Sean McDermott is on a mission.
Pressed by questions about the Bills’ goals for 2017, the first-year head coach left no doubt about what he expects: To rebuild what it means to be a Bill. To reestablish goodwill among the fans. And to make opponents’ lives miserable on Sundays.
“I’m looking forward and excited to making this a hostile place people really don't want to come to,” McDermott said before Wednesday’s practice.
The question of who — and what — the Bills will be this season was raised the moment they began trading away known commodities and star players in favor of a roster that features plenty of inexperience, along with a new receiving corps and secondary. But McDermott made it clear that the ultimate goal is to win games, starting with Sunday’s Week 1 showdown with the division rival New York Jets.
And in order to win games consistently, McDermott said (using Bill Belichick-like coach speech), Bills players must play as one, united in a common goal.
“Guys around me on a daily basis know what our goals are,” he said, again dismissing the notion that the organization is in full tank-mode.
With Tyrod Taylor officially cleared from the concussion protocol, the Bills have their No. 1 quarterback back under center to start the season. But McDermott expects to see plenty of changes in his team and in the end result of each game.
The makeover at One Bills Drive begins now.
“I want us to have an identity,” McDermott said. “When our fans turn the TV on or see us in the stadium, they see a team that plays hard, that plays fundamentally sound, they see a team that plays as a team and plays together.
“That’s what, to me, a fan base can get behind. Quite honestly, they’re invested in this football team and we’re invested in them.”