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3 takeaways from Sean McDermott's pre-practice press conference

Sean McDermott.  Buffalo Bills walk-through, August 12, 2020.
  Photo by Bill Wippert
Sean McDermott. Buffalo Bills walk-through, August 12, 2020. Photo by Bill Wippert

1. More live tackling on tap

In the absence of a preseason, the Bills coaching staff knows in order to prepare their players they'll have to have more live hitting and tackling in their training camp practice plans.

"That fundamental part of the game really doesn't change philosophically for us," said head coach Sean McDermott. "We work on that every day. If you were a fly on the wall on my team meetings it's talked about just about every day.

"And so we'll go out there this morning, for example, we're going to have our whole team tackle, including our offensive line, our offensive players. So, you know games are won and lost in particular in the early part of the season because of fundamentals. And so, we are going to go live (in practice) this year. Normally we go live a little bit every year. Obviously with no preseason games, we're going to go live a little bit more."

McDermott said while they will go live, they'll do their best to stay healthy.

"That's a delicate balance and look it's the game of football so we're going to have some injuries that come up so it's the next man up, but we're always going to try and make sure our team is fundamentally strong," he said.

2. Quarantining a player from a position group a consideration

The Bills daily operation at One Bills Drive since the players have reported has been exemplary. It's made for a workplace where the players can focus on football and not harbor concerns about COVID, knowing every effort is being made to maintain a sterile environment.

But there are some considerations to be made going forward that the Bills brass will undertake when the regular season and travel begins. A handful of teams have given consideration to quarantining a player from a position group, like a backup quarterback, to avoid an entire position group getting sidelined simultaneously by a COVID infection.

Head coach Sean McDermott said the team has had conversations about it.

"As far as the quarantining of certain position players, I think that's something that we should consider," he said. "It'll be interesting to see how the different teams handle that through the league.

"As far as the protocol, again I'm just reminded now of how adjustable we are as human beings because what used to be unique, has now become normal. In terms of the, the layers that we have to undertake the measures that the building is taking every day. It's amazing how quickly we've adapted and adjusted credit to all the staff as well.

But in terms of like pulling one quarterback out of the group for example and isolating them from the other quarterback kind of thing, right now, in terms of quarantining a player or to intentionally we're not going to do that right now. It has been discussed I can tell you that."

McDermott said that as the team moves closer to the cut down dates they're going to revisit whether quarantining a player from others in his position group is worth doing.

3. Injured players sidelined

Coach McDermott said that the following players would not be practicing on Monday.

Levi Wallace – back
Ed Oliver – hip
Jon Feliciano – chest
Tommy Sweeney – Active/PUP

WR Isaiah Hodgins and LB Vosean Joseph will be wearing red non-contact jerseys at practice.

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