Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Q: What’s the status on Marcell Dareus and how do you see him progressing from what happened on Sunday with his ankle?

A: Yeah, he’s got an ankle [injury] right now so he’s not going to practice today and we’ll know a little bit more going forward right now, but right now he’s not going to practice.

Q: Is it a sprained ankle?

A: Yeah, I mean, it’s a sprain. That’s what we know so far.

Q: Will Cordy Glenn practice today?

A: No, he will not, and what he’s got going on there is it’s actually his other foot that he took a hit on during the game and obviously came out so he will not practice today.

Q: After the game, I asked you about receivers not stretching the field and you said you needed to see the tape. So, after seeing the tape, what do you think of it?

A: Yeah, we can do some different things there. We certainly have to work on getting better separation and winning our one-on-one’s. That’s just not the receivers, that’s our backs, our tight ends, up front, we just have to do a better job of winning our one-on-one’s.

Q: What is the challenge that LeSean McCoy faces, and your run game – not just LeSean, but after being bottled up against the Panthers to be playing a defense such as this in the Broncos.

A: Well, they’re a good defense. They do a good job of swarming to the football and they’re stout up front, obviously, with [Von Miller] and what he does and what he brings to the table. He can wreck a game plan. We’ve got to be aware of where he is and make sure we control the line of scrimmage.

Q: You know how good Denver’s defense is, but what they did against Ezekiel Elliott must have reconfirmed how stout they are.

A: True. They’re very good. They’re very good; it’s a 2-0 team coming in here. First place in their division and like I said earlier in the week, we’re going to have our hands full. It’s a big challenge. We look forward to playing at home in front of our fans and getting back on track this week.

Q: How much of a challenge is your offensive line facing with a run blocking scheme that’s seemingly changed significantly from what it was doing, the zone stretch that Rick Dennison has installed and the time it takes to teach it [and] learn it? Is any of that factoring in to maybe what we saw on Sunday?

A: I wouldn’t say so at this point. I think, really, when you look a week ago against the Jets how we controlled the line of scrimmage and rushed for over 200 yards, this is one game. That’s life sometimes in the NFL. It’s a good defense we just went against and we’re looking forward to this week and the Denver Broncos and again, [it’s a] big challenge up front [and a] big challenge for our football team. They’re in first place, like I said. A good opponent and we’ve got to make sure we control the line of scrimmage.

Q: Because of the rules of the CBA, there’s a common thought around the league that offensive line play in general has suffered. Teams have just had issues from the simple fact that you don’t get as much time to, and you’re installing a new scheme, you don’t get as much time to really work on that. In any way, do you consider that to be a big thought?

A: In terms of the time?

Q: Right. Offseason time that you don’t get.

A: It’s always a challenge. When the rules kind of got adjusted a few years ago, the time kind of became a factor and that’s where, as teachers, we have to do a good job of stealing reps where we can steal reps and making the best use of our walkthroughs that we can and obviously the spring time that we get together. Every opportunity that we have to teach and steal reps and be efficient is critical, really, to our success and as you mentioned, adjusting to a new system up front with the wide zone.

Q: Where does Shaq Lawson stand with his injury issue?

A: He will not practice today either, but we’re confident at this point that he’s really on a day-to-day basis. The progress that he made from the weekend up until yesterday has been significant so we’re encouraged by that.

Q: What about Jerel Worthy? Is he still in concussion protocol?

A: Concussion protocol, yup.

Q: Will anybody else not practice? Just so, you know, we don’t have to ask about everyone.

A: [laughs] Let’s see. We’ve got, really just we’re going to rest LeSean [McCoy] today, as well as Lorenzo Alexander.

Q: Sean, when you came in, you started looking free agent-wise back in February or March. [Jordan] Poyer was a guy that didn’t play much at all last year. Had a little bit of a checkered career with the Eagles, Browns, whatever. What did you see, specifically, that you thought you could plug this kid in? He’s been plugging plays since day one of being here. What did you see in the guy, because his resume was a bit thin?

A: Well, again, I’m going to give credit to our safeties coach in Bobby Babich. Bobby worked with Jordan in Cleveland for a short amount of time there and he was really the first one that brought Jordan’s name up, so I’m going to give credit where credit’s due. From there, we went through our process of evaluating Jordan and what you’re seeing on the field right now, we saw on tape. Again, small bit of exposure in terms of the tape, but [he was] instinctive, aware, tough, good blitzer, so those are things we are seeing on the field now and those are things we saw on the tape as well. [We’re] very pleased with what he’s done on the field and how he’s adjusted to a new system in this case.

