McDermott's first head coaching win like everything else, earned

Posted Sep 11, 2017

Sean McDermott's first head coaching win was roundly applauded in Buffalo's locker room late Sunday afternoon. However, it was the mutual respect formed between a coach and his players in the last nine months that was most evident in victory.

As Kyle Williams prepared to hand the game ball to Sean McDermott for his first head coaching victory late Sunday afternoon in the Bills locker room the hoots from players were already getting loud.

McDermott had just finished commending his players on what he saw as a team win. Buffalo’s new coach has a presence that is respected. That respect was returned by McDermott to his players after Sunday’s game.

“Congratulations men,” said McDermott. “That’s a team win. I’m extremely proud of everyone in this room. Fundamentals? Yeah. This is how we win… as a team.”

By no means did McDermott or his players believe they had played a sound game. Many on offense referenced the 10 points they felt they left on the field. The men on defense didn’t like that they gave up a rushing touchdown in the game. It’s a reflection of the standard that McDermott has instilled in his players in nine short months.

“It was big,” said Tyrod Taylor of the division victory. “Big for coach McDermott and for us as a team. You want to protect your home field every time you step out there. It was a proud moment in the locker room. We’ve just got to continue to keep building moving forward.”

“It’s huge. It’s momentum,” said Lorenzo Alexander of the win. “We still have a lot of things we can get better on. Obviously, special teams we gave up a big return.  We can learn from that, as well as on offense and defense-some other things that came up.

“We want to continue to take this win and build from there, not drink the Kool-Aid like we’ve arrived. We just want to continue to get better each and every week and put ourselves in good positions throughout the season.”

When it came to coach McDermott and his sideline demeanor in his first regular season game, what struck his players most was how calm and collected he was despite the fact that it was the first real test.

“That’s the first time that I’ve seen a head coach in his very first game be loose,” said Micah Hyde. “The guy was just focused. He had confidence in us. He knew we were going to go out there and get the win. I think that’s what gives us the confidence in him.”

As encouraging as elements of their performance Sunday might have been, the players made a point to keep their feet on the ground, veterans like Hyde in particular.

“It’s early, man. It’s Week One,” he said. “We have a lot to build off. Nobody was perfect. We gave up some big plays but we’re going to go out and watch the film and correct the mistakes.”

That’s why McDermott’s words at the close of his postgame comments to his team resonated with them.

“Stay humble,” he cautioned. “That’s one (win). That’s playoff caliber all the way through. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re only going to get better.”

Simply put the players in Buffalo’s locker room believe what McDermott says because he believes what he says… to the letter.

“Obviously, he set the vision and the course for this football team back in April,” said Alexander. “He’s been consistent in his message. He’s our leader and guys love playing for him.”