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What He Said: Sean McDermott on Josh Allen, injuries, new punter and more

Opening Statement: Okay, good morning. We’ll go ahead and get started here and give you an update on the injuries: Kyle Williams will not practice today, he remains week-to-week. Kelcie McCray with the hamstring, as well, will not practice. AJ [McCarron] will be limited, we’ll see how he does. He does have some shoulder soreness; we’ll see how he progress through the day. LeSean McCoy [is] day-to-day with the groin, hip [injury]. Dion [Dawkins] sustained a little bit of an injury the other day with the hip. He’ll be day-to-day as well as Trent Murphy with the groin. As you know, we signed Jon Ryan, there. We’ll open it up to questions.

Q: Dion Dawkins?

A: Yes, I’m sorry. [I was referring to] Dion Dawkins.

Q: What went into the decision to start Josh [Allen] and announcing it on Monday night?

A: It’s sticking with, the most part, our plan and our evaluation to this point. Announcing it, we really wanted for him to go through a routine of what it would be like for a normal, regular season week dealing with the potential distractions and all that goes with the quarterback position and learning how to balance that. AJ’s been through that before, naturally. Nate’s [Peterman] been through it as well, so this was an opportunity as well for Josh for his first time.

Q: How much was this part of the plan and how much did Josh earn this opportunity?

A: He certainly has earned most of, I hope, everything we do here [or] just about has earned [his opportunities]. He’s had a good camp to this point and this is all part of the plan, part of the process at this point in terms of the stage of his development.

Q: Is it fair to say that he has a chance to win the job on Sunday?

A: We’re just going to take it one game at a time right now.

Q: Sean, are you still going to continue with the [quarterback] rotation this week or will he just stay with the one’s this week?

A: He’ll be pretty much- what we’ll do this week, as you guys go out there and see, it’ll be more of a normal, regular season type of practice. This is kind of our mock week to some extent, not 100 percent. That’s how we’ll shape practice this week and that’s how we’ll do some of the reps as well.

Q: Will Nate work at all with the one’s during the next preseason game or will it strictly be Josh?

A: We’ll just wait and see at this point. I don’t want to reveal anything that would be [giving away] strategy. I don’t want to get into that at this point.

Q: In regards to AJ, are you just going to monitor how [he is performing] today? Will that largely determine if he’s an option for Sunday or the last preseason game?

A: Again, [he’s] just limited today and we’ll see how he does today. I don’t know anything further at this point because I want to see how he looks today and feels. Certainly, we’ll communicate on that, AJ and I, our trainer and move forward one day at a time.

Q: [Was there] a little bit of a sigh of a relief when you saw what it looked like initially to what it looks like now?

A: Yeah, I mean, this is also why I said what I said after the game, there, because we wanted to go through more tests. To this point those tests have been in our favor and AJ’s favor and in fact it wasn’t broken. Again, [there is] just general soreness so we’ll take it one day at a time.

Q: Sean, when you talk about Josh going through a week and having all the distractions and everything else, what are you looking for beyond what you see on the practice field to tell you he’s where he needs to be?

A: Where he needs to be for this week?

Q: Just how he’s going to handle it and what signs you’re looking for.

A: Yeah, I think we all know what it’s supposed to look like and feel like in that regard. It’s just him dipping his toes in the water, if you will, of what that looks like on the field and off the field, to your question. [It’s important to see] how he handles his teammates, how he handles the meetings, how he handles the interviews. That’s all part of, as we all know, what comes with that starting quarterback position, even in the preseason. It’ll be a good experience for him in that regard.

Q: Sean, what impact did AJ’s injury have on the decision of quarterback this week?

A: Very little at this point. Very little.

Q: How much is it being a home game go into the decision for Josh getting his first start?

A: That’s in there somewhere, honestly, but very little.

Q: You mentioned that you and Brandon [Beane] were possibly looking for another quarterback given AJ’s injury. Now that he’s back, is that still a possibility?

A: Yeah, I mean we’ll just see. Again, it somewhat depends on AJ. AJ’s in good spirits; he brings a lot to the table even when he’s not out there, so there’s a lot of positives with that. Right now, it’s not something we’re going to do, but I know Brandon is always on top of things like that and we talk daily.

Q: What do you make of how Josh handled [his critics] for such a long time, going back to when he got turned down and then got his shot in Wyoming and then more criticism this week with Jalen Ramsey. There are a lot of doubters with his accuracy. How have you seen him deal with the questions and the clouds of uncertainty that have hovered over him?

A: First and foremost, I think he’s handled it well. Some of those scars, proverbial scars, if you will, also make people better and stronger as they go through by learning from those situations. I think we’ve all been through some of those moments where people have said some things, doubted us along our careers, and if you handle those things the right way, it can be a strength down the road. I know he continues to put the team first and that’s a good thing. The biggest thing right now is he does his job and he knows what his job is.

Q: Coach, just the motivation behind the Jon Ryan signing? Are you trying to put some competition in place here?

A: Anytime there’s a good player out there, Brandon and his staff, as I mentioned earlier, are always looking for great players. We had a chance to sign a good player, it just happens to be at the punter position and we had an injury with Cory [Carter] unfortunately last week, so it was the right time for us.

Q: Was there any particular thing about Jon that stood out to you throughout that studying of him to help you make that decision and sign him?

A: He’s been through a number of NFL seasons. Obviously, he’s familiar with Stephen [Hauschka] and they’ve built up a relationship over the years; that’s also important, especially this time in camp. He’s going to go out there today and put his best foot forward and we’ll just see where it goes.

Q: Sean, where are things with the center competition? Have you locked someone in for that starting spot on Sunday?

A: Ryan Groy will start this week, but that competition remains open, just like all of the positions and the competitions at those positions. We look forward to Ryan going out and putting his best foot forward, along with Russel [Bodine] and Adam [Redmond], like they have all camp long. I think all three of those guys are playing at a high level, which is good.

Q: What concern do you have with LeSean [McCoy] and the fact that he got dinged up after what was essentially his first game action? There’s always worries when he’s 30, but with him not practicing [is there a concern]?

A: I know you guys like to mention that every time [the fact that] he’s 30. There’s always a concern, there is. LeSean is a big part of what we do and so I know he’s going to maximize those treatment opportunities. He’s a pro; he knows how to handle the medical part of it in the training room and we’ll just take it one day at a time now. We’re always concerned anytime a guy is not up to 100 percent.

Q: Sean, what went into Matt Milano getting his first team reps cut into a little bit and what specifically would you like to see more from him?

A: Overall, this is the time of year where we’re looking for different combinations on the roster and making sure we balance the defense, in this case with Matt, and special teams and the overall look of the roster as it applies to the final 53 [man roster]. I think that Matt has increased his intensity over the last couple of days and last week, which is good to see. He’s still a young player and I think he’s done some really good things over the course of time. There’s a balance, too, of special teams and how Matt’s role impacts special teams and that’s not true for just Matt’s position, but everyone’s position on the team.

Q: What was Josh’s reaction when you told him he’d be starting on Sunday?

A: Probably what you’d expect. He was just like this, like he is quite often which is what I expected. He’s pretty steady. Like I said before, I think this will be a good experience for him.

Q: Did you mention Trent [Murphy] at the beginning of the injuries, and if not, could you give us an update on his status?

A: I thought I mentioned Trent, maybe I didn’t. He remains day-to-day with the groin.


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