What They Said: McDermott, Taylor, McCoy, Bowles, McCown - The Buffalo News

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What They Said: McDermott, Taylor, McCoy, Bowles, McCown

BILLS COACH SEAN McDERMOTT

On why Kelvin Benjamin wasn’t active…

He really only had a short amount of time to get up to speed. The guys that did play put in time during the week and so we wanted to do things the right way as far as that goes.

On if this was just one of those games…

Yeah, you’re right. This is uncharacteristic of this team to date, the way we’ve played so far. We’ve got to learn from it. We got outcoached, we got outplayed and fundamentally we weren’t very good. And then you look at the penalties, some of those you could call aggressive, a few of them, but other than that, we can’t do that and expect to win a game in the NFL. We’ve got to get better and we’ll learn from this. No excuses. Give credit to the opponent, to the Jets, they beat us straight up tonight.

On the line of scrimmage battle…

Well, it starts up front every week. It does. We need to do a better job of establishing the line of scrimmage early in the game. Again, give credit to the Jets.

On what the Jets were doing to get pressure on Tyrod Taylor…

They were challenging us with an eight-man box and doing some good stuff up front. Really, it was just fundamentally they were doing some good things technique-wise. Obviously, we can do a better job in that area.

On if the team lost their heads in the second half…

These guys want to win. It means a lot to them. You see the emotion, you see them getting into the game and we can’t do that. We’ve got to be poised regardless of the situation in the game and be disciplined. We need to do a better job with that.

On if the national spotlight made it harder to lose this way…

No. A game’s a game. This is a great learning experience for us. It’s not the result we wanted and there’s not a man in that room that feels otherwise, and so we have to learn from it, just like any game whether it’s (the) national spotlight or not. It’s never easy. It’s never easy to win in this league. You’ve heard me say it before, you’ve got to be on your game every week and we weren’t, obviously, tonight. I take responsibility for that and we’ve got to learn from it.

On how the short week affected the game plan…

Nothing really. Obviously, they were challenged with the same short week as us and had the same amount of time to prepare. Again, give them credit.

On injuries…

It’s still too early right now. I haven’t even spoken with our trainers yet.

On his view on the play Zay Jones was injured on…

I believe it was called illegal contact at the time, so I’ll just take a look at it again on film and go from there.

On if getting a pass rush is becoming a concern…

Well, you have to be able to affect the quarterback. You know that. You’ve heard me talk a lot about that. So, we’ve got to look at the film and just see where and why things were happening the way they were, the scramble in the first quarter and the scramble for the touchdown. So, we’ve got to be coordinated up front, in particular when you’ve got a mobile quarterback that can run like Josh (McCown) can run. And so we’re going to take a hard look at that this week. You have to be able to affect the quarterback in this league.

On if the team was overconfident this week…

No, not at all. These guys are humble. They prepared like they have every week. There are no excuses. We got beat. We got beat and we’ve got to learn from it, and I’m confident in this group that we will learn from it and we’ll move forward and get stronger and better because of it.

On if he has to build the team back up again…

Well, I think you’ve got to start by being honest. When we look at the tape we’ll get a good feel for where things went awry there. I thought we had a good week of preparation. You just take a look at the tape and see. I know fundamentally, I know we can do some things better as well. So, we’ll just take a good hard look at the tape and be honest with ourselves. That’s where it starts. In order for us to move forward and grow from it you have to be honest with yourselves, and I can assure you we’ll do that.

On what Benjamin adds to the team…

Well, he’s obviously a very good receiver and (General Manager) Brandon (Beane) did a good job of identifying Kelvin and we’re anxious to get him going and get him up to speed and get him acclimated with his teammates, continue to do that, and learn the offense. We’ll look at him this week as we get going.

BILLS RUNNING BACK LeSEAN McCOY

On tonight’s game…

They did a good job. Give them credit. They took out the run; made plays; got turnovers. We kind of hurt ourselves with penalties, fumbling the ball, turnovers – stuff we haven’t been doing. But, give them a lot of credit. They played good.

