Inside The Bills

Bills DBs coach McDonald & son square off

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 1:16 pm

It’s not only a homecoming for USC alum Tim McDonald, but bragging rights will be very much on the line when the Bills face the Rams and McDonald’s son T.J. McDonald.

McDonald, who is returning to the L.A. Coliseum, where he played his college ball at USC, for the first time since his son played for the Trojans.

“It’s been a long time,” said McDonald. “The last time I was there was during one of my son’s spring ball games. So it’ll be good to get back. It’s good to have football back in L.A.”

McDonald’s son T.J. is a safety for the Rams and was a third-round pick of the team in 2013 out of USC. This is the first time he’s facing a team coached by his dad.

“No trash talk. I played for the 49ers for a lot of years and T.J. loves to beat the hell out of the 49ers,” said McDonald. “He was so frustrated with their first game of the year when they lost to the 49ers. He’s going to take a lot of pride in this game this week. He’s going to want to win because he’s knows how dad is. I’m a competitor. He’s a pro and I’m a pro. I’ll be excited to watch him play, but I probably won’t get a chance because we’ll be making adjustments on the sidelines when he’s out there. He’s a big boy. He can respond from a loss if we do what we’re supposed to do.”

McDonald has never gone against his son’s team in an NFL game.

“I really don’t know. We’ll probably take a picture together before the game. He’s really into his game and football. He gets excited to play. He’ll be focused on what he has to do and I’ll be focused on what I have to do. And we’ll let the chips fall where they may and love each other afterwards.”

“It’s pretty exciting especially to see glimpses of yourself, when I watch him on film. I’m excited for him and he loves the game. He’d always ask me, ‘Dad, what do I have to do? He said I don’t want an NFL experience. I want an NFL career.’ So he worked his tail off as a youngster. So I worked with him when I retired and got him involved in the game and just try to teach him how to stay healthy.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams size at WR presents similar challenge to Wk 2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 11:14 am

The Bills secondary capably recovered from a terrible performance in Week 2 against the Jets and has performed admirably against the Cardinals and Patriots the past two weeks. Sunday however, they face a receiving corps with similar size on the outside. Are the Bills DBs ready to show they’ve learned from some of the things the Jets receivers used against them?

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald believes they have, even though they’ve got a lot of respect for what the Rams can put out on the field.

“Big 50-50 type ball guys on the outside,” said McDonald of the Rams’ Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. “They’re strong, so we’ve got to be able to handle that. They’re not going to be able to run by our guys unless we let them. And they’ve got a guy in the slot who is pretty quick. We’ve got to make sure we know where Tavon Austin is. They run a lot of gadget plays with him.”

McDonald is confident his corners have a good idea as to how Britt and Quick are going to play them.

“Britt is a big, strong guy. Our guys know what he is and what he likes to do. He likes to put body on you,” McDonald said. “And Quick has come along the last couple of weeks. Steph (Gilmore) is a good matchup with those guys. (Ronald) Darby is going to have use his speed and technique to maneuver those guys. I like our chances with those guys outside and we’ve got to just handle that guy inside.”

And what happens if they find themselves in a jump ball situation with those biggers wideouts?

“There is always going to be a time or two where you’re put in a situation where you have to make a play and I think our guys are up to the challenge,” said McDonald.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dennis Thurman’s best football memory at Coliseum

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2016 – 10:41 am

By now most know that the Bills have a host of players who are USC alumni (Nickell Robey-Coleman, Reggie Bush, Kevon Seymour, Robert Woods). There is also a contingent of Bills coaches who played and/or coaches at USC including defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and secondary coach Tim McDonald.

Thurman was on the USC 1974 national championship team, but that game didn’t take place at the L.A. Coliseum. So his best memory was when he was a cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys in 1978.

“You know, I have a lot of memories. I played a lot of college football games there, coached a lot of college football games there,” said Thurman. “Played a few when I was with Dallas coming back home and probably the most memorable was going there and playing in the NFC championship game in 1978 and beating the Rams and going to the Super Bowl.”

The Cowboys however, would lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII 35-31.

Rams head coach is also a USC alum where he played safety alongside Ronnie Lott. Fisher played five seasons in the NFL under Rex and Rob Ryan’s father Buddy Ryan as a safety and returner for the Chicago Bears. He additionally coached under Ryan as a defensive backs coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.


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Why Bills DBs coach still thanks Kelly & Thomas

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2016 – 12:45 pm

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald is entering his second season with Buffalo on Rex Ryan’s staff. His 13-year playing career was highlighted by a Super Bowl title with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995. McDonald signed as a free agent with San Fran in 1993, a move that might not have happened were it not for a certain game the 49ers had played a season prior against the Buffalo Bills.

