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What They Said: Bills coach Sean McDermott from Tuesday's press conference

Head coach Sean McDermott

Okay good morning, we’ll go ahead and get started. Go ahead, we’ll open it up.

Q: What’s your expectation on E.J. Gaines and Jordan Poyer for Thursday?

A: I’ll start off with E.J., we are still hoping that he’s going to be able to make it. It’s a short week here, so he’s made good progress to this point. We’ll just see how that continues to flow through the rest of the week. Then Jordan, I thought he had a good day yesterday, as well. Again, day-to-day, we’ll just see how he looks today.

Q: Kyle Williams told us after the game that he hates Thursday, [if] the league cares so much about player safety, why do they have these games? What [are] your feelings on Thursdays?

A: We just take them as they come. I understand where Kyle is coming from. The thing we have to right now is adjust to things. We’ve done a good job of adapting. We’ll just take it how it comes. [If] we have a Thursday night game, we’re playing Thursday night.

Q: Kyle also said that he can be replaced, the way this team been playing and plugging in play. Is that fair? You replaced Marcell Dareus, is anybody on this team replaceable, given the moves you’ve done and how successful you’ve been?

A: Well, Kyle Williams has been here a long time, that’s a whole other conversation. He’s put a lot of time into this organization, a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I know what that means, and I know what it means to me.

Q: The team hasn’t been 6-2 since their last Super Bowl year. I know you take it one at a time and all that, but think about that. How does that put a perspective on what you’re doing here?

A: We’re not 6-2 at this point. We’re 5-2 right now, so we have a big opportunity, to your point, come Thursday night. That’s what we’re excited about. Excited to get back out there today and put in a good day’s practice, get back in our routine and develop some great clarity around our plan, and getting guys fresh and ready to go as much as possible. Great opportunity, great opportunity against a good football team, and a team that’s well coached. They’ve got play makers. They’ve been to where we’re trying to go, not last year but the year before that. I believe it was a good first year [and that type of stuff], that they had as a staff there though. They’re a good opponent. Like I mentioned, had a lot of close games, so we have to make sure that we understand our opponent, that we are ready to play our best football Thursday night.

Q: What is different about the Jets since you saw them in Week One? That was a team everybody thought was going to be horrible, they’re clearly not horrible, they’re competitive every week. But what have you seen from week one to week eight with that team?

A: Well I’ve seen them take the ball away. [The] defensive side and special teams, they do a good job in that regard. Like I said before, they’re well coached, which they play hard. They’ve had some games go their way, and they’ve had some games come down late and not go their way. Don’t let the record fool you, some of you that are looking at that, this is a good football team.

Q: Tyrod was as self-critical as he’s been since the Cincinnati game, was there anything extra special through the bye, or whatever it is that led to these last two pretty strong performances? Was there any specific focus on what he did to improve himself or maybe you as a coaching staff addressed with him?

A: Well, again, I just go back to the communication we had over the bye week, the communication we’ve had since that time. Tyrod is a young man that takes his job extremely seriously, and takes a lot of pride in what he does. He’s a man of faith. He continues to be himself, and that’s what’s important. He’s true to himself, and he continues to grow in ways beyond the field, and that’s important for our football team.

Q: Does the trade deadline falling on a week where you play on a Thursday night, hinder maybe making a move, because you can’t get a guy here necessarily that can play on Thursday night? Whereas other teams can get him acclimated to a Sunday game, does that kind of hold you off on bringing somebody in because you’d have to massage that roster?

A: Not necessarily. I understand your point. Almost two separate conversations. To your question and your point, if we were able to do something, if something did happen, obviously, it would be very challenging to get that person up to speed. That would not stop us from doing something, and I know Brandon [Beane] and his department are on top of that.

Q: Josh McCown, he’s played a lot better than people thought, a 70% completion percentage. What is he doing well, so far this year that you’ve seen from him?

A: Well he’s a good quarterback. He’s seen a lot of different looks defensively, there’s probably nothing out there that he hasn’t seen. He moves the offense, does a good job. I’ve gone up against him a couple times, coached against him a couple of times in the division, [in] in the NFC South. Good quality quarterback, and obviously, he’s done an extremely good job this year for them.

Q: Saw Ramon Humber was limited yesterday, can you update us on his progress, as well as Charles Clay?

A: Right, so Ramon [is] similar to Jordan Poyer and E.J. Gaines, in that bucket. Then Charles is going to have a hard time making it this week.

Q: Does the way Matt Milano’s play give a little bit of a leeway with Humber, to make sure you don’t have to rush him at this point?

A: Right, it does. As you mentioned the other day, what Matt’s been able to do, he’s been productive. That’s when you can develop that depth with experience, now, it gives you some flexibility when you bring a guy like Ramon back, or anyone for that matter. And a lot of confidence, as well, in Matt, and the football he’s played up this point.

Q: Yesterday, you said you speak with Brandon basically on an hourly basis, with this trade deadline looming. I will assume that continues into today, that you guys keep in touch throughout the day?

A: Right, and that answer was more of, or what I said was in relation to how our relationship is on a daily basis. Regardless of the trade deadline, just more of that we need to be in constant communication with one another, so that he knows how I’m seeing things, I know how he’s looking at things. That’s kind of the team within the team, that we’re on the same page in terms of how we’re seeing things with our football team, and then potentially what’s out there as well, which he keeps a good eye on that.

Q: As difficult as it might be to giving up 300 yards passing in three straight games, does it help that you’ve been able to turn the ball over a couple of times to negate some of what teams have done against you?

