McDermott: Adapting to change is the key

Posted Aug 22, 2017

Change is inevitable in the NFL. Sometimes it's also completely unexpected. Such was the case with the Anquan Boldin retirement, but head coach Sean McDermott says this league is about adapting.

McDermott: Adapting to change is the key
There has been a lot of change on Buffalo’s roster when it has come to the wide receiver position. In the last three weeks alone, Sammy Watkins was traded and Anquan Boldin retired. Rod Streater (toe) and Jordan Matthews (sternum) are not practicing yet as they try to return from injuries.

Change is constant in the NFL, but the timing of the departures does pose a challenge to Buffalo’s offense less than three weeks before the start of the regular season.

Head coach Sean McDermott however, is confident his team will adapt to their current situation and move forward.

“We adjust. That’s what we do,” he said. “That’s what this league is about, adjusting on the field and adjusting off the field with our game plans. I’ve been in this league and around this league for 20 years and I’ve learned not to be surprised by anything. As a football team we adapt. This team has adapted before and will continue to adapt and show grit. That’s a hallmark of a good football team. I’ve been extremely proud of the way everyone has done that all through the preseason.”

The player most affected by the changes is QB Tyrod Taylor, who already had a whole new cast of talent to throw to already.  

“Tyrod has been around this league a long time so Tyrod knows that you adjust,” said McDermott. “So Tyrod just like the rest of our football team is extremely resilient. He’s adapted over the course of his career and he really embraces those types of situations if you will. That’s the Tyrod I know and I wouldn’t expect anything different in this case.”

Opportunity at WR
Of course filling the void left most recently by Boldin’s retirement is the task at hand. There are a lot of young, hungry receivers on the roster who hope to earn consideration.

“The guys in the room know that there’s an opportunity for another guy to step up,” McDermott said. “That’s again what happens in this league. The NFL is a league of opportunity in this case for a player to step up and show us what he can do. I really liked what I saw the other night from Brandon Reilly and Daikiel Shorts and they continue to show the ability to catch the football in traffic. We’re looking at this as an opportunity and I’m sure those guys are as well.”

Reilly and Shorts are coming off their best performances in the preseason game at Philadelphia. If both can continue making plays, they are likely to make a move up the depth chart at just the right time.

Upstairs or downstairs for Dennison?
It’s a decision that’s being weighed carefully. Over the course of the first two preseason games, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has called plays and communicated with his offensive players down on the sidelines and up in the coaches’ booth.

In the opener against Minnesota. Against Philadelphia he was in the booth upstairs.

Head coach Sean McDermott said the functionality of the offense was not disrupted from one game to the next.

“I thought Rick did a good job,” said McDermott. “He’s tried out both spots. He’s still thinking about what he wants to do this week, to get a feel for home versus away and the setup. I thought the communication was clear on the offensive side of the ball. That’s important for the quarterbacks and our timing and our tempo. The tempo was outstanding the other night. We got in and out of the huddle. We executed in two minute and drove the football. That’s undecided moving forward, but I thought that was a healthy part of the game the other night offensively.”

Dennison is expected to make a decision before Friday’s preseason game at Baltimore. Whether that is his final decision on where he’ll be during the regular season remains to be seen.