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Observations: Sean McDermott, Brian Daboll say they're on the same page

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Bills coach Sean McDermott expressed frustration in his team's offensive performance Monday night against the New England Patriots.

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Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll did their best to put on a united front Tuesday.

The Buffalo Bills’ head coach and offensive coordinator insisted they were on the same page a day after McDermott openly expressed frustration with the offensive performance in a 14-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football at Highmark Stadium.

“Yeah, I think we have a good understanding,” Daboll said. “We're week to week. We want to be a physical offense and control the line of scrimmage. The most important thing, as you know, is scoring points and finishing down there, whether that be a big play or in the red zone, but we have conversations daily on things that we're doing and we have a good working relationship and we'll work each and every day to try and get things fixed.”

At the top of that list is the offense’s performance in the red zone. The Bills went just 1-for-4 against the Patriots, one of the prime reasons for the team’s loss. McDermott’s frustration level after the loss was one that’s rarely seen, but cooler heads seemed to prevail Tuesday.

“I mean, we went backwards on a second-down sack that puts us back into the wind, which everybody's frustrated with that,” Daboll said. “Then we have a false start at the end of the game that puts us to third-and-14, which is hard enough to convert, and then the fourth-and-14. So, again, we're all working in this thing together. We're aligned in what we want to do and keep on working at it.”

There’s not much time for drastic changes with a game at Tampa Bay coming up on a short week.

“You know, those are the things you work through. You work through your challenges,” McDermott said. “Challenges are different every year, and you know, those are the things we're working through to get fixed and make sure we are all on the same page. I believe we are. We've got to go out there and execute at a higher level so we can be more consistent on offense in that case.”

Here are four more observations from news conferences with McDermott, Daboll and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier:

1. Like everyone else, Frazier has been blown away by Tom Brady’s season in Tampa. The Buccaneers’ quarterback, 44, leads the league in both passing yards and touchdowns.

“He's getting the ball out really fast – probably as quickly as anybody in the league right now,” Frazier said. “He's not taking any hits. I think their offensive line is one of those teams that's given up the least sacks in the league, so they're doing a good job of getting it out. We'll be challenged to be able to get him on the ground, so we'll have to get our hands up and try to get some batted balls, and just try to get around him as much as we can.

2. Harrison Phillips was nominated as the Bills’ Walter Payton Man of the Year. It’s the second straight year the defensive tackle has been nominated for the award, which is named after the late Hall of Fame running back and honors players for their charitable contributions and play on the field. One player from all 32 teams is selected as a nominee for the award, which will be given out during the NFL Honors ceremony Feb. 10.

Phillips’ Playmakers Organization supports children with developmental or physical differences. Most recently, the organization rented out Dave and Busters at the Walden Galleria Mall for a night over Thanksgiving weekend to provide guests a night of fun and games with their families.

The overall winner of the award will have $250,000 donated to the charity of his choice.

3. Offensive tackle Tommy Doyle returned to the active roster. Doyle, a rookie fifth-round draft pick, was activated from the NFL’s reserve/Covid-19 list. To make room for him, veteran offensive tackle Bobby Hart was released.

4. McDermott did not have much of an update on guard Jon Feliciano. The veteran guard returned to practice last week, but remains on injured reserve because of a calf injury.

“We’ll see what this week looks like,” McDermott said, “he’s still on IR at this point, so we’ll see where it goes.”

McDermott said there were no major injuries coming out of the game against New England, although he had to fully meet with the team’s training staff.


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News Sports Reporter

I started at The Buffalo News in 2009, and have previously been honored as one of the top 10 beat writers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors for my coverage of the Bills. I live in Amherst with my wife, Melissa, and son, Elliott.

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