Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 7-28

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2017 – 10:13 am

Camp is underway at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,
First off I just wanted to thank you for keeping me informed over the years being a displaced, and soon to be reunited, WNY Bills fan. I look for your stuff daily!

This is pertaining to Mike Tolbert. I see a lot of hype on Pat DiMarco, which is understandable. I see nothing on Tolbert. Will he even make the roster? Living in SD for the last 30 years I have followed the Chargers as well and really like Tolbert. I was wondering if you think he will make the cut, and if he does will be utilized at all?

Thank you
SD Bills fan
RH

CB: I think Tolbert is going to be given every opportunity to make this roster. He’s seen as a valuable locker room presence by Sean McDermott. Building the culture here is job one for McDermott and Tolbert could be one of his best allies in the locker room to cultivate that. Now he also has to be able to contribute on the field.

I believe he’s underrated as a receiver out of the backfield and can serve as a short yardage and goal line back. Add in his abilities on special teams and I do think there’s a way to have both Tolbert and DiMarco on the roster.


2 –
Dear Chris:
I’ve looked over our roster and have noticed a lack of depth particularly at DE and safety, and I’m not so sure about Will linebacker either. Are the Bills still looking to add guys? What are your thoughts?

Sincerely, John from Pennsylvania

CB: With respect to defensive end I tend to agree with you. The starters are solid with Lawson and Hughes, and Lorenzo Alexander could line up there on obvious passing downs. But Ryan Davis and Max Valles are the second teamers. Davis has NFL experience, but has been a role player for most of his career. Valles has never appeared in an NFL regular season game.

So it’s understandable to feel uneasy as a fan when there is no proven track record for the guys the team will be counting on behind the starters.

At safety they improved their depth this week with the signing of Bacarri Rambo, whose entering his fifth season in the league. But much like defensive end there is a lot of unproven talent there. I like what I’ve seen from Joe Powell, but again behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer there isn’t much NFL experience.

WILL linebacker is improved with the addition of Gerald Hodges in free agency and draft choices Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo will likely be battling for second string roles.

The bottom line is with a new GM and personnel department and a new coaching staff the roster turnover on the back half of the roster will be particularly high as the decision makers try to shape the squad in the image they feel fits the team identity and demands the best.

You can’t fill every position with supreme depth in your first year on the job, but that won’t mean that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott won’t be trying to do so.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Moving the chains is so important in West Coast offense. Could we see Daikiel Shorts edge out guys like Powell and Lewis? Can Shorts be anything but slot?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: Shorts is a sleeper player for sure in this camp. He can play outside in my opinion. He’s 6-1, 202 and knows how to gain separation right before the catch point. The key here will be his ability to execute the route assignments consistently. This is a precision and timing offense, so if Shorts can be dependable for his quarterbacks and make plays in the process, he’ll have a shot. At the very least I see this kid landing on the practice squad.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Any insight to the Stevie hoopla? Is this really a thing?

Geoff Harkins
@GeoffHarkins

CB: Everything I’m hearing about Stevie Johnson is he’s happy in retirement. John Murphy Show co-host Donald Jones, a former teammate of Stevie’s still talks to him a lot and there doesn’t appear to be any desire on Johnson’s part to try to resuscitate his NFL career. As much fun as it was to watch Johnson play, his offseason training regimen was basically playing basketball. His herky-jerky route running style was effective, but put an enormous amount of strain on his groin muscles and as he got older he missed time on the field with the 49ers and Chargers the last few seasons. Now 31, and with a lot of off the field interests, I see Stevie enjoying other pursuits rather than football.


5 –
Chris:
Cardale Jones is traded for a conditional pick. What does the mean exactly? Conditional on his making the team? Conditional on how many games he plays in? Making the practice squad count?

I read it was for a late round pick. Does that mean it can be 5th – 7th round?