On the difference between the Jets defense this game and Week One…

They beat us down. They were running to the ball fast, they were on their gaps (and) their routes to the ball. They communicated. Everything we did, they kind of stopped it. So give them a lot of credit. On a short week, they studied hard on film. The big plays we like to run, they took them out.

On being 5-3 at the midway point…

We’re not going to panic. We lost a division game, that’s tough for us. We’re 5-3, we’ll move on, go out next week and get a win, then we’re 6-3 and everybody’s still applauding us. But this is good for us, I think - some humble pie. A lot of people kind of doubted us, then we started winning games and people pat us on the back and (told) us how good we are and then you see what happened tonight. So, in the grand scheme of things, I think it’s probably good for us.

On how they handled the adversity late in the game…

I think adversity hit us and we didn’t respond well, particularly myself. I didn’t play well at all. I took it as a challenge knowing guys were coming in here trying to stop me, stop the run and I didn’t respond well at all. It’s something we have to work at. It’s a loss, we’ll go back to the drawing board, watch the tape, learn from it. We’ll have a nice time off, get the bodies right and get ready for the next game.

On if he felt the energy was there tonight…

No. Our intensity wasn’t high. I felt like we were lackadaisical. Small mistakes that we haven’t made in the past we made today. It started in the beginning of the game – small things like the linemen, onsides, but we’ll get it together. Tonight we just didn’t bring it.

BILLS QUARTERBACK TYROD TAYLOR

On the Jets defense…

It’s something we’ve seen on film. Hats off to them. We came to their house and they just outplayed us, especially on the offensive side of the ball. We couldn’t get the running game going. We started with some three-and-outs. They executed their game plan better than we did today.

On if the Jets were more aggressive this game…

They were definitely aggressive today. Like I said, it’s something we’ve seen on film. You can’t really compare them to the first time (we played) because (after) the first game, they had a couple of games to see what guys do well and play to their strengths. Today, they just went out there and played better than we did.

On if Zay Jones would have scored a touchdown if he hadn’t been injured…

Yes, you’d like to think so. It was definitely a big gain for us. He made the safety miss. Hopefully the injury isn’t too bad. Roughing was called.

On Jones coming back out to play in the second half…

He’s a warrior. He wants to be out there on the field. He wants to compete. He’s a confident guy. I hope the injury isn’t too bad. I want him out there on the field because I know his passion for the game and how he wants to be out there.

On if the play Jones was injured on was a dirty play…

I honestly didn’t see it. I was in the process of throwing. I’d have to go back and watch it on the film. There are some DBs that push for the pass interference if they get beat on double moves. I’d have to see it to say whether it was a dirty play. There was a penalty. The refs called it, but I can’t say if it was dirty or not.

On what the pass rush was doing to keep him in the pocket…

They did a good job of pushing the pocket up front. Our guys battled their butts off, but this is a very talented defensive line. We knew that going into the game and that it was going to be a challenge for us. They’ve done a great job of pushing it. Overall, they just executed better than we did.

On if was pushing for Kelvin Benjamin to play today…

He really hasn’t had a chance to get in and learn our playbook. You don’t want to put a guy out there that doesn’t fully know everything we’re doing. You want a guy that has the time to play fast and play free mentally. I think this was a smart move. As a team we have to regroup and take this long weekend and get ready for the Saints next week.

On what has been their struggles with road games…

They are all different. I wouldn’t say it boils down to one thing. What we have to do better is execute and stop the negative plays. Tonight, we had a couple of turnovers on offense. That’s not our style of play. The games we’ve won and been successful, we’ve protected the ball. Myself included. I had a fumble tonight and that’s not what I do. You have to be able to protect the ball on the road. You can’t give those teams those opportunities, especially on short fields. We’re going to have to regroup as an offense and regroup as a team and come back and (get ready) for the Saints.

On where he thinks the team is half way through the season…

I think we’re at a good spot. Tonight was definitely a challenge for us and we didn’t step up to that challenge. There’s a lot to learn from this game. As a team, we have a choice to make and I believe, just knowing the character of the team in the locker room, we’ll make the right choice moving forward and do whatever it takes to get back on the track.

