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Bills talk Steelers, playoffs, more during Wednesday media availability

A busy day at One Bills Drive with eight interviews ahead of Buffalo’s Super Wild Card Weekend game against Pittsburgh on Sunday

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are in the midst of preparing for their Super Wild Card Weekend game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before Wednesday’s practice, head coach Sean McDermott and several players met with reporters to discuss a wide range of topics.

Below, hear from McDermott, quarterback Josh Allen, center Mitch Morse, cornerback Taron Johnson, safety Micah Hyde, tight end Dalton Kincaid, plus defensive tackles Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones.

Additionally, you can also find the full pressers from all three coaches interviews on Monday at the bottom of this article. Though unable to transcribe (in a timely manner) the coaches’ pressers the day after Buffalo’s Week 18 win in Miami, I’ve chosen to embed those interviews with this content for those who are interested and may have not yet heard/seen them.

Head coach Sean McDermott

Sean McDermott gave his usual update about player injuries, which you can find more information about in our article here. McDermott spoke about Joe Brady’s new role and his day-to-day process.

Concerning the Steelers, McDermott responded to questions about quarterback Mason Rudolph, the physical nature of Pittsburgh’s lines, and preference to running the football.

McDermott also noted the importance of continuing to progress and growth within the playoff mindset, and he spoke about the role tight end Dalton Kincaid has played all season and his approach to the game as a rookie. McDermott also responded to questions about offensive consistency, and spoke about what the team’s done to improve its end-of-game situational football on both sides of the football. Plus, he answered to why the run defense, while playing overall well in recent weeks, continues to give up large runs. McDermott also addressed the current trend of teams attempting more fourth-down conversions and how the game of football is evolving — including the new rule to modify practice squad rules and expand that portion of a team’s roster.

To hear all this and more, check out the embedded video.

Quarterback Josh Allen

The biggest bit of news regarding Josh Allen’s Wednesday press conference was his response to a reporter’s statement about the NFLPA 2023 All-Pro team having been revealed and containing the names of zero Buffalo Bills players. In classic Josh Allen fashion, he responded:

“Uh. (long pause, scanning the crowd) Go Bills.”

Allen also responded to a question about interceptions, and the idea that not all created equal, stating:

“I’m trying to do whatever I can to help this team win — the same time, I don’t wanna throw ‘em. You know, it’s not fun looking at the stat sheet and seeing interceptions whether it’s before the half on a Hail Mary attempt or long fourth down. It’s still doesn’t feel great and interceptions sometimes, like — just momentum — you know it’s something you can’t see but something you can feel and sometimes it gives them momentum. And again, don’t wanna limit our chances to score points and I’ve done that a couple times throughout this season, and that’s never any fun. You know, I guess it’s part of the game, you’re gonna have a bad throw here or there, you’re gonna have a tip here or there. But the ones that you make bad decisions on — I gotta find a way to limit those and not have those any more because that could come back to bite us and I don’t wanna be the reason why.”

Plus, Allen spoke to what goes into each game and the patience required for each unique situation, relying on the team’s veteran leadership in the locker room, the opportunity to continue playing football this week, making every possession count regarding the ability to convert third downs, peaking and complementary football, and facing a very physical football team and within what’s expected to be challenging weather on Sunday. Plus, Allen spoke about Kincaid’s season, noting that he hasn’t observed any bit of a rookie wall in Dalton’s game.

For more from Allen, including the importance of building off of last week, and finding ways to get play makers the ball, check out the video embedded below.

Center Mitch Morse

Mitch Morse spoke to the importance of utilizing grit and continuity through the locker room digging deep to come together for a successful run to the playoffs. Morse also pointed out the need to match the Steelers “physicality and intensity” if they’re to find any success this weekend.

Morse also addressed what’s important in preparing for a bad-weather game, and winning games with different game plans. Plus, Morse also spoke to the idea of playing more free thanks to what Josh Allen brings to the offense, stating “we’ve got his back, implicitly.”

Morse also revealed an important bit of information for anyone intending to play offensive line. While admitting that he might have held on Allen’s run for a first down on 3rd & 13, he noted how he made sure not to look back because “when you look back, you show guilt.” He later revisited his statement, saying “I don’t think it was a hold, to be honest.”

Check out Morse’s press conference to hear all this and more.

Cornerback Taron Johnson

Taron Johnson was asked what it takes to be a “great blitzing defensive back,” and he the addressed the teams “revolving door” of injuries in the defensive backfield this season — and what he’s seen from cornerback Kaiir Elam since his return to the active roster.