Thanks very much
Tom
CB:
The team doesn’t confirm trade terms, but I’ve heard from my sources that it’s a conditional 7th round pick

What the terms are to improve the standing of that pick could be anything. It could be if he wins the backup job it improves to a sixth-round pick. It could be if he makes six starts it improves to a fifth-round pick. It could be any number of conditions that the Chargers and Bills came up with to make the trade suitable to both parties.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins: My job is to stay around here forever

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2017 – 11:52 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins is entering a contract year after the club did not pick up his fifth-year option. Watkins isn’t offended by not having his option picked up. Quite the contrary. He said he would rather earn a new long term contract with his play, and he’d like to stay in Buffalo for a long time.

“I love Buffalo. They drafted me first round, fourth pick,” Watkins said. “My job is to stay here for a while. That’s the goal. You don’t want to change teams. My job is to stay around here forever. That’s the goal.”

Even though the team chose not to pick up the option it hasn’t changed what the club thinks of their top receiver. Their plan going forward is to steadily build up Watkins’ conditioning as they move through training camp and the preseason.

“We know the type of player Sammy is and he’s a great young man,” said GM Brandon Beane, who had not been hired prior to the fifth-year option decision. “I think we just want to build him up until he’s comfortable with a full slate like he would normally be.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott bros. worked for Eagles at same time

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2017 – 12:18 pm

Sean McDermott’s coaching career with the Philadelphia Eagles is well documented, but what most don’t know is his older brother Tim McDermott came to work for their hometown Eagles as well as their Chief Marketing Officer.

What’s ironic is that even though they worked in the same building the two brothers rarely saw each other, let alone had lunch together during the time they both worked for the Eagles.

“We really didn’t see much of each other,” Tim McDermott told Buffalobills.com. “It wasn’t more than a handful of times that we saw each other or had lunch or something like that. I think it was just the nature of him being on the coaching side and me being on the business side. I think at the same time we wanted to make sure that we respected that we were on different sides of the house and were always respectful in not overstepping boundaries or anything.”

Tim McDermott provided some valuable insight on to just who is brother is and what makes him tick in an exclusive on the Bills head coach on Buffalobills.com today.

 


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McDermott’s dad, a coach ahead of the curve

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2017 – 11:45 am

It’s well known by now that Sean McDermott’s father, Rich McDermott, was a college head football coach himself. Coaching and training his two sons may have been his most enjoyable coaching job. And to say he was on the cutting edge of training would be an understatement.

Sean’s older brother Tim McDermott recalled many times where their dad would come home with some form of new training equipment that they had never seen before as he spoke with Buffalobills.com for a story about Buffalo’s new head coach.

“My dad from a very early age… 30-plus years ago in today’s day in age we have all this technology and sports performance equipment, parachutes, resistance trainers or sleds. Thirty years ago my dad would have us in the backyard with a handmade sled,” said Tim. “Something he put together. It was like a wood block sled, with a dowel in the middle of it where he would put metal weights on it. There would be a chain hooked to one side and it would wrap up to a weightlifting belt and then back to the other side with another chain and we’d put it around our waist. And there was a hill in the backyard and my dad would say, ‘Go!’ And we would just run with it up the hill.

“Whether it was that or one day he came home with a parachute, that today’s day in age it’s more normal to see that kind of resistance training. But he comes home with this parachute that he had somebody make for him. He was ahead of his time when it came to all that stuff. I think as we were growing up, working out, training, having discipline, it was part of who we were and definitely part of who Sean was. That meant you don’t always go out on a Friday night or a Saturday night because you’re at a gym. That was very much the norm.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Colt Anderson placed on Active/PUP w/foot injury

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2017 – 4:05 pm

Bills safety and special teamer Colt Anderson will begin training camp on Active/PUP.

A foot injury is what landed Anderson on the Active PUP/list. Under the rules of Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, Anderson can come off of Active/PUP and begin practicing as soon as he passes a team physical.


