The Buffalo Bills got to work right away in preparations for Thursday night’s game against the New York Jets.
“No. 1 is to get as fresh as possible mind, body and spirit, get those in the right spot, and just to make sure we understand our plan in terms of the game plan for the week,” coach Sean McDermott said Monday afternoon. “The great part about it, is guys were in early this morning trying to get their bodies back and ready to go. I’m really just focused on the next two or three days that we have to get ready and tee it up come Thursday night.”
1. Safety Jordan Poyer is making "good progress," McDermott said, and was a limited participant in the team's walk-thru practice Monday. "We'll just see," the coach said. "Take it one day at a time right now."
Poyer was replaced Sunday by Trae Elston, who had a team-high 11 tackles and an interception.
"We've got 63 guys and that's who we prepare to play," McDermott said. "Coaches do a phenomenal job, coach (Bobby) Babich, our safeties coach, did a phenomenal job with Trae. Trae put the time in."
2. McDermott explained his "next man up" philosophy the following way:
"We erase all labels when you talk about that type of mindset of, 'hey, you're a backup. No, you're a player. You're a linebacker. Backup linebacker doesn't exist,' " he said. "Receiver, you see Andre Holmes, Brandon Tate making big plays. Backup receiver? No, you're a receiver. So those guys embrace that, and that's the fun part about it is when you have that type of approach, that type of mindset, you're able to erase some of those labels that get put on the guys."
3. The injury news wasn't as good for cornerback E.J. Gaines (hamstring) and tight end Charles Clay (knee), both of whom did not participate in the team's walk-thru. Linebacker Ramon Humber (thumb), center Eric Wood (ankle) and left guard Richie Incognito (ankle) joined Poyer in being listed as limited participants.
Wide receiver Zay Jones (shoulder) was a new addition to the injury report. He was listed as a full participant.
3. As pleased as McDermott is with his team's 5-2 start, which has the Bills in a playoff spot in the AFC at the moment, he knows that the season isn't even halfway done.
"I was extremely proud of the players, and the way that they played yesterday," he said. "I mean, they were focused. It's fun to be a part of it, it really is. But, 5-2, no one gives out awards for 5-2, so we've got to keep that in mind."
4. While the Bills are taking the ball away like crazy on defense lately, one part of the game in which they’ve slowed down is sack. Buffalo hasn’t registered a single one in the last three games.
“When you put the watch on it, the ball is coming out fast,” McDermott said. “So then you've got to play coverage, and I thought we did well with that yesterday. There's different ways to affect the quarterback, and that's really what I’m focused on. I thought our front four played extremely hard yesterday.”
5. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s stats in the two games since the bye are: 40 of 70 (57.1 completion percentage), 433 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, 12 carries, 54 yards, one touchdown.
“The last two weeks I've seen Tyrod grow in the pocket, and stepping up in the pocket and doing some really nice things, keeping plays alive certainly,” McDermott said. “I just think that he's had two quality weeks since the bye. You look at other ways he's evolving and growing as a leader of this football team, that's really exciting to watch, and so I've been very proud of what he's done the last two weeks.”
6. Left tackle Cordy Glenn played all 69 offensive snaps Sunday against Oakland, the first time he’s played an entire game this season.
“He's doing a good job,” McDermott said. “He really has. You know, Cordy's a force. And when he's in there, he's good in the run game, he's good in the pass game. He's a big body, so he's played a number of games in the NFL, so we have a lot of trust in Cordy Glenn."
7. McDermott was asked about the possibility of going for two points after the Bills scored to make it 26-7 in the fourth quarter.
"There were some things that, again, you look at, you say, 'Hey, could have done this better, could have done that better,' " he said. "We have to continue to grow. I made plenty of mistakes yesterday, I made plenty of mistakes today already. It's just us continuing to improve, adapt, evolve. We're not where we need to be. We have to continue to grow, and that in a short week for us, will be key that we continue to embrace that mindset."
By kicking the extra point to go up 27-7, the Bills forced the Raiders to need three touchdowns. Going for two and failing would have left it as a 19-point game, meaning Oakland could have tied it with two touchdowns and successful two-point conversions along with a field goal.
8. One area the Bills need to improve offensively is turning takeaways into touchdowns. Twice Sunday, the Bills took over in Oakland territory, but settled for field goals.
"You get good field position, advantageous field position, you need to cash in," McDermott said. "To kick field goals is not good enough. We have to score touchdowns."
9. Search “Sean McDermott” and “process” on Twitter, and you’ll get a seemingly never-ending set of results connecting the coach to his favorite word. McDermott was asked Monday if he was aware of the buzz he’s created on social media, then turned to Vice President of Communications Derek Boyko and said “I wasn’t prepared for that one.”
“I'm just happy to be a part of it, honestly,” McDermott said. “I love living in Western New York. I've got a great group of people around me. … These guys are having fun and it's good to be a part of it.”
10. McDermott visited the RV lot after Sunday’s win, which has become a tradition of sorts.
“It was a lot of fun out there yesterday after the game,” he said. “With the weather and everything, it was amazing to see the amount of people there who were still out there after the game. It was about 5:30, so well after the game, the amount of people and campers that were still out there, the music that was being played. People just having fun, high-fiving one another. It was a great environment and cool to be a part of.”