Skip to main content

Consulting With The Coaches

Presented by

Bills coaching staff quickly turning their attention to the undefeated Dolphins


Bills head coach Sean McDermott has a philosophy that you can spend up to 24 hours dwelling on a game — win or lose — before moving on to next week's opponent.

The Bills-Commanders ended just before 4 p.m. on Sunday. When he started his weekly Monday press conference at 4:05 p.m., he was already an hour into his prep for the Dolphins.

"It gets shorter and shorter or smaller and smaller, that window, right? And in particular, when you got a team that put up 70 points, I don't think I've seen that in my NFL career the entire time. So they're very explosive," McDermott said.

As he reflected back on a 34-point victory against the Commanders, McDermott said one of the standout parts of the game was Buffalo's aggressiveness upfront and how the defense got after QB Sam Howell.

The Bills became the first team since the 1985 Dallas Cowboys to record four interceptions and nine sacks in a single game.

"It's the preparation players put themselves through," McDermott said of what's behind the defense's success. "The coaches have done a phenomenal job of getting them prepared during the week and I think that's really the combination of those two coming together."

But now comes the Bills' toughest challenge yet in the Miami Dolphins which currently rank as the best offense in the NFL. The Dolphins use of speed and motion isn't a new concept to the Bills as they saw it three times last year. This season, however, Miami has evolved how it utilizes its speedy players. 

"It seems like they added to it this offseason, right?," McDermott noted. "So, very good skill. Tua is throwing the ball extremely well. And their schematics are almost revolutionary in what they do. Coach (Mike) McDaniel is very creative and does a lot of things to get you out of position on defense."

All week, Bills players and coaches will be asked what they can do to slow down, out maneuver or outscore their AFC East rival. McDermott said the mentality they have in their preparation will be rooted in playing disciplined with their assignments.

"We'll start with the fundamentals. We need to get better with some of our fundamentals. I think that's got to be a point of emphasis," he said.

After encouraging performances from veteran leaders Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde and Tre'Davious White in recent games, the coaching staff will rely on their expertise during the week of practice to be in tune with a defensive game plan. 

"We'll count on our veteran players, their experience," said assistant head coach and defensive line coach Eric Washington. "And we'll also count on the younger players really being in tune and doing a lot of work on their own in addition to doing the research and the study that we will do as a coaching staff."

With as much pre-snap motion as the Dolphins use, Washington believes the Bills need to continue to disguise their defensive coverages until the ball is snapped so that QB Tua Tagovailoa can't get an early read on where to throw the football.

"We want to make sure we do a great job of maintaining a certain specific shell and just not allowing a team to identify what we're doing before the ball is snapped," Washington detailed.

On the other side of the ball, OC Ken Dorsey shared that the key for the Bills' offense staying on schedule and moving the football against the Commanders started with the strong play from the offensive line.

"I thought they did a great job," Dorsey said of the O-line. "I mean, that's an extremely talented, defensive front that we played… they continue to get better and better each week as they gel together."

Carrying over from Week 2 against the Raiders, the Bills converted on several important third downs.

"Josh making decisive decisions, receivers getting open quickly," Dorsey observed.

One area where Dorsey wants to continue to see growth is in early down production. There were a handful of drives where the Bills were in third-and-long situations.

"Obviously that first down production and second our production is important. Either skip third down or stay and get to a third and more manageable situation," Dorsey said.

While the Bills converted 9 of their 15 third down attempts, relying on chunk gains to move the sticks aren't advantageous week in and week out.

"When you look back at it, just everybody making sure we're calm and in the moment early in the game," Dorsey said. "There were a couple plays where I think guys ramped up and we just kind of missed some things."

Still, the Bills have been able to shake off a frustrating Week 1 performance from an offensive standpoint over the last two weeks. They rank 7th in yards per game 383.3 and 7th in rushing. That balanced approach will be crucial if they end up in a shootout against Miami.

The Bills-Dolphins game will kickoff at 1 p.m. on CBS this Sunday from Highmark Stadium.

Check out the best photos from the field and locker room after Buffalo's victory in Washington.

Related Content