BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Disappointed but upbeat. That’s how Sean McDermott described his mood when he met with the media for his regularly scheduled Monday press conference.
The Bills have suffered back-to-back ugly losses but McDermott is quick to point out that there’s a long way to go, “Well we’re 5-4. Big picture perspective at this point says we’re in the playoff hunt. Right now, I’m not concerned about that at all. I believe in the men in that locker room. I’m excited about where we’re going. This is our first year together, so you have to keep things in perspective.”
Sunday’s performance has a lot of Bills fans calling for a quarterback change. McDermott isn’t making the switch from Tyrod Taylor to Nathan Peterman, “I believe in Tyrod. Tyrod’s our starter, that’s what I said yesterday. I know what Tyrod’s done, and I also know Nate’s done. Tyrod’s our starter.”
Here are 4 notable quotes from McDermott Monday:
Q: After the last two weeks, what do you do to make sure you don’t lose the locker room down the stretch here?
A: Well we’re 5-4. Big picture perspective at this point says we’re in the playoff hunt. Right now, I’m not concerned about that at all. I believe in the men in that locker room. I’m excited about where we’re going. This is our first year together, so you have to keep things in perspective. Like I said earlier, we build on what we did well and we correct what we didn’t do well. This is the growing pains you go through when you come in, and try and get things going the right way. Like I told you before, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy in the first year. Right now, we had two games back-to-back that wasn’t up to our standard, and sometimes that happens as you’re going through this process. There’s pain in the process also, that doesn’t make it easy, it’s just means you have to work through it.
Q: Has it been more of a breakdown fundamentally or effort wise with these past two games that has caused so many issues overall?
A: It wasn’t effort, it really wasn’t. The guys have prepared all week long, and prepared last week like they have in other weeks, and probably even more prepared than in other weeks. On the field, the effort was there, it’s fundamentals and technique. Now, did we get worn down? We did, and that’s what happens when you can’t stop the runner. In the game, you get worn down over time. Over three or four quarters of the run that continues to hit on you, that’s what happens in this game. We’ve done that to teams on the other side of the ball. That’s a wearing down effect throughout the game. Effort was there for the most part, but fundamentals and technique weren’t where they needed to be.
Q: As a first-year head coach, when the script gets flipped this drastically, and you come across this kind of adversity after two games like this, what’re you learning about yourself and the way you need to handle something like this in this locker room?
A: Well you learn a lot about yourself going through experiences. This is my first time going through it as a head coach, as you mentioned. That said, it doesn’t change my approach in terms of – I’ve been through this before – this is sometimes the nature of the league. Sometimes as you’re building, you go through growing pains, and you go back and reteach. I pull from what I’ve experienced over my career in the NFL. I’ve been on some really good teams. I’m confident in this team in the same way. You go back, you reteach and you reexamine what you’re doing, making sure it’s the right thing. That said, I know a lot of what we’re doing is good. You don’t lose sight of that. This is a 5-4 football team, and a lot of hard work [has] been put into it so far, and we’ve done a lot of good things. Obviously, the last two weeks have not been up to the standard that we’ve instilled from the day we’ve come in here. No one is happy about that. I take responsibility for that. I have confidence in the staff, in these football players, that we’ll continue to work. That’s the only way you fix it is you work. You put your head down, you work and you get better.
Q: Prior to the season, you put together the leadership council. When the team goes through what it has gone through the last two weeks, do you meet with those guys, a little more frequently? Do you make sure that they kind of have the pulse of the locker room through those guys?
A: Right, that’s part of the reason behind the leadership council, is so that I know the pulse of the locker room and keep the lines of communication open. As a head coach, you’re around every player, but you don’t have a chance to be around every player as long as you want to be, just because of the scope of the job. That gives me a feel that represents all parts of the locker room, every position, and they’ve been a big asset to me so far.