In 1992 the Bills and 49ers met early in the season in the now famous ‘No Punt’ game won by Buffalo 34-31. Though the Niners had a respectable defense that ranked 15th in the NFL, San Fran was 26th in pass defense and 24th in interceptions. And in a heated arms race with the Dallas Cowboys for NFC supremacy, the 49ers were looking for free agent help in the secondary.

McDonald, who was a Phoenix Cardinals free agent, was given a five-year contract offer worth big money at the time ($12.75M). McDonald believes it never would’ve happened were it not for the Bills-49ers ‘no punt’ game where the defense was non-existent.

“What got me to San Francisco as a free agent was their need for defensive help,” McDonald told Buffalobills.com. “San Francisco offered me a pretty good deal because they played that game – and I talked to Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas about this – they played a game against the Buffalo Bills in 1992 and there were no punts.

“The 49ers said, ‘Hey we’ve got to get some defensive help.’ That’s what got me to San Francisco was the no punt game. I remember watching that game as soon as I got to San Francisco and I was like, ‘Holy smokes, there is no defense being played in this game.’

McDonald had a staff of big names that he played under at the time.

“George Seifert was my head coach,” he said. “Pete Carroll was the defensive coordinator for two years, then Jim Mora was my coordinator and defensive backs coach. My first year Jeff Fisher was my defensive backs coach. We had some pretty good guys.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDonald & son now both know NFL relocation

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2016 – 11:36 am

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald began his NFL playing career with the St. Louis Cardinals before he signed with the 49ers. McDonald went through the process of relocation when the Cardinals pulled up stakes in 1990 and moved to Phoenix. Now his son T.J. is going through the same thing moving with the Rams, again from St. Louis to L.A.

McDonald remembers when he moved with the Cardinals in ’90. For him the only tough thing was the increased amount of travel the following season because the Cardinals at the time were in the NFC East.

“Most everybody in the organization made the move,” McDonald said. “We stayed in the same division. That was a pain in the butt because were in the NFC East at the time so we had to do a lot of traveling. We had Dallas, Philadelphia and the Giants, but there wasn’t much to that transition. For me it wasn’t because I was a California guy. I was closer to home.”

McDonald was a Fresno native, and raised his two NFL sons and daughter in Fresno. So it’s not surprising that his son T.J., who grew up in northern California and played his college ball at USC is finding the move to Los Angeles an easy transition.

“He’s going home, so he’s having a ball,” said McDonald of T.J. “He had a place in L.A. where he would train in the offseason. So he’s going back home.”

His other son Tevin, who is very close to home playing for Oakland, may soon also know what relocation is all about if the Raiders choose to move in the next year or so.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills DBs coach to face his 2 NFL sons in fall

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2016 – 9:28 am

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald had a successful 13-year NFL playing career with a Super Bowl title with San Francisco and six Pro Bowls on his resume. Now his two sons are playing in the NFL for teams the Bills will face in 2016, making for an awkwardly competitive situation this fall.

McDonald’s older son T.J. McDonald plays for the Los Angeles Rams as a safety, while younger son Tevin McDonald plays for the Oakland Raiders as a safety and special teamer. The Bills will face both teams on the road this coming season.

“That’s going to be a little different to go against my sons, but they know how I am,” McDonald told Buffalobills.com. “They’re professional. They understand what it means to be a pro. We’re going to try our darndest to kick both their butts when we play them and they’ll try to do the same.

“T.J. jokes about it all the time when I talk to him because I have to watch his game film as well as our game film and kind of critique him. He’ll say, ‘Boy I saw you guys play and saw the tape you guys got your butt kicked. I think we would’ve beat you guys.’ And I’ll look at his game film and say some of the same things. I’ll tell him, ‘If we play you guys and you do this kind of junk we’ll kick the crap out of you.’”

Suffice to say some heavy bragging rights will be on the line this coming season for the McDonald family.

“It’ll be competitive, but it’ll be professional,” said McDonald. “They’re going to do what they’ve got to do to try to win and we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to win because we’re both trying to get to that next step which is the playoffs. They can’t beat dad. That can’t happen. They know it. Our guys better find a way to go 2-0 in those games.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Donnie Henderson to remain on staff

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 1:07 pm

The Bills named a handful of assistant coaches who will serve under new head coach Rex Ryan Thursday. They include defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, DL coach Karl Dunbar, LBs coach Bobby April III, DBs coach Tim McDonald, TEs coach Tony Sparano Jr., Asst. DL coach Jeff Weeks, special teams assistant Eric Smith and asst. strength and conditioning coach Jason Oszvart. Even though McDonald has the same title as incumbent DBs coach Donnie Henderson, Henderson will remain on the staff.

Head coach Rex Ryan made note of Henderson being retained in his introductory press conference Wednesday. Henderson, who coached with Ryan in Baltimore, will coach defensive backs with McDonald.

Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman was retained by Ryan as well, which was also announced Wednesday. An announcement about other holdover assistants from the previous coaching staff is forthcoming.


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Posted in Inside the Bills