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Buffalo Bills Postgame Transcripts 12/3

Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 3, 2017.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 3, 2017

Opening Statement:Okay, we'll go ahead and get started here. I'm just going to open it up with talking about Tyrod [Taylor] here. Tyrod took a hit early in the game there. You saw him come out later in the game. He's being evaluated and that remains the case. I'm not going to get into next week at all at this point until I know a little bit more medically, at this point. With that, I'll open it up to questions.

Q: Was it the first play of the game, just to be clear?

A: Yes. 

Q: How was he able to continue going out if it ended up being the way it did? Was there any consideration to take him out earlier?

A: We talked about it. He said he could continue at the time. Up until he couldn't, that's what he did. 

Q: Would you concur that, I mean [Taylor] was hurt, granted, you can't win in the NFL with offense like that today?

A: Well we've got to do a better job. To score three points, we've got to do a better job. I'm not going to sugarcoat that at all. We've got to score more than three points and put a defense under pressure. I thought we had a first good drive and then we gave the ball up there. You can't do that in the NFL, in particular in the red zone. To come away with no points I thought was – although it was a good drive, it wasn't good enough.

Q: On that play, the pick, what happened? It looked like he was almost trying to stop because maybe [LeSean] McCoy ran the route the wrong way. Do you know what actually happened there?

A: Yeah, I've got to look at the film to know a little bit more. It looked like they took away his first or second read in there and then he went to his next read.

Q: That's two straight [losses] at home [with] basically the same performance by the offense. Does this show why you did what you did after that New Orleans game?

A: I don't know as much that, as it is that we've just got to continue to get better as a football team in all three phases. We've got to learn from this game. There's a lot of valuable lessons in this game, some of which were protecting the football [which] was mentioned earlier and then execution and doing our job. When you go up against a team like the Patriots, they're going to expose and exploit you when you don't do those things.

Q: Coach, anything new on Tre White? He was a little woozy coming off [the field].

A: Yeah, he's in the concussion protocol. 

Q: What was your feeling about that play, the one that Rob Gronkowski made?

A: Well, I thought it was a good play by Tre. I'll start off with the play itself. I wasn't happy about what ensued after that and I'll start with us as well. We've had some situations come up there, which we can't let that happen on our side either.

Q: And you are referring to Jerry [Hughes] and Micah Hyde's penalties?

A: [nods]

Q: Did you understand why you got the 15-yard penalty in that situation after all that happened? Were you a bit perplexed about how the whole thing was shaking out?

A: Well, I just wanted an explanation more than anything.

Q: What did they say?

A: I'll just leave that conversation between them and myself right now. 

Q: Sean, some coaches in that situation may say, 'alright, I'm glad my' – well, maybe not with Hughes and whatever he did with the official, but 'I'm glad my team retaliated or stuck up for itself in that situation.' Where are you in terms of that moment and how you responded or didn't respond?

A: Well, the number one thing we've got to do is keep our composure and our poise and execute in those situations and then after that, I understand what you're saying. I don't disagree with you as far as that goes. You'd want guys to defend one another within the rules.

Q: Sean, it seemed like after halftime, the first drive of the half was kind of damaging. You held them to nine points in the first half. How about that first drive, just not getting it done there?

A: I thought there [were] some good things defensively and special teams also. We did some good things in the red zone in the first half. The first drive after half, to your point, the first third down, we didn't execute like we have. Give them the credit. They got a key first down right there and went on to score. We could do a better job in that situation to execute. 

Q: You're the first team to hold them under 13 points in a half all year. Did you feel like the game was there for the taking because of that?

A: Right. I felt like, we knew they were getting the ball after half coming out and that we had done some good things. When you look back at it, there were some opportunities in the first half. We were down there early on the first drive [and had] opportunities to get off the field defensively [and] some opportunities special teams-wise. I thought if we came out after half and got off the field early, that that would be a key drive for us.

Q: What was your reasoning behind the challenge in the first half?

A: Yeah, I just thought situation, you look at it and you say 'hey, I thought he dumped the ball a little bit there' and obviously the knee was down. I thought, situationally, I didn't see too much of a downside in doing it because we were already in that part of the game there in terms of the situation. I just wanted them to take a little bit longer to look at the entire situation more than anything.

Q: So you were trying to get it to be a sack and push yardage back? There was some thought you were trying to argue intentional grounding.

