Here's the Bills news of note for April 4th.
**1 - McDermott makes indelible first impression
**There was only one chance for Sean McDermott to make his first remarks to his players as a group, and by all accounts the first-year head coach took full advantage of the opportunity to address the team on Monday.
The Bills began their voluntary offseason workout program this week, and with a roster full of new faces and coaches it was an important time for McDermott to get his message across.
"There's a first time for everything, and this was my first time in front of the players," McDermott said. "Like I said, it starts with their mindset, and they have the right mindset. They're here to work and to earn the right to win. For me, it really went into what's important to us. What's important to me as a head coach and we went through that progression. Listen, I can't convey everything in one meeting and so you have to really skinny it down. A wise coach once said to me years ago, 'When you say a lot, you risk saying nothing.' The other side of it is say a little, you say a lot. We took that approach (Monday)."
The Bills had the opportunity to begin offseason workouts two weeks earlier with a new coaching staff, and are on the field in a very limited capacity this week. Still, it gives players a chance to not only develop an off the field bond with each other, but McDermott and the rest of the staff, as well.
Kyle Williams, who was on the fence about returning to the Bills for a 12th season, said it only took him a couple of minutes of talking with McDermott to be convinced that coming back was the right decision for him. On Monday, McDermott's words and demeanor only reassured Williams.
"It really just made me feel comfortable and to be quite honest inspired me and breathed a little life into me about it in terms of what his view was," Williams said. "When guys can do that for a guy like myself that's been around and been through this a lot that gets you excited and ready to go."
Although Williams has been down this road with new head coaches before during his time in Buffalo, he is convinced that he senses something different with McDermott.
"I think passion, energy, the way he presents it, his message in that realm," Williams said. "It's not just, 'We're going to win. That's what we're going to do.' He's talking about my role, our team, he's talking about individual players with passionate energy and hitting the ground running. And being accountable and disciplined and doing the things the right way, the way that you want to do them. That speaks to my heart so it's easy for me to get excited."
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**2 - McDermott encouraged by talks with McCoy
Although LeSean McCoy was the lone absentee at the first day of Buffalo's offseason program, Sean McDermott is encouraged about the dialogue he's had with the star running back since he took over in January.
"It's voluntary," McDermott said. "I am encouraged by my conversations with LeSean throughout the whole offseason since I got the job. It is voluntary, though. That is what it is. I'm encouraged by the guys that are here, and that's really where my focus is at this time."
McCoy is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, rushing for 1,267 yards and 13 touchdowns. McDermott said that he hasn't spoken to him about when he may arrive at the Bills' facility or how much participation he'll get from the 28-year-old in the offseason, but that whatever the reason for McCoy's absence, he has no long-term concerns about one of the league's top rushers.
3 – New Bills still finding their way aroundAlong with learning the playbook and the locker room, the new faces in the Bills' organization also have to get accustomed with the city itself.
Micah Hyde, one of Buffalo's biggest offseason acquisitions, has had some hiccups so far, but at least has some help as he navigates around the area.
"I'm really new," Hyde said. "I drove around yesterday for a little bit with my girlfriend and we might have drove past our house three times before we realized it was our place. Here in the next couple of days and weeks hopefully I don't need my GPS to get me to the stadium and back. We'll learn quick."
Hyde spent his first few NFL seasons in Green Bay, and said this whole week of workouts will be similar to starting a new school year.
"I just think you build relationships by working hard work day in and day out," Hyde said. "It's funny, you walk into the locker room and you walk up to somebody that played with somebody that I played with in Green Bay or somebody that I played with in college. So, even though I don't know these guys personally in the locker room which I will soon, a lot of the guys we have mutual friends and that's what brings you closer together. It's easy to pick up on, and like I said, it's like that first day of school mentality."
Hyde's head coach is still having some trouble with his new surroundings even three months in, but he is well aware of the location of an area staple.
"I know how to get from where I live, now, to (One Bills Drive) so that's a step – and a couple other places in between," McDermott said. "I know where Wegmans is and all those types of things."
The Bills brought in 13 new free agents this offseason and an entirely new coaching staff that will be adjusting to their new environment in the coming weeks.