BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sean McDermott spoke to the media one final time before taking a break for the offseason. The Bills head coach touched on several topic including— Josh Allen’s growth, opting for field goals, and the next step. Here are 4 notable quotes from Tuesday’s zoom call:
Q: What went into the decision to settle for field goals instead of going for a touchdowns?
Sean McDermott: “The one before half I really felt like morale was a big piece to that they had momentum they were getting the ball after half as well and I felt like we needed to come away with points at that one. Even though sometimes analytics may say one thing, whether it said it or not on our chart, I think there’s a human element to the game at the end of the day and I felt like we needed to come away with points. I’ll had look at those guys in the locker room and say hey we got something to show for that drive we put points together at the end of the half and I thought that was important because it was getting awfully tough sledding there. Then after half, that’s the one that even now I’m still continuing to process through. On one hand we were 2-8 at halftime on third downs and we were struggling somewhat on third down. I felt like I think it was a 12 point lead at the time we could get it to nine. That would change what we needed from two scores to a score and a half however you want to say that in your verbiage. That’s still the one that, being very open with you, I still think about. Maybe I should’ve gone for it. I felt like we could get it to 4th & 3 or 4th & 2, I know for sure we would have went for it. Maybe 3rd down sticking a run in there and getting that one or 2 yards we would’ve felt a little more comfortable going for it there. Score came in to play a little bit there but at the end of the day Patrick Mahomes is a good quarterback so that’s the piece that in my mind I’m kicking myself a little bit at the end of the day. Just being aggressive there. Always learning from those situations.”
Q: What happened during the Chiefs postgame celebration that led to the embrace with Stefon Diggs on the field?
SM: “We were getting ready to close the locker room doors and I was getting ready to address the team and I got word that Josh Norman and Stef(Diggs) we’re still out there so I wanted to go out there and bring them in. Stef was the first one that I got to and he was emotional and visibly upset. I can understand why he wanted to stay out there and watch that. I’ve been around those games enough, including the Super Bowl, where I can tell you that I don’t wanna watch it anymore because I know how hard it is to watch it but you learn from it and that’s part of what he needed to do to get closure and also learn from it. When got to him, like I said he was visually upset and I just wanted to be there for him as a teammate nothing more than that. I love him and care for him. Whether it was Steph Diggs or the last man on our roster I would’ve done the same thing.”
Q: On Josh Allen’s development in his 3rd season.
SM: “There are very few parts to his game that aren’t developed after his third season, that you say “he struggles in this area”. I think it’s a small conversation of things that he still needs to evolve in and he would probably tell you the same. I’ve seen him do much of what it takes to win and win at a high-level. I think he answered quite a few of the questions that were out there about him maybe from outside this building, specifically about his play. The comforting piece to me about Josh is he’s going to go back to work. I know the comments that he made the other day after the game about taking responsibility. I think when you do that as a leader it says a lot about yourself and says a lot about what you’re driven to accomplish in the future.”
Q: What will it take to get to the next step?
SM: “Overall we’ve got improve. I’ve got to improve, our team has to improve, our staff has to improve. Here’s what I know from experience, if you sit here and say all we need to do is this much more(holding fingers close together) to get to the Super Bowl you’re wrong. You have to start over. You can carry over a lot of things forward but every year you have to start over. You have to rebuild the football team, you have to grow as an individual, you have to take it upon yourself to ask yourself the hard questions. I can start off by saying we have to be able to run the football better. You have to take that growth mindset approach because to think—well we made it— we won 15 games and lost four we’re perfect. No, we’re not. Even if we were you have to take the growth mindset approach that’s what you do when you’re a winner. That’s what you do when you’re hungry to be the best and that’s what we’re going to continue to do as long as on the head coach here.”