A: No. I mean, again, it was just looking at the picture. Sometimes, and we talked about it on the field, those things move so fast for the guys out there that I wanted them to take a longer look at it. Anytime you can get a quarterback like that behind the sticks, it usually works to your advantage. Obviously, we ended up forcing a punt there. 

Q: In the third quarter, I forget which scoring drive it was, they converted a third-and-ten and it looked like it was going to be a measureable situation. They ran up and ran a play. Were you trying to get a measurement or did they not grant you a request, or what – you looked pissed off there. What exactly happened?

A: Right. When you look at it, I was trying to get a little bit of both and any time a team substitutes and changes personnel, the defensive side is, by rule, allowed to match. I didn't think we were given that opportunity. 

Q: How does this Patriots team compare with the teams that you've studied in the past? Are they as dominant?

A: They are. This is a good football team and I mentioned this to their coaches before the game. I felt like it's one of their strongest teams that I've seen. They're a good team and I give them all the credit. They beat us today and now we've got to learn from it. There's a lot of valuable lessons we can learn from this game today and take them forward and use them to grow and learn and build like we're doing here.

Q: What did they do effectively to bottle up Tyrod? Obviously, that first play you talked about but what did they do overall?

A: I mean they did a variety of things, really. It wasn't just one thing. They did a variety of things [and] had a good plan schematically there defensively.

Q: Sean, what do you think specifically of the [Rob Gronkowski] hit that left Tre [White] with a concussion?

A: Well, I mean, I just don't think that there's any place in the game for that, really. It was unfortunate and I know he's a better player than that. 

Q: Sean, how do you handle or how do you get involved in the play-calling strategy as you're gearing up for an opponent week-to-week? Does Rick [Dennison] take it to you? Can you maybe give us some insight as to how you draw that up?

A: Well, we dialogue about a lot of things. Communicate not only offensively but defensively and special teams. There's good communication, healthy communication there on a weekly basis.

Q: What would be your thoughts on revisiting how you guys do that or giving more influence or – because things have stalled out. Is this maybe time to take a harder look at that?

A: Well it's, and not trying to get away from your question, we look at everything in all three phases. Obviously, like I mentioned earlier to Sal's point, we've got to score more than three points and I expect that we'll go back, take a hard look at it as a staff and work at getting it corrected.

Q: Coach, what did you get out of Joe Webb today in the fashion that you used him? Do you feel like you got what you were looking for from him?

A: I thought there was some creative looks that we were able to give. Joe brings an added dimension to the position back there, whatever position he plays. It's unfortunate we had an opportunity with [Travaris] Cadet down the seam there that we overthrew, but I liked the energy Joe brought to the offense there. 

Q: You used the Wildcat today, which is something that you haven't used a lot. What was the use out of maybe saying this was the right time to do it?

A: Well, again, I just think looking at Joe and what he brings to the table and using all of our resources and their strengths and putting players in position, players in position to succeed. Joe does some good things and he's kind of multi-dimensional at what he does. We just felt like that dimension would help us. 



Q: Do you guys remember what Gronkowski did as a team in a couple week?

A: So much from this game to focus on than that. We got outplayed. We have a lot we can get better on. Yeah, it was a nasty and dirty play. I've never seen him do it before. He's a hell of a player and a good person too. Surprising, but there are important things to talk about.

Q: A day when your defense gets about as good as it can get against the Patriots and especially Brady. How frustrating for the offense to not perform.

A: It's frustrating, yeah. We had opportunities to capitalize on them earlier in the game. Not sure if that will make a difference between win or loss but it will sure help it out. We were driving. Running, throwing, running, throwing. Then we had a turnover that hurt us. We can't do that against the Patriots. Other teams yeah you might get away with it but not against the Patriots. Then we drive again and miss the wildcat that was successful for us. Then we missed that pass from Joe (Webb) on that trick play. Those two plays would have been big for us.

Q: If Nate (Peterman) is the guy going forward. How comfortable and confident is the team in the rookie quarterback if Tyrod (Taylor) can't come back?

A: Well will see. We don't make any decisions early. Though we are who we are. If it's Nate. It's Nate. If Tyrod (Taylor) can't go, will support Nate and try to make it easier for him. Guys got to make plays. Even if it's harder for us, let's make it easier for him. That's all really you can do.


Q: [Rob Gronkowski]'s a physical player, but does that surprise you out of him?

