not wavered. I’m not sure really if that’s where you’re going [with it] or his confidence for himself? Yeah, he’s a confident young man. He’s played a lot of big time football in the SEC, and that was part of the evaluation process. The mental toughness part of it is huge, and also playing in this league, that you have to have a short memory and learn from things. I think we’ve seen that, [but] then move forward and use it to your advantage. I could say that we’ve probably seen that in, I believe, the Denver game, and then also the Cincinnati game as well.

Q: When you go up against those kinds of talents, Mike Evans would be another one like A.J. Green, is it a technique things or is it just ‘hey, this guy is a big, physically dominant, great player, somethings you can’t do much about?’ How do you approach that?

A: Well you look at it and say ‘hey, what can we take out of each situation and use to our advantage?’ Some of it is technique, and really some of it’s then ‘hey, they’re going to make some plays.’ These guys are getting paid, they’re phenomenal athletes. You’re going against, every week, elite quarterbacks in this league, that are different than quarterbacks in college, and that’s for a reason, that they’re here. So, they’re going to make some plays and you have to know that, understand that, move forward, stay mentally tough and stay sharp.

Q: The fact that you haven’t put Charles [Clay] on IR, he’s still taking a roster spot, is that a sign maybe that you’re encouraged he may come back within this season? Or could you kind of give us a timeline of what you’re thinking about that right now?

A: Charles Clay?

Q: Yes.

A: He could come back. So far, he’s progressing well, still week-to-week. We’re going to continue to evaluate both Charles and Ramon [Humber]. But, very encouraged at this point in the process of how much progress Charles has made.

Q: With how things ended going into the bye week, and you’ve had a couple weeks to kind of stew over that, have you noticed any extra pep in the step, or eagerness for these guys to get back out there, and get that sour taste out of their mouth?

A: The great part about this group is these guys understand the process. They know it’s week-to-week in the NFL, you’re seeing that around the league, the parody around the league. They know that they’ve learned a valuable lesson, we learned a valuable lesson early in our time together that you have to bring your game every week. It’s who can do that, who can stay focused on that process, who continues to grow, evolve and push forward, and really focus on that and nothing but that. There’s a lot of things out there that try and grab one’s attention, grab a team’s attention, or pull a team apart, really, it’s who can stick together the longest and stay focused on that process as I mentioned. That’s really what I’ve noticed this week, and as we go into the weekend’s game.

Q: Do you have any clarity on whether Vlad Ducasse or John Miller will go at right guard?

A: Nothing more updated than I updated yesterday. We’re going to look at that in practice today.

Q: How much of Vlad playing against the Bengals was part of the plan? I know they competed a lot during the preseason, was that a plan to get John some games, and then get Vlad some games, or was it a matchup thing?

A: Really more so the former, with respect to taking a look and seeing who our best five are. John really did some good things, and I would also add the way that John has handled this as a professional has been outstanding. I really appreciate that. Looking to take another look potentially this week. Those two have battled it out, they continue to battle it out. The fact to me that they understand that things are earned, goes a long way towards building our team.

Q: Who do you expect to play quarterback for the Buccaneers?

A: Probably a question for Dirk Koetter right now, honestly. We’re preparing for either one.

Q: Are there challenges with that or just the fact that the offense doesn’t change much?

A: We’ll be ready, I’m confident we’ll be ready. We’ve had a good week of practice. They have two very capable [quarterbacks], as I said earlier in the week, what I would consider starters, which is an added benefit for them. Not many teams have that, and they have two capable starters, that both quarterbacks do a phenomenal job. We saw that, most recently last weekend, so it’s a big challenge for us. We have to stay focused on what we can control, but also be ready to your point, to either one of them at this point.

Q: Do you have like a certain plan in place, maybe later today [or] tomorrow when you do find out who’s starting, because usually you know by now, but like you eluded to, you don’t, so do you have like a late week plan in place for the guys? ‘If we find out one of them are going, we can start focusing in on them?’

