Good news for the Bills on the injury front.
Defensive backs Jordan Poyer and E.J. Gaines both are “day to day” according to Sean McDermott Monday.
Poyer has knee injury. Gaines is nursing a hamstring.
“Day to day” in McDermott vernacular is no guarantee to play the following Sunday, but it’s much better than “week to week”. Those players usually are missing time.
The Bills can ill afford to have any issues in a secondary that already has enough to handle when healthy. The last two quarterbacks the Bills have faced put up a combined 712 yards and three touchdowns.
That would be Andy Dalton in a three hour rainstorm and injured Jameis Winston. (The Bills do also have three interceptions)
“It is a concern. We don’t take those things lightly,” McDermott said. “We have to do things to affect the quarterback.”
The Bills only have one sack each of the last two games, but McDermott isn’t hung up on that one stat. It’s “affecting” the quarterback and the Bills want to and aren’t doing enough lately.
Still, the Bills sit at 4-2 and are just a half game out of first place in the AFC East. They’re development is going, so far, as McDermott hoped.
“What I wanted to see is can we win close games or can we win the first game? Check the box. Can we win back to back games? We did that. Can we come from behind? We did that yesterday,” McDermott said. “A lot of heart. Total team effort.”
Micah Hyde referred to the team as a group of “misfit toys” after Sunday’s game. McDermott liked the idea.
“Great that they feel that way. That they’re a team. They don’t put too much stock in whats said about them outside this building. I love that. Unified in whatever they do. We went through adversity and they continue to persevere. Biggest thing is the four letter word of “team”. Lot of different ways to build a team.
“Having the right people on board. Having the right people in building. Having the right people in the right seats. There’s a character element that goes into it.” McDermott said.
He later reminded media how many wondered if the Bills were trying to tank during the preseason after Sammy Watkins and Ron Darby were traded away.
“No, we’re building a team. We’re not tanking. Guys embrace that. Guys have been told they’re not good enough by other teams. I know this,” McDermott said. “I’ll take them on my team every day of the week.”
Other topics covered by McDermott Monday:
McDermott referred to knowing the “type of schedule this is”. Four of the Bills next five games are against the Raiders, Saints, Chargers and Chiefs.
Last year as the defensive coordinator for Carolina, the Panthers also played the Raiders, Saints, Chargers and Chiefs in a five week stretch. Carolina went 2-2 against those four teams. Only the Raiders game was on the road and only the Chargers game was not decided by three points.
McDermott mentioned Logan Thomas as an unknown guy who made a play Sunday unprompted. “He played quarterback a few years ago, but now catches a TD in a big spot in the game. What more can you ask?” McDermott said.
Tre White continues to be hard on himself and was much more critical Sunday about the late TD he gave up to Mike Evans than the fumble he forced later that set up Buffalo’s game winning field goal.
McDermott acknowledged that motivation to get better is good, up to a point.
“We want a certain type of DNA baked into our players. That they care. Then, there’s got to be mental toughness,” he said. “We all felt this game slipping away. These guys stayed after it. They remained mentally tough.”
McDermott isn’t sure on Deonte Thompson’s playing time going forward. He was impressed week one and knows Tyrod Taylor has a lot of trust in Thompson.
The play at offensive line was to play Dion Dawkins more than the 11 snaps he got against the Bucs. McDermott was happy to see a rookie be able to step in for Richie Incognito one snap at left guard and play well (he buried a defender pulling on a long McCoy run).
Cordy Glenn missing only ten snaps was also a good sign, though McDermott would not commit to Glenn as a 100% of the snaps player yet.
McDermott likes the competition at defensive tackle and noted it’s a “different crew” each week. He credited the effort of Marcell Dareus to make the tackle on the final multi-lateral play.
He made no big deal of Shaq Lawson’s low number of snaps. He was on the field for only 40 percent of defensive plays. McDermott lumped it in with his rotation plan on the D-Line.
McDermott said Taylor is an “athlete and a weapon baked into a quarterback” and said he does a good job of indentifying the man-to-man defense situations that often can lead to long scrambles.
Although he didn’t appear much on the stat sheet (one tackle, three QB hits), McDermott said Gerald McCoy still made some “factor” plays. “He made his fair share.”
Late in the fourth quarter after McDermott called timeout, Tampa receiver DeSean Jackson wandered over to the Buffalo sideline to chat with the Bills head coach.
The conversation only lasted a few seconds and McDermott said he didn’t remember having it until driving home after the game.
“He likes to play around. He was talking about ‘why am I (McDermott) on the field calling a timeout?’. He was just busting chops, but I couldn’t give him the time he wanted me to. Or maybe he was trying to distract me.”
McDermott called Jackson a competitor. They were together in Philadelphia during Jackson’s first three seasons in the NFL. The exchange was all in good fun.
McDermott also was given a chance to wax poetic about the crowd. He, again, pointed out the energy in RV lots and how loud the stadium was.
“It’s so unique that it’s refreshing,” McDermott said.