A: It has. That’s a critical stat that correlates to winning or losing. We’ve been able to come out on the positive side of that. We’ve faced some good quarterbacks also, this is a challenging schedule in that regard, with elite quarterbacks every week, or just about every week. This week is no different, with Josh McCown and what he’s been able to do. He’s a good quarterback and a veteran quarterback that’s won a lot of games.

Q: On Sunday you gave Adolphus Washington the start, in place of Marcell, I think he had more snaps than Cedric [Thornton] and (Jerel Worthy). He had more snaps than both those guys, is that the plan moving forward? I know you rotate, is Adolphus your guy right now?

A: I thought he played well the other day. It’s a fluid situation, there’s great competition at all positions, and defensive tackle in this case, no different. I like the fact that the guys are working hard, and I’ll mention Jerel Worthy, Cedric Thornton, and Adolphus and Kyle. Those guys do a good job, and we play everyone, as you guys know by now. It’s a good rotation for us, and another area where we need to continue to grow and get better.

Q: Have you seen him [Adolphus Washington] grow much? He came in last year, had a little bit of a struggle in that defense. Have you seen some nice progress from him this season so far?

A: I have, and give credit to Coach [Mike] Waufle, Coach [Bill] Teerlinck and Coach [Leslie] Frazier, as well as Adolphus. He’s worked hard, and for a second-year player, there’s a lot of growth opportunities, just being so young. I think his best football is front of him, and I’ve seen that the last three, four, five weeks now, I’ve seen a jump in what he’s been able to do, the way he’s practiced, his habits, and that has translated to the game field as well.

Q: Besides persistence and patience, what’s gone into the run game revival?

A: I feel like we’re at a concert or something, with ‘revival’ (joking). Again, I honestly think it’s just a commitment and an attitude. The offensive line, and I’ll mention also Pat DiMarco, king of an unsung, another non-household name if you will, that is so important to our run game, so important to this football team, so important to me as well. What he does for us on the field, and then also off the field. He’s a servant in terms of the way he approaches his life, he’s a servant on the field. Mike Tolbert, LeSean [McCoy], Taiwan [Jones], they don’t get the yards without Pat DiMarco and that offensive line. When you look at it, when you watch the film, it’s great to see our receivers and tight ends blocking for so long, [being] committed to the cause, I think that’s an important aspect of it as well.

Q: LeSean went three straight games without a 10-yard run, is he getting at all discouraged in your opinion?

A: I don’t think so. I think it was just more of a recommitment to really the cause, in terms of the technique, the detail. We run a different variety of runs, and really just refining as a professional. That’s that winning mindset that he has, of it’s an all the time thing for him, just like it is for our football team.

Q: I don’t know if you’re aware, but you won Pardon My Take’s Football Guy of the Week for your move of putting dirt in guys’ lockers and telling them ‘protect their dirt’. How does it feel to be Football Guy of the Week?

A: (Laughs) I’m blessed. I’m just blessed to be here, be awake today, get up and be in this building with you guys this morning, and the football guys.

Q: You had an opportunity to really say something funny, he gave you the opportunity.

A: I forgot, like you did earlier, I forgot.

Q: You beat out the Dartmouth assistant coach, who punched a hole in the press box when his team fumbled a punt.

A: This front row (of media), I’m just going to say it, the front row, right here. You guys never cease to amaze me.

Q: We talk about it almost weekly, this team has to find its long-term quarterback answer, and Tyrod, maybe, maybe not. Has it reached a point where in your mind, he’s done enough to remove the thought of that or are you always thinking ‘hey, we still might have to do something with this long-term,’ especially with the stock-piling of picks that you’ve continued to do?

A: I know what Tyrod’s done to this point, is what I saw when I got here. I keep going back to in my mind, the vision of what he went through at the end of last year, right. The rehab process, when it’s dark, it’s snowing outside, and Tyrod’s coming in here rehabbing. That made a statement, and I hadn’t been around Tyrod personally up close. I thought that that was, for a first introduction of watching a young man work, and the way he approaches as I mentioned earlier his job, his passion, and just the type of man I was dealing with, it said a lot about him. That’s what I’ve seen play out this year, on the field. He’s certainly had a lot of good moments, and there’s been like myself, there’s been some moments that he wants back as well. That’s part of the process and the growth that we are having as a team, and it’s at every position, not just the quarterback position.

Q: The guys for the first time here are heading into a divisional game where you guys already beat this team. In terms of the process, and that sort of thing, the mental preparation for this week, is there a little bit more [of an] emphasis on that, because you guys are favored, you guys already beat them? But of course, you don’t want to overlook [them].

A: Well the focus remains the same. It’s really all on “A” getting ourselves fresh, and “B” the second objective at this point, this part of our preparation is to understand our plan. Anything outside of that at any other things becomes noise at this point.

Q: I noticed it from the Tampa Bay game to the Oakland game, the snaps of [Matt] Milano and Lorenzo [Alexander] kind of flipped a little bit, was that more game plan because Oakland was passing a little bit more, [or] was that you wanting to put more on his plate?

A: A little bit of both. It’s really Matt going into another game, and having had that experience now, being able to give him a little bit more. And Lorenzo, keeping him fresh, knowing what he can do, knowing we’re trying to keep him alive and playing strong for four quarters and then also 16-plus games, perhaps.

Q: Reports out of New York this morning are that Jeremy Kerley is going to be suspended, so how does that affect your preparation, not late in the week, but it’s late in the week essentially?

A: With all due respect, I’ve heard that. Until we get confirmation on that, I don’t really want to comment on that. We’re just going to prepare like we prepare, and that’s really just focusing on ourselves, and what we know at this point.

Provided by the Buffalo Bills.

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