Bills head coach Sean McDermott insisted he has all the confidence in the world in his receiving corps.
Even after the loss of Jordan Matthews. Even after the team re-signed Philly Brown on Tuesday.
The lack of production from the position group and Matthews’ indefinite absence due to thumb surgery haven’t shaken McDermott’s resolve (at least not publicly) nor has it dimmed his expectations for his offense.
“It’s never easy to lose a player, any player, but also a player of that quality and caliber with Jordan Matthews. But we’re not limited,” the coach said pointedly. “We move forward and that’s what good teams do. It’s a ‘next man up; approach and I expect whoever that next man is, in this case, at the wide receiver position, to step up and do his job.”
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has had to develop a rapport with an array of pass catchers during his three seasons in Buffalo. But while he acknowledged “losing a guy like Jordan…definitely hurts our team," Taylor added: “But at the same time we have guys in that wide receiver room that are looking forward to the challenge to step up and make those plays. And I have 100 percent trust and confidence in those guys to go out there and make those plays.”
Matthews – who had 10 catches (on 13 targets) for 162 receiving yards and one touchdowns— is expected to miss about a month due to the injury he suffered in Sunday's 23-17 win in Atlanta. Meanwhile, rookie Zay Jones has yet to add consistent production over four games: four catches (17 targets) for 57 receiving yards and zero TDs.
Nevertheless, McDermott praised Jones for his key late-game catch vs. the Falcons.
“I tell you what, I loved the big catch he made in the third quarter of the game last week. I thought that was huge," he said. "That to me shows me where he is mentally. That to me shows me where he is skill set-wise also. He’s only going to continue getting better. That’s what happens when you work hard and when your mind is in the right spot. I feel good about him, I look forward to watching him grow…just like the rest of our young players.”
— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_BN) October 4, 2017
Matthews’ injury may have cleared a roster spot for Brown, but McDermott maintained he has always felt good about the guys at the position.
“First of all, I want to make this known that we have confidence in the guys in our receiving room,” said the coach.
"Philly is a guy thats played in games, he knows the system. he knows what we’re looking for, he ohs what it’s like to play in big games. For all those reasons, we felt like it was the right time and we’re actually going to take a look at him today and see how he looks.”