INDIANAPOLIS – The new Bills coach is nothing like the old one. That much was clear after listening to Rex Ryan's successor, former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, address the media Wednesday morning at the NFL Combine.
McDermott talked a lot about sticking to the process and trying to build a team with discipline, and then he was asked about trying to compete with the team that has dominated the AFC East for almost 20 years – the Patriots.
Ryan would have been salivating with bluster about not kissing rings and bowing to no one. McDermott's approach was slightly different.
"I have a lot of respect for what they've done," McDermott began. "But we've got to focus on us right now. On and off the field we have to do what's right by us.
"I'm going to be my own person. Nobody has greater expectations than I do. I'm a big believer in respecting the process and that's what we'll try to do."
No boastful predictions or disparaging remarks. Just a normal football coach trying to prepare his team for the unenviable task of competing with the Patriots.
The division may have become a bit less entertaining but perhaps McDermott's addition will give New England another quality coach to worry about.
As for on the field news that perhaps relates to the Patriots, the Bills new boss announced the team would be bringing back respected defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who was set to become a free agent. He didn't mention any details but the team tweeted out the news shortly after.
Bill Belichick has spoken glowingly about Williams in the past and he's just the type of experienced veteran the Patriots have gravitated toward over the years. And with the possibility of losing Alan Branch in free agency, Williams is no longer an option.
On the flip side, Bills receiver Robert Woods is also set to become a free agent and McDermott was less enthusiastic when asked about the wideout.
"I like what he's done," McDermott said. "He has a good skill set. We have to make sure it's right for us. We want to put people in position that want to be with us."
Woods is considered a solid route-runner as a possession-type receiver on the outside. He might make some sense for the Patriots as a depth option with the team likely to say good-bye to Michael Floyd in free agency, provided he indeed hits the open market.