Wednesday’s Buffalo Bills media availability presented a full slate, with four official press conferences and two additional conducted from within the team’s field house, with a focus on the team’s Week 18 opponent in the Miami Dolphins.
Embedded below, hear from three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Dion Dawkins, head coach Sean McDermott, cornerback Taron Johnson, quarterback Josh Allen, center Mitch Morse, and tight end Dawson Knox.
Left tackle Dion Dawkins
The always engaging Dawkins spoke to the importance of not making this weekend’s game bigger than it is — in order to keep their focus in line, while carrying an underdog mentality. While asked if he’d watch the Pittsburgh Steelers game on Sunday, he noted that it’s unlikely anyone’s going to step off the plane and want to sit in front of a television.
Dawkins also had high praise for “Cybo” (aka rookie right guard O’Cyrus Torrence), going into detail a bit about the impressive things he brings to the table.
Dawkins also spoke about playoff football, and why he believes the Bills have found success late in the season in recent campaigns. Dawkins said he felt the energy change during the game in South Philly against the Philadelphia Eagles — which he calls his “flip-it” moment on the season.
When asked about what the impetus was for going from 6-6 to 10-6, Dawkins said:
“I don’t know bro... I wish I had the perfect answer for you. The team became more of a team. It was all of the dinners, all of the hanging (out), all of the UNO™ games, the card games, the — everything, cornhole, all of it. It was a little bit of all of that of guys meshing together closer and understanding that we could have all of the talent in the world, but when you play for your brother — like, genuinely play for your brother — you know, we’re an unstoppable group. So I think we done hit that mode where we’re not playing for our(selves) any more, and we’re playing for each other. You know, it’s not about self, and it’s about the team — and I play for Connor (McGovern). Connor’s right next to me, so he’s immediate, and then I also play for Josh because we have to protect him. Even though everything starts with Josh, but I want Connor to know every snap, every punch — I got his back, and just as well that I know that he has mine. And I’m pretty sure that everybody that has somebody next to them on the field plays with that same heart. So, that’s what is different, everybody is looking to their left and to their right and they’re saying ‘I got you.’ And that’s all a brotherhood really is and that’s what we got here in Buffalo.”
All this and more from Dawkins on Wednesday.
Head coach Sean McDermott
During McDermott’s 14-minute presser, he covered a variety of topics, but perhaps the “spiciest wing” he served up concerned the passing game and wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ involvement. McDermott responded that he believes its one of the areas the team needs to continue improving on, including concentration as it relates to drops. In regards to Diggs, McDermott reiterated that sometimes teams are intent on taking a team’s WR1 away, and other times it comes down to quarterback Josh Allen working through his reads.
Responding to how Diggs has handled this on-field adversity, McDermott stated:
“He’s been a true pro. He’s been a true pro, and that’s much appreciated — and that’s not easy when you’re a receiver, whether you’re Stef or any receiver for that matter who’s gotten to this level. They’re used to catching balls.”
Additionally, McDermott responded to questions related to this weekend’s game against the Dolphins, plus much more.
Cornerback Taron Johnson
Johnson was asked about facing wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and noted “population to the ball” is key when facing him to try and contain the explosive nature of his play. He also spoke about what cornerback Rasul Douglas has brought to the team, cornerback Christian Benford’s game in year two, the opportunity to play for the AFC East crown on Sunday Night Football, key attributes in facing Miami’s offense, and more.
Quarterback Josh Allen
Allen was asked about the idea of how easy it might be to force a throw to Diggs, while also reflecting on his own in-game production in recent weeks. Allen acknowledged that the offense is running the ball a lot more, which has played into the flow of each game.
Allen also discussed how the Dolphins have changed personnel wise and schematically since they met in Week 4, while downplaying the idea that his past success ensures the same this weekend without effort and work to continue improving.
Allen also touched on their playoff push and reflecting back on the playoff mindset that many players in-house understand, the importance of Bills Mafia’s support in Miami, and more.
Center Mitch Morse
Morse spoke to the idea of resiliency being a huge factor in the team’s ability to rebound from 6-6 to now being 10-6 — and what that means in terms of winning or losing in Week 18. Morse also responded facing this weekend’s opponent on the road and how well they’ve played, while remaining firm in focusing on the here and now.
Morse was also asked to speak about safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde and the leadership they bring to the team.
Tight end Dawson Knox
Knox touched on facing the Dolphins and the relative familiarity between the two clubs, how he’s feeling, returning to the field following the wrist injury and subsequent surgery that sent him to Injured Reserve.
Knox also responded to the important roles Diggs plays on offense beyond just catching the football. This and more, including playing a game in primetime to decide the AFC East.