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Bills to live stream on buffalobills.com

Posted by Buffalobills.com on July 25, 2017 – 9:56 am

Bills fans, interested in watching press conferences and other major Bills events live? We’ve got you covered!

Kicking off on Thursday, July 27 from Bills Training Camp, presented by Connors & Ferris, ‘Bills Live’ will allow you to stay connected with the team. Streaming on buffalobills.com and the Bills Mobile App, presented by M&T Bank, fans will be able to watch each of head coach Sean McDermott’s Training Camp press conferences live.

Additional live streams will take place during the following Training Camp practices:

  • July 27 at 5:30 p.m.
  • August 1 at 8:45 a.m.
  • August 4 at 5:30 p.m.

Don’t miss out! Click here to download the Bills Mobile App now.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Season Ticket Member of the Month – July

Posted by Buffalobills.com on July 24, 2017 – 3:46 pm

For Ray Harris, being a Bills fan is a family affair. Harris, originally from Western Canada and currently residing in Ontario, went to his first game with his wife in 1969 and has been a loyal fan ever since. Each home game, Harris or his children, make the commute to loyally cheer on their favorite NFL team.

Around the time when the Bills moved to their current home in Orchard Park, Harris solidified his love of football and purchased season tickets, which he still has today, decades later. Going to games was more than just a chance to cheer on his all-time favorite player, QB Jim Kelly, who he has the utmost respect for. Game days were spent with his wife, family, and friends they made over the years through a common love of Bills football.

One of Harris’s favorite Bills memories was without a doubt attending the three Bills Super Bowl games with his wife, Pat. “She had all the stuff you could imagine that showed she was a Bills fan,” said Harris. “She was more enthusiastic than I was.”

Over the years, Harris has passed on his love of Buffalo Bills games to his children and grandchildren, who now frequent the games. Each season despite the long commute, Harris, his son Keith, his daughter, and grandchildren come together to loyally cheer on the team.

While his favorite part of the game is watching the boys in blue and red play, Harris also enjoys the tailgate party. For the Harris’, the Bills experience is all about coming together as a family. A typical game day tailgate ritual for them is “grabbing something to eat, having a couple of beers, and watching the football team,” said Harris’s son, Keith.

As a longtime Bills Season Ticket Member and loyal fan, Harris has enjoyed many perks that accompany season tickets. His favorite includes the Bills Bucks Cards, which his family uses at each game at the concession stands.

Congratulations, Ray!

The Buffalo Bills would like to thank Ray for his many years of being a dedicated Bills Season Ticket Member and our Season Ticket Member of the Month for the month of July. In addition to Ray being selected as a Season Ticket Member of the Month, he will receive two pregame on-field passes to a game during the 2017 season, a club seat upgrade, an autographed football, and select 2017 Bills merchandise.

If you would like to nominate a Season Ticket Member of the Month, please fill out the form located here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Report: FA WR Boldin to visit Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2017 – 2:16 pm

He was reported to have a free agent visit scheduled with an unnamed team, now the latest report is that veteran WR Anquan Boldin will visit the Bills on Monday

That according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano. 

Graziano said Boldin is interested due to Tyrod Taylor’s presence on the roster. Taylor was the backup QB in Baltimore when Boldin was there earlier in his career. 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Starpoint to appear in USA Football’s 7-on-7 National Championship Series

Posted by Buffalobills.com on July 21, 2017 – 10:43 am

After an impressive showing in the recent USA Football Buffalo Regional 7-on-7 competition, the Starpoint High School football team has advanced to the National Championship Series. The event, set in Canton, Ohio, will take place on Friday, July 21 and continue through July 22. The series will feature 17 teams, battling for the number one spot.

Led by head coach Al Cavagnaro, Starpoint will look to keep their win streak alive. The Lockport, New York based school, proved dominant during the regional round, going undefeated throughout the tournament. Hosted by the Town of Hamburg Recreation Department and Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, 16 teams from Western New York took part in the one-day event. With a 22-12 win over Cheektowaga in the final, Starpoint advanced to 5-0 on the day and earned a spot in Canton.

