It’s no secret that the NFL’s preseason games are somewhat unpopular events. However, the annual exhibition games have been an inevitability since the inception of the sport. As such, coaches seek to make the most of this time turning the four-week window into a tune-up period for starters and evaluation period for fringe players. With 2020 being the year with no preseason, teams will be forced to get creative in how they approach things this season. Luckily for the Buffalo Bills, head coach Sean McDermott had a plan.
At a recent press conference, Sean McDermott was asked about the biggest challenge of not having a preseason and that dedicated time for roster evaluation. McDermott responded that the challenge was not unique to the 2020 NFL, “Certainly I would like to have preseason games, but it’s been done before. Maybe not always in the NFL, but colleges do it or something similar every year.”
McDermott reportedly tapped into the college scene for answers.
“So I’ve reached out to a couple college coaches, my college coach that I played for and he certainly had a lot of success, so we’ve got a lot of smart people in this building also that have come from a lot of different backgrounds that can help,” said McDermott. “Again I’m confident that we will adjust. I’m confident that our players will adjust and we’ll have a good plan in place here to get our team ready to go.”
While McDermott didn’t mention names, he played under Jimmye Laycock at William and Mary. Laycock has nearly half a century of college football experience, retiring after the 2018 season. That wealth of experience hopefully resulted in a few good ideas for the Bills.
McDermott was asked about additional scrimmage opportunities for his players and suggested that was likely. He added, “And then it’s the time on the grass that we’ve got to have a really good plan and be adjustable. So yeah, I’ve got to make sure that I find all the data I can to expose our players to game situations, live situations, to get them ready to go.”
It’s not surprising that the coach who thought to scout the opposing team’s hype song to turn it against them is leaving no stone unturned. In what should ultimately be remembered minimally as an odd season, here’s hoping that the always-thorough McDermott finds advantages he can bring to the field.