Johnson also spoke to the importance of team chemistry and competing at a high level in practice, the resiliency within the team, and what’s gone into the defense’s success since the bye — and being the only team to shut the Miami Dolphins out in the second half (and the only team to force Miami into four consecutive punts during the 2023 NFL season.)

Plus, Johnson also commented on the success that Pittsburgh’s offense has found in recent weeks by evolving their style of play late in the season. Check out Taron Johnson’s full presser via the embedded video below for more on this and plenty of other topics.

Safety Micah Hyde

A common theme on the day, Micah Hyde, too, spoke to the physicality with which the Steelers play offensive football, as well his confidence in playing what’s expected to be a requisite physical brand of Bills football.

Hyde also responded to questions about the philosophical change in fourth-down football, forming an identity as a team, the importance of vocalizing support within the locker room, week-to-week preparation at this stage of his career, and the weather forecast for Sunday’s showdown.

Check out the video embedded below to hear this and more from Micah Hyde.

Tight end Dalton Kincaid

Dalton Kincaid also address the physicality of the Steelers, and the plethora of tape to review of their game.

Kincaid also reflect on how his first NFL regular season went, and working through the rookie wall. He also spoke to the importance of the guidance from the rest of the tight end room, and the roles quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Stefon Diggs and tight end Dawson Knox have played for him this season.

Kincaid also responded to questions about what surprised him most this season, the team’s veteran leadership and what it’s meant to him in terms of preparing for the playoffs, plus, gaining confidence from star players who believe in him.

Listen to Kincaid’s full field house presser in the video embedded below.

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver

Ed Oliver told reporters how the team’s been in a playoff situation the last five games, and how they’ve been “comfortable being uncomfortable.” Oliver also responded to whether there’s an adjustment in mindset from team to team and regular season to playoffs, plus preparing to play in adverse weather.

In speaking about what’s needed to win in the playoffs, which begins with execution, Oliver said:

“Since I’ve been a rookie here, every year in the playoffs we have fallen short and, you know, I know what happens when you fall short.”

Listen to a very focused and motivated Ed Oliver’s full interview, embedded below.

Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones

DaQuan Jones spoke to the importance of playing a physical game against the Steelers, what’s different about Pittsburgh’s offense now that Mason Rudolph is QB1, plus preparing and playing with the right mindset against what’s expected to be a run-heavy team.

ICYMI: Buffalo Bills coaches’ Zoom pressers from Monday

Head coach Sean McDermott

Next man up. Resiliency. Focusing on playoff football. Key points that Sean McDermott addressed while speaking to media members via Zoom. Plus, McDermott responded to questions about the myriad ways the team found wins this season, entering the playoffs on a winning streak, the importance of playing postseason games at home, facing longtime friend and head coach, Mike Tomlin.

McDermott also noted how well Bills Mafia traveled for the team’s game at Hard Rock Stadium. In a near-27-minute conversation, McDermott fielded a wide array of reporters’ questions — which you can listen/watch in full via the video embedded below.

Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady

Joe Brady also provided reporters with more than 20 minutes of availability, addressing topics such as Josh Allen’s ability to dial in during crunch time, maintaining a balanced and consistent offensive attack, and the challenges in facing Pittsburgh’s stout defense.

Brady also spoke on several players, including Allen, running back Leonard Fournette and his performance against the Dolphins, wide receiver Deonte Harty’s punt-return touchdown, rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid’s key areas of growth this season, and the evolution of wide receiver Khalil Shakir in year two — now serving as a reliable target for Allen.

Brady also spoke about third-down conversions, responding to the Bills finishing as the number-one team in third-down conversions in 2023.

To hear all of Joe Brady’s conversation, check out the video embedded below.

Assistant head coach/defensive line Eric Washington

Eric Washington spoke to the performance by linebacker Baylon Spector, and addressed linebacker Tyrel Dodson’s injury, and navigating injuries as a team and the next-man-up mentality.

Washington also commented on the defense’s production overall in Week 18, big plays from nickel cornerback Taron Johnson and safety Taylor Rapp versus Miami, adjusting as a defense to shut down the Dolphins’ offense in the second half, and playing efficient defensive football.

Washington also spoke about this weekend’s opponent and what’s necessary to play successful football for NFL Super Wild Card Weekend.

Listen to Eric Washing address all this and more — check out his full interview in the video embedded below.