USA Footballs’ 7-on-7 competitions have proven a great way for coaches to continue to develop their athletes. With support from the Buffalo Bills and the local community, the Buffalo Regional competition proved both fun and educational.

“The Buffalo Bills are proud to partner with USA Football, the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission and the Town of Hamburg Recreation Department on the first-ever USA Football 7-on-7 Regional Championship in Western New York,” said Preston Teague, Buffalo Bills Director of Community Relations. “This tournament is an excellent opportunity local high school football teams to compete and show who is best in our region. We are also excited for the opportunity for our tournament winners to participate in one of the National Championship Series events this summer.”

As Starpoint prepares for the next installment in the series, the Bills and entire Western New York region wish them luck!

To watch the tournament live, click here.


Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

TE Barnidge to work out for Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2017 – 6:48 am

He’s been using his time waiting for what he feels could be an opportunity to start. Free agent TE Gary Barnidge apparently sees the Jacksonville Jaguars as a team where potentially starting is realistic. That’s why he’s working out for the Jags today. 

That according to First Coast News. Barnidge, who made a free agent visit with the Bills back in May, has been holding out for an opportunity to step into a starting role. 

That wouldn’t be the case in Buffalo with Charles Clay as the entrenched starter. But in Jacksonville after Julius Thomas was traded to Miami there is just a collection of largely unproven tight ends and an aging Marcedes Lewis on their roster. 

Barnidge won’t sign for peanuts so it will be interesting to see what the Jags are willing to commit to the veteran tight end after their busy offseason of free agent spending. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod earns ‘Fashionable’ status from SI

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2017 – 9:45 am

Sports Illustrated put together their 2017 Top 50 Most Fashionable athletes and Tyrod Taylor made the list, and earned a specific award in the process.

Taylor was awarded the most consistent of the Fashionable 50 by SI. Here’s what they said about Taylor’s commitment to looking sharp.

MOST CONSISTENT
TYROD TAYLOR
Buffalo Bills | NFL

The Bills quarterback easily transitions from tailored, three-piece suits to polished street-style looks—and he always does it with ease.

 


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Incognito breaks down approach under McDermott

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2017 – 9:17 am

Most NFL observers have capably recognized that former Bills head coach Rex Ryan and current Bills head coach Sean McDermott are polar opposites when it comes to approaching their job and the philosophy in building a winner as well. Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito has seen the difference first hand and explained the dichotomy between the two coaches in his appearance on NFL Network Monday night.

“The biggest difference with coach McDermott is he brings energy, he brings passion,” said Incognito. “He’s really stressing the football team loving one another. He’s really big on guys getting to know each other, building that winning culture. He’s very passionate. He’s a former wrestler. He brings a lot of good things to the table.

“I’m most excited about the winning culture that we’re forming. He’s doing a bunch of cool activities like having guys get up and speak in front of the team and talk about why football is important to them. I’m learning more about my teammates that I’ve played with for the last two seasons in a couple weeks in Buffalo than I’ve known for the last two years.”

Incognito also acknowledged that the culture of the team had to change after two years under Ryan.

“The culture change was needed. I love Rex [Ryan], I love what he brought to the team, but I don’t think our locker room was ready for it,” Incognito said. “I don’t think we had a veteran enough group to be able to adapt to Rex’s system and to be able to make that work. So now we have a young and hungry team, and with coach [Sean] McDermott coming in and being detail-oriented and holding guys accountable, hopefully that helps us take the next step.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hiring of Beane fortuitous after Gettleman firing

Posted by Chris Brown on July 17, 2017 – 1:46 pm

The Bills hired Brandon Beane as their new general manager this past May. Two months later the man Beane worked under with the Carolina Panthers was fired as GM. Knowing Beane was being groomed to be the heir apparent to now former Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, Buffalo’s hiring was fortunately ahead of the curve.

