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What they're saying: Bills react to a convincing win over Denver

Posted Sep 24, 2017

Head Coach Sean McDermott, RB LeSean McCoy, QB Tyrod Taylor and others discuss their second consecutive home win and team's pregame signs of unity.

QB Tyrod Taylor

- Threw his 40th and 41st career touchdown passes

- Finished with a career-high 76.9 completion percentage (20-26 for 213 yards)

Q: Passing game found a rhythm today, what led to that achievement?

A: We were able to do a couple different things in the passing game, some crossing routes we knew it was a man team, even get on the edge. Our keepers, it was good we mixed up different protections to try to calm down 58 and rush in free. Ultimately, the guys went out, took a challenge on the outside and were able to make some plays. I’m proud of those guys.

Q: Was this kind of a testament to the open-mindedness of the coordinator? You mentioned during the week you guys were going to be talking and make some points about things you like to do?

A: Absolutely, Rick Dennison always has an open ear even from my time working with him in Baltimore. Truly, definitely, this week talked with him about the things I have seen and that I liked, the things I felt we were good at. I guess this defense, and even things that he liked with his time in Denver knowing this group we just played, ideas that he thought would work. We were on the same page and ultimately we were able to go out there and execute. It wasn’t pretty every drive, we had some drives we could have been better at but we were able to get the job done.

Q: What was the nature of your conversation with Von Miller when he extended, you are still laughing we could see you laughing on the field?

A: Me and Von came out the same year. We are good friends and we were actually laughing on the field. I do not think he knew, I honestly did not know at the time it was going to be a flag, like I said we were laughing. It ended up working out in our favor. I guess a bad play by him at the time, pretty sure he wish he could have that back, but you have to move forward.

Q: Were you laughing because it was funny or because they threw the flag?

A: Both.

Q: In the larger picture you always hear the players, yourself included, talking about the NFL being a brotherhood. It seemed that way today because everybody across the league, not just the Bills, took a stand. What does that say about the unity not just here but throughout the entire league?

A: It is definitely a brotherhood. The comments that were made I think were definitely an attack against the shield. As players you protect that shield. Of course you protect the logo that is on the side of your helmet, you play for the name that is on the back of your jersey, but at the end of the day you play for that shield. It is a privilege to play for the shield, and we as players took that as a personal attack. Like I said, I don’t necessarily have the answers right now as to what to do to solve it but we are going to continue to keep working through it daily.

Head Coach Sean McDermott

- Became the first Bills head coach to win his first two home games

- Bills won their first two games against AFC opponents for the first time since 2011

Q: Tyrod Taylor, you were able to get him a little bit more space and a little bit more time. When he’s done those things, he’s far more effective than not. Are you looking for ways that you can get him a little bit more time, a little bit more space?

A: Well, I thought he played a good game today. I thought Rick [Dennison] called a good game. A good game plan and spread the ball around extremely well. We ran the ball when we needed to run it at times and that’s a good defense so give them credit too. But I liked the style of offense we played today and we possessed the ball when we needed to possess the ball. The points before half, from a two-minute [drill] standpoint were critical in the outcome of the game.

Q: Your defense, three weeks in a row now, has allowed you to do what you’ve done, [with only] two touchdowns [allowed] in three games. Just talk a little bit about how well that group is playing.

A: You know, they’ve done a great job. I mean, they’re playing well. We had a couple plays today that got away from us but they are a resilient bunch. They really are. If it’s not the front getting after the quarterbacks, somebody else is making a big play for us in the back seven. They play as a team, which that’s how you play good defense in football. You play as a team and they did a good job of feeding off of one another and really just doing their job, being 1/11th of the defense.

Q: What was the nature of your team meeting last night? What led to the demonstration during the anthem?

A: Well, really it was us, with Terry and Kim [Pegula] and players, coaches, staff, coming together and having a conversation that was very productive. The statement, we stand by that statement and it speaks to the unity, equality and love and that’s what we came up with from that meeting.

Q: What does this win do for your team psychologically? That was a team over there that people expected to be better than you. They were favored in the game. You guys ended up proving otherwise.  

A: Well, it’s a good team. Again, I’m going to give credit to the Denver Broncos. They were off to a 2-0 start. I like our football team. I said that last week after the game and I’ll say it again. I like this football team. These guys play together, they work hard during the week, and there’s no surprise, no mistake I should say, for the results that they got. You earn it. That’s how you win in this league, you have to earn it and those guys earned it.

RB LeSean McCoy

- Led the team with seven receptions (48 yards) and became the third active NFL running back with 400 receptions and 9,000 rushing yards in a career.

Q: What led to you not standing during the national anthem?

A: Well, the flag and the national anthem means a lot, to me, to my teammates. We had a long meeting Saturday night and I was very bothered the comments of our president of this country. As a president you’re supposed to lead us, you’re supposed to bring us together. You know, you’re supposed to lead this country. I can’t stand and support something where our leader of this country is acting like a jerk, angry and upset about NFL players protesting in a peaceful manner. I won’t go to different areas and subjects, but in this country a lot of different things are going on, with people protesting in a violent way. If a guy wants to take a knee or wants to express himself in a different manner, he has that right. And the biggest thing is that it’s in a peaceful manner. You know, so that really bothered me. I think us as a group, as a team, we want to display that. We come together as a team and show to the world that no matter how different each other person are, we can come together. It’s as simple as that.

