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Sean McDermott not interested in padding defense when offense has needs

21 points likely isn’t going to cut it this season.

Buffalo Bills v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Between the 2020 NFL Draft, free-agent signings, and trades, the Buffalo Bills added eight defensive players, eight offensive players, and one specialist. They also re-signed one player on each side of the ball in safety safety Dean Marlowe and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

Despite the rather even approach to roster building the team has taken with bodies, head coach Sean McDermott was clear earlier this offseason that just because he is a defensive coach doesn’t mean he wants his front office to concentrate on that side of the ball.

“I am maybe a little bit different than some defensive head coaches out there,” said McDermott following the draft. “I say that because I think a lot of defensive head coaches, and maybe head coaches overall, have a tendency to pad their side of the ball personnel-wise. I don’t want to do that. I know you’ve got to score points in this league to win games. And I think to have a balanced football team, we need to score points and that’s been an emphasis and a theme that we’ve talked about since the end of the season last year. I’m encouraged by what we’ve added personnel-wise to help us in that category, as well as the work that our offensive staff has done this offseason.”

McDermott is wise to want some help on the offensive side of the ball; this team is going to go as far as Josh Allen takes them and that likely won’t be very far without help from a strong supporting cast. The team has also put up a relatively consistent defensive product over McDermott and assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s three-year tenure as a defensive-minded-duo, despite significant changes in playing time at positions like linebacker, corner, and defensive line since 2017.

What has been inconsistent is the offensive output. After the Tyrod-Dennison era ended and the Bills transitioned quickly from Peterman to Allen, expectations have been measured for what this offense would produce up until now. Moving forward, McDermott and the Bills are going to need the offensive production to become more predictable, in a good way, if the team is going to meet the less-measured expectations awaiting them in 2020.