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Quick Hits: QB decision TBD

Posted Nov 20, 2017

Coach McDermott wasn't going to make a call on the starting quarterback for Sunday's game at his Monday press conference.


QB decision is TBD
At Monday’s press conference, head coach Sean McDermott announced that he had yet to finalize his decision on who would start at quarterback on Sunday in Kansas City against the Chiefs.

“I’m still evaluating right now,” McDermott said. “We’ll take it one day at a time right now.”

McDermott admitted that the decision he made last week to start rookie QB Nate Peterman did not work out.

Through the course of questions and answers about McDermott’s decision-making process for this week’s game it was hard not to hear the voicing of support by McDermott of Peterman. As bad as the five interceptions were, the Bills head coach also found positives from the performance.

“You just go back and look at the first drive. We started off with two runs and came out and threw a play action pass over the middle. Kelvin’s (20-yard pass) play. He hit Kelvin right in stride. It was tight coverage and he threw it into a tight window,” McDermott said. “This is a league of contested throws and contested balls. You’ve got to be able to do that and he did it.

“Now there were a couple of other plays also. We got into a rhythm early on the offensive side and so I was pleased with that drive up until the point where we had the interception. Things went downhill, but we came back the next drive and the run game got on track and we scored the touchdown. There were positives in there and there was growth.”

As much as outside observers and league prognosticators roundly criticized Peterman’s play, McDermott appears to be taking as objective a view of the quarterback’s play as possible, with team success being the ultimate goal.

“One game is not going to define Nathan or Nathan’s career,” he said. “Young players go through it and you saw some of that yesterday. I put that back on myself. I own that decision and as I said yesterday I don’t regret the decision. I regret the result. There were other hands also in the result. So it’s never about one player. I’m confident in Nathan and his mental toughness. We move forward, we learn, we grow from it and we get better.”

Staying confident as a decision maker
McDermott was also clear in his comments on Monday afternoon that in his decision-making position, you must maintain the courage of your convictions.

“Sometimes you make decisions in leadership roles like this that work out and sometimes they don’t work out. The biggest thing is you try to make every decision with the right agenda. With the right decision-making process in mind. That leads you to the decision that you feel is right. That’s what I feel like in this case. And I stand by that decision,” McDermott said in reference to starting Peterman. “Obviously, it didn’t work out. So you go back and you learn from it. I learned from it as a head coach and I expect us all to learn from it going forward as we continue to build.”

For Buffalo’s sideline boss, deciding on a quarterback this week will take a similar path. And McDermott will try to make that decision without being greatly influenced by the failures of last Sunday.

“You stay decisive and stay confident. As a decision maker, when you waver is when you get yourself in trouble. So you’ve got to stay in tune with people, listening to people, opinions of people I trust. Communicating with people and also when a decision needs to be made, be decisive and go with it.”

McDermott said he will address his 12-player leadership council and seek input, knowing that he himself has final say on any, and all, decisions concerning the team.

Good news on Benjamin and Hyde
The hyperextension of Kelvin Benjamin’s knee early in the first quarter did not look good. The receiver was helped to the sidelines and eventually carted off to the locker room. On Monday, McDermott had some encouraging news on the receiver.

“The good news is there’s no ligament damage,” said McDermott of Benjamin’s knee. “We’re still under evaluation on the rest of it at this point.”

More should be known on Benjamin’s status for Sunday’s game midweek.

The news was even better for safety Micah Hyde, who also left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and did not return.

“Micah checked out fine,” said McDermott. “He should be fine.”

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