More progress for Matthews

Posted Aug 24, 2017

WR Jordan Matthews is unlikely to play in Saturday's preseason game at Baltimore, but he's made sizable strides in his return to the practice field.

More progress for Matthews
He took part in individual position drills Wednesday and that participation continued Thursday as Jordan Matthews inches closer to getting full clearance. That won’t come in time for Saturday’s preseason game at Baltimore, but the receiver will be making the trip with the team this weekend.

“Jordan Matthews and Cordy Glenn both of whom are progressing well, will make the trip. We’ll continue to list them as day to day. We believe they’re headed in the right direction,” said head coach Sean McDermott. ““I really don’t think they’ll play at this point. We do want to get them acclimated to traveling with us and going through that process. Staying in the hotel the night before and being involved in the meetings. We may even have them warm up with the team and be on the sideline too.”

The urgency to get Matthews in a preseason game doesn’t seem to be there for McDermott and his coaching staff. They have full confidence in Matthews’ capabilities as a receiver.

“We know Jordan and what he can do,” said McDermott. “He’s made a tremendous amount of progress over the last week. He stays after and works with the quarterbacks.”


Taylor puts in solid week
After the preseason performance by the offense at Philadelphia, QB Tyrod Taylor said there are no excuses. Committed to making the offense function more consistently, Taylor redoubled his efforts in practice this week.

“The first thing I noticed was his leadership. It hasn’t changed. He’s the first one in the building and one of the last to leave,” McDermott said. “From a head coaching standpoint I appreciate that. I know his teammates appreciate that about him.

“I feel like he’s more decisive and playing more free within the offense. He’s developing some continuity and chemistry with his receivers. Even thought Jordan (Matthews) is probably not going to play Saturday night, you’re seeing that develop through practice reps.”

In his first two seasons as the Bills starting quarterback, Taylor at times was reluctant to take risks in the passing game. Even though he’s in a new scheme, McDermott and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison have pushed the mantra of playing free and taking a few more calculated risks.

“For our players I want them to know that playing free is powerful. There’s power in that,” said McDermott. “We’re not going out there to think. I’m the one who has to think. They’ve got to go out there and play and basically default into the habits that they’ve built through the week or the preseason. When they do that there’s power in that. You tend to put on display the best version of yourself when you play free and aggressive.”

Taylor and the offense will get the opportunity to demonstrate that on Saturday night in Baltimore.

Ragland battling through each day
He had a major uphill climb entering training camp. Returning from a major knee injury, in a new defensive scheme and with healthy competition at his position. From the start Reggie Ragland has battled and gone the extra mile, something that hasn’t been lost of his head coach.

“The thing I love about Reggie is he’s doing a really good job off the field right now in terms of extra work before practice, extra work after practice in terms of his conditioning and getting himself where he needs to be,” said McDermott. “Coming off the injury that we know he’s coming off of you’re starting from a position of deficit. He’s really working hard. He continues to get himself comfortable with our system. His best football is in front of him.”

“He’s right, sometimes my knee feels good, sometimes it’s sore,” Ragland said. “I just know I have to keep getting better. I know I’m young and I still have time, so I’m not pressed about some of the things, but I know I still have to keep getting better. Coach McDermott, and all of the coaches tell me this all of the time, so I’m just going to keep getting better.”