BILLS HEAD COACH SEAN McDERMOTT
Q: I know it's been a long time since you've had a night game in Buffalo. Are you anticipating a pretty strong atmosphere on Monday night?
SM: It's been a while like you mentioned. I just got here just last year with my staff. As you guys experience up there, when you've got a good football team, you're on quite a bit, those primetime games, they become kind of second nature. Just getting here this past year like I said, we haven't experienced as many here, but I'm happy for the fans of western New York that they can experience it.
Q: I wanted to ask you about Corey Bojorquez who spent the preseason here. Since he didn't actually punt in any games, what made you guys feel confident enough to claim him off waivers?
SM: Yeah, our guys did their research and felt like it was an opportunity for us to get a young player that they had scouted and [were] really interested in college, during his time in college. We had a need and Corey was there.
Q: What are your impressions of what you've seen from him so far?
SM: Yeah, he continues to grow and improve. You see that with young players and he's dedicated to the growth mindset which is what we subscribe to.
Q: Was it all confusing to you that he didn't play in the preseason?
SM: That happens from time to time. You don't always know exactly what's going on when you're outside looking in, but from time to time you see that happen in the preseason.
Q: It seems like the Patriots have gotten a lot better on third down with the return of Julian Edelman and involvement of Josh Gordon. What makes them so difficult to stop in those situations?
SM: Yeah, they've got a ton of weapons. I feel like their weapons this year outnumber the weapons they've had in recent years. With Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] probably playing in our game, they'll be at full strength.
Q: With Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel, it seems like their game status is still up in the air. Does that make it more difficult to prepare for this team when you don't know exactly which of those weapons are going to be out there on the field?
SM: Yes and no. You try to anticipate the best you can. I think the way you prepare is you prepare to face the best and then if they're not out there, they're not out there. But we've got some injuries, they've got a couple guys banged up, but it appears that they'll be back. So we just have to prepare to play our best football.
Q: What have you seen from Tom Brady at the age of 41? Is it the same guy you've seen for a number of years?
SM: Yeah, he's probably better in fact. We have a lot of respect for Tom Brady and love the way that he's driven to win and prepare to win probably most importantly. He's as good as there is out there and I'm sure that he'll be in the Hall of Fame someday.
Q: You mentioned before that you think Tom Brady's weapons are better this year than years past. Is that just because of the presence of a player like Josh Gordon and maybe they haven't had that kind of athlete on the perimeter before?
SM: Yes, possibly, but also when you look at - they then bring in 84 [Cordarrelle Patterson], they then bring in 13 in [Phillip] Dorsett. So, they've got a full crew of guys that they continue to roll through and those guys could probably start on any team out there.
Q: With having Josh Allen as your quarterback of the future getting hurt and relying on guys like Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson, how difficult has that transition at the quarterback position been to go through for you?
SM: Well, I think the way that the NFL works, as you guys know, there's always going to be injuries. You never want those injuries to occur. The biggest thing right now for us, our young quarterback is not able to get the experience that we had so desired at this point. That's probably the bigger challenge at this point. But, other than that, injuries are part of the season. You've got to move forward and hopefully you've got the depth to sustain it.
Q: What changes have you noticed with Brian Flores as the defensive coordinator of the Patriots?
SM: They look fairly similar to what they've done in years past with Matt Patricia. I know I'm sure Coach [Bill] Belichick is involved there as well, and I've heard nothing but good things about Coach Flores. I'm sure he's doing a great job, and they seem like they're playing good complementary football.
Q: Have you seen them bring more pressure, blitz more with defensive backs in recent games and what has that strategy yielded for them?
SM: They've done some of it. I don't think they major in it, but they've done some. I think they do whatever the game plan [is] or how they want to play the game and what that calls for.
Q: Getting back to Monday Night Football, do you think the Patriots have any advantage because they've gone through so many of these primetime games and know how to prepare for them, when a lot of your players are new to that experience?
SM: Yeah, I think so. You can probably give them the advantage in most boxes this week, including that one. We've got young players, lot of first and second-year players really that are getting their first NFL work. This will be a lot of them's first Monday night game, so it's important that we can execute at a high level against probably the best team in the NFL at this point in the season.
Q: Does having Brian Daboll on staff at all help in the preparation for this game?
SM: You know what, I think people sometimes get carried away with things like that. Brian's [Daboll] certainly a good coach, but overall, I think sometimes that's probably overblown.
Q: Your defense has played at a winning level while your offense has struggled. Is there any fear that there might be friction developing, or do you feel that you have a pretty tight group that's going to stick through it?
SM: Yes, I do. I feel like we've got a pretty tight group, that they continue to put the team first and that they buy into that type of mentality. You're seeing that with some teams out there it appears. So far that hasn't happened with us and I understand where you're coming from.