A: Have like a special Friday night meeting maybe (joking). Our guys are focused. There’s only so much we’ll know, maybe Coach Koetter will let us know later today. If he does, great, if he doesn’t then that’s okay. We can’t control that honestly, so we just have to focus on what we do.

Q: You pinpointed through the bye week when you did some self-scouting. Obviously, you don’t want to give out exact details of why, but can you pinpoint some of the reasons why you guys are giving up more sacks per attempt then you probably want? That’s a pretty high rate statistically in the league, just some things that you saw you [that] can try and correct through the bye, did you kind of pinpoint some of that stuff?

A: Yeah, we did. There’s kind of a lot of hands in that jar, collectively. It wasn’t just one guy, it wasn’t just one part of the offense. There’s things I can do better, so we just have to continue to get better, move forward, grow, evolve and make the next rep better than the last rep. That’s where we’re focused on.

Q: Does that statistic sometimes though get a little bit skewed when you have a running quarterback like Tyrod [Taylor], because if he runs and he gets tackled behind the line, sometimes they’re going to call that a sack? We look at the stat and we say ‘whoa, that’s a high rate, 13% of drop backs,’ but when you go back and look you say ‘whoa, there were a lot of factors that go into it, that’s not necessarily true.’

A: Right, you have to turn the tape on and really look at it, and when you do that and group things together, sometimes things do pop out. I’ve been around a couple mobile quarterbacks in my career, with Donavan McNabb and then Cam [Newton] in Carolina. Tyrod’s similar, [but] there are things to your point that do add up, that are not true sacks. But there are some things we could do better there too.

Q: How well has Deonte Thompson come up to speed in a short order this week and maybe making him available to play on Sunday?

A: He’s done a good job, he really has. I’ve been impressed, and Coach [Phil] McGeoghan and D.T. [Deonte Thompson] have worked well together in a short amount of time to really enhance that learning curve. There’s a chance that he could go this weekend, we have another situation today, we’ll take another look and see how it works out.

Q: When you went back over the bye week, assuming you did so, and looked at the running game, what conclusions did you draw, in terms of how you guys are performing with each of the three blocking schemes you’re trying to use?

A: There’s things in the running game we could do better. There’s things that we have done well, honestly, there’s just things we could do better. We spent a lot of time, Coach [Rick] Dennison and the offensive staff, putting their collective minds together and saying ‘hey, what can we do, what fits us, what’re we doing well, what do we want to keep doing,’ and then some things where, was it ‘if we didn’t do it well was it because of scheme flaw, was it because a guy just didn’t do his job.’ Again, you turn the tape on, you find some things that the stat may say ‘x’, but really when you look at it, and my answer to Sal no different here, when you look at it you say ‘either not as good as we thought or not as bad as we thought.’ We just have to continue to get better in that area.

Q: What about looking at yourself as head coach, when you get back from the bye week? You’ve been doing this for five weeks now, when you look back at, and I know you probably do this, how well communication has gone, how well all the timeline stuff leading up to a game, you’re so much about the process of preparation. Do you feel comfortable with how you’ve jumped into this and where you are with all of that stuff as a first-time head coach?

A: I do, it’s interesting, that’s a good question. Five weeks in now, [six weeks in] and a bye week, it starts with the support of this building. Through the different departments, allowing me to focus on coaching this football team, everyone doing their job, that was an emphasis over the bye week, for myself and also our entire team here. When I say team, [I mean] the entire building, is to find ways to do our job better, and I look at myself first. I made plenty of mistakes in the first five weeks, made some as late as yesterday that I have to get better at. That’s a continual growth process and that growth mindset, that we want to embrace around here.

Q: You said you’ve been encouraged by Charles’ progress, was there initial concern that he could miss the rest of the season?

A: I don’t necessarily think that, it’s just any time a guy gets hurt, there’s some question mark or gray area around what exactly is it, how long is it exactly going to be, how the person, he in this case, is going to respond. There’s some of that kind of gray area that I think has been cleared up, and we’re on and moving forward into healing at this point which is encouraging.

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