The Buffalo Bills are now 6-5, fresh of a dominant home win against the New York Jets in Week 11. In breaking a two-game losing streak that extended from Weeks 9 through 10 in defeats at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos, the Bills needed to hit the mid-season regroup button. And regroup they did. The day after losing against the Broncos to drop to 5-5, head coach Sean McDermott made the difficult decision to show the door to offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey.
Having a short week of prep for the New York Jets at the outset of the week, things were made far more challenging by installing interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady. With scant time to get ready for the Jets, all anyone could wonder is what Buffalo’s offense would look like against the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL. It turns out, they looked great. What unfolded on the field of Highmark Stadium was an offense that appeared looser, re-charged, and multiple in its looks.
While giving up a touchdown to the Jets, a team that hadn’t seen that sort of success in three games — assistant head coach/defensive line coach Eric Washington was excited about what he saw out of the team’s dominant performance, especially the defensive front. The D-line’s ability to limit the Jets’ run game played a key role in the success the unit overall had in flustering quarterbacks Zach Wilson and relative unknown journeyman quarterback Tim Boyle into detrimental mistakes.
Included below are Monday’s press conferences from McDermott, Brady, and Washington.
Head coach Sean McDermott
Sean McDermott ran through injury updates, which you can read more about in our article here. But the great news is that safety Taylor Rapp has cleared all tests and may be able to suit up in Week 12. McDermott spoke to the intangibles of the Bills offense in the second half, and the unit playing unselfish football. McDermott was also asked his thoughts on heading back to Philly, reflecting on the 12-plus years he spent coaching the Philadelphia Eagles. The stoic McDermott, while clearly in better spirits (note his smile when Bills beat reporter Sal Capaccio mentioned fullback Reggie Gilliam’s opening-kickoff tackle) — he remains on target with his “one game at a time” mantra.
To hear more on this and much more, check out the video embedded below.
Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady
Against the Jets, with Brady likely deeply entrenched in the system that Dorsey implemented given the situation, he more often managed to find ways to put quarterback Josh Allen and the offense in position to succeed. What was evident from Brady was his commitment and focus on establishing a sound mindset and focused preparation ahead of the Week 11 clash. Brady remains focused on the execution, instilling confidence, and allowing Josh Allen to simply be himself on the gridiron. Brady also addressed balancing play-action calls against shotgun looks, noting protection plays a huge part. Brady was also quick to point out what Reggie Gilliam’s game-opening tackle meant for the team’s tone and sparking positive plays, while doing his best as an OC to help avoid the boredom that seemingly plagued the unit the previous six weeks.
For more on that above, and also Brady’s mindset in the interim offensive coordinator role, and what he wants most for the players under his direction, check out the embedded video below.
Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Eric Washington
Eric Washington provided his thoughts on linebacker Tyrel Dodson and the overall play of the defense — which he rightly noted to be a physical brand of football at the point of attack. Washington also point out how much the unit’s run defense has improved in recent weeks. Washington also discussed his expectations of the defense as it pertains to facing the Philadelphia Eagles:
“Well, our goals don’t change, they don’t change. We have a certain expectation as it pertains to points, as it pertains to third-down efficiency, red-zone efficiency... the explosive plays that we want to limit, and being able to force turnovers. Those things won’t change. We will go out and put together a plan and we will measure our performance against those goals. We respect Philadelphia’s offense, but that won’t change our approach. It certainly won’t change the expectations we have for ourselves.”
That quote speaks to the character of Eric Washington — and to his ascendance as the team’s assistant head coach. To hear much more from Washington, including takes on Linval Joseph and Leonard Floyd, the cohesive play on defense, and additional thoughts on the Eagles, click the embedded video below.