Despite another round of heavy snowfall, the Buffalo Bills were able to push back meetings and a team practice in order to keep those opportunities on the books. That’s key in preparing to face a Kansas City Chiefs team that’s had two additional days of rest and prep for Sunday’s Divisional Round playoff game.
The team’s ability to make it into One Bills Drive on Wednesday also gave the local media the chance to ask questions as Buffalo settles into their prep for Sunday evening’s game. Below, hear from head coach Sean McDermott, quarterback Josh Allen, center Mitch More
Head coach Sean McDermott
Sean McDermott gave an update on the team’s lengthy injury list, noting those who didn’t practice on Wednesday’s walkthrough, adding that even with defensive tackle Jordan Phillips having his 21-day return-to-practice window open, he wasn’t quite ready to return.
McDermott was asked about the significance of holding the Wednesday’s walkthrough, given the short week to prepare and another round of weather adversity, expressing his thanks to those in the community who help to clear the roads and other sectors that impact their ability to meet.
Hope was expressed about linebacker Terrel Bernard’s ankle injury, with McDermott stating “it could’ve been way worse.” On the topic of linebackers, McDermott pointed out the work that linebackers coach Bobby Babich has done throughout the season — especially considering the extensive amount of injuries to the position. He also noted that they’re still finding out about the skill set that rookie linebacker Dorian Williams brings to the team.
McDermott also discussed the team’s decision to sign Punter Matt Haack to the Bills’ practice squad, and plenty of topics about the Kansas City Chiefs and the matchup this weekend.
It was asked of McDermott whether he could have envisioned the scenario this weekend and the rivalry that’s developed between the franchises the past four seasons when he was let go by Andy Reid while both were with the Philadelphia Eagles. McDermott responded by saying:
“I think I knew at the time that... you know I just think when you go through a setback it’s how you handle it. I’ve just — over the course of my life and my career, I think you double down on work ethic, belief in yourself, and making certain adjustments, and then you find your way back and your find your way hopefully back to beyond where you were before. And so, you know in some ways I’m extremely grateful for it.”
McDermott also spoke to the Bills’ ability to control only themselves season to season, not worrying about if the Chiefs are the team they will ultimately face in these situations each campaign. The word “phenomenal” was often used by McDermott when describing what it is about the Chiefs that makes them who and what they are, and he discussed the challenge that running back Isiah Pacheco brings to to the field.
To hear all of the above and more from Sean McDermott, check out his full presser from Wednesday — embedded below.
Quarterback Josh Allen
“It’s gonna take everybody to beat this team.”
Josh Allen spoke to the importance of getting work in on Wednesday, given the short week and other outside factors that could potentially play havoc with their prep work. Allen noted how the Chiefs have a number of guys on defense who can take over a game at any time, his off-field relationship with Patrick Mahomes and what they discuss when they’re golfing, plus he spoke to his excitement in being able to play another game this coming weekend.
Allen was also asked about how much they can pull from previous matchups against the Chiefs, and the need to play a complete game in all three phases.
Reflecting a bit on his 52-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Allen mentioned that it was a surreal moment, and the first time he’d been able to look up and watch the video screen and see no one behind him.
Allen is also very aware of Kansas City’s proficiency at sacking quarterbacks, and remarked on the challenge it will be facing a team with the second-most sacks during the 2023 NFL season.
The significance of this weekend’s playoff matchup of course isn’t lost on Allen, who said
“They’ve been at the top of the mountain and they know what it takes to get there. You know, we’ve yet to do that and, again, as a competitor, as a player, to be in a situation like this is something that you dream about. You know, you really do. And I know guys on this team have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and to think about how far we’ve come even from seven, eight weeks ago to where we are now to have an opportunity to host a game against — you know, they’ve won two championships in the last couple years. You can’t help but be excited for that.”
To hear this and more from Allen — including the attention to detail needed at this time of year, and the team using its opportunities to run the ball — check out his full press conference from Wednesday, embedded below.
Center Mitch Morse
“It’ll be a great atmosphere come Sunday.”
Mitch Morse spoke to the benefit of having Bills Mafia on their side this weekend, and not having to utilize silent cadences. Morse also spoke to the benefit of having a home game on a short week of playoff prep, and how every team that’s made it to this point is well-versed in battling through adversity.
Morse also responded to a question asking what he believes makes the Bills better-equipped/more prepared to handle what the team’s will face on Sunday.
“I think we’ve been in a peculiar situation since the bye week of being in a — when you win and you have the opportunity to continue with your playoff chances, and if you lose, you know they’re dwindled to near non-existent. So, I think if anything we’re a group that’s used to playing freely, understanding that if you can do that and not worry about making mistakes then usually good things happen. And if they don’t then you can lay your head on the pillow and feel like you still left your best foot forward out on the field.”
Morse also spoke about the challenge of facing a relentless and energetic KC defensive front that features plenty of blocking concerns, noting “all those dogs can hunt.”
Catch up with all this above from Morse and more by watching his full press conference, embedded below.
Defensive End Greg Rousseau
“We’ve earned the right to play this Sunday.”
Greg Rousseau spoke about the importance of having home-field advantage against the Chiefs this weekend and how preparing for them this time is different than even their Week 14 meeting given the way teams change and grow throughout the season.
Rousseau also not the challenge in facing Pacheco, who wasn’t available in Week 14, on top of Mahomes and Kelce. When asked about the weather in Buffalo, Rousseau didn’t seem too fazed by it, but he did note that it’s hard to ever get used to “feet of snow.”
On defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, Rousseau offered: “Man DaQuan means everything. I’d say to the defense, but definitely to me. Just the type of dude that he’s been since he’s got here. The leader he is in our room. The positive energy, the reinforcement and adivce... I mean, he’s one of the people that have helped me grow the most since I’ve been in the league for the past three years. So, I mean, that’s my boy, my brother, I’m so glad to have DaQuan back out there with me.”
Listen to all this and more from Rousseau by checking out his full presser, embedded below.