McDermott: Bills staying prepared and unified during pandemic situation

The Bills head coach spoke to the Buffalo media on Thursday

Sal Capaccio
April 30, 2020 - 4:55 pm

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since the NFL Combine back in February.

Here are some interesting things he said, both on One Bills Live on WGR, as well as with the local media on a Zoom conference call right afterward:


McDermott on the offseason approach given the COVID-19 pandemic situation:

  • McDermott said once they knew how the pandemic would be impacting the offseason, the organization felt the teams that were the “most prepared” and “unified” would come out with a competitive advantage, but says "that remains to be seen." He also said the veteran players, who are currently in Phase 1 of their offseason workout program but doing it virtually and online, have continued to share their stories with one another and getting to know each other in that fashion, as they have in the past.
  • Players spend four hours maximum each day they are involved in the program, the maximum allowed under the current rules, generally with two hours in the classroom and two hours working out.
  • Rookie minicamp will begin Monday, May 11, but will be held virtually just like Phase 1 has been for the veterans.


McDermott on what they've missed out on due to the current situation:

  • "We usually spend about 70% of our spring on our passing game, since there's no pads. Then it gets to 60/40 or maybe 50/50 (at camp), so that's the biggest thing we're missing right now as far as time on task."


McDermott on this year’s draft class, overall:

  • McDermott said they feel very good about their class and went after players they felt fit the team both on and off the field, and while sometimes people get enamored with 40-yard dash times and flashiness, they feel the players they drafted are simply good football players.


McDermott on fifth round quarterback Jake Fromm: 

  • "There's a long runway for all these rookies... it's well-documented the type of person and player he is.” The head coach mentioned the tough competition Fromm faced in college and how well he performed against it, adding “he’s committed to coming in and earning every bit of what he gets here, and that's a great start."


McDermott on free agent defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson:

  • “He played really good snaps for the Seahawks on a good defense. Played inside and outside.”


McDermott on free agent linebacker A.J. Klein:

  • “He played alongside Luke [Kuechly] and Thomas Davis for us in Carolina. Then it was like a little brother going off and doing his own thing in New Orleans... just to see how far he's come in his career, as a coach and teacher, it gives you a lot of joy."


McDermott on free agent linebacker Tyler Matakevich:

  • McDermott said he will mainly be a special teams player, and praised that area of his game, but added that he can also play some snaps and contribute on defense.


McDermott on free agent cornerback Josh Norman:

  • "Sometimes the grass isn't always greener, from a system or scheme standpoint, and culture, as well. So that's another potential example of people coming to Buffalo and regaining, in this case, a better version of one's self."


McDermott on free agent cornerback E.J. Gaines:

  • McDermott said Gaines reached out to the Bills about wanting to come back and that that’s a great example of players wanting to be a part of what they’re building.


McDermott on the “big nickel” position on defense:

  • McDermott said the position “remains to be seen,” and mentioned both Siran Neal and Dean Marlowe for that spot.


McDermott on where the team is right now with their roster:

  • "We're never content. That's not a word that fits our vocabulary. Brandon [Beane] has left a couple spots open on the roster in case anyone becomes available." 

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