On if the veterans on the team can keep the younger players motivated…

Yeah, definitely. The message as a leader to team, especially to some of the younger guys, is it’s just one game. It’s one of many. You can’t let this deteriorate and carry over to next week and the next week. You have to be able to learn from this, put it behind you and move forward. That’s what we have to do as a team.

On what was missing tonight…

(We had) too many negative plays on offense. Any time you have three turnovers in a game, it’s tough to beat the opposing team. Penalties definitely didn’t help us as well. Negative plays and the turnovers definitely killed us on offense.

JETS COACH TODD BOWLES

On the Jets ability to run the ball and collect six sacks on defense…

We did a good job staying with the run game. We kept it moving. Some of them were two and three yards. Some of them we got out of there. We were consistent. It wore them down and kept them on the field a little bit longer. Defensively, we got after it. We sent four and five guys at times. We did some things defensively that kept him (Tyrod Taylor) in the pocket. We were able to collapse the pocket and get some sacks.

On how much the Jets needed a win…

It’s big because we’d lost three (in a row). Seven points, five points, three points. To come back on a Thursday on a short week before you get a week off against a division opponent is a big. We were 3-5. We needed to get to 4-5. Hopefully, we can get to 5-5 next week. It was big.

On if this was the Jets most complete game of the season…

Not until the end. The last two minutes, it wasn’t that complete, but for the most part, yes.

On if taking a lead into the fourth quarter and finishing the game with a win was a relief…

It wasn’t a relief. It was necessary. We have to do that every week. When we have the lead, we have to close games out. We did that today.

On the play of Matt Forte…

Very well. I thought all of the running backs did a good job. They grinded it out and got some tough yards. They have a tough defense. It wasn’t the flash plays as much. Those guys fought hard and didn’t turn the ball over.

On the importance of keeping Taylor in the pocket…

That was the whole game plan. Control 25 (LeSean McCoy) and make sure 5 (Taylor) doesn’t beat us with his legs. Try to beat us from the pocket. For the most part, we did a good job.

On what it says about the team and their resilience getting to four wins…

For us, inside the building, we think we should have more, but we didn’t play well enough to close games. We don’t worry about the outside of the building.

On how pivotal it was to win the turnover battle…

That was big for us. Turnovers win games. I think they were plus-14 coming in. Tyrod doesn’t turn the ball over very much, so it was big for us to come out and win the turnover battle.

On the Jets ability to run the ball against the No. rushing 3 defense in the league…

They’re a tough bunch. Like I said, we got some tough yards. We have three backs. We kept subbing them in and out. The offensive line did a good job grinding it out. We had time of possession also, if I’m not mistaken.

On the play of Josh McCown this season…

Josh has been playing great. He’s a leader on and off the field. I can’t say enough about him, especially with all of the pieces coming in and out of the offense. Lining guys up. Controlling the ball game. Not trying to do too much but does just enough. Accurate. Always upbeat. We can’t say enough about him.

On the recent play of Robby Anderson and if there is anything different…

Not much. We’ve just kept all of our offense in and move guys around and get the ball to certain people. Robby has played big for us.

On the recent play of Muhammad Wilkerson…

He’s played well the last three weeks for sure. He’s doing great. Attitude. Work ethic. He comes to treatment every day. He makes sure he’s ready to play on Sunday. I’m not sure how he does it, but we’ll see if he can keep it up.

On defending McCoy…

Swarm. Get everybody to the ball. He’s one of the best backs in the league, without a doubt. He made a play in the first quarter where he spun back on Jordan (Jenkins) where you can’t do anything but tip your hat to the guy. We just tried to swarm everybody to the ball.

On if the Jets used Demario Davis as a spy on Taylor at times tonight…

At times. Demario at times. Darron (Lee) at times. At times, both.

On if he is pleased with the play of the defense tonight…

Pleased with a question mark at the end. I tend to worry about what happens at the end, but for the most part, they got a lot of pressure with the four and five down. Those guys were in-sync and in-tune and followed the game plan.

