The Buffalo Bills (5-2) got back in the win column thanks to a 26-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Highmark Stadium, and the win over Miami also extended head coach Sean McDermott’s record coming off a bye week to a perfect 5-0 in his five seasons leading the Bills.
What is the secret to McDermott getting his teams to play solid football following their week off?
In the past, McDermott has gone on the record stating that current Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid—who employed McDermott as his defensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles—played a role in teaching McDermott how to treat his players and coaches during the bye week.
In his 21 years coaching in the NFL, Reid has posted an 18-3 record in games after the bye week, and that success post-bye week seems to have carried over to McDermott’s tenure in Western New York.
McDermott is a believer in giving his players and the members of his coaching staff time away from the team during the bye week, something that he credits with helping his players truly feel rested and recharged when they return to action.
That and an emphasis on paying attention to the little details goes a long way in getting the locker room to buy into McDermott’s coaching philosophy, according to Brian Daboll, Buffalo’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons.
“I think it’s a formula that he’s (McDermott’s) been around in his past, and obviously something I’ve taken note of because you do come back reenergized, you do come back with a fresh outlook and you do come back ready to work,” Daboll told Katherine Fitzgerald of The Buffalo News. “I just think he’s got a good pulse of the team. He’s a very good organizer. He’s well thought out. He plans things accordingly based on what our team needs. And he’s just got a good beat on the guys and he’s been really good in that aspect. (I’ve) learned a lot from him in regards to taking care of your body, getting rest.”
For the record, here’s how the Bills have fared in their first game back following the bye week under McDermott:
2021: Defeated the Miami Dolphins 26-11
2020: Defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 27-17
2019: Defeated the Miami Dolphins, 31-21
2018: Defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-21
2017: Defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30-27