Sean McDermott admitted Monday it’s fun to be a part of what the Bills are doing this season.
There was no better example than the one play Brandon Tate made Sunday against the Raiders.
On 2nd and 20, Tate caught a pass over the middle, made the sickest spin move you can imagine, juked one more defender and turned the play into a 24 yard gain for a first down.
Tate ended up going out of bounds on the Bills sideline. The reaction of his teammates was so boisterous, so animated that referees and broadcasters alike thought there was a fight happening.
Nope. It was just the process happening.
“It gives me chills just thinking about that,” McDermott said. “In 20 years I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on the sideline.”
It was just one of the plays from players of lesser importance that helped beat the Raiders and leave the Bills at 5-2.
Matt Milano turned the game with a fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Andre Holmes had two huge catches, including one for Buffalo’s first TD of the game. Trae Elston subbed for Jordan Poyer and reeled in his first career interception.
They might be backups on the depth chart, but that’s now how McDermott coaches them.
“We erase all labels,” McDermott said. “Are you a backup? No, you’re a player. Are you a backup receiver? No, you’re a receiver. When you have that type of approach, you erase labels that get put on a guy. Those guys embrace that.”
Thursday, the Bills have a chance to win their sixth game before the halfway point of the season for the first time since 1993. That’s the last year Buffalo went to a Super Bowl.
It’s a great accomplishment and McDermott allowed himself a chance to acknowledge it. In nearly the same breath, he pointed out that good starts don’t matter much without good finishes.
“I was extremely proud of the players and how they played yesterday,” McDermott added. “Nobody gives out awards for 5-2, but we have to keep that in mind.”
“These guys are winners. Some have been here. Some are from other places. When you’re building a team, that’s the neat part. Watching these guys coming together,” McDermott said.
“They’ve earned everything that they’ve gotten. I’m happy for them. I’m happy for the fans of this team that they’ve gotten what they’ve yearned for so long. I’m fired up about that. I know I don’t show that emotion all the time up here, but yeah, I’m pumped up about that.”
Two assistants called McDermott after yesterday’s game to make sure the Tate play was highlighted in team meetings Monday. McDermott sees the momentum and emotion building with the Bills and this season.
“I go to my son’s game on the weekend and you see some of that. It’s just so pure and authentic and raw. Just guys loving to play the game,” McDermott said. “It’s whats right about professional sports. That there’s still heart, there’s still soul, there’s still spirit involved in it. And I love that part.”
So does his team.
Other topics from McDermott’s Monday session:
Jordan Poyer will be limited at practice Monday. McDermott said he’s making progress. Charles Clay will not practice and neither will EJ Gaines.
There was nothing substantial to a question about the trade deadline, but McDermott did have high praise for Cordy Glenn. “Cordy’s a force when he’s in there,” McDermott said. “We have a lot of trust in Cordy.” The Bills have rushed for 339 yards the last two weeks with Glenn back in the lineup.
McDermott also liked what he’s seen from Tyrod Taylor the last two games. Taylor has been noticeably more composed in the pocket and less likely to bail.
“That’s really exciting to watch,” McDermott said. “I’ve been very proud of what he’s done the last two weeks.”