1 - McDermott praised by NFL analyst Steve WycheWith the way the culture changed in Buffalo since his arrival, it sometimes is hard to remember that Sean McDermott is only entering his second year with the franchise. But in that time, the Bills learned how to play a "Playoff Caliber" style of football while also repeating the phrase "Trust the Process" over and over. McDermott has built a reputation that NFL analyst Steve Wyche made note of when he joined One Bills Live.
"Fantastic coach… You think about last season when they got rid of Sammy Watkins and all these playmaker-type guys, and they get to the playoffs," said Wyche. "So, they're a tough physical team. And you look what he's doing, they're doing it organizationally with their coaching staff up there. Then they go out this year and make themselves as the Carolina Panthers North. They go out and they get Star Lotulelei and they're beefing up that defensive front."
Wyche understands that the Bills have endured a lot more this offseason, but if there is a coaching staff that can handle it, he believes it's the one in place.
"I think McDermott and that staff are fantastic. I think they proved themselves last year," said Wyche. "It's going to be a challenge this year, again incorporating a new quarterback, figuring out what they want to be offensively -which of course they're going to be a run-first team. New England is still going to be the team to beat, but I don't see any reason why there should be any drop off in improving what they established last season.
Check out behind-the-scenes photos of the Bills rookies.
2 - Bills rookie considered underrated by CBSHarrison Phillips has dominated on the mat, in the weight room and, most importantly for the Bills, on the field. He's a three-time state wrestling champion, he had the most reps at the combine with 42 and he was the only defensive lineman to register over 100 tackles last season. Now, Chris Trapasso sees the Bills rookie making a big impact on the roster next season, entering the league underrated.
*I often referred to Phillips as a "leverage monster" during the pre-draft process. To me, that's a lineman who uses his hands extremely well to control the opposition with physics and body geometry en route to "winning" a specific play. With arms slightly longer than Gerald McCoy's, immense upper and lower body strength, Phillips gets underneath offensive linemen, and center-of-gravity is vital in trench battles. He probably won't load the stat sheet with sacks, but he'll make his fair share of impact run stops, and, almost as importantly, free up Buffalo's athletic linebacker duo of Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano.
3 - Peter King's farewell includes two former Buffalo Bills"I, like so many people, have read his Monday Morning Quarterback column, like you have," said Steve Tasker on One Bills Live. "It's required reading for anybody in our business that covers the NFL. You really have to."
After 29 years with Sports Illustrated and 21 years writing Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King is saying goodbye to both of them. In a farewell column that includes names such as Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Tom Brady and many more legends of the game, the Buffalo Bills had two formers players receiving thank yous.
*Thank you, Steve Tasker, the most decent great player I have covered. *
"I got a lot of respect for Peter, and I would count him more than just a colleague…," said Tasker. "He's a trustworthy, down-to-earth guy, who has good common sense and would never betray a confidant."
John Murphy joined his One Bills Live co-host in remembering the kind of journalist King was and still is.
"A lot of reporters have agendas," said Murphy. "They ask questions looking for your answers to fit their agenda. Not Peter King. I'd witnessed him work. I've watched him do this. He listens to people deeply and intently in order to get to the bottom of the truth. I think that's an underrated quality."
King also gave a thank you to former Bills quarterback, Frank Reich for his part in the biggest comeback in NFL history.
*Thank you, Frank Reich, for the 41-38 comeback to beat Houston in the wild-card playoff game in 1992. Talk about memorable—a backup quarterback erasing a 35-3 lead and winning a playoff game. I recently told Reich the story about the Houston TV guy—when it was 28-3, Oilers, at halftime—who made the nonrefundable airplane reservation for the next week, the next game, at Pittsburgh. It got to be 35-3 on a bad Reich pick-six in the third quarter, but all he kept thinking about was, "Just one play."
The Bills won in overtime. I waited for everyone to leave the locker room until it was just me and Reich left, talking about the greatest game of a backup quarterback's life. He called over an equipment man, wanting to see his wife, and said, "Could you bring Linda in?" And when the door to the locker room opened, they hustled to embrace like they hadn't seen each other in five years. "I love you," Linda said, and I bet 15 seconds passed before he said anything. "Praise the Lord," were Frank Reich's words. That was a moment.*
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