As Sean McDermott sees it, the Bills don’t need different wide receivers. They just need their current ones to do a better job of doing their job.
Asked Wednesday morning if he has enough speed at the position, the Bills head coach gave the expected head-coaching answer.
“I do feel we have enough speed in the receiving corps. I do,” McDermott said, three days after his star running back, LeSean McCoy, led the offense with 34 receiving yards on six catches in Sunday's 9-3 loss to Carolina. “And that’s an area we’ve got to work on. You come out of two games and you do a ‘needs’ analysis (and you’re saying), ‘What do we have to get better at?’ And that is one of the areas we need to improve on: winning the one-on-ones. Whether physically or with speed, find ways to win one-on-one matchups.”
The Bills have yet to figure out how to do that, though.
It was McCoy who put on an offensive show against the Jets in Week One, leading the Bills with 159 yards (110 rushing, 49 receiving). And last week – in a game that was there for the taking with 11 seconds still to go – the Bills wideouts failed to provide an offensive spark. Meanwhile, the Panthers were easily able to bottle up McCoy and fullback Mike Tolbert, who combined for 14 rushing yards.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews caught three passes for 30 yards against Carolina, while rookie Zay Jones (who couldn't reel in the potential game-winning touchdown) caught two passes for 18 yards and tight end Charles Clay had three catches for 23 yards.
The Bills also failed to score a TD.
The casual observer can see this team misses Sammy Watkins, the former face of the franchise who in August was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round draft pick. But McDermott maintained his confidence in his unit and stressed the importance of taking advantage of matchups.
“We certainly have to work on getting better separation and winning our one-on-ones,” the coach said. “And that’s just not the receivers; that’s our backs, our tight ends, up front. We’ve just got to do a better job of winning our one-on-ones.”