It’s not a stretch to say that the Buffalo Bills were distressingly undisciplined during the Rex Ryan era. Over the last two seasons, the Bills committed 255 penalties (third in the NFL) and gave up 2,209 yards in penalties (fourth in the NFL).
Will that improve under new head coach Sean McDermott? One former Bills quarterback thinks so.
Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, speaking at his annual football camp, spoke highly of McDermott’s ability to keep the team in line. “I’m excited about the 2017 Buffalo Bills,” Kelly said earlier today, “Coach McDermott brings discipline to the table that we haven’t had in a while.”
When fans think of discipline, the head coach is the figure that immediately comes to mind. He’s the one who sets the tone when it comes to a team’s mentality, and he’s the one who can levy punishment when a player is making too many bone-headed calls.
That said, it’s on the players to actually improve those numbers. Players need to stop committing penalties, especially the stupid after-the-whistle personal fouls (looking at you, Jerry Hughes). They can be benched, but the Bills are going to be at their best if they can keep their best players on the field.
McDermott made headlines earlier in the offseason when he made the move to take the pool table out of the Bills’ locker room in an effort to keep players focused on the game they’re being paid to play. Hopefully, his continuing efforts will show up on the field, and we can stop expecting to see yellow on the field after every third down stop.