A: Anytime someone does something like that that's surprising. Obviously, be physical in between the lines and all that stuff, but to play like that; just touch him, he's down [already], put your foot on him, just tap him. You don't need to drive your shoulder/elbow into him. That wasn't cool. Obviously, the game [already had a] big margin at that time, just no need for that in the game that we play.

Q: Jordan [Poyer] said that this is something that will be remembered in a couple weeks when you guys go play them. Is it something that will be talked about in a couple weeks before you guys play them, that play?

A: I'm sure you guys will talk about it. Building up to that game, that whole week, you guys are going to ask us about it, so this is obviously something that we're going to be thinking about then.

Q: What was your thought when you saw that happen?

A: I didn't see it live. I was in the middle of the field, thought the play was over, then No. 80 [Danny Amendola] comes running at me, which I still don't know why to this point. I got a flag too for, I don't know, pushing him back [maybe], I don't know, I'm confused on that. Seeing it on the replay, it's just dirty, that's just dirty football and there is nowhere in our game for that.

Q: Does it change your perception of him as a player?

A: He's a beast on the field. I don't know what was going through his head on that play. In my opinion, it doesn't matter. On him, he's an excellent football player, beast on the field, we saw that today. But like I said, there's just no room for that on the field.


Q: Was there any different feeling this time around? Obviously, Tyrod [Taylor] leaves the game, is there any different feeling when you got out there? I don't know if there were any difference in command of the offense or anything like that, could you tell us?

A: Not really, [you] always have to be ready. It just kind of feels the same out there, maybe things slow down a little bit, but I thought there were some things that could have been better today. We just have to keep focus on getting better.

Q: When you say things slow down, we hear that term all the time, could you explain that to us?

A: I don't know, you just kind of see things; of what the defense is trying to do; you see the pressures more easily, I don't know. The more you watch film, the more you get experience, you see how defenses move and you kind of expect it.

Q: How did you block out what happened in that first game when you were getting ready to take the field and walking out there?

A: I think I worked on blocking that out the day after it happened, really. [You] definitely, you don't want to come out like that your first time, but I've moved on and learned a lot from it, like you say. I learned a lot from this as well, just trying to get better with all the reps. But yeah, just getting over it.

Q:  What sort of nerves – Was that all gone, those first-time jitters when you ran on the field this time?

A: It felt good, I felt prepared. Obviously, the coaches did a great job preparing us all week, and I just think we left a few things out there. We could have had a couple touchdowns probably there, especially when you get down to the red zone, you need to score there. We have to get better.

Q: How do you feel about your readiness to handle this longer term if Tyrod [Taylor] can't go, obviously not a great situation, but how do you feel you're ready for it?

A: Yeah, I don't know what's going to happen. Every single week, it's kind of a boring answer, but it's the same thing, I'm ready because that's my job. Wherever they want me to play, second string or whatever, I'm going to be ready, and that's the same approach this week.


Q: What did you see on the Rob Gronkowski play there over on Tre White when he decided to obviously drop the shoulder on his head when he was laying on the ground?

A: Unnecessary; unnecessary anywhere in this league. Tre made a great play, obviously, Gronk was frustrated. [There's] nowhere in this league for that type of play. I understand flames are going, heat of the battle, but there is no room in this league for that type of crap.

Q: Is that something that carries over when you know you see them in a few weeks?

A: Of course, yeah, for sure. Yes.

Q: Do you feel it was a failure that he remained in the game?

A: It is what it is. I asked the ref why he was not ejected, I said 'anybody else makes that type of play, they're ejected'. To me, it was blatant; he WWE'd him, it's like he was in the wrestling arena again. Like I said, uncalled for, but it is what it is. We'll move on. Tre had made a great play and hopefully he's okay.

Q: If I would have told you that you guys held Tom [Brady] to 250 passing [yards], no touchdowns, and get an interception, I would think that you would be pretty with that type of day against that type of quarterback. Do you take some positives away from the way you were able to play against that team?

A: Yeah you take some positives with the negatives. There was a lot of things that happened out there defensively, whether it was we weren't in the right gap, we were in the wrong call – well, not the wrong call but got the call and the line wrong – but there were a lot of positives in that game. [We'll] watch the film. That's a really good football team, give credit to them, that's a really good football team, obviously, world champs. We'll look at the tape, we have Indy next week, so we'll move forward and look at them.

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