Beane, who is a North Carolina native, admitted that he initially wrestled with the prospect of becoming Buffalo’s GM after he spent his entire pro career with the Panthers. But after meeting the Pegulas and sensing their passion and determination to build a winner, he was sold on building the Bills into a perennial contender.

Hiring Beane effectively removed him as an option for the Panthers and with Panthers team President Danny Morrison resigning in February, there is a notable dearth of leadership at the top for the Carolina club owned by Jerry Richardson.


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Tough loss for Bills family

Posted by Chris Brown on July 17, 2017 – 10:54 am

The Bills family lost one of its more ardent supporters in Jay O’Leary whose body finally succumbed to cancer over the weekend. Jay, who got the opportunity to visit the team at One Bills Drive just last month, as part of a Treasured Times funded visit with his young family, grew up in Western New York. He wanted to bring his family to Orchard Park to share in his life long support for the team. Here is a look back at his recent visit, which fortunately was able to happen before cancer took him from us.

O’Leary, who was given 3-6 months to live with or without chemotheraphy treatment, was hoping to make it to January where he hoped to be at New Era Field for a home Wild Card game for the Bills. Suffice to say Jay will be sitting in his new seat in the upper deck this fall where the seats are free, and he’ll have the chance to watch every game. God’s speed Jay. Go Bills!


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Season Ticket Member of the Month – June

Posted by Buffalobills.com on June 29, 2017 – 2:21 pm

Glenn Shupe has prided himself on being a loyal Bills Season Ticket Member for over three decades. A Buffalo native, Shupe has created countless Bills memories. Although he was just a young boy, Shupe still fondly remembers attending his first Bills game with his uncle back in 1965.

“I went to my first Bills game…in 1965 at the Rock Pile,” said Shupe. “I was like five years old with my uncle. I saw the Cleveland Browns in an exhibition game. My first regular season game was in 1966 – I had the fever then.”

Over the years, Shupe’s Bills “fever” has continued to grow and he’s truly come to cherish watching his team take the field. From his favorite Bills player of all time QB Jim Kelly, to his current favorite players DT Kyle Williams and C Eric Wood, Shupe is the epitome of a diehard fan. Though it’s hard to pick just one, Shupe cites the 1991 AFC Championship game as his favorite moment as a Bills fan.

“My favorite Bills memory, and I tell this to my kids all the time, was sitting in the stadium in the AFC Championship game against Oakland when it got to halftime and it was 41-3 Bills,” said Shupe. “It dawned on us that we were going to go to our first Super Bowl. To watch that second half go off, the crowd being able to celebrate…and the Bills end up winning 51-3 – that was my favorite moment.”

Today, Shupe tailgates with his two sons on game days prior to kickoff at New Era Field. The entire Bills experience is special for him because it allows him to spend some quality time with his family and some friends that he’s made along the way.

“I enjoy the whole day,” said Shupe. “As I’ve gotten older and my boys and I go together, it’s a special day for the three of us. We tailgate…walk into the stadium together [and I] talk to them about how we’re going to win this game…The whole game itself, we enjoy that…It’s that experience with my kids, just to enjoy being with them and seeing them grow up to be Bills fans too. ”

As a longtime Bills Season Ticket Member, Shupe has also come to enjoy the benefits associated with his membership. His favorites include the Bills Bucks Card and his personal Account Representative – who helps ensure that the seat upgrade process always runs smoothly. As a true football fan, Shupe also likes being able to see players from the Bills and other teams up close and finds his seats, on the 50-yard line behind the visitor’s bench exciting.

Congratulations, Glenn!

The Buffalo Bills would like to thank Glenn for his many years of being a dedicated Bills Season Ticket Member and our Season Ticket Member of the Month for the month of June. In addition to Glenn being selected as a Season Ticket Member of the Month, he will receive two pregame on-field passes to a game during the 2017 season, a club seat upgrade, an autographed item and select 2017 Bills merchandise.