Q: You guys haven’t allowed a touchdown pass yet. Two new safeties, two new quarterbacks. How have these guys been able to mesh so quickly?

A: Well, it’s been very impressive. I’m very encouraged by that. We’ve got [Tre’Davious White] out there and we’ve got, really four guys that have never played, really five guys that have never played if you add Leonard [Johnson] into the equation in our nickel package. They’ve never played together so that communication, that continuity is important for us moving forward. We haven’t been perfect, to be honest with you. We’ve had some things show up that we have to get corrected as we move forward, but at this point, [we’re] very, very encouraged by what they’ve been able to do in a short amount of time and how the defense has been able to come together, really part to whole, if you will.

Q: On the opposite end of that, by facing Trevor Siemian this week, who nothing against him, but he’s kind of surprisingly leading the league in touchdown passes through two weeks. What do you see from him?

A: He’s a good quarterback. When I was in Carolina a year ago, we went against Trevor [in the] opening game of the season last year. He’s smart, very intelligent player. He’s got a well-established supporting cast around him, in particular the skill players, the receivers, the backs. He does a good job of keeping them in third-and-manageable situations and being smart with what he does with the football. I think he, like you said, he leads the league in touchdown passes at this point. [He’s] a good player, a good player. I think those around the league that know the league well, know what he’s capable of doing.

Q: You mention it was only one game, but have you and Rick [Dennison] and the offensive staff discussed certain areas that you need to adjust with how you are doing things offensively, especially because that film provides every future opponent with some thoughts on how to shut things down?

A: Yes absolutely, we have to. You have to listen. When you go through a game like that, you have to listen and understand what the film is telling us, in this case. We are looking at a lot of things. Our approach isn’t going to change in terms of we have to control the line of scrimmage, that is true, our philosophy on both the offense and the defensive side, that is where it starts. Then we have to keep ourselves out of some behind the sticks situations. [We have to] look to spread the ball around and keep people on their heels a little bit more.

Q: Do you feel you have enough speed at the receiver group? Are you having concerns about their inability to get some separation?

A: I do feel we have enough speed at the receiver core. I do. That is an area we need to work on. You come out of two games and you are saying what needs analysis, what do we have to get better at. That is one of the areas that we need to improve on, our winning the one-on-ones as I alluded to earlier, whether physically or with speed, find ways to win one-on-one match ups.

Q: You have had a lot of success as a coordinator in your time, how does that help in general to control the running game when another team’s receiver game seems to be getting that kind of separation. What are the advantages it brings?

A: Well naturally, you feel confident that you can load the box up. That it is just a numbers game at that point. But there are things we can do, there are things we are looking at. Like I said, we have to continue to improve, continue to grow and build on what we’ve done within the first two weeks that has been positive, and there are things that have been positive. That said, we have to work this week and that is what practice today is all about.

Q: How concerned are you about Jerel [Worthy]? It has been 21 days as of today, that he is still in concussion protocol?

A: You are always concerned, injury in general, but also specifically with concussions. The longer it goes, you get more and more concerned. Because he is in the protocol, I cannot say too much more at this point.

Q: What led to the swap of Trae Elston for Robert Blanton?

A: We just felt that, again looking at our roster and the bottom third of our roster, and trying to improve everyday like we always try and do. We felt like this would give us a chance to get a player of Robert’s caliber. He has been here before and he knows the system. He is a good special teams player as well as a backup safety at this point.

Q: What went wrong with Jelani Jenkins so quickly?

A: Just a numbers deal at this point. We have a numbers situation with the defensive tackle position due to health. We were able to bring Deandre [Coleman] back, and it is really just a numbers thing at this point.

Q: Are you concerned about Marcell [Dareus] being able to play on Sunday?

A: I am concerned. It is day-to-day at this point, but we have to make sure that we have a contingency plan in place.

Q: That situation when you were not calling a time out in the game, I guess what is the simulation at practice so that when you get in the game, and we talk about doing simulation there is pilot that do simulation when they don’t actually fly a plane. What is the best way to simulate that and know when to and when not to call a time-out?

A: Well, every situation is a little bit different. There are some that are very obvious and other ones that, quite honestly, could go either way. I want to continue to learn from every situation, and I have gone back and spent a last couple days going back and looking at not just that situation but the entire game. And talking situational football and communicating without staff because there is a lot we can learn from. I can learn from and we are going to continue to do that to try and use those situations to our advantage when we move forward. 

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