On the difference between the play at the line of scrimmage from their last meeting with the Bills…

Gap responsibility. We knew it was going to be a physical ball game. We watched the tape from week one and it was awful from our gap responsibility and understanding what they were trying to do. We were a little more honed-in this week.

On why the Jets secondary is not playing at a high level late in games…

They’re playing on a high level. We have guys out, but those guys have to finish ball games at the end. We know what the problems were there. Different from Miami (tonight) because we won the ball game. Winning solves all problems, but we have to clean that stuff up. We’ll keep working at it.

On the play of the secondary without Morris Claiborne…

Outside of late in the fourth quarter, they did a good job for the most part.

On the play of Jenkins tonight…

I saw the first sack. I’ll watch the film and see how he played, but he was active.

On how different the Jets defense is when Wilkerson plays like he did tonight…

It’s different when we’re clicking on all cylinders. It’s not just Mo, but everybody. Darron and double-D (Davos) were playing well, and Leo (Leonard Williams) and Steve (McLendon) and (Mike) Pennel. All of those guys came in and played. When it’s clicking, it’s pretty good.

On how much the team learned from the three straight losses…

You always learn something from them. Hopefully, they got resilience because we came out and played tonight. You have to put them behind you. If you don’t learn anything from them, you’re going to keep making the same mistakes. We made the same mistakes for three weeks and we cleaned most of that up tonight.

On the injury to Jeremy Kerley…

He has an ankle. He has to get more tests run.

JETS QUARTERBACK JOSH McCOWN

On the win and playing well on both sides of the ball…

I think that’s the word. The defense was lights out, they set the tone, didn’t stop. We went three-and-out that first drive. We were committed to running it, and we showed it, and I think, sometimes, that’s what you have to do. Even if it’s three-and-out, if you call three runs and you’re committed to it, it sets a tone with the guys to let them know, ‘Hey, we’re committed to it.’ Everybody was clicking on all sides and playing at a high level, so it was a great win. I always say it’s the most important because it’s the next one, but obviously when you’re coming off of a three-game skid like we were in – especially the manner in which those games were lost – to close this one out, albeit a little shaky, but to close it out, it’s a great feeling and it’s a big one for us.

On how the run game helped the offense…

It was everything because that group, that’s an opportunistic group. You watch them, you turn on the tape and you see balls getting popped up in the air and picked off, and you see that their offense, that’s the kind of game that they play. They get those interceptions, their offense gets short fields and they pound the ball and they win games that way, and so we knew we had to protect the ball. We challenged the O-Line about running the ball. They wanted it on their back, they were asking for it, and it’s a hats off to them for holding up to their word of putting it on them and asking to run the ball, and then for Coach (John) Morton, the diligence to keep running it and to keep calling it. Like I said, I go back to the first series – even though it was a three-and-out, the patience to say, ‘I’m going to call three runs, I’m going to hold to it,’ it really, I think, sent a message to our guys up front that we’re riding you, and they did a great job.

On Matt Forté’s performance…

Well, it was awesome. I laugh because I think I’ve been teammates with Matt as long as I’ve been teammates with anybody in the league, and so when he plays well it’s fun. It’s special for me to see him get in there, but it’s the O-Line opening holes, and then he made some great runs, and so anytime you can give a guy like Matt who is a good back and get him around the goal line, he’s going to find a way to get it in, and he did that tonight.

On his reaction to Deshaun Watson’s ACL injury…

Oh, it’s a heartbreaker. I saw that before the game and just said a little prayer for him. He seems like a great kid and upbeat. I’m sure he’ll attack his rehab and come back better than ever, but it makes you sick, it’s heartbreaking because he’s playing at a high level. It was fun to watch him, and I wish him all the best.

On what he saw from the defense to change the play on his touchdown pass to Robby Anderson…

We had a certain look that we wanted, and we had a certain play going. It’s a lot of pressure on coordinators to try to call the perfect play every time, so the beautiful thing for them is that they give us freedom at the line that, when you see something, take advantage of it. We had one-on-one across the board, and sooner than later people are going to learn, when you press Robby he wins, and he’s done it consistently week-in and week-out, and so we were able to take advantage of that look and get him the ball.