If you would like to nominate a Season Ticket Member of the Month, please fill out the form located here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Report: Williams won’t be disciplined by NFL

Posted by Chris Brown on June 29, 2017 – 11:38 am

Bills RB Jonathan Williams was acquitted of DUI charges this past spring, but the NFL could have still enacted disciplined against the second-year back based on the league’s substance abuse policy. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Williams will not be disciplined by the league.

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Williams is the favorite to be LeSean McCoy’s primary backup in 2017.


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Mentoring program featuring Bills now accepting teacher applications

Posted by Buffalobills.com on June 22, 2017 – 8:42 am

The Buffalo Bills are proud to team up with Classroom Champions, to make a difference in Western New York schools this fall! A nonprofit organization, Classroom Champions is an established program dedicated to pairing classrooms with athletes in order to help students excel. After finding success in bringing classrooms and Olympic athletes together, the upcoming program with the Bills will mark the first-ever relationship with NFL players.

The Classroom Champions – Buffalo Bills Mentoring program, will pair five classrooms with current Bills players from September through December in 2017. The unique initiative offers educators an opportunity to introduce critical life skills to their students such as goal setting, teamwork and community involvement – while building relationships.

Teachers in the Western New York area are invited to apply. The deadline for applications is June 30.

For more information, please visit here.

This program is funded by the Buffalo Bills Foundation.

ABOUT THE BUFFALO BILLS FOUNDATION

The Buffalo Bills Foundation supports organizations that are committed to improving the quality of life in our region. This will be achieved through philanthropic investment in our community along with supporting NFL and team charitable initiatives.


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Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Zay Jones happy to have NFL regimen to follow

Posted by Chris Brown on June 20, 2017 – 12:05 pm

Bills WR Zay Jones won’t be resting much during his five-plus weeks prior to training camp. As we profiled on Buffalobills.com Tuesday, Jones will be training with his two brothers in L.A. from now until the time camp opens to be ready for his first NFL season. What had Jones really excited however, leaving Buffalo at the close of minicamp was having an NFL training regimen to follow.

“My development and the way I approached training I don’t think will ever stop until I’m done playing this game,” said Jones. “So I’m always looking at ways to get better and increase strength, speed and our strength and conditioning staff here is amazing. They’ve already set up all the programs and stuff like that so I’m excited with it.”


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Wood to be 100 percent for training camp

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2017 – 4:35 pm

Coming back from a serious broken leg suffered against Seattle, the rehab process proved to be a steady one for Eric Wood. Entering the spring practices there was a plan in place in the event that Wood’s leg developed soreness after pounding on it working on the field. Fortunately for Wood, and Buffalo’s offensive line that didn’t prove to be a problem at all.

“It went great. I missed one day the first week of OTAs and we had planned that if I had any setbacks or got too sore I would take a day off, but I didn’t need a day off the rest of the time,” said Wood. “So I’m encouraged. I definitely should be 100 percent barring anything crazy happening over the next month. So I’m looking forward to it.”

 


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McDermott weighs in on Maclin

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2017 – 3:49 pm

Bills head coach Sean McDermott was already onto the next item on his agenda.

Jeremy Maclin’s decision to sign with Baltimore wasn’t the move they hoped the receiver would take, but McDermott doesn’t dwell on such things.

“We went through the process, with Jeremy in this case, just like we go through the process with a lot of guys,” said McDermott. “At the end of the day, we’re going to do what’s best for this football team and so – within our parameters and what fits for us. Sometimes, that works out in the end. Sometimes it doesn’t. At the end of the day, we’ve moved forward and then, obviously, Jeremy has as well – and we wish him well. In this league, you can’t get too high or too low. You’ve got to be mentally tough and understand the big picture at all times.”


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