Q: Yeah, you’re watching and [Taylor]’s athleticism, you know. You appreciate that.

A: Well for sure, I mean, that’s one of his skills that he’s blessed with. God has blessed him with tremendous athletic ability. Sometimes instead of risking a pass, he can take off and gain the yards that way. So I love when he uses his other talent. I think sometimes quarterbacks get bottled up in “I have to throw that ball”. Now you start to see more off the scramblers, and you know he’s one of them. I played with a few guys, in particular, Michael Vick, who was amazing at that, and you see a lot of him in Tyrod.Q: Teams continue to focus on stopping the run. I imagine they will continue to focus on you and continue to test Taylor.

Q: Teams continue to focus on stopping the run game. I could imagine they will continue to focus on you and continue to test Taylor. 

A: Yeah, I would say so but I’m fine with that. Tyrod responded in a major way today. And hey, if we’ve got to win like that, I’ll bet my last dollar, and you know I’m a betting man. So if we’ve got to win like that with Tyrod, we can do that. 

CB Tre’Davious White

- Recorded his first interception of his NFL career

- Posted a team-high four passes defensed

Q: What does a game like this do for your development, early on in your career, going up against that caliber, and rebounding like you did throughout the game?

A: It just showed. Like I said before, you’re going to have your ups and downs but it’s all about how you respond. At defensive back, you have to have a short-term memory. If you have that, never let your confidence down.

Q: How much fun is it when you’re out there and they make a play, then you make a play, then they make a play, then you make a play? As a competitor, how much fun is that?

A: That’s what I play for. That’s what I play [professional] football for. I’m a 100% competitor, that’s what I love to do. I want to go against the best, on one of the highest stages I can do it on, just having fun. If you’re not having fun I don’t know why you doing it.

S Micah Hyde

- Recorded five tackles and one pass defensed

Q: Home field was just dominant. How important is it for you guys to establish that here and beat a good team like Denver?

A: It’s huge. Obviously we play half the games at home and you have to have that mentality to defend your dirt. You have to get the crowd into it and make this place a tough place to play. Not only when it’s cold but days like today when it was hot. We understand that and coach has been stressing that since OTA’s and that’s our number one goal to play at home and defend our dirt.

LB Lorenzo Alexander

- Posted a sack and two tackles on the day

Q: How concerned are you that some people out there don’t understand what this protest is exactly about?

A: You can’t please everybody. You can explain where you’re at and they can either hear you or not hear you. I think if you have talked to people that have kneeled, Michael Bennett has done a great job on explaining on why what he is doing. If you don’t understand it, then that’s just where you’re at. You can’t change everybody’s minds. There’s some guys on this team who won’t kneel. We have several guys that say I don’t want to do it, but it’s all about respecting people’s opinions and perspectives but we still love each other and that’s what this country is all about. With that, I think that’s what those guys are trying to do.

Q: What was that discussion like as far as those teammates that some guys would do it and some who didn’t? When all of this came to the head?

A: It was great. It was open dialogue. What I really appreciated was the owners being in that room. The GM being there and supporting us. Terry Pegula--he grew up poor and he hasn’t forgotten where he has come from. He did a great job as far as to relating with us and allowing us to use our platform and really his organization to stand on and make a statement. A lot of respect for him. A lot of owners didn’t have to do that or didn’t do that. Everybody felt like something needed to be done and whether some guys would kneel, we would all be together. That was the key. We had different opinions that come from different backgrounds. However at the end of the day respect one another.

K Stephen Hauschka

- Became the first Bills kicker to make two 53-plus yard field goals in one game

- Connected on four field goals for the game

Q: Was it rather fitting that you guys had a total team effort today, offense, defense, special teams, to get the win?

A: Yeah, what an awesome effort from our team. This team is gritty, and I think you’ve seen it, all three games. This team is poised, strong mentally, and this team is going to keep fighting every single game. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win every single game, but we’re going to be in it, we’re going to stay strong, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.

Q: And your swing today, it looked just like a golf swing, just looked free and easy, despite the distance today. How did you feel out there?

A: It felt great, the ball was flying well. It was about 80 degrees, which it’s like this a lot in Buffalo, right? It’s like this in December, right (joking)? The ball was flying well, I was feeling good mentally, physically, just nice for things to come together.

Q: Do you think, even though it’s been such a divisive issue, that ironically, last night brought you, as a team, together and that you’re going to be better for this?

A: I think we will be better from this. Coach [McDermott] eluded to this, there’s times throughout the season where teams are challenged, and the challenges might be different every year, but there’s times when teams are able to respond in a positive way, and come together closer, or they can separate and pull apart. I think this is a great example of Coach McDermott keeping guys together, and keeping guys unified, regardless of our opinions. I think we have a really tight-knit group here in this locker room, and I’m proud to be a Buffalo Bill.


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