10 takeaways from Sean McDermott's Friday press conference - The Buffalo News

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10 takeaways from Sean McDermott's Friday press conference

1. The Buffalo Bills will be without running back Taiwan Jones for the rest of the season. Coach Sean McDermott announced Friday that Jones suffered a broken arm late in Thursday’s 34-21 loss to the New York Jets while attempting to recover an onside kick.

Teammate Shamarko Thomas dove into Jones' arm, causing the fracture. Jones' arm was placed in an air cast and he was taken off the field on a cart.

Jones has appeared in all eight games this season, largely as a gunner on special teams, but had a key reception in the Bills' Week Seven victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

2. Rookie wide receiver Zay Jones’ right leg injury was still being evaluated, McDermott said. Jones had career highs with six catches and 53 yards to go with his first touchdown.

“He’s walking around and everything so we’ll just see how that goes today,” McDermott said. “Zay has been going through the process that rookies go through, and rookie wide receivers in particular. I really love the fact and the way he’s stuck with it through the first eight weeks of the season now. The last two weeks, you saw a little bit of a climb last week, and then a bigger climb last night. That’s all a result of his hard work, his dedication, his mental toughness, and the way that the coaches have continued to work with him as well. I was very pleased by the way he played last night.”

3. It’s looking good for a pair of starters to return in Week 10 against New Orleans. McDermott said it was realistic tight end Charles Clay (knee) and cornerback E.J. Gaines (hamstring) could return.

“They’ve made a tremendous amount of progress,” the coach said.

4. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin will stay in Buffalo over the weekend to get a crash course in the offense.

“He’s working hard, and he wants to be around for the weekend, and get up to speed as quickly as possible,” McDermott said.

Benjamin is expected to make his Bills debut against the Saints.

“If everything goes as planned, that’s what we anticipate,” McDermott said.

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5. It’s not the reason they lost, but the decision to make wide receiver Brandon Tate a healthy inactive was one that can easily be questioned. The Bills are now 1-2 in games this season Tate hasn’t been in the lineup.

“Just a numbers deal, really,” McDermott said when asked why that decision was made Thursday. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in Brandon. Just more of a numbers deal. You can only have so many guys active. We had Ramon Humber come back, and trying to keep the entire linebacker group active as well.”

6. Jerry Hughes’ history with bad penalties is well known to Bills fans, and it became an issue again Thursday when he took an unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter for his interaction with an official.

“Penalties, overall, I’m not happy about and then those types of penalties are not characteristic of how we do things here,” McDermott said. “It’s hard enough to win in this league and when you do things like that … I wasn’t very happy about it.”

McDermott said he would keep any possible discipline for Hughes between the two.

7. McDermott sidestepped a question about guard Richie Incognito speaking out about Thursday games following the Bills’ loss. Incognito said, among other things, that the games were “bull----.”

“I’m just focused on, really, our football team,” he said. “They had the same time to prepare that we did and that’s really what I’m focused on, is how we handled things and how we can get better.”

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8. McDermott planned to meet with General Manager Brandon Beane on Friday about how the team would address running back with Jones out. The Bills currently have just LeSean McCoy and Mike Tolbert on the roster at the position.

“Those conversations will continue today and the next couple of days,” McDermott said. "We’ll come up with the right formula for us moving forward.”

9. Speaking of McCoy, McDermott said the limited number of touches he got Thursday was unrelated to his heavy workload in Week Eight.

“He was on the field probably for one of the top play times that he’s had all year long,” McDermott said. “Touches was another thing. We had a hard time getting the run game going, credit to the Jets. Sometimes, with that, comes, you want to adapt and adjust to what they’re doing, what they’re trying to take away. That called for, and the situation as well, called for the fewer touches, especially down the stretch.”

McCoy played 55 offensive snaps, which was 73 percent of the team’s 75 snaps. Coming into the game, McCoy had been in on 74 percent of the offensive snaps.

10. The analytics website Pro Football Focus charged the Bills with 20 missed tackles. That’s easily a season high for a single game, surpassing the 13 against Carolina in Week Two.

“It’s going back to the fundamentals bucket. It’s one of those deals where if you don’t stay on it every week in practice every day, and I’m not saying we didn’t, it’s just, it rears its ugly head just like other fundamentals,” McDermott said. “This game is so fundamentally-based and you know, yourself, as a coach that that’s what happens. In order to play well on defense and special teams, you have to tackle well and then you have to use your hands to get off blocks. It’s a game of what they call hand violence, and you’ve got to be able to play with your hands on both sides of the ball.”

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