1. McDermott's message well-received in Bills locker room
As Sean McDermott continues to learn what it takes to become a successful head coach in the NFL, he has been able to get his players to embrace his style and the culture that he wants to build around the organization.
McDermott appeared on the Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 on Wednesday morning and talked about the preparations for the NFL Draft and how his message has been received amongst players.
"The vision is to compete every day. That starts with me," McDermott said. "I get up every day trying to earn the right to win. I believe in that process, and in this business it's six inches the difference between winning and losing every week. I think the average margin of victory in the NFL last year was plus-or-minus-10 points. The margin for error is very small, and that means we have to out-work our opponents."
The Bills went 2-6 last season in games decided by 10 points or fewer, something that many around the team said separated them from being in the postseason to missing out on January football.
McDermott said that changing the outcomes of regular season games takes place in the months of competitive offseason work. He wants to get the message across to the team that such a change isn't going to happen overnight and that it is a progress.
"We've talked about it around our building is being a playoff caliber team. That goes back to how we talk, our approach to free agency, our approach to the Draft, how we work out at this time of year, how we practice and then how we play whether it's a preseason or a Monday night game. It's all the same. We've got to earn the right to win and be that playoff caliber team, and then that sets us up for that Super Bowl when the time is right. But we've got to earn that. In this league, the way it works is if you get into the playoffs, you have a chance to win it all. But it's one step at a time at this point."
McDermott and Buffalo's front office have been linked to several quarterbacks over the past week, such as Mitchell Trubinsky and DeShone Kizer, but Buffalo's head coach didn't give too much away as far as draft strategy on Wednesday.
"We'll take a look at those [quarterbacks], but it doesn't mean we're taking a quarterback," McDermott said in a separate interview with Kiss 98.5 in Buffalo on Wednesday. "Maybe these last three or four trips were just kind of all a smokescreen, right? It's kind of like hiding your presents from your kids. You kind of put them in different spots and see, right? We'll just see. It's just a big mystery at this point. No one really knows. You never know who's going to be there at No. 10 when we pick. You just got to go do the homework and study it up."
** 2. Ian Seau eager for chance to prove himself
Being related to one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, newly-signed Bills' defensive end Ian Seau has had big expectations follow him for just about his entire football career.
Now, the 24-year-old is just trying to prove he is good enough to make an NFL roster.
Seau joined the John Murphy Show this week to talk about his uncle, Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, and the interesting journey he has taken to end up at Buffalo's minicamp.
"I can go out there and stop the run or get tackles for a loss," Seau said. "But what really gets me going is rushing the passer. I can stop the run and try to become the most complete defensive end I can be. I really like the big stage and going out there and sacking quarterbacks."
Seau was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Rams, but after being cut by Los Angeles prior to the start of the 2016 regular season, Seau was out of the NFL until the Bills signed him Monday. He had an unlikely path to the league, playing at three colleges before graduating from Nevada in 2016.
With the Rams, Seau developed a bond with defensive line coach Mike Waufle. Waufle now has that same title with the Bills, and Seau is eager to continue that working relationship.
"He has a nice heart but he really knows how to get you right in football," Seau said. "He's an excellent teacher. He's always about getting you into the classroom and teaching you the X's and O's about how to draw plays, and how to understand it. It's more about what you're doing, it's about what the whole defense is doing so you know where your help is and things like that."
Seau also worked with assistant defensive line coach Bill Teerlinck at Nevada. Under Teerlinck's watch, Seau led the Mountain West Conference with 10 sacks in 2015.
For Seau, it all comes back to watching how talented his uncle was in the NFL and just wanting to play on the same big stage he once did.
"I didn't really know how big my uncle was until I'd go to school and people would always talk about how good of a player he was," Seau said. "Obviously when I got older going to the games and seeing the plays and the impact on the field and off the field, that's' when I started to realize how big of a person he was. He made me love football and want me to go out there and be just like him. To perform at his level is challenging, but it gives me a bar to reach."
3. McShay predicts Bills to take a linebacker in first round
One of the foremost draft experts has the Bills selecting a linebacker in the first round.
ESPN's Todd McShay revealed a three-round mock draft for the Buffalo Bills, and has the team taking Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster with the 10th pick. McShay praised the All-American and what he can bring to a Sean McDermott defense.
"Multiple scouts have voiced concerns to me about who Foster surrounds himself with," McShay said. "But he's one of the 10 best football players in the draft and worth the risk at this point. First-year coach Sean McDermott wants more speed at linebacker, and Foster certainly has that. He's an explosive tackler who can get sideline to sideline in a hurry."
Foster had an impressive college career, culminating with him winning the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker in 2016.
In the second round, McShay has the Bills taking Washington safety Budda Baker. In the third round, McShay has the Bills addressing their wide receiver need by selecting North Carolina's Mack Hollins.
Hollins played with Bills' quarterback Cardale Jones at Fork Union Military Academy and McShay likes the receivers' deep play threat.
"Hollins, at 6-foot-4, is a great fit with QB Tyrod Taylor's vertical passing ability," said McShay. "He averaged more than 20 yards per catch in his college career.
Voluntary offseason conditioning is in full swing at One Bills Drive. Check out photos of the Bills in action.