On how encouraging the Jets second half performance was…

Yeah, very encouraging, and again it goes back to the run game. Some good things in the pass game, but it’s mainly the run game as far as how we handled it. The defense stepped up and kept playing tough and they created turnovers, and we responded by punching it in. Those are characteristics of good football teams, things that good football teams do. Now, the other stuff we have to get cleaned up, because it shouldn’t come to what it did there at the end, and we will, so I know just like we did battling through these last three weeks we’ll be resilient and clean up these mistakes and move forward.

On his touchdown run…

It was a play we put in this week for the red zone, and we kind of were running some crossers there and they covered everybody. I guess, thankfully, this is when your bio comes in handy and maybe all of them read that I was 38 (laughter), and they were back, and so I was able to go get in the endzone. With each step that you go down the field, you think somebody should be here by now (laughter), but I was able to get in. For me, it’s just about competing and having fun. They took (the throws) away, and the O-Line gave me time to read the field and then step up, and I was able to get in the endzone.

On if the first nine games of this season could be about as well as he’s ever played…

Well, I would think so (with) all things considered. With the group in Chicago, we were together all spring and all training camp, and we kind of had those pieces and those guys had been there for a few years, and so there was a comfort level with those guys, whereas with this crew, we really came together kind of post training camp, and so I’m just proud to be a part of this group, proud of everybody’s effort to, as an offensive unit, play good football. I think, more than anything, it’s a credit to the coaches and the guys around me. That’s really helped me and allowed me to play some good football, and hopefully we continue to grow together and get even better.

On what makes this team special and allows them to compete hard every game…

Well I’ve said it before, and I’ve told you guys, I really believe it’s our chemistry. It’s the makeup, and I still go back to halftime at Oakland. We had the muffed punt and all the things go bad, and I’ve been on teams where they get in the locker room and it’s quiet and everybody is whispering and they are pointing at that guy, and that locker room, everybody was together. Everybody was (saying) we’re going to bounce back, everybody was for one another, and back then it just confirmed what I believed to be true, that we had great chemistry, but that showed it. I think that’s been the key week in and week out, and (Head Coach) Todd (Bowles) does a good job of laying the vision, the plan out for us – and then for us as a group, veterans and young players, listening to veterans, being wise enough to do what they’re being asked to do, I think that’s the chemistry that we seek out, and we’re seeing that unfold and I think that’s what keeps us in ball games and keeps us competitive.

On if his limited reps in the preseason made the beginning of the season more challenging for the offense to get into a rhythm…

Well, obviously it’s not ideal, but when you find yourself in situations you can do one of two things – you can complain about it and say, ‘Oh, it’s not ideal,’ and so I get a pass if things don’t go well – or you can come together as a group and say, ‘Let’s figure out how to make it work.’ It’s funny that you ask that, because watching the Buffalo game from Week One this week and just seeing how different we were back then, but seeing the bright spots in that game – I mean, shoot, Jermaine (Kearse) was here for five days and caught a bunch of balls and played well – and so I’m proud of that, proud of this group. It was a tough go, and it starts with the coaches, but we didn’t allow for excuses. We just said, ‘This is how it shook out, and now let’s go forward and make the best of it,’ and I think that is what’s allowed us to be competitive.

On how much the offense can expand upon what they did tonight…

I think when we get the run game going like we did, that’s huge, and we said it before, we want to be balanced. So if you get yourself into a ball game where running is the key and you want to run the ball and you need to run the ball, and then you want to be able to do that – and then, if it’s a game where you need to throw it, and we want to be balanced – so I think that’s another step for us moving forward to continue to solidify this run game, and that opens up play action and all kinds of other things, so that’s the big thing for us tonight, the big takeaway, and again it’s a credit to Coach (Morton) for calling the runs and then for the five guys and the backs and the tight ends taking hold of it and making it happen.

 

 

 

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